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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 21, 2011 12:30am-1:00am EDT

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bradley who recently finished his 5th tour in afghanistan. he talks about his experiences fighting in afghanistan. this is just over 20 minutes. >> good evening, ladies and gentlemen. welcome to barnes & nobles. i'd like to introduce rusty bradley. >> i want to thank everybody for coming. [applause] >> i want to thank you all for coming. unfortunately, kevin mauer is not going to be able to attend tonight. he had something come up. i hate that because kevin was
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extremely significant in the writing and production of this project. it really wouldn't have taken off without him. let me start by extending a sincere thank you on kevin and my behalf. this project has taken four years in the making. it's inkicktive, your support is inticktive of this community and what it means to the shoulders that serve here. let me start by telling those of you who are not from this area. this is fort bragg, there's probably two things that you need to know. and this is where heros come from. the reason that i wrote this book, i know some of them, some
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of them are with us. because of security reasons, i won't point them out. those men are the reason that i wrote this book. we put all of the effort that we could into it. and then i would give everything that i have to be able to walk that ground with them one more time. they are true heros. that's the most common question that i have. there's a lot of common questions that i'm typically asked about the book. what i wanted to do was break from the norm and give anymore a question to ask and just to see if i could field any answers that anybody might want to have. yes, sir? [inaudible question] >> well, being i was first
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special operation author ever to be authorized to write a book while on active duty, we completely were vetted from the public awares through all of the safety offices of third special forces, actual special operations command and the department of the army. we got approve release from the unit and operational level all the way up to the top. it's kind of neat i just returned one month ago from my fifth deployment to afghanistan. to be able to come home and have the book coming out this time is very special. [inaudible question] >> the process of book -- i'm sorry. >> what about the review? >> the review, i believe, took about a month half. i think they went through it pretty thoroughly. again, it was one the most important things about this book that's really starting to resonate across the entire
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country is the fact that the book is act victory. what those guys did will -- we were able to do on the ground. i was just lucky enough to be a part of it. what they did was about victory. it was a small group of ordinary men that did something absolutely extraordinary. it's not about the feat or the escape, it's about the men that directly put themselveses in front of the enemies of our country and came to the aid of the entire country. yes, sir? >> did you have any prep work before you went on fox? >> there was a poa from the army there pend we had discussed come of the issues that i thought would arise. obviously they did arise. but -- well, thank you. i think what's important that i just want to stick to the story line. and the story line is about the
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men and what they accomplished and how important the public outside of the military and special operations need to look at southern afghanistan, what southern afghanistan is, especially kandahar, it's the cross roads to five major cities. all of the five major cities in afghanistan. it has been significant in the center of gravity sense the time of alexander the great. it is where everything travels from persia to asia. it was the old silk road which was part of the reason the british were so content on controlling it twice. it's hugely significant about the area. and that's what we wanted. that's what we wanted people to know. it's just the one.
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it's been for centuries an exceptionally diverse and dynamic place where the shoulders are serving. any other questions? got to be somebody. yes, sir? >> this was one the best -- towards the end, it was intense. it was a great book. >> thank you very much. it took a lot of hard work. again i think the biggest challenge for me was because of the security requirements, having to tone down a lot of men what they actually did and accomplished. it is nothing sort of phenomenal. and i'm hoping that people buy
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it because they want to know what these soldiers are doing. they want to know what the afghans are doing for themselves. how much are the afghans contributing? i think it a lot of it subpoena -- of it is important because it relates what we saw in the book and helped deal with in early years and trained with us. they considered us afghans and brothers. they should operation next to the soldiers. that's nothing that not everyone unders. >> myself like it was on kind of the same part. i hope they make the movie.
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>> well, i do too. but i think in all honesty the hard part is knowing what i saw with my own eyes and thinking that somebody could ever replicate it. listening to your min on the radio doing things that people normally see on movie that is are severe and wondering if they can ever really capture the, you know, the true terror and exhilaration that the guys went through. it's kind of a double-edged sword. at the end of the day, i had a good friend of mine who gave me some really good advise. i originally told him i just want people to know about the story. i don't really want to get wrapped up in how successful it is. you got it all wrong. you want it to be overwhelmingly
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successful, because that's what you'll know that people are really starting to find out about this. >> you made a promise at the end of the book, maybe you want to comment on it. he said they have literally used every bit of ordinance in that part of afghanistan. they had to call in planes from carrier. >> i wish dave was here tonight. at last lot of guys that i wish could have been here. dave is one of those phenomenal heros that is just a mean old dog that will never get on the porch. that's why he has so much respect from soldiers that he's served with. that is absolutely true. on multiple occasions we nearly ran out of ammunition.
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i believe at one part in the battle not only did we run out of small arms, but out of aircraft. we went through, i believe, about 79 aircrafts, which is almost unthinkable, unless you think about massive conflicts like vietnam, or world war ii or korea. literally there was an aircraft carrier that support was shifted to afghanistan that the taliban were being armed. to say that some moments it was extremely dire is kind of an under statement. but i think anybody -- there's men in the room that stood the ground. they will tell you the u.s. aircraft, they came through on time and on target.
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yes, sir? >> sure, you mentioned your vast experience. do you forsee a time that you'll write another book on active duty? >> yes, sir, i do. hopefully -- hopefully we can make this book successful enough. there was a following operation that mission that we were expected to consider after the operation. essentially what happened was during the period of time, we were so sort of security forces that we were unable to hold a lot of the ground in villages that we had cleared. so after we had cleared them and withdrawn, taliban moved back in. and again guys from the special forces group were called in to go in and clean out the taliban.
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how they did it was completely different than how it was done the first time. i put if in paper. we'll have one ready. yes, sir? >> i hear about efforts to talk to the taliban. how did you feel? >> i'm sorry. repeat the question. >> every time i hear in the news about efforts to talk to the taliban, how do you feel about that? >> i think a lot of people who throw that question out there hasn't spent much time in the country or don't understand the ideology of the extremism of the taliban. there's no negotiationing with the people. we're talking about the people people when they can't destroy the coalition or engage, they turn on their own people. they cut the noses and ears off of children, disem bowl women in
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front of their husbands. these are not people that we can accept a level of negotiation. this is by their admittance. not as a military officer, that's what they have stated consistently. i think when i hear people ask that, you've seen what they will do and the knowledge of the senior leaders who ordered it or know that it's taking place and don't do anything to prevent it, either lower level fighters, i think it's indicative of what the organization and the people will do to any member of any werner or american if they were given the opportunity. >> it's really well documented after the soviets were thrown out what they did to their own people. >> and they continued to do it.
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in areas where they have no -- they really have no control expect for fear. that's what terrorists organization do. they feed off of people's terror. i think one the interesting things, you see how they continue to morph, what happened in 2006 just as is applicable today, because the enemy continues to fight for land they don't control and people they don't control. of course they are going to go into kandahar and try to over throw the police station because the people in their own villages are telling them they don't want them there and they want them to leave 37 excuse -- leave. excuse me, that's what makes event like this significant and why we place so much effort into taking the grassroots out from
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under the taliban where they have no support. it's their birthplace. they have to control. but they can't. and they are losing their grip on it quickly. which is why they become more extreme. >> good to hear. >> i had a question. all of the guys reading the book, how did they come together like that once the battle was on. you see dave or both daves or whoever you've got totally different. then when they miss so well. what else did you see on that? >> i think it's the quality and the caliber of the men? i think those of you who don't know much about special forces, recruited, selected, trained because you are fiercely independent. you are smart, you are adaptive,
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you can -- you are competitive. and you are also a team player. and the brotherhood of the men that stand next to you, it's not -- i will still align from colonel, it's not about mom, dad, apple pie, or able. -- baseball. it's about the guy fighting to your left or right. that's why they fight so cohesively. it's all about the brotherhood. you will read about guys who were wounded, they were treated under fire, we treated each other under fire. and then turn around and got medevaced and almost got in fistfights in the hospital to come back to their unit. that's not -- that's not something out of a movie. that really happens. that's the quality and the caliber of the men that you'll hear about in this book.
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anybody else? okay. yes, my else? okay. yes, ma'am? >> for all of us who know you and love you, welcome home. and we're so proud of you and this book and the journey that you are about to take. it's phenomenal. >> thank you very much. it's very humbling to be a part of not just the military but this community. my church family. anybody? any misspellings? >> the involvement inman what you just said, what's long term prospect? >> i dodged a couple of those very, very, very short bullets not too long ago. it's a fair yes.
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what i will tell you, i think that having started deploying in 2002 at the very end of -- or at very beginning of this and then coming back recently having seen the paradigm change, number one, we're making progress. it's not being told. that frustrates me to no end. which is one the reasons that i think -- i hope that people like the book. they understand that this kind of heroism goes on every day. not just by special forces, butt men and women that serve all over the world. what the commander and chief says go, that's where i go. we've gotten more accomplished, i think, in the last probably year, year and a half since that support arrived. we've been able to gain more ground, push in the areas that the taliban held, we've been
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able to expand in areas where the talibans were trying to push in afghan national security forces. i will tell you that the afghans have taken complete control over the districts and providences in afghanistan. which i don't know that that's being portrayed to people. what we are doing is of u.s. strategic interest. because these people not only deserve our help, but want our help. we need strategic partners in that portion of the world. if we are going to step back and look, we need strategic partners in iran and afghanistan, we need strategic partners in tay
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vehicle stan. we need partners that are willing to work with us long tomorrow. one the stories that i like to tell, avenue fans are not very educated people. when i say not educated, most the men cannot sign their own name. they are brilliant, they can speak four or five languages fluenting, they can't read or write their own name. don't have a third grade education, don't have any assemblance of math, other than paper money. when you teach a mujahideen commander who's been fighting 40 or 50 years, when you teach him how to write his own name in pashtun or english, you give him a sense of pride he has never known. he will look to you and be more loyal and more faithful as -- or excuse me, as just as loyal and faithful as the guy that brings his burned daughter to you and
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screaming for somebody to help them. there is no health care in afghanistan. there is no medical care. and when they bring them to you, they know that you are the only assemblance of help and freedom that they are ever going to see. and even if it you doesn't turn out the way that storybooks want it to, but they know you tried to help. when people have nothing, it makes all of the difference. i sympathy it will take time to help educate them. but i think we have an honest and loyal partner. we're working with not only the generations of afghans have that survived, we are training and mentoring a lot of younger children. one the things i don't think many people know, there's a lot of u.s. units go to orphanages and spend time and pass out
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humanitarian aid and supplies. it's not all about fighting and there's a well rounded concept that goes into what we do. there's a lot more to it. and i kind of wish that message was getting out. i'm sorry. that's a long drawn out question. i know some of the questions on the team are in the room. ask him and he's going to tell you. but i hope that's okay. i've seen what the guys can do. 30 special forces against 1300 taliban. i'll worry about the drawn in troops. [applause]
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>> anybody? >> thank you very much for coming. [applause] [applause] >> you are watching booktv. 48 hours of nondiction every weekend. >> we were looking for out of print narrative that is weren't largely known. also mare tins that might be known. and boston king is one the 16th century slave claves. niese known in english, but he was from south carolina and
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affected the british lines where he ended up writes the memoir. and as a south carolinian was a new way to conceive of the history. people like that, we had a collection of seven people that weren't well known or were known at other contacts. for the first time ever, we did bring them back into print and put them together to see the connections between the more coherent narrative of what the story of south carolina slavery was like. >> what were the major scenes and reflections? >> well, there were both small and big themes. small patterns. three of the seven people were child's jockey. two of the seven individuals actually were slaves to confederate sources in fort sum per. they were not confederates. there were odd little
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connections. the biggest connection was even the people that left or escaped all firmly identify themselves as sort of having a relationship to where they are from. but they within the going to let someone take that away. they would not identify themselves as african, for one exception that boston king ended up going back. for the rest of them, they wanted to claim themselves adds part of the history. even though they may have left the state. i think that was the most important thing that we found. >> which story resonates the review? >> a number of them speak to me.
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one the stories, we know she talks about playing the violin and leading people into sin. when i read that, i want to know her. who was she about? the slave narrative story. what happened to her? and another 20th century writer, sam alexson wrote his memoir as an old man around 1913. he had been a child slave. that meant he had edge to them. i think one the famous lines was something to the gist of many people that will talk the better side of slavery and how to deal with good land. the only good thing is the emancipation proclamation. he had an edge to him, that was the best man. they all spoke to me in different ways? >> what do you hope readers will learn from that book.
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>> i hope they learn to get rid of their expectations. the voices were hard. for example, the 18th century -- the two 18th century narratives, two individuals that spoke about slavery and their lives tribed. but they also define their lives as slaves of sin. their memoirs are also about religious awakening and the freedom they found through their spiritual awakening. and that doesn't fit what you think a slave narrative should be about. and yet i respect that term. i really learned from that tone. two of the narratives written are by men that escapeed. they deticket a lot of violence and stressing. but they are witnesses, they are testimonying of witnessing. i hope readers come away with a respect for the political and personal goals they are trying
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to tell us as individuals of their own life, but also through another community and other voices that aren't allowed to people. they are the terrifying and powerful narratives. and the other one is anonymous. we don't know his name, because he was still running from bounty when the story was wrote. but the other two, jacob, and irving were much more come by indicated pairtives. i couldn't say they had good things to say, but they weren't testimony to violence. they were glad they were no longer slaves. but lowry was troubling and
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fascinating to understand why he could articulate his life story like that. i hope they come away with south carolina slavery across the state was different from each individual. these are voices that wanted to be read. the people that took time to write their life story, make sure their stories got out the way they wanted to frame them. and it's beautiful and it's troubling and frightening in some ways, some of them. i think they all speak to a new way that we can learn to listen to people's stories, perhaps. >> thank you very much. >> sure thing. :


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