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« How Much Can the Government Do? | Main | Bill Moyers Essay: Restoring Accountability for Washington's Wars »

WEB EXCLUSIVE: Glenn Greenwald

Acclaimed blogger Glenn Greenwald, recipient of the Park Center for Independent Media Izzy Award, spoke with Bill Moyers this week for the special web-exclusive conversation below.
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wow, I finally got to watching this interview and I was really impressed with Glenn Greenwald's obvious intelligence and grasp of politics. He's a straight talker giving Americans the truth and I hope he can be on again soon. You and Glenn make for a great interview!

Ronald Becker: Republicans (and their fascist fringe) do not act alone. President Obedient/Barack Obama's worship of wealth and the infallible capitalist market is killing our hopes. He recently appointed a pesticide monster from Monsanto to negotiate our agricultural policy at the GAO (see Democracy Now headlines). He's about to feed America dog food. A person could wake up from being a Republican or a Democrat and become active and aware. (They're similar drugs.)

People all over the world knew about the Nazi slave labor and death camps before WWII was declared, so how did German neighbors who had relatives working there and saw the train traffic in and out. They "did not know" in the same way that human trafficking and factory farming and war industry are "not known about" in every American community, in the same way we deny the existence of the oligarchy and their local deputies and worshipers. Corporate capitalism equals death. H1N1 is an unhealthful part of your daily "success ethic", Ronald Becker. Party politics is no more relevant than college basketball. You bet!

The trick is to find alternate means of voting. (for instance: the Civil Rights Movement was more than marching. It included a network of behind the scenes education and planning, strategically funded and taking many forms. Look up "A Communist Training School on Labor Day 1957" in the Georgia State Archives.)

During world war II the discovery of Auschwitz led our troops to march the local citizens threw the camp to see what they did not want to know !
Our friends and allies in France convicted some CIA members for kidnapping people and sending them to be tortured. I think this is the tip of the ice berg.
The Republican party and the criminals working for them should be put on trial for crimes against humanity. The killing of millions of innocent men women and children, not to mention the crippling of our youth and the financial disaster caused by these unjust wars can not be ignored.
The Taliban is a religious right group just as the Republican Party. I do not know who I fear more !

For the poster that complained because Glen spends so much time in Brazil. His partner is Brazilian and is not allowed to live in the U.S.

Thank you so very much for the exquisite interview with Glenn Greenwald. It is so rare to be able to listen in today’s media to a person who shares such insight. His love for detail is anchored through history, politics, psychology, sociology and ethics. His discussion seemed void of any personal gain beyond receiving a normal speaker’s fee. That was the beauty of how he shared without fear of offending. Greenwald is a delight to listen to on so many deep issues. If only we could have that style and depth of dialogue on a daily basis from the media. Our citizens might become better at analyzing our country and the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches of government. People like Greenwald help us understand why we are frustrated citizens. We have become consumer by a pattern of predictable opinion from what we are told is news. Americans need more shows like this which arm us with a real understanding and ability to analyze how we might become effective citizens for the good of this country. I love your programs Bill. Please continue your excellence in programming

War is profitable watch the documentary "Why we fight?"

I wish that this would/could be aired on network TV, and be required viewing. It is really a shame that Americans have such an aversion to both history and the truth! Americans have been so dumbed down by the media, and those "in power" that refuse to let us know the truth! Years ago Dwight D. Eisenhower warned "US" all about the Military-Industrial-Complex, and the dangers of allowing it to dictate and control the national interests; this we've forgotten to our detriment! As a nation, we are divided by ideology, by religion, by have and have not, by ignoring the pain and suffering of our neighbors!

Yes the rest of the world has grown to hate "US" because our government is arrogant, over-bearing, and the Oligarchy is constantly reinforcing a blood-lust among the people; and the people are not just being kept ignorant of what the government does in other countries in our name, but many of the people willfully choose to remain ignorant! Which is partially why it was so easy after Sept.11,2001 for the government to use our "fears of another attack" against us & manipulate US toward vengeance and war in the Middle East!

And until "WE" the people of this nation become conscious of that fact first and foremost, and wake up and start demanding change - change from ourselves, change from those we put into political office, real concrete change "WE" will not see a difference!

Afganistan is to be he oil pipeline to china and india. That is the reason for the war,

D.C. Eddy,
Fair question sir. I don't blame us for getting smacked in the face, but rather how we, as a country, reacted to what was a truly horrible crime. Most of the world was behind us then, but we acted the bully with a sort of bruised swagger and let a ton of good will just slip threw our fingers like sand. You are correct in saying we were deceived and that's why I'm concerned for the future. We can get fooled again. We must not flail, we're too big to flail (pardon me). When you have the biggest force of arms the world has ever seen you must be very thoughtful regarding its use. You could kill a lot of innocent people, we have, and it's staggeringly expensive. Rather than placing blame, I'm more interested in doing the things that make us safer and the world safer. That's not what we've been doing.

Moyers was deeply involved in developing the infamous “daisy” ad that implied that Goldwater’s election would result in nuclear war. The ad officially aired only once, but got so much free airtime and discussion that it easily did as much damage to Goldwater’s campaign as the Swiftboat vets did to Kerry’s in 2004. According to Jason Maoz at Commentary, years later Goldwater said of Moyers, “Every time I see him, I get sick to my stomach and want to throw up.”

Moyers was apparently obsessed with outing homosexuals after Walter Jenkins was forced out of the Johnson Administration. Not only did he ask the FBI for information on two other LBJ staffers he suspected of being gay, he asked the FBI to investigate 15 members of Barry Goldwater’s staff and dig up any evidence they could find of homosexual activity.

And then there was the 1964 Democratic Convention. That year, Fannie Lou Hamer led a group of African American “Freedom Democrats” in trying to integrate the Mississippi delegation. Moyers ordered the group ejected from the Convention and prevented them from achieving their goal.

Worst of all, Moyers was heavily involved in the persecution of Rev. Martin Luther King by Hoover’s FBI. From the report of the Senate Committee investigating the FBI’s spying on Americans:

Several times during this discussion the questions was asked, where is the protest? Why are Americans so apothetic to what is going on? A good question, but what is overlooked is that when protest such as the "Tea Party Protests" do occur they are labeled right wing nuts by the same establishment they are protesting against, and the media, rather than raising questions about why the protests, joins in denouncing them. We are being brainwashed, but as much by the media as by our "leaders."

David Durham,
I really do not think we wished for 911.
Considering the pilots were trained in the USA and were from Saudi-Arabia; it is possible the whole thing was a plot to get us into a war.
Rather ironically, Bush feared Saddam and had reason to want him taken out.
We the people were deceived by fraudulent rhetoric and fear tactics.
Now, we are the one's suffering and the people responsible for the mess we are in have gone Scott free.
Why do you want to blame the victims for the crime?

Be careful what you wish for.

Remember, this was 'the good war', the one we were supposed to fight. Perhaps, at the outset, we might have done this right, but that opportunity is gone baby gone. Now we are faced with a series of questions to which there are no good answers. This is what happens when you get smacked in the face. You flail angrily because someone's got to pay and the guy you punch is maybe the right guy, but maybe he's not. The problem is, you don't really care as long as someone gets it right in the kisser. That's pretty much what we did thinking we were the baddest mother around so who's goin' to mess with us right? Well it turns out we're not so tough and all our flailing has got us into an unbelievable quagmire and our boots are covered with bloody mud. But remember, many in this country wanted this, demanded it in fact. 'cause we got smacked in the face and someone had to pay.
The thing I worry about is what will happen when we get smacked again, and we probably will. Will we act like a bully again? Will we just punch any kid on the playground we happen to lurch into? Or will we think, maybe ponder the hows and whys? That would be novel. We are in this terrible mess because we put ourselves there. Be careful what you wish for.

I believe it was Alexis de Touqueville in "Democracy in America" who said that democracies find two things exceedingly difficult: #1 - Starting wars. #2 - Ending Wars.

Amazing interview. This needs to be shown on the regular program.

Klark Mouvinon,
Sad but true...
We are on the horns of a dilemma. Not even appealing to people's survival instincts is working. We seem to be in a mod of self-destruct. The alarms are ringing and the only response is "head in the sand" posturing. We have been deceived and instead of punishing the guilty we are punishing ourselves. Obama has embraced the enemy in our midst instead of putting them out of business.
We need a new system of social function based on efficiency and human needs instead of incompetence, deception and greed.

"In saying what is obvious, never choose cunning. Yelling works better."
Cynthia Ozick

Prediction: General David Petraeus will succeed Obama as U.S. President, probably with Sarah Palin as running mate.

I think this because of what Glenn Greenwald testified in this interview with Moyers.

Glenn asked that each listener take 10 minutes to empathize in the shoes of an Afghani (occupied country) to understand why our country is generally resented for it's assembly line wars. I would ask that my readers imagine themselves for 10 minutes in the shoes of an elite American oligarch. Now an oligarch is not the top tier predator you might imagine but a parasite on the jugular of our collective lifeforce. These parasites control the flow of sustenance to our collective intellect.

Ownership and monopolization of media in all its forms has fallen to these nasty vampires. Greenwald described the extraordinary control of our bodily welfare they have attained through secrecy and supposed "national security" by the leverage of war footing as a political tool. We have now degenerated democratically to the point where law is manufactured in a secret facility using sophisticated, specialized and automated tools. The citizenry lacks access to the "means of production" (consumers of dictate).The money game has abandoned all rational accounting because they want it all, and they want it now.

And why is there so much public apathy toward the warped and backward policies Greenwald describes, the irrational economic trade-offs? His answer implies an asymmetric power relationship in which American citizens are quiessed and intimidated at every turn with disruption, potential imprisonment or ruin, and stockpiled technological violence. He calls it "learned helplessness" but it has been a brutal and sadistic education.

So Greenwald is expatriotic in Rio most of the time with the excuse of monitoring the non-alligned reaction to oligarchic shenanigans. He admonishes us to act while he sits in the back row of the audience. With his matter of fact explanations of Karzai' brother and his denial of a 9/11 conspiracy among our oligarchy his words are hardly "sticks and stones." Greenwald is another brand of entertainer akin to Rush Limbaugh and Rachel Maddow, just a shill to get us clicking on more pop-ups and banners. (He is as aware of his role as Karzai is aware of his druglord brother's CIA status.)As evidence of Greenwad's capability to decode oligarchic false=flagged conspiracy one might review his comments on the mishandling of the Anthrax terrorist case and how it was used to further the imperial and covert state in pursuit of fresh profitable warfare. (Being gay confers Glenn no special powers besides empathy but neither does it handicap him intellectually.)

The ever more pudgy face telling us mourners what we long to hear and the lithe commentary on the Olympics no real patriot should care about show us that Glenn Greenwald is just another celebrity commentator. So while you confirmed plunger-tailed Inactivists thank Uncle Bill for foster son Glenn, the conspiracy spins on and the oligarchy sucks ever more human blood. What ya gonna do about it, huh? The draft indeed! Bullcrap! Because Greenwald is rushing home to a deluxe aircloud futon with a muscular Brazillian on it and Moyers will be lights out on brandy by 10pm. What are they but the anti-coagulant oligarchic mosquitos exude in order to keep feeding. (Half-truth tellers and Naysayers to action.)

No one "hates" me as an American, Glenn Greenwald.

I am mostly "hated" in certain USA-based cults.

Stop extending the world's "hate" to include ME.

Thank you for the Glen Greenwald interview. I want to see you put him on your program.

Bill, this is an incredible interview... why would you bury it on the website?! This interview needs to air on TV as soon as possible! Glenn has one of the most accurate and detailed narratives on the political realities in Washington. The more people that see this interview, the better off the country will be.

Why is this content being hidden? This is an excellent interview that NEEDS to be aired on the full PBS network!

Thank God it downloaded to my iPhone or I never would have seen it.

Why the secrecy folks?? Someone pressuring you not to air it???

Dear Mr. Moyers,
Thank you so much for having Mr. Greenwald again, although I would have preferred to see him replace the conservative on the show. Seriously, conservatives have too much time on media outlets today. There needs to be some overall balance and giving them more time (even a studied intellectual one) does not advance that goal. They have made such a horrendous mess of things - isn't it time to give more time to alternative viewpoints in this world of ours?

As to Greenwald, his intellect, eloquence, insight, thoughtfulness and punctiliousness are unmatched by all of todays media pundits combined (NPR, PBS or otherwise). Well, except for you of course, Mr. Moyers.

Many, many thanks.

Bring back the draft - absolutely. Even without a war we need to have a draft. In peace time some of those drafted could be placed in other than military social programs. The draft is needed during wartime to make the cost in human life more equitable to society. In peacetime it is necessary to instill in our youth a sense of personal worth which will go a long way to reducing membership in street gangs, reducing prison population and thereby overall reducing the national deficit.

Glenn Greenwald deserved teh I.F. Stone Journalism Award!

Why are we not able to hear and read journalists of Greenwald's professionalism, astuteness and forthright approach to today's labyrinthine political climate? We're drowning in a cacophony of "leg thrillers", chauvinistic armchair bombers and fratboy misogynists in our daily news. And they are called "journalists". Lazily reciting White House press releases, rarely do they bother giving the public a glimpse of authentic objectivity by questioning the established wisdom of those who have been elected to do their constituents' bidding--not their election chest.

Congrats to Bill Moyers for inviting Salon.com's excellent journalistic talent.

But why was this interview not aired on TV?

We'll be waiting....

"But if you-- first of all, if you look at the way in which we have been fighting wars since the end of World War II,.. We constantly find new enemies, we constantly find reasons to fight war. We're basically a nation perpetually at war. .."I mean, the wars that we fight are being paid for by money that we borrow from China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and a variety of other countries as ours should be described — as permanent war-fighting states, then you see that the character of the country changes in all sorts of radical and fundamental ways."Glenn Greenward
The U.S. is also more interested in power and control than it is in peace and programs for the poor. It wants to be feared around the world so that it can have its way with other nations; by rattling its saber, it imagines it can make others toe the line and do its bidding, supply its needs, or go along with its policies.
Well, it's a powerful saber, but the U.S. doesn't seem to realize that it's mistreating the body that holds that saber, which is decaying physically and deteriorating spiritually. It doesn't matter how powerful the saber is if the body that holds it is sick and dying. History certainly shows that, but the U.S. has never been very interested in history, and it seems it's destined to repeat the mistakes that other great nations have made.
Ted Rudow III,MA

Great interview.
One of the most disturbing parts, I think, is Greenwald's theory of public apathy - that citizens view their government (and the political parties) as so corrupt, that no matter what, they can't change anything (learned helplessness). I would respond - so far.
I would like for Moyers to have asked Greenwald, ok, anti-Americanism is rampant because of our war perpetration. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt on all he's said. How do we turn that around? Do we immediately apologize to everybody and bring our troops home from everywhere? If not, how to we get out of it? I imagine Greenwald has some ideas on how to slowly reverse things, but Moyers didn't ask about them.
I still would like to think Obama is different. One reason we didn't release the photographs of our war crimes and don't emphasize them is, I think, then what? If we admit war crimes, we are going to have to persecute those who promoted them, maybe even President George W. Bush. I don't think that would happen, and if it did, what an uproar doing it would cause - all the trials, debates, etc. Greenwald didn't go into this aspect either - how do we admit to war crimes and then let them stand? As I recall, Attorney General Eric Holder was at first more aggressive, and then reversed.
I think Greenwald didn't fully appreciate Obama's position with regard to national security. This must be his number one priority as our President. He can't take the chance of our country's being destroyed under his watch. It’s probably hard to appreciate this unless you are actually President. I hope Obama has a plan to extricate ourselves from the past, knowing he cannot reverse things in an instant (apologize, pull out everywhere, let go all the prisoners immediately, etc.).
I would like Moyers to have a forum, inviting people like Greenwald and asking them how to turn things around. My guess is that they wouldn't come because they don't see themselves as having that role. There's an old saying: if you're not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I'm not sure I subscribe to that because part of solving a problem is first defining it. But I still would like to see some commentary on what to do from now on in a practical sense. Maybe Greenwald covered this aspect in one of his books or other writings.

NO DEM Derangel, Reinstitutional war draft repeat of YOUR history! Rather, eradicate the daft: US neocolonial manifest insanity (beginning with Buffalo Soldier-in-chief Barracks Obomber)!! When will you EVER LEARN?!!

Is it true that PBS suppressed the Glenn Greenwald interview from being aired on TV. I am a long-contributing member to PBS. Maybe I should stop if this is how they behave.

Bill: Thank you for your continued dedicated support of the everyday person in this declining nation. Glenn Greenwald is exceptional spokesperson for those of us who have lost our voices by relying on those of our elected officials. I feel numb. If grassroots efforts exist for any of the following three areas of interest, please let me know, as I can no longer sit on the sidelines while the inept representatives of the people in Washington DC ignore the real issues. I have written to my State’s elected representatives, only to receive their talking points in return. I will spend the rest of my life trying to right these three situations. Show me the way.

Responsible spending – the national debt. In the broadest terms, the polarized arguments on Capitol Hill involve national debt for war (relatively large) versus national debt for health (relatively small). There is no comparison. These wars are wrong. I am a decorated Vietnam veteran who witnessed first-hand the follies of war. We need to stop our violence in Iraq and Af-Pak immediately. Let’s use our youth and spend our national treasures responsibly. I strongly advocate for a comprehensive public option that ensures cost effectiveness and complete access, while addressing the long-term health of our human resources, from cradle to grave. We are already doing this in free health clinics throughout the world, as part of our USAID strategies. Are there any reliable organizations which provide voices for a person like me on responsible spending?

Responsible representation. When an elected official takes money through campaign contributions from an industry to advance his/her career – and chooses not to represent the people who voted him/her into office – this constitutes unethical behavior. This is the case with Joe Lieberrman of Connecticut, compounded by his wife’s career investments in the health industry. The same is true for Evan Bayh and his wife’s situation. When a person serves on a Board of Directors, or a judge serves in a courtroom, he/she must recuse himself/herself as a voter, if impartiality or lack of bias cannot be achieved, or if personal gain is a possible outcome. I wonder if U.S. Representatives and Senators were forced to recuse themselves, due to campaign contributions (greater than $1) or vested interests (1 or more shares of stock owned in healthcare organizations), what the vote would be involving a representative public option? Is there an existing organization addressing the elimination of this condition in our corrupt political system?

Responsible taxation. There are no consequences for lobbyists, except on the upside. I believe strongly that a firm which conducts lobbying should be taxed at a 25:1 ratio. If a company invests $1-million in a lobbyist or advertising for legislation, then it simply pays a matching $25-million in taxes. The result would be responsible lobbying, if there is such a concept. I may be wrong on the ratio of 25:1 – possibly it should be 50:1, or 100:1, until it is no longer. Are there existing organizations dealing with the eradication of lobbying?

Thanks, Bill, for being you and bringing hope into my world each week.

Dear Bill,
Thank you for your due diligence on issues. I agree and echo many of these commentors that the Greenwald interview needs to be aired on your show. My heart hurt when you suggested reinstating the draft, but I'd prefer we just get out of this war mongoring ongoing stance. How does the U.S. call itself a democracy? I write to my elected state officials and I get back from letters telling me what they are going to do and it has nothing to do with listening to the people. I am a mental health counselor and Greenwald is correct in that there is a learned helplessness. I know it is leading to a sick apathy.
I agree with the comment on the force used on people who protest, look at the sound canon used in Pittsburgh. What can be done? The corruption is so thorough and though I believed in Obama, my hope is certainly wavering, it is just so sad.

Extraordinarily insightful and a sobering set of truths.

Would it be possible to post a transcript? My internet connection is not good enough to listen/watch a sustained interview. I would be very grateful.

Heard the Galbraith/Buckley show this a.m. Very informative.
Moyers' editorial was masterful. I'll not write Obama about the draft, but about the costs to America of the war in Afghanistan.
The cost was too high when the Republicans were calling the shots. Must the Democrats escalate those costs?

Superb and thoughtful interview. Thank you. Insightful!

it will be no surprise when we all find out that Castro was a CIA spy too !

Dear Bill --

you must see Glen Greenwald like a son, carrying on your great work. I knew him from interviews and articles, but I know him ten times better now. He is a giant. He is on the beam each and every issue. I'm sure in private he knows 9/11 was staged too, but it would be impolitic and counterproductive to enter that into the mix at this time in his work. Too much for the proles to fathom.

Bill, I'm still spending my time trying to get people to watch The Secret Government with me. They come away like the sheep that was washed, with a look of fluffy white on them.

Love you always.

Glennzilla!!!
I love you, kid.
You're the best.
Thank you.

Thank you for the wonderful conversation with Glenn Greenwald. I agree with several others who've commented here: why didn't you choose to broadcast this interview on your show? Mr. Greenwald deserves much more exposure than the mainstream media is willing to give him.

Bill,

Love as always.

Could you, oh would you please, broadcast the Glenn Greenwald "web" exclusive interview on PBS this coming Friday? It will be great for ratings and for our country.

I can see why this 39 minute piece was not aired, namely because it upsets the Obama as hero mythology, but Mr. Greenwald's perspective is nearly identical to my own and to many people I know. It is strangely excised from the corporate media, from the intellectual elite, from Washington, from Wall Street, but this perspective is based in history and sound analysis of the facts. It is self-consistent and rational and testable, like a scientific theory. There is no equivalency between this kind of analysis and the jingoistic propaganda permeating our media and, presumably, our national discourse.

I challenge you and PBS to help break down barriers between the political blogosphere and political corporate media. You're doing great by advertising this web exclusive Greenwald interview via your PBS broadcast presence...

...now take the next step and move this kind of biting, incisive, clear and reasoned analysis into the non-internet media sphere, just to mess with them, just to say they don't own every last voice and function of our democracy.

Keep up the fantastic work everyone!

Thank you,

Bret Bowman
Seattle, WA

I've enjoyed the dialog with Greenwald immensely. What a smart guy, and so articulate on many topics. It's just such discussion that needs to reach more than a handful of listeners and readers. I concur with the Moyer call for draft reinstatement unless the Afghan. war ends. The thought of its becoming an "Af-Pak" War is horrifying.

Finally! Someone speaks the truth about America's behavior in the world.

Sad to see PBS suppress this interview from television broadcast... it needs to be seen by everyone!

Every time I see him, I like what Greenwald has to say more and more.

Why wasn't Greenwald on the Journal last night? He would have made a good compliment to your ending short film and comments on the draft. Brookhiser came off as a narcissist living in the past, whose formative moment came when he didn't get to continue as the conservatives' anointed prince, the darling clone of his mentor Buckley. I know you are striving for balance, but as far a making a difference in the national discussions on the big issues (which in my opinion are the economy and the never ending occupations in the Middle East), Greenwald had much more to contribute.

Loved your commentary last night on the futility of the war in Afghanistan. I am a Vietnam veteran and, to me, it's deja vu.

I am a retired business owner and write essays for a hobby. I thought you might enjoy the following:
-------------------------


Why I Favor a Military Draft

I got into a debate recently with one of my sisters about whether our country should have a draft. She, having two teenage sons and hating the War in Afghanistan, was adamant that conscription was a violation of individual rights and should be unconstitutional. She argued that her two young sons should never be forced to fight in a war that she considered immoral. It was quite obvious, too, that she feared for her children's physical and psychological well-being. I, having a teenager, too, sympathized with her point of view but fervently disagreed.

Having a low lottery number for the draft when I was a junior in college, I was one of the first in my age bracket to go to Vietnam in 1970. In boot camp and throughout my four years in the military, I was surrounded by a wide cross-section of American men. There were MBAs from ivy-league schools, there were high school dropouts, there were men from farms in South Dakota, there were sons of politicians, doctors, and lawyers, there were kids from the inner city of Detroit and Philadelphia, there were whites, blacks, indians, islanders, and eskimos. There were rich guys and dirt poor ones. We lived together, worked together, fought together, commiserated together, partied together, and some died together. It was an unlikely assortment of humanity that, had it not been for the military, would never have come in contact. We hated the war, and we despised the idea that our country would force us to fight in it, but we dearly loved each other, and helped each other see it through.

Back home, my old college friends were protesting in the streets, holding peace demonstrations, doing sit-ins in the offices of college presidents, and boycotting military recruiters on campus. These young protestors were not only emotionally invested in the war, they had close comrades that were in it getting killed. They also assumed they could be the next to go. The larger cities were alive with anti-war activity and the press reacted accordingly. Most historians of this period give these dissidents much credit for ending the war. Had it not been for them, we might be there still.

Today, our country is involved in another war, in Afghanistan. Unlike during the Vietnam War, our campuses and streets are quiet. Our young men, 18 and over, might casually discuss the war on occasion, but very few care enough to lose any sleep over it, knowing that they are immune from combat and its ugliness.

Here lies my problem with ending the draft. Our all-volunteer military, unlike during Vietnam, Korea, and the World Wars, is not a cross-­section of our country. Instead, (and with many notable exceptions), it's most often made up of the poor and disenfranchised. Men and women who have few other options and limited opportunities. Children of the poor and powerless. Young Americans who have, because of their stations, found themselves somehow looked upon as expendable. A statistic. Another body bag.

Regardless of what you think of this war, in my opinion, the way we're fighting it is immoral. We have outsourced it to the voiceless young, the unworldly and naive children of the poor. This military misadventure is the proverbial "rich man's war and the poor man's fight." The children of the wealthy back home don't fear having to get their hands bloody, much less lose a limb, or a life. Why bother to grab an anti-war banner and hit the streets when the boys from the ghetto or the farm will do your fighting for you? Our political leaders or those in the news media don't have sons or daughters, wives or husbands getting their brains splattered on the streets of Kabul. What do they care? They watch the seven o'clock news and go grab another beer.

If our country doesn't have the courage and the stomach to send our most well-connected, brightest, wealthiest, and the most fortunate to fight alongside the poor and dispossessed, we have no business fighting a war, much less starting one. Delegating the dirty work to others while we sit at home in our recliners, to me, is the lowest form of social decay. Unless we initiate a draft, we don't have "a dog in the fight," and have no urgency to end the war. Better yet, we should end the war and the need for a draft. Give peace a chance and use our precious young people to improve our country and the world they will live in.

In my opinion, every American, both male and female, should be required to give two years of service to their country as a prerequisite to their right to vote or to participate in government entitlement programs. These two years could be in the military or in some other national service such as Americorps, the Peace Corps, or civil service jobs that clean up the environment, social service positions that mentor youths, or other worthwhile programs. No exceptions and no deferments except in extreme hardships.

Regardless of what many think, our young people want to give of themselves to make our country great again. They are simply waiting to be asked.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quotation: "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." ____Ernest Hemingway


" What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" _____Mohandas Gandhi
David Scott

scottfree123@embarqmail.com
"

Loved your commentary last night on the futility of the war in Afghanistan. I am a Vietnam veteran and, to me, it's deja vu.

I am a retired business owner and write essays for a hobby. I thought you might enjoy the following:
-------------------------


Why I Favor a Military Draft

I got into a debate recently with one of my sisters about whether our country should have a draft. She, having two teenage sons and hating the War in Afghanistan, was adamant that conscription was a violation of individual rights and should be unconstitutional. She argued that her two young sons should never be forced to fight in a war that she considered immoral. It was quite obvious, too, that she feared for her children's physical and psychological well-being. I, having a teenager, too, sympathized with her point of view but fervently disagreed.

Having a low lottery number for the draft when I was a junior in college, I was one of the first in my age bracket to go to Vietnam in 1970. In boot camp and throughout my four years in the military, I was surrounded by a wide cross-section of American men. There were MBAs from ivy-league schools, there were high school dropouts, there were men from farms in South Dakota, there were sons of politicians, doctors, and lawyers, there were kids from the inner city of Detroit and Philadelphia, there were whites, blacks, indians, islanders, and eskimos. There were rich guys and dirt poor ones. We lived together, worked together, fought together, commiserated together, partied together, and some died together. It was an unlikely assortment of humanity that, had it not been for the military, would never have come in contact. We hated the war, and we despised the idea that our country would force us to fight in it, but we dearly loved each other, and helped each other see it through.

Back home, my old college friends were protesting in the streets, holding peace demonstrations, doing sit-ins in the offices of college presidents, and boycotting military recruiters on campus. These young protestors were not only emotionally invested in the war, they had close comrades that were in it getting killed. They also assumed they could be the next to go. The larger cities were alive with anti-war activity and the press reacted accordingly. Most historians of this period give these dissidents much credit for ending the war. Had it not been for them, we might be there still.

Today, our country is involved in another war, in Afghanistan. Unlike during the Vietnam War, our campuses and streets are quiet. Our young men, 18 and over, might casually discuss the war on occasion, but very few care enough to lose any sleep over it, knowing that they are immune from combat and its ugliness.

Here lies my problem with ending the draft. Our all-volunteer military, unlike during Vietnam, Korea, and the World Wars, is not a cross-­section of our country. Instead, (and with many notable exceptions), it's most often made up of the poor and disenfranchised. Men and women who have few other options and limited opportunities. Children of the poor and powerless. Young Americans who have, because of their stations, found themselves somehow looked upon as expendable. A statistic. Another body bag.

Regardless of what you think of this war, in my opinion, the way we're fighting it is immoral. We have outsourced it to the voiceless young, the unworldly and naive children of the poor. This military misadventure is the proverbial "rich man's war and the poor man's fight." The children of the wealthy back home don't fear having to get their hands bloody, much less lose a limb, or a life. Why bother to grab an anti-war banner and hit the streets when the boys from the ghetto or the farm will do your fighting for you? Our political leaders or those in the news media don't have sons or daughters, wives or husbands getting their brains splattered on the streets of Kabul. What do they care? They watch the seven o'clock news and go grab another beer.

If our country doesn't have the courage and the stomach to send our most well-connected, brightest, wealthiest, and the most fortunate to fight alongside the poor and dispossessed, we have no business fighting a war, much less starting one. Delegating the dirty work to others while we sit at home in our recliners, to me, is the lowest form of social decay. Unless we initiate a draft, we don't have "a dog in the fight," and have no urgency to end the war. Better yet, we should end the war and the need for a draft. Give peace a chance and use our precious young people to improve our country and the world they will live in.

In my opinion, every American, both male and female, should be required to give two years of service to their country as a prerequisite to their right to vote or to participate in government entitlement programs. These two years could be in the military or in some other national service such as Americorps, the Peace Corps, or civil service jobs that clean up the environment, social service positions that mentor youths, or other worthwhile programs. No exceptions and no deferments except in extreme hardships.

Regardless of what many think, our young people want to give of themselves to make our country great again. They are simply waiting to be asked.

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Quotation: "Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime." ____Ernest Hemingway


" What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty and democracy?" _____Mohandas Gandhi
David Scott

scottfree123@embarqmail.com
"

Keep up the good work Bill and Glenn,

Awareness is the first step to a cure.

And parents: Teach your children never to war. If no one inlists in the war, the war would surely end.
The war is truly not up to Obomba, it is up to you and me.
Democracy,

=
MJA

What a thrilling opportunity to see two of the finest - if not THE two finest - journalists working in the US having a conversation. What a shame that, at best, such a conversation would be buried on PBS on a Friday evening, and, at worst (and inexplicably) completely buried on a website! The public at large needs to be compelled to hear Bill Moyers and Glenn Greenwald if the best values of this country are ever again going to return to the forefront of our national culture.

I've been reading Mr Greenwald's work for years and I'm so glad he's being recognized and elevated in the public eye. His sharp and thorough analysis benefits us all. Go get 'em, Glenzilla!

Thank you Mr. Moyers for having smart people on your show!

Always great to see Glenn Greenwald rip the establishment a new one.

I liked the subtle way in which Greenwald described the effect the corrupt political system in this country has on many Americans as "learned helplessness" -- the very same concept used by the architects of Bush's torture regime.

Towards the end of their discussion when they were talking about Americans seeming impotence to rise up against the oligarchs and corporations that own our country, Glenn said that people seemed to be apathetic. (paraphrase) I think that many people would like to hit the streets in protest, but the dangers of the militaristic society that we live in, with the tasers, microwave cannons, and other weapons ostensibly being designed for wars and/or crime control, end up being used to discourage us from our right to assemble peaceably. I hope that Bill will devote a show to this subject, it deserves alot of attention.

Thank you for the interview with James K. Galbraith and Richard Brookhiser. They were both fascinating. I have printed them out so I can review what was said. And for the excerpt from President Roosevelt's second Bill of Rights. It is what we could be and should be. I've always believed that our nation should have the common good as our public purpose. But then, I am of a generation that knew only FDR as president when he died. May God bless us and turn us to seeking the greater good for all. Thank you, Bill Moyer, for bringing these things to our attention.

Bill:

Thanks for introducing me to Glen Greenwald. Finally, a real journalist on TV, saying what needs to be said very concisely. I couldn't have done better myself.

The only omission was that he still is deceived with respect to who executed the attacks of 9/11. While I was ready to believe to official story myself because of all the covert U.S. aggression that has surely provoked such hatred of the U.S. in the Middle East; the actual evidence tells a different story.

Maybe he just hasn't investigated this event yet. All of the evidence I know about only lines up to one conclusion. It was an inside job by the Cheney/Bush Administration to start the oil wars and implement an America Coup to overthrow the Constitution.

No one who continues to leave unasked all the vital questions left unanswered and unasked in the media about 9/11 can be considered a journalist. But Mr. Greenwald and yourself come closest to the title in so called mass media news. The truth about this event is the keystone to understanding all that has transpired since.

Charles Michael Couch

spot on glenn greenwald! i call it the "beltway bubble" effect. it's fundraising in california, new york,etc. and the rest of us? oh, we're just a "fly-over" into national. oh, sorry, reagan airport. they haven't got a frickin' clue.

http://open.salon.com/blog/songweasel/2009/10/04/my_first_public_melt_down

I just heard your comments about Afghanistan and Vietnam. I wanted to state that the United States did not lose the war in Vietnam. The South Vietnamese lost the war. What te communists won was a very small insignificant cold war battle. In 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, the Soviet Union collapsed and Eastern Europe was freed from communist domination, that was the "Real Goal." Vietnam bankrupted the Soviet Union, and improverished the Chinese. The Chinese government is prospering, as well as, the Chinese elite today because the Chinese government keeps it's money undervalued in relationship to the dollar.

To say, in your broadcast, that the United States lost the war in Vietnam is, at best, asinine. It, clearly, was due to the South Vietnamese not fighting for their country and it collapsed as a result.

You, of all people, having worked in the executive branch, under the Johnson administration, should have had excellent access to America's Foreign Policy, and should not have said such an asinine remark.

I see, from an Historian's point of view of the overall picture of America's Foreign policy, and I have not ever been a member of any American President's Administration.

Thank you for bringing up the question of the disastrous war in Afghanistan. We should get out with all due haste. The government is corrupt, the Pashtuns consider us as occupiers, the war is equally awful in Pakistan and we have no American interest in staying there.

Glenn Greenwald is a national treasure! A true patriot!

I am a big fan of Bill but I find it odd of how much he questioned Mr Greenwald as if he was lying or wrong. His question was very negative. With the intro showing all the places hes done work at, why does it seem to be not right when he is accusing Israel of something. Israel hides behind religion to do its dirty work, and puts a bad name on its history.

Thank you for giving Glenn a forum. I think he voices the reason that is all too rare in American politics today. Would that there were more voices to challenge him convincingly. But there are not. So I am destined to side with Glenn on nearly all things.

Great interview, Bill. Please, please have Glenn Greenwald on your TV program and your web only content again. Both you and Mr. Greenwald exemplify what good journalism is all about. What a shame that there are so many people in the establishment media today who only masquerade as journalists. If they only knew what the public really thought about their "work product" they'd never show their faces in public again. My thanks to you and to Mr. Greenwald for upholding the high journalistic standards that our country so desperately needs!

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