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10/2/2012 Interviewer: Charlie Rose Joke about ties--"I accept all gifts" Recounts story about his conversation

with his taxi driver about Thomas Friedman "This man is wise, this man sells books, this man talks about how we understand people not only in this country but around the world, and how we elect leaders that can make a difference" Welcome Tom Friedman! How did Tom Friedman become Tom Friedman?

92nd Street Talks: Thomas Friedma

What abour journalism?

During historic period between two

Afterwards, wrote an article about it Eventually went to Oxford on Marsh

Hired to work for wires and was taug Person working in the Middle East w Came back and worked for NY Times

June 1982: Jews invaded Lebanon

Did until 1984 before they started ki

Tomorrow night is the big debate Big questions about what to do David Brooks has column about what they should do My question--ties together a lot of things--what's at stake here? What's the debate going to be about?

What's interesting is what we've all been rooting for--tell us what you wanted to do Politics today: no one wants to test that

Brooks suggested same thing to Romney: be very frank

You've argued for a long time that we need a 3rd party

We also have been watching the place of your residence: necessity of not falling off fiscal cliff Both sides are to blame Not just tea party

Did the president go to Bayner? Test Where do you expect leadership to come from and who has largest public?

President said: mistake was not explaining policy, but not explaining well Get someone else to be "explainer in chief" at DNC Audience wants to hear about two things: Arab Spring Israeli-Palestine

Didn't start Arab Spring You look at Syria and they're flooding into Syria, no one knows their agenda

Some people say we should not have been engaged with the French and the Brits If we broke it, we wouldn't know what comes next Cite example at Benghazzi

It's graphic images at the heart of being able to communicate

Difference with Sarajevo?

When do you say to yourself the judgment of history we're in the wrong side unless we do something

Also positions of Russians Jim Baker and Kissinger also believe that we need to get neighbors involved Must mae sure alamites (?) part of solution Tension ont just between Sunni and Shiite, also radical fundamentalism and mainstream religion You can e part of islamic gov and whether or not they are secular Ex: Turkey--has problems that open itself up for critcism--but do have secular government

Question becomes how does the president use his power? Where is China? China step backward? Turn to China really quickly

"The world is flat" Where is Israel today?

Is Iran a threat to Israel's survival?

Obama is right? Give every opportunity for sanctions?

People who take advantage of failed states.

Do you believe that if Barack Obama is reelected, then the foreign policy will change b/c there are no political or electoral constraints?

What is our role overseas? You looked and said that the fights had been going on for a long time, and we don't have capacity to solve Certain risks to solve

Includes Israel as well?

New book: "That used to be us" How the US fell behind in the world it created and how it can come back Have you ever thought about exercising power instead of writing about it?

3) "You said exactly what I felt" 4) "I want to kill you, your dad, and a 5) "You made me laugh, you made m

92nd Street Talks: Thomas Friedman

About interviewer: "This man single handedly elevates the political converesation in this country" Gives shout-outs to people Grew up in Minneapolis, wanted to be professional golfer, caddied in the US open Life changed in 10th grade because "I had an amazing teacher and an experience where a teacher changed my life" -- jounralism teacher-- Haddy Steinberg--only journalism course he's taken "because she was that good" Taught that "real journalists start their day by reading the NY Times" -- 1968 I loved writing, loved seeing the reaction from the people who read what I wrote. Went to Israel for the summer--first time going out of country, went to Jerusalem; was completely swept up in Middle East, went back all 3 summers of high school During historic period between two wards Learned arabic in high school, graduated and got BA in middle eastern history, attended grad school in England Got start in journalism in 1975 when walking in London and saw headlines on paper, when Jimmy Carter running against Gerald Ford for president Headline: Carter to Jews: If elected, I promise to fire Dr. K -- interesting because this guy who's appealing to Jewish voters is trying to fire first Jewish cabinet member Afterwards, wrote an article about it and was taken and published; paid $50 Eventually went to Oxford on Marshall scholarship (1975-1978): height of Lebanese civil war Fascinating because of the diversity; eating with Lebanese, Jewish, etc. eating together despite the war going on 1979: Iranian revolution happening and had a friend who interned for AP; Friedman tried to work for them but only had editorials in this CV Hired to work for wires and was taught to be a journalist (UPI) Person working in the Middle East was nearly killed; ended up quitting so Friedman got the job Came back and worked for NY Times

May 1982: heard rumor that there was massacre in Syrian town; got visa to Syria and wrote about aftermath of the devastation June 1982: Jews invaded Lebanon "Incredible rainbow of human behavior" -- incredible depravity and incredible acts of kindness and bravery under that pressure Did until 1984 before they started kidnapping journalists Chief white house correspondent for Bill Clinton--cross between journalism and babysitting Chief economics correspondent 1995: Internet rising, globalization

Should be about the real sources of our strength What bothers me about this country is that we can kick it around like a football--and it's a faberge egg; we can break it The debate should be about how we got here; we didn't get here by accident; we had a formula One :Educate people to the level of technology (cotton gin: primary; factory: secondary; computers: should be third but we haven't) Second should be infrastructure; we've fallen about that Third: open immigration policy; Silicon valley: number of great minds Last: most government funded research Would like them to talk about our formula for success; you can grow without a plan but cannot cut without plan Ex: I can cut my fingers to lose weight, but you can cut an artery We've made promises that we cannot keep; we need to raise taxes because we cannot keep cutting Want to hear: what do you want to cut, how much and from where you want to raise, and where you want to invest

When you don't trust people with the truth, they don't trust you back You actually make them more anxious because they know you're not telling the truth How Americans are now; not stupid, realizing that there are things being concealed Person who wins should come with plan that comes at the scale of the problem 1) We need a plan at the scale of the problem 2) We need it to be fair--wealthy should pay more; everyone should pay something 3) Needs to be aspirational--about making America grand again, not just balancing budget

Because neither person offering truth, we felt that something had to come in and break the deadlock Incentives are completely misaligned Incentives are currently about going to extremes Entire system disincentivizes things; move the mouse, move the cheese; don't move the cheese, mouse doesn't move We need to put the cheese in the right place: center left, center right "I wish Bloomberg would have run just to be in the debates, and then dropped out" Ross Perot with Clinton--had at one point 40% of the votes, almost 20% in the end "Imagine what a SANE person could do today!" But he showed you what you could do; had huge impact on first Clinton administration--deficit

President couldn't close deal whether because of political inexperience Bayner knew he couldn't deliver his face Whole thing blew up at 11th hour when there was no deal, need $400 million for votes Bayner really wanted deal; essentially agreed what numbers were going to be; should have said "we had a deal, take it or leave it" Looking to get out of

Frustration with Obama--if you really thought that deal was important and you thought Bayner was to blame for it to fall apart, why didn' you go to the people? Should have gathered his supporters and explained things to topic

He just went back to his base and talked about fairness

Robert Kaplan pointed out that really romantic part about Arab Spring was collapse of overcetralized government---"the fun part? That's over" "The freedom-from part" is over; in the "freedom to" part; need freedom to do things so need civil society Libya is disturbing but you should see it in the regional context

People say that they're for a country but against a war; for Iraq but against Syria, etc. It's all one war--for middle east We were dragged in on 9/11 What you're seeing in Lybia, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, etc. is what happens when you collapse an Islamic state and bring a democratic order to power without institutional control of security services A lot of bad guys collared by regimes are now on the loose and is where thins start

Benghazi (sp?) Study of suicide bombers in Iraq Al Qaeda kept very good records; in one raid we captured list of suicide bombers 1) Saudi arabia 2) Benghazi, Libya

"I have a politically incorrect view: syria = iraq, egypt = iraq" We wanted to take a country from Saddam Hussein

We tried to take a country ruled by minority Sunni ruled over by majority Shi'a and tried to reverse the order of power, the balance of power that had been that way for centuries Triggered civil war Geopolitical equivalent of falling on a pin Pulled pin (killed Saddam Hussein) and we fell on it, which is why Iraq never spread out on the borders because we fell on it If it did expand, it would look like Syria Reversal of century-old political order and each "tested" each others' power and veered into abyss New social contract over two years about how they would live together Between 12 and 5 am; a general ran special ops in Iran whose job was to find bad guys and deal with them To put it all together, we know how to take one of these states and reverse the balance: 47,000 lives, a trillion dollars, and all that buys you is a lottery ticket saying they have a 10% chance of surviving Now people saying we need to intervene in Syria--only thing we can do is to have one person own the whole state Give Obama credit for prudence: if you touch it, you own it Obama isn't even ready to touch it

Good question Never covered Bosnia so can't give sophisticated answer Gut answer: I cannot come to my neighbor--I'm 59 so too old for the draft You send your son to help fight war b/w Sunni and Shi'ites about who should be the rightful successor to Muhammed -- oldest civil war What is their responsibility? The muslim world's responsibility? You need someone to sit down and try to resolve your war. At some point, we have to call them into account Neither side has moral superiority

Many secular muslims support ___ regime

Turkey is great model Could criticize administration--need Russians They have been very passive about isitting down and solving problem with Muslims

Gone to China about once a year for the last 20 years "Get your money, and get out" -- people leaving China New president has challenge: environment, must deal with people China now has 400 million microbloggers--first president to engage in direct 2-way conversation with Chinese people Biggest change in business and government is how much we're in two-way conversations

Nothing has changed? My views on Israeli conflict has not changed--need 2 state solution; neither side will be happy until the other side is happy To cover arab-israeli conflict is not friendly industry

In the middle east, everyone wants to own you. And if they can't own you, they want to destroy you. There's no middle ground. Striking today about Israel: it's an amazing, amazing place and far more amazing what they've achieved then it ever really gets credit for Challenge of being a correspondent for Israel: covering it as a country and not a challenge. Religious pluralism in Israel not at its best. Hardest thing is holding both thoughts in your head--the goal is NOT to offend both sides What you aspire to is to go to China and have Chinese people read your column and have them learn something Want middle easterners to take the column seriously Challenge with Israel: Israel did a crazy thing--proclaimed idealistic plan in the middle east "One thing to be idealistic when you're surrounded by Canada and Mexico and two oceans" But there are gaps--and I think it's our job to point out those gaps, and I don't think we do anyone a favor by not doing so Iran getting a nuclear weapon is not good for the stability of the world Will lead to other governments getting weapons: proliferation Iran and Iraq are rational actors--have survived Not a simple thing to say--using deterrents Haven't written on the subject because is unsure on the subject We've gone from being interconnected world to interdependent world In interdependent world, your friend can kill you faster than your enemy: ex: Greece collapsing may ruin the rest of the world China crashing will also have effect on us Weird stuff happens in interdependent world--ex: Romney criticizing Obama's reaction to the embassy killings Day after, Libya people organized and trashed organization that killed the embassy members Really important to be patient--like Obamas approach: letting things play out Yes, but this is where things get complicated. 1991: Gulf war I, 2003: Gulf war 2 Those twelve years are everything for how Iraq evlved--UN sanctions pulverized society, crushed country into fail state I worry about us doing that to Iran--12 more years of sanctions results in failed state of Iran, Iraq, and Syria Who's better off? People who say to bomb them have no handlng of society Rule number one: Middle East only puts a smile on your face when it starts with them Ex: Camp David, Oslo, Enbar uprising in Iraq, Arab Spring

When it starts with them, we can be a huge amplifier and supporter; when it doesn't start with them, 1*0 is always 0 We are building afghanistan on othing This is complicated chemistry and I'm glad we have a president who asks a lot of questions, sees things in a sophisiticated way, and doesn't lurch from one extreme to another

I think whoever becomes next president will face such a challenge with the fiscal cliff We've gone thorugh this period from 2008, but we're still living off the stimulus, but we are going to cut spending, medicare, medicaid, foreign aid; going to hurt a lot of vulnerable people Managing blowback from that will be huge political challenge Thinking of debate tomorrow--reminded of Bob Strauss--was middle east envoy for Jimmy Carter; Strauss came to middle east on first visit and was taken on helicopter tour of west bank They asked for his opinion--"I don't know why one of them would want it, and why the other wouldn't just give it to him" Same line of reasoning applicable to election Rather than nation building overseas, we better do something at home

Go back to: what was arab awakening about at its core? Not about Muslim Brothers; spearheaded by youth--realizing that they were deeply behind and living in a technical world and being able to do something about it 1) quest for dignity 2) quest for justice 3) freedom broadly construed living in a context of realizing potential as human being Reason it spread because every young arab identifies with that line of thought My view: we have to complete revamp approach to foreign aid and assisstance US committed aid to Lebanon--$13 million merit based scholarships for public school students to attend american-style colleges Gave $1.3 billion to egypt as military assisstance to buy guns and rifles and gangs Need to get out of military systems and get race to the top with education Know: elections will get rid of corrupt leaders, education will get ahead, treating women with respect will do better than those who don't Should fund real and credible institutions for education, elections, and leadership for race to the top; don't fund military arms race--need to get out of cold war mentality of buying people's loyalty

We're out of economic dependence but we do give military aid---not going to change because it depends on other factors Palestinian leadership frustrating b/c they are clear model for how to move Israeli public--need to make Israelis feel physically secure and morally insecure Only one way to break out: mass civil disobedience, need detailed map--hunger strike with a map to separate israel and palestine

"I get rid of my aggravation by playing golf" Really love what I do, think journalism is honorable and noble profession Don't think that he would be good at exercising power because lacks patience for partisanship; would likely say something early that would get him in trouble We try to have impact in our own way and for me, that's writing columns One trick of doing this job well is not being too cocky and arrogant Once taught course about how to write a column; really only 5 types of columns: 1) "I didn't know that" teach someone something 2) "I never looked at it that way" new way to look at something 3) "You said exactly what I felt" 4) "I want to kill you, your dad, and all your offspring" 5) "You made me laugh, you made me cry"