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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  February 13, 2011 11:00pm-12:01am EST

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in their independence or or independent for a while, and that in the context by the board and later i found out places in asia but there were these desperate steps to cover power very quickly, and i don't want
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to use the word class because we have interests in africa the level we could call ourselves class but let's say groups of people were either persecuted or persecuting others and those who felt persecuted by those in power we left our countries of origin and went elsewhere and that was easy to do, and that means i have lived or was born into globalization without even feel realizing i was in a globalizing world and when i use the word multi-cultural i think back in the school in nairobi where we came from different cultures and all in search of a better life and economic progress, but to move from a to be from language to language from hemisphere to hemisphere seemed so much easier and we
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took it more for granted and my grandmother's generation, and then i come of age and the information age of the rocket modernization that i think generations like my mother and grandmother somehow got a taste of that. i am not just a child of globalization but also a child that is intellectually comes of age after 1989 and the fall of the soviet union. >> why was that the case? how did that impact your life directly? >> it impacted directly if we accept there is a clash of civilizations and between the west and islam in the sense i
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was born into the muslim civilization as defined by and lived it and breveted and plus committed to it with loyalty, believed in it and left it and came to the west and did the same thing, lived it, breveted, made friends, made my future here and was able as an individual to compare not just a geographical differences and the mundane material differences but the differences and advice and i came to really appreciate one over the other and i made a choice, and i feel that makes it -- if you are looking into what is it that informs how i interpret events today that we are living in everyday life that inform the i think more than anything else. the fact that i had been exposed to both worlds, exposed to the thinking in both worlds and that i feel i am able to compare, and
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my opinions are one of many. it's subjective. it's my opinion but that's how i interpret facts and the event that we are leading in history today. >> you would say that a number of the primary factors that influence your thinking are derived from your being part of and been influenced by globalization, being part of a tribe and you are also as understand your own background in terms of your education and being exposed to multicultural circumstances, would you say that is the sort of foundation on which your book is derived from? and you're very being? >> yes. the only thing i would add to that is i have been exposed to different types of education. my grandmother and my mother and
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my koran teachers have given me a different set of education than what i would call, what i of legal a western education. western education was individualism, it was responsibility, it wasn't a sense of adventure. wasn't just tracing all over the world but into the unknown and science, reason, that for me is what i associate with the west. my grandmother and my mother and my koran teachers and preachers educated me and loyalty to the klan, tradition and loyalty to god and the hereafter to the prophet mohammed and following his example. so, i was educated in both places, but the indications are radically different. >> to watch this program in its entirety, go to simply type the title of the author's name of the top left of the screen and click search.
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>> peter first a bit like to congratulate you on another important terrific book to read this is the third when you've done on the history of al qaeda and osama bin laden and it's fair to say you have established herself as the preeminent historian of the radical islamist movement, and i think this book shows why because it is concise, fair and passionate and i think it is the best summary of what has happened since 9/11. let me start by asking the very basic yet hard to answer a question which is what should we be calling the conflict about which you write. the subtitle says the in doherty conference, but what we call it? >> first of all, thank you for those comments. i'm very happy that you -- a well qualified author like yourself has read the book and that we are having this discussion.
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what we call it is an interesting question to that there is a problem about this conflict because nels i say in the book president obama had an interesting question when he came into office which is how to define the war on terror. i think the liberal side of the democratic party and a lot of europeans would like him to redefine it is a police action against terrorists and that would have been naive on multiple levels. al qaeda has been at war with us since 1998 certainly when the blue of our embassies in africa. the declared war on us and they have done war-like things. on the other hand i think president george w. bush is a cause eye existential conflict which he did nine days after 9/11. al qaeda is a serious problem but it's not more not to communism. i don't think we had the language to explain exactly because it is a form of warfare with the nearest form of warfare
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in terms of the american historical terms is perhaps the war against the barbary pirates in the 18th-century which is not certainly war but it wasn't an interstate war, and it wasn't to destroy the republican. >> here are a few of the upcoming book fairs and festivals from around the country. he
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here's a portion of one of our t programs. peophy are white people called caucasian?ca evgeniysi if you asked yourselfy that?rsf do you know why? no. nod this is when -- well, it's this was when the -- the russians and the chechens in the caucuses were having tremendous struggles. why are white americans called chechens?
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i did find the answer which took me to germany in the 18th-century. the idea of race was invented in the 18th-century. it doesn't go back to antiquity. there were not white people in antiquity, since so many people thought that, my book actually starts with the greeks and romans and their commentary on the people who became europeans. what the greeks and romans discovered were people who live in various ways. the talk about what we call culture and for the romans who work in various ways because the romans were imperialists and very interested in who was a good fighter and who could help and had to be vanquished.
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i followed this german idea into the united states, a french intellectual and thomas carlyle who was a british intellectual and ralph waldo emerson. i spend a long time with ralph waldo emerson, who was the kind of genius of the nineteenth century white race theory. ralph waldo emerson didn't have a lot to say about black people but he had a lot to say about white people. in the nineteenth century, the idea prevailed that there were many white races. so there were people who were considered white. no one could question their white this. very clearly the irish were
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white. people descended from english or scottish people or german people but they belong to to different races. they were white but the long to different races. the irish catholics were thought to belong to the caltech race and people descended from english people were thought to belong to the sex and race and the saxons were better than the celts. it was not until the middle of the 20th century which many of us remember vividly that the idea of one big white race came into being in which everybody who was white was the same as everybody else. it is not an accident that that happened through politics. it happened through the national
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mobilization of the great depression, the second world war, and the federal policies crafted after was based in politics. to watch this program in its entirety, go to simply type the title or the author's name of the top left of the screen and click search. up next, william hartung and david eisenhower, the grandson of dwight eisenhower, discuss president eisenhower's farewell lubber stila drongen mabry 17th, 1961, in which he warned that the growth of the military industrial complex in the united states. mr. hartung's latest book, profe rise of the military contractor lockheed martin. david eisenhower's latest, going home to glory looks at president eisenhower's life after he left the white house.
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i thought it would be good to give the section of the speech that's relevant to our discussion and because sometimes we only hear a sentence of at this is a few minutes of it. it comes about midway. until the latest of the world conflict the united states had no armaments industry. the american makers of plowshares could with timing as required but now we can no longer risk the national defence. we have been compelled to create industry of vast proportions. added to this, 3.5 million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment.
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we in least in the military security more than the net income of all of the united states corporations. this conjunction of the immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the american experience. the total influence, economic, political, even spiritual is felt in every city, every state house, every office of the federal government. we recognize the need for this development, yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. our resources and the likelihood or all involved, so is the tree structure of our society. in the council of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought by the military-industrial complex. the potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. we must never let the weight of this combination in danger of liberties or space process these. we should take nothing for granted. only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can comply of the huge
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industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together. so that is what we are talking about and what we are working from. david is going to get some context and then i will talk a little bit about some contemporary applications of the concept. >> great. bill and flew for that introduction. it's a pleasure to hear it barnes and noble. it is a thrill to be here in new york city on this night. >> [inaudible] >> excuse me? [applause] >> i want to congratulate bill on the completion of profits of war for which is his book. this is the history of the rise of the military-industrial complex and that if a woman of the phenomenon that dwight eisenhower drew attention to in
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this speech in which he warns against the unwarranted acquisition by the military-industrial complex. i'm going to provide a little bit of background in the context about the speech and how my book going home to glory picks up from it. this was given 50 years ago. it describes as the excerpt bill read it describes the permanent condition which developed within his lifetime in national affairs. he draws attention to it. he acknowledges now, but the problem of standing mobilization is something that we are compelled to face. this isn't something we do as a matter of choice. we are compelled to face. it doesn't offer specific prescriptions. there is no 5. plan for the reasoning in the military complex and in fact what he does is comes up with an interest -- interesting and broad
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prescription. he calls for an alert citizenry. that is calling on the political branches of government as well as all of us in our daily lives to follow these and be aware of it and to understand in the military-industrial complex will require certain momentum but they must justify themselves as we justify other things as well, and i believe that your book highlight some stories that i am aware of, the fits journal story in the pentagon, william proxmire has a senator from wisconsin. and i remember other clashes between the military industrial complex and the branches of government. to give you a little background on the speech, my own book picks up about 65 hours after it was given. and i would stress a somewhat different aspect by way of
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background and this has to do with alert citizenry. going home to glory opens after the speeches given when they are driving back to gettysburg 50 years ago when the winter chill of the day john kennedy was inaugurated president of the united states. these are remarkable times. in the year 2000, martin medhurst of texas a&m, a rhetoric professor pulled teachers of rhetoric in the united states on the outstanding speeches delivered by americans in the 20th century. what were they? and on that list, dwight eisenhower's farewell address stands 18 out of 100. but thousands and thousands of speeches given so one of the top 20 speeches, one of them on the list was the john kennedy inaugural stands three. these are the speeches delivered within 65 hours of one another and the confluence of the
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greatest inaugural of the 20th century and perhaps the greatest for wilderness ever given an american president draws attention to the significance of the transition, and with the transition was of course with of the wartime leadership is yielding the range of power to the junior officers of world war ii and there is a generational shift that happens. the other thing significant about it is it occurs in the wake of perhaps the closest election of the 20th century, and it is an election that produced a 50/50 split, and i think the dignity of the two statements of the kennedy inaugural and the eisenhower farewell, the quality of the expression in the two speeches are worthy of a space transition. we were able to overcome a great divide in that period and find a way forward during the transition and the was a very successful transition.
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there's also the most cultured speech because of the pre-eminence in the united states at the eisenhower farewell address presumes the innocence of the united states at the kennedy inaugural presumes as well. this is a pre-eminence that may never be repeated in international history. there's a connection by the way it in the eisenhower farewell and the kennedy classic statement and the connection is citizenship. the eisenhower's speech is in the final analysis about citizenship. his prescription and other to citizenry assumes something about the citizenship, his word choice, the way he addresses the american people and so forth makes assumptions about citizens which are also made in dhaka kennedy speech which serves a different purpose. eisenhower is reflecting on citizenship and the changing context of his lifetime. he is born in 1990 are raised in rural kansas where everybody is
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a self-sufficient former in a self sufficient rural area citizenship works in a certain sort of way to read by the time he is decreasing office or leaving office in 1960 which it entered the computer age, the space age, the atomic age, world population has tripled. america is an international power and so forth, the world has gotten very complicated, and in this complicated so circumstance the question is how does the citizenship work and he identifies barriers to read in the military industrial complex that is a vested interest that drives the decisions and potentially correct our space process as a barrier to the effective citizenship. john kennedy's inaugural about citizenship is about the changing patterns of citizenship and he is offering himself and his new administration as a model what citizenship. in other words, how does the new frontier confront the challenges of the world. a word about the timeliness of
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the speech. the great farewell seeks a timelessness as does an inaugural. there are both certain kinds of speeches that are both at didactic ceremonial and the ceremonial speech for timeliness. eisenhower addressed that in an interesting way and i will summarize this quickly. i think the early draft of it is a speech in progress for a long time. i think the planning began in may of 1959, so the plan for 18 months. i have seen versions of the speech in abilene kansas. there are now news stories that another set of draft has appeared in welcome those involved in the drafting of it and so that fills out a picture. the picture that i saw and speak from memory tonight is the early draft of the eisenhower farewell are very forward looking, and i
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think they reflect the sense that he's losing ground and the administration is losing ground and after the democrats win the 1960 election the reflected disappointment with the outcome. sour grapes so to speak. he is warning the country in effect against successors who may not have judgment. somebody gets to the president in the drafting or it occurs to him that this is not the task of a farewell. so we have another set of drafts were the warnings are modified and taken back. finally, this crystallizes into the great farewell address that it is. when he sees a worrying about specific prescriptions for the months and years to come and allows to look back over his career and extract lessons from his 50 years in public service, and to formulate from that a set
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of insights and prescriptions that will stand as timeless, something that we may even be talking about 50 years later as we are tonight. interestingly, the kennedy speech is the same way. all the presser during the transition was to acknowledge the closest of the election to issue an appeal for unity, to bring as many republicans as possible into the government i guess they took the suggestions very seriously early in the drafting of the speech. finally, because of the logic of the position and his responsibility, what takes over in the final draft is a decision to look forward. eisenhower's surrender in power, the obligation is to lead and when he looks forward and they look back and stand back to back that is when the two speeches delivered within 65 hours of each other become timeless. they both in that our culture to conservatives. eisenhower says are you going to allow yourselves passively to be
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dominated by a vested interest, by a military industrial complex or allowed to stand in the way of effective citizenship, can the reformers say are you going to allow law to a quick in our daily lives and responsibility for what we are and can be as citizens as sort of in this spirit the torch passes between the two generations who have a great deal in common and so one but also passed from one party to the next and which the leaders did disagree. one, it passes in a memorable colorful month 50 years ago, january, 1961. a very different. the kennedy inaugural and the exiled king speech, the eisenhower's farewell was a cautious speech, and it's almost as though you have visions of a roman triumph where the conqueror ed schultz and the
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splendor of a triumph but there are voices of caution. remembering -- reminding even the leaders of all glory can be fleeting. that is how the speech is sort of contract. kennedy asks and 61 with any generation trade places or times with the generation of power in 1961i guess the question for us is what we do so today. the answer then was no and the answer today is no. the future as demonstrated by the past is ours to make. depends on us and depends upon ultimately our willingness and determination to accept responsibility for our lives and to face the future. that is the moral the farewell and the inaugural and the to extort every speeches that have been exactly 50 years ago tonight. thank you. [applause]
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thank you, david. i think that gives a good context. i'm going to talk about the military-industrial complex and the action today. i'm going to look at a recent battle on capitol hill, the battle over the f-22 air combat. the most expensive fighter plane ever built, built beside a soviet fighter that was never built, the soviet union fell apart. and something that the obama administration very much wanted to end the program and members of congress and lockheed martin had other ideas. ultimately lockheed martin lost the battle but i think it's instructive why they lost, how what was fought. i think it is a glimpse into the muscle to become a of a complex at work. and i have a surprise ending which i will save. so i am going to do this by way of excerpts from my book.
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this is the very beginning. it is a striking ad, intimidating in the background with the slogan up front in all capital letters. 300 million projected, 95,000 employed. the ad for lockheed martin's f-22 fighter plane was part of the company's last effort to save one of its most profitable weapons from being terminated as the same standard budget parliament. pro at 22 abiram scores of times in print on political web sites and even in the washington metro. one writer of the post joked that lockheed martin's gracia full-page ads was the main thing keeping the paper afloat. and then jumping ahead a little bit. as soon as there was even a whisper of a possibility that the f-22 program would be stopped at only 187 planes, about pentagon wanted, but only half of the air force and lockheed martin was striving for the company started racking up
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big numbers on its side. by early 2009 months in advance of president obama's first detailed budget commission lockheed martin and its partners have lined up 44 senators and 200 members of the house of representatives to sign onto a letter. the jobs in 44 states or so company claimed. lockheed martin's relation barely bothered to mention what of the f-22 was needed to defend the country. as in the background but it was a driving force. lockheed got more and more specific as time went on with showing people at work on the components of the plan with legends like 2,205 jobs in connecticut. 125 machines in helena montanan. 50 titanium manufacturing jobs in ohio and 30 hydraulic system specialists in mississippi. all of those missing were ads
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for 132 lobbyists washington, d.c.. [laughter] although they probably would have gotten around to it if they needed to. so, the importance of this battle was laid out by senator john mccain on the senate floor. there was an amendment to stop the increase in the f-22 spending that he and senator carl levin democrat of michigan draw together. and this is what he said about the amendment. this amendment is probably the most impact amendment i have seen in almost any issue much less the issue of defense. baliles them to whether we are going to continue the business as usual of once the weapon system gets into the production it never dies or whether we are going to take the necessary steps to reform the acquisition process in this country. we can't in did according to progress from president dwight d. eisenhower's famous military industrial complex speech about the unwarranted influence of the arms lobby and the need for the alert citizenry to keep it in its rightful place.
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mccain suggested the only addition he would make to the speech was to replace the military industrial complex with military industrial in the rules congress and something unnecessary weapons systems like the f-22. so that was the sort of flavor of the debate, and i guess the question is if they have all this power why did they lose. and i think there's a couple reasons. first, secretary defense gates, a republican from the bush at fenestration, made an excellent case against it. he said first full, there is no mission. here we are fighting two wars, we are not using either of them. if we look ahead to china even if we don't build a single more f-22, we are going to have 20 to 25 times as many sophisticated fighter planes as china had even 15 or 20 years down the road. so whether it was the current mission, the future mission, he made a good case why we didn't
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need it and he also pointed to the price. he said it was obscenely expensive, which i think is true with $350 million a copy. i think the second thing that caused them to lose was by partisanship. john mccain and barack obama finally agreed on one thing. we didn't need this plan. maybe the last thing they would agree on for all i know. and then obama himself made a threat to veto any defense bill that included the f-22 and this was unprecedented not only in his presidency but ever as far as we can tell there had never been a veto targeted on one specific system like this. and then the administration fanned out across the country twisting arms of democrats who were leaning to vote for the plan to get them to vote against. although they lost they didn't lose any money in the deal because even as they reduce the f-22 by $4 billion, the increased the effort 35, another lockheed martin plan by
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$4 billion secretary defense gates made the statement i've taken -- >> [inaudible] >> call to 15, please. >> the f 35 was only increased by $4 billion, but it had jobs in companies in the same states and districts, so easily they were replacing the at 35 spending for the f-22, so in a sense it was the exception that proves the rule they couldn't get it done without throwing a bone to the military industrial complex at that so that is just one exit of the resilience and a company like waukee martin which comes from its size. it's $36 billion a year of our tax money which amounts to about $260 per tax paying household. so i have been in power to collect those checks this evening. [laughter] and i will pass them on to
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lockheed martin. so if you come to get your book signed, have your checkbooks ready. it's also a company in addition to size that's involved in the aspects of our lives that might not expect. not only does it make weapons, cluster bombs, designing nuclear weapons, combat ships, fighter planes but it also works with the cia, the national security agency, the fbi, the department of homeland security, the irs, the census bureau, pretty much any agency of government that we interact with probably lockheed martin is involved either in doing surveillance or information processing or another essential aspect of that agency's operations. i wrote a piece recently on the web that described this as lockheed martin's shadow government, and i think it remains to be seen whether they will serve that or not there is certainly that danger given their involvement in so many
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aspects of the government and our lives. so, that's what i'd really have to say to get the conversation started. and, you know, david, if you have any of your thoughts you want to share. >> i was struck by that passage early in your book where you describe how senator mccain wanted to insert a congressional military industrial congressional complex that was something that is in one of the drafts of the eisenhower military-industrial complex speech they were going to include congressional complex and he was struck in the draft because i think of the logic of the speech is directed at congress. how effectively do you and i oppose as alert citizens to bring lockheed martin to bend
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them to our purposes? we read books of course but in the final analysis we are depending upon is the figure, the congressional oversight and the strength of our political branches believes the eisenhower warning is directed to the congress. it is a call on congress to exercise oversight and represent us and not fall into the trap of representing them. and for that reason, what mccain is a living in a demonstration of is the converse is the key variable here and so allowed of the eisenhower speech and both men were conscious of it. >> on the question of oversight i would say senator william proxmire probably set the gold standard. he was closely involved in the lockheed martin st. it in the 60's they build a transport aircraft called c5a which was
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supposed to take large numbers of troops and material anywhere in the world on short notice. lockheed described it as a flying military base and there was some discussion of whether this was a good idea, what if we could get anywhere quickly it would intervene more quickly and more places but it never came to that because the plane was $2 billion of the estimating cost. it couldn't do the mission that was set up to do. so there was no possibility of using it to intervene anywhere because it just wasn't working. but this was buried in the bureaucracy of the air force. they were not going to reveal this in congress until the whistle blower named ernest fitzgerald stepped forward and put his career at risk and lost his job over this but it was william proxmire posted to the public, he actually gave fitzgerald job on the committee when he lost his pentagon job and he went to make sure the public understood that this was an abuse of tax dollars we
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couldn't stand and he called back some of the money from the cost overruns. the company did have to pay some hundreds of millions out of the 2 billion overrun that it ran and then he stepped from there to opposing the 250 million-dollar loan guarantee to bail out the company as a result of the problems with the sea fight in which the airline business, and that vote proxmire lost by one vote in the senate, and was the jobs issue that made the difference and senator alan cranston with one vote to go said dealer to be the guy responsible for all these people losing their jobs and he said no such of argument keeps occurring they were not going to get in the way of doing the oversight that he thought was necessary.
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>> if dwight eisenhower alive toy amount of money being spent, the size of the companies, the amount of money at stake i think is sycophant lee different than it was under eisenhower. >> i was going to say looking at other things as well. he would look of the military-industrial complex and i think that he would see at. bill fighting has put his finger on this as best i take from the book and other articles i've read on this. the pattern or the way the military industrial complex works today is somewhat different. but he would also get out of things come he would look at campaign finance, how the campaigns are financed in the country, how percentage of the citizens turnout on elections and how vigorous is the space process. you know, when i say he looked back on his career his life and
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times and when this is seen as a classical farewell, it is a farewell in the final analysis about the great real of his lifetime, the ruble but faced the leadership and people that came afterwards and that is how is it in the early mitt 20th century we could have such progress on one side and such horrors on the other. world war one, the great depression, world war ii, the cold war and all of the threats, like swords over the western civilization as he's passing kennedy in 1961. his answer to that as somebody who has been a supreme commander in europe and had made a study of his adversary as well as everybody he went through that war with, the reason a country like germany in became totalitarian, the reason europe lost its moral and so forth is the will cease to be citizens, people who could have been
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ceased to be citizens they withdrew from the public affairs and allow people to make decisions for them. the used the loudest of places and the most irresistible, the simplistic dhaka and i think this is a phenomenon and is common throughout europe and that again building from his experience i think this was a moral that i take away from it and that is the vigor of the space process and oversight defense industries are going to organize themselves as best they can. they are going to retain military people. military people know their business. there is going to be an interlocking directorate. there's the one to be a complex that is compelled. we are, quote, compelled to have one. the question is how vigorous we are overseeing.
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>> you agree with abraham's theory that the old cold war was caused by long about how the soviet union was getting ready to make war with the u.s. and do you believe that he was murdered to shut him up when [inaudible] >> welcome for me that's pretty answer. my answer is no. >> the question is did he calls the cold war. the cold war was well under way before james became secretary defense. in fact my grandfather was assigned -- he was acting as the informal chairman under him and in fact was detailed by truman to counsel him and he came under his wing and was he sunk into profound melancholy that led to his suicide. my grandfather knew him well and his writings about him and the
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diaries are interesting and i think that he was somebody that was listened to in the government, but he was not -- his views were considered alarmist within the government. the real causes of the cold war are much deeper. i think probably the best it's not for most all, it's kennon. the long telegram in the early 1946 lays out the cold war, what's causing it and what the american and western side is going to be with the great sciences. this is an analysis written by somebody who spent most of his professional life to that point in the soviet union and understood the dynamics of not only that regime but also the western dynamics and opposition to it. he and other people who had a sensible views on the cold war
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which predominated for the most part understood the war could be avoided. the danger was ever-present because the soviet experience because of both the great losses in europe, the great devastation caused a conflict of some kind was going to ensue. >> wait for the microphone. >> i think in terms of the claim of kennedy, in terms of the gatt i wonder if there is evidence of sugar in on the part of eisenhower been frustrated and
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been put in the corner of the missile gap did you find evidence of that in your search? >> did a much so. as i say the question did he mean this morning the whole second term doesn't make sense except in light of his farewell address. when they began planning this address in 1959 the plant about ten others along with it. this was to be the capstone of these addresses, and what they were reeling from or responding to that time was this public psychology created by the soviet sputnik success in october, 1957 and the cry of the missile gap and there was a feeling in the eisenhower administration that the voices of reason were being overwhelmed by pentagon generated propaganda, by the vested interest that wanted to keep a cold war going because it was good for whatever, and they
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felt therefore they were going to inject a voice of reason and this speech definitely stems from that. but what is missing in this speech that might have been present in the earlier versions of it if my recollection is correct because i did see many drafts of years ago is i think the tone of regret in the here and now is drained out of the final versions of the speech. this speech sort of rises above it and puts it in a wider context and that's 20th century. this is here to stay. when we organize the national government and we acknowledge our interdependence, we don't have independent states anymore, we have a national transportation system, we have a national food distribution system, national medical system, national communications system, and we are all interdependent on one another. this is something that has been
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chosen, for lovkvist a way of life is different. citizenship is going to work differently. military-industrial complex is simply part of it, and we just have to understand the essence for the principles of citizenship haven't changed and that is that we all are in the final analysis response will for our own clients and active members and the political society. but i think that this looking back the i'm emphasizing, dwight eisenhower's abilene had more in common with the high middle east than it had in common with the society that he was president of in the 1950's. and this is more quality of change than any generation in history so he reflects on that. in the speech he reflects silently in a lot of ways because here we are talking about this year's leader and for decades to come on shore.
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>> i'd like to talk -- >> just one second. the other point being eisenhower really held the line until sputnik, cut military spending a relatively level even during the period if into communism, and he stood up to the bomber lobby, to some extent the missile lobby even though they didn't support nations sometimes in its own brank, the secretary of the air force testified on behalf of the bomber that eisenhower didn't want to build, so i think that his struggles were very concrete with the lobbies and that is what generated the rhetoric of the speech is that it was from his own experience. >> when i think about the concerned alert citizenry, one cannot help but realize that the amount of corporate lobbyists in washington today means that a congress person could spend their entire day just meeting with lobbyists who come to visit them.
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it is almost impossible not to think 50 years later to change the military industrial complex and call it the military industrial off, congressional complex. if you could comment, sir, the fact that this company has control of homeland security information systems, the postal information systems, the census. there seems to be absolutely no concern among our congressional representatives about the need for the checks and balances. >> that's right. when i did the book i was surprised myself how many aspects the companies involved in, and there was a perk aware of the privatisation was all the rage and it was built private companies could do more things efficiently and effectively. it's hard to see how you're going to get the result from a company that had a huge cost overruns and it has been a mixed results in terms of performance,
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in terms of the reach of the companies. i think a lot of times we don't even keep people in government to have the technical expertise to monitor some of the things the companies are doing so there has got to be some taking back of competence in the government if we are going to be able to ride hard on these companies. that at the moment something that doesn't exist. if you have, for a simple, the cia has more than half contract employees now, steve got people would work for private companies working agents, helping write the president's daily briefing, doing things that were prior consider governmental functions, so it's bad enough striking to keep tabs on an intelligence agency with all the secrets and falls, but if you add the corporate lawyer and confidentiality is of but much more difficult. >> yes, right here. >> behind you. yes. >> is there a microphone?
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>> it's true. we are waiting the questions are going to be really good. >> good evening. thank you very much [inaudible] >> i wonder if you could shed any light on the connection between the interstate highway system, general motors and the thoughts about the interstate highway system was purportedly developed as a national defense strategy. >> what is called the national defence highway act and there was the notion that in a pinch you could land a bombers on it but i think probably more importantly it was a way to justify an important investment infrastructure. if we had a national defense subway act we would probably
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have better subways. [laughter] although lockheed martin failed in putting cameras in our subways, so just as a low advertisement for my little act. >> the thing i could add to that is shortly after in the early 1919i think, then i don't know if he has reverted to the greater whatever, but eisenhower, for years out of west point, volunteered for a transcontinental convoy that was commissioned to test the american highway system. they spent about four months or five months going from the washington all the way to sacramento california. it took four or five months to do that trip, and the mission was to develop an assessment about the american road system
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and this was a historic journey. eisenhower was on that, and when he had the power to accelerate a national highway system as part of that infrastructure in 1954, 55. i think this was something that he was all too happy to do as president, to see that and held that go through. and i think also he was justified in the military terms as many programs were in the 1950's. this was the cold war era but it was an infrastructure project and was the product of many years of planning. i think you was shelled by world war ii. the roosevelt and administration had planned that way, but it was a fulfillment of division that planners in washington, the army corps of engineers in the first hand for making the united states a truly continental
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economic system, which is what we have. >> we have time for one more question. yes, you. >> just speak loudly. >> [inaudible] >> no, wait for the microphone. your question is worth reading for -- worth waiting for. >> [inaudible] >> yes, mccain and obama, the results of their actions are a place to the result is so cynical that the program was cut, money was added back. and working on your book, do you see any real the saunier given our need to control the budget -- is there any sense your effort, anybody that is trying to cut back on the military-industrial complex and the government today?
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>> well, i feel that there is just the beginning of some debate and hope. representative barney frank is joined with ron paul to come up with that proposal to cut $100 billion from the military budget, 100 billion per year over the next ten years. they have about 50 other members of congress signed up with them. it's interesting because, you know, he's a favorite of the tea party, and his son, rand paul as well as eric cantor. and this is all tied to the notion of deficit reduction, which has its own issues. you know, whether we should be reducing the deficit in the middle of a recession and so forth, but if there's going to be a deficit reduction plan there are forces that work saying that the military should take at least it's fair share, and since it's more than 50% of the discretionary budget, that would be substantial reduction. so this is a fight that's going to happen now and the arms lobby
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is going to fight back obviously. lockheed martin is the biggest donor to buck mckeon, the new incoming chair of the house armed services committee. also the biggest donor to daniel inouye who has the appropriations committee in the senate. he's called himself the number one guy for your marks maza that means what takes away with one hand he might try to get back with the other. but i think there will be a battle. there will be a debate which is new, something we haven't really seen in the last ten years i would say. >> thank you. [applause] ..
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>> he talks with the executive editor of foreign policy magazine. susan glasser. >> host: george, thank you for joining us today. i'm thrilled to have the chance to talk to you in some depth about your new book, "the next decade". it remits a -- it represents narrowing from the
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