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tv   Real Money With Ali Velshi  Al Jazeera  February 2, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EST

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>> honest people, losing hope... >> i didn't fight vietnam so that someone could take my property away from me >> hard sell an america tonight investigation only on al jazeera america the deadly civil war in syria must be told. couldstopped. could it be time to come to political solutions i'm talking to an official at the time united nations who tried to help. >> i feel like we have let the people of syria down. over three million have fled as refugees pches it is.
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it has actually is a scandal. >> i'm ali velshi and this is "real money." syria four years of civil war which originally started off as a bunch of mass protests call on president bashar al-assad to step down. but the situation quickly deteriorated into open violence. government officials responded by taking up arms. sending money and weapons to myriad rebel groups. the government sought out military aid from its allies, and the government covers dmasks
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arounddamascus and the coast. alalal qaeda affiliate al nusra using it as a springboard to grap partsgrabsgrab parts of iraq. meanwhile, i.s.i.l. continues making worldwide headlines by videotaping the murders of aid workers and journalists including japanese journalist kenji goto who was killed in a video released this past weekend. four years on more than 200,000 people have been killed in syria's fighting. some 12 million people more than half of the population are displaced. three million of them have fled to neighboring countries a million each to turkey jordan
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and lebanon. i sat down with valerie amos, annal under secretary general at the united nations. i met her when i was in davos. it is her job to coordinate relief for syria but she says it has been failed. she is stepping down. why she did that? >> i will have been the longest serving emergency relief coordinator. by a year. it is a wonderful job but you have to know when it's time and it's time. >> you have said that syria has been the thing that has hurt you and frustrated you the most. >> i think that very frustrated, i feel as if we have let about people of syria down. and i know that we've done a
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huge amount. and i think every day of the huge commitment, of the humanitarian workers on the ground facing dangerous difficult situations, day after day. they go in, they deliver food. health care. but it has been a really difficult environment in which to work. we have tried everything to try to bring peace to a very, very troubled country. i feel as if, because of the lack of a political solution, we on the humanitarian side have had to pick up the pieces. and in the four years that i have been there the number of people in need has gone from one million to over 12 million inside the country. over three million people have fled as refugees. it's an absolutely scandal and i think we all share a bit of the responsibility. and that is not to say that i am
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not proud of the work that we have managed to do. >> in your work, in the area of humanitarian aid and emergency relief in the u.n. sometimes it's about natural disaster. sometimes it's about earthquakes or famines or monday as soon monsoons. is it much more frustrated when it is caused by humans? >> much more frustrating. 80% of our work is in conflict situations, going on longer and longer and longer. the thing on everybody's minds is syria. but the democratic republic of congo, we have been there for a long time. if you look at somalia another example, it has gone on for avery long time. it is not only that we as humanitarian workers are frustrated. i think that the citizens of the world if i can describe them like that are also frustrated because they look to us as an
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international community they look to the u.n. as a multilateral organization, they look to our global leaders and say but hold often a second. we thought you had dealt with that, we thought you had solved that but this is what you think about sudan and south sudan. you talk about darfur and people are confused, that was so many years ago what do you mean? this is an issue still a problem. >> let's take syria for example we know the failing is on the part of the administration, the assad regime, they are watching ton sphwhrant their brothers and sisters in other arab nations were doing so and some of it was a success and it didn't work out that way in syria. we know what went wrong in the beginning. but what's gone wrong with our international governance? people look to the west and to the united nations to say that's
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away you're here for. speaking frankly i know you're not looking to pick fights with the united nations or member governments -- >> i work for the united nations, it be wog a little difficult if i -- it would be a little difficult if i picked a fight with it. >> right. >> but the united nations is made up of 193 countries. countries which have very different perspectives. and in the case of syria we all know that they are at the heart of the five permanent members of the security council, there is a difference of opinion about what the strategy should be. it's been there from day 1. sometimes, the differences have got much broader. sometimes it has seemed as if we are closer to finding a solution. that schism is partly what is at the heart of the difficulty in terms of finding a solution. then of course, as in any other global or international
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organization people bring their own interests, there are some countries that have a particular power that they exercise. you have the countries of the gulf which haven't necessarily spoken with one voice. >> correct. >> on this issue. so all of these differences have played into our ability to find a solution together. >> when you get it right you're right. the world shares in the success. the danger is when you get it wrong, the world starts thinking the united nations is not as relevant as it can be. >> that's absolutely right. and also we get into a blame game. which we should not do, either. because you know, the many frustrations and difficulties that we face in terms of trying to do our job should not be placed at our feet. there should be a recognition that there are a complex set of geoplit relationships that we're
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dealing -- geopolitical relationships that we are dealing with here. when i wake up in the morning i'm thinking about finding solutions to these situations and i very much hope that the leaders of the world are doing exactly the same thing. >> let me ask you this: i think you're very noble to not get into a blame game but i want to ask about one other party to this and i want, the negotiable media, how have you watched the global media cover this syrian crisis? have we don't the right jock? -- job? is there more we could have done is our job to witness or tell me what you feel about the media and how we have covered this? >> the media has covered this story in very different ways. sometimes it has been right at the top of the agenda and sometimes it's not been on the agenda at all. anything to do with security and terrorism always shoots right to the top of the media agenda.
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>> and it trumps the humanitarian side. >> that was going to be my next point. getting a recognition that this is all having an impact on children on women on ordinary families on communities is sometimes the hardest thing to do. >> valerie amos. one man says for peace in syria to take hold there has to be more weapons in the hands of the right people on the ground, mainly fighters who oppose both i.s.i.l. and the regime. hardin, this is a tough one. in a way you just heard what valerie had to say. it's lost on us. there are 12 million people displaced. and what you're saying is still advocating more bloodshed in the short term. we don't tend to get this right this arming you know what we call the moderate opposition. all the people that end up with
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these weapons were at one point a moderate opposition. how do you feel about this? >> i think the first thing to do let's back up here for just one second. first off i used to work with the united nations for a number of years and i know the team who personally are doing the work in at a damascus. first off i'd like to take my hat's off to what they're doing they're dealing with extremely difficult situations on a daily basis. valerie makes a point here, the innumber of money in the long term has helped the situation no doubt about it but if it is possible over the long term to begin to convince different sides to slow the level of funding and weapons coming to the country that could have a positive impact on the general humanitarian situation there. but to see something like that happen, we're talking about russia we're talking about iran, we're talking about hezbollah, we're talking about a
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number of actors who are going to have to do that. i don't think we're there yet. i think the granularity of the solution. >> on the one hand it's granularity. on the other hand, what you are advocating which by the way is the white house policy at the moment this policy of arming the moderate opposition. i have a hard time saying it because we don't get it right all the time. it creates a power vacuum. i know in iraq that power vacuum has allowed i.s.i.l. come in and take up large parts of iraq. how do you address this, whether it's the humanitarian side or the government side, you are advocating a position that weakens the government of syria. while we don't like the government of syria no government tends to result in more refugees and more starvation. >> excellent point. when i was in beirut and a couple of other yais about a areas
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about a month and a half ago when you talk to them about what their plan is for the future they're not looking at trying to reassert control over the entirety of the state again. they are very comfortable in sort of cutting a line around maybe 70 or 60% of the population centers in syria which will still be very difficult for them and leaving the rest to what they call the barbarians. the real question is if we're not going to get involved in a serious way in trying to present some sort of alternative to i.s.i.l. and to al nusra the al qaeda affiliate in the north, i don't know how we're going to get to what looks like governance in the north aside from governance under i.s.i.l. >> didn't we get in the beginning delaying what the government of bashar al-assad, then delaying, and secretary of state kerry seems the have walked back from that and seems like this is a smaller part of the u.s. and western position
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that bashar al-assad has to go. again it's confusing foreign policy. >> it's very confusing and confusing because there are no good sluices in this area. we are beginning osee progress on the ground, it is beginning to trend in the right direction. you don't have many of those ingredients right now in syria. there are a lot of questions and a lot of fingers being pointed about what could or could not have been done better in the last couple of years in syria. the real question is what do you do now? i'm not sure it's a bad thing that we have seen a bit of softening from the administration about the opening sort of preconditions for having a conversation between folks in damascus and in other capitals. >> i want to bring it back to the beginning valerie amos, 12 million refugees, what is the time we're looking at? >> years perhaps decades. if you look at bosnia, iraq, any
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of the place we looked at in africa we'll talk about decades to get these people home and resettled. >> hardin, thank you. a dangerous game, america may do just that, here's why. shelling from russian backed rebels and civilians returning for their lives. hit me up at velshi. keep it here. >> coming up after "real money," a move that could further strain relations with russia, we'll see what's on the table. also more backlash against the antivaccination movement, as the cdc warns the measles outbreak is likely the grow even larger.
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plus a wheelchair that can be steered with eye movements how engineers did it for less than $200. we'll have more of that coming up at the top of the hour. hour.
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>> the violence in ukraine has started to rage again. russian backed rebels have stepped up their pounding of position he of government troops. kiev's military says five more ukrainian soldiers have been killed. officials in donetsk say 15 civilians have died. talks between ukraine russia and others have intensified. charles stratford has more. >> they run for cover. arartillery is landing close by. it is unclear whether the separatists or the ukrainian military fired first. we are in the town of r and
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there has been a lot of incoming shelling still going on spore sporadically. those people who can are hiding in their basements. under this block of flats we find alexander and his young family. it is cold and damp and the sound of the shelling reverberates through the cement walls. >> we constantly have to come down here because of what's going on. we can see what's happening now. how can we stay in our apartment apartment? >> reporter: during a lull in the firing we head further into town to where we had heard the shells landing. relatives have just pulled 86 86-year-old from her basement only moments before. the house is destroyed. they lead her to a neighbor's home and medics arrive to treat her. >> translator: i was
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trembling. i live alone. i was sitting in the corner and i only just survived. >> reporter: the force of the blast has smashed the windows of this home. shrapnel is embedded in the walls above the bed. >> why do i have to live like this? why are they killing us, why? >> outside another neighbor appears from her damaged house. >> translator: how can they possibly do this? what am i to do now? i don't know what to do. i think i just saw my own death. >> reporter: the repeated failure of truce negotiations means this community and many others are crossing ukrainian army controlled territory will have to continue to live in fear. as we drive out of town, separatist heavy weapons pass you heading for the front line.
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charles stratford, al jazeera eastern ukraine. >> with the russian backed separatists stepping up their fighting in ukraine pentagon officials confirm to al jazeera america that united states is considering sending lethal weapons to ukraine. jamie mcintire, it's been the claim of ukraine that they can't win a war with blankets and things like that. >> the pentagon has been watching with great frustration as russia has continued to pour hundreds of pieces of equipment including p-72 tanks into eastern ukraine and the forces that are backing the government are outmatched on the palt field and that has given a new impetus to the idea that defensive
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weapons to the ukrainian forces but there has been no decision made yet. >> what kind of weaponry are we talking about here? >> well, you know, one of the things as i said that the ukrainian forces are facing are these russian tanks. they have nothing that can stop a tank. they can really use some u.s. tow 18th tank missiles to stop these tanks in their traction. that is supposedly a defensive weapon but any weapon can become an offensive weapon too. the united states and military advisors at the pentagon are weary of pouring more arms into this race essentially fueling a proxy war between the united states and russia on the battlefield of korean. >> we've just heard from germany that they've made a decision not to supply lethal weaponry to
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ukraine. what are we talking about? >> first of all, secretary of state kerry is going to kiev this week and he will no doubt hear more from the ukrainian government of yevgeni the prime minister about their needs. but the pentagon officials tell me the president has been getting the best information he can from his generals, the chairman of the joint chiefs and the president has been hinting in recent interviews that he's not particularly in a mood to escalate things. he feels that the last thing the u.s. should be is in a war with russia, in ukraine and there are many people particularly in the state department who don't believe that accelerating the condition on the ground will actually bring a diplomatic solution to the forefront any
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faster. >> jamie mcintyre thank you. one thing the president is getting the gop to the bargaining table going to tell you about what it is when we come back. back.
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>> the $4 trillion budget that president obama unveiled today is at much about politics than it is about money. that's no surprise. we have talked at length about the president's plan to raise taxes on the richest americans that in itself is going nowhere in this republican conscious but that is part of what's in the president's 2,000 page budget and not all of it is dead on arrival. what's on the cover of this monster, new york's tappanzee bridge. the plan to improve america's crumbling infrastructure. 278 billion to improve infrastructure i say bravo to that. one republican member of the house said, i can't think of a better place than to invest in infrastructure. this may find republican sport. $268 billion of what the
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president wants to spend would come from a one time 14% tax an the $2 trillion in profits that u.s. companies have parked in other countries. the administration is also proposing a 19% minimum tax rate on future foreign profits that u.s. companies earn. that would generate an additional $206 billion that would probably be used to lower extrapolate tax rates. that's something businesses want and that's creating more hope that the president's proposals for corporate tax reform are at least the beginning of a dialogue that democrats can have with regions. finally, the president wants to make it harder for companies to do something that has outraged politicians on either side of the i'll. the word with the weird name of inversion, for companies like medtronic to fast food giant burger king. this is what you need to know. in the last decade alone at
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least 75 u.s. corporations have moved their official addresses abroad. many have moved to places like bermuda and cayman islands price waterhouse moved its home, and fruit of the loom moved its corporate headquarters to cayman islands in 1998. but inversion could wind up costing the u.s. as much as $20 billion in lost tax revenue over the next decade. inversion is where a u.s. company illegally arranges to become the subsidiary of a foreign company and pays taxes to that company instead of the u.s.
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sara lee merged the 2012 with d.e. master blenders whose headquarters is in the netherlands. u.s. corporate income tax of 35%, the highest in the developed ireland it's only 12.5%. critics say companies often use loopholes to avoid paying the 35% corporate income tax and if they invert and incorporate abroad they enjoy the benefits of u.s. laws. if congress reduces the u.s. corporate tax rate it will only rob the u.s. of even more tax revenue and ignite an arms race with other countries which will lower their tax rates too. for now policy makers are exploring their options and bracing for an even bigger wave of corporate defections and
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inversions. obviously i'll stay on top of this. that's our show for today. i'm ali velshi. thank you for joining us. ning us. >> weapons to ukraine - the white house takes a fresh look at arming government forces as russian backed separatists say they'll recruit thousands more to fight. trillions of dollars for the middle class. >> it helps working families paychecks go further. >> president obama rolls out a budget plan that he says will move the public forward. republicans are objecting fin