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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  August 7, 2011 7:00pm-8:30pm EDT

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has much effect on the life of the city. there wouldn't be streets and buildings named after harvey and george but other than that, i don't think it really would be a different city. a lot of time has gone by. history flows forward, and things go on. and i don't see that on a daily kind of basis it makes much difference. ..
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i'm always humbled by coming any place like this with you wonderful guys and gals, and
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that i'm speaking to you kind of feels a little odd. i feel you should be speaking to me. you guys have my deepest respect and appreciation, you guys and gals, for what you're doing, and i want to thank the gentleman for getting this out here and jenelle who knockedded on a lot of doors and got this thing out. i hope it helps a little bit. let me tell you where this came from. i just have a book coming out right now, a novel, called "the profession," a thriller with a premise that a generation from now mercenary forces have replaced conventional forces. as i thought about that, i started to ask myself, well, will there still be a code of honor when people fight for money? i mean, when it hits the fan, are people going to be, you
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know, beating it for the boondocks, you know? i started asking questions of do, you know, what exactly is the code of honor, the warrior ethos? does it depend on a flag or a cause or arise spontaneously through a group of men who fight and have to depend on each other. i think it does and will. in any event, it made me think about the word "etho s," and i started to put this together and offer it to you guys. i think that probably everybody in this room that's wearing uniform, and people who are not wearing uniform, are here because of the warrior ethos. think back to when you joined and made the decision, it probably had something to do with that. either you were -- you felt like you really had to wear the ethos
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and you were looking for a venue to use it and i want to join the most elite yiewn i can join, that's one, or maybe you felt there was the absence of that in your life. you might have been adrift or wondering, you know, am i going the right way? am i heading for jail or a life that's not, you know, not going to really bring out all that's in me? you said to yourself, well, i want to go somewhere where this kind of code of honor exists, and where it can be, you know, taught to me, and so i think that that's -- i think, i'm putting my hat in your mind, but i think that's the reason. that's why i joined, and i think that's what -- i hope that's what you guys are too, and here's the other thing i think that's really honorable about making that choice is in america today, it really is a choice. i mean, if we were born in ancient sparta or macedonia,
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there's no choice. the word ethos is all there was. here we talked yesterday you got 100% of the armed forces these days coming out of 1% of the population, and so that's a real choice that everybody made here, particularly if you think about it, the values of the civilian society, and i'm not knocking anything here, but they are quite opposite to the warrior ethos values. the conscious decision to choose warrior ethos yourself is a remarkable thing. if you think about values in civilian life, probably the par mount value is freedom. individual atonmy that a person can be, they can be a rock star or president of the united states. that's life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness.
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rightly so. that's what makes america great. when you choose the warrior ethos, duty becomes the value and service so that you can't wear your hair in a ponytail if you choose to or don't want to deploy for a couple months or at all, so that's one value. a second value that the greater culture at large, you know, holds up really high is money, wealth, the pursuit of, you know, affluence and celebrity so somebody like a donald trump is and instead of money, what the warrior culture offers is honor, and, in fact,ing there's a -- in fact, there's a great story -- an ancient story, when the syracuse in sicily were
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under seize, the spartans came to their aid, and the way the spartans whenever they helped another country, they never sent money or an army, just one man, a general, and he would kick them into shape. this man, when he came to syracuse, syracuse was a very wealth city in sicily, and they really had no army, and so he had to somehow form an army out of these crazy civilians, and when he went to pick his officer core, he gave these instructions. search for men who care not about wealth or power, but who crave honor, and i would guess that that's pretty much what's filling this room here. another difference between that, the civilian values and warrior
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ethos values is in civilian life, they want the creature comforts. they want air-conditioning and an easy life. if you can take a pill to lose 20 pounds, you do that whereas the adversity, willing embrace of adversity is a big part of that. the rougher the better, and when people tell stories in a warrior culture, that's the most hell lish stories possible, you know? i'm a marine, and when marines talk about their history, they don't really talk about the great victories, but they talk about the worst casualty scenarios like iwo o jimo. it's one of the great warrior virtues. i'm trying to think of one other, but it's slip b my --
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slipping my mind. in my opinion, i think that you guys are the pinnacle of the warrior ethos because not only are special forces soldiers that possess the military skills which we know how difficult that is and particularly of working with indigenous forces and something like that, that is really to me the highest level because a small group of men have to go in to a completely foreign culture and exercise influence without authority, not able to make people do what you want to do by money, power, or anything, but only by really by personal magnetism and perm honor, personal integrity, and warriorhood. that's as high as it gets, eni salute everybody for that. let me get into a little about what i think a warrior ethos is,
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and i'm going to start with some stories from this book. four quick little one-minute stories about ancient sparta. when i talk about the warrior ethos here today, i'm talking about the classic, old-time ancient warrior ethos which one was things i hope we get to in the question, i hope to hear what you guys think about the modern engagement and the gray areas. this is old school what we're talking about now. these are four quick stories about the spartan women, the ancient spartan women. it always starts with women. these stories come from plutar and a book of the sayings of the spartan women. if you have not read it, i recommend. it there's little nuggets. here's four stories. a message returns to sparta from
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a battle, and the women all gather around him to find out what happens, what has happened to their men, and to one more, the messager says mother, your oldest son was killed facing the enemy, and the mother says he is my son, and he says to her, your younger son is alive and unhurt and ran away from the enemy. she says, she is not my son. one story. second story, another messager returns from another battle, and a mother approaches him and says herald how fairs our country? he bursts into tears and says i'm sorry to tell you, all five of your sons were filled facing the enemies. she says, you fool, i didn't ask about our sons, but the country. he says, mother, we're victorious. she says i am happy, turns around, and goes home. third story, i don't know how
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this happened, but two spartan brothers were fleeing from the enemy back towards the city, and their mother happened to be coming down the road. she sees them coming, lifts her skirts and says where do you think you two are running to? back here from whence you came? [laughter] we don't know the end of that story, but hopefully the two brothers went back the other way. the final spartan mother story is the shortest of all, one of the spartan mother who hands her son a shield as she's sending him to battle and says come back with this or on it. that, to me, is a hard core culture. where your own mother is kicking you in the ass, that there's something to that. [laughter]
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so i'm going to refer back to those stories. there's a reason i told them, not just because i love them. the warrior ethos really probably evolved out the primitive hunting band and the virtues needed for those armed with a couple little speers to take on masadons and things like that, and i think it was really designed originally, i think, to accomplish two things. one, to overcome fear -- the god of the battle fear, and to make people work together, and so since fear and is -- fear is the most primal emotion, self-preservation, other emotions and other things had to be brought in to counter that in a cultural way, and i think -- that's my feeling of what the warrior ethos comes from. there's at least three things recruited to counter fear and to make people work together, and that was honor, shame, and
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love. now, let's start with shame just for a second. a lot of times people don't think of shame as a positive, but certainly almost every great warrior culture is a shame-based culture whether it's the samurai culture where someone suffers dishonor, they have to kill themselves. certainly pashton is a shame-based code of honor. i say the marine corp. is a shame-based culture, and certainly sparta is a shame-based culturement for instance, back to the stories thinking about the mother whose son was alive and ran from the enemy, she says he is not my son. that's a real, you know, that's at the application of shame to make people go forward into the face of fear. there's a great story about alex apedder to great -- alexander
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the great -- excuse me a second -- when he and his army were in india and fighting for ten years almost. the army was ready to revolt. they were tired, wanted to go home, had had enough of this stuff, you know? it was a serious moment. alexander called the army together, stripped naked in front of them, and you could see across his body was one wound after another of arrows, javelins, rocks, you know, big boulders, burned, everything possible, and so he said to his men, look at these wounds on my body all got for you, and in your service, and you'll notice they are all in the front, nothing in the back. i will make you a seal if any one of you can substantiate forth from the army, strip naked beside me, and if your wounds are greater than mine, i'll turn
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the army around now and walk home. not a man came forward, but they burst into a cheer and they begged his forgiveness for their want of spirit and begged him to lead them further forward. that is kind of great leadership, but what that really is is the application of shame to make the men, to make the men go toward and kind of summon their spirit. in sparta, they used to have the pretty young girls with little anthems of shame that they used to if someone failed in action and came back to the city, there were a number of things that happened to them, but the pretty young gals gathered around them and sang the songs of ridicule, and that could the next time the guy went out, you were sure he didn't, you know, in other words, shame is a technique to make it worse than fear of the
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enemy. let's talk honor for a minute. honor, as we know from tribal cultures, and i'm sure you know it better than i do, you know, in the pashtun culture, honor is the most prizedded possession of a man, and it's more important than land, women, and money. if he doesn't have honor, life is not worth living, so honor is the -- that high level which a person internally will not let himself fall from. there's a famous gun sergeant in the marine corp., and he tells his young marines when they complain about the salary. you get a financial salary and a psychological salary. the financial salary sucks, but the psychological salary, and
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this applies to everyone in this room, is knowing you're part of a corp., you know, i don't need to repeat it. you know what it is. he says that psychological sal ray is honor, and that is something that is worth a lot. how can you put a dollar figure on that? what was i going to say in i'm blanking on the other part. oh, there's a great part in the iliad and i know you are thinkers and readers so maybe you know this one. a conversation between sarpiden and glarkose, two princes fighting on the side of the persians. they are standpointing on the sideline of the battles, and they know they have to go out in a minute and a half, and they are scared.
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one says to the other and says, brother, when we're back home, we are treated as princes wherever we go, and we get the choicest cuts of meat reserved for us, the finest pieces of land, when we go to entertainment, the first row seats are reserved for us. why is that? because we have the bear the brunt of the battle, go there now where nobody else wants to go, so that is hop nor that -- honor that we must fulfill. i wish i had the exact words, but the final thing is something therefore let us go in glory for ourselves or seated to others. that's two things so far, shame and honor. the third thing in the code is love. what i mean by love is the bonds of brotherhood between the men. as everybody knows here, tony, everybody knows that is the strongest issue the bond,
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there's a famous moment at on the final morning at the battle of thermopoly, they released the allies, they had gone home, only 300 spartans remained there, and they were enveloped from the rear and knew they would die in 45 minutes or something like that. the young warriors went to the leader and they asked him what should we hold in our minds right now so that we'll act with hop -- honor? when it falls down to the final, final thing, what do we think about? he said to them, don't think about any high flown concepts. don't think about honor or country or your family at home or the survival of greece. don't think about democracy, freedom, don't think about any of that stuff. fight only for the man at your
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shoulder. he is everything and everything is contained in him, and i think that all of you guys know exactly what i'm talking about. i think civilians don't understand when wounded warriers, guys who lost both legs want to go back into the fight. that's the first thing they want to do, and it's that great love between brothers that is the, you know, the counterpoise to fear. the soldier's prayer on the eve of battle has always been not lord preserve me, but lord, let me not prove unworthy of my brothers, so those are the three things of love. i'm just going to talk about a couple more virtues you know, but there's a couple stories i want to tell you too. another great warrior vir chu is a willing embrace of adversity. you know, which everybody here knows about.
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guys are jogging in 100 degrees and all the other stuff. all great warrior stories and cultures are stories of trials and ordeals taken voluntarily to strengthen and encourage the spirit. there's another great alexander storiment i'll tell you a few today. when alexander first invaded afghanistan in 333 b.c., i forget exactly when it was. detachment of tribal elders came to him and warped him -- warned him not to invade their country. there's a lot of guys in here before you and they have all come to grief. one of the things they said to him is they had poor weapons, little ponies, nothing compared to alexander, the nuclear army of his day, but the tribal chief said to him, you may defeat us, but you will never defeat our
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poverty. what they meant by that is they could endure my than he could, and they would hang in, lose every man, woman, every town they had, but they would never quit, and as you guys know, you got the watches, but we got the time scenario is still going on. the willing embrace of adversity adversity -- another story you guys probably know. in 1907 the arctic explorer was going to lead an expedition not south pole, and he placed a two line ad in the paper. i wish i could quote it but something like men wanted for dangerous mission, low wages, long hour, months of darkness, freezing cold, horrible chow, you know, probably going to die, you know, chance of recognition if successful, and the next morning, there were 5,000 guys
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lined up around the block. there is that sort of people do want the adversity and the warrior spirit. my favorite warrior virtue is selflessness. that, to me, is the highest virtue. again, this runs counter to the civilian. in the civilian world, everybody is kind of charged to do the best you can for yourself, get what you can, you know, dwet yours, get your hands on it, bring home the bacon, whereas in the warrior culture, the group, the team comes before the individual, and that is drummed into a recruits head from the very start. another alexander story. the macedonia army was crossing a waterless desert, blistering heat, men, horses suffering
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terribly from thirst. scouts road ahead, found a spring, got a hellment full of water, brought it to the king, and everyone in the column could see -- it was a desert -- they brought him the water, and he took the water from the scouts and thanks them from bringing it to him and without touching a drop, he poured it into the sand, and again a great cheer went out from the desert and everybody said with a leader like this and a king like this, we can go anywhere, so selflessness is another great virtue, and one final -- it's not the final one, but one that gets overlooked in warrior virtues because it sounds egospz
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and people are em baressed to say it, and it's the desire to be great. i'm looking at jezelle, and you know what i'm talking aboutment just the desire to excel, the will to concur, to be the best and not settle for anything immediate i don't -- mediocre. another story while i'm at it. i hope this is not too many. when he was a boy, # 11 or 12 years old, he was the heir to the thrown. his father was the king of macedonia, and soldiers came bringing war horses for sale. all the officers went down to the plain to try them out. there was one horse who was the biggest, strongest, toughest, obviously the greatest horse there, but he was so wild nobody could ride him, so phillip let
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him go with no bid. alexander as a little boy said, father, that's a fine piece of horse flesh you lose for spirit to ride him. do you think you're going to ride him? he said, yes, i will ride him. he said, i'll buy him too. how will you pay for the horse? he said with all my prince's inhair tense, and they let him try. alexander noticed the horse was spooked and noticed something else nobody else noticed. he was spooked by his own shadow. he grabbed the bridle, turned the horse into the sun and talked to him calmly and calmed the horse down a little bit and then sprung into the saddle. a long story short while everybody was freaking out, he took a full tilt around the track, when he came back, his father was in tears and went out in embraced him and said to him,
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son, look at you out for a kingdom greater than ours for clearly macedonia is too small for you. of course, it was. that enate desire for greatness is a real part of the warrior ethos. now, i know -- i'm going to do something quick here. i'd love to talk here -- just want to talk on one subject. i like to talk about tribes for a second. now, special forces is a tribe. as you said 5 ofth group is a tribe, marine corp. is a tribe, and there's real tribes over there in afghanistan and in baghdad and all the places that you guys know so well, and what is interesting is that the warrior virtues i was talking about are tribal virtues if you think about it that one of the
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things about, well, tribes respect elders; right? tribes' obedience is a big thing in tribes. tribes are constantly at war with every other tribe. they may be together in an invader comes from the outside, but when the invader is driven out, each tribe -- even native american tribes. the sioux fought whoever they were fighting, and that's the nature of tribes. the other thing about tribes is that they are not -- conduct is not governed by system of laws, but by a code of honor which again is like special forces and again is like other kind of tribes that we know including the mafia as a tribe. prison gangs are tribes. the willing im-- embrace of adversity is another aspect of tribes. you could make a case that when the american military trains its
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young recruits, what they try to do is make them into a tribe. make them, you know issue everybody wear the same clothes, same haircut, eat the same chow, do the same training, compel them to be together and force the love. they have to eat together, so on, and so forth. there's many other tribal qualities that sort of echo the word "ethos" and this is what i want to know what you think about this. this is a gray area and a morally dubious area. two aspects of tribes that are very powerful and don't align with the warrior ethos is one is that a tribe exists for itself alone. if you think about the names that the american indian tribes have for themselves like the navajo call themselves the denet
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which means the people, and a lot of tribes have that same sort of name for themselves as if they're the human beings and everybody else not in the tribe is even if we think about the people of israel, they are the chosen people, that's a real tribal culture and still is. a tribe, or this is a quality of tribes, to exist for itself alone and to see anyone outside the tribe as not a full human being, and when this gets aligned with a religion, that's a fundmental and basically fanatical and extreme part of religion, then you have infidel. outside the tribe, you're an infidel, an unbeliever, you are not a full human being, and when that happens, when that idea happens, then all actions can be taken against people who are not human beings. now the warrior ethos on
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contrary, the classic western warrior ethos embraces the enemy as a full human being, treats them with respect, and really hopes that the enemy, a warrior, a true warrior ethos wants nothing greater than a great enemy. the better the enemy, the better. the more honorable the enemy, the betterment one measures himself against who he's fighting. you have examples of that with the nazis. ramel is a classic example of an old-school warrior and when he captured prisoners, they got the same rations he got. it is ledge as they -- legion as they say. that's one difference with a tribe from the warrior ethos. in the same category, a dubious
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area, tribes, i'm thinking about native american tribes, tribes in the jungle, african tribes, prison gangs, the mafia, any sort of tribe like that are notoriously cruel particularly to captives, cruel to women and particularly cruel to captives, and whereas the warrior ethos is exactly the opposite that when anyone comes into power, into the power of two warriors, they take care of them, and there's no exploitation. you know, they might not give them steaks and baked potatoes, but they are not torturing the crap out of them. i'll fade out on that note here and ask what you guys think about how much force, you know,
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is okay to use, let's say talk about interrogating prisoners. you know what i'm talking about? i'm losing my articulation here, but in the gray areas, does the warrior ethos, does the classic warrior ethos apply to some of the situations that we're in today where the rules of engamingment are -- engagement are not hit with full fire power and blow them out of the water where you have counterinsurgency tactics and tribal engagement policies. does it -- i'm wonder if this themself. i don't have the answer. is the classic warrior ethos outdated? does it need to be one -- when you're fighting against an enemy who doesn't share the same code of honor, do you keep your code of honor, or do you adjust to
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the enemies' code? anyway, that's my question that i'd like to put to you guys, but, you know, before i do that, let me wrap up in one -- i want to say something personal and wrap this up, my part here. to me, the warrior ethos doesn't just apply to warriors, and it's not just about war fighting. i, myself as a writer, i use the warrior ethos every day, and i think that where the warrior ethos becomes to its highest level is when it's employed internally. the warrior ethos concept behind it, it's a view of life that sees life as a struggle, you know? life is not an entitlement. it's not a free ride. it's a struggle is the way the warrior ethos sees it. it sees enemies out there to be confronted, and it says that one
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must do that with honor, and in doing it with honor is a form of living out your higher self, and the enemies that, in my opinion, are not just external to our country or even enemies within our own organization, but in our own hearts. the enemyies like self-doubt, laziness, lack of generosity to friends, all of the vices, all the internal vices, to me, the warrior ethos, these virtues of patience, perseverance, courage, selflessness, willingness acceptance of adversity, are at their highest when they are turned internally. oh, i forgotment one final alexander story. when alexander was in india, he happened upon a what they call a
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naked wiseman, yogis sunning themselves and meditating on the banks of the river, and the party was going through the narrow streets, came to a place where the yogis were. they would not movement they were happy. one of the young lieutenants was kicking them out of the way, and they still didn't move. at this point, alexander himself came up and the young lieutenant said to the yogis pointing to al exander, this man conferred -- conquered the world, what have you done? the yogis said i have conquered the need to conquer the world. alexander laughed. he approved. he said if i could be any other man in the world, i'd be this. he recognized he was probably a warrior in his youth, but was struggling to achieve
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self-masadonser ri and use the war roar virtues. that's all for me. anybody want to say anything, ask anything, whatever? >> [inaudible] >> [inaudible conversations] >> this is a discussion in the army now, not in the sense of the defining who we are. i think we know that, but that's not quite true. redefining. if you're reading his walks and publications, you know this because it's all about the
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development, and dempsey is asking all of us, the commissioner corp. and the soldiers to re-examine the honor. now, especially after ten years of war, unique in american history, a unique juncture here for us, you know, 10 years of constant combat. it's never happened in american history. as a result of that, some things we are doing very, very well, and other things we are doing less well. there's an x-number of tasks, but the total set is x plus something, and the plus-somethings are suffering from decay. determining what those are are part of the challenge. this larger discussion is absolutely part of thatting and we've wrestled with issues like -- we still have those
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soldiers on trial out at fort louis, the killing team. i'm sure you're familiar with that where allegedly soldiers killed afghan civilians, at least that's what the charges are, and there's enough there to lead some belief to some numbers of those guys, and we recognize that being outside of our ethos. so this is a very relevant discussion that we're having about who we are and what it means that the warrior or certainly a soldier with a capital "s" and i apply that across the joint force at the end of the day. there's a very old study out, not so old when i came into the army, but it's what it means to be the profession of arms.
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what it means to be an american soldier in the western context, and another piece of that is the notion of what it meant to be a knight in western european culture which we've absorbed and to be a knight meant to be sanctioned by the church. it met you had chose p, and this gets to the point between the difference of tribes and perhaps warriors and in the treatment of prisoners and now people under your control, and so you were sanctioned by the church in the medieval europe because it was meant to be a constraint. it was meant to be an enabling tool for your god and country, but you were limited on what and how you could -- employ violence. you protect women, children, protected those who could not defend themselves, and those who
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fell under your power by virtue of combat. the japanese went through this. when the japanese of course are infamous to this day, and you can't talk to a world war ii specific gunmen and not -- you don't have to scratch long before the feelings of what it meant to fight the japanese in those days comes fully to surface. i have friends. who dads still won't buy anything in japan. it's forever. it's for life. a lot of people don't remember is in world war world war i and the same time frame, japanese war we now, in fact, there were internationally recognized for their treatment of prisoners, and that was in very much considered part of their code was that, you know, warrior takes care of those for who he is now responsible for, by
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virtue of conflicts, i'm now responsible here. the deliberate manipulation of that code and japan with the mill tar rise tick era that resulted in the japanese government and in governing military philosophy and doctrine that led them to the wars of world war ii. now, when that code got corrupted, and, of course, now became -- there's a height of dishonor, not just for japanese warriors, that was always part of the code, but now we transmitted that same obligation to my adversary, and if you surrender to me, you had not human. you are something else. the be headings, torture, you bought into that when you surrendered. that all surrounds us. that's our environment that we operate in.
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if you talk about peter, a military officer, a very proriffic writer and think about what we do, read his works, he takes a pretty strident position on who we are and how we ought to be operating against the -- in fact, he doesn't -- he would disagree with the term warrior. he puts warrior into that more tribal context of combat at that particular time who is not constrained so he used the term "soldier" dlitly because that's another step up on the evolutionary scale of thug to ultimate professional. [inaudible] i guess the point here is steven
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has brought for us to think about is we very much are about still discovering who we are. at least redefining who we are because that's very, very important to us that we define who we are especially in the special operations community because we are arguably, perhaps this is that always striving to be the best possible, we are exemplary, representative of arguably the height of the professional of arms. at least, that's what we strive to be. by self-admission, all our tribes we come to this line of work. i don't care if it's special forces, night hawk, whatever it is. we to be would be the very best of what it is of who you are supposed to be, and we constantly seek to prove that.
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every day, you know, you're -- what you did for me yesterday was yesterday. what have you done for me lately? it's not just you, but all of us in the profession of arms, and we're all in it in one shape or form. if you're in uniform, then the definition is very, very important. so, i'll shut up here and let other folks comment, but this is very relevant. the chief is very much seeking, you know, our up collusion, our participation that the army continues to reassess itself in war, understand what the soldierly virtues still are, what they remain to be, and where, perhaps the ten years of very concentrated war crime talk about what soldierly virtues and expectations and characteristics
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are. now, there's certainly things that we know for sure, and i think ten years of war fighting, nothing else reconfirm other things. we are different and we had this discussion yesterday. we are noticeably different in one context from the armies of alexander, from the roman allegiance of jester year and -- yester yeah and armies of kahn, the largest empire in the world, they were absolutely ruthless. with everything tactic in the book, every option in the book was available to him by him and his commanders. now it no longer exists because rome leveled it and they are no more. you know, you can't find it.
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we have io richmen, mexican-american, we have no cars ginnians because they no longer exist because it was in rome's power to make that so. what has made us so different, not that we have not had our moments, we all have -- america is not a perfect country and no such thing as a perfect army, by we literally have the power to take our enemies. we uniquely have that power. i mean, could you hear guys who have had enormous power at your disposal? the task force commander. it's up credible power to solve the problems through -- the case of explosives or whatever the case may be, we deliberately by
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choice constrain ourselves from employing the power. afghanistan would be a problem because we choose to remain it to remain such because of who we are, but rest assured if we were ancient rome, if we were alexander, if we were kahn or any of the folks who occupied that same place in history with the relevant power of that day, it would no be so because we are different. as such, we have not just a warrior role within the army, but a role around the world. that made the american army and joint forces as well on that, but at the end of the day, it's the army. the example of of that constraint and the use of force and the use of power that has set a standard when of course you hold yourselves to, this is
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held against them when we, arkses are in violation of that or when people perceive we are. i wouldn't trade that for the world because it defines who we are as americans and who we represent and because when we go forth to do the battle, we want to protect our country from keeping the fights from happening here and extend it to those peoples at least some portion of what it is we enjoy here in the united states. as opposed to conquering it and staying. we don't do that. we come home. anyway, that was too much, ate up a lot of time there, but it is important. these are important discussions. this very much gets to who we are within the profession of arms, so i'll shut up here and see if there's comments on that, but i thank you for teeing it off. >> oh, thank you. >> i'll shut up now. >> i'm going to jump in and say one more thing here before i ask for questions or anything, and that is there's another --
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alongside the warrior there's another breed of cat we've lost track of, you know, over the last -- since vietnam, and that's the citizen soldier, always kind of was the american ideal; right? the farmer, the minman who took down and would serve as long as he was needed and then as soon as he got his discharge, he was back home to the farm, and you could make a strong case that a democracy really needs citizen soldiers, but now nowadays, i think the army and marine corp. are much more warriors, professional forces of the all-volunteer army which i think, and i could talk -- i got to stop too. i think that warrior does better in the kind of wars we're fighting now. i don't think citizen soldiers would be so great, but in other -- there are dangers to a
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professional force. anyway, i'll stop. anybody have anything to say? yes? >> i think we can all embrace the warrior ethos, i think what works for us to have this and talk about it and continue to educate, inform the younger soldiers. i think we all embrace this and recognize the value of it. at the same time, how do we take that knowledge to use it as a means to predict or anticipate the actions who might not embrace this like we do, especially a nuclear armed persian empire who might not embrace the morality of warfare or might, as you say, see the enemy or the other tribe or anybody they choose to identify as aliens or infidels.
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>> yeah, i don't know if the warrior ethos helps us there really. it only really determines what we do, i think. we need others in here to answer that question, but, yeah, i don't know. i mean, does anybody have anything to say on that topic? i don't think the warrior ethos seems to me governs our conduct, but you're right that there are no too many enemies these days living by those same rules. >> is there a way to take that appreciation of warrior ethos who recognize is not only a sense, but a morality applied to warfare and somehow begin our own campaign upon the iranian population? >> could be. i mean, certainly -- i think our enemies definitely have their own warrior ethos; right? some have suicide bombings is an hon national thing -- honorable thing; right? it would help us to understand
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that in the total context, religious context, and historical context. we don't. i certainly don't. i project my own american values and tweak them a little bit, but i know i'm not getting it right. it certainly would be great if we understood that, and -- >> this one might put you on the spot, tieing into the same thing, but i think there's evidence that points to every human being as made up as three components, a body, soul, mind, and then the spirit, and we train real hard the body, you know, physical fitness is important to us. the mental piece of it, your emotions, your intellect, all of that, we focus on, and there's this theory that's emerging if you neglect the spiritual component of those three, then you're not, you don't have all
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the attributes needed to fit into this kind of a culture, and then that leads to problems of lack of morality, no conscious, and the spiritual piece is obviously your connection to god, and then that kind of constrains you on how you're going to operate because it is the stours of morality, and if you don't have that you end up going off the charts like the japanese in the pa sifng or -- pacific or what our current adversaries are doing with suicide bombings and stuff. what do you think of that, and in your study of history, how does that spiritual component fit into the warrior ethos? >> well, i think you're absolutely right that's crucial, but certainly people have different conceptions of what god means and what, you know, religion means, and i think for us it tends to be a forgiving or
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more of embracing kind of thing rather than a kill them out and sort it out later. there's other cultures that that is kind of the idea of what spiritual things are. what general dempsey is doing, maybe the spiritual area is where he's pushing it, you know? what is right, what is wrong? what do we believe as americans? it's a work in progress. i mean, alexander, this is probably not the right, you know -- one of the advantages that he had, i think, clearly was that he was -- his religion was polytheistic, multiple god. when he conquered iraq, it was babylonia then, he was able to
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go to a god and have a great procession to the temple and see in that god his own, you know, that was zues for him. -- it was not like george w. bush saying what is islam, i don't know what it is. i'm not the general person answering the question, but there's a lot of kinds of spiritualty, and we're groping now what is ours? you're absolutely right, i think, that third dimension -- the other two feed into it, and without it, no good. sorry i know that's not -- best i could do. >> thank you. >> i think we do pretty good in the army. when the army didn't have its own code, we created our own code, got the dream, the dog
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tag, the leadership captives -- acronym, and especially the young person who comes into the army, enters the army, learns that code. the army teaches you that code, but one the challenges we had is the young people didn't have it, and so, you know, you can pick just about any kid of the day out of a truck, and he'll tell you all about it. i think that does help us with that morality piece, that knowing that there's a difference between right and wrong, and then i think as a culture, we in the military, obviously, we in the army especially do look to hold people accountable as talked about. we got us a group of soldiers, a soldier off the reservation, i can't remember, or then we're
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going to hold them accountable, and our culture expects that to happen, but i believe our society expects to that happen. you know, we strongly embrace the selfless service attribute. one of the things that our civilian society doesn't, and that's the selfless serving of the you talk about it in the book, and you talked about it just now, and i think we all look for ways -- and even when you look at the polls of the american pom pewlation, they embrace the military over the people who propose to do selfless service out there like elected officials. what are your thoughts on promoting that service to others, service in your commute, not necessarily service to the tribe, but service to your community, service to others, service to someone else. have you seen anything or thought about how or what do you have to share with us on ways to promote some of that goodness that comes from warrior ethos, the goodness you talk about how
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we're all internal warriors for ourselves. how do we share that with the local community? i think they beg for it, they really do. they have the conversations when you are the only one in the room and there's other civilians. >> yeah, i mean, i think right now i've seen polls that the armed forces are the single most respected institution in the united states by a mile; right? way above, you know, congress or thinking like that, but it's just -- it's interesting because i kind of shuttle in and out of both worlds, you know, and it's very clear. we talked about this the other night that the other 99% of the country just doesn't know what the military is about. i mean, i come here and i say to myself i wish people could see you guys right now, you know? i wish people could hear what soldiers and marines say and how they act so if there's any way to get that out, need a big publicity thing.
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the army and marine corp. is doing everything right, but people don't know about it. ..
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one being the excess to among the mothers. as we look at some of these, the criminals that are in prison right now for doing things in iraq or afghanistan are being prosecuted for that right now what pattern have you looked at as an outside observer because you've seen these guys are not like the warriors you are talking about in your book and what can we do to get predicted in each toward the attributes out here in america if before we take them over there so we can fix that now or isolate the behavior and point in the redirection so we don't come to that place in time where they
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are more than a warrior. >> all starts of the top, doesn't it? whoever the commanding general or even thought, you know, the political figures above and beyond that, with their example is gets filtered down but clearly there was a lack of training in a completely, right? most of those guys and gals were reservist on top of everything else, and my right? no? >> [inaudible] that's what i meant. >> professional soldiers killed families and civilians. >> there is certainly a lack of top-down -- >> yes. >> [inaudible]
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and what you will see some of these men who live and go to church on sunday before the minister starts because they will be sitting next to you. what you will see is we have a false sense of of our own history, and there is a man who lives in town today, 22nd airborne division who tells a story in this book that he personally executed soldiers because he was afraid if he let them go they would come back and killed the platoon. >> but that's not what he was recognized for. >> he was also not published for it either. i mean, so, i think we have a more sense of what the army has done for the sense of time and not just with these fine kids did in afghanistan but we have
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to have a better sense of the different sense of time, and i think part of our problem today, quite frankly is that we are not american, the army and marine corps are not american today and i find it a national security issue we are not american that it's become a force to be employed or absolutely no political consequence. because our politicians have no personal connection our experience by and large. now today if we are pretty extraordinary. there's 100 members of the house and the senate to our veterans who have some affiliation desert which is an extraordinary high in the first term congress. >> as the chief struggles through to define the army, our challenge is to define the army to the american population by and large who has no point of
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reference and [inaudible] and i will shut up. if you travel in acus there will be to groups of people who acknowledge or pretended to ignore you. acknowledging will be 55 years and older because they were all drafted and fought in korea or vietnam. they will come up and look you in the eye. the second part of that occur are the women whose sons are in the army and they desperately want to know somebody is taking care of their son. the other part would be the group that pretends not to see you, but they know that if you sit down next to them they are responsible for saying something to you because our society is built on guilt. they are guilty they have not served the nation. [laughter] >> there's a lot of truth to that, yeah. >> our challenge is to tell them it's okay they didn't serve
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[inaudible] [laughter] that is our challenge to the nation and it's funny that you brought this up that that little card that we give to kids, thought it was a joke when i first got - because that is what my father and my mother taught my brother and myself, that is our challenge is how do we tell the american people about the american army? and that is just about impossible right now. if you look at the army that less than 1% is pretty easy to profile. >> i think it includes the civilians. if you tell civilians my thought process is everybody serves our country, even the guy at mcdonald's. when a soldier goes to buy a hamburger comegys serving a soldier. so he's serving his country. you know, we all contribute to the economy, we all contribute
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to something in our country. but i think that is the military's most honorable way to serve our country. but i think everybody -- it's about letting civilians no thank you for serving our country because they do in some form or fashion. very small and very large. i think it's about inclusion. that's how you get the civilian population to appreciate what we do. >> when you have an opportunity to sit across like several of us did last night and i really thought about joining the military, it's okay that you didn't. as a matter of fact, the quote put out last night was we served so you can be anything you want to be. i can be anything i want to be. i chose -- this is the life i chose, this is the life you chose. you want to be a real estate mogul, go for it. you want to be a rock star? jump on.
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that's the opportunities the military gives is that everybody doesn't have to serve and it's okay. >> some concept of serving something else. >> something. >> that's a subject that is driven the -- the concept is the reward of the things the monetary award. >> i would offer also that when you spoke about the other virtues of the warrior, and you said that the one virtue is the warrior ethos has the desire to be great, but i would also say that somewhere in there you should put a lot of those were your ethos is the designer for that person to be a part of something. >> that's a great point, yeah. absolutely. [laughter] yes.
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>> first, thanks for the great presentation [inaudible] in a time so few of our fellow citizens supply the military force and the concept of the warrior ethos and the reality today that is going to be the key for us in what we do on behalf of society. the ability of our warriors to apply on behalf of the state. i think the only way we are going to be able to do that and get away with it in the context of the modest society against the spirituality [inaudible] the only thing that is going to be able to let us [inaudible] is maintained a high your standard like this [inaudible]
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on trial for murder made sure that it's justified, and a lot of the independent high ground in those fights so when we look at the question of whether we are on a slippery slope i think probably most people in this room maintain that high a standard. we can't make everyone else serve in our country nor do we want them to because of the values that we ascribed but it is maintaining that higher standard and the professional warriors in the united states to maintain that high value in society and we have -- the answer to a higher standard. that is going to allow this
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[inaudible] >> thanks. yeah. i think maybe the whole country is in a process now of defining who the united states really is, not just the military. you talk about service and high standards. and this particular enemy that doesn't fight by rules is really kind of making us all kind of ask ourselves what do we really believe, who are we? are we mn tire? are we the golden city on a hill that is a model for other people? and it's kind of up for grabs. a lot of people on one side of the political spectrum think one thing and the other thinks the other. it's definitely a process. what worries me is so many people have dropped out of that process and are not even thinking about it. but -- >> what the standards of society whether it is the former governor or [inaudible]
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[laughter] those kind of things that affect the american society just because we have been able to make changes. it is a real image in society. we have a standard that we have been maintaining which is why the book is an institution to say that is why people have a high opinion of soldiers. that's why the professional force like [inaudible] i think the rest of society needs to catch up with our ethical standard. >> we have our own ucmj and that is why abu ghraib is not the warrior ethos and why the guy we execute it, the german, that's not acceptable. we wouldn't -- he might have done it and got away with it but that doesn't make it right.
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it might seem wrong. it's been a large army, we got a million people that served in this army so we are all made up of people who served all along the four armies history but at the end of the day i think that there are some -- we all aspire to something greater than that. and i think there is a value in being able to define the moral high ground, and i think that even at 1% our society looks at us to help define what that is. our challenge as individuals has become how we promote that with your neighbor, how do you promote it in your church or your community, how do you talk to civilians about their service to the nation? it might not be taxes but it might be held you challenge them to go do something else. there's an expectation you're going to pay taxes but may be -- again, the guilt based society
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is what we have in the western culture certainly is, how do you apply or push that button and get them to do something extra? >> yes? >> looking back in the history to the macedonians as the society's, in your opinion looking to the future, in your opinion in those societies because the society back then as a whole head of the warrior ethos and new of certain things and promote the war fighting effort but it appears in our society with 1% of the people during the massive amount of work this society is getting less and less a week from the warrior ethos you don't have to make the -- [inaudible] it seems to transpiring to society as a whole where everyone is a winner without
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having this to suffer. d.c. that is a society in the ethos which would be the and because congress who our elected officials don't have the military experience for the vast majority of them, and it's all about the self-interest which is the opposite of the warrior ethos. so how do you see that playing out in the future based on the past? >> i don't know if it's a good trend, do you? and certainly don't think so. but, you know, we are -- the united states is i think while talking about sparta and macedonia we are a lot more like athens. that is what i should have been talking about, but in the sense that one of the things we still have in the society that no other country can come close to in my opinion is if you are born anywhere in the world and to give you a chance to go anywhere and go anywhere you want, where are you going to go?
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you are still going to go here. you are not going to go to russia. take your family to russia-e.u are not going to go to china because here unfortunately it is part and parcel of the dumbing down. here we still have that freedom at the 1% of u.s. protecting. so, i think that the more -- if it were me if i were the bizarre and we could kind of bottle that and concentrate that rather than become more of a war like society or anything that become more -- it's a tough call because you want the self discipline and that kind of thing that the freedom is very, very important to whatever you can elevate yourself to. now, sparta and macedonia, as part of fell by excess of the warrior ethos that they were so hard core so they wouldn't let
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visitors come to this farda because they didn't want to be contaminated by outside influences. so when the spartans kind of achieved the hegemony over the aegean and became kind of imperial powers, the officers just kind of ran amok. they were corrupt, the exploited, the people can to heat sport and that is kind of what happened to them because they were sort of -- they didn't have that brought base. >> they lost their moral compass. >> they were so rigid that they never really had it. >> my question on this whole thing is i look at the fallen military as a reflection of society. that's where everybody comes from, society. i think the question you kind of talked about, how can the army continue forward with this ethos, how we go forward in the future as it reflects in society
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as the society continues to change, how does that affect the military? we are only bring in those guys where they come from and what they learn, what are they growing up with now? what are they bringing to the institute now as it goes forward? we do have rules and regulations and follow the law, but i think that moral compass piece that you're talking about is one of those things that is kind of ingrained. that is something that you grow up within this kind of your bringing in and that's going to stand up, when the doors are shut when you are standing there by yourself and making the decision, you are coming up with that ethical decision and going forward, and that is what now you are leading all of those soldiers that a group is around you so you don't have these. but if the society progresses forward and has less of that economic of devotee, more do it for me, not self sustaining, how was that going to affect us in
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the future? >> this is a trend that is going in the wrong way, and i think a lot of people don't talk about it, but a lot of society's sort of want to hand off the military thing to this one per cent, this one group and its make it go away. we don't want to have our sons go in there and that's not healthy for the society. if it were me i would bring the draft back and might not agree with that, but if it were me i would want to come tell that to serve, even whether they wanted to or not just to get a taste of it. but that is a really good point, and it's kind of a troubling point. and act to become if you read my new book, "the profession," it's about that kind of stuff. weeks -- yes? >> [inaudible] in such a structure organization
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[inaudible] >> that's a really good question. that's a tough one, because, you know, a highly structured organization gets its strength from that, but again, it does stifle dissent and innovation, and i know of the people in the across-the-board in any organization people struggle like a place like apple computer and probably the one steve jobs and that kind to encourage this kind of innovation, but actually i think in my experience the army and the marine corps in the army we've got are quite innovative and really are -- i don't know how they do it, but the culture does value that. again, it starts at the top. whoever brings it, creates the atmosphere that allows people to
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step outside. nobody does anything. it's a tough question. that's for sure. >> [inaudible] in the last month i go on over [inaudible] and things of that nature and virtually stand down briefings where i would ask the question and also we may be card-carrying orange all you people, it's very difficult for the squad level soldier to define what honor is. you're not coming into the army knowing what honor is, so for us to define it for ourselves to
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get something like this to put it together is very important. having the conversation with soldiers cross pollinating so to speak is very helpful in using the examples. the people like the folks from ohio state are successful and thankfully our society [inaudible] [laughter] [inaudible] to define values and come from places and parts and the values are as an atheist agnostics in that limited perspective it's even helped for them i'm not
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squared away from the diet but -- got up above. when you need to go up there on the regular elite i know and in co is an atheist and followed that guy because he got the army sold and serviced. >> yes? >> one thing i was wondering if you could elaborate with your studies of basically the differences between what are the ethos and values. the reason i ask that is because i know a lot of people here have to deal with tribal leaders overseas their values may be different than mine, different than our society. however, our warrior ethos put upon us at least enough to where we could work together and so i see many similarities however
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there's differences as well. we talk about alexander the great and the spartans and the values of the culture at the time might be different than the values that i have for the values of our society and the warrior ethos -- >> ignites in certain areas. >> and just like said even individually we have the warrior ethos that are the same or the values might be different to elaborate a little bit on that if you -- >> for your ethos is a specific set of values that as we said like not everybody in america shares it, very few do but it's true particularly in the tribal societies that something like a warrior ethos is the coach of a society so that they are more like a warrior, an american as their being judged by that
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standard of the indigenous people and i think is really what you are all about at least when it comes to relating the insurgencies and stuff like that as being the same sharing of values and being enough of a warrior because they're watching and they see everything, right? nothing escapes them. but if you are that great true warrior than respect flows instantly, right? so, i'm not sure i'm answering your question right -- >> that's why i'm going to elude to and i can only go off the personal experiences that even though the values may be different -- >> you mean like christian versus islamic? >> all along those lines where over in afghanistan the respect for the female clearly different than my value on that however, i
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still have the same or your ethos -- >> you share other values, honor, integrity, that sort of thing. >> of the things together i definitely see two different sides of the ethos and the value being intertwined and being separated and i wonder if you had that address in your studies also. >> i certainly agree with exactly what you said there. that's where -- there are values that are shared between that indigenous population and ss troopers over there. the same thing of what we are just all the virtues we are taking off here are shared even though others are not. but you can bond across the values that are shared in this kind of interesting for american society to be exposed to these other cultures which we kind of
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were not up until some of these war to see if people do see the world in quite a different we get the same time that the seat in similar ways we can relate to. let me release you now. i feel like you're they should be starting. thank you very much for having me and, you know, i salute all of you. [applause] thank you very much for staying. >> that was excellent. i enjoyed that. >> for more on steven pressfield and his work, visit stevenpressfield.com
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