I think human society for tens of thousands of years has sent young men out in small groups to do things that are necessary but very dangerous. And they’ve always gotten killed doing it. And they’ve always turned it into a matter of honor and a way of gaining acceptance back into society if they survived.
I think that when we have a better educated society, when there is less violence in our cities, when people get back into the workforce and have the opportunity to take care of themselves and their families – that for me really is the kind of success and the kind of America that I think most of us still want, we aspire to.
Well, you got to remember, bin Laden killed 3,000 Americans and, in some ways, he and his ideology killed tens of thousands of his fellow Muslims, including Pakistanis. I understand that that was provocative and complicated for Pakistan, but only if you accept the idea that he was an acceptable member of Pakistani society.
The British are supposed to be particularly averse to intellectuals, a prejudice closely bound up with their dislike of foreigners. Indeed, one important source of this Anglo-Saxon distaste for highbrows and eggheads was the French revolution, which was seen as an attempt to reconstruct society on the basis of abstract rational principles.