January 23, 2014 - Anjan Sundaram

  • Episode: 19052
  • (0)

A Syrian peace conference erupts in a word war, billionaires descend on Davos to fight income inequality, and "Stringer" author Anjan Sundaram discusses his time in the Congo.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Jon: WELCOME TO

"THE DAILYSHOW."

MY NAME IS JON STEWART.

WE HAVE A GOOD ONE TONIGHT.

MY GUEST TONIGHT ANJAN SUNDARAM.

ANJAN SUNDARAM HE HAS WRITTEN ABOOK ABOUT HIS TIME IN THE

CONGO.

LET'S BEGIN TONIGHT OVERSEAS INA LAND SO CENTRAL TO WORLD

FUNCTION THAT THE MOST MAJORECONOMIC AND GEOPOLITICAL

DECISIONS MUST BE MADE THERE.

I'M TALKING, OF COURSE, ABOUTSWITZERLAND.

I'M TALKING, OF COURSE, ABOUTSWITZERLAND.

[ LAUGHTER ]YES.

YES THOSE CHOCOLATE MAKING CLOCKSUCKERS HAVE MADE THEMSELVES THE

DESTINATION FOR THE WORLD'S MOSTPOWERFUL INDIVIDUALS.

IMPRESSING WITH THEIRRESOURCEFULNESS AND LET'S CALL

THEIR AMORAL ATTITUDE

TOWARDS NAZI GOLD NEUTRALITY.

WHO IS IN SWITZERLAND?

>> THE RICH AND POWERFUL ARE ATTHE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM NOW.

>> Jon: RICH AND POWERFUL.

I WONDER WHERE THE RICH ANDPOWERLESS GATHER?

WHAT ELSE?

>> WAR OF WORDS IN GENEVA.

>> Jon: NOW WE'RE GOINGSOMEWHERE.

>> FIREWORKS FLY AT THE START OFTHE SYRIAN PEACE CONFERENCE.

>> FIGHTING WORDS.

>> TEMPERS ARE FLARING.

>> Jon: A WORD WAR.

THAT'S THE WORST KIND OF WAR.

[LAUGHTER]YOU KNOW MY GRANDPA SERVED THREE

TOURS IN WORD WAR II.

[ LAUGHTER ]

[ LAUGHTER ]I REMEMBER HE CAME HOME.

SOMEBODY CALLED HIM A (bleep)AND --

[LAUGHTER]-- HE GOT THAT FAR AWAY LOOK IN

HIS EYES LIKE HE WAS THINKINGABOUT GRAMMAR.

[ LAUGHTER ]BUT APPARENTLY NOT ONLY ARE THE

RICH AND POWERFUL GATHERING INDAVOS BUT DIPLOMATS

SIMULTANEOUSLY CONVERGING INMONTREUX SWITZERLAND TO

NEGOTIATE AN END TO SYRIA'SBRUTAL 3-YEAR CIVIL WAR AND THEYARE THE ONES ENGAGING IN A WORDWAR.

THE SITUATION HAS DETERIORATEDSO MUCH THAT EVEN THE DELEGATES

HANDSHAKE HAVE TO PASS THROUGHAN INTERMEDIARY.

[ LAUGHTER ]TO THE WORD WAR.

>> YOU LIVE IN NEW YORK, ILIVE IN SYRIA.

I HAVE THE RIGHT TO GIVE THESYRIAN VERSION HERE IN THIS

FORUM.

>> YES, OF COURSE.

>> THIS IS MY RIGHT AS A SYRIAN.

>> WE HAVE TO HAVE SOMECONSTRUCTIVE AND HARMONIOUS

DIALOG.

>> YOU SPOKE 25 MINUTES.

>> YOU SAID INFLAMMATORY OF[SPEAKING AT ONCE]

[LAUGHTER]>> Jon: THAT'S YOUR WORD WAR?

THAT LITTLE EXCHANGE WOULDQUALIFY AS THE NICEST SEDER I'VEEVER

BEEN TO.

I'VE SEEN GAMES OF SCRABBLE THAT

HAVE GOTTEN UGLIER THAN THAT.

SINBAD IS A PROPER NOUN(bleep).

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM HERE?

>> AS OF A FEW DAYS AGO HE'SRUNNING FOR REELECTION.

[LAUGHTER]>> Jon: OH, NO, REELECTION,

WELL I HOPE GASSING HIS OWNPEOPLE DOESN'T HURT HIM IN THE

THE PRIMARIES.

[LAUGHTER]NOTHING IS GETTING DONE IN

MONTREUX.

HOPEFULLY THEY HAVE MORE SUCCESSIN DAVOS.

>> HE'S IN DAVOS TO BREAKDOWN ALL OF THIS.

WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING.

>> HERE AT DAVOS THE VIEW ISTHEY NEED TO DEAL WITH

INEQUALITY.

IT'S THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE PEOPLEARE TALKING ABOUT THE SALONS, IN

THE BARS IN THE RESTAURANTS.

>> Jon: YES, INEQUALITY.

THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT IN THECIGAR LOUNGES AND THE CHAMPAGNE

PAVILIONS AND IN THECOCAINE-ATORIUMS.

THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT IT INSIDETHE SAME SHARED ESCORTS.

[ LAUGHTER ]THE PRIORITY IS HELPING THE LESS

FORTUNATE.

ALL RIGHT SO A GROUP OFTHE WORLD'S WEALTHIEST PEOPLEGET TOGETHER

IN AN ENCLOSED MOUNTAIN ENCLAVETO DISCUSS CONCERNS OVER INCOME

INEQUALITY.

>> WE'VE BEEN HAVING ANARGUMENT.

SHE BELIEVES IT'S HYPOCRISY HEREAT DAVOS.

THEY COME HERE AND TALK ABOUTTHE HAVENOTS BUT IT'S THE HAVES

THAT HAVE THEIR NOSES IN THETROUGH.

>> I DON'T AGREE WITH

IT.

I BELIEVE THE REAL HYPOCRISY ARETHE POOR PEOPLE WHO SAY THEY

CARE SO MUCH ABOUT INCOMEINEQUALITY BUT COULDN'T BE

BOTHERED TO COME TO DAVOS.

[ LAUGHTER ]SHOWS LACK OF COMMITMENT.

[ LAUGHTER ]BUT AT LEAST THEY ARE TALKING

ABOUT THE ISSUE.

HOW BAD IS THE INCOME INEQUALITYISSUE NOW ANYWAY?

>> THE POORER HALF OF THE WORLD'S PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT THESAME

AMOUNT OF MONEY AS THE RICHEST85 PEOPLE ON EARTH.

>> Jon: JESUS CHRIST WOULD NOTBE VERY HAPPY ABOUT THAT

STATISTIC.

85 PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME AMOUNTOF WEALTH AS THE POPULATION OF

CHINA, INDIA AND ALL OF AFRICAAND AUSTRALIA.

85 PEOPLE.

THERE'S MORE PEOPLE IN ARCADEFIRE THAN THAT

[ LAUGHTER ]I'LL TELL WHAT YOU, HERE IS THE

GOOD NEWS.

THIS THING THIS LITTLE ENCLAVEIS MEETING.

IT'S NOT HAPPENING IN SECRET.

THESE PEOPLE ARE BEING WATCHED.

I BET THERE'S FINANCIALJOURNALISTS ALL OVER THIS

CONFERENCE TO COMFORT THETHE AFFLICTED THROUGH I'M

ASSUMING HARD HITTING TAKE NOPRISONERS JOURNALISM. WE'RE

TALKING ABOUT BILLIONAIRES.

THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM AMAGNET FOR THEM.

>> EATING THE CHEESY SWISSFONDUE.

>> THE PROPRIETOR OF THE HOTELGAVE US A PRIVATE RIDE BECAUSE

WE COULDN'T GET A TAXI.

I THINK THAT IS VIP TREATMENT.

>> WE WERE ABLE TO GET THIS ALLACCESS BADGE.

FOX BUSINESS ROCKS.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> Jon: WHAT IS WITH THE

GIDDINESS.

ARE YOU FINANCIAL JOURNALISTS ORJUST EXCITED TO BE INVITED TO

THE MONEY OSCARS?

I LOVED YOU IN THE REAL LIFEEVENTS THEY LATER BASED THE WOLF

OF WALL STREET ON.

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK.

FOR MORE ON THE PEACETALKS IN MONTREUX WE GO TO JASONJONES.

>> JON, I CAN'T BELIEVE I'MACTUALLY HERE.

I HAVE SCORED AN ALL ACCESS PASSTO SOME OF THE MORE HORRIFIC

CHRONICLING OF HUMAN MISERY WE'VE SEEN IN

DECADES.

YEAH, "THE DAILY SHOW" ROCKS.

>> Jon: GLAD YOU ARE THERE.

>> AT THE MONTREUX PALACE HOTELIT'S ABOUT RUBBING

SHOULDERS WITH THE MOVERSAND SHAKERS OF DIPLOMACY. CHECK

OUT MY INSTAGRAM FEED.

YEAH, THAT'S ME WITH SYRIANFOREIGN MINISTER WALID MUALLEM.

THAT GUY IS A MADMAN.

NO, SERIOUSLY HE'S A MADMAN.

>> Jon: YOU MADE IT SOUND LIKETHE SUMMIT IN MONTREUX IS AS

FRIVOLOUS AS THE ONE IN DAVOS.

>> LET ME STOP YOU RIGHT THEREJON.

>> Jon: SAMANTHA BEE IS THATYOU?

>> YES, JON I'M HERE IN DAVOS,OKAY.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]I CAN ASSURE YOU THERE'S NOTHING

FRIVOLOUS GOING ON HERE.

THE LEADERS AT THE WORLDECONOMIC FORUM ARE LASER FOCUSEDON

MAKING THIS A FAIRER AND MOREEQUAL PLANET.

>> Jon: REALLY?

BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE YOU ARE ATA PARTY.

A PARTY AT GATSBY'S HOUSE.

>> I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARETALKING ABOUT BUT I HOPE YOU ARENOT

SUGGESTING THAT IT'S AN ORGY OFSELF CONGRATULATORY EXCESS. >>Jon: I NEVER SAID, ORGY,

THAT'S GOOD BECAUSE ITWOULD BE INSULTING.

[ LAUGHTER ]>> Jon: YOU ARE LITERALLY AT

AN ORGY RIGHT NOW AREN'T YOUSAM?

>> IT IS A PANEL ON EMERGINGECONOMIES AND IF YOU'LL EXCUSE

ME I HAVE SERIOUS REPORTING TODO.

>> Jon: SAMANTHA BEE, JASONJONES WITH US TONIGHT FROMSWITZERLAND.

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT A JOURNALISTWHO HAS REPORTED EXTENSIVELY

FROM AFRICA AND THE MIDDLE EASTHIS NEW BOOK IS CALLED

"STRINGER: A REPORTER'S JOURNEYIN THE CONGO."

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAMANJAN SUNDARAM.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]FIRST OF ALL CONGRATULATIONS --

IT'S A BEAUTIFULLY WELL WRITTENNARRATIVE ABOUT YOUR TIME IN THE

CONGO AS A YOUNG MAN.

BUT IT -- YOU WERE 22 YEARS OLDAND YOU WERE GRADUATING FROM

COLLEGE.

>> UH-HUH.

>> Jon: WHERE WERE YOU INSCHOOL?

>> I WENT TO YALE.

>> Jon: SO A SAFETY SCHOOL ANDYOU HAD A DEGREE IN WHAT?

>> MATHEMATICS.

>> Jon: SO YOU HAD A JOB OFFERAT WHAT WAS THE NAME OF COMPANY?

>> GOLDMAN SACHS.

>> Jon: YOU WENT TO YALEYOU HAD A DEGREE

IN MATHEMATICS AND AJOB OFFER AT GOLDMAN SACHS AND

YOU CALLED YOUR MOTHER AND SAID,YOU KNOW WHAT?

I THINK I'M GOING TO MOVE TO THECONGO.

>> AND SHE CRIED.

>> Jon: SHE CRIED.

SHE WEPT WITH HAPPINESS.

>> WITH HAPPINESS.

>> Jon: DID YOU HAVE A JOBLINED UP IN THE CONGO?

>> NO, I BOUGHT A ONE-WAY TICKETAND SHOWED UP THERE.

NO ONE PAID FOR ME.

I JUST SHOWED UP.

>> Jon: LET ME ASK YOU THIS --LET ME SEE IF I CAN FRAME THIS

CORRECTLY: WHY?

>> IF YOU WANT TO KNOW, THE REALREASON I HAD READ THAT THREE

MILLION PEOPLE, NOW IT'S FIVEMILLION PEOPLE HAD DIED.

NO ONE WAS REPORTING ABOUT IT.

>> Jon: YOU WERE 22.

>> YES.

>> Jon: AND YOU HAD THEPRESENCE OF MIND, THE PERCEPTION

AND EMPATHY TO THINK THIS ISWHERE I NEED TO GO TO BRING THIS

SITUATION TO LIGHT.

IT'S REMARKABLE.

[ APPLAUSE ]>> I FELT THE INSTINCT --

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Jon: IT'S WONDERFUL.

SO YOU GET THERE AND YOU CALL --YOU WANT TO BECOME A STRINGER I

GUESS THEY CALL THEM.

SOMEBODY FREELANCING.

>> I DIDN'TWANT TO BECOME A STRINGER.

I WANTED A JOB.

I WANTED TO BE PAID TO REPORT ONWHAT WAS HAPPENING.

I GOT A JOB AS A STRINGER WHEREI WAS PAID 15 CENTS FOR EVERY

WORD THAT THEY PUBLISHED.

NOT EVERY WORD THAT I WROTE.

NO SUPPORT, NO EXPENSES PAIDNOTHING AT ALL IN WAYS OF

INSURANCE.

>> Jon: WOULD YOU WRITE THINGSLIKE "IT IS VERY, VERY, VERY,

VERY, VERY HOT HERE."

>> I WOULD TRY TO WRITE LONGSTORIES.

>> Jon: THE CONGO IS TO ME ONEOF MOST INTERESTING AND TRAGIC

COUNTRIES IN AFRICA BECAUSE OFITS VAST MINERAL WEALTH.

IT'S AN INCREDIBLYRESOURCE-FILLED LAND THAT

SOMEHOW THE POPULATION CANNOTREAP THE BENEFITS OF THIS

MINERAL WEALTH.

>> IN THE MIDDLE OF THE BOOK IDESCRIBE THIS JOURNEY I MAKE UP

THE RIVER TO AN INDIANBUSINESSMAN'S MIND.

AND IT WAS STUNNING TO SEE TOWHAT EXTENT THE CONGOLESE

GOVERNMENT WAS NOT ABLE TOCONTROL OR DID NOT HAVE

AUTHORITY OVER THE AREA.

EVEN MORE SURPRISINGLY WHAT YOUFOUND WAS NOT PEOPLE WHO HAD

BEEN ABANDONED.

I FOUND A PIGMY TRIBE THAT HADGIVEN AWAY FOREST FOR BAGS OF

SALT TO INTERNATIONAL LOGGINGCOMPANIES.

I SAW MASS GRAVES LEFT BYFOREIGN ARMIES.

PEOPLE ASKED ME NOT FOR FOOD ORMONEY BUT METAL DETECTORS.

THERE'S AN INCREDIBLE -- A SENSETHAT EVEN IN BACK COUNTRY CONGO

YOU HAVE GLOBAL FORCES AT PLAYAND PEOPLES' LIVES ARE CAUGHT UP

IN THIS AND YOU DON'T FEEL LIKEYOU ARE IN SOME REMOTE ABANDONED

FORGOTTEN PLACE.

>> Jon: BUT IT IS FORGOTTENBECAUSE IT'S THE TYPE OF

COLONIALISM AND EXPLOITATIONTHAT YOU FEEL LIKE THESE POWERS

SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO GET AWAYWITH ANYMORE.

IT'S OLD SCHOOL EXPLOITATION, INA WAY.

>> INDEED.

AND THE DIFFERENCE NOW IS THATTHERE ARE AFRICAN PLAYERS

INVOLVED.

THERE ARE OTHER AFRICANCOUNTRIES WHO HAVE STEPPED IN

WHERE ONCE IT WAS THE WEST.

IT WAS THE COLONIAL POWERS THATUSED TO EXPLOIT CONGO.

NOW THAT NO LONGER IS KOSHER SONOW YOU HAVE TO -- YOU WORK

THROUGH AFRICAN COUNTRIES.

THAT IS MUCH HARDER TO BROACHAND TO CRITICIZE BECAUSE IT'S

INTERNAL POLITICS AND THEY HAVETHEIR OWN HISTORIES OF PLANS AND

INTERNAL WARS THAT GO BACKCENTURIES.

AND THEY ARE STILL SORTING ALLOF THAT OUT.

>> Jon: THE CHINESE AS WELLARE ENORMOUS PLAYERS.

>> YOU CANNOT TALK ABOUTINTERVENTION NOW WITHOUT TALKING

ABOUT INDIANS THAT WORK AT ALEVEL OF SOCIETY AND THE CHINESE

WHO WORK THROUGH GOVERNMENT ANDCOME IN WITH THESE ENORMOUS

PROJECTS, HUGE ROADS, MASSIVEBUILDINGS AND THE CONGOLESE FOR

THEM IT'S A SHOCK.

THEY ARE USED TO NO GOVERNMENT.

THEY ARE USED TO WORKING,WORKING, WORKING AND THEIR IDEAS

NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING, NEVERADD UP BECAUSE THERE'S NO

INSTITUTIONS OR ORGANIZATIONS TOTAKE THEIR IDEAS TO THE NEXT

LEVEL.

>> Jon: WHY CAN'T THEIRGOVERNMENT GAIN A MORE

CENTRALIZED CONTROL OVER THEINFRASTRUCTURE THERE.

THERE ARE VERY SMART PEOPLE WHOARE THERE IN GOVERNMENT.

THEY ARE VERY WELL EDUCATED.

THEY KNOW VERY WELL THE PROBLEMSOF THE AREA.

WHY CAN'T THEY TURN THAT AROUND?

>> IT'S A PROBLEM OF LEADERSHIP.

IT WILL TAKE SOME.

CONGO'S INDEPENDENCE HERO ISPATRICE LUMUMBA, A FREEDOM

FIGHTER IN THE 1960'S.

HE IS ASSASSINATED WITH WESTERNASSISTANCE.

>> Jon: WHAT?

THAT IS CRAZY, WESTERNASSISTANCE.

[LAUGHTER]>> SINCE THEN THEY STRUGGLED TO

FIND A NEW LEADER.

AND VISION MEANS A LEADER WHOWILL BUILD INSTITUTIONS INSTEAD

OF DESTROYING THEM, A LEADER WHOREALIZES THAT BUILDING

INSTITUTIONS WILL BE BETTER NOTONLY FOR THEMSELVES BUT FOR

THEIR CHILDREN.

INSTEAD YOU HAVE PEOPLE WHOSUCCUMBED BECAUSE CONGO IS SO

INCREDIBLY WEALTHY THEYSUCCUMBED TO THE TEMPTATION OF

CUTTING DEALS WITH THE MYRIADFORCES.

>> Jon: IT'S INCREDIBLEREPORTING.

WHAT IS YOUR NEXT BOOK GOING TOBE?

>> ABOUT RWANDA, ABOUTJOURNALISTS I TAUGHT IN RWANDA.

>> Jon: IN BETWEEN THOSE TWODID YOU SPEND A FEW DAYS AT

DISNEY LAND OR ANYTHING?

YOU COULD USE A LITTLEDECOMPRESSION.

IT'S A REMARKABLE LOOK AT THEDAILY LIVES OF PEOPLE IN CONGO.STRINGER IT'S ON THE BOOKSHELVESNOW.

ANJAN SUNDARAM.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]>> Jon: ALL RIGHT.

THAT'S OUR SHOW.

WOW.

THAT WAS AN IMPRESSIVE YOUNG MANAND A FINE BOOK.

JOIN US NEXT WEEK AT 11:00.

[ LAUGHTER ]I DON'T KNOW WHY I REPEAT THAT.

YOU PROBABLY KNEW THAT ALREADY.

HERE IT IS YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN.

>> THIS IS WHAT THEY DO EVERYSINGLE TIME, ANDERSON.

THERE'S A HUGE SNOWSTORM.

THEY END UP HAVING A SNOWBALLFIGHT.

HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS OUTS HERE.

[ LAUGHTER ]

I NEED DEFENSE OUT HERE.

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