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tv   CNN Student News  HLN  October 10, 2009 4:00am-4:10am EDT

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or nearly crossed almost four decades ago. we were both in hanoi at the time at different circumstances but in a general way for the same purpose. the north vietnamese offer to lb@ @ @ @ @ @ m&r@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ n#rh)@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ r
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™"@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ rks)$g@ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ n @ @ @ [applause] well it is a huge pleasure and privilege to be here this evening. i am almost overwhelmed with embarrassment but also gratitude
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to be mentioned in the same breath as henry kissinger by senator mccain. my role tonight i want to make it clear to you, ladies and gentlemen is not to be some kind of latter-day david frost. [laughter] this despite what you may infer from my accent. [laughter] we are as senator mccain rightly said both in our ways historians, but when it comes to experience of making history i am nothing compared with the man sitting to my right, and what i propose to do, and i think we have a around half an hour of which to do it is ask some historically informed questions about the predicament of the united states today. i want to begin by asking you aboutthe subject.
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can we begin by putting it in historical perspective? because many people jump to the conclusion that this is president obama's vietnam. do you see that as a helpful historical analogy? >> before i answer the question, might i thank senator mccain and eagleburger for what they said today. i think the task of a leader is to take the society from where it is to where it hasn't been and that takes, above all moral courage because that is a lonely road and i know of no national leader who has exemplified this more consistently and more courageous leader in senator mccain and that is why --
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[applause] and those of you who have read about me in various books and articles, know how abused and terror priced and mistreated my staff was. [laughter] and you saw a classic example of this in larry eagleburger. [laughter] who 40 years after he worked for me directly is still telling stories about our adventures. [laughter]
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which improve with age like good wine. [laughter] but i want to pay tribute to people like larry and brent scowcroft and others who with whom i had the privilege to be associated in a very complicated period in which we were trying to preserve the honor of america by not abandoning people who had relied on knous and at the same time tried to create a structure of peace and we could do it because we shared a sense of commitment and sense of adventure, and because they were forgiving enough to put up with
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my idiosyncrasies. so i want to thank larry and brandt and all the others who shared this experience with me. now, to get to your question. is it another vietnam? first of all i have a perception of vietnam which is not the majority media perception of vietnam. i think in essence we defeated ourselves. vietnam was a problem of the american soul and not the american performance and until
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we accept this, we are not going to the lessons of that period. we entered a war with a decent motives and attempted to pursue it by judgments that turned out to be not applicable to the situation because they were drawn from a european experience. and when i say wheat i mean the kennedy and johnson administration. president nixon attempted to disengage us from that war would and while he is accused today of having a prolonged the war the only decision he made that prolonged the was his refusal of the communist and demand that at
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the beginning of the peacemaking process we had to replace the government of vietnam with a communist-dominated government and after which we would have to destroy our troops. those two conditions he refused. and if that is prolonging we will do it again. [applause] all i say that because that is what we have to ask ourselves about afghanistan. we have to ask where are we and where are we trying to and where we are is in a country
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that is located between major power centers in the world which is one of the reasons why it has maintained its independence and it's located between russia, now india and pakistan and the british empire, china, iran. secondly it's neither a nation where a state. it is a collection of the feudal rulers of provincial leaders who historically have come together almost exclusively


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