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tv   Book Discussion on And Then All Hell Broke Loose  CSPAN  August 11, 2016 11:38pm-12:22am EDT

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>> the friends of mine before the movie was coming out. is that based on me. we had some of these that help each other and we would make sure everybody was taking care of antaken care ofand you talk . you are sort of in this zone where you will be friends for life. we barely met each other over there but i think that we got off a similar answers. that's what i usually say
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between the different news organizations in different places people do that together and it's a great question about solidarity. when you are out there in a way normally a tip disappears. why are we not paying attention to what's going on and he said there's so much of the conflict and it really kind of does and one of the reasons i was looking forward to that i think collectively the experiences are amazing. but for those of us are trying, there are so many different
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players and conflicts and the external players and saudi arabia it all seems pretty hopeless. so i'm curious you said at the highs are the highs and the lows are the bows. what is your sense of this? >> it is incredibly complicated. i literally studied for 25 yea years. they try to put things on the maps to identify who's fighting who and there's a thousand on the opposition right now. russia and qatar and the saudi and iran and egypt. they do and.
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they aren't going to go into a 17 year war it will eventually come to a head. we don't want t to export the 400,000 people dead. we had to wait until 199,528,000 men and boys were killed. they made a very tactical decision in 2013 that he didn't want to get engaged in the third middle eastern war because he was elected on a platform to get out and the policy has had a great cost and that was the rise of isis. they didn't come out of nowhere.
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it was the result of our own policy not paying enough attention. if i saw them on the ground in 2012 why was the world so surprised when they finally fell we allowed at the compassio allo become fatigued and that is always a dangerous thing to become complacent. it's the truth and it's important. >> actually you can charge it back to afghanistan against the russians went out of focus was defeating them in the cold war and he didn't care how he did
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it. there were criminals that encouraged them to come and fight because our enemy interest was defeating the russians and i think that is one of the things i find the hardest in the job you keep seeing the same mistakes being made over and over again and you feel like it and we ever learn. it's removing a regime that thes in the difficult without the military is but what do you do then to each one we haven't had a plan for what to do afterwards.
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i'm endlessly amazed at how people in the midst of all these difficult situations keep really focused on in particular trying to educate their children. she is so inspiring for the sake of other children to go to school. it makes it all worth it. >> last word. i don't think that i could do this job if i didn't feel hope even for afghanistan. i would give an entire speech about how things are going in afghanistan and somebody will say shouldn't we just pull everybody home? i feel like what you were saying is the same. we do have a chance and there have been improvements. just the very fact of having
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cell phone coverage in afghanistan and having the internet and tv stations and the reality tv shows where they feel so empowered that they would do the presentations this one woman on the international women's day, i watched her performance and you are the bravest we have ever seen so there are positive things happening. and i think you try to hold onto those. the idea that if we don't walk away and we give them stability enough for the next generation to take over would be the biggest mistake. we are looking around saying the world is falling apart. look years ago you can go back through generations, world war ii was no picnic. we happen to know more about it now because of the internet and all the news. there is hope in every place that you've are looking at.
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>> it is a long and complicated discussion of where america and britain and the western world does and what their obligations are in afghanistan and pakistan. but tonight i thought was a very special nice to talk to three women to kind of look behind the news and the people. you have done an amazing job on fees three books. the book shake things up and the stories, i am grateful that tonight you kind of helped us to know who you are a little bit and why you do what you do. thank you. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [applause] hello, everyone. welcome. what a great crowd. on behalf of our owners and entire staff, i would like to welcome you to politics and prose.
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before we get started, can you hear me in the back? a few housekeeping things. this would be a great time to turn off or silence your cell phone. the have microphones on either side. just write here this evening if you could step up with your questions that would be great because we are recording this event and you can watch it in a few days on our channel. i'm very pleased to welcome richard this evening to talk about his new book. i'm guessing that you've recognized richard is the chief correspondent for nbc news where he reports regularly from a variety of places, mostly in the middle east and much of the time things exploding in the background. so we are glad to have him here in this environment at least for an hour or so. this is the story of the two
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decades of reporting in the middle east, beginning with a stint in cairo where he went after graduating college with two suitcases and $2,000 aca romantic idea of becoming a foreign correspondent. in the book we learn about the education as a young reporter, he he went from picking up freelance work for the radio and print and winding up reporting for a major news network chronicling events throughout the middle east which in one case led to his kidnapping in syria. but the book is more than a memoir. he offers an analysis of the current situation in the middle east which i heard him tell diane ream this morning i'd never seen it worse. the review called this a personal account, the lucid alarming overview of where the middle east has been and where it is heading. before i ask you to help me welcome richard, not surprisingly, he has a plane to catch.of
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so, we are going to probably cut to the q-and-a just a little bit short and try to move everyone through to get their books signed. please help me welcome richard engel. [applause] first, it i is a is an absolute pleasure to be here. i can't remember the last time n saw so many people in a bookstore and that is encouraging on so many levels. so buy this book and all the books i keep the industry going. as you heard, the book is about the middle east. i moved out of the middle east 20 years ago i graduatedrs college, stanford university and 2000 in 1996. the idea that i had as i was going to go to a place where i thought there would be a lot of news. the middle east seemed like a good choice. i was going to start on my way and become a great foreign
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correspondent. so i moved to cairo. i have the map in front of me and i thought where are we going to go. not much going on. jerusalem, yes a lot going on but probably oversaturated market to cover. then i thought egypt. so even if it doesn't work out its still in egypt which is great. i rented an apartment there and i had an incredibly rich experience. people were welcoming to me. they wanted me to convert constantly. they would bring me to their homes and feed me things. i was never alone.
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while it can be tiresome after a while it was a great way to become familiar with the culture and learn the language. in a matter of months i was wash having basic conversationsth because i had no choice. when you were living in an apartment where everything is broken and you need to communicate and there is noe water and it's a million degrees outside, you have to learn to talk to people. so i started reporting from local newspapers and then the international radio and pieces for newspapers and really we've been doing ever since independence 20 years now.n where i still live in the region. i am rarely back in the states to see families encouraged by this book that i'm back in the states very infrequently and i've been living there now for 20 years. there is a thesis in this bookee having looked at the region fort
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this long. like all theoretical models, it is flawless.we you can find reasons why it or d doesn't work. but i like to think of it as a way to understand the middle east right now. the model that i chose that thet book is sort of based around is at least in my mind a row of houses so if you think of the house is on the coast somewhere and they looked beautiful from the outside like they've been there forever but they are rotten inside, nobody's opening the windows or putting in a dehumidifier apparatus. the middle east when i arrived was a little bit like that. there is a structure i was a ste and they ran the region and
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resolve family. it was established and locked in place. but like these old houses, it was a lo a lot of appearances. there was tremendous rock. it was nepotism, corruption, religious tension that is kept at bay by a strongman activities by those carried out in saddam hussein and like in these old houses, you can contain it if you don't open the windows and doors and spend any money on it you also make it worse. that was a situation that was very fragile. you could put your fingerr through the wall and said that the united dates to their shoulder through the wall of iraq and started a sequence of events that we are still living and experiencing to this day.
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so they started to destroy the status quo and unleash all these demons that have been penned up. in the years of the obama administration weasel and consistent policies and theyratn were supporting the revolution in egypt and then not supportinn it and supporting the uprising and then not supporting it. the combined effect of these two of the military action and very soon to be eight years of this unleashed all of the rocks that was in and of th then and the os we knew it, the middle east that i arrived in is broken. it's a period of chaos. i think that isis is that physical embodiment of that
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chaos and if you continue this model, you can just speculate on where it might go from here. what we are going to see next is a series of strongmen reemerging themselves. i think egypt is probably the first example of that and there will be no more to come. i think the people of the region are going to embrace this. they should be careful what they wish for because after the period of chaos when there were dictators and fascists, things could happen. that's what is coming. there will be no and we will see how it goes. i think that our government and others around the world will probably reach out and embrace the leaders. so there doesn't have to be a binary choice. but after the chaos, we will
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reach back and hope for the dictators. maybe they can help find a third path and guide the region to someplace where you have leadership and responsible governance but it doesn't have to be saddam hussein. so that's the framework of the book. that i tell it through the people i know him through the places i've lived and the characters i need along the wayt in the 256 pages of anecdotes i hope that it is you get to follow along the journey that spent a 20 year journey so far in arriving in the middle east not really a knowing what i landed into to become a journalist and then moving along in the process and just watching all hell breaks loose.
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with that preamble i would like to take some of your questions if there's anything specifically that you have in mind. i want to take this opportunity to say thank you for coming and reading books i wrote in myrotev other journalists and authors.s. [applause] for those born in the early '90s we look at an entire generation that are now in their 20s today. today. what hope do you see for the people that are in part of this turmoil? .. the new generation lived for the last 15 years in a
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period of terrible strife been living the era of a persian the conflict the kurdish conflict so give me all your rights and i will make all that goal a. what is interesting is but there is a belief that is spreading in the middle east that the united states is responsible for all of this. we didn't kill them purpose of this was 1,000 years before the declaration of independence. we did not help to create this. the memories of what some of hussein was like of that
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divide is daily. as we remember that beginning. you can see how they make that mental association even though chronologically that doesn't make any sense. >> thanks for being here. so one of the potential strongman? the reassertion of the of the sphere of influence. >> got it. just for the sake of time because with turkey we could do all whole week discussing turkey.
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it is one of the most interesting conflicts or dynamics. you also see the old empire trying to re-emerge. when there is a breakdown of order russia tries to reestablish his head in the way to do that is to keep on the lines. russia wants to spread its wings. he wants to reestablish the ottoman influence. and has been trying to do that with mixed success when a peace process was going well.
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to establish a new world order so they're still trying to do that but he picked a fight with russia it cannot stand behind him. he is still pushing the project but with limited success. stick there is no way we get through this whole line but solidarity. [laughter] who has had. >> thanks for being here. i don't recognize you without your a bulletproof vest. but much of what we go comes from you. by watching your interviews
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on "nbc nightly news". if you think of all the countries you have been to we have lost much resources by going into iraq and afghanistan. as you may not what we to go. the two buildings were hit. there is a lot more that we question the everett. >> about the 9/11 attacks? >> no. i know the aftermath of the attacks but the answers you seem to be looking for i am not the person who has those. i have lived in the middle
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east to dealing with the aftermath i was not in new york or washington a lot but dash washington on that terrible day. >>. >> i honestly did not know your name before this weekend. i wanted to know about the kidnapping of the nbc news tv in yourself in 2012. it was retracted is this a false flag that a group wants to make another group?
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so if so for those at this time to fund the free syrian army what is that for a of kidnapping and. >> to make it a little more clear and three years ago i was in syria with a team with close friends and colleagues and a fortune of the we were kidnapped held by a masked gunman loaded into the back of a truck going from place to place. all of us including several arabic speakers believed they were richie loyalist and that there were people
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that they were shechem militia. by what they were acting in telling us. it is a very credible. , we get out of this horrible experience a lot of. then we moved on and. then a couple of years later we got it ted because there may have been more there those people look again. so we spent two months to dig back in try and find out in all likelihood of how complicated the situation is. where loyalties are not where they seem.
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in all likelihood i think they were thugs or people who wanted grants of. posing as a regime loyalist in case we did get out we would go who there were. to do a thing it was a conspiracy with the u.s. politics involved i don't think so. >> i may current defense reporter in his team's with your career if you were in a region long before others arrived. >> where would you go if i were you? [laughter] get out of this town. if you want to be a foreign correspondent by definition you have to be foreign.
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[laughter] i would look at the world evinces what ito other journalists, think about what the world will look like if the middle east was boring i wear padded and interesting career nobody would buy the book. if that was 1986 and probably would not have gone to the middle east and would employ into poland toward moscow. i was looking at the map in thinking the middle east will probably be the story of my generation so go home and think about it for a couple of days what is the story of the next 20 years? maybe it isn't the middle east may be the is the environments you should go to the place rethink the environment is most impacted so put yourself in a place
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go to where the puck will be the weirdest go. think of where they will be over the next 20 years then go there. >> africa? >> i do think that it interesting. the collision of an irish did urbanization will define the next generation. you may have missed it. and his in the last 10 or 50 years there were two major american ground war's in the middle east what of which should not go particularly well and hundreds of thousands of troops cycling through as a foreign correspondent will you get more action than that? probably not. i felt the whip and the first airborne division will ever be deployed in mass
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again in our lifetime i could be wrong i don't anticipate another iraq style more. -- war. liggett the mapping of the pieces and where you want to be. environmental, or africa or other horrible mutations in beecher like zika. maybe that is the story. i don't know. but it is a fun experiment. [laughter] wine helps. [laughter] >> but then when you think about it it comes to this vision, more wine helps. >> i bet you several years ago in afghanistan and i would like to say i'm happy to be standing here for a
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debut stateside safe. i appreciate your service you are the unsung hero steve bechtel i have to take you for yours. [laughter] >> with the strategic tools of power, we generally go to military every time the hi steve neck every time there is in international prices. n speemac what can we do better? speemac but do engaged with people. nmuch f speemac thank you very much for your service. n speemac
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the diplomatic enclave start castles. n it is their security officers. n speemac
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speemac it is rented out. n and then there is a cultural center. n
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my mother came down the steps it says you should work there one day based in paris okay there is. i will be in paris in my office with a typewriter and
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i will write to the next great novel . n [laughter] n thank that is the itos and has a ben the romantic. n is your mother a friend of greta garbo? i laugh tracks -- ask her steven q. spoke earlier of strong whenators c dictators in it in that situation, i know there are other options with theallatn regime part of the wars often claim to be bringing democracy to this area, is there any realist in that or
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any of the -- them? there are two questions and their. n with the government a of the powers i assure i assure every would-be strongmen will survive for caribe some won't make it to so can there be democracy in the middle east? i hope so. n they are not people of people, they are of the same . because they had such a recent dramatic journeye for end can there be democracy?
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of course, they don't want to live under the oppressive society of but that adds another layer of rejection civics somebody who's been getting news from you for a long time but i still young so where do you get your news? you will lot like the answer, you just have to read a lot but the thing that i tell people with the middle ages the of the crusade, it is a passion with the middle ages and the
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crusade, the more you can read ha i collect books and i read a lot and i find them interesting and eliminating there is no block gore tweet. n or an amalgamation of that. n the more you can read the more you can read real books the more you will learn about the subject that you want but i am pleading the book note it is all about the product speemac urinalysis is sobering realistic with the anatomy of revolution to free time with the aftermath so it
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seems there is no little space in his heart for a customer credit performs sunday that emphasis should focus on the vibrant middle class? education in the middle-class is the solution? speemac you need people if you are desperate to you have a lot of choices perco if there is no knowledge of the during the deliberately then you can take quite you are given perco for women or for businesses but since you brought this up but it's interesting case right now

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