Bob Schieffer ’59 returned to campus April 5 for the second annual Schieffer School of Journalism Symposium, and he brought company: four leading figures in American journalism.
The 90-minute panel discussion featured Jill Abramson, managing editor of The New York Times; Len Downie, executive editor of The Washington Post; Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media; and experienced broadcaster Judy Woodruff, a correspondent for CNN, NBC and PBS.
Once again, Schieffer’s visit coincided with a major headline-grabbing story of which he was a focus. On the day of the symposium last year, it was announced that Schieffer would be interim anchor of CBS News. This time around, CBS announced on the same day as his visit to TCU that Katie Couric had been hired to succeed the 69-year-old Schieffer in the anchor’s chair, starting in September.
“People really do care about how they get their information,” Schieffer said of Couric. “I had no idea Katie coming to CBS would generate as much attention as it would generate. But that’s good. She has the credentials. I think she’s going to be just terrific.”
Here are some of the evening’s highlights:
On the future of newspapers
Abramson: There will be newspapers, but the important word in newspapers is the news: journalism of fact rather than journalism of assertion. Smart journalism that addresses a knowledge audience, which is what The New York Times is all about, is always in demand. We podcast. We do video on the Web. We’re international. We want to deliver quality news any way our audience wants it.
Woodruff: I worry about how we are going to keep supporting great journalism if the premium is on short pieces spread across 15 platforms.
Downie: News is the important word in newspapers. We’re going to put news in all different platforms because we have the people who know all about science and about the Pentagon and about the war in Iraq and about the State Department and about the Redskins and the Washington Nationals – people who are experts in these areas. That’s a commodity we have that people are still interested in.
On the impact of blogs
Abramson: We were talking to a reporter who’s returning to Iraq and he said the biggest frustration and challenge isn’t worrying about the danger. It’s that they can’t get out and talk to enough real people. And bloggers can’t do that at all. There are citizen bloggers in Iraq who have made a contribution, but you need professional journalists who know how to operate and who have standards and who collect the facts and reach conclusions — not because it’s their opinion but because they have gathered the information and really worked hard.
Woodruff: Their agenda is really an opinion agenda. And the agenda of the mainstream media — we hope and we believe — is to report the news. But they have set upon the mainstream media in many cases and made it seem as if we do have an agenda like theirs, but on the opposite end of the spectrum.
Schieffer: People yesterday said, “What if they announced Katie (Couric) is coming here and you’re not here? Will some blogger write that you must’ve gotten mad and stormed off the set?” If a story gets out these days — it doesn’t matter if it’s 100 percent wrong — the news moves so quickly these days we’d have to spend the next month saying, “No, that’s not true.”
New ways of getting news
Schieffer: Now you can get the news any way you want it. I always say it’s like when you go in to order some eggs. You can have them fried or sunny side up or with a little jalapeno pepper in it. You can now get your news any way you want. And that’s just fine; it makes them comfortable. But in the end we’re not all getting the same stuff.
Kramer: Nobody knows what it’s going to look like. It will involve all the media. It’ll involve print in some form and the Internet and computers, and it will involve BlackBerrys.
Woodruff: More is going to be on demand and that’s what the younger generation has come to expect. They can turn on their computer at 3 o’clock in the morning or whatever time and get it that way. It’s going to be what you want, when you want it.
Hear the complete symposium at www.tcu.edu/audio/schieffer.mp3
A renovation to add a second-story mezzanine to the Barnes & Noble-managed TCU Bookstore was put on hold in March after an early morning blaze gutted the empty 1950s-era building. The fire, possibly started by a welding torch, caused an estimated $1 million worth of damage, caving in the roof and leaving the facility a smoldering shell of its former self.
Though a time timetable is not yet in place, administrators say the TCU Bookstore will be rebuilt — likely in the same location as the fire-ravaged former grocery store. As of early May, the University was still awaiting word on whether the walls of the original structure are salvageable or whether a completely new building will need to be constructed. Administrators do say, however, that the new store will be bigger and better than before.
For now, bookstore patrons are served by a 5,000-square foot modular building in the bookstore parking lot. Tents were set up in the parking lot in May for book buyback and spring commencement.
The current inventory, though slightly reduced in quantity, includes almost everything you’d expect from the bookstore, including TCU apparel and general Barnes & Noble merchandise, even the popular makeup counter.
Store manager Llisa Lewis said she expects the temporary site to be used until at least early 2007. In the meantime, though, the bookstore is operating like business as usual.
Lot of parking
Although the new construction in the center of campus is forcing students, faculty and staff to adjust their parking habits, visitors should encounter less of a hassle in searching for a parking space.
Work on four new residence halls and a quad began in May, eliminating parking spaces from the center of campus. But the parking lot of the Tom Brown/Pete Wright apartments just west of the quad will be set aside for visitor parking. Students living in the apartment complex will park in a designated lot across from the building.
There are 107 spaces in the Tom Brown/Pete Wright lot. Additional visitor parking is also available at the Dee J. Kelly Center and at the east end of campus on Lubbock Avenue.
Groundbreaking news for School of Ed
A rainy day forced those attending the groundbreaking of the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation Education Complex on April 28 to use their imagination.
The major donors donned hard hats and held their purple shovels aloft and then … struck pay dirt. OK, so it was a makeshift trough full of topsoil placed inside the Dee J. Kelly Center, which served as the site for the ceremony.
The real dirty work gets underway June 1 on the southeast end of campus. The new school of education facility will comprise a renovation of the 92-year-old Bailey Building and the construction of the Steve and Betsy Palko Building, a new facility nearly twice the size of the Bailey Building. A multi-level glass corridor will join the two buildings. The construction should be completed in summer 2007.
“TCU has always had a wonderful school of education and now will finally have a facility to match,” Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. said.
When completed, there will be 10 new classrooms decked out with up-to-date teaching technology and additional offices and meeting space. The Bailey Building’s overhaul includes a complete reconfiguring of the interior and a restoration of the exterior to its original appearance, complete with a large staircase leading up to the columned front entryway.
John Travolta-like skills aren’t required on this dance floor, only a “Disco Inferno” of enthusiasm.
To celebrate raising $22,000 for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., members of Up ‘Til Dawn did exactly what their name implies: They boogied all night long. The Up ‘Til Dawn finale was in March at the TCU Recreation Center.
One of the more popular activities at the all-night extravaganza was the “morale dance.” The Up ‘Til Dawn executive board makes up the dance and teaches it to the rest of the members throughout the evening, said the organization’s co-director Whitney Merritt ’06. The music and the outfits worn by the directors during the periodic dance had a multi-decade theme.
When they weren’t dancing, participants played dodge ball, scaled a rock-climbing wall, ate food and enjoyed chair massages. Up ‘Til Dawn members raised the funds by participating in a letter writing campaign in which they sought donations from friends and family members.
‘College graduate’ has a nice ring to it. And many members of the class of 2006 now have a nice ring to remind them of their experience at TCU. Chancellor Victor J. Boschini presented students with their official class rings in April at a ceremony on the lawn outside the Dee J. Kelly Center. About 100 students and 300 guests attended the ring fling.
“We wanted to establish a ceremony to honor those receiving their rings and make the occasion very special,” said Karen Nichols, assistant director of alumni relations. “We hope this event will become an important and meaningful part of the student’s TCU experience.”
This is the fourth year that TCU has hosted a ring ceremony. In 2003, TCU adopted a uniform class ring design. Students, faculty, staff and alumni all played a role in designing the official ring, which bears the TCU seal; the horned frog; the founding date of 1873; the motto, “Disciplina est facultus” (Latin for Knowledge is Power); and the words Texas Christian University and Fort Worth.
Remembering the Holocaust
After nearly 20 years of telling her story to audiences, the poignant scenes etched into Rosalie Schiff’s memory are difficult to talk about, because in the retelling, the ghosts of the past come screaming back to life.
Schiff of the Dallas Holocaust Museum came to TCU in April to share her experiences as a Holocaust survivor in the ghettos and concentration camps of Nazi-occupied Poland. Schiff said she hopes that her tale convinces other not to discriminate against people with other religious beliefs and of other races than one’s own.
“Sometimes I feel guilty that I am the one that is still here to tell the story,” Schiff told the audience.
Schiff’s most haunting memory is of the night the Nazis took her family away. There was, however, some joy amid the sadness. She married her husband William in 1942 in the Krakow ghetto.
A group of young Iraqi leaders shared their perspectives on the U.S. military operation in Iraq and their vision for the country’s future during a panel discussion on April 28.
The international visitors were guests of the State Department. Their visit to TCU was facilitated by the World Affairs Council of Dallas-Fort Worth. The guests included Ahmad Sulaiman Muhammad Jaf, who works with non-governmental and human rights organizations in Iraq; Maytham Abd Al-Amer Aubed, a law student at Babil University in Iraq and president of the university’s student union; and Ali Abdul Hossein Hade Kammona, former governor of the Karbala province. Kammona, who has a law degree from Al-Turah University in Iraq, is a spokesman for several civil society organizations in the Karbala region.
The panel, moderated by political science Professor Manochehr Dorraj, also included presentations by students Elizabeth Serio, Luda Chuba and William Thomas of the TCU political science distinction program.
“We are fully respectful of the actions of the United States,” Jaf said of the toppling of Saddam Hussein’s regime. “However, we’re not satisfied with all of what happened after that.”
Taking a winter break
After more than 30 years of standing tall as a TCU landmark, Frog Fountain will spout its final fanfare in front the Brown-Lupton Student Center … for now. This summer, the flutes will be dismantled and stored while construction for two new resident halls begins. By fall of 2007, a new pool will be built closer to the student center and the fountain will flow again.
The fountain’s four stylized lotus petals – which represent education – were designed by Buck Winn in 1969, and paid for by a gift of $25,000 from Mr. and Mrs. H. H. Phillips of San Antonio. The Phillips specified the money was to pay for a fountain to serve as a rallying point for students.
But the fountain caused controversy before the first drop of water hit the pavement. Some students argued that the donated funds should have been used for scholarships. A petition to use the funds for alternative uses was brought before the House Committee, but members refused to consider it.
In the end, the fountain won out. Originally it had horned frog images set in the surrounding rock work, but weather and vandalism eventually took their toll and none remain.
If the Latin American Music Festival had been a recipe, it would’ve read: classical music with a pinch of Caribbean spice.
The week long Latin American Music Festival came to TCU in April. The event featured a score of south of the border virtuosos, including the TCU Symphony Orchestra’s performance with Uruguayan harpist Alfredo Rolando Ortiz. Other featured guests were percussionists Jorge Bermudez from Nicaragua and Walfredo Reyes Jr. from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Colombian trio Guafa also performed.
The TCU Symphony Orchestra and the two combined choirs performed during the festival, which was attended by 5,000 students Fort Worth school district students.
LEAPing into action
TCU students got together on a Saturday morning in April for spring-cleaning community style. Normally a fall event, TCU LEAPS was pushed back to the spring semester because of the threat of Hurricane Rita. The event, which drew 125 students, is sponsored by TCU Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning, a program of Student Development Services.
The student teams performed service projects for various community organizations, including Goodwill, the Downtown YMCA and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Tasks included sorting clothes, painting, landscaping and interacting with children.
Stating our CASE
The Division of Marketing and Communications brought home eight awards last month in CASE’s (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) District IV Conference in Oklahoma City. The award-winning work include The TCU Magazine, Admission marketing materials and advertising projects. Grand Gold recognition was awarded to the magazine for submissions in the “Medical/Scientific Writing” and “General Writing Collection,” categories; and to the Office of Publications in the “Print Advertising” category.
Walking from Fort Worth to the moon sounds like a daunting task. But that’s exactly what TCU’s ambitious amblers accomplished over the course of the Frog Legs: TCU 2006 Pedometer Challenge, a 10-week program aimed at promoting health and wellness among faculty and staff members.
The 61 teams, which comprised more than 900 employees, walked a total of 523,007,046 steps. That’s 261,504 miles — a figure equal to walking around the world 10 times. To count their strides, participants wore pedometers bearing a TCU logo and each week tallied their step counts.
The team with the most points was Strength and Conditioning from Athletics, which totaled more than 4.68 million steps, or 2,343 miles.
Words of faith
Renowned scholars and church leaders gathered on the TCU campus in late March for the second annual State of the Black Church Summit, sponsored by Brite Divinity School and TCU.
The panel discussion – moderated by Assistant Professor of ethics Stacey Floyd-Thomas, director of the black church studies program at Brite, and Assistant Professor of history Juan Floyd-Thomas – focused on the link between divine justice and social justice. Other panelists included the Rev. Michael Bell, pastor of Greater St. Stephen First Baptist Church in Fort Worth; the Rev. Alton Pollard of Emory University; the Rev. Lynne Westfield of Drew University; the Rev. Maisha Handy of the Interdenominational Theological Center; and the Rev. Melanie Harris, assistant professor of religion at TCU. The keynote speaker was the Rev. Robert Michael Franklin Jr., professor of social ethics at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta. The Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr., a Dallas pastor, received the Black Church Leader Award.
The Board of Trustees approved the 2006-07 budget at their April meeting. The $293 million budget includes $4.6 million in additional student financial aid; $2.9 million to support academic excellence, including appointing new faculty and enhancing academic programs; and $2.2 million for the Strategic Initiative Fund, which provides grants to faculty as part of Vision in Action, TCU’s strategic plan.
The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce recognized TCU’s contribution to the city by choosing the university for it’s annual Spirit of Enterprise Award. This was the first year an educational entity was given the award. Previous winners include Pier One, Radio Shack and Alcon.
You could call James R. Hille ’92 (MBA) the billion-dollar man. As the recent appointee to the newly created position of chief investment officer for the University, Hille has the task of managing the University’s nearly $1 billion — $980 million, to be exact — endowment. Hille’s previous post was as the chief investment officer for the Teacher Retirement System of Texas in Austin.
Tim Carson ’80 (MDiv) has returned to Fort Worth as the new senior minister at University Christian Church. Carson served as the Webster Groves Christian Church senior minister in St. Louis for the past 15 years. Carson recently stepped down as chairman of the National Worship Working Group (Disciples Mission Council), which he led for four years, and he served as the General Assembly’s Coordinator of Worship/Music for 2005.
Rhonda Keen-Payne ’78, dean of the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, will return to teaching and researching in the fall. Keen-Payne originally agreed to serve as dean for five years but remained in the post a sixth year.
Political science Professor Michael Dodson received the Honors Faculty Recognition Award.
The Wit and Wisdom of Ozzie Guillen
By Brett Ballantini ’91
He’s the Mouth of Chicago’s South Side, and whether or not you root for the White Sox, almost everyone is curious to read what Ozzie Guillen has to say about anything. The Wit and Wisdom of Ozzie Guillen reveals the hidden genius behind Guillen’s often hilarious, but always direct and terse comments. In bringing the World Series championship to Chicago for the first time in 88 years, Guillen has become a larger-than-life figure not only in the Midwest, but throughout the country. To order, go to www.triumphbooks.com.
A Dictionary of Common Wildflowers of Texas and the Great Southern Plains
By Joel E. Holloway, M.D.
Indian Paintbrush, a flower you might recognize, and Clammyweed, a name you might not, are just two of the plants included in this new book from TCU Press. As a supplement to regional field guides, the Dictionary provides information that professionals and enthusiasts alike will want to refer to when doing research or out in the field. To order, go to www.tcupress.edu.
Conversation with Jim Wright
The Flying Circus: Pacific War –1943 – as Seen Through a Bombsight
By Jim Wright
The Lyons Press
Like many World War II vets, former Speaker of the House Jim Wright kept his war stories to himself. Now 82, he has attended one funeral after another of friends. At each, he realized their untold stories were pieces of history going to the grave. He decided to tell his story in a letter to his five grandsons. The more he wrote, the more he remembered, and the letter became a book.
Wright served as a bombardier in the Air Force’s 380th Heavy Bomb Group, a skilled but decidedly civilian group. A general’s comment on the 380th’s performance (“My God, these men are a flying circus”) provided inspiration for the title of Wright’s latest book, a recollection of war experiences and of lessons learned during perilous times.
Q: Why are so many World War II veterans silent about their service?
A: I believe that most of us, not being career soldiers, had been more interested in closing that chapter and moving on. Secondly, there was a sort of reluctance to discuss it for fear of appearing to be seeking to cover ourselves with some mantle of heroism. We didn’t want to go around bringing it up as a token of our entitlement to some appreciation or respect.
Q: You said, “The sight of the people you’re getting ready to obliterate – up close – does something indefinable to you.” How did that affect you?
A: In low-level bombing, we held our fire until we could see the figure of a human being on the deck of the ship. That was never any fun to me at all. High-level bombing at least was impersonal. I could concentrate on the row of guns I wanted to knock out so they couldn’t kill my fellow countrymen, rather than thinking about the fact that people were going to die as the result of my bombs. That is necessary if you’re going to come out whole, if you’re going to be sane.
Q: You also said that war is a “fast track to maturity.” How would you say the war hastened your maturity?
A: I suppose that living through an almost universal depression and coping with a war that was not optional gave my generation a sense of confidence and self-reliance early on. Kids didn’t have their own automobiles; they adhered to strict rules to be home at certain hours; and their parents were not so busy working [as they are today]. We realized that wastefulness of time or talents or abilities was a gross crime against ourselves and our families.
Q: Something a family friend, George Fant, said, made quite an impression on you: “You’ve just gotta go through what you’ve gotta go through if you’re ever gonna get to where you’ve gotta get to.” What have you been through besides the war?
A: In business, I had to learn how to take failure to make a sale not as a personal rejection, but as part of the game. In politics, I had to cope with criticism and to learn to expect it and how to make political enemies into political friends. Those are sometimes distasteful things, but I really do believe those are things people have to go through in the kind of career I have had.
Q: Did you always have political ambitions?
A: At 13, I wanted to be a football coach because they were the men my crowd admired. But the beginning of my junior year in high school, I banged up my knee playing football. The football coach, Bob Harris, was also the World History teacher. He told me the school needed someone like me on the debate team. So I plunged into it and from that time on, I knew I wanted to go to Congress. I decided that maybe even better than being a football coach would be to try to help create a basis for a peaceful world so that my kids wouldn’t have to be doing this.
Q. You said, “The desire to satisfy one’s self-expectation and the yen to be respected by one’s peers are powerful motivators. I suppose the more mature and emotionally secure we become, the more the former suffices and the less necessary the latter is to our happiness.” At 21, you said you craved both. Where are you now?
A. Well, my life in public service has required me to continue to be in a position of some dependency upon public approval. One doesn’t serve in Congress in 35 for years without giving thought to whether he’s doing things that the people want done. So I couldn’t say truthfully that I’m not still subconsciously pleased when people show approval for some of the things I do and say. I believe with each passing year it is more and more important to me to live up to my own expectations and to have the satisfaction of feeling that I’ve done as well as I can do.
Q. Did you always have political ambitions?
A. Yes, from the time I was a junior in high school, I knew I wanted to go to Congress. I thought at one time I’d go the legal route, but then I changed my mind and went the journalistic route. I was editor of my college newspaper and that was one of the best learning experiences I ever had. I worked for the Star-Telegram covering high school football games. I enjoyed that and I was conscious of the power of the press. Then I wasn’t sure what route I would follow, but I knew where I wanted to be. That happened after my ambition to be a football coach.
When I was 13, I wanted to be a football coach because my crowd looked up to the football coach and we wanted to be that way. But the beginning of my junior year in high school, I banged up my knee playing football; I had to have a cast on that knee for six weeks. Well, you can’t play much football with a cast on your knee.
Bob Harris was my coach and was my world history teacher. He came to me and said, “Jim, you’re obviously not going to be able to play the rest of the season. But let me tell you something; what our school needs, even more than it needs a good halfback, is someone to represent us in debate. I think you’re the best prospect we’ve got.”
My mother and my dad both went for it. Dad understood the value of learning to express yourself, and Mother had been an English literature teacher, and of course, she was against football in the first place. So I plunged into that and found out I was better at that, really, than I was at being a halfback.
I had my hand up first for every question that was asked in my history class that semester; I wanted Bob Harris to be impressed with me so I would start every game the next season. That was my motive.
But I got fascinated with World War I; my father had served in it. I became imbued with the philosophy that Woodrow Wilson had been right, that we should have joined the League of Nations. I came across a speech he had made where he said that unless we joined the League of Nations, we would find ourselves involved in another war in 20 years – he made predictions that I saw coming to pass and I knew I was going to be involved in it. I decided that maybe even better than being a football coach would be to go to Congress try to help create a basis for a peaceful world so that my kids wouldn’t have to be doing this.
Q. What advice do you have for someone seeking a career in politics?
A. Young people in my classes sometimes say they’re interested in a political career and I always say, “I want you to understand three things if you’re contemplating a political career and none of these is pleasant:
“First, you’re not going to make a lot of money; it won’t be like being a well-paid doctor or a well-paid lawyer.
“Second, there are going to be times when you will be upset with yourself for not spending more time with your own children. You’re going to feel that the day is coming when your children will be grown and strangers to you. You children will come and say, ‘Daddy will you go to my soccer game?’ You’re going to regret and resent that you’re not able to accompany your kids to more things than you do. A career in public service is quite hard on family life.
“Now the third one is this: You’re going to be criticized. You’re going to be criticized publicly, you’re going to be criticized in the media, you’re going to be accused of deeds that are impure, of bad motives, of doing bad things, when you’re trying to do something decent. It isn’t pleasant, but it’s going to happen to you.
“If you know these three things and you still want to have a career in politics, OK, fine.”
Q. Your generation, you said, “confronted almost daily with the uncertainty of death, might have been learning a bit also about the uncertainties of life.” What effect do you think the relative prosperity of the last 50 years has had on today’s generation?
A. There was something about the Depression that gave us a serious turn. One main difference [in our generations], I believe, is the amount of time the average kid spent with his elders. The typical form was the parents being home at night and having dinner with the kids, learning what the kids were up to, the kids learning what the parents were up to. I think that was maturing, too, and very beneficial. I see less of that nowadays. If we as parents allow the passive side of life to dominate, then we are partly to blame, not the kids and not the outside environment, if they are distracted from things that would be beneficial to their development.
Q. With all the advantages our children have, do you think they’re handicapped by having had a comparatively easy life?
A. Kids are subject today to more temptations than we were, and more foolish, harmful temptations such as drugs. I didn’t know anybody who was on drugs as I grew up. We’d hear stories about somebody smoking marijuana, but it scared me to death that if I ever, even once, took part in these “forbidden fruits,” that I would wind up as a drug fiend – that’s the way we described it. Most of the kids my age felt that way. Today it alarms, shocks and puzzles me how kids can be so smart and yet so damn stupid as to be vulnerable to that lure. It’s beyond my capacity to fathom why we haven’t been able to impress upon them that they’re doing themselves harm.
Q. Given this generation’s conditioning to immediate gratification, are they prepared to fight a war the way your generation did?
A. World Wars I and II were necessary – we had been attacked. It was a matter of defending ourselves and our way of life. People could not feel that way about Korea nor about Vietnam. People in the United States are by nature patriotic, I think, and there is an instinct to rally around the flag and join hands at the water’s edge and to support what the country is doing at the beginning of a war. But doggone it, we also are a very impatient people. We want instant solutions, instant everything. You see that today in the changing attitude about the war in Iraq.
Bear in mind, we only fought World War II for three and a half years. Three weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor, I was in uniform and stayed until May 1945, the end of the war. I wanted to finish, but I had no idea on God’s earth that I’d be out before it was over. Now, Vietnam went through the administrations of four or five presidents; it just wasn’t felt by a lot of young people as our responsibility. And people are fast losing a sense of responsibility in this current war. I think that if we feel our country is truly threatened, we’re willing to go to bat for it. But we are an impatient people and we do want quick, visible results.
Q. War on terrorism is a whole different game than the kind of war you fought. Do you think this kind of war will ever end?
A. Yes, of course I do. But it won’t end without some sacrifices. In my time, so many made sacrifices, for the most part, uncomplainingly. There wasn’t a whole lot of griping in the military service. We knew what we had to do. We weren’t bemoaning our fate, we weren’t crying in our beer about having to be in the Service. I think that we’re going to have to mature as a people and to learn that we have a responsibility to understand and to get along with other people; we have to find out where they’re coming from instead of just glibly categorizing them, instead of being prejudiced against whole groups of people, religious groups or national or ethnic groups. I think we’re making progress that way – maybe not fast enough, but we are.
Islam has about as many adherents as Christianity has. Yet there is so little understanding between the two. We say things that we think characterize what Muslims believe; we are way off sometimes. They don’t understand us; they think we’re bullies. They have lived with the history of people who were attacked by Europeans who called themselves Crusaders, trying to convert them to Christianity.
I don’t think going in and beating the hell out of them and showing them how tough you are, how powerful you are and how many weapons you have is the way to impress them because the terrorist groups surely have demonstrated that they’ll die for what they believe. I believe that we have too little of awareness that we’re going to destroy them as enemies only when we win them as friends. And they’re going to have to stop and think that about us, too. When that happens, yes, the war is going to end.
Q. You have said that writing a book is the most demanding task you know of – how so?
A. I don’t know another thing that requires such a sustained commitment as writing a book-length manuscript. When you’re writing a speech or a column for the newspaper, you write it and you’re done with it. But the book is there day after day after day and it tries your patience. You sometimes want to throw your hands in the air and say, “This is too much; I can’t do anything else until this is finished.”
Q. How do you know when it’s finished?
A. Winston Churchill had a good comment about writing a book: “Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phrase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.” That expresses my feeling – it has dominated my time and conscious activity for long enough!