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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  November 14, 2010 8:00am-9:00am EST

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>> so you can get the 1.5%? >> not yet. so when the promise is, okay, you will make as they 1.5%. that's it. we so what are raised to make us all to cover us. we still want our racist like you said. we will money, we want money, we want money. could you put yourself on your board with the way moment and say, where would you go? how would you, even if it is evolutionary. i'm not sure we will get everything overnight. where would you start? . .
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>> they'd give a little bit in contract negotiations, and they had the choice of being the only school board that took a strike or not, and they felt that as tough as they wanted to be, teacher -- parents didn't want to strike. the question now is whether parents are ready for a strike. let me, let me give you an example. a piece i wrote in "the wall street journal" a couple weeks ago had some statistics that are new, not in the book. a rasmussen poll found that 19% of american taxpayers say they're willing to pay higher taxes in order to preserve public sector jobs. even in the area of public safety only 34% said they were willing to pay higher taxes to preserve public sector jobs, so i think we are at a signature moment. a moment that's been very different. certainly in new jersey where in the 1990s every time you talked about a tax cut, you had teachers' unions saying, well, class size is going to go up, we're going to go on strike.
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i think we're at a different moment right now. i don't know whether you're at a different moment in hoboken, but i think we're at a different moment across the country. and it may be that messy. you may have to take a strike. of course, it's one thing to take a garbage strike, it's another thing -- well, i was going to say, you also don't want your children staying home when both parents are working. i have seen at least in new jersey a level of revolt that i haven't seen since 1991, '92 when hands across new jersey rolled back all those tax increases. any other questions? oh, chuck, i'm sorry. >> would you speak a little bit -- >> [inaudible] >> okay. >> will you speak a little bit about the lack of privatization
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in america? i have a couple here in new york city, battery park city, westchester playland which is $6 million. >> right. >> i mean, margaret thatcher's thought of privatization has worked all over the world. why don't we do it? this. >> well, it's so interesting that those of you who remember david osbourne published a book in, what was it, 1993, '94? somewhere around there, right? called "reinventing government" can with a co-author which was about customer-friendly government. and it swept the nation. he was here, you had rudy giuliani who was not yet mayor, and next to was mark green, and around the country we did see privatization initiatives. then what happened? the public sector unions fought vigorously against this. giuliani came to us, and he had a whole bunch of privatization
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issues. he used a few of them. he threatened privatization of sanitation workers to get them to work eight hours a day, and it helped the budget. but in general this has been a tenacious fight in the last decade so that in many places the notion of privatization has just completely receded. and i've actually talked to david about this, interviewed him for other stories which are not in this book, and, you know, he's remained very optimistic because you can show great gains. and he says at some point when budgets are really, really under stress especially from pensions and so forth, privatization is going to make a lot more sense again. but this has been one of their signature fights, chuck, and that is why they really, really -- i mean, david osbourne describes himself as a liberal democrat who just thought the government could, obviously, be more efficient. that this is not a question of left or right, but this has been the battle they have fought. and if david is right, then what's going to happen is that that will be a really viable
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area as these budgets come crashing down at the state and local level. but we'll see. anyway, it's 2:00. i'm told i'm done. thank you all for coming, i appreciate it. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> for more on steven malanga, senior fellow at the manhattan institute and senior editor of the institute's city journal, visit manhattan -- and search his name. >> houshang asadi, an iranian journalist who talks about his years of imprisonment and torture following the iranian revolution spoke at barnes & noble booksellers in new york city. >> well, good evening, everyone,
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and thank you for coming. is part of our barnes & noble and amnesty international lecture series, and i have the h great honor right now of readinn just a few passages from fr "letters to my torturer," by the main speaker, houshang asadi. it's a woman's voice, but young really need to picture it as a man, and this is his story. so it's chapter 15. woof woof, i am a spy. my little dog is yapping, licking my feet. he wants me to take him out. his name is sonny.he he's my little boy, kind and loyal. he has no idea that under the pressure of the whip, i too a d become aing to.po he is the opposite of my brokent wounded and devastated self, but all this has nothing to do with my beautiful dog. he has no idea that once i had to bark before i was allowed to speak. on this stormy parisian morning, i am writing my 15th letter torn you and to history, and i am
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forced to return to the most bitter days of my life. to the time when my batteredy body was shaking on a torture bed, and my soul was running was away to avoid surrendering to the devil. the prison, 12:18, march 1983. you have left, and i am twisting and turning on a blanket. my shoulders are in agony, my shoulder blades want to break away from my body. i want to find some calm, to som sleep for a few minutes, but it's not possible. i sit up with difficulty. i lean my head against the walll the tooth ache has returned. i press my hand against the wall and stand up. i walk on my feet with difficulty.di i get tired quickly and struggle to sit down. i'm all ears.migh you might come back at any moment. first we'll show you your wife in her she's like my own sister, she's looking very pretty. by the way, would you like tour see your wife on the night of
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eid?ei my wife's image appears, then i see the row of coffins. i read the names one by one. i know all of them.f i've worked with all of them. like me, they wanted to help iran reach a better tomorrow. now they're sleeping inside their coffins.ns back then i had not read or heard anything about the coffin torture. only later would i hear the full story. the door of repentance is always open. repentance, repentance, how rep remote and hateful a word. repentance, life, revolution. the words repeat inside my brain and become one. i stretch out, i hold my head which is feeling hot between my hands. i try to get your words out of my head. brother hamid, i hear the voice of the women prisoner. dear brother, please, let me pr take these to my cell. she wanted to take two smalle wa tree branches into her cell. yes. life's beautiful. we were walking along a darking tunnel. there was no light. iwa could hear the voice of my
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wife calling me from a distance, and i opened my eyes.nce, i am in my cell, cell number 15. the cries of a woman reach me from the room below. our aim is to save you. if i were you, i'd save myself,l mr. asadi. the door of repentance is open to everyone in islam. i sit down, a faint light is appearing at the end of the dark tunnel. it's going to end. they're not going to hang me. they're not going to bring me in my wife. they're going to believe me. they're going to believe that i have written everything i know. there's only one thing i haven't written about. wri i'm going to write about that, too, even though i was only a witness, nothing more.e the whip descends. so now i'm going to actually introduce the writer of those very impassioned words, houshang asadi. he's a journalist, writer and translator and was member of both the writers' association os iran and the iranian journalists' syndicate. prior to the islamic revolution,
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he served as deputy editor at iran's largest daily newspaper and was also editor-in-chief ofo the country's largest circulation magazine. in 1983 following the iranian government's crackdown on all opposition parties, mr. asadi was arrested and sent to the infamous prison in tehran where he was kept in solitary confinement for almost two ke years. and was severely tortured until he falsely confessed tol operating as a spy for the british and russian intelligence agencies. he was sentenced to death by w hanging but was freed after serving six years of his sentence. mr. asadi joins us this evening to discuss his book about his experiences, "letters to my torturer: love, revolution and d imprisonment in iran." michael henderson, author of "no enemy to conquer: forgiveness in an unforgiving world," has called the book a scathing indictment of torture and a testament to survival against
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all o odds. so won't you please join me in welcoming houshang asadi.omin [applause] >> good evening and thanks a lot for coming. i am so happy just this moment, one of iranian directer came out of here, and he was in prison too. and have a bad experience liken me. my name is houshang asadi, and i now live in exile in paris. and first i ask you accept my apologize for my bad english because it's for a long time i live in exile in paris, i have
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to live in paris in exile, and i lost a lot of practicing my english. i live in exile in paris where e wrote a book about my experience in my homeland, iran. called "letters to my torturer." i was in in be iran from 1983 to 1989 and was forced to leave iran in 2004. the subject of my book is very painful, is very painful pai especially for the young people who never been in prison. it is about what goes on behind prison walls in iran. but it's also about what goes on in iran in general. it's my personal account, but my
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experience during this six years i spent behind bars is not very different from the thousands of others are treated in iranian prison today. today, however, the treatment is even worse. i was forced to make a false confession that i was an agent forsi the soviet union and the t british intelligence service. today the torturers call the young prisoners prostitutes and sexual perverts. in addition, today's prisonersin are routinely raped with no recourse to justice. it's not an empty charge, it has been well documented by eyewitnesses.
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please don't think that iran is about torture. such practice are exercised without an equal by a group that has imposed it on iran sincence 1979. iran is the 18th largest country in the world tricepping from the cat -- stretching from thegulf caspian sea in the north to the persian sea to the south and borders by 19 countries including pakistan and turkey. iran is home to one of the world's oldest continuous civilization binning in -- beginning in 800 -- 2800 b.c. famous for astronomy and mathematics, it also boasts a rich literary heritage with world famous poets.
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a poem written by the great iranian poet sadi in 13th century is today on display at the united nations. the patient emperor, silas the great, wrote a human rightshe charter over 2,500 years ago in defense of -- [inaudible] and basic human dignity. people are curious about life it prison, especially in the islamic republic of iran where h the rulers do everything in the name of god and their religion. in 1988 as the masking of
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political prisoner was underwaye under direct orders of ayatollah khomeini, i was on the verge of being executed. i lied in the court and saved myself. sav perhaps so that many years later one day i could stand in front of you to describe the tragic holocaust of islamic republic of iran. the importance of narrating what i have true is is not simply to record the past. today as i speech with you, my torturers who have not attained full political power in iran, a have started a new, shocking era of torture.
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for those of you who have not read my book, i would like to wu summarize it contents under three general headings. love, power, and torture. love. the underlying theme of my book is love. love for freedom, love for warmth through human beings and love for my wife. this loves intermingle and congress get gate into my love r for my country. this love display in human trait and form a shield against torture. >> my wife, my wife bravesfe
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patience during my years in prison, is ever present in my story. it gave me a strength at thatt time and continues to give meine hope. as i was tortured in prison, she was tortured outside in, outside it. our common crime was love, a love for our country and for each other. that love gave hope and created life in the hell inside and hel outside the prison. after two and a half years in solitary confinement during which we were denied any form of communication, i was finally allowed to write a six-line letter to my wife. and receive an answer of equal length every month. my wife published these letters in exile which were censored as
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they traveled from prison to home and back. the name of book is "love and hope." power. the book also talks of power. i take the readers back to over 30 years to my first imprisonment in 197 item 4. and -- 1974 and my tiny prison cell. which i shared for many months with a young muslim priest. a friendship developed between us. the priest was kind, and his face bore with a smile, a smile. hehe was familiar with the -- [inaudible] of love.h when i left this prisoner who had been tortured was wroughttht into our prison cell, the priest fed him his own hand using his bare hands after saying his
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prayers. today people around the world know that priest as ayatollah khomeini. he rules iran as a dictator. that very hands that fed a leftist prisoner at that time today sign orders for the execution and torture of thousands of young muslims. my book also talked of other political figures, but ayatollat khomeini journey is most interesting. torture. when i was arrested once again in 1983, ayatollah khomeini hadl just become the president of iran.
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in prison they by chance took mo to the very small cell where i r had been locked up withlock mr. khomeini i remember it was winter when i had beenin transferred out of tt cell in 1974. on that day mr. khomeini, whowas was very thin, was shivering.g. i gave him my jacket, and with j tears in his eyes he told me, houshang, under the islamic government not a single tear will be shed by the innocent. houshang, under islamic --nder excuse me. excuse me. he told me, houshang, under the
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islamic government not a singles tear will be shed by the innocent. but, in fact, in the new islamic republic i had just been put in prison by the regime. my crime was that i worked at a newspaper belonging to a leftist political party that supported the i lammic republic of iran -- islamic republic of iran. and in a regime in which no tear was supposed to be shed, i learned of ideological torture. i have described this torture in my book, and it is very clear that its purpose was to break the person utterly, his spirit, his love and his fire inside.
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today, almost 30 years since my imprisonment, my foot is still bare from the whipping. when i received my first slap on the face one midnight in 1983, blindfolded and completely confused, i was told thats it was the first -- that it was the first article of the islamic republic constitution. a hand also hoed me handgun to represent the final article ofei the constitution. that was a wake-up call. the next day i experienced my first flogging, and that was just the beginning. a lifetime had passed since
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then, but life repeatedly takes me back to those horrifying days. i was young, like most of you, and in love with freedom. i loved my country and -- [inaudible] i dreamed that the world could be changed. i believed that one day love would be the ruler of the life. i took part in the iranian revolution with this dream andti the hope thaton freedom would be one day prevail, that bread would be available for all and the -- [inaudible] would only be found in the museum. but i suddenly found myself in i hell. for three months the only othery
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person in my physical life was a person called torturer. his ideology of hate arose from his religious beliefs, and his instruments were the whip andnd handcuff. i was always blindfolded and defenseless like a deer, completely at the mercy of a brother. in the i lammic republic -- islamic republic of iran, brothe tr is the general title f all believers and all torturers were brothers. all of whom used my life was in the hands of such, one such brothers whomom everyone called brother hamid. anything i wanted or needed toth do could only be done with his
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express permission. this included eating, sleeping and receiving medicine, et.i etc. i could not even go to the restroom without his okay. he saw himself as the exclusive ruler of all lives and as thes defender of holy regime. he viewed me as a traitor, a spy and immoral. he was the image of god while i was satan. i had to confess to whatever he dreamed up. i lost consciousness under hisu. torture, i spent nights and days hanging from the ceiling with one arms twisted at my back. i was forbidden to sleep and even forced, and even forced to
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eat my own feces. and so i confessed. i had been turned from an idealistic young man to the most hateful person at the hands of brother hamid. i had barked like a dog.d i had to spend 682 days in this solitary confinement. and then, and then make confessions but would be used be against me in my six minutes -- [inaudible] in court. make no mistake, please, the system of torture continues today. since the elect --
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[inaudible] of 2009 torture has reached what i call monitorture. the rape of women and even of men has been added to theme earlier technical of routine, inhuman torture practices. when at last i was released from prison after six years, i didn't know that my torturer, brotherio hamid, had been given the position of islamic regime, but i noted that iran had beenir turned into a huge prison. to officers and subjected us to
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>> my wife and i were routinely subject to questioning over the most private aspects of our lives. i always doubt if george orwell had been alive, he would have revised his "animal farm" story and would have written a new book called the republic of mobs. i suspect this is the first time in the history that mobs have full control over a country with a civilization and culture that has a history of thousands of years. it is these mobs who used to treat me and my wife and told us, they told us to our country, you are outsider here. either get out or we will take care of you.
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it is these mobs who last year used the most savage torture to destroy iran's new pro-democratic movement. thirty years ago when brother hamid and his colleagues werer ruthlessly torturing us to forcw us to say that we are agent of soviet union, they did it secretly. it took years for all our voice to heard outside the prison. today the torture young girlsg and boys using modern torture technical for force them to sayt that they are agent of u.s. and israel. fortunately, everything comes to light more quickly now, and thea whole world hears what is going on. unfortunately, torture is not limited to iran.
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if you look about carefully, we will see victims of torture all over the world. in view of everything that ise going on in iran and elsewhere, my book, "letters to my torturer, "is more than just the memoirs of a torture victim. it deals with issues that rest heavily on the consciousness ofs modern man and, of course, it is surprising that in the modernr century people are stillpe struggling with the issue torture. i think it's enough.
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let thanks all of you and,me please, ask any questions. [applause] >> as you can see, this is being filmed for c-span, so there's a gentleman with a boom up, and just wait for him to come to you when you raise your hand. and can this gentleman,a actually, is going to do some translating. raise your hand if you want, if you have a question, and thea gentleman will come and get you. >> in all of your imprisonment, did you have any legale representation ever at any time? [speaking in native tongue]
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>> translator: lawyer in the islamic republic of iran is a joke. there's no such concept.t they don't believe in such concept. >> other questions? >> so you were in court, and if defense lawyer is a joke, is it all for show? >> sorry. could you repeat the question? >> if there is no defense lawyer, why, why do they have courts? >> [speaking in native tongue]>> >> [speaking in native tongue]
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>> translator: they have courts in islamic republic, but it'st more a show. it has no reality, and i wouldre like to give you an >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: i had a cell mate whose name was mohamed. >> [speaking in native tongue] t >> translator: he was taken to his trial in front of the judgeo and he came back ten minutesac later. i said to him, where have you been?re he said, i've just been to my trial. b took ten >> [speaking in native tongue]ongu >> translator: i asked him what the trial was like, he said, i went in, there was a youngor: muslim priest sitting there whow was the judge, and i took myn blindfold off.o >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: he said to me,
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what is youra name? i said, mohamed saf, etc. in persian there are two, three ss in the alphabet, so he said, is it an s, this kind of s or the other kind of s? >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: he said, it's the second s. he said, in that case, get lost fifteen years. >> it was a court. >> if you're released from prison in 1989, how come it took 15 years for you to be exiledo from iran? >> speak peek tongue. >> [speaking in native tongue]
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>> translator: as a journalist, i am, had decided that i wouldn't leave my country unless i'm forced to leave.un so i was determined to stay on. until situation arose thattion forced me to leave. >> [speaking in native tongue]n >> translator: unless they tried to arrest me again, i thought im would stay on. [speaking in native tongue] >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: they wouldh routinely ask us for question fokr my wife and myself to go in
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for questioning. after a few years, houshang starts a movie, kind of a magazine dealing with moviea reviews, film reviews, and after a few months they closed thatt down as well. >> [speaking in native tongue]ti >> translator: and then t eventually they came and told ut and a group of other journalists that you are strangers here. you better go away, or you'll get in trouble. >> [speaking in native tongue]ue] >> translator: we felt there was sufficient reason to be anxious about another arrest, and so we decided to leave very quickly. >> were you able to write letters to your wife while youte were in prison? >> [speaking in native tongue] >> [speaking in native tongue]
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>> translator: not for the first two and a half years, but after that they allowed us six lines every month. there was a piece of paper with a line in the middle. iw could write six lines, and so could respond six lines which was, i think, as he mentionedk before these were censored correspondence between them. >> thank you so much for sharino your story.yo do you have any hope for the iranian people? what do you think will happen in the next ten or twenty years?ira in iran? >> [speaking in native tongue]
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>> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: i'm a journalist, not a prophet, but i am positive about the future of iran, and in view of the role taken by woment and the youth in the recent uprising, i feel very positives that good things will come out.e but to estimate a time scale would be veryma difficult. >> were there ever doctors orr medical personnel at your
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torture? this i mean, was this medicallyl assisted, or was it just done by soldiers or your prisoners? >> [speaking in native tongue] >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: there was one guard that he explains there wai one revolutionary guard who hadh
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received basic medical training s and when they were with --ison whipping the prisoners' feet, soles of their feet, after a while they would lose all sensation because they would bed so injured. so this guy would come and putc something to row store some -- restore feeling back to the feet so they could continuea theu beating, and i think there were. other examples of this in the book. >> okay. we have time fort two or threee more questions, so raise your hands. there's two ladies and one lady in the the back there. >> after everything that you've been through, how do you find the strength to go on every day? >> how do you find the strength? >> to go on every day. >> [speaking in native tongue]
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>> because of my wife. >> oh. >> please. >> kind of a two-part question. first bit, when you were exiledy were you strategically placed in be paris, or did you choose that on your own? and the second part is do you ever feel that you'll be able to return to your country some day and be able to not live in fear? this. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: when we felt fe under threat of arrest, we had visa from france, and so under
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everything c regulation ifre country is is letting you go there, you're obliged to go there, basically, so that's why they went to france. >> [speaking in native tongue]i >> translator: it is, naturally, my greatest wish to return to iran. any minute that it becomesm >> we have two more questions, and i'm going to let you decide which ones. >> okay, please. >> it's been very difficult to read your book, and i wanted tof thank you so much for writingk. it. >> [speaking in native tongue] >> thank you very much. i know it's very painful and very difficult to thank you to read it. thank you. >> so what type of international
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effort has been done to address the lack of human rights ino iran? >> [speaking in native tongue] >> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: eur >> translator: european countries and the united states have taken specific measures since last year's uprising tos address the human rights
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situation in iran which areand great, but iranians, many iranians -- and i think houshang counts himself among them -- believes there's certainly a great deal more that can be done in terms of putting pressure on iran to remedy the human rights situation, and he thinks it's a mistake to think that the nuclear issue is the mosthin important issue in the negotiations between the unitedn states and iran. that human rights should have a much higher priority in those discussions. >> we could have one more question, and then we have to do the signing. [inaudible] >> do you think that your life is in more danger fromro publishing? >> [speaking in native tongue]
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>> [speaking in native tongue] >> translator: for the last hundred years, the lives of manh iranian intellectuals and writers have been in danger, and even in this room there isd another gentleman here who's a highly-accomplished film directer, i think, whose life i also equally at risk. and this is just, this is the of of being eye iranian, i think. >> will you sign books? >> [speaking in native tongue] >> of course. >> thank you so much.
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[applause] >> for more on houshang asadi and his work, visit houasadi.word >> every weekend booktv brings you 48 hours of history, biography and public affairs. here's a portion of one of you are programs. -- one of our programs. >> the reason i felt it important to do a book essay, because that's what it is, on the obama administration is because i think it's extremely important for progressive people not to create too many illusions about what's around because they don't help. and to see in quite as hard-headed way what this new administrationing is, what it
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represents in terms of foreign policy, ill -- imperialist continuity and what it represents at home. and it's important to do that to understand to what extent it's different and to what extent it is continuing the policies of the previous three administrations. not just bush and cheney, but clinton and bush sr.. and from that point of view the balance sheet i have prepared, the obama syndrome, war abroad and surrender at home is not a very optimistic account or a pleasing account of this administration. now, it's not a pleasant task to write books like this. [laughter] because, you know, when you see what's going on and read a lot of material which has been published on domestic policies,
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leave alone on foreign policies, it's striking how conservative the administration has been. now, i know all the restraints and constraints. i know that we live in a neoliberal period that despite the crash of 2008 the system and its political leaders have not attempted any serious structural reforms which was, you know, necessary after that crash. and so the crash has not gone away, it's simply been blasted over with sticking plaster. and it is going to worry people and is worrying, certainly, progressive economists, many of them who are not that radical who say that it's not going to work. so here was an opportunity for a newly-elected president who was not responsible and couldn't be
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held responsible for this particular economic crash who had, unlike previous presidents, mobilized hundreds of thousands of young people in this country, brought them out into the streets to help him get elected and had created the illusion that they would do something. i mean, yes, we can is not a very concrete slogan -- [laughter] but it offers some hope or at least creates the impression of offering hope. and so young people were happy, they were mobilized, and they thought that some change would take place abroad and at home. the balance sheet is what? let's first discuss briefly the continuity in foreign policy. now, the continuity in foreign
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policy was symbolized by keeping gates on at the pentagon. by essentially accepting the view that petraeus' surge in the iraq had solved the problem. by sticking to bush's plans on a so-called withdrawal from iraq without bringing about any change there at all. by pushing these plans through which are essentially very simple, withdrawing combat unit from the main cities of iraq, building huge military bases in that country and keeping between 50 and 70,000 troops there permanently. that is what the withdrawal is, and it's not new. the british tried it in the '20s and '30s, exactly the same plan, and it imploded when there was a revolution in iraq in 1958, and they had to, they
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threw the british out. and it's very likely in some shape and form, not in the shape and form of the '50s, but a similar thing will happen if these troops stay in there. on iran, once again this administration has carried on with the old policies essentially in the case of iran appealing the israelis because the big pressure for not doing any deal with iran both on the nuclear question and generally on other issues comes from the israelis who are prepared to do anything to preserve their own nuclear monopoly. that is what that particular issue is about. and the failure of this administration to break with those policies of the previous administration is not all that surprising because i remember as i point out in the book, i was in the midwest teaching for four
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weeks in urbana-champaign, and i saw this young, fresh-faced guy running for the senate called barack obama. and i was at the house of friends, and can they said he is the great hope of the democrats. and i said, well, let's watch him because i'm always interested in great heaps. [laughter] great hopes. and the great hope was asked, president bush has said that it might be necessary to bomb iran and take out their nuclear installations or whatever they're doing, and what would be your position on that? i support the president totally. said the great hope. [laughter] so that was my first sighting of him, and i just felt instinctively that this is a guy who is really going to try to please, and he is a weak guy in many ways. and is not going to push through
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some tiny shift in domestic or global policies. >> to watch this program in its entirety, go to simply type the title or the author's name at the top left of the screen and click search. wh >> i'm holding "the essential engineer: why science alone will not solve our global problems."h its author joins me, henry petroski. welcome, sir, and tell us whatoi is the reasoning behind the subtitle here, why science alone will not solve our global problems? >> well, we hear a lot about the global t problems, climate chanh and so forth, and we also hear a lot about the importance of whae science will do to helpevia alleviate these problems orob outright solve them. the history of science and technology teaches us differently, that science and scientists generally do not solve problems, they help, but p
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engineers are the problem solvers. engineers and problem solving are really hand in glove.and >> in your book you define the difference between scientists and engineers and how they workn together. s tell us a little bit more about that. >> well, scientists generally want to understand the world. that's given to us, the universe, if you will, the classic scientist studies the planets and the stars and wants toig know the origin of the universe and so forth. a assembling knowledge, really, getting to the bottom of thingse but engineers, on the other hand, really want to change the world. they want to introduce new things, new machines, new devices, things that reallyin contribute to our civilization and our comfort. scientists and engineers getnd together in what's calledists research and development, r and, the, which we hear a lot about.h but again, the scientists are on the research end, the engineerso are on the development end, ande there has to be a teamwork, a passing of the baton, if you will, from understanding the situation as it is to changing the situation through engineering.nge >> what's the difference between how engineering and science got
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us to where we are now and how engineering and science willnd take us into the future?l >> that's an excellent question because, as you know, a lot of people think those are the peo people that got us into trouble in the first place.that [laughter] well, we always have incomplete knowledge. science is always accumulating further knowledge. sci so we're always working as engineers with incomplete knowledge of the world and the laws of nature. so we make mistakes in thatake sense. we have to call them innocent mistakes in the sense that they were done generally speaking, you know, without full knowledge of their implications. that's not to excuse them because we really should look down the line to what the implications of whatever we do will be.ns however, if we try to study the problem to death, we never get t to solving the problem, and that's a fine-edge to really separate the issues. >> in one of your chapters, you
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talk about speed bumps. why did you use speed bumps as an example of the relationship between scientists and engineers? >> well, every problem that we try to solve or every part of nature that we try to understand we invariably have to regroup partway along the path to the end. and i describe these as speed bumps because i think it's a very good metaphor, and can it's not original with me, actually, but, you know, speed bumps are sometimes helpful, and i try to point that out in the book, also, that they make us think, they make us recalibrate, they make us think about whether maybe we're not on the right road or the right street, you know? if we're being reminded of that, we're going too fast which gets back to what we were just talking about, that if we're going too fast to a solution, we might miss some of the implications that we might regret later on. >> you're going to be presenting later on here at the national book festival. what are you going to tell the e folks that come to see you? w this. f
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>> well, i've only got about 20e minutes in order to allow fornl questions and answers, so i'm going to focus on the differences between science and engineers, science and engineering. because i think there's a general misunderstanding about that. a lot of times engineers are just grouped with scientists.stn it's not that they resent that, it's that it's inaccurate because of the distinctions that i try to and especially in these daysdi when we're trying to deal with so many global problems, so mans really important issues. we hear a lot out of washington. really, right near where we aree in fact, well, if we want toer integrate, if we wante to reale change the way we do things so that we can effect the economy and improve it, we've got toy we throw more money at science. well, that leaves engineering out of the equation spirally, and maybe there's a confusion. maybe engineers are intended to be included in science, but morn often than not it's clear that they're not included. and by not understanding that
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connection, i think we miss opportunities. all the great innovations of the world, basically, and all history are engineeringies. innovations, and they're usually done -- if not always done -- with incomplete scientific knowledge. and i'll talk about some ofs those examples this afternoon such as the steam engine. there was no science on which te base the steam engine. it was only after the steam engine was operating for aba couple centuries that scientists began to look at it as an object ofas study. the wright brothers are another excellent example, trying to develop an airplane that would give us powered flight. the wright brothers looked for scientific basis on which to design their wings and theirro propellers. they even wrote to the smithsonian institution right on this this mall and asked what do you have in your files that will help us, and the answer they got well, there's nothing t directly related to what youirec want to do. so what the wright brothers had


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