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tv   Fareed Zakaria GPS  CNN  August 22, 2021 7:00am-8:00am PDT

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...we get unlimited for just 30 bucks. sweet, i get that too and mine has 5g included. that's cool, but ours save us serious clam-aroonies. relax people, my wireless is crushing it. that's because you all have xfinity mobile with your internet. it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. this is "gps," the global public square. welcome to all of you in the united states and around the world. i'm fareed zakaria. i will be back later on my take in the rest of the show, but first let me bring you jim sciutto who is ready to tackle the latest news. >> reporter: here's what's
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happening inside afghanistan. the taliban takeover has reached the one-week mark and multitudes of people are trying to flee their country. more than 20,000 are now at the airport in kabul waiting in the brutal sun, hoping they get that golden ticket out. secretary blinken says 8,000 people were evacuated yesterday alone. all countries combined have now evacuated some 26,500 people. the pentagon announced this morning it had invoked something called the civil reserve air fleet which compels u.s. commercial airlines to assist with the evacuation. meanwhile president biden is expected to talk to the american public again this afternoon about those efforts in afghanistan. tune in to cnn at 4:00 p.m. eastern time to see exactly what he has to say. let's begin with my first two guests, sami mahdi just got out
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of kabul, and rina amiri has helped her country from abroad. she was assigned to winston holbrook when he was representative in afghanistan and pakistan. good morning to both of you. it's good to have you here. sami, i wonder if i could start with you. is it as simple as this, journalists like you, as well as four afghans that worked for the american military and the american government, that it is a question of life and death to leave the country? to live, you must go. is that true? >> well, i think it's not just for me and other journalists, civil society activists or the people who work with the u.s. military, it's a question for over 13 million afghans around the country. the panic that you see around the kabul airport shows the fact that people do not see any
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future and the taliban regime in afghanistan is just a reminder for people. that's why people have panicked and tried to get out of the country as soon as possible in whatever way possible. that says a lot about the taliban and the picture they have been portraying about this, that they have changed. >> so, rina, if that is true, and it's a consistent message i'm hearing as my colleagues are in afghan about the loss of country, their loss of hope and their fears for their safety and their family's safety. if that's true, why didn't the afghan people fight back? why didn't they try to lead that fight against the taliban? why? >> i think the national forces were looking at u.s. signals. the u.s. signals for the last two years have been one that was
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an indication that the u.s. was leaving, and the u.s., in fact, was closer to the taliban than this government. the peace agreement has been with the taliban. the direct engagements has been been with the taliban, and at the end when the issue of the withdrawal was put on the table, it was not something that was done in consultation with the afghan forces as it should have been, and the support that they had received all along from contractors, all of this was taken away at the height of fighting season. so at the end of the day, i think they looked at the signals and they thought -- i step back and just note that signaling is incredibly important. and the signaling that they have received is that the u.s. is leaving, they've given it to the taliban, and at this stage they felt that the cards had been written, and there was not very much that they were left with at the height of fighting season. >> sami, rina makes a good
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point. it was two, in fact, two american presidents, trump and now biden, who made a decision to leave afghanistan. of course, trump negotiated an agreement as you were saying with the exit of forces by the end of this year. i have to ask you, though, who do afghans blame at this point? do they blame the u.s.? do they blame their own government? >> i think they blame both, both governments, the ambassador in particular and also their own leaders of the afghan government and wait our national security forces were lived by advisors who didn't have any kind of experience on the ground and the concentration of power when it comes to military management and command.
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they, i think, blame all. but the problem is now, the fact of life is they have to live -- my people have to live the results of the decisions that your government made and the fears of my own government. >> was there an alternative? set aside this panicked evacuation now. clearly this administration did not prepare for the rapid fall of the taliban. but stepping back for a bit, was there an alternative for a complete withdrawal of u.s. forces? we know some of biden's most senior military advisors including joint chairman chiefs that they leave about 23,000 there for afghan terror but also to provide that confidence for afghan forces. in your view, would that have been the better path? >> yes, i do believe leaving the 2500 forces would have required
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the sort of stabilization that was required. president biden notes that he did not want to continue the fight. these were not fighting forces. they were training, assisting, and providing intelligence. it had reached the point of stabilization. also president biden has noted that, you know, there are terrorist threats in other countries, there's al-shaba, al qaeda, and that's true. it was reported that they're all celebrating and saying, we're winning. >> sami, is it over? we're hearing a traditional base of opposition to the taliban in the north. we've heard great protests in some cities against taliban rule. what follows, necessarily? is it a country necessarily controlled by the taliban?
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is it the possibility of an ongoing civil war? >> well, the history shows that it's not the end. it has just begun. we are at the beginning of an evil start. the resistance has started in the areas surrounding the hindukush, the northern and southern hindukush. but at this time the taliban are not just being opposed by resistance forces in the northeast and north but also inside the major seat of afghanistan. there is a very large urban population now in afghanistan which didn't exist during the 1990s, and the taliban have shown little, you know, similarity to the lifestyle of urban people in urban centers
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like kabul and so many other cities. you can see now that people and youngsters within these large cities are standing their grounds against the taliban and waving the national flag. >> yep. it's a different country. and that must be noted. >> amiri, thanks for the work you're doing. sami mahdi, thanks as well. we're glad you're safe. let's go to sam. tell us what you're seeing in numbers. we're hearing thousands upon thousands waiting there. is that still the situation? >> reporter: yes, it is, and things are moving much more quickly. there isn't an accurate amount
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of people on the base. yesterday there were about 14,000 people taking off all day. i've seen about four of these d-17s taking some to the united states of america, and other american aircraft. we're not quite sure what their destination is. they have been able to take a lot of aircraft going into qatar. yesterday there was also a horrific crash outside the airport where there were at least seven people determined to be killed in that crash. there was more order, i must say, inside the airfield, but a great bit of disturbance, indeed, because as the pentagon has been saying, they're assisting the islamic state that is active intelligence, and
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they're posing a threat to the evacuations gathered in huge numbers outside the airfield and the international community. the interesting thing about it, there is one thing the united states and afghanistan can agree on and that is the danger of isis. the taliban has killed a lot of isis over the past two years. they've tried to regain a foothold here, and isis will be very happy to cause a massive atrocity here. that is an exercise in the minds of the americans that are now looking at what they call alternative routes to evacuate, particularly foreign evacuees, but also afghans who have worked so closely with them. the anticipation of this is this will go on to clear this
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backdrop, but the more successful evacuations are, the more people will successfully evacuate. paperwork is very hard to come by given the huge humanitarian pressure to get people out. it's extremely difficult here, but it is looking certainly better than it did in the last few days. jim? >> it's something of an airlift of humanity. sam kylie, thank you for being there. i know there is great risk to you and your team. stay safe. in a rare bit of partisanship, criticism has come from both republicans and democrats over his decision to withdraw from afghanistan at the moment. we'll get raeeaction from overseas.
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on october 7, 2001, u.s. forces began to bomb afghanistan to try to defeat both al qaeda and the taliban. the british were by their side, led by tony blair. he issued a blistering statement yesterday that began like this, quote, the abandonment of afghanistan and their people is tragic, dangerous, unnecessary, not in their interests and not in ours. it went on, arguing, quote, anyone given commitments by western leaders will understandably regard them as unstable currency. i want to speak now to rory
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stewart. he ran across afghanistan from harat all the way to kabul. he's a former member of the british parliament. it's good to have you on. few people have as much on the ground, face to face experience with afghanistan as you have. you saw the criticism there. he said that the u.s. abandoned afghanistan. do you agree? >> yes, and it's been humiliating for the u.k. we wake up to the situation and it's embarrassing. essentially britain believes very strongly, our defense secretary said he thinks it's the wrong decision. he tried at the last moment to get a coalition with the turks and others, failed to do so. but the u.s. has created over many decades a situation where the u.s. leads in and the u.s.
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leads out, and it hasn't really developed the idea that britain and its allies have an independent structure. these structures are very independent on american command control, american airpath. i think one of the things that will come out of this is we'll now have to develop a fully independent capability and disengage ourselves in the framework. >> that is a remarkable and sobering assessment, because you'll remember that is a fear among donald trump, many people currently advising the biden administration and part of the intention of president biden was to reverse that, to recreate the commitment to its allies saying, we will be there for you. you're saying this decision renders that difficult to believe? >> yes, it's very, very sad. the british government reached out to the american government on sunday.
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prime minister johnson requested a telephone call. he didn't receive a call from president biden halfway into tuesday, which was already three days into this crisis in kabul. that is just indicative of how all of this has been conducted. the u.s. from the beginning hasn't really believed it needs to have the courtesy of consulting. having made that decision, he didn't really reach out to whether britain or others could take up the slack and provide protection for afghanistan. he could have done that, but i see something strange in the way president biden approached this. it's as if he thinks if this is not worth his while, it's not worth others to do it instead. >> remarkable. we're joined by andrey kortunov. he's the director of the international affairs council, the international think tank. i want to know what signal
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russia and the kremlin take from the u.s. withdrawal. do they read this as saying that the u.s. will not or is reluctant to defend allies abroad? >> well, i think that the u.s. withdrawal was anticipated in moscow, but they postured the speed at which the united states decided to withdraw from afghanistan, and the whole operation was, of course, a surprise. i think that it is clearly apparent to those who believe that the united states continues to be on decline and that all this talk is nothing more than talk. of course, it raises the issue of credibility of the united states as a strategic ally, but at the same time it means that the challenge of afghanistan has been passed from global powers
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to regional powers. so russia should take part of a responsibility for what's going on in the country or what's going on around the country. of course, together without a place like china or pakistan and arguably iran and major central allies of the federation. >> let me ask you, though, let me press back for a moment here. because part of the justification for leaving afghanistan not dissimilar from what president obama before him said, is that the u.s. has to refocus attention and resources, including military resources, on asia, particularly the threat of a rising china. this move, and frankly to counteract russia in places where the u.s. believes it is overextending the baltic states, et cetera, can you not read this as a sign that the u.s. is following through on that, saying we're ending our focus on the middle east, focusing on the real challenges going forward? >> that's probably right, but,
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of course, even if you take countries like ukraine, i think politicians should be concerned about the credibility of the u.s. security assistance to this country, because if the united states decided to let down one of its strategic allies in one part of the world, why wouldn't they do the same in another part of the world? again, you know, i would say that to some extent the u.s. is not very consistent, because on the one hand, indeed, the united states would like to focus on china and russia, but on the other hand, president biden, at least, that's what is stated here in moscow, in geneva asked putin to assist him in using the military infrastructure in central asian states in case the united states needs to have a
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capacity for airstrikes in afghanistan. >> rory, before we go, i want to play some sound from the u.k. defense secretary describing the continuing fears as to whether the u.k. can get all of its people out, including its citizens, out of afghanistan. i'll play it briefly and i want to get your reaction. >> at the very least, our obligation has to be as few people through the pipeline as possible. i think i also said some people won't get back. some people won't get back, and we will have to do our best in third countries to process those people. >> i've heard americans tell me the same thing. what does that mean for both the u.k. and the u.s., that they may not be able to get all those who need help out? >> it's heartbreaking. but what you see here is a situation in which kabul is
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surrounded by people, these horrifying scenes of people being crushed to death at the airport, and the u.s. is under pressure to withdraw sooner. it's completely i am amplausiblt the u.s. and the u.k. will be able to get people out. the credibility that came out of this is the afghan involvement was so light. it was 2,500 soldiers compared to 25,000 in south korea. it could have been sustained indefinitely. in south korea they've been there 70 years. they were prepared to extract from a situation where no casualties have been lost since february 2020 and they were maintaining only 2,500 soldiers on the ground implies that president biden really didn't care at all about protecting any of the advances or fulfilling any of the obligations. >> rory, andrey kortunov, thanks
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that's cool, but ours save us serious clam-aroonies. relax people, my wireless is crushing it. that's because you all have xfinity mobile with your internet. it's wireless so good, it keeps one upping itself. there is not an exact number in all the continuing chaos, but it is estimated that tens of thousands of afghans are trying to leave the country today. how will all those people get out? will they, and where will they go? my next guest david milliband can help us understand. he is the former secretary and now is the president of the rescue committee which helps refugees and afghans around the
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world. good to have you on this morning. >> thanks, jim. great to be with you. >> i've been hearing stories, my colleagues have been hearing stories directly from afghans trying to get out of the country. they're not getting answers about their visas. they can't make it to the airport. they have the taliban going door to door looking for people who work for the americans and others. you're one of the groups doing your best to help save these people's lives, get them to safety. how are you able to navigate the mess? >> the international rescue committee has 1,700 staff inside afghanistan. and the key for your viewers to understand is that there are two crises. there is a visible crisis which you're seeing played out on tv, on the media, and with pateople trying to get to the airport in kabul, those with papers who are sometimes being turned back, and those without papers who aren't able to complete the process. there is also an invisible crisis in the rest of the country where i'm afraid millions of people are dependent
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on humanitarian aid and are not yet getting it properly. that includes over 2 million people who have been displaced by the fighting in recent weeks. we're trying to battle both the visible part of the crisis, helping people get their papers, et cetera, then there are people arriving from far-flung places as uganda and mexico, trying to help them there. but we're also committed to staying in afghanistan, not just the 1,700 staff, but the people they serve. >> i want to talk about the humanitarian crisis. first on the visible one, we've ha herd concessions from u.s. people that we aren't going to be able to get them out. is that realistic here? >> it's realistic, but the commitment that's being made bit u.s., by the u.k., by other countries is a sacred one. the commitment was if you help us, we'll help you. and the artificial deadline of
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the 31st of august is clearly not going to be met. the commitment that's being made not just to american operation nationals but to those who worked alongside them needs to be fulfilled, and it needs to be fulfilled with a fast processing system, a generous processing system and a humane processing system. some of that is beyond the control of western forces because of what's going on outside kabul airport, but there is a need for diplomatic and political muscle with chinese, are russians, with others, to try and bring all of that to turkey, the one controlling the airport until recently. then there are those who do have the appropriate papers who are fearful for their lives but given the chance to rebuild their lives in another country. >> and that's going to be quite a challenge going forward. now to the ongoing domestic humanitarian crisis that will follow all this, because all these people can't leave the
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country. i wonder, some have made the point to me that the taliban will needed a, int aid, interna aid, going forward. does that give the taliban leverage going forward? >> it gives leverage to the afghan people, actually. we've worked in afghanistan since 1988. we've worked in taliban-controlled areas and what were previously government-controlled areas. whoever is in control wants the support of local people. and the absolute key about the aid flows is that they don't go into central coffers where they can be victims of corruption, but they instead support communities around the country. afghanistan is a country of 4700 villages and valleys. if you fund the money properly,
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it can work and it needs to go into the right places so the american taxpayers can be confident that their funding is reaching the people in need. >> thank you for your work. it should be commended, david milliband. >> thank you very much. >> if you would like to help afghan refugees, you will find a list of vetted organizations including the international committee led by david milliband. that's at please go there. these people need help. when we come back, david milliband will be back about imperial overreach in afghanistan. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! all good
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with schizophrenia, i see progress differently. it's in the small things i look forward to. with the people i want to share it with. it's doing my best to follow through. it's the little signs that make me feel like things could be better. signs that make it feel like real progress. caplyta effectively treats adults with schizophrenia.
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and it's just one pill, once a day, with no titration. caplyta can cause serious side effects. elderly dementia patients have increased risk of death or stroke. call your doctor about fever, stiff muscles or confusion, which can mean a life-threatening reaction or uncontrollable muscle movements which may be permanent. dizziness upon standing, falls, and impaired judgment may occur. most common side effects include sleepiness and dry mouth. high cholesterol and weight gain may occur, as can high blood sugar which may be fatal. in clinical trials, weight, cholesterol and blood sugar changes were similar to placebo. if you're affected by schizophrenia, ask your doctor about caplyta from intra-cellular therapies.
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militias with a leader who styled himself as mahdi and who the british viewed as a terrorist. there is a history lesson worth learning here about imperial overreach as the united states leaves afghanistan. many voices will become a base for terrorism, but the truth is since 9/11, washington and most advanced governments have found terrorists, tracked them down and prevented them from making large-scale attacks. they are hunted everywhere and fragmented into local forces. they operate in various unstable countries such as afghanistan, mali and yemen. this is not for the sustained occupation of any one particular place. but the mentality that drove the u.s. interventions in afghanistan and iraq was an
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imperial aversion to instability. during the late 19th century, britain learned that sudan would spill over and threaten british access to the suez canal in egypt. that canal provided a lifeline to india, which was considered the jewel and the crown of the british empire. as the globe's superpower, britain had similar fears in many parts of the world. sol london proceeded to send tes of thousands of troops to sudan and elsewhere, gaining remote provinces, including afghanistan, all of which turned into massive burdens for britain. britain allowed the tail to wag the dog. the united states is the world's sole superpower for now as we watch the tragedy that is unfolding in afghanistan. keep in mind that american forces have spent two decades in
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afghanistan. they've done what could be done, successfully degrading al qaeda and killing osama bin laden. cert essentially afghanistan is not america's peril. by contrast the most brilliant american strategist of the cold war, george kennon, always said that the cold war depended on a small number of power centers. he argued in the late 1940s, there were just five: the united states, the united kingdom, the west german region, japan and the soviet union. as long as washington could maintain the 4-1 ratio against moscow, it would win the cold war. kennon urged a steely-eyed focus on those centers of power. we must decide which areas are
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key areas. instead washington intervened in farflung places all over the world to prevent congress from gaining power anywhere. this was a fool's errand and it produced only self-inflicted wounds. strategy must be based on interest, not over any and all threats. henry kissinger, a realist like kennon, as a member of the administration, he vigorously fought the war while negotiating the withdrawal of american troops. but in his private conversations with nixon, he revealed he did not believe in the central logic that had guided american intervention. it didn't really matter if south vietnam fell, he told nixon, and as long as it happened a year or two after american troops were gone, the american public wouldn't give a damn. south vietnam did fall. it caused a humanitarian tragedy, but in the long run, it did not kcripple the united
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states. only a few minor dominoes fell to communism in asia, and the reagan administration was negotiating from a position of strength with the soviet union. by 1991, the soviet union itself fell. a key reason for the collapse of moscow's empire, of course, was its intervention in afghanistan, which bled the soviet union and sapped its will. the russians got involved for familiar reasons, insurgency, internal divisions, a fear of instability. moscow should have paid attention to george kennon's sage advice then as we should now. go to for a link to my "washington post" column. next on "gps," the pandemic has filled the world with -- the most popular class ever about how to bring happiness
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the pandemic has been challenging and painful for most people. loss of friends, loved ones, losing jobs, closing businesses, these are the life-altering events that have hit us in 2020 and into 2021. the toll its taken on our mental health is undeniable. the number of people reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression rose nearly 300%. so how to bring happiness back. well, laurie santos, professor of psychology at yale who helped
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bring about the happiness lab. laurie, welcome back. some of this pain which is mental is actually very tangible and in some ways even physically apparent, right? >> we tend to not think about mental health issues as a physical health issue, but we have to remember our brain is part of our body. if we're experiencing anxiety, if we're experiencing depression, these things will manifest in physical symptoms, things like how we're sleeping, how we're digesting our food. just all the anxiety we've been experiencing triggers our fight or flight system. if you broke your leg, you would go to a doctor and try to deal with it. if you stubbed your toe, you would put some ice on it. we need to treat mental health conditions the same way and really give us some mental health first aid.
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>> what is your sense of the best strategies to build back better mentally? >> yeah, i mean, i think the first step is to recognize that it's critical, right, that you need some strategies. some of the ones we talk a lot about on the podcast are things like taking time to feel a little bit more present, taking time to allow emotions that might not feel nice, even allowing emotions like sadness, anxiety and so on. the research shows that trying to avoid those emotions is bad for you. it can lead to cardiac stress or even memory problems. just kind of allow those emotions to be there. another strategy we talk about a lot is to experience gratitude, which can be hard in the time of a global pandemic. especially now, are we backsliding, what's going on, right? we can tend to focus on all the negatives, but the research shows this tiny step of redirecting your attention to the positives can have huge benefits both in terms of your well-being, but also in terms of
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making it easier to do things like eat more healthily, save for retirement. there is evidence that gravity can help our revolution. these kinds of strategies can have all kinds of benefits. >> what does gratitude mean? really taking the time to think about things when they're going well or you should be grateful for? >> even in the midst of an awful time like this, there are things that are just wonderful in the world, like the taste of your morning coffee, the fact that your loved ones are alive, friends are smiling, summer weather. these are the simple kind of things that if we train our brain to notice it can be entirely powerful. >> you also talk in the podcast to rob lowe, the hollywood actor. it turns into a fascinating conversation about nostalgia, and it made me think -- it actually has a lot of political implications, the power of nostalgia. first explain what you talked to rob about. >> yeah, well, nostalgia is this
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funny emotion because it's kind of bittersweet, thinking about the past in a sort of wistful way. historically people thought of nostalgia as a neurological disorder as identified in the 1600s and people thought it was something the soldiers experienced, maybe swiss soldiers. she thought it was due to the clanging of swiss cowbells, which was really hard, but it took them time to discover that nostalgia isn't a neurologic disorder. it can make us feel comfortable thinking about days of the past. but nostalgia can also be kind of negative, right? in part our nostalgia of the past isn't an accurate representation of the past. there is lots of evidence that our minds edit our memories. we moefocus on the good things not the bad and sometimes we incorporate imagined realities. gabriel garcia marquez talked
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about how we can be an eyes vic to him to the charitable no nostalgia. >> when you think about make america great again, that is nostalgia. but there's often been this idea that there was once a garden of eden and that we have fallen from it. >> yeah, i mean, i think this is the way we think back to our society's old days, but it's also the way we think back to our personal old days, like our memories just don't incorporate the bad stuff. it's what researchers call rosy re retrospection. when we look at the past, it's with rosy glasses and it looks great. in society we often want to go back to policy situations that in reality weren't good, and it's the fault of our memory that we're choosing to want to go back to those things.
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>> how does rob lowe fit into all of this? >> well, rob is kind of a funny case. he was such a famous actor in the '80s. it was so cool for me to interview him because he was one of my idols, and his advice actually came from a lot of the work that he's done from his own addictions and addiction treatments, which is the mantra of kind of being in the present moment, trying to make the present good so that it, too, will be filled with the kinds of events that lead to good memories down the line. i think that's a really great message. we can get the plueasures of nostalgia, but we often want to use our wistful thoughts of the past to think about, what are we using for the present? we like to think back, oh, i miss my high school friends. maybe you need a little comfort now. maybe that means you need to build in a little bit more of the kind of things you enjoy in your life. we can use nostalgia in the present to figure out what we're missing and we'll try to add those things back in. >> laurie santos, always a pleasure.
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thank you. >> thanks so much. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. [sfx: psst psst] allergies don't have to be scary. spraying flonase daily stops your body from overreacting to allergens all season long. psst! psst! all good do you have a life insurance policy you no longer need? now you can sell your policy, even a term policy, for an immediate cash payment. we thought we had planned carefully for our retirement. but we quickly realized that we needed a way to supplement our income. if you have one hundred thousand dollars or more of life insurance you may qualify to sell your policy. don't cancel or let your policy lapse without finding out what it's worth. visit to find out if you policy qualifies. or call the number on your screen. coventry direct, redefining insurance.
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growing up in a little red house, on the edge of a forest in norway, there were three things my family encouraged:
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kindness, honesty and hard work. over time, i've come to add a fourth: be curious. be curious about the world around us, and then go. go with an open heart and you will find inspiration anew. viking. exploring the world in comfort.
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what a rare weather event in the northeastern u.s. today. a tropical storm about to make landfall in southern new england. i'm brian stelter live in new york. this is "reliable sources." we'll get to all the media news in a few minutes, but the 11:00 a.m. eastern advisory from the national hurricane center has just hit. it says hurricane henri is traveling close to rhode i