nothin's scarier than a blank page

24 June 2011

The Glenn Beck Program, June 24 LIVEBLOG (with Chris Stewart)

Hello, America.  We are counting the days down.  Next Thursday is the last broadcast -- eh, this broadcast -- on this network.  And I can't thank you enough for joining me for the last couple of years for what has been an incredible journey and life-changing journey.  For me, and I hope that in some way you have been affected [Editor's note: More than you can ever know.] and now go out and affect or infect others.

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Join us all next week for the final episodes here on Fox.

Now, tonight we're gonna talk a little bit about history.  This book [holds book, does not yet show cover] was written by a friend of mine.  We talked a little bit about it last week.  Trust me, if you're going to order it, you should order it at the beginning of the episode.  I understand it's already three weeks out of print.  So it's going to be...  They're printing them as fast as they can.  [picture of The 7 Tipping Points.]

Chris Stewart is a guy who I read one of his other books on my last vacation, I think it was in January, and I actually called him while I was on vacation.  I actually got yelled at by my wife [voice] "What are you doing?  You're on vacation."  I said, "I have to talk to this guy."

This is the best written history book I have ever read, because he's a fantastic story teller.  And the story that he tells in Miracles of Freedom: 7 Tipping Points that Saved the World are the stories of how we got here and how we came this close to not being here.  He left out the American Revolution -- which I might argue with -- but he says at the end, and I'm not going to spoil it for you -- I know there are more than seven tipping points, but these ones, these are remarkable.  [chalkboard list]

  • The defeat of the Assyrians: a story I barely even knew.  The end of this story is remarkable.
  • Victory of the Greeks: over the Persians, right?  A story of arrogance
  • Constantine coming to Rome: And uniting an empire.  Starts with a baby found in the trash.
  • Defeat of Islam in France: where we had no reason to win, Christians had no reason to win against Islam in France, but they drew a line in the sand.
  • The Mongels in Eastern Europe:  When I heard, remember when John Kerry testified and he said [voice] "This is reminiscent of Genghis Khan" and I thought "Who says jen-jis, except for somebody who's married to Tohr-ray-zah?"  But I knew that Genghis Khan was a bad guy.  And I knew that he was, y'know, things that would later be quoted as reminiscent of would later be bad.  But I had no idea, I think this guy made Adolf-Hitler-look-like-a-rookie-BAD.  We'll tell you this story a little later tonight.
  • 1492: An interesting story of no hope for the West, and suddenly, new hope.  Two days -- was it two days before or one day before -- the Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria went out, does anybody know what happened in Spain?  Just within two days before they set sail?  Pretty significant.

Audience: They were looking for a bailout?  [Laughter.]
Beck: Heh.  No, they weren't looking for a bail out.  Greg?
Greg: Did they purge the Jews?
Beck: Yes!  They purged the Jews.  And I thought,  my gosh, what a dark period.  And then the next day, boats go out to start a new day of real enlightenment.  It's amazing.

  • And then, 1940.  The story of one man, alone.  Everyone called him crazy.  And then, really, it was the turning point, and we saved the world.  Because of one man in England.

Let me introduce you to Chris Stewart. [Sits with Stewart in chairs.]
B: Chris, first of all.  Best written stories of history.  You can't turn the pages fast enough.  You bring it to life.  Thank you for writing history this way.
C: You're overly kind, Glenn, but thank you.
B: tell me about the defeat of the Assyrians.  Who were the Assyrians, and what happened?
C: You know, that's one of my favorite stories in the book.  Everyone always asks what is your favorite story in the book, and it's really impossible to choose just one of them.  And think about this.  In the entire history of the world, in the thousands of years that we're talking about, we've selected seven stories.  And each of them are so compelling and so telling, and they literally are these tipping points.  Some people start with "Well, let's start with this, or why is this interesting to you?" and I always feel like it's my favorite child, it's hard to choose.
B: Right.
C: But before I answer your question, could I back up just a bit?
B: Yes.
C: And that is, this book is a story of freedom.  It answers a question, as you were indicating, "Where does freedom come from?"

[Editor's note.  I have long been struggling to reconcile my atheism with some of Beck's messages, particularly the divinity of the (American) founding period, for which I've always had a deep love -- as a born-Christian, my first wave of atheism, a Born-Again, and later my steady-for-my-adult-life atheism, I've always adored and revered the founders and that period of history, as it pertains to both our country's history and world history.  There's something in what Chris Stewart just said -- Where does freedom come from -- that has knocked my socks off.  Like it's (one of the) final pieces of the puzzle that can help an atheist explain her views about A!MER!I!CA! such that they are on and the same as the devout, religious believers.  Man, I love lightbulb moments.  I actually want to just think about this for awhile, write about this topic... but I'll shelve it and get back to my Beck work for now.  But first -- it sure is damn refreshing to have a lightbulb moment that is full of hope and good stuff, as compared to, oh, seeing the word "jihad" in the Arabic version of a website and noting that the word has been omitted from its English counterpoint.  These sunny bombs of inspiration...  I cling to them.  I need them like oxygen.  Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul ans sings the tune -- without words -- and never stops at all.]

C: And it also makes a point that freedom is extraordinarily rare.  In the whole history of the human race -- and scientists estimate that may be 100 to 110 billion people have lived on this earth, maybe 125 billion, depending on who you talk to -- and yet a tiny, tiny percentage of those people have experienced anything that we would consider Free today.
B: Even China-style freedom looks good under what most people have experienced in the history of mankind.
C: And, you know, you indicated that with the story of the child that was, you know, they just didn't value human life.  We're talking about slavery.  We're talking about abject torture.  This constant fear of who will be our next leader?  Our idea of freedom is do I have enough gas to go down to Walmart and buy another X-Box.  These people were dealing with how do I survive another day.
B: Okay, let's do this differently.  I'm not gonna start at the beginning.  Let's jump around, because we're here.  Let's start with the baby in the trash.  What, tell me about the baby in the trash.
C: Well, you know, that was about the time of Christ, and the Roman Empire was considered to be fairly progressive and fairly mild empire in the sense of how they treated those people that fell under their rule.  And yet, they just simply didn't value human life the way we do today.  And that's what we were hoping to illustrate with that part of the story.  Even with these fairly progressive empires, they just didn't understand what you and I take for granted.  And that is, a Roman soldier wrote to his wife in Alexandria, and he was saying that she was just about to give birth, and he said, "If it's a son, keep him.  But if it's a daughter, just throw it away."  And, you know, it's impossible for you and I to imagine that, speaking of one of our children, a child that was going to be born.  And yet it was fairly common at that point.  They preferred the sons for very obvious reasons.  They didn't have much value in their daughters.  That's an illustration that this was a very brutal time.  And when I say this, I mean that up until the modern day when we have this explosion of freedom, this Golden Age of Freedom that we see around us now.
B: The story starts out, this chapter starts out with a little boy going to search for food in a trash heap on a barge or something, right?  On a river, just outside of Rome.  And starts to go through the trash heap because he's a Christian, and Christians at this point in Rome -- not popular.  So, what are you living like?
C: He was a Christian-Jew.  And, I don't think people realize, most of the early converts to Christianity were Jews.  And they were not, well of course we know, Christians weren't treated well in the Roman Empire.
B: And especially Christian Jews.
C: Yeah, that's kind of a double-whammy there.  And so, they were doing what a lot of people did.  Rome was a fairly wealthy city and like, unfortunately today, they threw out a lot of food that would sustain people around the world, so it was common for people to go through the garbage and look for food or anything of value, actually.  And in doing so, he came across what was not that unusual -- an infant that had been thrown away and had survived the night, and decided to take her home.
B: Now his surprise of this baby.  He was going through the trash heap and putting apple peels into his pocket and he hears the cry of a baby and picks him [sic] up.  And he suddenly realizes that he is totally unique in the culture, that the culture is set up to the point that anybody else, a Roman citizen, would have left the baby just in the trash heap.  It's not like you go to the police and say, "Hey, uh, who--?"  He then takes the baby and goes to his uncle, who is Josephus.  Who is Josephus?
C: Well, and Josephus in this case isn't the Josephus in history--
B: Oh, I thought it was.
C: It's a character which would have lived sometime after that.  But the whole point of this story is to illustrate that, as you were saying, this was a turning point in culture because, for the first time, this Judeo-Christian idea that every person is of value -- including slaves, including those who are not free, including those who are not citizens -- every person has a value.
B: So then Constantine come, and because he sees a cross in the sky, he says with this symbol you will become the Caesar Aug--
C: "Under this sign, Conquer."  There are different interpretations of the literal translation, but that's essentially what-- "Under this sign, conquer."
B: And the amazing battle that happened, now remember, think of Rome as ROME.  And it's a walled city.  And it has a river.  And you're not fighting, you're not gonna fight Rome with a wall, and yet he marches his army up to the wall and, tell the rest of the story.
C: Well, he had been bringing-- it was conflict between two men who wanted to be Caesar Augustus, the ultimate rule of Rome.  And had he had to lay siege to Rome, it would have been a very, very  bloody battle that would have lasted perhaps for months or even longer.  And yet the other emperor, who was his opponent, felt there was no question that he was going to win this battle.
B: Arrogance
C: Arrogance
C: And he sends his horses out to destroy Constantine and his army.  And he maneuvered in some tactical ways that put him at a disadvantage and much of his army was drowned, and the rest of it was defeated.
B: He comes out of the walled city, crosses the river, and says, "You're not gonna destroy us [laughing."  Constantine backs the army up.  They fall in the river.  They're slaughtered.  They drown in the river.
C: Yep.  Including the emperor himself.  Fell off the bridge and was drowned in the river.
B: Amazing, amazing story.  And it was that turning point, it was that moment.  I mean, we could argue about Constantine, I think Constantine was an, uh, interesting guy--
C: Yeah
B:--We could argue abou Constantine, whether he was good or bad -- but it was a turning point from Christians being hunted, depending on who the emperor was, being persecuted to all of a sudden, wait a minute, we-we're now- we're Somebody.  And it was a turning point for Europe.
C: Yeah, Constantine was considered late-middle age for the time.  He was in his late forties, he spent his entire life as a Pagan, and I think it was a conversion process that took place over several years.
B: My favorite was he didn't get baptized until on his death bed, as emperor, this is my favorite quote -- and I'm butchering it.  I don't know if you know this quote, 'cause it's not in the book -- as emperor, he said something along the lines of "As emperor, there are things I have to do.  Baptize me when I'm dying."  He wanted the forgiveness for all of the crap he had to do -- save it, save it, I've got stuff I've gotta do.
C: That's covering your bases.  [Beck cracks up.]  But, whether he was truly converted or the process through which he was converted -- whether it was instantly or over several years or if it was in his heart -- it doesn't matter.  The thing that's imporant--
B: Started the ball rolling
C: --That's right.  For the first time, Christians were accepted.  Instead of persecuting them.  And very quickly, a large percentage of the Roman empire became Christians.

[Editor's note: Two things.  Did they really convert, or was it just flipping the persecutor and persecutee?  (I honestly don't know.  My knowledge bank is in the far more awesome pre-empire republic days of Rome.  Also, isn't it interesting that it wasn't Constantine's specific in-his-heart religion that carved a new cultural/social landscape?  It was his fighting for (or on behalf of, or whatever) that changed how the world viewed stuff.  Makes me think about Barack Obama (who is not a Muslim).]

B: I was really struck by the point of the book, at least what I got, that A. there's no way man should be free.  Everything is set up against man being free.  There's no way that we're free today.  All of these things [chalkboard list] and these are just seven that you've pointed out, none of these things should have happened, should have fallen this way.  but they did.  It was that point, and also, no place, maybe Somalia, some places in the Middle East, they know what horror shows are.  But very few in the real world really know what things are, what real horror shows are.
C: It sort of outside our normal experience.  Even things we can read or see on television--
B: But that was the norm.  Right?  But--until what, about what time?
C: Well, probably the last few generations.  I mean, here's some interesting numbers.  There's only 22 nations that have experience democracy today for greater than 50 years.  We talk about 100-110 billion people who have lived on this earth?  Only about 5 billion of them have ever experienced what we would consider freedom, and 3 billion of them are alive today.  [Editor's note: AND, if I previously read the subtext correctly, that includes Modern China, etc.]  So when we look around and we say, "Well, this is the way things are, this is the way things have always been," it simply is not true.  It's something that is a Modern experience.  A Modern -- you know, even up to the Soviet Union of Communist China, enormous numbers of people who didn't experience what we take for granted all of the time.  [Editor's note: I think he means "modern" as in current, contemporary, but I think he is also hinting at modernity.  In the rhetorical theory/ philosophical sense.  Fabulous!]
B: When we come back, I want to talk to you a little bit about Genghis Khan.
[awkward pause, I'm not sure why
C: Or Genghis Khan, which one?
B: Jen-jis.  Yeah, yeah.  If you, if he had modern technology, worse than Mao and Hitler and Stalin?
C: Yeah.  I just think--
B: Horrible
C: -- And when your read -- nobody can talk about that -- but yeah, there was--
B:-- When we come back, things that I don't think people have, we haven't seen before.  My daughter and I, we had a, it's funny, we had a, I guess, a horror-off in history.  We were, just the other day, I said, "Do you know about Genghis Khan?" and I started telling her a little bit, and she said, "Oh, Dad, Vlad the Impaler did X, Y, and Z."  And I said, "No, Honey, listen to this, this, and this," and she said, "Dad, howabout this guy?"  I mean, it's a very, strange, sick, sad family [Audience laughs.], but ah, we''l be back in just a second.

[Editor's note: Um.  This is neat.  Really, it is.  And I've been curious about Chris Stewart's book, especially since Beck has been hocking it every other episode.  (I mean, one flip reference to "You gotta read it" from Beck, and I put it on the list for "sometime", but if he mentions it again and again, like Bonhoeffer, I actually check it out.  I didn't mean to sound flippant by saying he hocks books.)  HOWEVER.  Beck's got, what, four more episodes after tonight?  FOUR?  And he's giving us a book report on a book that he's already told us to read umpteen times?  Aren't there caliphates to investigate and socialists to root out and a government on the edge?  Is Beck gonna do most of the show talking about the stories in the book and save the last 20 minutes for audience questions about the stories?  If he was going to tie those stories into current events and our -- Beck viewers, people who are awake -- understanding of the world... tie it in and shed new light that we wouldn't get on our own from reading the book, wouldn't he have started with that?  That's his usual formula.  Four more shows, and he's doing a book report?  Lame duck?  God, I hope not.  But, I mean, it's not like he's saving his good stuff for GBTV.  His show over there doesn't even start til September.  WTF is going on with this episode?  Rick Santorum yesterday (which, admittedly, I found educational) and now this?  Or does need a couple easy shows, because he's researching for the Khilifah grand finale fireworks he's (fingers crossed) setting up for next week?  I. Just. Don't. Get. It.]

Beck: We're back with Chris Stewart, the author of the Seven Tipping Points that Saved the World.  It is a fantastic book on history, and one that I think every American should read.  It is one that you should own and read, because it gives you some concept of how odd our life really is.  Unless I was a feudal lord, I wouldn't have had this. [Beck indicates neck-fat.]  Things are, things are not what you, they haven't been homogenized by Disney.  Um.  Genghis Khan.  Tell a story about what he used to do to walled cities, what he used to do to get in.
Chris: Well, there's a couple ways you can breach a barrier.  You can build a catapult, you can build a ramp, or you can do what he did, and that was he took slaves or captured citizens and kill them and then pile their bodies up.  [Picture of Genghis Khan.]  And found out that that was a pretty nifty way to breach a wall as well, just pile up the bodies of those you had captured or killed.
B: [illustrates with his hands] So, if you have a wall, you just take bodies and pile them up 'til he made a ramp.  And then he would march his army up the ramp of dead bodies.
[Editor's note: I believe you call that recycling.]
B: I was struck by -- I mean, we talk about people now -- I mean, you're using children as human shields.  This guy did it, and didn't care what anybody said.
C: Yeah, he took it to a whole 'nother level.
[Editor's note: I admittedly know little about Genghis Khan, and my recycling comment was snark -- but, it actually is resourceful, when it must have taken time, skill, and/or resources to build a catapult or ramp.  I would also assume that his main reason for using this method was not ease, but intimidation and fear.  Within his own troops, but more so for those he was battling.  Just sayin'.  The children-as-human-shields now has two main purposes that I can see.  "Don't shoot me, because I have a child" is one, which, even though it puts the child at danger, at its base shows a cultural value for life.  The other is media manipulation, which I suppose Genghis Khan was doing.  Just in an opposite way; he wanted people to see his horrors and spread the word, as opposed to showing the horrors of others and spreading the word about them.  Lightbulb.  We're in an era where we compete not for respect-via-showing-strength (e.g. showing how much damage you can inflict) but instead respect-via-showing-empathy, which depends upon someone else being horrific and you being better than them.  (And can be more easily attained if you fabricate or manipulate truth to show the enemy as worse than he is.)  I'm not sure which is more barbaric: committing atrocities or point to another's supposed atrocities and using them for personal gain to prove your own juxtaposed good-ness.]
C: There's a scene in there where they're attacking an empire and they're at the capital of this kingdom, and as the horses are riding towards them, they put rags around their feet to muffle the sounds of their approach, and it's a little disorienting for the soldiers, because they don't know which direction they're all coming from, and they're looking through the dust, and they can see something before them as they're driving their horses through the dust, and they realize their archers are about ready to attack, and they realize they are driving children from other cities around the capital there.  Before their army, they would use these children, as you said, as human shields.  Sometimes they would tie them to their saddles and hold them in front of them, so that their archers -- what do you do then?  If you've got these children out there in the middle of this battle that had been driven into, ah, before the Mongols.  Do you fire your arrows or do you hold back?  And again, the confusion and the hesitation it would cause -- it's a very evil but probably effective tactics.
B: Genghis Khan went up, I mean, the Mongols, they swept everywhere.  Give an idea of how big that turned into.
C: You know, that's a great point, because at one point, he controlled more territory -- in fact, twice as much territory -- than any other single man.  In twenty five years, the Mongols had captured and controlled more territory than the Romans did in 400 years.

[Editor's note: I'm pausing to let that sink in.  That's totally new to me.  Perhaps -- perhaps -- there is more to this episode than just a book report.]

C: They reached from India and Cambodia on the East all through Central and Southwestern Asia through the Middle East, reaching into Eastern Europe.  It was an enormous swath of land.
B: The Mongols went in and just killed -- was it Kiev?
C: Yep
B:-- Just went in and killed everybody.  And if I'm not mistaken it was a few years later--
C: --Yeah, twelve years later it was just a village of a few hundred people.
[Editor's note: Population control!  Reducing our carbon footprint by time machine!]
C: And that's one of the things that he did that had very long lasting, 7-800 years of impact.  There were entire cultures that we don't know about, because there's just nothing left.  Every, virtually everyone was killed.
B: I was, I wish I would have brought it to the set today, I didn't realize we would go this way with this conversation.  I was sent a book today on Moses.   I showed it to you, didn't I?
C: Yep, yep.
B: This was the most beautiful book I've ever seen on Moses.  It is, just a few words on the bottom of each page, but these beautiful pieces of art on each page that tell the story of Moses.  What's interesting about it; it was printed in Berlin in 1925.  It's all in German.
[Editor's note: Hey!  I know another book that was printed in 1925 in Germany!]
B: And it has a name on the cover, and I'm trying to find who owned this book and what the story of this book was.  It was given to me, it was given to me with this note that said Very few remain because that's exactly what Hitler tried to do.  But in those days, Genghis Khan did it.  Just erase entire towns.  Entire populations.  Killed every man, woman, and child.  And he did it to scare the next town.
C: Yeah.  And, y'know, there's a great story about Kiev where the governor, or the mayor essentially, Genghis was gonna let him get away with paying a tithe, pay 10%, and he said, "You can take it once we're dead," and he said, "Okay" and came in and just destroyed the entire city, and as I said, a few years later, there's only a few hundred people who lived there.
[Editor's note about Darwin, evolution, and man's seemingly endless impulse towards destruction and war: Well, yeah.  The negotiator and pacifist blood was killed off.]
C: And it's taken generations for some areas of the world to recover from that, and in some ways, some areas haven't.  There's a sense of submission in some of the locations.
[Editor's note: I should totally be sitting at the table with these guys.]
B: You make the point that some of the parts of Russia, the reason why they have been with the tsars and then with Stalin, and they still go back, under Putin and everything else, was because of Genghis Khan and the Mongols--
C:--They were conditioned by that.  The Russian Christian Church basically said that if we're faced with destruction or allowing you to come in and subjecting ourselves to you, we'll do that.  They encouraged their people to be subjects to Genghis Khan, and as a result of that, they were working in concert with him to some level, and that's something you can see through subsequent generations.  Why they were willing to live under the tsars and submit themselves to the tsars -- or to the Communist regimes, many historians trace that back to that original conditioning.
B: I am struck not only by the fragility of freedom and how rare it is, but I am also really struck in each story by "wow this feels like a tipping point that we are at."  Do you believe we are at an eighth tipping point?
[Editor: Bingo.]
C: You know, I don't know how we can't be, when you look at the clash of cultures.  And I don't just mean internally within the United States, but clash of the cultures around the world.  When you look at the public discourse that we see, we could talk about lots of different things.  The monetary and fiscal policies that have the potential literally to destroy this nation, when you look at some of the political -- or cultural -- issues, and then when you look at the threats that we're going to face or our children are going to face, it seems to me like a certainary tipping point.
B: When we come back -- I wanna take a break -- but when we come back, I wanna start here.  Progressives believe -- and, no judgement here -- but the progressive ideology is based in: man progresses and gets better, and we learn, and we evolve.  And it really is tied to evolution.  And we evolve, and we just get better.  Our founders believed that the natural man is an enemy to God and an enemy to freedom.  He gets a little bit of power, and he will just run.  I wanna start there -- just what does history tell us, which one is right.  Do we progress, or is the natural man an enemy of God?  Back in a second.
[Editor's note:  Okay, well, now I'm feeling very smart.  Heh.  Can't wait to have my comments shown to be kindergarten dribble.]

[Editor's note: I'm having strong flashbacks to a conversation I had with my mother about two weeks ago, in which I asked her if shit was really as bad as I think it is...]

Beck: We're back with Chris Stewart. [Beck plugs Chris Stewart and his book again, I opt not to type the same stuff he's already said.]  I think it's the best history book... you know what, I shouldn't say that, because you are going to get so much crap from so many people.  It's a horrible book.  If you're a pointy little egg-headed freak at a university, you know [voice] "I'm a history professor, and I've written all these books that nobody has read" -- there's a reason for that.  Really, really well written.  You weave a really good story.  7 Tipping Points For Freedom.  And, when we went into the break, what I set up is: which one is right?  Progressives who believe men learn and get better, and we progress -- or, what I think is common sense, man never learns a damn thing as a group, we keep repeating the same things, and you've got to shackle men as much as you can in positions of power.  Because the bad guys will always grow.  Which one is right?
C: You know, history seems to indicate that we're not very good at policing ourselves.  That men come to power, and once they have power, as we've talked about so many times here, that tyranny rules.  And that's why this theme -- this democracy, this republic, this United States -- this recent phenomena, when compared to the history of the world, that's why this is such a miracle.  That's why this is so astounding -- because for the first time, we broke that mold.

Beck: Jim, your question.  On this.
Jim: This started with your "Forty Days and Forty Nights Challenge".  I started reading the Bible on a regular basis, and out of that I drew questions... In the book of Psalms we're taught that you can't put your faith in man to rule.  He becomes corrupt.  And in Daniel it tells you that eventually God will destroy all of the kingdoms on earth and establish his own kingdom and government.  So, can we as man rule ourselves, or do you believe in the American Exceptionalism if it says in the Bible that we can't?
Beck: No, no.  No.  Man can rule himself.  Men?  Nuh-uh.  That's what the founders knew.  The founders knew, that man -- I put my faith, somebody said to me, I had lunch with somebody today, and they said, "Glenn, you're so pessimistic on the American people," and I said, "What makes you think that?"  I believe in the American people.  I believe in you and you and the business down the street...  I'll put my faith in them every time.  Huge giant global corporations or giant corporate governments?  No, not so much. No, I won't.  Because they want to rule over.  I want to rule myself.  You rule yourself.  That's the difference, is can we create the system that gives you the maximum control to rule yourself and the maximum limitation on someone who wants to rule over you.  'Cause only, only God can set up a kingdom that is truly just.  You know, I love this stuff about social justice, this garbage about social justice, because there's no such thing.  There can be equal justice, we can strive for equal justice here, but there's only one great power that will even everything out.  Uh, Maura.  your question

Maura: I think that we really are at a tipping point with what's happening with Israel, and I don't think our administration, current administration respects what the will of the people is.  So I'm wondering how do we stop them from betraying our friends in Israel?  How do we let them know that we do stand with them?
Beck: I personally have an answer. I want you [Chris] to go to the defeat of the Assyrians here in a second.  My answer is again, man must rule himself.  You must make the personal choice to stand, and be seen standing, and let people in Israel know.  If there's enough people who stand up as individuals... Our governments will fail us every time, so why are we waiting for them?  Why are we looking at them and saying, "We should change their minds, we should change their minds."  Forget about them.  Stand up.  Because, in the end, you're not gonna have the excuse.  Well, the government did it.  I was just obeying orders.  It doesn't matter.  It's the individual that makes the difference.  You [Chris] tell about the end of -- 'Cause this give me real hope -- of the Assyrians being defeated.
Chris: Okay, and can I make a comment about the previous question?  I'd like to tie two things that were said there.  One of them is the idea of American Exceptionalism, and the other is Will we stand with Israel?  I absolutely believe in this idea of American Exceptionalism, and I'd like to point out that we are not the only people who feel that way.  A few years ago, I was in Morocco.  I had the opportunity to go to one of the most poverty-ridden, anti-American, anti-Western neighborhoods maybe in the whole world.  And I felt very uncomfortable there.  And as I was walking down this little alley and there were little alcoves built into the side of the hill where there'd be little shops built in there, and there'd be little men standing there guarding their shops, and behind me was a poster written in English, which caught my eye.  And it's the Gettysburg Address.  And I read that, and I'm astounded.  Why is that here?  And I read it, and he smiles at me.  And, we believe in American Exceptionalism, we believe we have a special role in the world, but there are tens of thousands of millions of people around the world who believe the same thing.  They hope the same thing.  They want that to be true, because they know that their best hope of living under any sort of democracy or freedom or greater economic freedom [shot of Beck, looking reservedly enjoyed.] will come because of our efforts.  And I think by extension that applies to our stand with Israel as well.
Beck: Hand on just a second.  With our understanding and living the true principles behind the Gettysburg Address -- and, again, I believe the individual's doing it -- not because we were, we're responsible for a lot of oppression, too.  I'm sorry, but I don't believe in Ghost Planes.  I don't believe in picking people up and saying, "Hey, we're gonna drop you off in Egypt unless you talk to us now."  No.  No.  If we're going to torture somebody, do it on our own soil.  Be the monster.  Don't let somebody else be the monster.  And if you don't want to be the monster, don't allow anybody else to be it either.
Chris: And that's a fair point, and I wouldn't argue with it.  But my, the point I was trying to make there is that there are people in that area who want us to make a stand.
Beck: Yeah.
Chris: They recognize that we bring stability, that we bring the potential for them to have better in their lives.
[Editor's note: And that's why the others hate us.  We represent hope.]
Beck: There's a lot of Palestinians that stand with Israel. The Palestinian situation in Jerusalem works.  It works.
Chris: And they don't want that taken away.  They don't want that thing destroyed either.
Beck: So lemme go back to your answer on Israel here, and where I have found great, great hope with the defeat of the Assyrians here.  We're gonna take a break, and then we'll come back.


Read the rest over at The Truth Has No Agenda.

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