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U.S House Condemns Trump's Comments as Racist; Trump's Tweets a Presidential Smokescreen?; President Trump Foreign Policy Plans Struggling; Kori Schake, Deputy Director-General, International Institute for Strategic Studies, and Alistair Burt, Former U.K. Minister of State for the Middle East, are Interviewed About Foreign Policies; David Crosby's New Documentary, "David Crosby: Remember My Name"; David Crosby, Musician, is Interviewed About His Life and His Music. Aired 1-2p ET
Aired July 17, 2019 - 13:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[13:00:00] CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CHIEF INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hello, everyone, and welcome to "Amanpour." Here's what's coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): We'll stay focused on our agenda and we won't get caught slipping because all of this is a distraction.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Is Donald Trump's latest Twitter storm hiding a failing foreign policy? Frank discussion on Iran, North Korea and whether a Brexit Britain
will still pull its weight.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you ever wonder why you're still alive?
DAVID CROSBY, MUSICIAN: I don't know. No idea, man.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Rock and roll music legend, David Crosby, joins us. How a devastating personal life inspired his incredible music.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JAMIL JIVANI, AUTHOR, "WHY YOUNG MEN": That feeling of isolation that these groups are preying on, I felt that. I know what that's like to feel
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Author, Jamil Jivani, tells Michel Martin how he survived a tough childhood and why so many young men are seduced by violent movements.
Welcome to the program, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour in London.
Another day, another news cycle that has been dominated by President Trump's attacks on four progressive Democrats who are known as "The Squad."
Creating uproar and even seeing the U.S. House passing a resolution condemning the president's comments as racist. But is this all a
presidential smoke screen? That certainly seems to be the opinion of the congresswomen themselves who said this in a joint interview on CBS.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): I'm dealing with the biggest bully I've ever had to deal with in my lifetime and trying to push back on that and trying
to do the job that we all have been sent here to do. which is centered around the people at home. This is a distraction.
REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): This is a distraction, this is a disruption on our leading and legislating and governing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Indeed, if the president's tweets are distracting, his signature foreign policy plans are struggling. The love affair with Kim Jong-un
turning sour as North Korea threatens to call off the suspension of nuclear and long-range missile test, the tactic of maximum pressure on Iran failing
to deliver major results, and all the while, one of America's most reliable allies on these issues, Britain, continues to veer toward a chaotic no-deal
I've been getting answers on where this is all heading from Alistair Burt, formerly Britain's Middle East minister, and from U.S. foreign policy
expert, Kori Schake, now deputy head of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
Welcome to you both.
Kori, let me ask you the first question since you're sitting here next to me and it is about the United States response to Iran. Secretary of State
Pompeo, President Trump believe that their strategy of maximum pressure is working against Iran but that seems to have been thrown out the window.
Let me just play what the secretary of state said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: For the first time, the Iranians have said that they're prepared to negotiate about their missile program.
So, we will have this opportunity, I hope, if we continue to execute our strategy appropriately, we'll have this opportunity to negotiate a deal
that will actually prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon in the same way that the previous agreement had no chance of actually doing.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: The only problem is that Iran's foreign minister said, "No, that is a complete misinterpretation of what I said. We will not negotiate on
missiles until sanctions." Just tell me, where is the United States in its campaign with Iran?
KORI SCHAKE, DEPUTY DIRECTOR-GENERAL, INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR STRATEGIC STUDIES: Well, I think statements like Secretary of State Pompeo and John
Bolton, the national security adviser, make it actually harder for the administration to achieve its goals. It makes it harder for Iran to make
the kind of comprises that the administration is looking for them to have.
SCHAKE: Because they're talking loudly and carrying a small stick. The president has just demonstrated a couple of weeks ago that he was unwilling
to go ahead and with the retaliatory strikes. So, if I were Iran, I would be thinking, "Huh, the administration has a strategy based on the ultimate
use of force that the president of the United States isn't going to carry out."
AMANPOUR: OK. So, that's interesting. Alistair Burt, you were the former minister, you dealt with this region for so long. It has moved a little
bit from, "Oh, my goodness, we thought we were going to war," to now, how does President Trump try to do negotiations which he says he wants. Where
do you see it from the British and European point of view right now?
ALISTAIR BURT, FORMER U.K. MINISTER OF STATE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST: Well, first thing, we start from a position of some bewilderment because if you
wanted to make sure Iran didn't move towards a nuclear weapon you have an agreement that ensured that. And I am with others, including those in
State Department who negotiated that agreement who are puzzled that the United States moved away from something which had Iran in a nonnuclear arms
box into something more dangerous.
Now, I also don't believe that maximum pressure on its own as the only club in the gulf that actually works. You've got to have something that enables
you to progress further. And If you read William Burns' memoir, if you look how patiently relationships were built up in order to enable Iran to
move, with no concession as to what Iran is doing in the region, that is not good.
You realize the way to do it is to have a relationship with them, to work with them and to build up a sense that nobody wants war. So, what other
practical steps you can take to start to descale. And I think what we need to see is that chapter opening up. And it doesn't matter how it's done,
but that chapter of talking and enabling both sides to climb a bit of a ladder is really necessary now.
AMANPOUR: So, William burns, you mentioned the long-time State Department bipartisan U.S. administrations and was one of the first to engage in the
secret talks with Iran before the nuclear deal was struck.
Now, to what you both said, what is the plan? How do you deescalate? How do you achieve your goals? This is what the Iranian president has said
with regard to maximum pressure.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HASSAN ROUHANI, IRANIAN PRESIDENT (through translator): When a big power is a bully, well, then we have to stand up to it. It must stop being a
bully. We always believed in talks. Always. Right this hour. Right this moment. If they stop the oppression, if they stop the belligerence, if
they lift sanctions, return to the table, return to logic, we are ready.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That's a direct message, Kori, to the president of the United States. Can I just ask you before turning to Alistair, because I think
there's a little bit of a difference between the U.S. and the European view of how this current crisis started. The U.S. feels it started how, this
crisis in the Persian Gulf?
SCHAKE: The Trump administration's theory of the case is the Obama administration never to have signed the agreement without also
incorporating all other elements of Iran's bad behavior. The European perspective is that the Trump administration created this current round of
the crisis by not taking the Iranian nuclear agreement and then moving forward to work on these other things.
AMANPOUR: And I wonder whether you agree with that, Alistair. I mean, in Brussels when, you know, all these talks are being held, trying to figure
out what is going on, foreign ministers, they do actually believe that this current spike in crisis has been caused by the U.S. pulling out and
establishing sanctions again.
BURT: Yes, broadly. I mean, the view was that the JCPOA was the best deal that could be negotiated at the time. We all know it didn't embrace
everything but it was a start. And if you looked at how difficult that element had been to achieve, and that was quite a big thing. If you look
at what has been delivered through that, the fissile material that's been shipped out, the change in the heavy water reactor at Iraq. There are the
things the Iranian State did in response to that deal that must has been very difficult for them to do.
So, of course, it didn't cover everything. Pulling out of the deal for whatever reason, and does that seem to me an element of spite in relation
to who created the deal in the first place, meant that for some time now the Americans and Iranians have been talking past each other. I don't
think that we can get back to anything unless there is some private, quiet channel because neither side is going to respond to the public rhetoric of
each other and publicly climb down.
I was sorry that Iran rejected the opportunity of getting into talks but that maybe isn't the end of it. And do remember that the changes Iran is
making in its attitude of the deal are quite small and they are calculated. They are trying to provide an opportunity for people to get back into the
deal. That's why they haven't done the whole hog and thrown it out completely because they know they should stay within the terms of the deal
otherwise it brings the Europeans into sanctions.
So, there is an opportunity but I think the next thing is a quiet channel has to be established because if you're going get the parties back together
again, it won't be through the public displays, it will be through something quieter. Look back at the history. See how it was done before
AMANPOUR: If they so want to. Because it seems right now that everything looks like it's going in the opposite direction of learning from the past
in these diplomatic moves of the past. I just want to play something that President Macron told me because -- and this was a couple of years ago.
But he basically framed Iran within the North Korea context. And at the time, North Korea, well, it still does, has nuclear weapons.
BURT: North Korea is a very good illustration of what the scenario from nuclear deal with Iran. Why? Because we stopped everything with North
Korea years and years ago. We [13:10:00] stopped any monitoring, any discussions with them. And what is the result? Several (INAUDIBLE) with
them. So, my position for Iran is President Trump has to say, "Look at the situation on North Korea. I don't want to replicate the situation with
AMANPOUR: So, this is really very important because he is saying that North Korea can behave how it wants because it has nuclear weapons. And
Iran is potentially learning right now that maybe it might have to pull that trigger, to at least have them in order to be treated seriously. How
worried are you, Kori, and, also, you Alistair, that potentially down the line Iran might say, "Well, hang on a second, Trump is having a love affair
with North Korea who, by the way, anyway are threatening to pull out of their agreed stop and hold on nuclear and missile tests. We might have to
go for nuclear weapons." How concerning is that now?
SCHAKE: Very concerning. That's what I would be doing if I were Iran. I would be rushing across the nuclear threshold because American behavior
shows that we pay more attention as the country gets to the threshold. And once you're across it, we hesitate to go to war. We hesitate to take
stronger actions. I think, actually, a much better strategy would be to try and diminish the political value of nuclear weapons as the state gets
close to the threshold. Say, "It's not going to make any difference in our behavior whether you have a nuclear weapon or not." That would send a much
more diminishing message.
AMANPOUR: Of course, that's difficult because the threat is if they do have a nuclear weapon, they could use it in the case of North Korea.
That's what people have been worried about.
Can I ask you, Alistair, though, how the Brexit chaos, potential chaos plays into all of this? The U.S. has been able to rely on Britain in many,
many areas including intelligence, defense, gathering allies, you know, furthering and helping U.S. foreign policy, particularly on issues like
Iran. How does this potential no deal Brexit and chaos impact on foreign policy, do you think?
BURT: Well, let -- I will answer in a second. But just let me make a comment on what Kori said. It would have to make a difference. It can't
be inconsequential if Iran gets a nuclear weapon. The impact on the region would be colossal. That's why it was limited in the first place. That's
why the JCPOA was formed.
And, secondly, that we shouldn't even be in this situation. Iran is not in a break out position at the moment. It was heading that way and it was
stopped. How is it that diplomacy and actions have so failed to make us now concerned about Iran moving towards a nuclear weapon, which would
almost certainly be stopped in some dramatic way, we should have never got ourselves into this position. And that's my plea to those involved in the
-- as parties to this that they should get back to making sure it doesn't happen.
On Brexit, I think one of the few places where Brexit no deal probably would impact would be on the security and defense and intelligence
relationship with the United States. That's going to stay very strong. A no deal Brexit would have significant consequences to the United Kingdom
and Europe in many other ways. But I think the sense of mutual security, particularly between our institutions is sufficiently strong. But we don't
want to see it.
What we do want to see is an agreement between the European Union and the U.K. so none of these things get put at risk. But really, I feel that that
relationship would remain very strong almost no matter what.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let me ask you this because Boris Johnson -- well, Prime Minister Theresa May today has said that we must persuade the United
States to get back into the Paris Agreement and back into the Iran nuclear deal.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
THERESA MAY, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER: Just as we seek to protect the hard- fought Paris Climate Agreement. So, I also believe we must protect the similarly hard-fought JCPOA, the nuclear deal with Iran, whatever its
Once again, it took pain staking pragmatism and comprise to strike that deal.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Is Boris Johnson, given what he has just demonstrated, the kind of prime minister who would persuade President Trump to do those things?
Very quickly, because we're out of time almost. Alistair, is he or not?
BURT: We don't know. Christiane, in all honesty, we know that they have a relationship. If Boris Johnson, should he become prime minister, and I
prefer Jeremy Hunt, but should he become prime minister, if he can persuade Donald Trump to come back into the multilateral agreement, that would be
vital. But I don't think anyone is betting the mortgage on it.
SCHAKE: I too wouldn't bet a mortgage on it. Two real serious problems for the transatlantic relationship because of Brexit. One, is that Britain
will no longer be able to influence European Union decisions. That makes them less valuable to the [13:15:00] United States. And second, as there
are likely to be negative economic consequences in the near-term, the first decade, for example, after Britain leaves the E.U., that too could likely
diminish their ability to fund their armed forces. And that's bad for the U.S. too.
AMANPOUR: Kori Schake, Alistair Burt, thank you so much indeed for joining us.
BURT: Thank you very much.
AMANPOUR: Well, my next guest says that these are indeed dark times and only music can deliver some respite, that is two-time rock and roll hall of
famer, David Crosby. His first band was of "The Byrds," it gave Bob Dylan his number one hit with their cover "Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man." Take a
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me. I'm not sleepy and there ain't no place I'm going to.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Such a familiar tune and there's so many more because then came Crosby, Stills, Nash and later, Young.
But despite his secure position in American rock history, life at the very top has been very tough. And Crosby has been haunted by addiction, major
health problems and personal fallouts with all the musicians he used to work with.
Now he's committing it all to Celluloid (ph) in the new documentary "David Crosby: Remember My Name." He joined me for candid conversation about his
life and his music.
David Crosby, welcome to our program.
CROSBY: I'm very happy to be here.
AMANPOUR: Well, listen, I am fascinated by this film because, look, it's branded as warts and all but it's you discussing the warts and all. I
mean, it's not a massive investigative piece but you are in full confessional mode, I think. Why did you decide to do this at this time?
CROSBY: Well, it's kind of a peculiar circumstance. I'm at a point in my life when I should be, you know, fading out and sort of wandering off into
the sunset quietly, and I haven't been. I've been working myself pretty hard.
And for some reason, a ton of music is coming to me now at this late stage of my life. And so, four records in four years, which is kind of -- I
didn't plan it that way. It's just what's happened. And I'm extremely grateful for it.
AMANPOUR: You know, a lot of people have asked you, I know, how is it that you're still alive given your drug history, given your eight stents, given
your diabetes, given all that. I'm going to get into that in a moment. But I'm actually interested in how is it -- can you attribute the quality
of your voice to anything? Because so many of the old rockers who are still going don't have the tunefulness anymore.
CROSBY: I got to say, it baffles me as much as it baffles you or everybody else. I shouldn't be able to sing the way I'm singing. It doesn't make
any sense. And yes, most of my compatriots are deteriorating, you know, and how they can sing. I keep waiting for it to happen but it just hasn't
happened. I figured the only thing I can do, since I don't understand it, is, you know, like I said, be very grateful for it and work really hard
while I can.
AMANPOUR: And keep using it. But you said, "Music is the only thing I have to offer."
CROSBY: I think, yes. In terms of the world and in terms of my life, you know, in large strokes, it's the one place I can make a contribution.
Christiane, it's dark times out there. It's hard in the United States right now for people to be up and the music lifts. So, I think it's a good
thing. I think it's helping. I think that we need all the music we can get right now.
AMANPOUR: You're right about that. But you said dark times and let's just explore your dark times. I mean, by rights, you actually should not be
alive. The amount of cocaine and heroin and all the other stuff that you did, the number of years where you were fully addicted and behaving, as you
say, I mean, I can't even repeat it, but, you know, in a pretty horrible way to a lot of people.
Let me just read some of the headlines, you know, now that you are drug- free, "How Drugs Destroyed David Crosby." That's the "Rolling Stone," November of '85. Cocaine Casualty: How Cocaine Ruined the Life of Rocker,
David Crosby." "People Magazine," 1983. "The Tragic Story of David Crosby's Living Death. "Spin," October 1985. I mean, clearly, you had
been written off.
CROSBY: I think so, yes. Pretty much.
AMANPOUR: How did it you -- what was it that made you turn it around? Because you've been drug free that people don't mention since the mid-
CROSBY: What turned it around for me was I have what the French call (INAUDIBLE). I have [13:20:00] a strong love of music and I have a strong
love of my family. And my family is, you know, probably even more important to me than the music.
I do have to leave my family to go on the road and play music, and it's hard every time. I don't like to leave. They don't like me to leave. But
I do have to make a living and, you know, we don't make money off records anymore. So, the only way I can is to go out and work live. And it is
hard on somebody my age but, you know, it's also -- I'm very lucky to have a job. A lot of talented people I know who don't.
AMANPOUR: You're right. You're lucky to have this second chance and everybody else is lucky because they get to hear your music. But let's
talk about your wife and let's talk about having had to go on the road for so long. I mean, she says in the documentary "I hope that the lights go
out when he's singing." I mean, she's obviously very, very concerned that every time you go with your history of medical illnesses that she might not
see you again. Do you hope that it turns that way?
CROSBY: You know, I don't hope for it. I want to -- I'm holding firmly onto my new motto which is "Only the good die young." I'm planning on
trying to stick around for as long as I can. But it's not really a question of how much time do you have. It's a question of what you going
to do with it.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, let's go all the way back to when sort of -- well, not when you started, but when the world knew of you, I guess, and that was
with "The Byrds" and that was obviously so many decades ago. The first major success was in co-foundering that group in the mid-1960s. I just
want to put a little clip of you with the band that comes from the documentary. We'll just play a little clip.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROSBY: I am David Crosby. And when we are together, they call us "The Byrds."
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So, you want to be a rock and roll star? Then listen now to what I say. Just get an electric guitar, then take some time --
CROSBY: I think we were one of the first electric bands. I loved it. You could get the attention of girls, which, of course, is why all of us
started playing music in the first place.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: OK, David Crosby. Dig down there. Is that legend true that it's really about all the girls you can get?
CROSBY: No question. That's why we all started. All the guys in the music. It doesn't matter what they tell you, I promise you, they started
to try and get the attention of a girl.
AMANPOUR: And, again, a lot of the documentary, David, focuses on your experience with the girls. Many of the girls who you had, whether it was
Joni Mitchell who famously dumped you, I believe, in a song that she played to you after a show. Why do you think she dumped you?
CROSBY: I had fallen in love with Christine Hinton, a girl that I really actually fell in love with. I did love Joni and she's a wonderful woman
and it was a privilege being with her. But I had fallen pretty hard for a young girl named Christine Hinton. And Joni wanted to move on.
AMANPOUR: I mean, your relationship with Christine ended tragically because she was killed in a car -- in a traffic accident. And you do talk
quite a lot about that and what it was about her that you loved. The pictures of you two together are extraordinary. You talk about her smile.
You talk about her -- the vibrancy of this young girl. I think she was 21 when you were going out.
CROSBY: Yes. She was 21 when she died. It's just, you know, nobody prepares us for death. Nobody will even talk about it. It's kind of this
mysterious, lurking thing at the end of your life. And everybody tries to like pretend it's not there because they don't want to think about it. So,
you're not prepared. Nobody tells you how to deal with it, when it comes upon you. And it knocked me down pretty hard. I loved the girl and she
was gone. And, you know, I got over it but it took years. It took many years.
AMANPOUR: And then, let's fast forward a little bit from "The Byrds" and that's when it's Crosby, Stills Nash and there's a phenomenal, wonderful
song that I think means a lot to you and your life and to all of us "Almost Cut My Hair" and the famous lyric "Letting My Freak Flag Fly." I just want
to play it for a moment and then we'll talk about it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROSBY: Almost cut my hair. It happened just the other day. It's getting kind of [13:25:00] long. I could have said it was in my way. But I didn't
and I wonder why. I feel like letting my freak flag fly.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Is that the hair that you don't cut?
CROSBY: Yes. Yes. You know where I got that line, right? I borrowed the line from Jimi Hendrix.
AMANPOUR: Did you? Tell me about it. I didn't know that.
CROSBY: Yes. Absolutely. No, that's a Hendrix line, yes. Freak flag?
CROSBY: That's his.
AMANPOUR: And -- I mean, why? How did it -- why? Tell me about it.
CROSBY: Well, there was a significance to it. At the time that we did it, everybody had short hair. Again, we were coming out of the 1950s. Pat
Boone. We grew our hair longer because it was a way of saying, "Hey, we're different and we're not the same as you. And we want to make it clear that
we're not the same as you." And it was a way of identifying ourselves.
Each generation does it, you know, to -- one way or another. It's just we were very different from our parents and we needed a way to address that.
So, we grew our hair long and it was our symbol, our flag of saying, "Hey, we're not the same as you."
AMANPOUR: What do you think your group and your songs and your music meant to the country and the people at that time?
CROSBY: A great deal. I think at the time we were expressing, you know, a certain ethos that really did -- was very wide spread at the time. We --
there was a belief going on. We believed that we could actually shape the country and make it go in the direction we wanted it go. We believed that
democracy was going to win. And we were hopeful. And I think it's darker now. Much harder now.
AMANPOUR: I want to then, given what you've just said, go back to a little moment in the documentary where you take the camera crew to a little house
and you are explaining the history of that little house in the formation of your band. Let's just listen.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
CROSBY: See, that interior light there, the yellowy white one back through that window? That's the kitchen. That's where Crosby, Stills and Nash was
born, right under that light. That's where we were standing when we sang our first song.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: So, obviously, you still really, really are moved, I think, by the beginning, by how it all started, about -- by the legend, by the music,
by the relationship. You talk a lot about the relationship with Graham Nash. And then it came to a crashing halt. I'm really interested by how
you focus so much of the documentary on what you've lost and that is your friendships.
Neil Young is furious at you. You're mad at some of the others. I mean, you don't talk, you don't hang out, you don't see each other. You said you
didn't even know where Neil Young lives. You wouldn't even be able to go and knock on his door and try to make it better. Tell me how that happens
and what that means to you.
CROSBY: Well, when you meet, when you start a band, you're in love with each other. You think it's wonderful. You love each other's songs and you
love the chemistry and it's exciting. And you have a great time and you accommodate each other really pretty well. Forty years later, when you've
done it for 40 years, and it's devolved to just turn on the smoke machine and play your hits, it's not musically exciting. It's not fun. And we
AMANPOUR: You say something to the effect of, you know, it's hard not to be able to tell the people you love what they meant to you and what this
all meant to you. And in the film, you say, and it's very powerful, "I still have friends but all the main guys that I made music with won't even
talk to me."
CROSBY: Yes. That's true. I think -- you know, I certainly have been, you know, an opinionated and abrasive and difficult guy my whole life. And
I'm sure that there are many times when I let them down.
I know I did by becoming a junkie, I let them down worse than anything they ever did to me.
Becoming a junkie was really the lowest possible thing I could have done and -- but I think we were all horrible to each other many times, you know,
I could list all kinds of answers to this, but I don't think that this is the venue for that.
I'm not really looking to try and put it back together. I would do it if they came to me and they wanted to. But I don't really think that's going
to happen, and I'm busy making music as fast as I can, you know, I feel quite artistically satisfied and happy and excited.
I'm not really looking to reunite or --
AMANPOUR: No, I don't mean reunite. I just mean, you know, maybe repair a friendship for posterity.
CROSBY: No, that I would like to do. I think it's a valid thing. Good point. I've done it more with friends that I've lost over the years than I
have tried to do it with these guys. They are fairly set in where they are. They've said it repeatedly. They don't want to talk to me and they
don't like me, and they don't want to work with me. And I'm cool with that, frankly.
AMANPOUR: You just mentioned being a junkie, and you also mentioned doing the new music and with young people and new bands and having a new audience
and so many young people. And I wonder whether your experience of being completely wasted not just on psychedelics, but on the really hard mean
drugs of heroin and cocaine, of things that bring out the worst in human character, whether you wish maybe that that hadn't happened. And I guess
I'm asking because --
CROSBY: Oh boy, yes.
CROSBY: Sure. I wish it hadn't happen. It's probably took more time away from me than anything else in my life, and time is the most value one thing
AMANPOUR: It also -- it also -- I wonder what you think about the young girls because you talk in the documentary, and it's quite honest and
actually brutal about hooking some of the girls, some of your girlfriends and young people onto these drugs and that it was -- you know, that was a
CROSBY: Yes, I think it's creepy. I feel badly about it. I didn't do it, you know, in a devious way, or to trick them or anything, but I was doing
the drugs and they came there and they did them with me.
I never forced anything on anybody. I'll give myself that. But that's not enough. You know, there isn't any part of doing hard drugs that's okay or
that you can defend or that you can say, "Well, it's not so bad." It's all horrible and it destroys people, and it nearly destroyed me and I'm very
grateful I got out of it.
AMANPOUR: And you eventually kicked the habit. Tell me how you kicked habit?
CROSBY: Well, I had tried by, you know, to go to treatment several times and failed. So I wound up giving myself up to the police who were looking
for me and they put me in jail. And I went to prison in Texas. And that's how I got sober. It wasn't easy. It wasn't fun. It was awful. It was
the worst possible way you can do it, but it worked.
You know, the only thing you can do with a mistake is not agonize over it, but look at it and learn from it. That's really the only useful thing you
can do. The mistakes that you made in your life, right, is look at them honestly. Learn from them. Don't make them again. Well, that's what I
I looked at hard drug use. I realized it was a complete failure. I realized that it nearly killed me and I managed to beat it. I'm one of the
only ones who did and I'm really, really grateful. I lost so many friends to it. I can't even count them all.
AMANPOUR: I just want to ask you because I have to say, I did laugh in 2015 when you sang "Silent Night" for the Obama's at the Christmas Tree
with Stills and Nash.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
AMANPOUR: Did you know how out of tune it was?
CROSBY: Yes, that was a disaster. It was awful. I can tell you what happened is they fed us the wrong monitor feeds. Stephen was hearing my
monitor feed, I was hearing his, so, we couldn't control our voices. It wasn't even our fault, but it was horrible.
AMANPOUR: David Crosby, thank you so much indeed.
CROSBY: Thank you very much, Christiane. I'm a fan.
AMANPOUR: Thank you. Honest to the very end, including about that, you know off-tune performance, but there's so many really great, great
performances and his voice is still pure crystal clear.
[13:35:13] AMANPOUR: And that of course was a lesson on redemption from that rock-and-roll legend. Like Crosby, our next guest hit a crossroad on
his search for purpose, Jamil Jivani grew up in an immigrant Canadian neighborhood feeling isolated and estranged from his own dad.
He was on the road to a life of crime and gang violence, and yet, moments away from buying a gun, he decided to turn his life around, eventually
ending up at Yale Law School. He is now devoting his life to helping young men at risk. And he spoke on Michel Martin about his first book, "Why
Young Men Rage: Race and the Crisis of Identity."
(BEGIN VIDEO TAPE)
MICHEL MARTIN, PBS HOST: Jamil Jivani, thank you so much for talking with us.
JIVANI: Thank you for having me.
MARTIN: What is it that you're doing with this book? What is it that you're trying to do with this book?
JIVANI: I think we're in this moment right now, where masculinity is being redefined. You know, the economy is changing where the jobs that men used
to count on, especially working class men are starting to gradually disappear due to automation.
We now share, thankfully, the labor market with women and in many cases, women are outperforming us academically and professionally.
And so I think men are trying to figure out what does that mean to be a man? Like if the old kind of advantages that it used to have. It's the
old definition of masculinity as it relates to my family or my partner changing? And what does it mean to be a man in the 21st Century?
And I see, I see a lot of boys and young men going online, going to their peer group, going to the streets looking for answers to these questions.
And I think they're finding, in many cases, not great answers.
So what I hope to do with the book is to not just communicate, I hope, better answers to those boys, by showing these are the people, these
violent movements that are out here trying to answer that question in negative ways, but also to hopefully help parents and people who work with
youth to think about how they might offer an affirmative, proactive answer to that question.
MARTIN: Tell me a little bit about when you were growing up. I mean, you talk a lot in the book about how important it was to you to be cool and to
kind of fit in. I mean, that's not unusual. I mean, like, it's the rare teenager who doesn't struggle at one point with like, "Where do I fit in?"
And like, what did that look like for you?
JIVANI: Yes, well, so myself, and a lot of my peer group also didn't have fathers around. We didn't have older males in our community very much. We
were in a newly urbanized suburb that was specifically urbanized by immigrant communities.
And so there wasn't a lot of tradition around us. This is a young community. What that meant is that we would leave our mom's houses every
day on our way to school looking for the father figures that we didn't have at home and we would find those in the CDs that we listened to or on the
music videos, or -- and pop culture really is where we found the male role models that we were wishing we had in our house or in our neighborhood.
So for a lot of America, that is just entertainment. They can see the distinction between, "Hey, this is a rapper or this is an actor. Maybe
they make a good movie, maybe it's compelling." But I leave it at that. For us, because those were not just entertainers. I mean, they were like
clerics. They were sources of wisdom and inspiration. They were people who thought we were supposed to model ourselves after.
And so we took what was entertainment to some people, and we took it to heart, we took it very seriously and that gangster subculture is something
that we were drawn to because of that.
MARTIN: Talk to me a little bit about school. You just didn't put much effort into it, because it wasn't cool or you just thought it was boring,
or why is that?
JIVANI: That's definitely the case. I mean, when all your idols are people who are these outlaw, you know, anti-authority figures, right? It's
hard to think that the, you know, kind of boring, monotonous life of doing your homework and writing tests is exciting or interesting. And I think
that was hard for me to say like, I should be putting my time into things that are -- that don't offer immediate gratification, or even more
specifically, where I'm not going to feel admired or respected by my peer group if I do these things.
Whereas if I'm out in the cafeteria, punching someone in the face, people are going to say, "Oh, you're cool, you're tough." You know, so there's
that kind of affirmation that I didn't have with school. But I also felt to be honest that, our society was just rigged against people like me. I
didn't think that I had, like, there was no meritocracy in my mind.
So what's the point of working at school, if you think people don't want you to be successful? They're not going to give you a job. When you go to
the mall, you're followed around by security guards. It all added up to this feeling of I'm not just destined for success here. So why bother.
MARTIN: So that you fail this literacy test? And that was a pivot point for you. I mean, you talked about the fact that it made you feel like
garbage, like they actually thought that you couldn't read and you talk about the sort of the duality of that. On the one hand, it made you feel
horrible. On the other hand, it was a motivator for you. Why was it a motivator for you?
[13:40:07] JIVANI: Part of the motivation for me was that it just sent me a bit over the edge, like I doubled down on feeling rejected from the
school system. I doubled down on feeling excluded from the possibility of success. I came close to buying a gun and participating in all sorts of
things that you know -- where I was one very small decision away from potentially ruining my life and entering a system that is very unforgiving
and unjustly so to young men.
So because I had realized I didn't want to go down that road. I'm not going to be a gangster. I don't want to buy the gun. That life isn't cut
out for -- or I'm not cut out for that life. What do I do now? And it turns out when you don't have anyone to smoke with and drink with and skip
classes with and share gangster fairy tales with, going to school becomes a lot easier.
And then going to class and you just start to re-socialize yourself gradually because you have a new peer group around you. And that's
ultimately what failing that literacy test kind of pushed me so far away that I kind of came back in a bit of a boomerang effect, I think.
MARTIN: So I'm going to fast forward a lot.
MARTIN: So you go from failing student who fails a literacy test, doesn't care to college. You go to Yale Law School, and then what happens? What
did you decide to do with all of that?
JIVANI: My experience at Yale was this abrupt and dramatic confrontation with privilege. And this idea that you go from being someone who feels
like you're scratching and clawing just to get a chance to prove yourself to all of a sudden now feeling like the world is in front of you, like you
can have all these job options, and you're empowered, and you're -- now everyone who -- these institutions that used to say you couldn't even read
it or write, now, they're telling you, you're a genius.
And it's just like -- it was this very overwhelming feeling that I wasn't sure what to do with. And part of how I reconciled with it was I decided
that I was not going to just be a student at Yale, I was going to be someone who took it upon myself to share that privilege with as many people
I wanted to feel like the empowerment I received, that affirmation, that positivity of "you're smart, you're capable." There's a world out there
that you can be successful in and a place where you can belong. I wanted to evangelize that message.
MARTIN: One of the things about this book that's interesting is that you - - we've spent a lot of time so far in your personal story. And you kind of marry that personal story to what a lot of people are talking about around
the world -- violent extremist movements all over the world that young men are attracted to.
Why are so many young men, in your view, attracted to these violent extremist movements? You know, looking at it from the outside? You think
that's ridiculous? Why would you want to do that? What have you come up with?
JIVANI: Yes, I try in the book to connect the dots between, you know, gang violence, jihadist terrorism and white supremacist violence, because I
think that too often, minority groups are pathologized as owning these problems uniquely.
And I think that when we connect the dots, we show that this just kind of transcends our racial or cultural differences. I mean, there's something
about violent movements that appeal to young men in various different circumstances.
When I first started thinking about this, I had been, so, used to thinking about this as a mostly economic problem, right, that poverty explains this.
And the more I dug into it, the more I tried to understand the complexity of the problem of why middle class kids were the ones in many cases leaving
to go join ISIS in Syria, or middle class kids were at that Charlottesville rally two years ago.
I think what I found is that these movements are experts at reaching young men on a few different frequencies. So, one is, they expertly echo the
anger that a lot of young men feel.
Now teenage angst or the angst of a young person, something we all can relate to, I think. I mean, most of us when we look back at pictures of
ourselves when we were 16, we wonder who that person was, right? But what these movements do really well is they send a message of the reason you
feel that way is because the world around you is to blame. Not that it's normal. That it's something you need to work through, or that there are
loving adults who might help you cope with those feelings.
But rather, that you should be primarily responding to that with more anger and more resentment, and you should hate people, whether it's hate the west
or hate your rival neighborhood, hate immigrants and newcomers. They're picking a target and they're making you personalize your anger that you
feel inside and they do that very well.
The other thing they do is they offer brotherhood and camaraderie. They're saying, "We want you to be part of us. We want you to be one of us. We
want to walk beside you in life," and to an isolated, lonely young man, that can be a very appealing message and a lot of the guys who joined these
movements are people who are seeking mentorship from older men. They're seeking friendship, they're seeking camaraderie and these movements
especially with the way they use the internet are able to really pinpoint where you might find that isolated young man who's in need of a friend.
[13:45:15] MARTIN: A number of people who've been studying terrorism for quite some time have made that connection. What do you think you've added
to this that's new?
JIVANI: What I hope I've added is that I -- we have an impulse to want to see the solution to these problems as equally dramatic as the problem
itself. So what I mean by that is, we recognize these are global issues, they're international issues, they're threatening the national security of
many nations across the world. They are threatening the safety of neighborhoods across America as well.
And yet, we are hoping for some sort of national or international response, right, that there's some sort of magic idea. All of these countries could
get together and we can fix these problems.
I think a lot of it, though, is very local. And that's what I try to bring to the analysis is to say, well, the reason why a young man joins these
groups is not because he is sitting around thinking about foreign policy. He is not sitting around thinking about the international economy and
A lot of it comes from the pain he feels inside. It's he lost his mom or his father is not around, or he had a negative experience at school, or
he's in a neighborhood where the police aren't keeping people safe. Right?
There's things going on, on the grassroots level that make these groups appealing. And I try to bring that and that's partly why I tell my own
stories, because I talk about the personal lives of a lot of young men, and I felt it was important to, you know, reciprocate that honesty and that
vulnerability by saying, yes, that that feeling of isolation that these groups are preying on, I felt that. I know what that's like to feel
And that is what I bring to the table, I think is the local personal understanding of what's going on in the lives of young men.
MARTIN: What are some specific things that you would like to see people doing to address this global malaise, I would call it among boys -- some
boys and men that has implications for everybody?
JIVANI: Well, one of the things that I advocate for a lot, especially with parents, or teachers, or people working with young people, and young men in
particular, is bridging the gap between online and in person communication.
So what I mean by that is, you know, we're seeing more and more young people spending all their time on their phone, on their iPad, they are
thinking about the world through Instagram, and through Twitter and through Facebook. And yet, they are not speaking to adults about what they're
seeing or what they're saying.
And I think that what that creates is for these, especially these isolated young men who are most vulnerable to being reached, through those platforms
by a violent group, I think that we need adults who are asking those questions.
So even simple practices, as you know, every day or every few days talking about, "Hey, this is what I saw online, what did you see?" Like, "What are
you reading? What are you -- who are you following?" I think that's something that we can do every day in our own households at our kitchen
tables that would make a really big difference in the lives of more men.
I think the other thing that I push for a lot is thinking about how we make public institutions more flexible. So if you're thinking about, you know,
a police department or school system, and you're saying, "Well, how do they adapt to the needs of their community?" Too often, we have very rigid
public institutions where reform takes years and years and years. And in that time, you could lose a whole generation to a negative influence that's
kind of set root in a neighborhood.
So what I push for a lot, for example, is certain charter school models that I think are flexible and understand what people need, forms of
community policing that are more about listening than about telling people what they need. I know, those are not, you know, groundbreaking ideas, but
I think seeing them as a starting point for stronger local community institutions, I think that's really important.
MARTIN: Some of the Civil Rights activists in this country, I think, maybe it was Jesse Jackson who used to say that African-Americans are the
canaries in the coal mine here, you know, that what affects black people first will affect white people later.
I mean, could it be that the kinds of things you're talking about, like diseases of despair, for example, or that, you know, the imbalance of
performance of boys and girls in the classroom, it affected black people first, so therefore, people didn't care? They didn't care until it started
affecting white people. Could it be that?
JIVANI: Oh, I think that's absolutely true. I mean, no, no doubt about it. I mean, the idea that, you know -- I'm reading this book about young
men and drawing attention to the experiences of young men, but we know that thousands of the young men who passed away in this country every year are
black boys whose lives are being lost to gun violence and gangs and all sorts of chaos.
And part of why I fight so hard for that to be included in this conversation about radicalization and extremism is because it's easy to
forget that the first group of boys that we were losing to these anti- social ideologies in this decade were the black boys and now we see it with jihadists and we've seen it with these white supremacists getting more and
But I don't want that to crowd out the reality that we've allowed a very particular group of boys in America to shoulder a struggle for a very long
time and not taking it nearly as seriously as we should. And we've written them off to -- we built a justice system that made it that a lot of them
never had a second chance. And we are more inclined to offer, I think, a second chance to a lot of other people, and that's a real problem.
[13:50:21] MARTIN: And what about countries where people are attracted to these jihadists sort of movements? I mean, do you find the same -- do you
find the same thing?
JIVANI: Absolutely. Some of the studies that I've looked at, for example, show that among first generation immigrants to Europe, you find a gender
disparity where men are more encouraged to study and to earn a living and women are discouraged.
In one generation that flips where you start to see in low income neighborhoods, women start to outperform men in the second generation of
these families. And I think that's because when it comes to the traps that are out there for a young man who doesn't have a lot of money, the higher
rates of interaction with police. They'll hire -- how much easier it is to get involved in crime. The allure of earning money illegally.
When you see those traps, right, it starts to shift how young men are experiencing their society. They might go from in one generation, being
the ones their family expects to make money and go to school, to all of a sudden their family thinking, well, now we need to take care of you because
you've made all these mistakes.
MARTIN: Could you tell us a story of one of the young men that you work with who you either think you were able to have an impact on or who perhaps
had an impact on you.
JIVANI: When I started the research for the book, and I wound up in Belgium, I went to this youth program that was designed to help young
people who had dropped out of school, find a job. And they had all these different programs for construction workers, for fast food workers, for
retail, and I went to one that was for housekeeping and it was all women there except for one guy.
You know, he was probably the same age as me. He was a young Moroccan man who grew up in Brussels. And so I went over to him and I just asked him,
"Why are you in this room? Like it's you and a bunch women? Like, do you feel comfortable here?" And he said to me that he had just gotten out of
prison and right before he got locked up, he had a daughter who he missed the first year of her life because he was inside.
And he came out and said, "I need to be able to look after my family. And if I can get a job cleaning hotel rooms, and that's the way I'm going to do
it, then that's enough for me." And, you know, I think that he was in danger of dropping out of that program because of how hard it was for him
to be the only man.
And I think that, you know, me being there and attending the class with him for a few days, and encouraging him and telling him that I was proud of
him. I think it made a difference and whether he stuck with it. And he wound up graduating and getting a job cleaning hotel rooms.
And he stands out to me because he was forced to think, "Well, is it more an affront to my masculinity to be in a classroom with women learning how
to be a housekeeper or to not look after my family." And he chose that it was more important as a man to be there for his family, not to worry about
what it might look like that he had a job that men don't traditionally have.
And I just -- it warmed my heart because I feel like that's kind of the point of what I'm trying to do.
MARTIN: I don't want to glide past the "you" in this because there is a sense of urgency to the work, because you have been sick.
MARTIN: Right in the middle of finishing this book, you were diagnosed with a very serious, you know, illness, with Stage 4 lymphoma, as I
understand it, and how are you doing?
JIVANI: I'm doing okay, I thankfully went into remission a few months ago, which has made my life a lot easier because I don't have to stay at a
hospital all the time anymore. I feel really good.
But I still do feel that sense of urgency. I mean, when you stare death in the face, it really makes you feel motivated to go out in the world and
share whatever it is you think you might have learned. And that's how I feel at the moment.
I think feel that urgency. It's also where my desire to not be -- to not feel like I'm, you know, put in a box comes from. Like I really want to
feel like I can speak my mind as an individual and say what I believe is right, that I can try to put forward some sort of universal morality that
everyone regardless of your circumstances might feel drawn to.
And not to feel kind of limited by the same things that used to tick me off as a young man, which is people judge you and stereotype you and think that
they know something about you because of what you look like.
MARTIN: Jamil Jivani, thanks so much for talking to us.
JIVANI: Thank you for having me.
(END VIDEO TAPE)
AMANPOUR: And the book "Why Young Men" is out now. But that's it for our program. Remember, you can listen to our podcast at any time. See us
online at amanpour.com and follow me on Instagram and Twitter. Thanks for watching and goodbye from London.