Skip to main content

tv   Book Discussion on Commander in Chief  CSPAN  July 31, 2016 10:00pm-11:01pm EDT

10:00 pm
>> >> and he says to me that doesn't matter because everybody did worse than i did on the test. it was hard and everybody failed for if he comes home with bad behavior kids are doing far worse than me i was just talking. they were fighting. i wouldn't say as long as you are not as bad as they are. no. i would say i don't care what your classmates are doing at all care i care about the way you are representing yourself and interacting with the world and performing in that is all that matters there the same values that that i
10:01 pm
could not come home and make excuses and i was not allowed to nab that seems intent analysis by the gay holds true. how could possibly matter what other nations are organizations are doing if that is the only standard that we have? as long as we do not do this? that falls so short of the country and the nation that i grew up in. we were watching the first goal for the statistics with me or those thousands of iraqis surrendering running toward the american troops because they knew quite frankly there would be treated better than their own units iran to the country for safety and that is the message we should send even to organizations like isis if we captured you
10:02 pm
or you surrender cremate imprison you be will be treated humanely and we will take care of you if you want to cooperate that is fine but whether they too were not i don't think that matters for the discussion. >> that resonates with neil lot and what is frustrating is high-level military leaders even during the bush administration as these techniques were proposed and authorized there was the insurgency within the military to try to stop this and it is those who haven't had a lot of interrogation experience and pushing the agenda that is the the message that has gotten out there enough and my hope is
10:03 pm
of that this was a mistake so you are post heart transplant now you say you have any year-old boy now what is next with your conversation major narrative >> ina torture and obligated to talk about these things but also a heart transplant recipient. and they tend to think pretty short-term. so the idea that questions were occurring what is next i don't know right now. man and little league is next. and will see karen tonight when i drive home and that is what i need to focus on
10:04 pm
it doesn't allow me to say i may torturer but now i have moved on the important part of the book of a someone that is tortured and if i am not careful moving forward worse running myself with their right people they incapable to fall into these things we cannot think that we did this and now we are okay as the agents will not water board but we cannot walk away from this this happened as a country and as a nation as something we were capable quite frankly of doing. >> thanks for stopping to talk with us. >> thank you for the opportunity.
10:05 pm
>> nigel hamilton is the senior fellow and the best-selling biographer of the jfk and bill clinton fleecy an appendix out to see what comes next? >> no. [laughter] tonight we have him here for his book "commander in chief" the second volume of his trilogy. [applause] >> banks for that gracious introduction and i am always delighted to be able to talk
10:06 pm
about my new book. i was told they don't even have to lean close. [laughter] it isn't working at all? as you know, i am always delighted to talk about my a new book here at my local bookstore. once it starts to so i go south to new orleans where my wife's family comes from and they have very good book shops there but not quite as good as this one.
10:07 pm
so i will talk today about fdr the thought behind what was going to say is the rather extraordinary thought that winston churchill very nearly as broad as world were to end it was full of memorials and statutes into
10:08 pm
we are again. not just civil war but a very uncivil war with the presidential elections that the candidates have indulged in extraordinary or unique unique, bombast insults mutual detraction and it does make you wonder given that we are about to vote for with the new commander in chief of the armed forces it does make you wonder about that role of that
10:09 pm
constitutional role is the candidate up to it. and for that reason and it is interesting to think back and look back 73 years bin to consider what happened in 1943. what qualities were needed to win that war as commander in chief of the armed forces of the united states?
10:10 pm
will i have called that volume commander-in-chief but i subtitled fdr's battle with churchill, 1943" because that is what the book is about there are many stories in the book but the cardinal central story within the book that is one of the most important confrontations that has ever taken place in the leadership of the united states and on a global scale. a confrontation between the president of the united states and the prime minister of great britain
10:11 pm
and the effective leader of the british commonwealth of nations. >> after world war ii winston churchill wrote his memoirs not just one book but six volumes. six magisterial volumes which helped him to win the nobel prize in literature. in 1953 and that was of great day for literature it was not a great day for history here was a british prime minister who had survived the war when fdr
10:12 pm
had not survived a british prime minister who was intent and telling the story of how he had won world war ii in fact, during the research for this book i came across a waterfall diary entry dining with general eisenhower as he would bury his mistakes as you come to write the story in very his mistakes he did in the six volumes but it was so wonderfully written
10:13 pm
in the world was still so admiring for those of us stood for the democracies in 1940 that had insured the one-man the alliance to brought the two countries together to fight hitler that no other britain could have done not chamberlain or the deputy prime minister that was winston churchill once they enter the war after the declaration of war with the direction of world war ii and reading winston churchill's memoirs you would not believe that in
10:14 pm
terms of history in his geography the fact that when the nobel prize was a great thing for literature cannot for history. and with the fdr trilogy with operation torch and this second volume takes the story several months later when the president of the
10:15 pm
united states becomes the first president in american history to fly across the atlantic to north africa and the first president to inspect american troops in war abroad. he flies to north africa in the beginning of the book not only to meet with winston churchill to decide strategy to make an announcement to the world unconditional surrender. to the astonishment of hundreds of reporters to cave secretly to north africa for the press conference there would be no negotiations with military
10:16 pm
conquest with the japanese atrocities only a week before 2 million jews would already have been exterminated. unconditional surrender. it was never going to happen again. no leak of a nation. backed with the superpowers and the mission but looking at those qualities to look
10:17 pm
at that moral dimension to the bad leadership of the presidency. but the president of the year before but in the summer of 1941 here he was in "casablanca" with the absolute determination to follow a policy of unconditional surrender. no negotiation. and then referred to the president. with the british parliament to say he was the
10:18 pm
president's active lt.. but what happened after "casablanca". that is a story that many of us have forgotten and that was a year's battle to natalie on the battlefield but between washington and london. and in an ocean liner and to to abandon the strategy we laid down and with the
10:19 pm
spring of 1944 to prepare a and rehearse. churchill's visit to hyde park drove the president at one point said he would have to read a the riot act to winston. winston churchill was not willing to commit british troops to what he thought would be a bloodbath but the president of the united states believed that only by riding across the english cancel to be brought to battle in be defeated with
10:20 pm
unconditional surrender. those troops in north africa with those it was vital in 1943 american troops learn modern warfare with the indoctrinated with a highly professional and me. and where better to do that than the extremity and with those lines of communication and that is what happened.
10:21 pm
even though they had to override his own generals that would determine that d-day should take place. no. american troops with the challenge we have to learn the business combat commanders as well as troops. added and it is amazing to think that three weeks after "casablanca" american forces were trounced in the battle with calvary and the president was absolutely right. and to be the assistant
10:22 pm
secretary how could he be so sure of these strategic steps and then to be sure i personally think of this politician that he listen to people and he loved reading people. to meet the troops on the ground. as well as the commanders eisenhower and patent and but it would take for these people to learn to defeat such a professional and me.
10:23 pm
sova decided that the british would not go ahead with the d-day. they would abandon the day. churchill came may 1943 to washington and went behind the back to have hearings or meetings on capitol hill to try and persuade them not to support d-day in 1944. all this story has covered up from those who follow the lead in the his geography of world war ii.
10:24 pm
of modern biographies. and with that mission to use foreign said evidence to reconstruct history and when necessary, to construct and the story of fdr is an amazing saga on the one hand that has great qualities and is inspired. it is wildly popular. to be impetuous and he has
10:25 pm
no vision of the future, only of the past, the glorious past. and he has no understanding of how determined to the ledger in -- the german troops are as part of southern europe for the allies to invade if only the president would give him 10,000 more americans to throw into action is strategically ignorant but is so sure of himself and some how this president, the paralyzed president in his wheelchair accepts that
10:26 pm
winston churchill is absolutely essential nevertheless to the winning of world war ii d-day cannot be mounted without the equivalence of british troops and naval forces i know. my father landed on d-day h25 commanding 1,000 men 600 casualties justin the six weeks but that was going to be the deciding battle to save this will be the deciding battle of world war ii and the president was determined to go through with it and therefore his challenges how to bring the recalcitrant, obstinate and
10:27 pm
their brilliant british prime minister along with him the coalition warfare under american leadership. that is the guts of the story of how close we came to losing world war ii of churchill had his way is to have such wit who could invent a phrase like that but north africa was meant to be a springboard. who could think up those.
10:28 pm
but that is not military leadership in a global world and we will have questions after so challenge me as much as you wish but i want to say in one year when we have toots' decide who will be the next commander-in-chief, should've the politician? a master of twitter, or someone who has some experience of how to listen
10:29 pm
and how to follow a moral basis if they have to fight than to die that is what fdr did and said that that we owe him is incalculable. in to set that out i hope you will enjoy the book as much as i did thank you very much for listening. [applause]
10:30 pm
>> but those that was involved in the invasion but what effect was the russians having thinking about the invasion? >> what was happening on the russian front? it was the major factor it
10:31 pm
was clear that the germans were of 400 divisions unless they were sandwiched between the eastern front in the western front. the two did depend on each other. and is not carrying out d-day 1942 or 43 why he didn't want to do that in 1944 to be in battle and proven themselves as the commanders have learned to marry the air ground and naval forces.
10:32 pm
many people have speculated said they deliberately tried to go to the back of germany and he became obsess with the mediterranean clearly there is some psychological motivation and that would make up for that and with a tone but the even churchill's own chief of staff believed trying to persuade the president of the united states to deal directly with eisenhower
10:33 pm
trying to persuade the president of the united states with the strategy of world war ii. but the chief of staff said basically the old man has gone mad. and is totally obsessive. where the hell will that get us? so even today among historians to believe even if we move to the balkans
10:34 pm
before we reach central europe to be through the chief of staff they ask them to a dry upon the of map that you get through to austria. it was fantasy on churchill's stock at side and that is why i say it is very touching it can't simply bang the table there was an equal number of brits who landed a and died.
10:35 pm
in just agreed to work with him and that is how he achieved but read the book. [laughter] and i do explain a would not call that a trick but a maneuver to agree to d-day in 1944. but gets churchill to surrender the agreement that they had up until then but it would be britain to command the army. summer of 1943 fdr said an american will command the d-day invasion a long winded answer to youruestion. >> with the trip to
10:36 pm
"casablanca"? is that controversial at the time? >> yes. should they take the risk that you are entitled to some uncovering of the story as they come across as unpublished memoir kept by the president's aid as a naval captain.
10:37 pm
but nobody wanted the president to go. so he was very sneaky and said john allen blakey you to bring me some travel maps and the captain said a one to see where every troops are fighting. the people who tried to dissuade them. it after "casablanca" and to
10:38 pm
make up for a landing in 1929 and was killed. it was a very dangerous scheme but another aspect of the commander-in-chief particularly after seeing those the words would not be enough he went before congress to give the "state of the union" speech but he had to go out to north africa to meet the commanders with the host the division line corps commanders.
10:39 pm
>> to have a lot of discussion it did not work out very well. >> but i am right to say those allies suffered getting on for half a million casualties that doesn't mean necessarily killed but wounded in a lot about the british army has
10:40 pm
anybody been to italy in the winter? in to be up in the mountains the saddest part in many ways is churchill's fantasy than churchill's military judgment was so bad so many men died as a consequence to
10:41 pm
say it is unforgivable to give you an idea just how difficult the plan was but the president of the united states had to make all of these compromises to say we will do some fighting in southern italy. we don't want to go in any farther to have that german intelligence that killer will withdraw all the divisions back to the alps we don't even have to fight. it is too bad that churchill did not understand it was unjust hitler that was directing the german army. the germans themselves for
10:42 pm
directing it was the germans never to my dying day understand why the germans would go on fighting the losing their lives any territory that they had conquered it is a life there defending their homeland why would tens of thousands of germans lose their lives? to hold on in italy that have been their partner as the italian surrendered and they started slaughtering them massacred.
10:43 pm
this fine biographer and historian has written this multi volume biography of very interesting book of the last year of world war ii why did the germans go on fighting? my father's friend was killed beside him right on the last day of the war. this was not vice warfare that is why i admirer fdr but it was impossible to negotiate with that kind of enemy. and the evil behind it. >> fast 42 volume three.
10:44 pm
>> you are projecting into volume three. >> you would reassemble in this very room and a of 50 pages into the new book and i have the pretty good idea. >> with the eventual deference of fdr and to industrial strength and the equipment. >> but to defer to the
10:45 pm
president and they survived absolutely. to meet that is part of the greatness of winston churchill that he recognized rate from the very beginning. to bring unity states into the war. the world war ii could not be won without united states. to rec september president roosevelt and yes there was a lot of hubris these
10:46 pm
empires that have involved and would continue for more than 150 years to see if fdr could be manipulated to keep the empire and was dead against the independence but today the largest democracy how they were sending these gentle cables shouldn't you think about so they will fight with you? when singapore was conquered or run by the japanese in 1941 shortly after pearl harbor 40,000 indians
10:47 pm
elected to join the japanese not but they trusted them 1 inch but they were fed up with churchill's saying there would never be independence for indians so that nature of berrigan's the president was 6-foot 3 inches and somehow was a win -- wheelchair but was with his weight and the reason was because of his brilliant mind. as a college student many years ago and to have stayed with him and this man would always get the better of them.
10:48 pm
the lapse of a conversation and you said he is a socialist to the prime minister and we're having roast venison. and there was one piece of venison and i was on the right and there was a cube of venison and was unsure if he would stab me or what but
10:49 pm
held it up and looked at it in there wasn't much i could say. >> end to learn so much that was the best of napoleon so in that part of napoleon and given what you just said about romanticism and imperialism i thought is and that on the parallel that this is the case now it was
10:50 pm
57 years ago and i cannot remember this statuette but the story speaks to churchill. not just his romanticism but he was a warrior. he did go to a military college. into sea warfare in the middle east and in egypt in the trenches of from 41 and south africa then there's
10:51 pm
been killed was attacks to see himself that he left at the end saw himself in the cavalry and i talk to great length about this because remember this saying a terrific leader. a terrific leader could not
10:52 pm
have done that nothing about warfare he just was not a professional in that way he was perfect u.s. and his staff produced a book and that is very inspiring to become somewhat bureaucratic to have so little military judgment but many people including the president i had enormous affections so
10:53 pm
when those two nurses protamine into dinner i was entranced by the nurses. [laughter] but once they left the room with the baby like skin he was pudgy i have read a lot of history is the where was the immediate even at that time? and why not with churchill? the fine is disconcerting
10:54 pm
that we could have lost the war because of his carelessness. but according to the biographer's and to point this out. >> why has it taken 70 years for the expatriate brit, pour immigrant from massachusetts and louisiana i'm happy to say documented why has it taken seven decades for someone to tackle a biography of fdr as commander-in-chief?
10:55 pm
as the armed forces in in in human history and i'm not sure i know why i suspect it is because military historians in those efforts to describe all full picture on those operations of four. with the commander-in-chief
10:56 pm
is tender 15 pages and even to attract those by graphically tended to go to the field commanders were even marshall or general arnold.
10:57 pm
the you realize i and in the presence of my agents to a half to be careful but the number of people reading actual books when i told my publisher i don't think i was dishonest when i said it would be one volume. [laughter] because quite honestly i didn't know the whole story i was simply curious i had written this book called the
10:58 pm
american caesars over the last 12 presidents modeled on a famous roman a group biography in looking at consulting the existing works i could not believe that no biographer has stepped forward to write such an account of fdr in that role as commander-in-chief. and that was the genesis. and not starting with any prior conviction i hope i have been reasonably objective and as far as one can be i do believe i and
10:59 pm
his brilliance as a writer churchill should have dominated that historiography of that period but he not only won the nobel prize for literature i hope we're not running overtime but i think i would just add there are
11:00 pm
some things that cannot be conveyed danced the mine intention nor my ambition is to change history. . . a few weeks ago in britain the first volume. but i insisted with the help of my age and i was ablto


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on