tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN December 24, 2013 1:15pm-1:31pm EST
[inaudible conversations] >> when i had a real job. >> thanks for serving our country. >> i had an aortic valve replacement, but i want to thank you for what you've done for everyone who's had heart disease. >> i get a lot of questions in the book, there are 80 million out there with some form of heart disease.
>> and really an important lesson is taking charge of your own health care. and you've done that. >> yep. >> thank you. >> sir. >> good to see you, sir. >> thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events. and every weekend, the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our web
site, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> okay. can you tell me what, essentially, what part you played in -- [inaudible] >> i played paul, i was an observer. i'd been traveling and writing in society asia for -- southeast asia for 18, 20 years, and now we write books, and we make documentary films in that part of the world. and we've been passing by two days before the attacks happened in 2008 when the whole city was basically held hostage by ten gunmen. and unlike 9/11 where lots of great books were promulgated by looming tower and books by other great writers, mumbai didn't really see a book that summed up the terror. and kathy and i were determined to do justice to what happened
in 2008 and put together what we hope was a tribute to the heroes of mumbai and an explanation for why that kind -- what that kind of terror really means. >> so did you return while the siege was going on, or did you come back several weeks later? how did you cover this? >> we, basically, we always wait until the story has died down. we're the last people to the story. so we came back a long time after and visited people and talked to the hotel. and we went to pakistan and spoke to the families of the attackers and also to -- [inaudible] also to the organization that planned the attack. so, and the idea of coming up with the story is you wait for the dust to settle, and then you get more information. we really wanted to get to the bulk of why -- [inaudible] and the reason for it, what they were trying to achieve and also to get to the human stories of those who had been caught up in
it. >> so what were some of the key findings? >> key findings were that like many recent terrorist attacks like 9/11 and 7/7 in the u.k. there were lots of opportunities to intervene before the attack happened, lots of warnings it was going to happen. the hotel was warned on several occasions that they had been targeted, and there was an islamic group in pakistan that was coming over with the intention of holding the hotel -- [inaudible] and other key locations in mumbai. the police in mumbai tried to improve security measures, but the hotel wasn't interested to varying degrees. also the intelligence agencies in india, they kind of -- [inaudible] said, oh, it'll never happen, it's too crazy an idea, multiple attackers launching themselves from a dinghy onto the streets of mum boy and holding the city -- mumbai and holding the city for ransom. it's too big and crazy, it's not going to happen. sadly, they were wrong.
it did happen. >> um, did you come to any conclusions about, um, preventive measures or anything that could help, i guess, determine ahead of time this was going to happen? >> >> it's very hard to see that kind of crystal ball gazing. i think the one thing you can be certain is the reason that we're particularly interested in. it's still a powder keg between india and pakistan, two nuclear nations and, of course, in afghanistan with the u.s. forces withdrawing, there's a power vacuum there, so our interest still lies in the fault lines of the region. it's a book of extraordinary human stories and, you know, for us having worked in the region for 18, 20 years, we're interested not in objectifying any characters, but actually finding real stories from the inside. so all of these people, 90% of them are pakistani and indian contributors, and we hope that we've drawn real lives. and they overcame extreme danger
and extreme fear, many of them very poorly paid waged employees for grand hotels like the five-star luxury establishment. and if it hadn't been for them, it would have been an absolute massacre. that was one of the great lessons. >> was there anything about kashmir that played a part in anything? >> it kind of is a base for everything. we do a lot of work in kashmir. we began there at the height of the insurgency, and the endless dispute over the contested state provides very off the motive. -- often the motive. the men who masterminded the -- [inaudible] they were conceived of and funded by the pakistani intelligence service in the 1990s, early 1990s specifically to make indian kashmir bleed. and their idea was to send over an army to trigger a war in
kashmir. and they then subsequently after 9/11, an element within the group wanted the broaden out to be more like al-qaeda, attacking american targets, pro-western with jews, not simply kashmiris. >> grabbed the headlines. kashmir, everybody south asia -- [inaudible] but outside of south asia nobody really cares, and there was a big dispute within the organization that planned this operation that they had to get back -- [inaudible] from al-qaeda that was getting all the headlines, and they'd lost out. so that was a big reason behind why this was planned and be why it was executed. >> nearly everything. and it's one of the most poorly-reported stories in the west. it's quite shocking. and, you know, when you come back to it, the continuing grinding human rights abuses which completely outstripped those in chile would astound people if they actually became familiar with them. there are more people, there are three times the number of
disappeareds in kashmir than ever disappeared under pin to they in chile. vanished in the custody of the security services. there were 2,500 corpses in a field dug up recently. and, you know, you kind of feel there's that lack of familiarity. it's part of what lies behind attacks like these. and that's something that we have tried to write about from within the indian establishment and from the perspective of islamist groups we've made contact with in pakistan and in kashmir. >> so what originally sparked your interest in this area of the world? >> oh, wow. >> [inaudible] 25 years -- >> 20 years. >> 20 years. we were based out there -- [inaudible] and just love it out there. it's a great part of the world. so much happening in both countries, pakistan and india. we love working there equally. and we'll continue working out
there. >> yeah. i mean, asia, asia is, you know, particularly a nation like india, it's recreating itself every day. they have thousands of years of history that go way before -- [inaudible] but, you know, a tremendous feeling of energy there. i mean, in terms of, you know -- [inaudible] stunning, stunning new film makers, writers, cartoonists and artists, and you really get that feeling of drive. there is no complacency, you know? sometimes i go back to london, and, you know, or france where we were working for a while, and the complacency is just staggering. you know, people assume stuff will come to them. and in india, they're making opportunities in every sense. and, you know, i think that it's a tremendous privilege to go and report, travel freely and make films in that culture, in pakistan, too, and across south asia. it's been 20 years of repeated sort of present-giving to us.
i'm glad we've had the opportunity to do it. hope we continue to anyhow. >> have you lined up your next project yet? >> yes. >> yes. [laughter] >> we cannot tell you. >> it's in the same part of the world. >> we're trying to make a film and work on a book. >> [inaudible] >> yeah. but, no, it's not -- we'll return to the same area with a similar theme and people. as cathy said, we are very influenced by a polish journalist, and at a time when poland had no money at all, he came by bus. we want to be last, and we want to come by bus, and then we're going to stay for the end. and, you know, that's always been our view with a story, and we don't come quickly, and we don't leave quickly. i think it's worth always getting the last interview and going the last kilometer. that has been our philosophy. >> thanks. >> you're watching c-span2 with
politics and public affairs. weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy events, and every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our web site, and you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> the teachers that are trying to close the gap, they are dealing with such a hard problem, right? and when i -- at the beginning of the book i write a disclaimer saying this is making the assumption that no one is going to fix anything outside this school, that no one's going to do anything about the poverty, the racism, about anything. can you close the gap just -- put all of the burden on the teachers and the principal. so they're not getting that message. that's not what the research from the school. the school's like you have two kids, you have an inner city african-american kid in june in second grade and a white suburban kid in second grade, they can be at the same level
when they graduate. when they come back in september, the white sub you sun kid has gained one month of learning from the experience he's had, and the inner city african-american kid has lost three months of learning. so they're now four months apart in september than the teachers, again, have different burdens, right? so those teachers -- it's not that they're getting a bad education, it's the issues that those teachers are facing are very different than those white suburban teachers are facing, right? that kid is ahead of what the teacher's going to teach them. this kid has to go back and do the second grade stuff all over again while trying to get her third grade stuff. so you can see how it's a very different challenge. what we're talking about is outside the school. i did not find in the research and through all those years of meeting that the problem was actually what you were insinuating there, that they were getting the wrong message in the school. it's what happens when they leave that school until the next morning when they come home. >> let's talk about two things you talk about, one is the bad
teacher, the roadblock teacher. what is that? >> um, what we're talking about there is like, you know, there's, you know, when you look at how powerful -- the number one thing is the teacher, right? at the end of the day, when you lack at the research. a great teacher, the one in the top 20th percentile. if you get four great teachers in a row, that teacher alone can close the gap. so it was possible for everyone in the country to be taught by the top 20%, that's all you have to do. that's how powerful they are, right? now, the very, very bottom group, the bottom 2-3%, they're causing so much, sop pull, so much damage, so much loss that three or four decent teachers, good teachers in the middle can't overcome one, hitting one child getting one of those teachers. so that's putting so much -- >> how does that work? how much does one do so much damage in a row of four? >> yeah. let's just say in that
percentage, one that's above the average, a good teacher, they're gaining a little bit. and so tour in a row -- four in a row, if by chance you got four in a row of the 60%, but the damage -- it's like you lose an entire grade with that one teacher. so that's what i'm referring to, the roadblocking. i do want to clarify one thing, because when you look at all the data and the things that the book says, these are the things you find that will close the gap, everyone goes to this thing, you know? fire the teachers, fire the teachers. that's not what the research says when i look at it impartially. that's not -- if you said to me you can only do one thing, that's not the thing i would do. if you said i could only do two things, three thoings, that's still not the thing you should do. so that is not -- everybody's attention is always on that. that's not what the research says is the thing that's pulling everything down. so just want to -- you know, you brought it up because you're
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