tv America Tonight Al Jazeera March 26, 2016 12:30am-1:01am EDT
against influx of western music but yet again what they have well worth saving. al jazeera, are cambodia. >> all the news on our website, aljazeera.com. that's aljazeera.com. >> good evening and thanks for journeying us on "america tonight." i'm joie chen. where as we've seen, the fingerprint of i.s.i.l. has ben easy to identify.
spectacles made more visible by a media witness campaign. just the last few days, brussels, istanbul, the ivory coast, and yet i.s.i.l.'s brutal reach also extends deep into our shared history as it seeks to destroy the future of some countries and the past of others. for nearly 3,000 years, they stood watch. sentinels of one of the world's first great empires. he's enormous. he's 16 feet tall. he weighs 40 tons. 4-0 tons, carved out of this kind of jim is u gypsum rock. >> the lamasu, guardians of syria. >> the wisdom of man, and the eagle and the bull all in one.
>> a mystical protector. >> the powers of syria every gateway would be flanked by two of these magnificent magical beings who would protect everyone entering that palace from any kind of evil. >> gil stein is director of the university of chicago's oriental institute, where the lamasu is a be showcase of the syrian empire. >> we have these beautiful pieces that the iraqi government allowed us to bring back and then the remainder of it is either in the museum in baghdad or still out there at the site. >> or was. >> or was. >> was -- until i.s.i.l. for more than a year, i.s.i.l. has systematically destroyed and posted videos of the destruction of antiquities, as it takes control of areas that are home
to some of the world's most valued archaeological sites. places known by any student of ancient time. 9 nineva, nimra. >> i.s.i.s. controls all this stretch of the tigris. either i.s.i.s. directly controls or right on the front lines. and they have destroyed nineva and nimrud. >> is it a form of terrorism? >> absolutely. because it is a form of cultural cleansing. these sites have stood for millennia. >> are tracking i.s.i.l.'s campaign against these treasures of the past which took on greater urgency on may, after a raid on top of be
abu's are be deir ez zor. just how valuable they are to i.s.i.l. >> we learned how serious it was once the u.s. and the coalition raided abu sayef's compound and how much he had. he was in charge of this area. >> in some places they are actually taxing. >> they are. there was a structure in place. >> satellite images of more than 700 sites in i.s.i.l. held areas. >> it's very dramatic when you look side by side from a couple of years ago to today. and you can see the pockets that have developed where they've actually completely excavated sites. >> experts monitor the destruction and looting of relics trafficked along the same paths as refugees, sold on the black market, even on ebay. a blossoming trade in what are
called blood antiquities. >> blood antiquities because they are actually financing i.s.i.l.'s terror. as they're selling these items and making money, they are -- the money then goes to i.s.i.l. to perpetuate their work. so we want anyone to know who's contemplating purchasing something from iraq or syria that you're financing terror. >> no one knows that better than curators in the region, who work to secure relics. one refused to reveal the place of the treasures. >> it cost him his life. he felt this is worth protecting. the heritage is like that. that it defines who we are. and when they kill heritage they are also killing people. >> by some estimates, the world's stolen antiquities market is worth more than $2 billion. even more disturbing though is who's buying.
>> the biggest markets for illicit smu smuggled antiquities, the u.s. we are willing to buy antiquities. >> just to play devil's advocate, if this stuff is being looted and destroyed anyway am i not doing a good thing by purchasing it? >> it's a very slippery and complicated matter. people can say, i am saving them. on the other hand, it is very clear that looting is driven by market demand. and as long as there are people who really are willing to buy these things, no matter what, they will have enormous market value. the people who buy it are driving the demand and that demand is driving the looters. >> conquering forces have always looted and plundered.
but the scale of i.s.i.l.'s crusade is unprecedented. >> i.s.i.l. wasn't the first. >> no, i.s.i.l. was not the first. the taliban are the ones in the modern era who really pioneered this idea of political destruction, when they blew up the buddhas of bamean, it was all in the effort to destroy their enemies by the taliban. and it was cloaked in a version of islam. >> i.s.i.l. has also used religion to justify destroying sites even when they have nothing to do with worship. >> these monuments in syria and iraq were under the control of the muslim caliphate for one and a half thousand years and they were never destroyed. it's only now that it's being done, to terrify people, to win supporters from the more radical fringes of the islamic world. we have to recognize that it's a
political struggle. and that i.s.i.l. is cloaking political ends in religious terms. let's face it. it's being done to polarize the world. they want to provoke the west. it's very difficult to know what's the right way to react to it. >> a tough battle to fight. next here, can you keep a secret or would you be healthier if you just gave them away?
>> now a look at threats to our personal lives. the internal damage we may do to ourselves. so what's on your mind? what emotional scars, what pains, what regrets do you keep hidden away and how can that be a risk to your health? "america tonight's" michael okwu on the inner turmoil of keeping secrets and the value of giving them all away . >> there's the story i have and
the story he has. and there is a story the police have in evidence. >> lacey johnson's story is something she kept secret for 14 years. a dark chapter in her past, she didn't reveal. not even to those closest to her. >> i didn't tell people anything. there was just a silence around it. i wanted to go on with my life. if my employer found out that this had happened would that affect my employment? if my partner found out that this happened, would that affect our relationship? if my friends, would that change the way that they talked to me? >> reporter: what johnson kept hidden was this. shortly after graduating from college johnson says she was abducted by a former boyfriend, a man she'd lived with who locked her in a soundproof basement and threatened to kill her. >> a room maybe a bedroom under
any other circumstances is small, thick blue styrofoam covers every surface but the gray carpeted floor. the walls, the ceiling, the door. i can see no windows, but i'm not looking for them yet. all i see is the moment of my death. not far away. >> reporter: johnson managed to escape and the man accused of abducting her avoided ae-arrest arrest by fleeing the country. >> i felt afraid all the time. not only of the person who did this to me but i felt afraid of the knowledge that the secret had power over me and over my life. >> reporter: how did it manifest itself physically? i mean this was such a deep dark secret and to think that you had it for 14 years, i think is beyond the comprehension of a lot of people out there. >> right. >> reporter: were you having headaches at night? did you have sweats? >> well on a daily basis would i have nightmares.
i would have tremendous stress and anxiety. i did have frequent headaches. i was sort of experiencing constant vigilance. mostly over looking for the person who did this to me. i just experienced this second version of myself. that that is the secret. that in reality, i'm an afraid-person, all the time. every day. >> reporter: very often after upsetting experience, we almost go into this magical thinking. well, if i don't talk about it, it will go away. talking about it will just bring it back up which is completely false. because it is there. you are living with it, day in and day out. >> reporter: at the university of texas austin, psychology professional jamie pennybaker have studied, secrets day in and day out.
>> what are the experiences of harboring a secret? >> we know when people don't talk to people about it, they are at a risk for health problems, high blood pressure, immune problems, increased rates of colds, flus, there are some evidence that it may be a progresser of cancer. markers of a body under stress. >> reporter: when soldiers return from war they too often carry a hidden burden. >> having done a lot of work with soldiers who have been involved in horrible things, who have seen horrible things, who have done horrible things, that they are again, they're living with these. and most of them, they can't talk to these -- to anybody about it. they really believe that nobody else understands. >> in his research, pennybaker has found something that helps veterans and others where the astronomy in their past.
-- with the trauma in their past. the soldiers who wrote expressively about their thoughts, rather than maybe not writing at all, are even more likely to hold jobs. >> the basic idea here is when people put upsetting experiences into words, it helps them to organize them. it helps them to put these experienced into something kind of meaningful framework. and very often these people are dealing with these major upsetting experiences that they can't talk to their spouses about. they can't talk to their kids about. >> reporter: why does that writing help people heal from the traumatic experience that they've had? >> this is the $64,000 question. we know that there are certain aspects that underlie it. one is, just the mere acknowledgment of an experience seems to have an effect. the labeling of this happened. >> reporter: writing has
worked with inmates and college students. >> in our lab, we have seen everything. we have seen murders. >> reporter: you've seen murders? >> yeah. we've seen war atrocities. we've seen victims of rape. we've seen people with suicide attempts. you name it. it's remarkable, the things that we've seen. the murders for example were among our maximum security prisoners in a project we did several years ago. >> that sounds perfect very good. >> dr. irwin is a regular at a writing workshop at houston methodists. >> you start questioning everything that's been said before. >> you know when you're taking care of patients, you are the sponge for all of their problems. and their problems could be medical, physical, but they can
also be emotional, maybe other people in their family are sick. and when you say, for example, see 20 patients a day, that's 20 peoples' problems that you're absorbing. and in a textbook it says you might let go at 5:00. but i'd say most people don't let go of that at 5:00. so it is stressful. >> and that made it very interesting. >> for me, i think, when you spend time writing, you get to the essence of it. make time to think and to reflect on something is really, really important. >> reporter: you don't even need to actually share your secret with anyone, to see a benefit. you can simply write it down and rip it up, according to jamie pennybaker. >> is there a difference between writing a secret down and maybe even tossing that paper away and actually unburdening yourself to a wife or a friend? >> i think they ask both be beneficial. one difference is, writing for
yourself and throwing it away, you know is safe. there's no repercussion for doing that. this is the big danger. if you now tell your friend or your wife or somebody else, there is a chance that they will be outraged. that it could influence your relationship with that person, perhaps forever. >> lacey johnson took pen penny baker's advice and penned "the other side." >> i'm a writer to understand the world, it's how i think, and how i answer questions. and i had a big question about what had happened to me and how i could stop letting it control my life. >> reporter: and what did it feel like to actually see the words that you were writing for the very first time, addressing
this issue, this story, this secret? >> painful. but powerful. i felt in control of the story and i felt empowered by writing them down. this will be the last version of the story i ever tell. i know how ridiculous this sounds. how foolish. how naive. because the truth is i'm afraid of what will happen when it's done. i'm trapped by saying, a prison i've built with this story, i don't know how to escape it. but i do know. the story is a trap, a puzzle. a paradox. ending it creates a door. >> it's a door allowing lacey johnson to escape from the secret that held her to so long. michael okwu, al jazeera, houston, texas. >> and next hear the final words of addiction and the survivors giving them voice.
>> we have reported extensively here on the sharp uptick in heroin use, often in places you wouldn't expect to find it, and, use of the drug by young people more than doubled over decades, and overdoses, quadrupled. facing the truth about drug death, signs that families want the final legacies of their children however painful to live on and make a difference.
>> my name is margaret and i lost my daughter sue to heroin on august 6th, 2013. the police came to the house and i just thought that they were -- you know, she was in jail again. they asked if i was loan, i said no my husband was in the shop. we can go back there if you need to go back there and they said let's go back there and then they told us she had died. it was such a shock. even though though you know it's going to happen, it was a shock that she expect i included the heroin in her obituary. because she wanted me. she says i know. i won't live long, she says i was a perfect disawfort and my
perfect daughter, my parents never knew, then only suspected it until the last ten years of my life until i couldn't hide it anymore. i never knew what write was going to be. i ate out of garbage cans, i begged and stole. stole. you will become a liar and a thief. the light of my life my daughter was taken away, even then i so not quit. i have quit now. but i am dead. don't wait as long as i did. give your life another chance. she wanted other people to get help because she couldn't. she wanted her daughter back. and she couldn't overcome her addiction long enough to get her daughter back. >> my name is kathleen and i lost my son logan on march 2015.
i got phone call that logan had overdosed and that call came from his dad who was told by neighbors who saw police and ambulance outside the house. i'd left here and drove to the hospital in peekskill which was maybe a 15 minute driver and he was still downstairs in the in the er. they determined there was no way he could recover. i included heroine in the obituary because it never occurred to me to do anything other than that. logan fought induce fo substancr eight years of his young life. he was a kind intuitive strong and generous young man. ultimately he lost his battle and is now another heartbreaking reminder of the heroin epidemic in this country.
it is incredibly prevalent even in this small town, six kids, including logan, have overdosed in the last two years. that's one every four months. and logan knew them all. >> my name is peggy premick, i lost myson adam to heroin on may 30th, 2015. we got a call around 6:30 in the morning. the er doctor said adam had been brought in a few hours earlier. of a suspected overdose. by 3:00 in the afternoon he was pronounced dead. i included heroin in the obituary because there is a huge heroin epidemic in the northern kentucky area as well as across the nation. our charismatic brother died
caused by a drug overdose. with adam's traits he had the potential to be anything. but drugs began to creep into his life when he was in high school. the worry we felt watching adam struggle, is replaced by a deep feeling of struggle knowing we will never see his smiling face again. i wanted to let the world know adam died from a drug overdose. was it be a prideful thing, no. but we needed the people to know. >> we knew it was going ogo for drugs. she stole from us many times. either boyfriends helped her, friends helped her and prostitution, that's that was the only way she could get money. when she died she was with someone. she was in the bathroom and he found her.
they have to get money any way i can. >> i would continually confront him about it. i would prefer not to have him around, would i have to lock up the change jar and lock up my purse. it's unfortunate to deal with that. families slowly accommodate the addict and before you know it you're living as a prisoner to this person's addiction. >> i never never in my -- ever thought that adam would do heroin. stick a needle in your arm, he didn't like the sight of needles. adam was working for his uncle and a co-worker found him as lunch time using. i believe the needle was still in his arm in his car. his uncle let him go. right then. and i think that probably for adam was the lowest of the low. >> after losing sue to heroin, i've learned that no matter how hard you try, you cannot make
your child go the straight and narrow. they have to want to. after their first high, they can never get that high again. but they are always trying. by then they're so addicted that they just can't leave it. it's a really helpless situation. and you hope that other kids will hear the stories and learn and not want to go that way. because the parents really can't do anything. >> what i miss most about her is her smile. and her laugh. >> what i miss most about my son is the potential that he didn't get to enjoy of having a fulfilled, happy, comfortable life. >> i can still hear that laugh. and i know he's looking down on us. and that brings me comfort. >> voices that can't be forgetten. that is "america tonight." please come back, we'll have more of "america tonight,"