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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  January 30, 2011 10:00am-11:00am EST

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hat and black caftan either holding a golden coin or a bag of money or sitting at a table counting money. and so as i travel in poland and eastern europe i would approach the sales person and say, what is this? some would embarrassed say it is the equivalent of kike, and i say, what for? some are a little embarrassed, but then they say, it's a good luck charm. i say, excuse me, a good luck charm? oh, yes. when somebody goes into a new business, a new job, a new apartment, we buy this for them as an amulet for good luck. ..
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>> i ask him how many locals handed over their jews to the germans because they believed they would become rich. i said to him, tell that to a
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young man that four years ago was captured, kid kidnapped in the streets of parents, a gang, who kidnapped him because they said in court, jews are rich, and if you want to become rich, kidnap a jew, hold them for ransom, and you'll become rich. when people say -- and they were not rich and didn't have the money, they killed him. when people say, oh, why are you getting so upset about jews having money. i remind them of ilan. that's why it's out there, and that's why the timing of the book is now because the economic crisis continues. the blame game continues. the interpret is ripe --
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internet is ripe with conspiracies. why? why write a book? well, i wrote the book in the hope that i can shine a light a little bit to remind people what stereotypes are about, how painful, how hurtful, how sin sinister, how dangerous they are. it's really a call for good people, for parents to teach their children, for good people to have, you know, there's a lot of work in prejudice reduction, and we do it -- primarily we start with the kids, and at some point they say, so, what do you want from us? we say to them, we want you to have the courage to stand up and say no when you hear bigotry,
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when you hear prejudice, when you hear racism, and it sounds so simple. it's not that simple. look at the tragedies we've been witnessing with cyberbullying. bullying is something we've lived with in society for years. bullying from our perspective is bigotry, hatred. i don't like you because of your color, ethnicity, religion, i don't like you because of your size, your gender. it doesn't really mather. it is whatever is seen by a group as the other, and if you want to appreciate -- and what is it? how many kids have the courage to stand up and say no? don't say that. they don't.
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that's how bullying not only scars, but now it kills because now it's from the classroom, from the schoolyard, and now it's global. now we're seeing young people commit suicide because they can't cope with that bullying which is now so global. you know, what sounds so simple is not that simple, but it's oh, so, so important and significant, and that is the ability to stand up and say it's not funny. don't say that. it's hurtful. that simple ability to say no, don't do it is not that simple, it's not that easy. it's very, very difficult. my hope is that maybe when people read it, maybe they'll have the courage next time when
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they hear somebody say, you're jewing me down to stand up and say don't say that. i have a chapter that's reviewed to be funny. it's not funny. ethnic jokes are not funny. remember the period of jap jokes? it's not funny. this is rooted and it's not funny, but it just reenforces. it's painful, and in the end, it's dangerous. it's also, i guess, an appeal to political leaders, spiritual leaders, religious leaders to have enough knowledge, information to be able to condemn it, to be able to stand up and say that's not acceptable. that's not the values that we
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want. i'm not looking -- it's not a fun book, but i think it's a book that if you read it, if you buy it, if you read it, i think you'll feel better about yourself of having better understood something that's out there which many of us have ignored sometimes that are parol. it's a book i never thought i would write or need to write, but it's a book that i think may prevent some port, some pain, some anguish. we frequently say never again, and we say that so often that i'm not sure we truly understand what it signifies, but for me, writing this book is just another expression to put
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meaning into those of us who survived the holocaust as we have an 11th commandment and it comes from jewish experience, but it's universal, and the never again is basically never again to be silent in the face of big ri, prejudice, or racism or be silent when someone is singled out for what they are, what they believe, what their sexual orientation is, whatever it is that makes them other and different, never again to just stand by and ignore it and be apathetic. that's truly the motivation of why i wrote the book so more people understand that they have a responsibility which is not that huge a task, but to be
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sensitive, to be respectful, but not only in their heart to have the courage to stand up to say no to bigotry, and that's what the book is about. you know what? maybe it isn't a bad choice for a post hanukkah or arab-christmas gift after all. [laughter] thank you very, very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. foxman for reminding us about the importance of respect for diversity and humanity to man and how important it is at this time of year. we want to open it up for question and answer. if you all would please make your questions questions and keep them short so that we can get to as many questions as we can.
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i think mr. foxman will be with us to answer a few questions, and then we'll sign books i believe afterwards for any of you want to make that purchase or a holiday gift. who's our first question? let me see -- we're going to have to send the microphone through the room. sorry, i am reminded of that. we are on television and we have to hear the questions live. i'll take the microphone around and hold it for you. anyone who wants to ask a question this evening from over on this side of the room. >> the gentleman in the balcony. >> hi, mr. foxman, thank you for being here, but you probably won't like my overall question. i've been very offended by what you've done in essentially
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denying the genocide and some of your closing remarks spoke to how i feel what you and unfortunately you're taking down the idea with you in the eyes of many by denying the genocide and fighting its passive in the house of representatives, but apologying to turkey by what went on and this is all things that are fundamentally denialist. my question to you is when will you correct this very bad path that you are on? you fire people and so forth, when will you correct this and are you willing to correct this so the idea of credibility is not further besmear muched. >> i'll correct it when i stop beating my wife, but more seriously because it's a serious
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question. we have not denied that or mainian -- armaian genocide. it's described as a massacre, an atrocity, and we call under turkish government to deal with it, to face the issue, to confront, to start the history, and engage in discussions, dialogue, and whatever comes from those dialogues and a reconciliation with the or mainian -- armanian people, but what we have not necessarily done is what you and some of your friends is that some of our programs have been threatened programs that provide
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sensitivity to prejudice. you insisted that we use your word genocide. we, the jewish people, suffered a genocide. we don't insist everybody call it that or whatever. call it what you want. we have very, very clearly throughout -- i've been around for 45 years, director 25 years. you will find in our websites and in the language and in the materials that we teach that we never denied it. we've always described it as a massacre, an atrocity, and we've called the turkish government to deal and to face. on the deal of legislation, we never fought it or lobbied against it, but when asked we said we do not believe this painful issue is going to be resolved by a resolution in congress. we have again said, and this is
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an issue that needs to be resolved by the two peoples, by the two nations, and i still believe to this day that a resolution in congress is not going to resolve it. iivel that the -- i believe that the beginning of the process that we've seen in the last year, not totally successful, but the exchanges between the president of turkey to armania is the beginning of a dialogue that will hopefully lead to reconciliation that leads to facing the past that will lead to healing, but by good people demanding that we do this and that, unfortunately that will not bring anybody back to life nor resolve respectfully the issue of history. >> [inaudible]
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my question basically is and perception over most of my life, certainly the last 25 #* 25 years -- 25 years of my life, most groups who faced some form of suppression, and you use the term good people over and over again. it seems that in our response to these afflictions, we tend to forget about the good people. we only tepid to focus -- tend to focus in on the small group of people who no doubt were inflicted in a great deal of pain, but it seems to me, healing, moving forward, and getting beyond this is pretty much to focus on the larger group which is the good people. that's where the solution is, and i say this as a black man, it appears to me that we don't
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do that. i mean, when are we going to start focusing on the good people? >> okay. well, okay, thank you. i would say i think that's what we tried to do. if i did not believe that we could change people's minds and hearts, i wouldn't go to work in the morning. if i don't believe we could bring about an epiphany among people and educate them, i would not be what i've been doing for the last 45 years. here's the challenge, yes, and again, i'm on optimist. i'm an optimist by the virtue of fact that i'm here, that i survived, and i know that even in the midst of evil in the holocaust there were as dianne said because if, you know, if one could save 100,000 human
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beings, could you imagine if there were 100,000 alan's? the biggest problem is to operate 4/7, and the good people are waiting for somebody to do it. i don't know. our challenge is to find the way to trigger the good people which are the overwhelming majority to, you know, it's not 24/7 to wake up, to respond, and to do. if you say to me, you know, what is the adl, what lesson is there? for me, what i think we are trying to find are the trigger mechanisms so stimulate, to sensitize, to inspire the good
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people to stand up. again, when i said stand up to say no, it's the overwhelming majority, but we saw and again back to the holocaust, we saw that -- we saw -- we learned whenever good people said no, jews lived, gays lived, gipsies lived, but there they were, millions of people who didn't do anything, millions of good people who didn't do anything. the ones who collaborated for a small, small group, and the ones who stood up were even smaller, and yet, they were all good people. they were all good people. you know, i have my own little dream. my dream is -- i've sort of not given up, but i used to think we can find a vaccine against
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prejudice. on one hand when you think we have conquered time and space, reached the moon, we've eradicated smallpox, polio, transplanted the heart, why can't we find a vaccine against hate and bigotry, and, you know, maybe the good people don't need it, but maybe they do, and now i'm -- my little dream is we're into dna, and i know a lot of people worry about dna and cloning, but maybe the dna would be able to identify why corpi who could barely read and write have the courage to stand up and say no to the nazis and risk her life to save another human being. what made people bystanders? what made people courageous? i believe it's out there, and i
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believe we're going to find it someday, but you're absolutely right. we need to focus on the good people, but at the same time, we don't have the luxury to ignore the ugly people, the evil people, the hateful people, and sometimes you need to focus on them to wake up the good people. hey, to say to them, you can't just stand by. you need to be educated, and you need to educate. the good news is you're not born a bigot. the bad news is you're learn to be a bigot. the second good news is it's easier to learn to be a bigot than to unlearn. you have to motivate them and find the trigger mechanisms. if you came here, you know i don't tell jokes, so you came because you care.
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part of what we're about in a simple way is to say to the good people is you have a responsibility and the responsibility is simple as saying up and saying no. if not all of them, but many of them would, boy, things would begin to change in terms of civility and respect in our country and beyond. >> [inaudible] you were pretty close to pope john ii and paul the ii, and you had interviews with benedict the 16th? you can't hear me? i can holler. okay. have you ever discussed with them their attitudes towards
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israel and towards the survival of the jewish people, and if so, what were their differences? >> okay. it would be arrogant of me to say i was close to john paul. one can aspire. i've had the privilege to be with him in his presence to speak to him on eight occasions. the importance of john paul was that he changed 2,000 years of teaching of contempt. he -- the vatican, too, made some more significant changes in the relationship between the jewish people and the catholic church and the vatican, but what
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john paul did was obviously very, very courageous. probably the most important thing that john paul did was to go to synagogue. the visit of the synagogue was the most important theological statement that the church engaged in in over 2,000 years. by the pope going to a synagogue, he basically said to the christian world that christianity did not supersede judaism which is what used to be taught, that god's promise and covenant with abraham was not superseded by his covenant with jesus, and that judaism is a bible religion, and therefore he went to participate to sit to be a witness to the vitality of jewish life.
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that symbolically, even geologically, was a very, very important event, and he talked about the jews being the elder brother, he talked about anti-semitism being a sin. his visit to jerusalem, recognizing, going to the wall, apologizing for the history of teaching of contempt. let me share with you an insight into the sensitivity of the man. i know a family in rome who lived in rome for several hundred years, and one day a phone call was received by the family that the pope wanted to see them. they saw the pope. the pope said i understand you're a close childhood friend of the chief rabbi. i have decided, the pope said, that i would like to visit the synagogue. i don't want to put the rabbi in
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a position where he has to say yes, so if i would call him pope or write him, he would have to sort of say yes, so i asked you tell the rabbi that i would like the visit the synagogue if he wants me to, if he's comfortable . message was carried, the rabbi sent a imagine back to the pope saying i need a week. he pulled the rabbis of europe because he felt it was not his decision and they said, yes, welcome. the sensitivity of this man to ask whether it would be comfortable and accepting. by the way, rabbi is mentioned in john pall's will by name. now, you ask the difference. the difference is in style.
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everything that john paul did had to have the acquiescence of benedict who was the keeper of the faith. he was the defender of the faith. this was the partnership. the pope was the public voice and figure, but any changes or any nuance in the dogma, anything that changed, had to have approval. everything that was done had this current cardinal's approval and acquiescence, and what was important in the sense -- and again, it's a different style, different ethnicity, it's priorlily -- primarily personality differences. people say that was john paul because he was polish. that's almost an aberration.
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what's important about arnold benedict is he institutionized of what john paul did in changing the relationship between the jewish people and a christian-catholic world. if you watch, he follows in his footsteps. he visited the synagogue in rome. in every country that he goes, he visits a synagogue. he was in new york, he visited a synagogue. he meets with the jewish community. again, to indicate that this changed relationship is not a personam, john paul, but it is institution flail, and -- institutional, and people are ready to criticize, but they are criticizing his style, not the substance of the relationship. if you look at the history of anti-semitism, the most dramatic
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change in 2,000 years is between the catholic church and judaism because unfortunately it was for many, many years the ones that were legitimized. this is the most dramatic change in anti-semitism. now there's another issue. there's an issue with islamic fundmentism. that's become the new vehicle for antisemitism whether it's hezbollah or the extremists who have hijacked islam, and that today is the greatest antisemimettic vehicle. this current pope is carrying on the tradition of jap paul in the -- john paul in the relationship of the jewish people.
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>> [inaudible] >> i don't know very much about the armanian and turkish situation, but the first questioner was asking you about the jewish opinion of the situation, and i am asking you if or what went -- the massacre that the armanians suffered to use your word, what started that? were the turks just on a rampage or did the armanian have anything to do with this? was there something that went on before that to cause it? >> respectfully, i am not a historian, certainly not a historian of that issue. i've read some books. there are various opinions.
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the fact is nobody challenges the fact that whatever the cause, it was a massacre. whatever the cause, there were atrocities. that's not in question. as to why, when, how, whatever it was, it was as horrendous and as horrific as is reported, so, you know, again, for us -- it's not -- i don't pretent to be historians. we never tied it. it's not a question for us to acknowledge. you know, coming to the jewish people to acknowledge other people's tragedies, i understand, but i don't understand. again, if it is to be resolved, it was the jewish people who resolved their relationship with
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germany, nobody else, nobody else. it's the people who are the parties whether it's 20 years or 50 years or 100 years, that is for whom it is to resolve, not for us. >> are there any other questions? [inaudible] >> thank you very much. hungry will take over the presidents of the european euroian, and there is an anti-semitism in europe, what can they do about that? thank you. >> questions about anti-semitism in europe and what can the european union do. okay, well, the most anti-semitism explosion in europe happened in the year
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2000, something that shocked a lot of people. it didn't shock some of us who were watching it because the old anti-semitism was never cay out. the country faced its history, but the rest of europe, some play victims, ect.. the problem -- and then came the new anti-semitism which was the anti-semitism relating to israel with what some have said israel became the jew of the nations in the same way that historically, you know, whatever was permitted for everyone else was not permitted for the two, and israel was singled out that all countries can defend itself, israel cannot. all countries can choose its
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capitol, israel cannot. what legitimacy is being challenged after 60 years of establishment? israel. that added to anti-semitism in europe. you had a human conveyer belt of some radical muslims who helped, and so the biggest problem facing europe was denial. that means the european leadership denied that there's a problem, that there's antisemitists. i remember president coming dot united states with four jewish leaders and said there's no anti-semitism in france, ask my jews. two said yes, one said no, and one said maybe. [laughter] is there anti-semitism in new york? paris? as long as there was denial, they didn't do anything about it, and they didn't face. some was around 2004 and 2005,
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attitudes changed. they woke up one morning to find out the night before police stopped an attack on a jewish day school, and god forbid, if the police had not stopped it, france would have been a place where 900 jewish children could have been -- that changed and he said there was anti-semitism, we need to do it, and today france is probably the model country as to how to deal with it and defend that ministerial committee with education, interior, police protection, holocaust education is mandated. anti-semitism is taken seriously, condemned when it rears its ugly head ect.. what's what europe needs to do. europe started doing something else through the e.u..
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there's a recognition of the holocaust liberation day which is january 27th. it's been declared as a day of congressmen ration on -- comen ration on the holocaust. there's ideas to begin to teach the holocaust not only as a jewish tragedy, but a national tragedy. e.u. has had conferences on the internet. it translated some adl materials on prejudice. we're engaged in efforts with some e.u. agencies to sensitize law enforcement. police officers are sometimes coming on the scene of conflict and can become the problem or the solution. if they don't understand prejudice or the prejudice themselves, that makes it worse. the e.u. can facilitate not only
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as a voice, but there's need for education. there is need for implementation of the resolutions that say, yes, there's anti-semitism, and a lot of material needs to be trainlated, made available. teachers need to be taught how to teach. i'd be delighted to give you a shopping list, but basically, there is today recognition that there is a problem, and your opinion is dealing with islamic as well because that's a growing problem in europe today. we're struggling with the issue of the internet. internet is both a magnificent vehicle for education, information, and interaction, but it's also providing a superhighway for bigotry. the question is how do you balance freedom of speech, expression, privacy, how do you protect it? we're struggling with it. the e.u. has a good forum, problem of conflict of laws
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because laws say you cannot deny the holocaust, but europeans can buy books from amazon or barnes & noble or whatever. there's issues to resolve. again, the e.u. is a good place to bring countries together. under the e.u. em brel la there's -- upumbrella there's a forum in turkey looking at forums. it needs more funding, more attention, and i'd be delighted to sit with you or discuss it later. >> before we close out the program, we have time for one more question, and she won't come up here and close if i don't give that question to her husband. [laughter] >> thank you. you're a great guy.
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we're glad we have you here, but my last question. you said god had a discussion with abraham. your name is abraham. was it you? [laughter] i believe so. >> and the question is? [laughter] >> thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. [applause] >> for more on abraham foxman and his work, visit the website,
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>> well another los angeles times reporter has been nominated for the national book award in the nonfiction category. this is barbara demmick. nothing to envoy in north korea. how did you get access to north korea? >> i spent seven years interviewing north koreans, not in north korea, but in south korea. i've been to north korea several times, but you can't speak to anybody there. you can't even make eye contact with them to say this is the worst repressive regime in the
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world. actually have a case when you work in north korea, you have a minder, and your minder has a minder to make sure you don't talk to anybody. i found north koreans to be talkative when they got out of the country. i pain stakingly pieced together their stories which in my life was 1984 coming true. >> these north koreans you spoke with, did they escape north korea or visiting? >> everybody has to escape. north koreans basically live in a large prison. they are not allowed out of the country unless they are very, very elite. these are people who largely when they were starving to death crossed the river that borders china, and you know, tried to make new lives for themselves, and you know, the funny thing is when they were in north korea,
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although they were starving, they were fed propaganda they they lived in the best country in the world. that's where the title comes from. they come out, and they realize that, you know, my god, in china people eat rice and have televisions and read whatever they want more or less. >> so, you found they were pretty unaware of the outside world? >> fox in a well. that's what they call themselves as one of my chapter titles. north korea is really maintained by the regime. it's how they keep their power is tell the people a great lie. the greater the lie, the greater the power. >> barbara, can you give us a snap shop of the daily life of an urban and rural dwellers in north korea? >> sure. the people i wrote about, mostly from the city, is get up at the
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first light of dawn. what you do is look for weeds, grass that's edible. you get out before everybody else, go to the countryside with a knife and basket looking for something to eat. people spend days looking for something to eat, and then go to bed early to conserve energy. maybe they go to the woods to collect firewood. i mean, this was the situation in the 1990s during the famine. it got better, and now, unfortunately, it's getting worse again. >> when you travel to north korea, what was the process like getting in? >> it's really difficult as an american and as a journalist. i speak a little bit korean. i was rejected for years for visas, and i don't know whyment they finally let me, but in 2005 i finally got the proper visit.
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i think they let us in basically because they need money. there's not a lot of people who want to visit north korea and it's a badly needed source of hard currency. >> what was your experience like? >> it's a lovely city, one the cleanest least polluted cities in all of asia, there's few industries, few cars. the people are friendly. they are completely brainwashed. they'll only talk about their great leader. you don't really have any kind of honest conversation, but, you know, i would say that there's a warmth to the people, and one of the reasons i wrote the book is i felt north koreans were so mysterious and a lot of the very negative stereotypes that americans have about asians, these come mewists --
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communists, this garbage, and i wanted to shoam them as real -- show them as real people, and i portrayed the six people who i still know and they are wonderful people. >> did you find yourself being stared at? >> no, that's what's interesting. they are taught not the stare. they don't stare at you which is one line of how controlled the environment is controlled. in south korea and china i'm stared at. not north korea, they don't make eye contact. >> were you relieved when you got out? >> yes, always, but it's not nearly as scarry as you might think because once you get a proper visa opposed to walking across the river, you are chaperoned every moment, and i knew not to say anything that would get me in trouble or the people who were guiding me. >> how long have you been
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working on this book? >> it's embarrassing. it was about seven years. i started interviewing -- no, i started interviewing north koreans i guess in 2001, and i think as soon as i got into north korea i was obsessed as a journalist that we're simplistic creatures if you are told you can't go someplace, we want to go like a cat and a string. i was obsessed about what every day life was like, and you know, i imagined it was a little bit like 1984 or brave new world, and in fact, it is. >> you already won the samuel johnson prize, and now you are nominated for the national book award nonfiction category 2010, barbara demick is the author. >> up next, a writer and film
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writer looks at the growth of radicalism in the middle east since the u.s. invasion of iraq. his talk at rice university in houston, texas lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. >> my book, half of it deals with iraq, how the civil war began, how it came to an end, and what iraq looks like today. the other half, though, deals with iraq's impact on the region, increased fighting in lebanon, refugees, and increasingly unstable middle east and how iraq came to afghanistan, and by that i mean, the u.s. began to implement many of the same tactics which are used in afghanistan and we -- i'm sorry, tactics using in iraq, implementing them in afghanistan, and we saw suicide bombings, ied's, things we associated with iraq, coming to afghanistan.
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these days, iraq is a forgotten subject in the media. nobody cares about it. it's hard to get people interested, and i'm grateful to see a large crowd here. afghanistan, because there's more americans there. when americans are dying, a country is in the news a little bit more. i maintain we can't understand what's happening in afghanistan or the americans think they are doing in afghanistan without understanding what happened in iraq and what they think happened in iraq. i'd like to start about a discussion about iraq and the implications about afghanistan. the narrative which these days is impossible to challenge is that iraq was going fairly poorly because of poor planning, and then in 2006 you had the bombing, al-qaeda and iraq blue up the shrine north the baghdad and all hell broke lease and civil war started and iraq was
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falling apart until david petraeus arrived and saved the day, the new american hero, and now he's going to save the world in afghanistan using the same tactics, but that's wrong. the civil war did not begin in 2006, but in 2003 when the americans won the war, they basically lost the war. they dispatched the iraqi army. they didn't even fight. leaving aside whether the occupation was right or wrong or whether the decision to go to war was right or wrong, which it was wrong. if you're going to be an occupier or invade a country, do it crftly. we couldn't do that. the military planners knew from experience in kosovo, other conflicts in the world, that you node a significant number of troops for the post war face
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because you're not going to have a state. they were requesting 5,000 as many troops as they were given the they were not granting the troops this is a very easily-like war. we came in with 150,000 troops and created an immediate vacuum stripping away the government, security forces, electricity, everything was gone. you had this sense of lawlessness which remain to this day. this is not unique to iraq. if you take new york city, get rid of the police, electricity, and mayor and there's looting, you stripped away even the government infrastructure, i think you'll see neighborhood gangs clashing, the upper east sides fights harlem.
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east side wouldn't do very well, probably. [laughter] i'm from there, so i know. iraq was unique. we see what happens even in the u.s. in the aftermath of katrina when you remove the state, all hell breaks lose, and when people are scared, they turn to violence, to militias. it's what happened in iraq. the americans won the war in april of 2003, but lost the war because militias take over. overnight, they were formed and forming on the basis of secretary identity, formed around surrounding mosques, tribal groups, ethnic groups. you weren't going to have a secular noneducated militia. it didn't make sense. the guys who used to be in gangs very quickly became the militiamen. the americans came in with the notion that the party was like
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the nazi party. we had to elevate to fighting is a new nazi. they were the nazi in the eyes of the american planners, but it was a sunni. the army was majority shiites. they imimposed the identities on geographic regions. you had the shiite south and you had to think of yourself as you previously hadn't. prejudice exists in every culture and see it in america more and more these days, people who look like me these days are harassed in the streets as well, but obviously racism between blacks and whites exist.
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blacks are still bitter about the prejudice they feel, but you don't see my militia warfare or violent activity. like wise in iraq though before the war, identity was very complex. you had urban and rural divides, middle class and poor, wealth, people in the government, out of the government, north and south, people who were religious, and people who were secular. how you felt about yourself as a sunni or shiites and you might really hate the regime because they cracked down. if you were in the middle class, you really wouldn't feel as persecuted. as well as there was a glass
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ceiling, there was a higher class government. iraqi -- we descrive in the same two rivers, same tribes, we married each other. that's note exactly true. it was subdued, not politically expressed. there were some resentment and some felt contempt, some felt resentment at the sense of being disenfranchised, but it's much more complex. there didn't have to be a civil war. you took this vacuum that you created and militias forming right away and we heard the chatter of gunfire, and it was americans killing iraqis. it was iraqis fighting iraqis, people settling scores. kidnapping kids from wealth
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doctors, and also people who have led real grievances. maybe it was a professor who gave you a bad grade, this is a good opportunity to till him. -- kill him. maybe it was an informer who got your brother executed, this would be a good time to kill him. they eluded all the security systems. you knew who to kill. they could be rehabilitated by the new militias. now, you take this already existing tension. the americans came in there and set up a counsel in the summer of 2003. so many sunnies, curds, and others chosen. they led demonstrations.
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the americans are trying to create a civil war. that wasn't true. there was not conscious decision to create a war, but it looks like they made every possible wrong decision to lead to a civil war. approaching iraq with this notion that sunnies were the bad guys, the ones who were loyal to saddam, led the american military to be aggressive in sunni areas like fallujah. fallujah is a good example. before the war, it was sort of a poor low middle class industrial town. nobody heard of it. when you went to a picnic, you might stop in fallujah in the -- on the way. the first two weeks after the fall of the iraq to the american forces, fallujah was quiet. americans didn't even go there.
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they took over the administration of fallujah peacefully. the americans took over a school in the center of town, an on april 28th after the fall of baghdad, there was an administration, heard shots fire, fired into the crowd, killed 17 people. there's another demonstration and they begin to turn the people of fallujah against the americans. skipping to the first year of iraq in the growing insurgency, but just to say that in this spring of 2004, you had a moment of optimism in relations i felt. you had an uprising in fallujah and a shia uprising in the south. you had sunnies helping the south and americans #, and others going to fallujah to help fight the americans there. it might not seem like a reasonable optimism, but it's a sign they were fighting to the
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again the occupation which might bring a common narrative against struggle and get over the occupation and have the bloody midst that so many people need when they are founding or refounding themselves, but that wasn't to be because groups were dispounding shiites constantly and truck drivers going to jordan were being stopped close to fallujah and having their heads cut off. they are beginning to resent them more and more for harboring al-qaeda guys. when fallujah was destroyed by americans in late 2004, you didn't see them coming to the aide. they felt they deserved it because they were harboring.
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as a result of the destruction of fallujah in 2004, you had hundreds of thousands of refugees from fallujah coming into western baghdad. they began to dispolice shiias living there. because you had no american or iraqi security forces to protect local communities, local self-defense militias were becoming more and more important. if you were in the south district with the significant sunni minority and you know some are harboring resistance guys or proal-qaeda guys, and you don't know who they are, the best thing you can do is get rid of all of them. you had ethnic cleansing from the wave of people from fallujah and others saying the best thing to do is to get rid of the minority harboring militiamen.
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the civil war began intensively by the end of 2004, but you had for the first year or two, shiites were on the defensive and had the real fare that the party will come back, they are coming together, -- it was a realceps of security. it began to change in 2005. you had elections in iraq, the first ones in january of 2005. suddenly you saw -- taking over the department of superior. you had to be more


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