What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close
With rendition switcher

Transcript

Question: Do you have a political philosophy?

Jim Woolsey: Well I mean I’m an old Scoot Jackson Democrat.  I was at a conference a few years ago in which the previous speaker was going on, and on, and on about how awful the neocons were.  And I spoke next and I said, “Well since the professor used a lot of the examples he did, I guess what I should conclude is what one would normally conclude from the press, that neo means ‘Jewish’ and con means conservative’.  And so I guess I don’t qualify.  But what I am is a Scotts, Irish, Presbyterian, Okie, Scoot Jackson Democrat.”  And that’s pretty close.  By the way so was Gene Kirkpatrick a Scotts, Irish, Presbyterian, Okie, Scoot Jackson Democrat.  On substantive issues, human rights around the world – I was Chairman of the Board of Freedom House for several years – I’m something of an activist.  I don’t think the United States should go off intervening anywhere and everywhere, but I supported the intervention in Iraq for several reasons.  Not just weapons, but Saddam’s human rights record.  We went to war in the Clinton administration twice with Serbia over both Bosnia and Kosovo … over human rights.  And … killed maybe 10 percent of the people that Saddam has been responsible for – the deaths, if you count the wars he started, and I think you should.  So I thought that and his ties to various terror groups – not just Al Qaeda, but a lot of them – all justified removing him from power.  I wish the administration had gone in with larger forces.  I agree with John McCain on this.  Or if not gone in with larger, at least made a quick correction once the war started.  And I wish they’d fought it the way Abrams fought Vietnam, which was sometimes called “clear and hold” – that is, to take an area and protect it, and integrate your own forces with those of the local militia and protect everybody, and then move on and continue to do the same thing; rather than the Westmorland search and destroy of blowing through someplace and shooting a lot of people, and then having the bad guys come back and kill any of the good guys who were helping you.  So I think that they have only finally reached an Abrams strategy in the late fall of ‘06 with the appointment of General Petraeus.  So I wish a lot of those changes had been made sooner, but I thought the justification for the moving Saddam was adequate.  I just wish it had been fought differently.

Recorded on: 7/2/07

 

Do you have a political phi...

Newsletter: Share: