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tv   Book Discussion  CSPAN  January 25, 2015 7:45am-8:55am EST

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privilege, kind of peering into networks all over the world. they move much of our communications traffic that we're all using everyday. google struck up a relationship with the nsa in 2010 after it was hacked by chinese spies where they agree much like the defense contractors to share information they are seeing on the networks in turn for the nsa providing information to them. so defending cyberspace and also spying in it and attacking in it has become a cooperative effort between the government and intelligence community and its partners in the technology industry. that is what i'm referring to when a write about the military internet complex this coming together of these two powerful forces. >> you can watch this and other programs online at >> rory fanning, a former army ranger who served with pat tillman in afghanistan and left the army as a consciences objector a few days after pat tillman's death, sits down with anand gopal, author of "no good
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men among the living," about the afghan war to the eyes of the afghan people. it's about an hour 10 minutes. >> hey everyone, thanks for coming. my name is jason. i work at haymarket books but i had the privilege of putting together events for these children many others and have the opportunity for thinking of going to come and introduce the event. we vetted number of events like this and we'll have a few more and they've all been really exciting to be part of any want to say the things about why i think if it's like these are so important, particularly today. it strikes me just walking through the world how lonely it can be, to be an antiwar activist at this moment but if there's an antiwar movement it is received as a path away from vision. it's harder to see any sort of organized action. what we are left with is mainstream media is decent if
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they have any debates on any of the wars we are currently engaged in. it usually somewhat someone who is pro-war debating someone who is pro-war on the other side. not whether we should be or not. we can often feel like we're sort of alone in can about these things in feeling crazy because maybe no one else shares opinions. so it's been exciting for me to see the reception to the work of these two gentlemen has been in different ways really kind of exciting, for instance, anand gopal's work has been there in the near time for people engaged with all bunch of other vocations but it was recently shortlisted for the national book award which was a huge dissension it put him up on a national stage, those arguments on a national stage we don't get to hear. rory fanning recently wrote a number columns around veterans day for the guardian which were
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shared upwards to 19,000 times. to get a sense of how may people actually are sort of hungry for the arguments and really want to do that. it's exciting well at the moment the level of antiwar activism is not matching the level of antiwar sentiment right now, there are people who are bringing these arguments keeping them alive and there's really kind of a pleasure to read these books after so many years of sort of silence particularly tonight i'm reminded of the additionally in which talking about afghanistan can be particularly isolated even when it was a movement there's always this divide about the war against iraq was a bad war but the war in afghanistan was a good war. on an evening in which we are awaiting, find whether an indictment will come down and ferguson which in my mind at least highly unlikely we highly
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suspect abuse is in the biz of bring democracy innuendo but it's important to be talking about afghanistan, the reality of afghanistan, both in terms of the impact it has on the actual people who live there which brought to light brilliantly in anand gopal spoke "no good men among the living," and also on the impact it has on the troops are actually forced to take the step up like in the book "worth fighting for" by the rory fanning, he claimed conscientious objection status which we'll talk about in his portion. he was also served in the same unit with pat to come and after he was killed walk across the country to raise money for the pat tillman foundation to the book is filled about stores by his decision and aftermath and then the journey across. anand gopal covered afghanistan for a number of outlets including "the wall street journal." the bookkeeper does represent years and dozens and dozens of venues.
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several stories but for the first time after the stores of people are occupied in afghanistan and to bring to light different aspects of the u.s. occupation and ways to make it clear that what we're doing there is far from bringing freedom. it's really a huge privilege to be able to introduce these two men. i think anand will go first and then we'll hear from rory, and then opened up for questions and i look forward to a discussion. thank you all for coming out. >> thank you so much for being here. i guess my favorite bookstore in new york city. it is great to come here and speak for all the. i want to afghanistan for the first time in 2008 and that the time i went when i got home my first question was why afghanistan. what i found since coming back, people ask the question why
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afghanistan. and really struck me the same question to ask because the country was at war there but maybe also because i had a little television but what i want to do today is two things. one is to try to impart upon you what i think afghanistan is really important and something we should all care about him and to set the stage for rory fanning whose incredible book i admire and his courage i really aspire to. but first on the question why afghanistan. afghanistan today has been at war for 35 years. so that's longer than i've been alive, and that's probably longer than most afghans have been alive. just some human love full, something that is ongoing and if jessica something we should pay attention to. but not just that but also the fact that our government has been complicit, not just since
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2001 but since 1979 when the war started, something a lot of americans don't know but need to know about. so that's on the human level. on a moral level, why think we should care about afghanistan but we should also care about afghanistan because afghanistan in many ways was or is the laboratory for the way the u.s. persecutes wars around the world. i will give you a few examples. drone strikes, the reliance on special forces to exclusion of other types of force, the reliance on private security contractors, the use of massive proxy armies. all of that is what use military works today. that's pretty much the default way american military works. all of that was tried and tested first in afghanistan afford was exported elsewhere to iraq, yemen, somalia dozens of cultures around the world. so afghanistan occupies a very special place in the war on
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terror, and that sort of what one of the reason why i'm so interested when i got the first in 2008. when i got there i was new to journalism. i was a freelancer in so -- [inaudible] you have a press conference from some military general order some afghan official and they would come and they would tell you give you a rundown of what was happening out on the countries of the i was living in the capital city which is relatively safe. the war was taking place out in the countryside and they would say today, 25 terrorists were killed, or 30 insurgents were killed to we would be left to essentially take this information down and report it. it was very dangerous for difficult to actually get out into these areas where the fighting was taking place. and so i very quickly got frustrated with this. not just become all my fellow reporters got frustrated with his means of getting information. and so one point i decided to
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grow out my beard, get a motorcycle, learn to leverage and hit the road. go down south to the countryside where the war was being fought to see if i could get at the people who are caught in in a way i couldn't back in kabul. so i spent months on from one village to the next. i relied on hospitals of tribal elders to sometimes i would show up and say hey i'm here and people would take me in an hour stay there for weeks on end and go to another village. i have many memorable moments but there is one village in particular which still sticks out in my mind and this is a village in the southern province of anbar. when i rode into the village -- kandahar. mud build houses, one room shops but there's something different about this those which as i looked around and there were no grown-ups. no adults, only children.
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so there was a vendor, probably 10 or 11 years old someone selling shoes, 12 years old. everywhere i went there only children i thought at the time this was lord of the flies of something out on the frontier. and then i pushed onto another village after that and in this village was not even any children to nobody completely empty. houses left wide open. i went back to the first village and as some of the children but it happened. they told me that most of them were orphans. many other families, their parents had been killed in the fighting between the taliban and the u.s. military. some of the parents had gone and joined the taliban. others have fled the country. left with the children mostly boys. this village happened to be sort of the epicenter of the taliban in southern afghanistan. it was sort of the epicenter of
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insurgency against the united states military. and so i took office on to kabul and became interested in how did a village become like this? it was so bizarre. i went back through the archives, historical archives. i found tribal elders what but fled from the village and they begin to reconstruct things and it turned out that back in 2001 which is one -- which is one the u.s. invasion was, this was an american stronghold to this village had welcomed the u.s. military with open arms because they have suffered so greatly under the taliban. something happened between 2001-2008 when i visited that completely turned it on its head. so i became obsessed with this idea of trying to understand how things could have gone so wrong. i went back down to the countryside and started anything people and asking this very question, when did things go
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badly? when did the war come back? the result essentially is the book which has interviews with hundreds of people. i spoke with predominantly on the lives of three afghans and traced their lives from 2001 to today. one is a taliban fighter. he gets his information from i can 19-inch when the taliban was in power he used to go around and -- he was interesting because someone who was a brutal number of the taliban but he quit the taliban and try to blend into civilian life only to be drawn back in to the fighting. the second person is a warlord a very artful warlord, and the americans used to calling jfk because he is very close allied with the u.s. military. he was somebody who rose from
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yesterday. he was back in the '70s is a high school janitor and when the soviet union invaded in 1979 the cia flooded afghanistan with guns and money and he was one of the recipients of this anti-group to wealth and power making it a major warlord. in 2001 became one of the closest allies to the us military, and particularly to the special forces. the third person i fall is a housewife. she was somebody who grew up in kabul and was forced to flee to the countryside during the civil war, and what she found was a war that was very different from what she grew up was. what i found was this sort of simplistic narrative that i had that the taliban had oppressed women and, you know otherwise women would be free and liberated, was not acted. it was much more complicated than that.
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in all of the stories from the scene of the data together with the fact that the fighting, the war, the brutality we said it wasn't necessarily preordained. and to understand the we should go back to 2001, activities of the u.s. invasion. at the time the taliban government was controlling afghanistan, their tens of thousands of fighters. the u.s. invaded october 6, 2001, and in 2 short months succeeded in overthrowing the taliban. by december after the taliban was toppled almost every single member of the taliban from the rank-and-file all the way up to the senior leadership had surrendered. they threw their weapons down and they tried to switch sides including the taliban commander i describe in my book. it seemed surprising to me when i found a but actually if you look at afghan history it's not
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that surprising because again, i said this is a country that's been a war for 35 years. when the soviet union left in 1989, a lot of the afghans switch sides and join the islamists, the mujahideen. people are always switching sides as a way to survive, as a way to protect their families and this is no different in 2001. ..
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and quickly move on to iraq regime change in iraq. so there's a project of making the middle east and the image of the united states or the bush administration. say you have thousands of soldiers. daschle forces on the ground and yet they have enough enemies to fight. the way this contradiction was resolved really showed how violent the return was to afghanistan. the explanation is here up allied with the warlords and strongman powerbrokers. so the enemies of the warlords became the enemies of the u.s. at the time they're used to the u.s. plague going overcome the
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hard dropping things like help us catch terrorists. in this way the u.s. incentivize the creation of enemies. so i give you if you samples of. the first example is somebody who i know quite well because he was the baker penny worked across the street from me when i was working in kandahar province back when i met them in 2,842,009. he was at the time in his 80s. had been a warrior who fight against the soviets in the 80s. the soviet union withdrew its troops and retired them basically needed that for the rest of his life. one morning in 2002 early morning few humvees if of afghan militia men went out here these were afghan militia men being paid and armed by the u.s. as a
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proxy force to fight against terrorists to fight his enemies. he said are you wish i had to? he said yes. okay, you are coming with me. he tessera terrorists. they hate him slapped him and sent him to combat higher -- kandahar airfield in southern afghanistan. so he was interrogated by special forces sources. the inserted hooks into his mouth and applied electric shocks. db2 and it was all in an effort to get him to admit to being an al qaeda mastermind. of course he was until he pleaded his innocence and said he's just a baker. they continue to torture you for days, but finally they handed him over back to the militia men who originally captured in. the militia men took him to kandahar city to a private person underneath the bank and
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in the private jail they held it upside down for 20 out of 24 hours a day. he was hung alongside dozens of other prisoners, all of whom were not taliban or al qaeda but have read into the militias. the person hanging next it was beating so often that he died of his wounds. twice a day someone would come in with a metal web in with him. he insisted and pleaded and told them he was not a member of al qaeda and eventually realized they do west end of the taliban. what they actually wanted was money. and so he got his family to raise money, selling other good and he essentially bought his release and he was freed. the problem was of course once you do that you are now marked. so a couple of months later he was arrested again. he was sent to the special forces again. he was tortured again, sent back
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to the militia men who hung him upside down again and with tim again. and again he raised money and bought his freedom. he told me, you know, i put money away for my torture like you put money away for buying a new car. that continued until the taliban and reconstituted and send a suicide bomber and killed the head of the militia that was interrogated. so there's hundreds upon hundreds of stories like this are people catalogued in the book. you know in addition to the torture the way of sort of paying people for information or intelligence just led to innocent people being sent to bagram, which is the main prison in afghanistan or guantánamo.
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a theory and child, a boy who grow up in dubai and he fled an abusive home and we are talking in the night 90s. he heard that if you flee to afghanistan, which is at the time making your way to a western embassy, you can declare asylum and you are free from the taliban. being 16 or 17 at the time he thought he could do this. he got to afghanistan, but the moment he got there, the taliban saw him and they said who sent you here, who are you and said they arrested him and turned him over to al qaeda. al qaeda been tortured him come in and sue drownings a lecture to do community a taped all of the torture until the forced confession where he confessed to being an agent to the cia, sent to kill with an latin.
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they had this on video. so they turn them over to the taliban who imprisoned him. fast-forward to 2001 the u.s. invades the taliban and you have five or six others like him who are imprisoned by the taliban in and the locals didn't know what to do with them. so they went over to the americans and said hey, we've got these five or six guys that the u.s. took all of them and send them straight to guantánamo. so he spent six or seven years in guantánamo. meanwhile in 2002, after the al qaeda cells safe houses had been bombs, u.s. troops were shifting through the rubble and they found a videotape of the torture. john ashcroft plays the video with the audio off in 2002 to reporters as evidence of u.s. progress that it was making on the war in terror.
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so with these kinds of stories i know like i said there so many of them. i can only get to a fraction of them in the book. that is one of the things that upset me the most is i couldn't include them on the book. in one community after the next he began to have against american presence. not because afghans are opposed to foreign invaders, not because it's a great part a great guard of empires. it's because the action of the united states military and the consequences of the war on terror. so you have communities turn anakin the u.s. presence, turning against the afghan government and that means you. that is how the taliban was able to do harm. if you remember, the taliban had surrendered and they try to switch sides. what happened was the taliban tried to sew sides, but the ideology does not allow the u.s. to accept the surrender. i'll give you one example of such a case and that if somebody
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else whom i know. he is from contrary district in kandahar province. he was a taliban commander who thought in the 90s to get into the northern alliance. after 2001 he like his comments for tennis weapons and switch sides. in a public ceremony, he handed over his reference to the afghan government. they came and took photographs and you basically swore to hamid karzai into the order. he gave up his weapons and nonetheless come the militia men paid for and armed by the united states came one day in april or may 2002 and said hey come he didn't turn over all your weapons and you're hiding them. no, i don't have any weapons as they arrested him hung him upside down, tortured him, beat him, et cetera. they kept him there for so long that love how shires families had to sell their livestock to
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raise money to go buy weapons on the black market and handed over and say here's the weapons so they let him go. but that was once you can earmark for life, he was arrested again in two months later and three months later until the point where his family repeatedly had to pay to buy his freedom. it comes to the point where he recognized that the game was and he fled to pakistan. this is 2004 -- 2003, 2004 where he fled pakistan. there were already many other commanders undergoing an came from communities that had tribal elders killed and in that process the taliban reprocessed itself and became insurgents as they are today. by 2004 the war in afghanistan
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was for the united states already lost. since 2004 would've been essentially fighting a struggle. a taliban entrenched in the countryside. u.s. backed forces entrenched in the cities with no end in sight. when i say u.s. backed forces, i would like you to actually picture what that means because for the taliban, we have maybe 20, 30, 40,000 fighters. we really know something of that order. on the u.s. side you have the afghan national arms -- afghan national police, private security forces and ad hoc militias paid for by the special forces or the cia. i had it in a blog a while back in the number i got as close to free hundred 50,000 underarms fighting in afghanistan on behalf of the united states. at the same time they're against 20 35 talent who supported.
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so what we have is a proxy war. once i'd entrenched in the cities once i'd entrenched in the deep south and countryside, and neither side. they overthrew the government. the government forces, u.s. forces are not strong enough. this is one reason why you heard president obama the the other damages the other day when peace came up about about extending the american presence. so we are sitting at his proxy war. when you think proxy were you think central america and this is on a grander scale with no end in sight. that more than anything else is the reason why we should care about afghanistan and think about afghanistan in your act of this work in any other work you do because when we talk about u.s. war abroad, afghanistan still figure centrally in that
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project. i could go on, but really my experience is telling comparison i'm really honored to be able to handed over. the mac thank you good this has been my ninth stopping 12 days. when i am not speaking with anand, i spend a good 10 15 minutes talking about anand. it's the most important book written on afghanistan since 2011. i encourage everybody to pick up a copy. pick up one for yourself and one for fran because everybody needs to read it. okay. so it actually didn't roll out of the womb with a completed worldview. i had a lot of things yet to resolve growing up and i was a person who thought the u.s. military was a force for good in the world. and this is who i wrote a book
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soon. i wrote the book to the person i was 10 years ago. when i was walking across the country and that a lot of people who thought like i did 10 years ago for five years ago and i still think like i did five or 10 years ago. it was in that spirit i try to read the book. people are really used other people telling them what is wrong with their perspective on the world. what i realized walking across the country is every single story is told. everyone is trying to do the best of the education they have access to, the information they have access to and the very little free time that they can afford. everybody wants to make the world a better place with the options they have. so went back i kept it in mind as well. if people understand you see them as good, but you see them
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as doing the vast with what they have access to, they are more likely to listen to your perspective and open. that is in general the spirit i tried to write the book and to so 9/11 happens. i recently graduated college. at a bunch of student loans to pay off. we shouldn't be the only one to fight in afghanistan which is a good point in history. i thought people who are experienced in the 22-year-olds should talk inside this war. and we couldn't have a 9/11 happen again in this country. i thought we had to prevent it. so i listed in the military.
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i became a member of the u.s. army rangers. the training was fairly intense and i was quickly sent over to afghanistan. once i got over to afghanistan i quickly realized i was not fighting for freedom or democracy. i was actually creating more commission that would lead to other 9/11's. to give some specific examples, we wrote then the second army ranger and to a school at about 6000 feet in the middle of nowhere in afghanistan. they have about a thousand people in it. you would be surprised where people live and the density of populations in afghanistan. we decided we were going to occupy a school. classes were canceled indefinitely and we were going to stage our mission from the school. we had actually no idea what we were doing there.
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we invented missions. we looked for anybody who is suspicious. anybody who is suspicious was a man or someone who didn't file and i walked by the school. we grabbed two boys, two men 20 years old for one boy one broom, another boy in another room. the person one of the rooms would hear a gunshot go off. they rethink their friend was killed. what were we trying to do? extract a confession of some sort uncover a plot for the next 9/11. identify where osama bin laden is. we're cracking a shot that it really clear that we were acting not like liberators but we were the most military -- militarily the most powerful in the world has ever seen history has ever seen a more going into the poorest place on the planet. i remember watching a woman digging the shrub with no leaves
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on it. we got back a few hours later. she was using a sharp for firewood to cook food that night. the poverty in afghanistan is next to impossible to wrap your mind around. we would go in and look into these clay dust the house with their night vision on the weapons pointed. the entire world like that before you. if you don't have night vision on, everything is black. everything is quiet and we stared these people with their weapons. they have no idea that is what we were doing. we would run into a house grabbing mail from the household throw it back over their head and take them to bagram for guantánamo or whatever. obviously was no due process when the person would be returned home. i really started to grow embarrassed. this is not impressive.
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this was bullying. so i decided i couldn't be a part of this anymore. i had to lay my weapon down and leave the military. it was a fairly exhausting, challenging process. this is about 2004. there hadn't been a conscientious or in my unit and the rangers. there's a fairly one-sided process to become a ranger so it's fairly rare to have a ranger actually leave. it was about six months. as to be sent to jail for the big army to be with the rangers called the bullet stopper. so i was in expect any positive outcome. it took a while to figure out what was going to happen. one day it was called down to formation and told pat tillman was killed last night in an enemy ambush. he died a hero. i was banished. i was isolated. i've been at work by my chain of
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command, so there was really nobody i could talk to about what i saw was an incredible loss. they were the only people that talk to me during the six-month period. they actually respected my condition and encouraged me to think critically in a place that discourage critical thought. it's actually the most important time to be thinking critically and a place that only encourages you to say yes to your orders. so quick story about how i'm not. i was headed out to a bar after a training mission and i walked past the coffee shop. as i walked by i saw pat and kevin drinking coffee. i walked to income introduced myself and realized they were exchanging papers. they had written a five-page paper on the israeli-palestinian conflict. everybody else was out getting
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wasted and these guys were exchanging papers. my mind was blown. so we started chatting. it was about two hours in the coffee shop and i really felt like a different person after i left. so i get ushered out of the military within three days. i wanted nothing to do with me. i would later find out he didn't die in an enemy ambush. he died at the hands of other rangers in a quote, unquote friendly fire incident. and it was horrifying. the military didn't want to do with the conscientious objector a second range battalion and the cover-up of pat's death. i think that is what allowed me to the military. so i left the military for about five years. i can't really quiet about my time in the military. i came from a fairly right wing conservative family, religious family. we were just proud of the fact i was served my family.
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i was only half a person during that five years and i couldn't live my whole life. in some cubicle wasn't going to take me to the place i needed to go. i was going to fly to virginia each and walked to san diego california for about google maps at three months, but it turned out to be eight months. about 3000 miles across the united states. i was going to raise the 3.6 million that packet up million that pat gave up when he left the arizona cardinals to join the military. i didn't talk about anything that happens to me in the military. i was trying to get confidence and also trying to appeal naïvely to that 1% of the population that controlled the military, that controls all the while and i was going to ask them to make similar decisions that pat made for the greater
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good. i raised about $50,000 but i've met some amazing, amazing people. i would walk into a town and talk to people for about two hours and they would invite me to stay not just for a night but for a week i was then chris is coming new year's in people's homes. i had some wonderful conversations. one conversation was with this guy by the name of max and he was about 80 years old and he was running donald's doughnuts and donald's doughnuts was owned by a cambodian family and donald was working, given his penchant, his military pension to the children of this cambodian family and working for free to help keep them open. he could tell when i walk than that i wasn't telling the whole story. he hadn't told his whole story. it wasn't until his latter years
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that he was able to realize he had repressed a lot of things. i think i came out in his work. there was guilt that drove him and he didn't want to see that happen to me. encourage me to talk more about my stories. that was just one of dozens and dozens of stories. tomiko who worked at the gas station, who had two jobs was going to school to become a va nurse, had two kids. i asked if she wanted to walk with me she said i had too much responsibility to do what you're doing right now. all of these things spelled out that really inspired me to realize people do the best they can with the time they have them the education they have access to. i finished the walk. i feel again like you did a lot for me and a lot of ways but i didn't talk about my military variants. what i decided to do was go back
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and retrace my steps and go to a lot of places there were other conscientious objectors in our country. conscientious use of a different sort. people that stood up injustice. people that made sacrifices far greater than anything i had ever done. matt turner, i worked through first landing state park. idb whiles throat hurt antilynching papers outside mississippi. i walked within patrizio rebellion and said they were in a group of irish immigrants they said were not going to fight mexicans in order to increase u.s. landmass. all of these people are kind of peppered throughout the book and i used them to drive duration to tell my story about what it was like to be a conscientious error. quickly we are going into the 14th year of the global war on terror. there were 668 military -- u.s.
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military bases around the world. we've invaded -- we've had military action and 134 countries since 9/11. that is two thirds of the world's countries. we have three quarters of a trillion dollars military budget we are spending on all this stuff. sovereignty doesn't exist on any other country except the united states. something has to be done about it. hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people have lost their lives in places like afghanistan iraq, it needs to come to an end. imagine if we spend all those trillions of dollars on education, sustainable energy, health care. the world would look completely different. so how does that happen? since 9/11 there is than 40,000 conscientious heirs. i think if we can encourage and
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celebrate our conscientious or is likely celebrate active-duty soldiers right now encourage these soldiers to recognize and to come out and tell the world the reality of what they are seeing in iraq afghanistan and the like encourage them to put down the weapons than have the same kind of parades, the same kind of in these yards and a sports games for these soldiers as we do for soldiers participating in the war. i think that is the way to end it and we are long past the point of -- the long past the point of not ignoring the fact that we are not fighting for freedom or democracy, but we are fighting for an empire. we are fighting for control of other countries natural resources. so anyway, i really honored to have this opportunity to talk with you guys here
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bluestockings. buy his book give it to a friend. if the only book written from the afghan perspective on this 14 year war in afghanistan. i really encourage you to buy it. thanks again for coming out. i really appreciate it. [applause] [inaudible] [inaudible]
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-- setting aside the reality of the imperialistic adventures, et cetera. i may be we will move on the philippines. if we were to be their friends. how do you deal with that? >> first of all the u.s. spends more than annex 13 countries combined. china is included and not on the military. we have 11 aircraft carriers. china has one that they just recently got used to the
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ukraine. i think a lot of this is manufactured. i think we have to figure out how to keep spending on our military. i think we create drugs. we are excellent at creating threads in this country they really serve no immediate existential dread to the united states. i mean we could talk about all the potential enemies. what we've realized -- what we've realized is how our military is not the solution here we are currently fighting an enemy we created in iraq, an enemy that did not exist before we invaded iraq to the military is the last thing we should be thinking about as far as the name forward as a country, as a planet. all it does is destroy. we are not protecting anything. we are not saving anything. so anyway, we can go on about it, but i just think there's
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other things to be concerned about. >> i really appreciated hearing both of your comments. it sounds very similar to things that seem to have happened in vietnam, which we have to destroy the place in order to save it. you are fortunate enough in my opinion to see the absurdities of the horror that was being done to the local people, to the villages and so forth. and as you mentioned referred to other conscientious tears. what is your feeling about the military establishment? are they so blinded by ideology that they are not willing to admit that their policies, their strategies their actions are creating the total opposite of
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what they maybe would like to happen? i mean, it sounds insane. it just sounds insane to think about the money and destruction in death that is going on and it keeps getting worse and worse and worse about the pentagon big boys want to do is spend more money and kill more people. >> yeah, it's one of the few growth industries in our country. died in prison sites. when you spend $750 billion a year of dumping you live for every other opportunity to use that to justify the expense. so yeah, it is insane. it's very short-term thinking in a lot of ways. but i think we are seeing rates plummet you people realize we are not fighting for her demar democracy. that is not remote aiming and
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that is why we see in we see enlistment requirements drop as well. it cannot be much more overweight than you were in 2001 before you enter the military. you can actually wear a on your arm and how that goes from the otherwise didn't before 2001. so they are desperate. people aren't necessarily buying the company line anymore when it comes to why we are doing these things. >> a couple questions actually. the secretary of defense resigned today and i was wondering if you know, that question is do you see -- to either of you guys see a change in policy from coming out of that or, you know possibly
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getting somebody who's much more -- much more into with fighting another war, you know, in iraq and syria you know just an open question. the other is i spends four years of my early life fighting to keep the chinese from coming into the non. the vietnamese never wanted the chinese could be at tom. you know, lost a number of friends and by the time by enlistment was up, we went from being a force that was
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relatively pastry out of it relatively gun relatively into the war to a force that was killing its officers. there were hundreds of people. i mean hundreds of incidents. people don't realize that about the viet out more. the reason why they had to stop that war is because we were killing our officers and there were people in my unit who were leaving. i got on a plane and went home. people were planning on killing the kernel. it was that serious. >> what i am interested in is this, in your experience in the military is there that kind --
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is there that kind of satisfaction in the level of stopping, you know wanting to stop it. >> the first question, i don't think we'll see a major policy change. very least not a policy change in the direction with the military solution. we are going to see more of the same night they. your previous question about them is the military still succeeding ideologically that they are unable to see all of these things? wyatt is anchored good to be practicing cynicism on behalf of people who may have otherwise been listed.
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the fact is i think the military has an institution that is the first to confront the reality of what they done because there's a movement like vietnam. in this country are the military. and so like i said, obama announced or it came out the troops were going to be staying in afghanistan, which if you think about it is absurd as it assumes that whatever happened in the last 13 years, it's going to be different this time around which is the definition of insanity. keep doing the same again expecting different results. they are doing not because they haven't been forced to confront the reality of failure in afghanistan. the >> u.s. military has learned a lot. without a draft we don't have that same kind infighting like
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they did on the mound. yeah, i do think the way forward is to figure out how to get more soldiers to put their weapons down and just come home. i think that is the easiest thing to do. it's not easy to do. it's very difficult. there's a lot of indoctrination in the soldier. there's a lot of promilitary propaganda and they need to take over a opportunity to feed their family when they get home. if they are threatened with jail or banishment from future jobs they are thinking twice about it. that is why it's important to create a culture here at home that supported the resisters. i think that's the only way we'll have enemies than enemy worries that of our soldiers decide to stop fighting. >> my name is thomas.
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i do a newsletter for veterans and resent the armed forces were. they pulled two months ago found 70% of them hers of the army were opposed to one more soldier go into iraq. so let's understand there is no more the military then there is a command structure on top benefits in washington at the extreme bottom. week after week they send in to army times by the way escaping malkin ridiculed obama from the government or this idiocy in her back. they good article about the
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idiocy of his tenure as governor after not to do. so please do low-wage the ability of people serving in the listed links to wonders and the real world. they can understand it. the question therefore becomes, what do people in these wars intends to do to reach out to members of the armed forces? the gentleman in front topped about the days of reagan. gone forever. the e-mails we have gotten say we have to organize and united action to get together. not act decisively to individuals where they can crack down on us. and that is the way to move. they are defending everyone who rejects the army for reasons of
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conscience and defend them. but they say the way forward is organization within the armed forces nsa put it when the time comes, we'll do what we have to do. the armed forces is not a net via edge of a rebellion but resistance is growing. it is getting organized and the right wing organizations like the o.'s keepers against government tyranny for right-wing causes. they are eating our lunch. >> that ticket point. you hit the nail on the head. we have to get organized. we have a long way to go. "the new york times" had a surprisingly positive obit for that guy who went into the military during vietnam for the
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sole purpose of organizing soldiers in creating unions in the military. but yeah i think you are speaking the truth. [inaudible] >> this morning on privacy now vietnam quoted a cnn poll two or three months ago that 82% of the american public is opposed to war in afghanistan. 82%. the other point was they were dozens of vietnam according to this book than they give out military resistance. we give this out free to soldiers. the rebellion in vietnam was led not by draftees, enlistees who felt betrayed by the military once they were there and they took the lead in the rebellion.
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>> yeah, you are right. >> it's a great book. kathy kerry, will possibly speak with her at some point on the tumor. craig. [inaudible] >> no, not yet. and they gave me plenty while i was trying to get out of the military. but the actual i haven't heard anything yet. but we know -- [inaudible] >> right, exactly. good question. >> i think when you brought it up recently would you say your religion and was hoping you in coming to your decision about being conscientious, that will put experienced torture is that something they connect it with
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dan? >> yeah, absolutely religion was a source of a name for people in very difficult times. i think it's not a complete: james at the expression fighting against the u.s. was religious in terms of the taliban and other religious groups. >> you get out of the military for religious reasons as a conscientious. certain points in my life i was quite religious. i used it as an excuse to leave the military the pacifier has it been the reason, it was a question i've seen what was happening not being oppressed have been embarrassed by the mission. there was no voice speaking to me to say it's pretty much common sense that it was time to leave.
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>> just to follow-up on what has been said already, is already 2004 say that the u.s. military, more and more troops more and more soldiers are becoming aware in agreement with your position? >> the military is trying to figure out how to do more with less. i think that is in part what drives the drone operations to regard. i think that is why we are seeing special forces fight. we now have 60000 sources but one time that was quite small. i do think it is harder to sustain the morale of this
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military as we go into the 14th year of this work. people are growing very tired of it. i haven't been in the military for a while i can only assume that people are growing dissatisfied with the mission. [inaudible] >> how do you feel about them? >> yeah, i can't predict that. i know vietnam is very unpopular. the draft also kind of applies that everybody has to fight and there's a certain demographic that will not fight and not as the wealthy. they always figure at how to get out of it. i have no idea what the future holds. ya, i'm not sure. >> are there any anti-muslim
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movement that we keep track of rather than work right now? >> yeah. i'm sorry. [laughter] surprisingly about 750 billion, three quarters of a trillion dollars is spent on the military. very little goes towards proper mental health care. there's a huge gap as far as taking care of soldiers held. particularly their mental health. we have a veteran suicide once every 65 minutes in this country. 22 a day. so a lot of the groups are trained to do with that. making the most out of what they have out of general support. because they're such a need to look inward and take care of each other and provide the support that government isn't providing groups are having a harder time projecting outwards
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and being more political. there's a long way to go as far as veteran groups being political, challenging wars. i would like to see in iraq and afghanistan veterans against war show up. hopefully one day we see that. >> what do you say throughout the arafat quiet [inaudible] [inaudible] >> well the most important thing to know about the afghan people as they are like any
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other people anywhere else in the world. that may sound trite, but it's actually an important point is what we are told is afghanistan in a warlike culture, usually called the great empires, that if the occupation has failed is because the afghans are corrupt. no afghans from the same things all of us want. that goes for people across the political spectrum. even people i would vehemently disagree with but that's how a banner or warlords or whoever else. you know, they are caught in a very difficult situation. in fact people in the boat, the assertive all have this theme which they are caught between a rock and a hard place between insurgent voices and warlords. they have to make very difficult choices to survive. you know, the u.s. and the war on terror tends to categorize
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people into terrorists and good guys and bad guys. and the afghan people care about their families and what security and because of the wars and occupations, they have not been able to achieve that. the >> i think we have time for two more questions. >> i am curious. [inaudible] [inaudible] >> can you repeat the question just for the camera. and i don't know if i got all of
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it. the >> actually, one of the greatest trends in the whole story is the fact that we decided like i said before, the afghan government is being funded completely by the u.s. and its allies did the government is not able to collect tax. so this is the fact it's being funded by foreign countries. the united states appears to be willing to fund the afghan government, especially in perpetuity. at the same time, the warlords and the torture criminals that ensures the next generation of insurgents and taliban, et cetera. the taliban are getting safety from 35 years.
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this is the real terrifying thing to think about it but it's the case. we decided strong enough to keep together, which is the worst possible outcome. i think it's going to continue. >> so, yeah. i think it is going to stop when people here at home figure out that the money is not going to education, health care, et cetera. but we seem her to send in the militarization in anticipation of the darren wilson, mike brown and dave meant people are really getting exhausted badgers the general militarization of our society. i do think there is a breaking point at some point. we haven't gotten to that point. you know, i'm so let's get out let's get organized. we are here tonight.
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so go ahead. >> as the iraq the oil deposits that were there and it is my understanding that with afghanistan, there is a whole issue of pipeline routes in that sort of thing. would you consider that to be part of the dynamic in terms of why we are still committed to my web the pentagon is still involved in all of this and so forth? i understand that the defense contract years the oil companies have done very well in the iraq war and it could be the same situation with afghan and. the >> the contractors have done very well in afghanistan as well. you don't need resources for them to do well. the u.s. has spent more money on afghanistan in 13 years than they spent on the marshall plan.
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that is just a very poor investment if you're trying to get the pipeline. i think it's a pipe dream. there is no great way to make it happen. i don't need that is what drives the war. it's very different than iraq is, a lot of people have made a lot of money. they've made a lot of money off of the war in afghanistan. but in the form of reconstruction contracts building roads, providing security for u.s. bases, that sort of game. not any sort of natural rubber is ours. the >> all right. thank you so much for coming. i really appreciate it. [applause] the >> thank you so much for coming again. we've got some books for sale at your interest did.


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