Last night, CNN re-ran a recent interview of Ted Turner by Piers Morgan. Morgan’s secret to success is to never ask difficult or impolite questions but occasionally he surprises his audience and himself by a guest who spews forth frankness regardless of the host’s commitment to banality.
There might be 101 reasons why the very mention of Ted Turner makes one’s eyes roll but here are some excerpts from the interview. No context necessary. It’s impossible to misconstrue Turner on these points.
“I was against the wars before they started. I’ve studied history a lot and wars are not a good way to get things done and they’ve been a disaster for us. It cost us, you know, by Iraq, a trillion dollars a year, Afghanistan, a — not a trillion dollars a year, but a trillion dollars over that period. Afghanistan, a trillion. It’s just crazy.”
“I think — I think war should be avoided at all costs. And we should do everything we can to get the United Nations to deal with conflicts before they get — before they — people start resorting to violence, because violence just begets violence. And it’s easy to start wars and very difficult to stop them once they’ve gotten started.”
“I mean if everybody started shooting at everybody that they had a disagreement with, all we’d be doing is shooting each other. We’re — because there’s enough of that anyway. But that doesn’t accomplish anything, except gets people shot and escalate into while — into war.”
“Well, first of all, I believe in total nuclear disarmament. That’s the only way we’re ever going to get people — we’ve all got to play by the same set of rules. We have 2,000 or several thousand nuclear weapons. Iran has none at the current time. But it’s OK for Israel to have 100, but it’s not OK for Iran to have two. That’s — you’re not treating everybody equally and you — you have no strong position except force — only by force can it be done.”
“And I think the best way to avoid violence is to treat everybody with respect, dignity and friendliness, and because it’s — your friends don’t bomb you. It’s only your enemies.”