Misreading History with Richard Bulliet

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Event Name: Misreading History with Richard Bulliet
Transcription Date:Transcription Modified Date: 5/24/2019
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to be here with you this evening see so

many familiar faces and some many new


I am honored to have been invited to

moderate this discussion and I wonder

what journalist wouldn't be thrilled to

have a chance to sit and pick the brains

of dr. Richard bullit and Sheikh Hamza

Yusuf I think this is a rather

appropriate room for us to be in to

discuss miss reading history Altschul in

German or Yiddish means old synagogue

and a synagogue is a place for worship

for wrestling with the soul and for

becoming educated and I look forward to

doing that with you and our guests this

evening now in my time at Columbia

University where I studied at the

journalism school I did not have a

chance either to study with or interview

dr. dr. Richard bullet so I'm going to

make up for some of that lost time

tonight I can say this that for the past

thirty some years he has taught in

Columbia University's history department

almost non-stop since 84 he's been

director of the Middle East Institute

here at Columbia University his

geographical expertise of the what we

call the Middle East goes from North

Africa into Southwest Asia southern

Europe and of course over to Iran his

spiritual expertise extends through the

Abrahamic traditions Judaism

Christianity and Islam although I don't

quite know to which one he ascribes yet

he is a time traveler his expertise is

also in Medieval Studies so from the

Middle Ages to today dr. bullet is also

a novelist

and I'm intending to read some of those

books his gradient critically acclaimed

non-fiction book I present to you here

the case for Islam Oh Christian

civilization well this is Islamic

Christian civilization and he argues

that civilizations of the Middle East

and the West should be viewed as sharing

common cultural traditions and I see

that as a rather daring

counter establishment counterculture

type of view and thesis and I'll bet

that you've got some stories to tell

about how people reacted to this

outlandish notion of an Islamic

Christian civilization and I hope we'll

hear some of those tonight ladies and

gentlemen please help me welcome dr.

Richard bullit


well thank you very much it's a

particular pleasure to be able to share

a platform with Sheikh Hamza and to see

this auditorium filled more than I think

I've ever seen it before I feel like a

I'm opening for the Rolling Stones or

something but in fact this is a

conversation and the format is that we

will begin the conversation with to

hopefully not too long-winded monologues

and then we'll move on to having a more

a more formal conversation so I got to

talk to you for about for about 20

minutes miss reading history is is not

the right title you can't miss read

history until it's miss written and I

think that the the crucial thing here is

the miss writing of history now I say

you can't miss read it because where do

you get your history you get your

history from ultimately from written

sources you may get it at first hand or

may hear stories from your parents or

friends something like that but it but

at some point somebody wrote down the

history and history is structured

according to master narratives master

narratives are those things about

history that have been repeated so often

and so confidently with so little

variation that they are taken to be true

and yet none of them are master

narratives are the the triumphs of the

historian everybody would like to invent

the particular story that then gets told

in every history book for the next for

the next five thousand years but the the

fact the matter is the master narratives

are invented by historians and the more

successful they are the less

people are inclined to question them and

yet they're continually being questioned

and they're being questioned in ways

that are effective so that if I can give

a very obvious example if you read a

history of Europe written before let us

say 1950 you'll read the standard

history of Europe - the women oh there

were no women in Europe before 1950 then

you go you move along and you get a

generation of really formatively

talented feminist scholars who are

historians they find the sources they

read the sources they write the stories

they publish the stories you cannot read

a history of Europe now that is not

teeming with women we need this in the

Middle East though frankly but the fact

of the matter is someone has to do it so

we have rewritten the master narratives

so the European history is now

co-educational European history is I

mean history my hometown Rockford

Illinois where I grew up in a Methodist

household just to I yeah so set your

mind at ease

in my own town I grew up and I knew that

there were two people who founded

Rockford Illinois one was named captain

wasn't one his name Blake I recently

went to the homepage of my town and I

found out that three people founded

Rockford Kent Blake and the slave of one

of them and suddenly black people

appeared because that's a new master

narrative at one time there were no

black people in American history now

there are so when I talk about the idea

of reshaping master narratives I'm not

talking about something that is that's

purely fanciful I'm talking about

something that is that is the bread and

butter of what historians strive to do

and right now there is a contest going

on to some degree in the question of

rewriting the master narratives of of a

history that engages the Muslim Middle

East and North Africa if not the entire

Islamic world and Europe primarily North

Western Europe in that contest on the

one hand you have a book like this bad

book just just published by Anthony pag

den of UCLA or USC UCLA

it's called worlds at war the 25 year

2500 year struggle between east and west

there's a book that the noted

but not very good historian Ephriam

Karsch describes as if you are going to

read only one book on the manichaean

struggle between this and what east and

west this is the book but that's the

master narrative it is to say not that

there is a history of Europe a cruft

Christendom and there's a history of

Islam but rather there's a history of

good and evil and you know don't be

surprised if I tell you that the good

happens to be the Christians and the

tradition that they established in

Europe and the evil the manikyam I mean

the whole note and I wouldn't have

quoted Karsch

using the word Manichean because i don't

think he's very good a storyand but in

fact pegged in himself describes Islam

as a Manichaean religion he doesn't

explain what he means this is part of

his singular style but the but the fact

of the matter is what he could he talks

about he says that his book had the

Genesis because he has a wife who's a

classicist and she saw a picture of

Iranians bowing down in prayer and it

brought back to mind the fact that

Herodotus had commented that the

Iranians bow down before the king she

didn't seem to be able to distinguish

between god and the persian king and she

said you know here we have something

that's been continuous since the days of

Herodotus namely the bowing down and she

said to her husband why don't you write

a book about the perpetual enmity

between Europe and Asia puts the words

perpetual enman enmity in quotes

specifically Herodotus's idea of the

perpetual enmity between Europe and Asia

what Herodotus meant was the Trojan War

you had Athens fan or the Achaeans in

general and right across the aisle

Aegean Sea you had Troy Troy was in Asia

the Achaeans were in Europe that was a

perpetual end when he he was talking

about but somehow it's now transformed

into Herodotus the time traveler who can

coin a phrase that will be true for the

for the succeeding 2500 years which he

did not live to see this is the sort of

effort to to recalibrate master

narratives so what this book is it's not

a history of worlds at war it's a

history of the European imagining of its

enemies there's nothing here

actually about the other side and in

fact the author and the publisher both

felt that it was unnecessary to have

anyone proofread the book who actually

knew any Middle Eastern languages so he

has this you know you every tiny Dutch

village name is correctly spelled and he

has a real tough time with virtually any

name from the Middle East but the but

the point of the matter is it's it's

it's taking the the broad narrative of

European history and recasting it as one

of perpetual war with the east now we

saw you know this is up not a big


Edward Sade my you know admired

colleague here at Columbia wrote about

this but he wrote about it in the

context of imperialism in which you

either had people who were acting as

agents of imperialism who are

unconsciously abetting imperialism but

here you have something I think that is

somewhat more more tenacious in other

words what this book tries to do is to

say that everything in the European

tradition has always been and forever

will be good and everything in the East

whether it's the ancient Persian Empire

or the Muslims of today will be bad this

happens to be one of the better books I

mean it's a good read piece of crap but

it's a good read in terms of style and

it's been well reviewed in the New York

Times in The New Yorker it will get a

bad review in The Washington Post if

they publish my review but I'm waiting

to see whether they actually publish it

now your trap contrast this with another

effort to to recast master narratives

which is my own book case for Islamic

Christian civilization the argument of

that book is that you know we don't have

two civilizations clashing we actually

have one civilization arising

ideologically and religiously out of the

Abrahamic tradition but also sharing

enormous similarities in peril

over the last 14 centuries and it could

and it should be written as a single

history and that that's that was my

master narrative I call it Islamic

Christian civilization

nobody would review that book it wasn't

reviewed by any newspaper in the United

States it's been translated into other

languages it always gets reviewed

outside the United States but in this

country it was not reviewed there were

reasons for this one of them was that it

struck me that there is nothing

absolutely anathema about people engaged

in in democratic or electoral politics

taking their religion as a guide in

those politics within the secular

establishment in this country there is a

self deluded belief that religion plays

no role whatsoever in the American

democracy even at the same time they

know that religion plays a powerful role

in American democracy but the idea that

somebody would say it's okay for a

person of faith to also be engaged in

the political arena with their faith

relevant to their politics that was

something that was considered

unacceptable and of course the other

thing was that Islamic Christian

civilization does not include Islamic

Christian Judeo civilization and I

actually wait I think all the way to

page 2 before explaining why I don't

include Jewish civilization is because

I'm not talking about the shared

scriptural basis in which of course I

would have included Judaism but rather

I'm talking about other aspects of

history largely having to do with the

institutions with you know

interrelationships with the issues of

cohabitation or a non cohabitation and

so forth and so on now book like that

instead of taking the existing master

narrative and tweaking it in a post-911

Manichaean direction proposes a

different master narrative in which we

say why don't we look at all this


and what would happen if you did that

and isn't really ridiculous the way so

many of my detractors seem to think well

in the first place if you read the

history the master narratives of the

history of the West the Middle East is

all over it after all Jesus came from

the Middle East the whole religious

tradition of the West comes from the

Middle East I mean so many ways Greeks

and Romans yes but also Mesopotamians

and Egyptians so how how is that handled

by historians well one thing they could

do of course is to say well you could

you could divide the Mediterranean Sea

with a vertical line in which you would

have to the east of the line all the

text would be in Greek and to the west

of the line the text would be in Latin

then you could say you have two

civilizations and they're clashing you

have the Latin civilization versus the

Greek civilization and you could show

that the Latin civilization regularly

and successfully beat up the Greek

civilization because the Romans

conquered everybody but they didn't

successfully impose their language Greek

continued to be the the intellectual

language in the East but nobody draws

that vertical line even though everyone

recognizes it why don't they draw the

vertical line that's because they say

we're talking about greco-roman

antiquity and so you hyphenate something

and you say okay if you put that - in

there hey it makes it all one and so

greco-roman antiquity antiquity it is

until the Arab conquests then suddenly

there's a horizontal line that divides

the north side of the Mediterranean from

from southern Spain and Sicily on the

south side met rhenium and that line is

considered to be definitive and yet it

is no more definitive than the

hypothetical vertical line that would

divide the Greeks from the Latins

what I mean by no more definitive well

first I mean that most of the people on

the south side of that line most of the

people living in the early Caliphate

were Christians

the majority of all the Christians alive

at the time of the prophets death ended

up under Muslim rule and over a period

of three to four hundred years their

descendants for the most part became

Muslims now it's understandable that

Christians at the time viewed this as a

absolute catastrophe because their faith

communities were taken over by someone

else and some of them became isolated

like the Armenians or the Georgians or

the or the Ethiopians others became a an

embattled remnant such as the remaining

parts of the Byzantine Umbra Empire

others embarked on a huge new campaign

to to Christianize parts of Europe that

had not previously been Christian namely

Germany Scandinavia Poland British Isles

etc Islam and Latin Christendom expand

at the same time that's true

Christianity six centuries older but in

their particular territories are

expanding at the same time and the

reason for the institutional

similarities between them is that they

share this great this great experience

of having massive populations over

several centuries join the new religion

whether it's Latin Catholic Christianity

or whether it's Islam so they have a

shared history of of expansion but in

the in Europe the expansion is at the

expense of polytheists in the Middle

East it's at the expense of Jews and

Christians and in fact you have a much

more peaceful expansion of Islam then

you have of Christianity although now

the opposing master narrative argues

that is

has always been militant and violent and

warlike where you know you don't want to

go back to early Christian history in

the West and ask who was being militant

and violent warfare and who are like and

for that matter there is no part of the

world bar none

that has as as intense a history of

almost continual warfare as Europe from

the time of the peace of August's in the

first century AD down to the current EU

era and European history in between

there's almost two thousand years of

nearly constant warfare by comparison

the Islamic world is a haven of peace

most of the time but nobody wants to

hear that that's not part of the master

narrative because the master narrative

is that you know warring competition

makes you strong and inventive and you

know gives you the power to rule the

world well this is have gilding the lily

I think but it's a it's part of this

story now what I'm trying to to argue

for is a a view of history that says you

know the similarities both in doctrine

and in scriptural origin and in the

actual history of institutions whether

we're talking about universities or the

clergy or other phenomena the spread of

a single dominant religious language

that the the similarities between what

happens in the Islamic Middle East and

North Africa and what happens

particularly in that part of Europe that

becomes part of Latin Christendom those

civil ladies similarities are so great

as to constitute a single history and

they should be taught together just as

someone in a classics Department is

expected to know Greek and Latin and

someone at least in this university who

studies East Asian history is required

to know both Japanese and Chinese we

should make it a requirement that anyone

who does let's say pre modern history

dealing with northwest the northwest

quadrant of the afro-eurasian landmass

they should all be required to to know

both Arabic and and Latin and preferably

Greek and Persian as well because we

don't we've been so governed by the

narratives of division that we have

structured our entire Academy around

this it is naive I think of me to think

this could ever change I when I was

writing the book I had this idea that I

would throw out the term Islamic

Christian civilization and then I would

simply google it every few weeks or a

few hours and and watch as it took over

the world because surely that is what a

better idea does this is this is what a

this is what the better mousetrap does

so I did and lo and behold I pretty soon

eyes out of the single digits and so you

know I can't say that my endeavor has

been crowned with success or perhaps

ever will be crowned with success but if

one thing I think it has done is to

introduce at least the possibility of

people reading history differently and

it isn't that you can look at it this

way and learn from the other the notion

of the other is in itself is a

questionable issue are we not the same

who's the other after all for a very

very long time

Europeans knew perfectly well who the

other was and if you were a Lutheran it

meant it was the satanic Pope in Rome

and if you were a Catholic

it meant it you were one of these young

it was these people who followed these

demonic demented

Protestant leaders and then it all kind

of cooled out they said hey hey we're

all Christians we can get along well you

know I'm not saying that there is no

violence now that there is no no contest

but in the long run we have one history

we're all sharers in this history and if

the Protestants and the Catholics can

sit down and break bread together and

agree to hate Muslims then why can't the

Protestants and the Catholics and the

Orthodox and the Jews and the Muslims

sit down and recognize that they have

more to learn and more to gain from

talking about their shared history than

they have in allowing anyone to

perpetuate the kind of ideologically

distorted history that this book

represents which to me is a profound

misreading thank you very much

thank you doctor bullet I think we can

all make a difference in creating a

slow-mo Christian as a part of our

current lexicon we should go to Google

we should write about it we should

demand it we need to put it in our

language what do you say why not

because you know it wasn't that long ago

that the notion judeo-christian became

part of our lexicon so there's nothing

impossible I think about what dr. bullet

suggests it is now my pleasure to

introduce to you Sheikh Hamza Yusuf who

is also a teacher who is a leader and a

friend he is founder and resident

scholar of Zaytuna Institute he is a man

who has learned his religion and taught

it with Austin authenticity and love in

a way that I greatly admire I will say

that he's mastered the language of the

Quran and my father is an Arab and I've

never mastered that so I'm I'm humbled

the tuna is based in Berkeley a city

that cultivates many revolutionary ideas

in in this last century in America and I

think a seminary Muslim seminary is

indeed a revolutionary idea

that's a to know sheikh hamza and his

partner Imams a shaker bring a

multi-dimensional and pluralistic and

traditional kind of learning to the

spirit of Islam and are beginning to

infuse a real sturdy steady integral

sense of Islam in America it's a very

exciting time I believe to be a Muslim

here in this country

Shekhar's is committed to as dr. bullet

is a better understanding of Islam in

this country at this time of crossroad

and indeed we are at a crossroads here

in this country and I think globally

since the defining day of that crossroad

September 11th 2001 Hamza Yusuf has

emerged as an expert on Islam in

Erica like professor bullet he

emphasizes the urgency of mutual

understanding among people of faith for

those of you who can go to Zaytuna and

sit at the feet of hamza and Imams aood

I highly recommend you avail yourselves

of the opportunity for those who cannot

we are here tonight to avail ourselves

of the opportunity of listening to

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf and then I will

return and the three of us will sit

together and talk please welcome a lot

and I say to Mohammed wine and he was

Sam he will send him to cinema and ham

dude first of all I wanted to just to

say to dr. bullet that I felt like I was

the opening act was the Beatles so now

I'm really stuck here so I think the

idea of miss reading history is a major

problem miss reading any book is always

a problem one of the former professors

at Columbia University Mortimer Adler

actually wrote a book called how to read

a book and it's actually worth reading

I would get the first edition which was

1940 it went into several editions and

it was later rewritten with Charles Van

Dorn who was the son of another teacher

from Columbia that I was actually named

after my father studied and took his

degree from Columbia here so I'm not an

alumnus but I am the son of an alumnus

that counts for anything here at the

university they'll probably send a

donation the thing now I I want to

recommend for people to read this book

because I think it is an important book

and I would not really put it past the

West that one day the idea of an Islamic

Christian civilization is quite possible

I said a few minutes ago that I think

before the Holocaust it would have been

been impossible for there to have been

the concept of a judeo-christian society

in the West I think it would have been

very difficult for people people tend to

forget that it wasn't that long ago when

Jewish people couldn't go onto the

beaches of the East Coast there used to

be signs no Jews and no Negroes allowed

so things have changed and that should

give us hope that there is possibility

of change there's a lot of talk about

change going on lately in the air but

the truth is that things do change

things change for the worse and things

change for the better and that's part of

the nature of just being in the world

even as you grow older I think you find

certain things change for the worse like

your body but your your mind actually

reaches its peak at 49 according to

Aristotle so for the young people in the

audience you have something to look

forward to if the lessons aren't making

any sense right now you might want to

review those notes in about 25 years

when you've got enough grey cells to

actually work out what the hell the

professor was talking about but I do

think things change and I think today

we're living at a time in which ideas

that were the ideas of philosophers a

thousand or 2,000 years ago are actually

becoming a currency amongst common

people which is quite stunning the idea

of racialism today is anathema in the

United States and public discourse it

it's very difficult for anybody your

career is pretty much ended if you

display public racism now there are a

lot of racists in the United States of

America and there are a lot of people

that are not even aware of their racism

we've had sociological studies where

they'll have a black person with a

Harvard degree come in and the person

interviewing the white person

interviewing them will change their

syntax because there's an assumption

that they just have to speak in a

different way and those people might

consider themselves completely free of

any racism but there are embedded

assumptions in worldviews and in the way

we look at things so things do change

and racism is one of the things that

we're seeing change in this country the

fact that 70 percent of the young people

in this country in the democratic

elections have been voting for Obama and

I think that's quite extraordinary it

says something about what's happening in

our youth it's it's and I think that

that's a sign if California they say

that what happens on the East Coast

today happened about 15 years ago on the

west coast I don't know if that's true

but we're all driving hybrid cars I

don't know if they've gotten out here

yet and we just started the Department

of volunteers which is quite I think an

extraordinary achievement by the

governor out there who if you want to

know why we elected him we're hoping

that we're going to be mistaken as a

foreign country

over in Europe so that that's one area

that has really changed we the the

people during the civil war there were

people in this country that justified

racism biblically as well as rationally

they used arguments from Aristotle of

natural slaves that there are natural

slaves in the world many of those people

were actually religious people Christian

and Jewish leaders that argued that it

was biblical that there was a biblical

basis the South was a very Christian

part of the country in fact the the the

confederacy could have been seen really

as almost a fundamentalist army I mean

these were really devout Christians and

they thought that slavery was a

perfectly acceptable biblically

sanctioned way to engage with other

people but that is no longer the case

despite the fact that there's still

racism in the South people do not accept

that idea of one person owning another

person so I think we have to be aware of

that that's quite extraordinary now in

terms of the miss reading of history I

think first of all you have to read

history before you can miss read it and

I think unfortunately a lot of people do

not know anything about the past the

past for many people is taken from

Hollywood films they know more about I

think British history from films like

Braveheart than they do from anything

they heard in in a history class and

Braveheart is has nothing to do with

British history for people that know

anything about William Wallace or what

actually have an other that there was a

guy named William Wallace who did fight

somebody named Edward you know the

second in in in British history

but this is something that many people

in this country are not aware of not

only our own history and a good example

of that is something like Ron Paul who's

seen as

kind of wacko candidate and yet much of

what he articulates is is very consonant

with founding fathers early beliefs so

it shows you how far the country has

come in terms of the founding fathers

and for instance foreign policies no

foreign entanglements that was

definitely part of American foreign

policy for a long time Americans did not

want to get involved in other places

there was massive resistance to even

getting into World War one and World War


there was actually a very strong America

first movement in this country one of

the spokespersons for that movement was

Charles Lindbergh who flew across the

Atlantic so there was an isolationist

attitude in the United States Americans

did not like to get involved in foreign

entanglements despite the fact that

there is a history especially after

during the McKinley and after that there

is a history of imperialistic

interventions in places like the

Philippines but generally there was

resistance to that certainly Mark Twain

if anybody's ever read his article about

the Philippines and the massacre of the

Filipinos he was part of the

anti-imperialist movement in this

country and very well-respected as

people know one of his statements about

which I think related to the Philippines

is that naked people have no rights in

this world meaning Aboriginal people and

he has his own racist remarks and things

like that in his statements but he was

acting as an American he's

quintessentially American in his anti

imperialist attitudes so the problem

with this country and the way that we

miss read history I think is that we do

have this master narrative the Americans

tend to see themselves as wearing white

hats in in many ways we are the

Manicheans we are the people that really

see things in terms of black and white

it's very difficult for us to perceive

ourselves as the bad guy because it's

just doesn't go with the narrative that

we were raised with that that was a view

of that Americans had manifest destiny

God is with after the the the

kaveri char's and the indians all fell

the Cavallari chars and the indians all

died but the country was young then with

God on our side and this is a view that

has been carried into the Middle East

this is a view that has been carried

into Afghanistan and many other places

so it's hard for us to see that we have

good intentions and this is an argument

you will hear well we have good

intentions so we're not really there

about the oil we're there to bring them

democracy well there's a lot of other

countries in the world that don't have

democracy that would have been a lot

easier to bring democracy to as just

sample case studies just to show that we

could do it like for instance Miley

Miley would give you no resistance at

all I've been to Mali I guarantee you

the Malians would love for the Americans

to invade the country and build their

infrastructure drill wells for them so

that they'd actually have potable water

and their children didn't die from

dysentery because I was just in West

Africa and I was in a village there

where the children are urinating blood

because of the grit in the water and so

I'd like to see us bring just wells to

Mauritania just wells not democracy just

well so that they can drink pure water

but that's all because we spend billions

watering our lawns and that water is

potable billions watering lawns but

we've got people dying from a lack of

potable water all over the world so

these are the realities of our time we

we like to see ourselves both in the

past and in the present as sometimes

very different from how we're viewed by

others and so it's very it becomes very

important to listen to the others so

that perhaps you can hear something

because one of the Imam Shafi one of the

great scholars of Islam who was noted

for his impeccable character was once

asked how he got such good character he

said I listened to my critics and I took

their criticism seriously it can be very

very therapeutic to listen to what

people who don't like you have to

say it can actually help you see

yourself one of the extraordinary things

about the Greeks and the Trojan War was

mentioned if you look at Homer homers

anything but manichaean because although

he's a Greek writing this sacred history

of the Trojan War I tend to side with

the view that he actually really has a

soft spot for the Trojans I think he

really sees them as actually having more

virtue than a lot of these Greek Keon

leaders in that war and yet he was a

Greek and that's why the Iliad is

anything but melodramatic because the

Greeks were not melodramatic great

literature and great poetry is never


it can't be or it wouldn't be great

literature or great poetry so when you

read poetry and and this is one of the

beauties for me of the tradition of

Islam is that it demands of you before

you can actually interpret the Quran you

have to master jaggedy poetry because

it's poetry that gives us the nuances of

life it's only through the poet's vision

of the world that we can actually get a

sense of the ambiguities of the world

and this is something that's often very

difficult for people to recognize that

the world is an ambiguous place it is

often very easy to miss read the world

it's very often easy to see ourselves as

we are not rather than as we are and

it's always easy to see ourselves in the

best light always that's the easiest way

to go down so in in reading history I

think the first and the first and most

important aspect is is obviously to get

the right books because often if it's

Mis written we fall into great error and

and these these lies and distortions of

history have been repeated so often that

they do become like truths for instance

that the Alexandrian library was burnt

by the Muslim

III even had a professor even though I

proved to him that it was not and this

was a professor of Religious Studies I

proved to him that it was not the case

he still told me well I like my version

better ok I mean quite literally and

this is like Galileo makes fun of a

group of church men where he shows them

that the this the central nervous system

was was located in the brain and not the

heart and he shows them and and he and

they remark that it's very interesting

what you've demonstrated and had not

Aristotle said that it was centered in

the heart we'd have to agree with you so

this is one of the tragedies that we

have authorities that become like Moses

bringing tablets in stone

if Bernard Lewis said it it must be true

because he is the doyen of Middle

Eastern Studies

nobody knows Middle Eastern Studies

better than he's fluent in Turkish and

Arabic and Persian and and and what do

you say oh great master o wise one grand

pooh-bah of all who know of the Middle

East tell us what you see with your vast

wisdom Islam something's gone wrong

we have to rectify it the question that

that I would have as an American living

in this country not even as a Muslim

American as an American is what went

wrong here what went wrong here because

when I grew up in this country I had to

get under a wooden desk out of fear of

being bombed by the Russians with

nuclear bombs if it long before Osama

Bin Ladin seriously and this was not an

axis of evil that was living in caves

that didn't even have email because

there there's there's no seriously

there's there's

oh you know Osama you've got mail you

know he's not he's not up there in that

cave you know this this was this was the

Russian war machine this was a real

threat and and we were told quick get

under your desks when I was in third

grade I didn't realize that the little

wooden desk would not protect me from a

nuclear explosion so why were they doing

that to us what was the purpose of that

exercise create fear I inherited from my

great grandmother

Lillian Cummings who studied rhetoric in

high school in Wichita Falls and in that

book which she studied in 1882 by

Alexander bein called rhetoric there's a

section called the emotions she was 16

years old when she studied this section

and in that section it had a couple

paragraphs on fear and it said

politicians will often use fear to

deprive citizens of their civil

liberties this is why in a democracy

citizens must be vigilant and always be

on guard against the use of fear because

once a person enters into a state of

fear he's willing to surrender his

common sense now why aren't those books

taught in our schools anymore really why

aren't they taught instead you know

Roosevelt said all we have to fear is

fear itself and and we had a president

that started orange alerts and red

alerts and are you afraid yet that was

actually a cover of Time magazine it had

the question are you afraid yet question

mark but when I was growing up we had

the Russian threat and yet I never heard

anybody talking about should we torture

Russian spies if we capture them to find

out what they were doing

should we have a Guantanamo

Bay for Russian spies I never heard that

it just wasn't part of America at that

time and that's why for me to be in this

country and hear people talking about

the torture question when did it become

a question because I thought that was a

medieval concept that that we we've

thrown off

I thought we transcended that I thought

human dignity no matter what a person

did they were entitled to be protected

in their body that's what I thought this

country was about so what went wrong

here that's that's a that's a question

that I think Bernard Lou's needs to ask

also if he's going to ask what went

wrong over there which is a valid

question because things aren't so good

over there but are things really that

good over here

because we've got we're rebuilding

apparently Iraq and Afghanistan and and

we haven't rebuilt New Orleans yet we

haven't rebuilt New Orleans yet really

so we have to be able to perceive the

world through the lens of nuance we have

to recognize that we're not living in a

black-and-white world there's not pure

evil in this world and pure good human

beings are an admixture of good and evil

it's our nature all of us whether you're

Muslim this is one of the extraordinary

things about the world is it's so evenly

distributed good and evil really it's

it's quite extraordinary and

intelligence as well the idea of

superiority of races intelligence is

very evenly distributed across the the

world you can take people from the

poorest countries in the world and take

them as little children and put them in

the most developed countries in the

world they learn very quick they adapt

they learn all the same sciences

everything that people here are learning

they can do it in fact you can take a

Bedouin where I lived in Mauritania you

can take a Bedouin and bring him here

and within two weeks he'll know how to

turn the switches on flush the toilet

put the toast into the toaster pop it

out you open the refrigerator pour the

milk out do the whole thing that all we

do but if you go over to where he lives

you'll die in two weeks seriously you'll

die in two weeks

you'll be dead so they can survive here

but we can't survive over there we've

got a lot to learn from the Aboriginal

peoples because we might end up going

back to no electricity and it you know

it looks like it's all headed that

eventually right the polar ice caps are

melting it's gonna all the water levels

will go up and all this electricity that

you'll have water in the house get up to

the level of the sockets and that's it

right Florida they won't have

electricity there I'll be on those

stilted houses like they have in some of

the South Asian countries so we have to

learn to look in a more nuanced way now

that I there's one issue that I want to

talk about our clothes on this is that

we're in a crises and I think

everybody's aware of that and the crises

are very deep and there are no simple

answers to this crises but we need to go

deeper and and I want to use one example

we had a police acquittal I think was an

acquittal did they it was acquittal

three police officers shot somebody

quite horribly 50 times I mean I Madiha

know it was similar situation but we

also have to recognize and this is

something that the Buddhists are

probably more adept at doing the most

other traditions we have to be able to

get in to the skin of the other and

until we can really do that in some real

deep way we'll never get to any serious

solutions we're going to remain in that

black and white us versus them police

versus civilians this type of attitude

we're living in a very violent kind

we have police officers that are

incredibly stressed out they they

graduate from these police academies

probably with a lot of ideas about what

it is to become a policeman and become

very jaded especially those that are

working in these inner cities and things

like this and until we start realizing

that we've got people out there with

post-traumatic stress syndrome we have

people out there with high levels of

depression in my state one of the

highest rates of suicide is in the

Highway Patrol this is this is our

Social Sciences you know people are

having a hard time out there and until

we start seeing that collectively we

need to work together and to really

start looking at these things at a much

deeper level we're not going anywhere in

the Muslim world we have serious

problems we have failed States we have

people that do not have basic rights we

have countries that basically there are

no legal systems they're simply not

working you cannot go to a judge and get

recourse to justice in many many

countries in the world today

it creates an immense amount of

resentment an immense amount of

instability but these are the realities

of our time and then we have a system

that rewards greed and venality we have

a system of economic injustice that is

extraordinarily harmful to the human

condition it not only harms the people

at the very bottom of the pyramid it

also harms the Pharaoh and the Quran

calls the Pharaoh as well as the slave

the Quran commands Moses to go to

Pharaoh and speak to him gently that

perhaps he might wake up and we tend to

forget that the oppressor needs help as

much as the oppressed does Socrates said

I would much rather be the one being

oppressed than the one oppressing

because the oppressed his body is being

harmed but the oppressor is destroying

his soul

in terms of the Islamic Christian

civilization I think it's a possibility

and it's going to either be the ballot

or the bullet and I'm counting on the


I wanted to make note as we're talking

of change at what's possible and the

Islamic Christian civilization that we

have sitting at this stage on this stage

we have a Methodist we find out we have

all three American born here American

born son of two different Christian

traditions Catholic and Orthodox okay

so I ended up you know they call that

the Great Schism so they did divorce and

they produced one of America's great

Islamic and I and I you know I realized

the only way I could really get out of

the madness of the Catholic Orthodox

schism was to become Muslim I told an

Orthodox priest that you know he he was

actually a bishop from Albania and he

was so troubled that I apostate it and I

told him well you do know that we've got

that little clause there in the Orthodox

tradition that as long as you've been

baptized you'll eventually be okay

unlike the Catholics where it's just

well I wanted to mention that my mom is

Christian the daughter of a minister

from Scotland and my father is Muslim

Mustafa hiding from karbala and I think

that the with the three of us up here in

the mission that you set yourself out on

Richard bulletins what you're doing

Hamza in my small way perhaps myself we

are representing possibilities for this

nation and possibilities for the future

as are you out there in the room and

we're not so unusual I really wanted to

say that before we go into a greater

depth on

in this discussion because it's

important to note that there's a people

like us out there people like us out

there and and that's what we're going to

see our hope and our future so I did

notice in this talk of speaking

you stayed often enough and it's the

truth there is an American philosopher

named Tommy smothers who said that as

well he say it often enough it becomes a

truth so it's not just Bernard Lewis

he's in good company I wanted to but I

wanted to take a look just for starters

at the subtitle for this discussion miss

reading history what Islam and the West

can learn from each other so I want to

go there but I also want to thank my

disapproval of the terminologies Islam

in the West apples and videotapes you

know they're not parallel constructs so

as we try to get Islamic Christian in

our vocabulary I'd like to see if we can

find a different constructs first I was

it's a problem and it's used

so what would you say I'm going to do

use their journalist crusher what is the

most important the one thing that

America that go West should learn from

Islam and that as long should learn from

the West just for starters and I hate

that question but it's a journalist

crutch I'm going to use it right now

well the I mean I don't like the terms

either and I I think that no one except

people in the West really do like the

terms what they like about the West is

that they feel that that now is going to

ignore the fact that they have faith

tradition so they come out of and they

can say oh we're we're post Christian

were post on Judaic we're the secular

West without the without the slightest

self-awareness of where they came from

and the way in which where they came

from influence things so the the

question of what you learn to me you

know it seems to mean that you study the

history of the West through Western eyes

and you study the history of Islam it's

your westernized because we do not have

a well-articulated widely distributed

generally agreed upon history of Islam

that has not been generated in response

to and in conversation with and often in

kind of abject acquiescence in the views

of of Western scholars and I think that

one of the

one of the things that Islam can learn

from the West is the necessity of taking

control of the other dis cars so telling

the master narrative from that from

their own point of view the problem is

that the point of view shouldn't be you

know the West says it's always us

against them and we're good and they're

bad the alternative is not to say though

from a Muslim point of view it's us

against them and we're good in the West

is bad meaning you because of the you

can't mirror that dialogue instead you

have to transcend it and say no there is

a different view in which the issue of

some sort of eternal conflict is not

central that's a political changing

environment and the fact the matter is

that for hundreds of years the

Christians in the West did not consider

Islam a separate religion they thought

Judaism the separate us if it was a

heretical form of Christianity

people miss that nuance of the Divine

Comedy in that he places his fictional

character of the Prophet in the circle

schismatic no he not with the false

prophets but with the schismatic s-- and

and and i he is there because he split

Islam according to that Shia Sunni split

narrative so it was seen as a schism

it's it's it's it's very interesting so

for an author like the one that I was

talking about Anthony pactum he says don

t got it wrong inexplicably don t

doesn't understand that it's it's the

West against Islam but the Western songs

are actually very recent yeah and then

the the Eastern Orthodox Christians have

always been disenfranchised from even

Western Christianity and very much I

think that the letter of the arch Bishop

of Antioch to the Pope about his the the

comments he made about Islam he said

look you know we've been living here

with Muslims for centuries and it's very

different from from your perspective and

he was just asking that he understood

the situation a little deeper than he

was presenting it what one one I just I

would say that you know the the prices

and you point this out in your book

about legitimization and the crises of

legitimization legitimacy is a crises

that I don't think is just in the Muslim

world that's happening here as well it's

happening the whole nation state the

concept of the nation-state is becoming

harder and harder to justify in in in

the type of worldwide

world that we're living in the the

corporate hegemonies that are taking

place now and financing and its central

wall which is actually superseding

politics really in determining what's

going on but the there is a crises of

religious authority and the way the

Catholics dealt with that always was

with the Magisterium Jewish and Islamic

tradition had a very nuanced way of

dealing with that through a type of

process of you know the rabbi is in the

odama would would have these long

discussions about things and kind of

finally come to some either a consensus

or an acceptable disagreement like your

opinions valid my opinions valid God

knows best who's right and heretical

views or views that were to deviant to

be accepted within that were identified

and people were told to stay away and

that that's how orthodoxy was identified

that's no longer the case we have google

Islam today we have mass numbers of

Muslims reading primary text which was

never the case you before you could read

a primary text you had to go through a

training that enables you to access

those texts within the hermeneutic

framework of that tradition now we have

sex emerging in the Muslim world that

are really new and one of them is the

political Islamic sect that's a very new

narrative this idea of the Islamic state

that is a completely Western idea that

Muslims have internalized and not even

realized where it came from they don't

see that it actually is a Western idea

yeah and it's far closer to Zionism than

it is to Islam the idea of creating an

ideological state in which the the

believers can live a free of the

impurity in purities of the disbelievers

so I think the what the West has you

know America to a certain degree in

certainly Europe has has been grappling

with in dealing with is how we create a

pluralistic society where religious

space is protected and is not a threat

to the the civil society itself so

religious violence is is it was a crises

that emerged largely in the 17th century

in Europe which led to these solutions

of how we deal with religion because

people are religious by nature but how

do we deal with that so that religion is

protected in spaces protected and yet

it's no longer a violent threat to the

well-being of society well

the Muslim world is grappling with that

now because religious violence is is

something that's very real now in the

Muslim world and it's it's been alien

really in in the history of something

you said it's far less prevalent in the

Muslim world but I think there we have

to learn how we can live with a

religious space in which people are free

to practice their religion as they

understand it well certainly our

Constitution guarantees that freedom of

practice it doesn't say be that

separating church and state at all the

First Amendment it actually says

Congress shall not you know interfere

with and I'm not quoting it exactly

the free exercise of religion when did

this this split start you had mentioned

that a moment ago because I think it

maybe have a time parallel with this

phenomenon it that dimension I think

this is where Edward say he was was

right in associating imperialism I mean

there's always been an anti-muslim

discourse and also parallel to what in

American academia no I mean in Western

thought from the time of the beginning

of the sloth onward there has been an

anti-muslim discourse and they've also

been individuals sometimes influential

ones who have been much more

understanding but when the discourse

because it was a different religion

because it was a power comedy there was

a power computation

it was both but in this sense more

because apart for example Charlemagne

had relations diplomatic contact with

lead with the Calif and then his his

great-great-granddaughter actually sent

an embassy to the Calif and said look

you rural in the east I'm the ruler of

Rome she was the queen of law Ferengi at

that point said why don't we just have a

permanent peace as long as you want and

you know the idea of there being


peaceful relations was not a mathema it

was a matter of whatever the power

consolation was the time but once you

get to the second half of the 18th

century and you get imperialism shifting

into high gear with the idea of kind of

having state imperialism establishing

colonies in areas with large mussel

populations then you begin to get more

of the systematic demeaning of the

Muslim tradition but but actually what

happens was saying I was in Malaysia a

couple of years ago and the sisters in

Islam which is a feminist group there

are they had a meeting with a couple of

visitors the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and

an amount here from New York City and

they gave wonderful talks and the women

were really appreciated it and so forth

and then after saying how much they

enjoyed their discourse they started

asking the tough questions you know what

can you tell us about child custody what

can you tell us about this how can you

be somewhere problems and then these

guys didn't really say anything and it

became clear in conversation and

thinking about afterwards that the

problem was and the Grand Mufti a

bosnian said you know we have a labor

problem in Bosnia and Sheikh Qaradawi

delivered a fewa and I wrote him a

letter saying in Bosnia

I'm the mufti and you don't write a

letter about Bosnia and here they were

two commands of great of great

reputation but from other places were

they going to say something - - to women

in Malaysia and undercut the local maps

in Malaysia well now this is the problem

is this the nation-state beginning the

system that originated at the end of the

Wars of Religion in Europe is this the

nation-state beginning to impose itself

as a model on Islam will you have an

Islam that differs from place to place

or not

as long tradition one of the obligations

it's a condition for the mufti to be a

resident of the place he gives fatwa

moved he's not actually supposed to give

a fatwa to a place he doesn't live in

because he doesn't know the

circumstances take your first magazine

multi he delivered dealing with but this

is opposed to you know people don't know

what the supposed to Tsar we there's a

beginning of learning and internet is

health and there are a lot of people

studying now there are even Muslims who

are teaching Islamic studies and well

we're like it's the thing is fragmenting

and it's it's a real crises and I don't

think people realize the severity of it

it's fragmenting I mean III was just in

the Middle East and you know people

they're having rave parties in in in

Saudi Arabia you know this is this is

globalization you know I mean it's it's

it's a very different world and and the

older people just they don't know what

to do they they're just you know there's

not even a word in Arabic for rave

parties yeah so but one of the appalling

possibilities there are people now who

work in development and divide and other

place in the Gulf who say that over the

next 15 years they expect a transfer of

capital two trillion dollars into the

Gulf Cooperation Council countries that

is to say the Gulf countries excluding

Iran and Iraq practically speaking two

trillion dollars you know at a certain

point does the Gulf become a center of

gravity around which the Muslim world

begins to rotate and if so what kind of

a society is being created there

it's a good point and it is happening

it's becoming a hub there's an

incredible amount of activity there this

that's and it's very exciting people on

every year there and people things are

happening and an incredibly fast pace

but the disruptions to the society

itself are immense and they damn yet

dealt with that and that's something

Suzanne George talks a lot about how you

no fool in his culture are soon parted

that it's it's very it's very difficult

for people outside of Western society to

realize how much of Western

dysfunctionality is embedded in Western

technology in Western ways of doing

things that it's a complete package

there's there's an idea in the West and

I think the Iranians really were were at

the vanguard of this idea that somehow

we could modernize without westernizing

that was that was a very common motif

and a lot of the writings of the 60s and

70s not being aware at how much of

what's going on here is actually part

and parcel of the you know the breakdown

of the family the the dysfunctionality

with drug use all of these things

because as life gets faster and faster

people get more and more disoriented and

and start having a lot of real problems

and that's already and it's happening

there and and they don't have the social

sciences that we have that wasn't things

I was trying to convince the ministries

start reducing social sciences because

you have to understand your your society

like what's happening interview these

young people find out what's going on

their minds the only people that are

doing that are the marketing companies

and Procter & Gamble did Procter &

Gamble did a study called the emerging

air of the consumer and identified four

types of Arabs in the Gulf region the

wee-wees the wheedies the me wheeze and

knees and they said that actually I

think the guy was from California but

they said you know the wee-wees were the

older ones who were more communitarian

the family and the culture were more

important than the individual and then

the the we Me's were the the culture was

still important the family but the

individual was starting to emerge the

the me wheeze the the individuality was

more important than the culture but the

culture was so important but the the

dominant group that they said that was

emerging was the meanies and they could

they could care less about the culture

they just wanted Prada and Gucci and you

know man on TV this is the area that now

have something like 15 American

universities who have decided is that

like school for satellite schools of one

sort or another and they're being bribed

into doing it and why do I think was

offerin dollars simply to to enter the


so you you set up a branch or university

so do you address the the Mimi problem

by talking about your culture or by

bringing in Western educational

institutions to bring in a Western

culture what really is I most maps the

Persian Gulf but if you're in one of the

Arab countries the Persian part is left

off of the geography have you noticed

that sometimes a coffee Arabian golden

oh yes so can we predict today what and

all the Arabs call it the Persian Gulf

long before it was the Arabian Gulf well

you know the National Geographic put put

out one map it said Arabian Gulf and

version Dolf both and the country of

Iran boycotted it and collected

petitions with tens of thousands of

signatures protesting National

Geographic that canceled all National


mailings to Iran and I was the

intermediary I'm trying to solve this

but the way you solve it is that you

call it Persian Gulf and then you have a

footnote and then a tiny tiny script

elsewhere the map to say also some Arab

countries call it the Arabian I remember

the Iranian bathroom that typeset could

be put the foot over to different page

and it's funny how maps become reality

because if I in the 1911 encyclopædia

Britannica all the maps that have

Palestine as the name and you know you

go before Israel in 47 all the maps have

Palestine but now Americans don't ever

know that there was a country called

Palestine that that was actually a place

people here don't know that that most

Americans actually think Israel was

always Israel I have a friend who said

you know I was born in Israel in 1936

and I said you need to take that off

your resume

but I have a a coin from Palestine and

it says Palestine is expect commercial

but in English very beautiful

there've didn't call it Palestine they

call it Shem was never called titles


the Arabs didn't call Philistines so

even Palestine is is a colonial name it

was given by a fine British that had

they actually wanted the biblical name

that's what it was called in biblical

times and the Philistines are actually

almost called enrollment imperialist and

the Philistines are the bad guys in in

the Bible these are dangerous books the

new Old Testament New Testament the

gospel there and end the farm

they're dangerous books they really are

I don't think people realize how

dangerous they are but I think it made a

very good point when you said that now

people are reading the primary text

without any any introduction you said

Muslims are reading it but non Muslims

are reading it too and raining absurd

commentaries in which they say well I

read it in the Quran and my

interpretation of what it means in

governs which is absurd you say well are

you familiar with the fourteen

succeeding centuries of commentary no I

read the Quran it's as if we've really

made sort of a time warp into the

earliest elements of Protestantism where

you try and erase the entire history of

the Catholic thinking about about Jesus

and Christianity and go back to some

kind of primitive intuitive reading of

lead of the gospel except that at least

the early Protestants usually

well that I'm not the you articulated

perfectly that it to me that is the

crises that without a hermeneutic to

understand these books that's rooted in

compassion and in respect for the other

they become manichaean documents that

can really set people apart and I think

Muslims are susceptible to Manichean

readings of the Quran if they're not

careful just as the Christians and the

Jews are very susceptible to Manichean

readings of their book and that's why

the Manichean heresy is a heresy and

it's a heresy in the Islamic tradition

as well khadiyah

is it's the same idea we have we have

the same heresy so all three religions

share that view that it is a very

dangerous way to read these books but

they can be easily read like that and I

would argue that it's easier to read the

Quran like that than it is for a quick

definition for audience because

certainly I know manikyam manikyam is

there was a prophet named mani who

preached that there was a single source

of good and parallel to it a single

source of evil and they would be

eternally at war with one another and

that you should strive in your personal

life to perfect your your life so you

would become pure good and then you

recognize that there is also pure evil

and then it becomes you as

metaphorically for anything that pits

lighten dark good and bad good you evil

cannot be erased it can be fought but it

cannot be erased I mean just that the

Zoroastrian tradition the Maji and


is it's pretty much the same idea that

you know offering - is you know you have

the Mazda hora Mazda and I'll remind the

God and the God of evil and you know

they're if they're locking heads worse

in the in the in in the piranha canned

the the Abrahamic narrative is that God

created evil with the good so it's it's

seen as be coming from the same source

which gives you a metaphysical framework

to understand evil that it has a purpose

that it's it's uh it's it's something

that's inside everyone it's not

something that is outside of yourself

and and therefore it becomes if you

understand that in any true sense of

that word it becomes very difficult to

objectify evil in the world unless you

take that manikyam approach to religion

which religions are very susceptible to

that at a simplistic reading of religion

though the Quran divides the world if

you read it in that gross literal

reading in the demote me known and the

kaffir own but the deeper you go into

the Quran the Quran saying you'll

Tunisian Haman and mate you know he

takes the living out of the Dead and the

dead out of the living that night is

turning into day and day is turning in

tonight and be careful these things

aren't as fixed as they appear there but

you take you take the simple-minded

reading and you get these distortions

that are very violent in some cases but

then you can do that exactly the same

thing of the Bible so that you can say

well nobody would take seriously a verse

of the Bible that says thou shalt not

suffer a witch to live and yet you had

tens of thousands of women burned at the

stake by Christians are drowned because

they weren't because lepers because

there is a belief that witches were

irredeemably evil they were the agents

of Satan and saw so you know you you

always have to to stand up against the

simple-minded black and white

interpretation of things that are

properly in

preface tradition more subtly though

it's increasingly hard to do in our

society where there's more in black and

white available to us both on in

newspapers on the internet and in a sort

of intellectual black-and-white on in

the television news

how do what do we do you know when

you're demonizing the other and dr.

Bhatt was talking earlier about the slew

of zombie films that emerged after 9/11

and you know the the the in those films

invariably the zombies are slaughtered

with impunity by the good guys and that

you know that he was suggesting that

that unfortunately there are people in

this country that look at Muslims as

zombies mindless and malevolent and so

it becomes very easy to I mean I'm

always amazed that they talk about 4,000

American soldiers have died in Iraq and

never when that is mentioned is the the

I mean let's just have the Lancet report

which is a pretty reputable I'm not

pretty it is a reputed reputable journal

in England using the same criteria that

they use for Rwanda and they came up

with almost a million civilians have

been killed in Iraq but let's just have

that you know to be on the conservative

side and say it was 500,000 that's a lot

of human beings that are just gone from

the earth because of a misadventure that

was entirely predicated on lies and

deception and and people suffer from it

but when you demonize people it becomes

easy for people to read the newspaper

about that and eat their breakfast well

one of the things that that we often

talk about in the war on terror and so

it's called asymmetrical warfare in

which we have a lot of weapons and they

don't but they're winning the waves

constructors but the fact the matter is

that asymmetrical warfare would also

apply to something like the Iraq war

where Americans were never threatened by

Iraq still to this day Iraq has never

heard anybody who was not in the

American armed services or working for

an employer employed by the US


whereas bombings and attacks of all

sorts of affected the Iraqi civilians we

are carrying out what labeled a poem

called total war against Iraq but we're

not having total war as something that

we are suffering on our side that that

disequilibrium and this is the reason we

don't have an anti-war movement in this

country is that we don't sense that

we're at war but the Iraqis know damn

well we're a part and that that

asymmetry is is very disturbing to the

soul of the country I think but there

was that thing asymmetry with regard to

Vietnam we were not under attack her

when we threatened by Vietnam we heard

we've heard a lot about the 50,000

Americans who died and not about the

millions of Vietnamese there with the

content you have a country Walter

Cronkite you know nightly news showing

some pretty horrific images coming in -

that was the first time people had more

images you can see stuff on YouTube but

there's been almost total I mean wearing

almost like a Pravda type of situation

here I think in some ways our news is

becoming more and more like Russian news

and we're even seeing that the

scientists have been censored about

global warming nasa scientists and other

scientists were actually censored and

told what they could you couldn't say I

mean thank God some of that stuff is

coming out but there has been a lot of

censorship there have been no pictures

and I'll allow take those pictures of

the funeral the people come

Oh in in the in the body bags and things

like that

so that that's part of problem and then

another aspect of it is and let's face

it it's it's it's it's the it's the the

poor people that are dying over there

are large then if you look at even a lot

of the names it's Sanchez and it's you

know it's you know African American

Mexican American and then for white

communities that are suffering if you go

into the heartland of America in these

small towns those are the people that

are losing the people and and they don't

have that the type of cloud that you

know but there's an irony is that the

American soldier is recently well paid

now he comes from a or she comes from a

lower social stratum usually but it's a

good job until your killer but but one

of the things that we don't seem to

realize is that you know if we ever got

into a big war and we had a draft

together we can't afford to pay a good

salary because well let me say on behalf

of the sons and daughters of Adam here

today thank you dr. bullet anything come

to you so