tv Charlie Rose Bloomberg October 23, 2014 7:00pm-8:01pm EDT
ben bradlee, the editor of the washington post, died yesterday at age 93. from histwo excerpts appearances on this program. >> i wanted to be considered in the same breath as the new york times. that was -- i didn't like people saying the new york times. i wanted the new york times and the post. that helped. it was a big step on the way. >> the chemistry between the two of you seems like -- >> i don't know how hard it is. >> it is different. you are different people. you sat down with her and when you wanted this job and said, the famous line, i will give my left one to be the editor of the washington post. [applause] >> i would have given the other one. one -- how many
-- >> well, i liked her. newspaper is so much, so vibrant, so positive. you can do things with it. you can get something overnight. the chance to do it, it was the perfect opportunity. i knew all the reporters at that time. the good young ones. but you needed a publisher like her and she needed an editor like you. most people say this, what bradlee has is great instinct. that is what you have in abundance. what do you think it is about being a good editor that served you well? >> i was curious. i came along at the perfect
time. you can't quibble with my sense of timing. just as katharine graham was interested in expanding the post and spending some money on the news product, the conversation about the post -- it now sounds like the post was a nothing, no good, rotten little paper when i went there, which is not true. >> it wasn't the best paper in town. >> but it was a good paper. it had a wonderful editorial page. ♪ >> dharamsala -- marine sally -- barham salih is here. prime appointed deputy
minister of the interim iraqi government. he served as deputy to nouri al-maliki's cabinet after the 2005 elections. in 2007, he founded the american university of iraq. his mission is to offer iraqi citizens american-style education. i am pleased to have him here at this table for the first time. welcome. i appreciate you coming here. you have been recommended by my friends as someone who has a real understanding of where we are with respect to isis and what is happening within iraq and its implications beyond iraq , syria and throughout the middle east. -- help usn with understand how isis became what it is. >> it is really difficult to answer that question. seelogistics behind what we
is quite phenomenal. despite the american air force attacks and despite the international effort that is going into stopping isis, we still find them agile at taking us on. one should not underestimate it. the tenacity and resourcefulness of this organization. with are to come up reasonable answer to the a consequence of failing politics in our part of the world, a consequence of the carnage in syria that has become an incubator for extremism and terrorism. also, if i were to take a step there are parallels to be drawn between this situation and that of afghanistan. to defeat the soviet union, western powers poured lots of money and resources in to defeat
the soviet union. was defeated,on mission accomplished, people walked away. they overlooked a small detail at the time, fanatics called al qaeda that were in the caves of afghanistan. wereto discover that they very vengeful and very dangerous. -- in thentext context of syria and the offlict in iraq, a lot enabling in the environment was creating these terrorists and these extremists. the price is the consequence of broken politics. rivalry between the turks, the iranians, the saudi's. it is alienation of the sunni communities. all of this combined has led to
scourgegence of this and very serious and profound challenge to everything we stand for. >> and this goes back to the iraqi war. >> i think the iraqi war, you are talking 2003 -- >> al qaeda in iraq. >> i posed to you the question about a islamic extremists in afghanistan, how it was overlooked and then became a contaminate or to the political discourse in that part of the world. regime under saddam hussein committed genocide against the kurds, sectarian discrimination against the shiites. it has also eliminated any alternatives in leadership to saddam. saddam, while the violence
was under the table and the new york times of the world would not be able to report on it in detail, that violence was happening. this has led to broken iraqi society, polarized iraqi society. was overthrown, all of these resources came to play. in the last 10 years and certainly on the eve of the war, when we had high expectations of what would happen in iraq, somewhere along the lines, we did not achieve what we hoped for. >> the present leader of isis was with zarqawi in iraq. >> one way of looking at this thing, the analogy is viruses and bacteria. it started with a small sunni insurgency in 2004 or so.
we did not address the root causes of that conflict. it led to zarqawi and al qaeda which are considered to have been a more dangerous mutant. now we have isis, which again is to say this one is worse than the other, but another mutant. my point is that unless we deal with the root causes of this problem, five years from now, even if we deal with this threat , we could have a mutant. >> what are the root causes? >> broken politics. the political arrangement isolates the sunni community. in my view, corruption. this conflict has a political economy of its own that allows these conflicts to continue. lots of people are making money out of it. the regional rivalries between
the major powers of that part of the world, are seeing major pulls in that region. also, they, international community has a lot of responsibility in terms of how the engagement with the middle east has been. in terms of immediate causes of this conflict, syria has been a real problem. it has become an incubating ground. i go back to my parallel with afghanistan. in order to achieve a certain objective, people tolerate a lot of human suffering and loss of human life. in the process, things like this often develop. >> isis is different because it advantage ofke
some command and structure because they have access to those sunnid military people -- way, the term "state" applies to them. they have territory, they are in control of territory. they have command and control. there is a fusion between hard-core jihadis and former communities. other today i was told an interesting story. a telecommunication company has been running an internet service in the city of mosul. isis has taken control of that place, has appointed a western educated person to be in charge of internet service in that town. they talked to this internet provider about how the service
should improve or not improve, what to do. you are talking not only of typical al qaeda operations. you are talking about a semi-state with access to money. command structure from the former military people, and also the weapons they have received in syria. from what i am told, a lot of weapons went from the warehouses in libya to what was hoped to be the moderate syrian opposition but ended up in the wrong hands. >> in other words, when the president said he worried about that at the time, there was evidence that it was coming from other places, headed for the moderate syrians and never got there. >> we see the evidence now. a lot of these weapons have come from what we see. and otherin mosul
places where isis attacked, they were very specific in going to the army barracks and acquiring a lot of weapons systems. and apparently, they have a trained core of officers. my point of view, this threat should not be underestimated. this is something that should be with us for some time. >> the present fight is in kobani. where is that as we speak? >> i was speaking actually to a -- they are the ones who are on the ground. in kobani, the fighting continues. today there was fighting around kobani. the threat has not been alleviated. the american military strikes and the arab coalition have
taken part. that was a significant development. >> even women. put --ni, in a way, has has a lot of significance. kurdish history has been a tragedy. andave been left alone international powers have often ignored us. american no-fly zone and american support over the last few years, a lot of things happened in iraqi kurdistan. there was a period of time when we all thought that kobani was on its own. left to die. the message was that kobani was of no strategic value, going to be taken over sooner or later by isis. these brave men and women took
on isis, defended their territory, and really changed the narrative. of thesehe image people defending their homes, it , it tellsin my view me and should tell others the middle east and that part of the world are not all fundamentalists, are not all retarded in their thinking about the way things should be. people care about decent quality of life. for women to take action and be in the front line, taking on who forced them to cover themselves from head to to, it was quite a powerful message. >> it is said -- there was a
which youays ago, in could here in washington and in iraq, kobani is going to fall. is it less certain today? --i think the dam and ask the dynamics have shifted in favor of the defenders. i was told today, the threat is still there, not to be underestimated. talking about a very 10 hs, enemy,eful, determined an equipped army that sees kobani as a symbol. , if it were to fall to isis, this would be a major victory for isis. and a major defeat for the coalition. >> it also gives them strategic victory because of how they can use that. >> of course.
despite the american support, despite the coalition support, we can do it. i am hopeful. we must really make sure it will happen. some important developments that ldve happened, i am to that the turks will allow safe passage. we have invested a lot of effort has toey and turkey embark on a peace process with the kurds of turkey, develop relations with iraqi kurdistan. period of time, it seemed things would not turn out the way we wanted it to be. --s opening in turkey helped salvage the peace process. bring in hopefully
this coalition of international actors with the local communities, with the kurdish people, on one fundamental common cause. defeating extremism in that part of the world. we can disagree. but with isis and what they represent, there should be no differences here. >> you believe the turks have come, whether it is because of pressure from the united states or other places? that the passage will be allowed. i would welcome that as an important opening. attackingey also been some of the revolutionary kurds that they fear? >> indeed. >> do they have a reason to fear? >> in my view, no. over the last few years, it was a lot of effort put into the
peace process to change the violence between the turkish military and the pkk. really a drag on turkish democracy. are theish people indigenous people of that part of the world. they should have the right to speak their own language, to express their national identity. century, there should be a peace process. >> there was a peace process. >> there was. when that attack happened, when that military strike happened, we all got very concerned. this thing that we see with the passage to kobani and the changing policy which we hope we will be seeing in reality, things could come back. there is so much at stake with
that peace process. at the dawn of the 21st century, the kurdish people cannot be denied their basic rights to identity, language and to be equal citizens. >> part of iraq or a separate state? >> every kurd dreams of independence. york, it painsw me not to see the kurdish flag. there werenow, people at the time of the iraqi , like thegued that balkans, that iraq split up between sunni, shia, kurds. after the iraqi war, the kurds did well economically and were considered a great ally. that were many who wished it would be a separate state. it seemed to me that there was a conventional wisdom that that is not the best thing to do at this time. >> let me explain to you where
we are. every kurd dreams of independence and that is a basic right. we have given iraq the chance. we voted for a constitution that promised us a federal democratic iraq. >> and kurds are part of the government. >> absolutely. we want a democratic iraq. if iraq succeeds and baghdad is stable and democratic, i think the kurds would want to stay within iraq. >> if it is democratic and what? >> federal. a federal iraq which allows the kurds self-government as we have now. the way that is going these days, is really a challenge. in my view, it is in our interest to help baghdad solve its problems, and for us to be part of a democratic and iraq is
a viable option. if iraq were to become dictatorial, we will be cursed. >> when will that moment of truth,? >> at the moment, everybody is busy fighting isis. that is a big challenge we all confront. the new prime minister has a difficult challenge ahead of him. in my view, we have to support him and make this government work to deal with the security situation, but deal also with huge economic problems that he has inherited, also compounded by the oil crisis. interest, in the interest of the shia, sunnis and kurds. baghdad. be decided in if we manage and prevail, i think there is a chance to overcome some of the
sensitivities. i don't want to be a dreamer and say this can be done overnight. it is a long way towards becoming a democratic state. >> let me go back to the fight against isis. what is necessary to defeat them? i saw general dempsey say the climactic battle will come after kobani for mosul. >> general dempsey is a good friend who i worked with when he was in baghdad. >> but you beg to differ? >> i think obviously the battle cruciall will be very but so is the battle for anbar a , which is not far off from baghdad. this threat is too serious. in my view, we need a major
military component to deal with this. the iraqi military has collapsed and it will be sometime -- >> why did it collapse? >> politicization, sectarian divide, and recently, bad command. at the end of the day, you try the best you can. if you do not have loyal officers and commanders who believe in this project, you can't sustain it. in my view, corruption was the most critical reason why the military collapsed. at the moment, the prime -- i want a council. the military component is very important but also not sufficient. you can defeat isis militarily but if you underestimate the political causes of this conflict, you may invite me again to this show.
we will be talking about the son of isis. >> let me just do this and be clear. militarily, what you need to do that you win in kobani. ar, andtwo, anb number three, cut off their financial supply. >> i would say coming off their financial supply is dealing with this political conflict. not only what money gets to isis, but also the corruption in political security institutions. the kurdish forces are doing better now. we have had a few difficulties early on. we are receiving some american and european airdrops and so on. we need to develop that.
-- at the end of the day, the people of mosul need to take on isis. >> how can we empower them? >> by helping them militarily, by enabling them to be a part of the government, by giving them a stake in this process. one of the reasons we have for the rise of these extremists, probably these communities do not feel a part of the political process.
of course the united states is the global power. i am talking about the regional actors. view, it is like the city of conflict. we can talk about a military solution. in my view, it has been complicated so profoundly. it is difficult to think of a military strategy. we need some form of a regional compact, a regional agreement to enable or force a political sentiment. iraq's polity is a consequence to us.
the neighbors of iraq have a lot of influence, leverage. the situation is a bit more complicated. the americans have a vital role to play. america is the indispensable nation in the world. .merica is vitally important at the end of the day, this is a battle that can only be one bank by the people in that part -- be won by the people in that part of the world. if we do not own up to our responsibility, years from now, you and i will be talking about the same problem. >> thank you. pleasure to have you. back in a moment. stay with us. ♪
satire set in a fictional part of auschwitz. "the zone of interest" is a controversial novel. publishers rejected it. in his native britain, reviewer's are calling it his best work for 25 years. i am pleased to have martin amis back at this table. would you disagree with any part of that introduction? >> i don't think so. >> but you think this is the best work in 25 years? >> i think it has a chance of being my best novel. -- when i pick it up, i am agreeably surprised and impressed by how it hangs together. i thought it was going to ask a lot of the reader. that it it seems to me is wrong. flex tell me -- >> tell me what it was that
drove you could do this. you have touched on this elsewhere. cracks i read a novel about it 25 years ago. the come from your unconscious. silentcome from anxiety, what you don't know you are worrying about. you get a glimpse of this subliminal world, your dream world as well. sometimes you just get a shiver and a throb and you think, i could write fiction about this. that is what makes you go forward. it is not any determination to investigate a historical event. it is just this gift from your subconscious. , and it is expended on the very first page of the novel , is a love at first sight
moment against a violently implausible background. wrote the page, and as sometimes happens, when all is going well, the rest of the novel just sort of a appears to be there. you are sculpting away at it. >> you said you were liberated when you read, it is the sacred duty not to understand. moment.s a real eureka i had been reading about this for a quarter century and i was thating frustratedly aware when i knew much more than i used to, i hadn't penetrated it, not an inch. it seemed just as incomprehensible, as unbelievable as it had when i started seriously looking into it. gilbert and in
compared the two editions that i read. the same exclamation marks in the margin. the same undiminished incredulity. i thought, i cannot penetrate it. then i read that one must not understand. to understand is to include it within yourself, to absorb it. and you can't do that. >> because it is so horrific. >> because it is anti-human, really counter-human. hatred is a hatred that is not in us. it is outside man. i tried to understand why they did it. he takes the pressure off the why and suddenly i could proceed. this -- one says, why, to a guard.
and he says, you will not find why here. >> here there is no why. he means there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. that is true of the whole policy. is a remarkable fact that no historian claims to understand hitler. many of them make a point of saying that they don't. some, like bullock, his first british biography, the more i learn about hitler, the harder i find it to understand. >> you say that you constantly find yourself intrigued by that question. >> i do. there are no historical figures who cause such universal consternation. no one would say that of stalin.
he is a kind of singularity, hitler. brilliantf contemporary diaries said that this is all beyond history. it is outside history, as if it is a tear in the universe. >> there was this awful aberration. >> yes. something that felt supernatural. you, but iw about don't believe in the supernatural. this certainly looks and feels supernatural. stalin, who was a much trotskyarkable man then ever gave him credit for, stalin was never that. what he was was a marxist. he tried the socialist experiment along rigid marxists lines.
with the results that you see. he tried to better reality into this utopia. reality resisting all the time of course. with hitler, there is no real ideology. a couple of cheap and vulgar notions about race. is jewish conspiracy, which the schizophrenic's first and most measurable -- most miserable cliche, and that is it. one german historian said that it was never an ideology. ry was just a rallying c for sadists. if you are prepared to kill and beat and rob for no provocation, come to my flag. where does the banality of evil fit into here? >> very clever indeed. they called that book on
eichmann in jerusalem, she proved herself to be the worst court reporter of all time. she seemed to fall for eichmann's self exoneration when he said, i am just a bureaucrat following orders. eichmann has been recently shown not at all banal. he said, i will leap laughing into my grave knowing i have the death of a million jews on my conscience. that was his great source of strength. >> he said that near the end? >> near-ish the end. i think the best remark about the banality of evil is the author of the nazi dogma, who said they may have been banal when they started, but once they
started killing and producing atrocities, they weren't banal anymore. >> they were what? >> monstrous. it is perhaps the greater mastery -- hitler is a mystery, the german people, another mystery. , but the slander of jews not a slander of a huge fraction of the germans, that they went like sheep to the slaughterhouse and got to work. society highly educated there had ever been on earth was capable of that. >> incomprehensible. mcbeth, i am in wade, but should i no more. >> it is a mystery to people.
the war was lost very early on. it was lost in december, 1941, when the blitzkrieg against russia collapsed. hitler acknowledges this in the war diary. no victory can be won. later, pearl harbor and he declares war on america. he has the ussr on one flank and the usa on the other, as well as the british empire arranged against him. thinking,s obviously the war aim of dominating europe is over, but the war aim of killing the jews is still achievable. he sort of thought that was worth doing. in his last will and testament, just a few days before his suicide, he said, i will be thanked by future generations
for purging europe of its jews. that cancer of mankind. he honestly thought he had done humanity a service. i don't understand that. >> have you read anything that argues that if he had not gone to russia, if he had not learned the lessons of napoleon, the war would have been different? >> the first law of warfare is, never invade russia. the same historian i mentioned said that if we search for coherence in hitler's psychology and actions, the only one that makes any sense is self-destruction. >> the only coherent idea is self-destruction? inoperable. were
empire was a preindustrial notion, that you could just swallow up. once the war had failed, he honed in on a new enemy, germans. his conduct of the war, especially in the last year, was designed to let the russians in, not the allies, and make it as rough as possible, make the defeat as thorough and disastrous as possible. national death was what he had in mind for germany. >> talk about creating the characters. >> thompson is a young ss officer. ands the nephew of martin he is independently rich. zleligves him a sort of
aspect in that he pops up in various places in the reich. he does various odd jobs for his uncle. >> for protection. >> in this case, the extent of this surprised me very much, auschwitz consisted of three camps. auschwitz, where the killing took place, and five kilometers away. there, they were building the biggest and most advanced plant in europe. the idea was to make germany self-sufficient in rubber and synthetic fuel. >> which could have been a factor in the war. >> it could have prolonged the war. when the factory was supposed to come online, it would have consumed more electricity than berlin. 30,000 jewish slaves died trying
to produce synthetic rubber and fuel. , who is really the hero , he is one of millions of germans -- they say about 40% of germans hated the and obstructed it as best they could without putting their lives on the line all the way. only a few people did that. first, he is just an abstract or, gives bad advice, ideologically sound but ruinous advice. then, when the relationship with blossomsndant's wife into real feeling, he starts to be an active senator. he is discovered and arrested in the very last pages of the straight narrative.
he does a few years in prison. >> why the affair? what is the purpose of having him have an affair? >> it is not an affair. he doesn't even kiss her on the lips. it is just one kiss. >> is it an obsession? attraction? was it love? >> yes, he falls in love. that is what empowers him to become a real resister and not just a foot dragger. sanehappened to ordinary, germans was that, after 1933, it horror, it was a complete sense of unreality. you are in a synthetic world. space washe private
crushed into almost nothing, you would think all your finer feelings would leave you and you would be quite glad to see them go. let it go, i can't be thinking about poetry or about love. you divest yourself of sensibility. what happens to him in auschwitz is that he feels that feeling coming back when he sees her. >> so he gains a sense of what it means to be human. >> yes. >> then there is, i don't know how to pronounce this -- [indiscernible] jew, who isolish the most degraded of everyone in the whole story of the holocaust. detailart of the special that deals not only with the quarters, shaves the head and gets out the fillings and grinds but they and all that,
also have to mingle with the evacuees when they arrive on the ramp and say, welcome. hope you are not too tired after your voyage. you will soon feel better when you have your meal at the guesthouse. in fact, they were all going to be dead in an hour. the most ambiguous, most morally questionable of all the actors -- and they would be killed themselves. you only delayed your death by a few weeks. .> so he would be dead >> yes. making himselfby indispensable, which is agony. he is helping the german war effort against the jews. saunders did occasionally save a life. they would go up to a young man and say, you are 18 years old and you have a trade.
doctor would look you over and say, how old are you? 18. any younger, you would go straight to the gas. you would say, i am an electrician, a carpenter. you would prove your worth that way. where your first duty is to cremate your predecessors. that is how they inducted them into the squad. many refused to do it out right and were killed at once. >> what is the magic mirror? -- an old old an story. i elaborate a bit in the novel. the king asks his wizard to make a magic mirror, a mirror that will not show your reflection, but show who you are, your soul. he builds the mirror, creates
the mirror, and the king can't look at it without turning away, nor can the wizard. in this peaceful land, the king offers any of his subjects a chest full of treasure if they can look at the mirror for a minute without turning away, and no one can. now, in my -- >> is it because of discussed with your soul? >> you normally don't see more than about 5% of anyone, yourself included. and quite right that you shouldn't. iceberg, notof the the mass of the iceberg. atrocity-producing situation like auschwitz, you see the rest of the 95%. everyone describes the experience as one of staggering surprise. as a perpetrator, you find that
you can do it or you like it. enormousim, you find strength in yourself. the voices of the survivors are of such a high level of perception and wisdom, and aphorism, that it convinces you that what help you survive was the force of life. you had to have other things. immunity to despair, constantly cherishing your sense of innocence -- >> cherishing your sense of innocence. even do that because he doesn't feel innocent. >> he says, i am choking, i am drowning. >> and i need something more than words. he also saw his sons being , so it is as bad as it could be. >> and then at the end of the
commandant,e of the he goes to see her -- .> he tracks her down i got this insight from a married couple who were in auschwitz together. a doctor and his wife. they found themselves drifting apart after the liberation. -- he is a psychologist and he said, what seems to have gone wrong is that when we were in this hell hole together, we booked to each other to represent civilization and normality. after it is all over, they look at each other and see the camp. departshe says, i cannot -- be part of anything that suggests good can come out of
the camp. >> and i want to say, they are not french. >> writing about the holocaust, , the unimaginable , if you write about it, the unimaginable is stripped of some of its horror. >> so you shouldn't write about it? , no poetry said after auschwitz. >> no poetry. >> but there was poetry during auschwitz. primo levy, his fiction and .rose just to elaborate on why i think novelists and poets should be say "poets shouldn't
and novelists not welcome." ets,,ts -- po novelists and historians are like the team that goes to investigate the crash of an airplane. they can't say there will be no more crashes. planes don't crash because this happened again. justifyelf is enough to any sort of person for visiting this subject and reinforcing that investigation. >> thank you. martin amis, the book is called "the zone of interest." thank you for joining us. see you next time. ♪