Timothy Garton Ash

  • Aired:  06/30/11
  •  | Views: 22,957

Timothy Garton Ash talks about his book "Facts Are Subversive" and discusses the decline of the Western world in an ever-changing geopolitical landscape. (5:39)

>> Stephen: WELCOME BACK,

EVERYBODY.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS AN

AUTHOR AND HISTORIAN.

HIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED FACTS

ARE SUBVERSIVE.

THAT'S WHY HI MY

ENCYCLOPEDIA ARRESTED.

PLEASE WELCOME TIMOTHY

GARTON ASH.

(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)

HEY, Mr. GARTON ASH, THANKS

SO MUCH.

NOW THE NAME OF YOUR BOOK IS

CALLED FACTS ARE SUBVERSIVE.

POLITICAL WRITINGS FROM A

DECADE WITHOUT A NAME.

WHAT DOW MEAN FACTS ARE

SUBVERSIVE?

>> I MEAN EXACTLY WHAT IT

SAYS.

FOR EXAMPLE --.

>> Stephen: I DON'T KNOW

WHAT IT MEANS, THOUGH.

I MEAN I WOULDN'T HAVE ASKED

THE QUESTION IF I UNDERSTOOD

THAT.

>> IF WE HAD MET, THE

FACTSES ABOUT SADDAM HUSSEIN,

WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION,

NAMELY HE DIDN'T HAVE ANY.

>> RIGHT.

>> BRITAIN WOULD NOT HAVE

GONE TO WAR IN IRAQ.

MAYBE THE UNITED STATES

WOULD.

>> Stephen: I DON'T KNOW.

ARE THE FACTS IMPORTANT

THERE.

BECAUSE I HAVE TO BE A FAN

OF FACTS.

BECAUSE FEELING IS FIRST.

AND IT FELT RIGHT TO GET

SADDAM, DID IT NOT FEEL

LIKE -- SEEMS LIKE A BAD GUY,

SEEMED DANGEROUS.

FEELS LIKE TAKE THEM DOWN.

LATER THE FACTS SUBVERTED

THAT GOOD FEELING.

SO WHAT GOOD ARE THE FACTS?

>> IN SUBVERTING THAT GOOD

FEELING.

>> Stephen: YOU WANT TO MAKE

ME FEEL BAD.

>> I WANT TO MAKE YOU FEEL

BAD.

>> Stephen: REALLY.

>> Stephen: IF YOU FEEL THAT

WAY.

I BELIEVE IN THE

REALITY-BASED COMMUNITY.

I MEAN --.

>> Stephen: REALITY IS

PRETTY SAD.

>> Stephen: IT CAN BE BUT

THEN WE HAVE MORE NEED OF

COMEDIANS.

>> Stephen: YOU KNOW WHAT F

YOU FIND A GOOD ONE, TELL ME

ABOUT HIM.

>> WHERE MIGHT I LOOK.

>> Stephen: JON STEWART.

(LAUGHTER)

HE'S REALLY FUNNY.

HE'S REALLY FUNNY.

LET ME ASK YOU, POLITICAL

WRITING FROM A DECADE

WITHOUT A NAME THIS PAST

DECADE, YOU MEAN.

>> IT'S A WEIRD DECADE WHICH

IN A WAY BEGINS WITH 9/11

AND I THINK ENDS ON THE

FOURTH OF NOVEMBER 2008 WHEN

BARACK OBAMA WAS ELECTED

PRESIDENT.

AND I THINK THE VERY

DIFFERENT AGENDA COMES

BECAUSE OBAMA'S ELECTION

COMES WITH A FINANCIAL AND

ECONOMIC CRISIS.

AND SUDDENLY THAT WHOLE

NARRATIVE WHICH IS THAT

WE'RE LIVING THROUGH THE

FOURTH WORLD WAR, THAT WORLD

HISTORY FOR THE NEXT 20, 30

YEARS WILL IS ALL GOING TO

BE ABOUT THE BATTLE WITH

ISLAMIST TERRORISM T DOESN'T

SEEM TO BE QUITE LIKE THAT

ANY MORE.

>> Stephen: WHAT IS THE

BATTLE?

WHERE IS THE FOURTH WORLD

WAR?

>> I'M NOT SURE.

LET'S HOPE THERE ISN'T THE

FOURTH WORLD WAR BUT WHAT I

DO THINK, I HAVE AN ACCOUNT

IN THIS BOOK OF A VERY

EXTRAORDINARY MEETING WITH

GEORGE W BUSH IN THE EARLY

SUMMER OF 2001.

DON'T LOOK LIKE THAT.

>> Stephen: HI AN

EXTRAORDINARY MEETING WITH

HIM TOO ONCE.

BUT GO AHEAD.

>> I WANT TO HEAR ABOUT

THAT.

>> Stephen: YES.

>> BUT THE THING ABOUT THAT

MEETING, IT WAS TWO HOURS

BEFORE HIS FIRST OFFICIAL

TRIP TO EUROPE.

ISLAMISM, ISLAM HARDLY

FEATURED.

FOR HIM THE WHOLE STORY WAS

ABOUT THE GREAT POLITICAL

RIVALRY WITH CHINA.

AND IN A CURIOUS WAY TEN

YEARS LATER, WE'RE SORT OF

BACK AT THAT OTHER STORY

ABOUT THE GREAT RIVALRY WITH

CHINA.

>> Stephen: THIS WAS A

DETOUR FOR THE PAST TEN

YEARS.

>> IN A CURIOUS WAY IT LOOKS

LIKE THAT.

>> Stephen: SHOULD I AN

AFRAID OF CHINA.

SHOULD I HAVE KEPT MY FEAR

ON CHINA.

BECAUSE I DO NEED TO KNOW

WHOM TO BE AFRAID OF.

BECAUSE FEAR IS A GREAT

MOTIVATOR.

>> YOU CANNOT BE AFRAID OF

MORE THAN ONE AT A TIME.

>> Stephen: NO, I SUPPOSE I

CAN.

I USED TO BE AFRAID OF THE

SOVIET UNION AND CHINA AT

THE SAME TIME.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: ARE WE IN THE

WEST, ARE WE ANYTHING ANY

MORE?

IS THERE A WEST IF THERE

ISN'T AN OPPOSITIONAL FORCE

IN THE SOVIET UNION TO

DEFINE US?

>> WELL, THERE ISN'T THE

WEST IN THE SENSE WE HAD IT

DURING THE COLD WAR WHEN THE

UNITES STATES STATES AND

WESTERN EUROPE BASICALLY

ALWAYS GOT TOGETHER.

BECAUSE WE HAD A COMMON

ENEMY.

>> Stephen: RIGHT.

>> AND THAT'S NOT THE WAY IT

IS NOW.

OBAMA'S FIRST THOUGHT IS NOT,

EVEN BILL BILL CLINTON'S WAS

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH

EUROPE IT MIGHT BE INDIA OR

CHINA OR INDONESIA.

THE SAME IS TRUE OF MANY

EUROPEAN COUNTRIES TOO.

WE MAY BE LOOKING TO CHINA

AND INDIA FIRST.

>> Stephen: YOU SAY THAT

OBAMA DOESN'T HAVE AN EAST

WEST OUTLOOK.

HE HAS MORE OF A NORTH

SOUTH.

>> RIGHT.

>> Stephen: WHAT DOW MEAN BY

NORTH SOUTH OUTLOOK.

>> WHAT I JUST SAID, THAT HE --.

>> Stephen: BUT AGAIN WHEN I

ASK QUESTIONS IT MEANS I

GENERALLY DON'T UNDERSTAND.

>> HE DOES NOT INSTINCTIVELY

LOOK TO EUROPE.

AND OBAMA HIMSELF SAYS IN

HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY THAT HE

DOESN'T HAVE THAT SAME

PERSONAL EMOTIONAL

CONNECTION TO EUROPE.

AND SO I THINK HE'S A

PRESIDENT FOR THE POST

WESTERN WORLD, ACTUALLY.

>> Stephen: HOW DOES THE

UNITED STATES, YOU SAY THAT

THE UNITED STATES AND EUROPE

YOU FEAR THEY ARE IN GREAT

DECLINE, IRRECOVERABLE

KLEIN?

>> I THINK IT IS ALMOST A

CASE WEAN BETWEEN THE UNITED

STATES AND EUROPE WHAT I

MIGHT CALL COMPETITIVE

DECAC -- -- DECK DENSE.

>> Stephen: WE'RE GOING TO

WIN THAT.

>> I HAVEN'T BEEN TOO SURE.

>> Stephen: HAVE YOU EVER

BEEN TO THE CHEESECAKE

FACTORY?

(APPLAUSE)

DEATH BY QHOK LAT, MY

FRIEND.

>> HAVE YOU BEEN TO GREECE

LATELY.

>> Stephen: YES, I HAVE.

TIMOTHY GARTON ASH.

THE FACTS ARE SUBVERSIVE.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

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