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tv   In Depth  CSPAN  October 16, 2015 8:00pm-9:43pm EDT

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others have been our guest. medea benjamin of codepink: women for peace has been here and lynne cheney and tom hartman as well. those are the authors we have had on this year. you can go to booktv.org and watch the full interview with any of these authors. tonight we will show you with medea benjamin and lynne cheney. we will begin with ms. benjamin. >> host: medea benjamin, when and how was codepink founded? >> guest: peter, we were a group of women environmentalist that were sitting together in a retreat right after 9/11 talking about how we could deal and we g about the attack and the u.s. invading ask and we were talking
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about how horrible it was that the united states was about to invade a country that had nothing to do with 9/11. we started laughing about the color coded alerts. remember the george w. bush alerts with the yellow, orange, and red saying how it was to keep people in a state of fear and that we needed another color-coded alert to say there is a different way of dealing with this going after who attacked us and not wholesale innovation of countries and that is when we got the idea of codepink. we originally wanted to be codehotpink but the url was taken by a porn group so we could not become that. >> host: how do you pick your issues? >> gues >> guest: we sexed wanted -- we
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just wanted to stop the innovation of iraq. we did that. we got involved and had tremendous support around the country. without trying we found we had hundreds of thousands of people signing up to our e-mail list and hundreds of groups that formed spontaneously in places around the country and we were part of a much larger movement that did things like come out to protest massively on dates like february 15th, 2003 which is recorded in the book of world records as the largest demonstration in the history of the around the world. our issue was stopping the war in iraq. unfortunately we could not do that but in the process we realized there was a need for our voices to try to continue to bring our troops home, try to stop future wars, and to really address the issues of violence in military and we have continued to do that.
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we pick our issues, peter, mostly by what is our government in the united states involved in. while we do have supporters around the world, most of us are from the u.s. we look at how can we as american citizens fulfill our responsible to try to make our foreign policy as positive in the world as possible. we look to where our government is not doing well in those respects and try to move government policies. >> host: is the war in afghanistan justified? >> guest: we did not think that it was the right thing to do. we thought that we should go after individuals who attacked us and not invade and occupy other countries. we have just commissioned a report to come out in the fall that will look at the results of all of these years of the u.s. being in afghanistan, the number of u.s. soldiers that have died, the number of civilians in
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afghanistan that have died, but mainly we want to look at has life improved for the women in afghanistan and with the research we have been doing unfortunately there have been very few changes in the lives of more afghan women despite the fact we have spent probably at this point trillions of dollars there. and we have been there over 13 years. so we don't feel that the afghan occupation was a positive thing. >> host: your most recent book, medea benjamin, is on drone warfare. any justification for using drones in warfare in your view? >> guest: i don't like war at all. so i wouldn't like any kind of technology to be used. unfortunately, the u.s. has been involved in all too many wars and there are all too many wars going on in other places that other countries have started and
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in those situations drones become just another piece of technology that is used in warfare. but we see some special things that are happening around the use of drones where the u.s. is using them in places where we are not even at war like in pakistan or in yemen. and i think the drone technology itself has been making it easier for the u.s. to get involved in places where we are not at war and has been making it easier for the u.s. to get involved in military affairs without a conversation even in congress, much less with the american people, about whether or not we should be in those conflicts. >> host: from your book, "drone warfar warfare", the only danger the drone drivers face is mental. >> guest: it has been shown by
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several studies that drone pilots face a level of ptsd that is similar to soldiers in the battlefield. it is not easy for a soldier to sit at a desk and be watching a screen, sometimes for 10-12 hours a day, in some perverse way getting to know people on the ground because sometimes they are hovering over a house and might watch the father playing with his children or see the mother going out to wash the laundry or the kids going out to school and one day being told to press a button and kill that person. and then they are supposed to go back to their homes, pickup a gallon of milk on the way home and play with their kids and coach the soccer team and act like everything is normal and it's not. there are a lot of problems the
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drone pilots are facing and that is why there is a shortage. >> host: you write about al-waki. >> guest: 16-year-old, american citizen born and raised in denver, his family moved back to yemen, his father was killed by a u.s. drone strike and then he himself, the 16-year-old in a separate drone strike while he was having dinner with a bunch of other teenagers was killed in a u.s. drone strike. this is just an amazing example of the u.s. killing an american citizen, killing a child, and doing it without any kind of attempt to explain to the family or to us why it was done, was it a mistake, was it on purpose? was he ever charged with
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anything? what did he do? did the united states try to capture him? no. was he ever given a trial? no. it is one of the most blatant examples of illegal use of drone warfare. >> host: may 1st, 2010, here is had president at the white house corresponde correspondents dinner. >> the jonis brothers are here. they are out tr somewhere. sasha and malia are huge fans. but boys, don't get any ideas. i have two words for you. predator drones. you will never see it coming. >> host: your reaction to that joke? >> guest: that is not funny at all. it is not funny certainly to the people that live under the fear
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of the drones. one thing i learned in the research is it isn't just the people killed. it is the entire population in the area that is being punished. imagine peter if you were out of your home and looking up at the sky and there was a buzzing of drone. you knew that drone had missiles on it that was going to kill somebody. you didn't know who, when, where, why and what i found is that in these areas where the drones are flying overhead, parents are afraid to send their children to school. people are afraid to go out to the market. they are afraid to go to any community events whether it is weddings or funerals because drones have been known to target weddings and funerals. it is a terrifying thing to live under drones and i don't think it is anything that the president should be joking
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about. >> host: january 30th, 2015, codepink is well known on capitol hill for interrupting hearings. let's watch this video. >> in the name of the people in vietnam. >> in the name of the people of cambodia. >> i have been a member of this committee for many years and i have never seen anything as disgraceful and outrageous and d despicable as the last generation that took place. you will have to shut up or i will have you arrested.
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if we cannot get the capitol hill police in here immediately. get out of here you low life scum. i hope on behalf of the members of the committee on both sides of the aisle, in fact on all of my colleagues, i would like to apologize for allowing such disgraceful behavior towards a man who served his country with the greatest distinction. >> host: what do you think? low life scum. >> guest: this is coming from senator mccain someone who pushed for the war in iraq.
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whether it is mccain, george bush, rumsfeld, field in this country are rarely held countable for their acts. i have lived in latin america and i have seen the kind of responses to henry kissenger responsible for the crew in chile that led to so much death and destruction in that country. i have been to east see more where henry kissenger gave the green light for the dictatorship to invade that island and wrecked so much death and destruction there. i grew up during the time of vietnam so i remember henry kissenger and all of the lies we were told. so henry kissinger is a war criminal and should be treated as much. john mccain is someone who is
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responsible partially for getting us into a horrendous war in iraq that led to the death of thousands of soldiers in vein and millions of iraqis and paved the way for isis today. why are people not held responsible? perhaps because this is the super power. this is the country that has been all powerful and the powerful countries are usually not held accountable. look at the international criminal court. it is not the powerful that go there to be held countable for war crimes. it is the banguished. i think it is important to have voices out there saying we remember and we don't hold people in high regards as statesman and we should listen to to tell us how to run our foreign policy. these are people that have taken
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us down a path of militarism that we should look for voices that say let's have a non-violent solution. and that is not the policy unfortunately of people like henry kissinger. >> host: this question is from steven on facebook. i would understand if you chose not to answer but how do you gain admittance to these press conferences and hearings? i would think they would know you by now but maybe it is open to the public. >> guest: it is a very good question and we are asked that a lot. when i went to my first hearing on capitol hill i was living in san francisco at the time and i read in the paper donald rums
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feld was going to testify about why we should go to war in iraq. and i asked another friend if she would fly to washington, d.c. and join me to try to get into this hearing. and she said if someone can help me pay for my ticket i will dodo it. we dressed up in pant suits, got the journalist pads, and tucked the "washington post" down our arms and put our banners down our pants because we thought we should pretend to be journalist. anyone was allowed in there if you got up early enough and got in line. it was a revelation to me these public hearings mean the public is invited. so we go to public hearings. we tend to be the first one online. we get up early in the morning. there have been times like during the iraq war when so many people were trying to get into
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the hearings we slept outside the building to be the first to get in. and technically we have gotten arrested and maybe have a stay away order saying we cannot go to those buildings for an x-amount of time and sometimes the people who run the hearing try to stack the hearings bringing in interns and staff and take up all of the seats so there is no pub seating for the public. i would say to your viewers more of the public should attend these hearings. if you are coming to washington, d.c. on vacation look at the up hearings that are happening. it is fascinating to go to these hearings and it is important for people that don't live inside the beltway to go to the hearings and feel how government works in action. and actually it is not pretty
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often times because what you see is very narrow viewpoints boy the democrats and republicans who are asking the questions and by the witnesses who tend to be people who think alike. and so, i found it quite remarkable to go to the hearings and feel very frustrated that the questions that i as a citizen had were not being asked. for example, the very first hearing with donald rumsfeld, she -- he was being asked softball questions about why we would go to war. i thought i would hold up a banner and stand up and say i have questions as the public. how many lives are going to be lost in this? how many civilians are going to die in this? how many companies are going to make a lot of money from this? what is the exit strategy in
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this plan? have you exhausted all non-violent solutions? why are the un inspectors saying there no weapons of mass destruction. so i was asking question and holding up a banner and i realized i feel an obligation as a u.s. citizen to expand the conversation. i think for example, peter, that public hearings should have a time maybe 10-15 minutes at the end of the hearing where the public gets a chance to say something. i think before the gavel goes down the public should be able to express those views in these hearings. and unfortunately because of codepink being out there and holding up signs and doing non-violent protest the police have been told to be harder on
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us and before a hearing starts and before the gavel goes down if we are there holding a sign we can be arrested for that. and i should add, peter, that the capitol police are not very happy about that. they, to their credit, believe in free expression and think before a hearing starts and after a hearing end we should have a chance to express ourselves. unfortunately there are people that run the committees like john mccain who are opposed to any expression coming from the public. >> host: medea benjamin, what happens to you after you are escourted out of of the hearing? >> guest: most of the time we are arrested. >> host: taken to capitol hill head quarters? >> guest: it depends how many times you have been arrested. first arrest you get a fine, second arrest a fine, third arrest or higher than that you cannot just pay your way out of it. you have to go to court and are
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assigned a date to come back. then you are either taken to trial or you might be given some kind of plea bargain which might include a stay away and you cannot go back to the congressional offices for a certain mount of time. you might have a certain number of hours of community service or a certain financial amount of money you have to pay. sometimes people refuse to pay those fines and say that this is a moral position we have. and so might spend some time in jail. >> host: how many times have you been arrested and how many of those penalties have you encountered? >> guest: i have been arrested dozens of times over the course of the work that i do. many of those arrest have been before 9/11 and i was involved more around economic work, trying to fight things like sweatshops or corporate abuses, but i have been arrested dozens
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of times, peter. i have spent time in jail. i have had a lot of fines. i have done many shares of community service. and unfortunately, i would say sometimes this comes with the territory. it is not like we are trying to get arrested. there are times when people want to get arrested. there have been a number of times when we have done protest at the white house where people will stand and link arm to arm and not move from the white house and we know that if you don't keep moving at the white house you are over 25 people that is arrestable and we have had hundreds of people getting arrested for just standing there in front of the white house. those are planned things and times when people are voluntarily getting arrested. i appreciate and have participated and organized a number of those arrest.
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when we speak out we don't plan to be arrested, don't want to be arrested and don't think we ask be arrested. >> do the capitol hill police know you when you come in? do they plan for that? >> guest: as soon as we walk in the building there are smiles on their faces because they have come to like us. we have a friendship with the capitol police. sometimes we are standing in line and the police come in and give us a high five or hug and know and like us. we are non-violent and they know we would not touch anyone or hurt anyone and they are passionate about these issues. they appreciate that just as i appreciate those who might be on the total opposite side of the issue i am on. but we have something in common. we believe in getting involved in government activities whether it is domestic issues or
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international issues. the capitol police were trying to have a party now for one of the lieutenants to retired recently because we enjoyed over the years having conversations with him about the issues. they often times don't agree with us on a lot of things but they appreciate our passion and involvement and over the years i think have good calm to understa understand we feel this responsibility as citizens to try to steer the government on a batter path. many of the capitol police have been in the military or sons and daughters are in the military. they don't want to see them sent off broad on what they now consider a fool's mission. so really over the years they have come to recognize that we have been right on these issues. we should not have invaded iraq. we should not have always looked
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at these problems oversea as ones that military can solve. i think not only do they appreciate us as individuals but i think they have moved close to our positions. >> host: may 23rd 2013. let's watch. >> we went on to -- >> can you tell muslim people their lives are as precious as our lives? can you take the drones out of the hands of the cia? can you stop the signature threats to the people on the bases of suspicious activity? >> we are addressing that, ma'am. >> can you apologize to the thousands of muslims that you have killed? that will make us safer here at home. i love my country.
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>> the voice of that woman is worth paying attention to. obviously i do not agree with much of what she said and obviously she wasn't listening to me in much of what i said. >> guest: i love my country and i love the rule of law. i think that is important for your viewers to understand. i don't do these things because i want to. my heart was pounding and almost coming out of my chest and there was a voice coming out of me saying don't do this. he is the president of the united states. and there was another voice saying you just got back from yemen. you met with people's whose mother were killed and whose children were killed and absolutely innocent people and
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your government is lying to us saying we don't kill innocent people. you met with people who are asking the u.s. government to explain why their loved ones were killed, to apologize for killing them, to compensate them for their lost just as a gesture to show they are sorry. these two voices were wrestling in my head. i chose the voice of the victims. and i feel that is so important, peter, because president obama's drone warfare has been almost victimless in the eyes of the american people. when have you seen the mainstream media, the hell fire missiles incinerate the victims, so it is hard to show bodies, but can't we talk to loved ones and mothers and fathers and wives and husbands? so american people haven't been
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able to get the empathy i have from going to these places and meeting these families. i feel my government has been lying to me about the number of innocent people killed. my government has been using illegal practices of just dropping missiles on people who we think might be bad people without ever having to prove it, without having to account for the innocent people killed, and there was my chance to address the president and i addressed it. and i think that for the muslim world, it is important to see a non-muslim, and i am also jewish and i think that is important to say, to say their lives are as precious as their lives. my children, i have two and a granddaughter who i just adore, are so precious to me that i
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don't want other people's children or grandchildren killed. i have to stand up to my government and saying stop lying, capture people, accuse them of something, give them a trial, and treat every life as if it were your own child's life. >> host: you are watching booktv on c-span2. this is our "in depth" program. we invite an author on to talk about his or her body of work. this month it is author and activist medea benjamin who is co-founder of codepink and an author. bridging the global gap; a handbook to link citizens of the first and third world. don't be afraid gringo. and no free lunch; food and revolution in cuba today. the peace core and more 1991.
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bendita; an afro-brazilian's story of love. "the greening of the revolution," co-editor of that book. "stop the next war," 2005 and finally "drone warfare" came out in 2013. medea benjamin, you wrote a lot, spent a lot of time in latin america. what is it about the u.s. and latin america's relationship over the last 150 years? >> guest: it is about the u.s. trying to tell latin america how it should run its own internal affairs. it is this old doctrine and idea it is our backyard and we can make and break governments at our will. it is funny, peter, because i
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feel that my politics came from my first experiences of travelling to latin america. i was a pretty naive young woman going to guatemala wanting to learn about the beautiful indigenous durlt culture and i learned about my own history. about the dulles brothers and enforcing u.s. policy on guatemala. i learned about united fruit taking away lands from indigenous people and turning them into people who couldn't feed themselves anymore. i learned about chile and the overthrow of the democratically elected president. i learned a lot by going to latin america and meeting with people my age who said wait a minute, you should go back and learn about your own country and history, and work to change your
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government's policies so that you allow us to elect the governments we want and don't interfere in our internal affairs. that became a lesson to me and one that stuck with me my entire life and that is we should not try to dictate how other countries and people behave. and i think it is a lesson that more of our leaders have to learn because they try to socially engineer other countries and one, it isn't fair, and two it doesn't work. >> host: we will put the numbers on the screen. if you want to participate and talk with medea benjamin. if you live in the east and central 202-748-8200, 202-748-8201 for mountain and pacific time. and you can get through twitter
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at booktv is our twitter and you can send an e-mail in or you can make a comment on our facebook page facebook.com/booktv. when did you become medea? >> guest: i was born susan benjamin. i was born in a suburban household in long island, new york. i was growing up in the '60s, it was a time of great turmoil. i look back at my youth and realize i was affected by the war in vietnam. i started a peace group in my high school. another was race issues. i had lived in a white suburb where black families started moving in and it brought out ugly racism among my neighbors and i sided with the black families. and the other was the issue of
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materialism because i am thinking of martin luther thing talking about the triple evils of racism, militerism and materialism. and i noticed the neighborhood always striving to get more material goods to keep up with the jones. i rejected those three things and when i went off to college it was in the middle of the vietnam war and i decided that i would not stay in school because i wanted to be out learning about the real world and not stuck in some ivory tower but in the first semester at tufts university i started reading the greek plays and it was one of the courses i was taking. i decided as i would change my
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identity and change schools i would change my name. every month i would chose a different name from the greek plays and tell my friends that they now had to call me a different name. when it came to medea, i thought it was a pretty name. i had read the play about medea being this powerful woman with magical powers that used them in a bad way of killing her other than children but i read another analysis saying she didn't do that but it was blamed on her because she was a powerful woman with magical powers and i said i like the name and i like the idea of a strong woman and using her strength for positive things so i stuck with the name medea. >> host: were your parents
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activist? >> guest: my parents were not activist at all. if anything they were not interested in politics and were typical keep up with the jones' family. it is hard to say if they were democrat or republican. i think they voted republican most of the time and were conservative in their values. i would also say they were racist in the way they looked at the world and were afraid of the black communities coming into the community and afraid of quote property values so i butted heads with them on a nob of issues but i certainly didn't get my politics from my parents. >> host: has cuba been a positive influence as far as its politics and influence? >> guest: i would say i have a love-hate relationship with cuba. peter, i got into all of this i mentioned from the anti-war work and from wanting to live in a world where all children had
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food on their plates and a roof over their head as a humanist really. i went to school and studies nutrition and went out working with malnourished kids around the world. i was so distraught when it was latin america, africa, or asia at seeing so many hungry children when i knew with ten cent mixture of salts they could be rehydrated but instead they were dying. and i said this world is crazy that it isn't doing anything to stop these children from dying. then i met cubans working in africa. they met their families and were not getting paid and volunteered as doctors and nurses and teachers to live in the poorest part of africa and treat poor people. they also were just fun people to hang out with because one they were really dedicated to trying to help people who were
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impoverished. they really formed a relationship with the local people and also they loved to dance and loved to sing and loved to party and have a good time. and when i started hearing cuban music and dancing cuban salsa i thought this is wonderful. more important to me was they said that in cuba there were no malnourished kids and that the cuban government was so dedicated to children that i should go and see for myself which i did. i went to cuba and i ended up getting married in cuba, having my child in cuba, and it is true the cuban government is dedicated to the children. the children are so well taken care of in cuba. but i am an outspoken person and been since the time i was a child and found i cared about free speech and freedom of assembly and i started butting
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heads with the powers that be in my workplace whether it was coming up against a government-sponsored union that i would fight with to try to get more changes in the workplace or whether it was speaking out against government policies, i ended up getting in trouble in cuba. and in fact, so much trouble that i was given a military escort to the plane and i was deported with my husband and child. the years went by and i wasn't allowed back into cuba. after many years i was asked to write a piece about cuba and the magazine that asked me to do it actually negotiated to get me the right to go back into cuba because on the board of the magazine was a lawyer, michael crinsky, who still works with the cuban government, managed to
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get me back inside. and since then i have been going back and forth to cuba. i love the fact health care is free and accessible to all in cuba and education is free and accessible to all. i love the fact they care about the children. but i do care about and want to live in a society where people are able to express themselves freely. >> host: in your book, cuba; talking about a revelation. you write about juan antonio blanco. who is that? >> guest: he was very revolutionary but butted heads with castro and the government along the way. one of the worst things the cuban government did was nationalize the entire economy.
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everything from the little restaurant to the selling of peanuts on the corner. everything was a government activity and it was a disaster and people like juan antonio spoke out against that. i did an interview with him and thought it was fascinating and wanted to keep the conversation going and turn it into a book. we did. it is called talking about the revolution and it is from the point of view from a revolutionary who has a critical eye on his own government but has the values of the revolution. >> host: of all your books what is your favorite? >> guest: i would say the one called "don't be afraid gringo". it is book about a woman who i met when i traveled to central america during the '80s. it was a time of u.s.
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involvement in these terrible wars over there. the u.s. was fighting in el salvadore and bloody wars in central america. the country that wasn't getting enough coverage back in the united states was honduras. i decided to go to honduras and speak about the encroaching military involvement. the u.s. was putting up bases inside honduras as a launching pad for the wars in the rest of the united states of america. i was interviewing people from different walks of life and came across one woman and did an interview with her and i fell in love and went back and did more and more and turned it into a book. i loved the book because we ended up doing it prom her point of view and telling the story of a woman who was a poor peasant
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woman who grew up with her six children being malnourished, struggling to try to feed them, and trying to get a little patch of land to grow food and feed her children, of then realizing she wanted to organize to help her neighbors get access to land, i went out with her on what are called these land recoveries where they go out and take over a piece of land that a wealthy landowner left lying sallow and the landowner would wake up in the morning and find 300 families on that land starting to dig and plant seeds. and i was just amazed that air organizing capacity, at their standing up to powerful landlords who had guns and militias and she was captured and tortured herself and implies in the united states and with
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all of that she was fun. we laughed and became like sisters and had such a good time together. the book was a wonderful introduction to a lot of people about the problems in central america and why the united states military involvement was not a good thing. we brought her to the united states year after year to talk to audiences and my favorite was, i don't know how we did it, we took her to speak to the graduating class in the u.s. defense college, the war college in california, and these graduates were going to central america and she was speaking before them. this woman charged the hell out of them at the beginning. she said let me tell you the life of a peasant. we get up at 4 a.m. and start cooking, send the husband to the
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field, get the children to school, then we go to the field, we work, and then we are exhausted and the husbands return home and guess what? they want us to work again in bed. i remember at one point she looks out, jumps off the stage, and doesn't speak english. this is being translated. and one of the soldiers fell asleep and she got their attention and they were laughing. she won them over and they talked about coming into her community and targeting the peasants and arresting them and torturing them and in the end they didn't want to go to central america anymore. they have wanted to hug and kiss her and get their picture taken with her. the book was subversive and read by people in the military and peace core.
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i was told it was the number one underground book people in the peace core going to central america read. i think it had a big affect on people. >> host: because of the work you do do you get regular legal advice? >> guest: i get a lot of legal advise and have lawyers that are friends but i don't listen to them. i would never have done the first interruption of donald rumsfeld. i have talked to lots of lawyers and weigh their opinion carefully. but usually don't take the advice. >> you mentioned you respect people on the other side who are passionate about the issue. let's look at video from july 23rd of this year. >> so one of the things you said
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is if iran is trying to get nuclear weapons, well the nice thing is i think in debates fruit matters. and one entity, one person with whom there is no position on whether iran wants nuclear weapons is the ayatollah president. both of whom explicitly say they are developing nuclear weapons. there is no doubt. >> absolutely false. >> i did not interrupt you. this deal will send over a hundred billion to iran and those billions of dollars will
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be used to murder americans by jihadist. >> host: what was that about? >> guest: we went to a gathering, we heard and ran over there that ted cruz was going to be speaking to a group of concerned women, it was called against the iran nuclear deal. and we have been great enthusiast of the iran nuclear deal because it keeps us from another war. so we ran over there and was able to have a dialogue with ted cruz for about 25 minutes. it wasn't a fair debate i would say because he had all of this people and control of the mikes. but it was a good example, and very smart on his part, of inviting us to come up and talk
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about these issues. now you brought up this click, i have been a critic of president obama for drone strikes and not closing down guantanamo bay especially when he had control of the house and senate, but i am enthusiastic about it the iran deal and the normalization of relations with cuba and happy he is finally using diplomacy. i think it is dangerous time when the congress is being lobbied now by big money groups like a-pack to convince congress to vote against this deal. this is a deal that is in the best interest of the united states, of iran, i would also say in the best interest of israel and the world because we need to be working cooperatively
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with iran to make sure it doesn't have nuclear weapons, which it says it doesn't want, ted cruz lied when he said the ayatollah and ruhahni want nuclear weapons but because we need to work with iran and saudi arabia and all of the countries in the region to deal with the issues of isil and extremism. if we are going to find diplomatic solutions it has to be by talking to the middle east. >> host: one more piece of video. the same day july 23rd, 2015. here is codepink. [applause]
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[applause] >> come to order. >> host: you kicked out of a hearing for >> host: kicked out of a hearing for applauding? >> guest: we applauded before the gavel went down. i have been arrested protesting john kerry and so have colleagues with codepink. but this was a time we were so proud of him. we think he and the iranians and the other countries involved in this have done a tremendous job to come up with this deal. we wanted to show our appreciation. we are going to his house to bring flowers. we think it is important when
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government people do something good we show appreciation. >> host: medea benjamin is your guest. it is your turn to talk to here. we will begin with rome in philadelphia. you are on booktv. >> caller: thank you, peter. i am learning so much and medea has been a huge inspiration to me. she is one of the people that got me interested because she speaks truth in protesting. she is a huge inspiration to me. i have two basic questions but again thank you c-span for seeing the importance of medea benjamin being here. her dialogue and comments make america as beautiful as it is. my question is could medea benjamin talk about the influence of edwardo gillano who
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passed in april of this year. and she said cuba normalizing the relationship with the united states is a positive. but i have a concern of what happened to the ussr in 1989 will happen to cuba where the socialist character will die. can you speak to that and the edwardo's influence on her? >> guest: for the viewers that don't know him run and get open veins of latin america. he is a beautiful literary writer but gets into the soul of latin america and also the way the u.s. has historically tried to subvert the wishes of latin america people. so edwardo has had a tremendous
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was growing up and reading his books. roane talked about the character of the socialist revolution in cuba. i mention my love-hate relationship with cuba. i think one of the exciting things about cuba is that it's different and we need societies that try different things because goodness knows we have so many problems in our capitalist society of entire sectors of our population who don't benefit from this economy. the tremendous inequalities, the climate crisis, and trying different ways of living in society is a good thing. in the case of being concerned about what it means to normalize relations, i think it's an example of trusting the cubans to decide what they want to let in from the u.s. and what they don't. for example, i think that cubans have for economic reasons
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decided that tourism is going to be a big sector of their economy and would like to see a lot more american tourists being able to travel there. well, obama has opened up embassies, he still -- the u.s. has still not lifted the travel ban. so that you can only go to cuba if you fit within 12 categories that include educational travel, religious travel, humanitarian, but if you want to go o humanitu want to go on the beach like any canadian and lie on a beautiful beach outside of havana that is illegal. so cubans would like to see that travel ban lifted. i think the american people should protest our government is telling us where we can and can't go and that is one thing that should be lifted. and in terms of lifting the trade restrictions that still exist i think it would benefit the cubans tremendously to be able to buy some of the foods
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they don't produce and are buying from countries thousands of miles away from new zeal and they are getting chicken and rice from vietnam and to be able to get it 90 miles away from the united states. there are things that would definitely be beneficial. cuba is experimenting with cooperatives. the government of castro realized the state-run top down economy is not working. they want to devest the state of a lot of these different businesses. and instead of turning them into private businesses they are trying to turn them into worker coops. it is exciting. we visit a lot when we go to cuba and any viewers interested check out codepink.org for the upcoming trips to cuba. i think an economy that has a
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strong worker sector could be exciting and could be a model in cuba and other countries including our own. >> stewart is calling in from new york city. hi, stewart. >> guest: i want to eco what a terrific program you and peter your facility at asking questions and conveying information is amazing. it has been 14 years since 9/11 what do you attribitute the lack of organized terror in this country to that? and the second question, hy hypothetical, if say a weapon of mass destruction was used in the united states, and we were not able to stop it, what changes in the rule of law might we want to consider? thank you. >> guest: i am not sure i understand the first question. did you, peter?
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>> host: stewart, are you still on the line? want to rephrase the first question? what are you going with the first question? >> caller: i look at a couple thousand people killed by islamic terrorist. and that organized effort hasn't occurred in the intervening period and i am curious our thoughts. >> host: what is your answer to the first question? >> caller: i think there is a balance to the mount of information we gather and the observation zee on people's behavior. we have to balance it against the right of privacy and the potential for government intrusion and it is a practical constraint that requires judgment and alertness and
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awareness. >> guest: thank you for that. i understand now. i agree it is a balance and i think we are far from finding the balance. i think the terrible intrusion on privacy was uncovered thanks to snowden. i don't think mass surveillance is a way to protect us. we need to be defended at home, yes. and the government should be checking on people they think would have a reason to harm us. but that is one of the reasons i think our military should be here at home defending us instead of going and invading other countries overseas. i don't think we ever allowed ourselves as a nation to look at ways we can prevent people from wanting to harm us. one of the reasons bin laden
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said he hated the united states was we had bases in the saudi arabian holy lands. we should close down those bases and not just bases there but many other countries have been fighting to get those military bases out of their country and we should close down those bases. there are many people who hate the united states because we have been supporting dictators in their countries. i have traveled to many of those places like egypt, where the united states is supporting a very repressive regime. as we are doing this program, john kerry, who i applauded recently, is sitting down with general cici, an extremely
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repressive leader who made life harder for the egyptians and yet john kerry is there making nice and the u.s. has released over a billion in military aid to that country. year in our tax dollars to the israeli military that has been used for repressing the palestinian people. so a number of u.s. policies that make is disliked around the world...
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>> what is your next book about. >> what we have talked a lot about what we don't like, what we do applaud what we do like, the use of diplomacy. we want to move towards a broader look of what kind of world we want to live in. we have been talking about and researching, i would like to do more writing about the concept of peace economy. what would a peace economy look like. what what would it look to move away from a country that is so entrenched in the military-industrial complex that general warned us about in the 1950s and move back into a peace economy? what would it look like to have
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an economy that is based on more locally produced goods, more participatory where people are involved in shaping how we spend our money. what would it look like to have the kind of diplomacy that we want to see an international level be taught in our schools, against things like bullying, have it be a core part of what children learn from the time they enter into public schools. so all of these different ways that we can move ourselves as individuals away from the war economy and move ourselves as a nation into economy that protects the environment, so it it will include all the issues of getting off the fuel treadmill and based on an economy based on green sustainable and renewable sources of energy. all of the speech piece is coming together to inspire people both
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individually, young people were trying to think of what to do with their lives. as well as, what kind of policies we want to see nationally and globally. i think moving it's that big picture of what does a peace economy look like. >> when did did you start writing? >> i started writing when i was hired by an organization hired by food first. when i left cuba i had been one of the few americans who had been living there, i was a nutritionist by by training. the institute hired me to co-author a book on what were the good and bad things that cuba had done to address the food issue. i realized that as i started writing, i really liked it. i enjoy telling stories, i enjoyed relaying the conversations but i would have
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with people or that i would hear people having amongst themselves. i like to be in a vehicle for translating the ideas that i heard, especially when i lived overseas. you see a lot of my books are taking those voices and lessons, a book i wrote in brazil about the first black poor woman to become a senator in brazil. my experiences in cuba becoming incorporated in the book like no free lunch, or talking about revolution. i enjoy conveying the conversations that i find so fascinating. conversations i've never had up in the united states. it's funny peter, in the united states i am considered radical, sometimes french. when you french. when you go overseas i am kind of a centrist, maybe liberal. because the center of gravity and other places is so
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different. i like conveying those voices to americans who usually don't get a chance to hear that. host: next call comes from daniel in west palm beach. >> caller: how are you doing their? number one, thanks for taking my call. i am so glad that i hooked up with this today. i was never familiar really with ms. benjamin, i was thought they were a bunch of crazies, how wrong was i. maybe i was the one who is crazy. i am like 99.9% in her mind when she speaks, it's him is like the things i want to say. i don't have a question i just want to make a point. i've been saying this, wars are about one thing and one thing only, that is money. unfortunately the people who
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benefit from that never sacrifice anything. the only time they hurt is when the war ends. my heart goes out to all of our people, our men and women, my heart goes out to the people on the other side who are innocent. anyway, listen best regards and ms. benjamin, keep up the good work. thank you. guest: daniel, my heart goes out to you because what you said so resonates with me. as a butler once said, war is a racket. there are people who make a lot of people from war. boeing makes a lot of money from war, all the contractors with the pentagon make a lot of money with war. the lobbyist make a lot of money from more, so it is in their interest to keep these wars going.
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it is the people who volunteer to protect our country who gets sent off on wars we should not be in who are the victims of this, it is we the taxpayers who are forced to spend trillions of dollars on these wars instead of investing in an high-speed rail systems and good transportation, good infrastructure in this country and all of the things that we need to rebuild our country here at home. so we have been taken for a ride by those who benefit from more, we the people have to rise up and speak up about it. i was talking earlier about iran, who is lining up to cross the steel, people who benefit from war. also, billionaires who have a lot of money to invest in ads that try to put fear into people that iran is about to attack us.
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this type of fear is bad for us, it is bad for policymakers, yet we see that a handful of billionaires is tried to persuade the american people that we should go down the path to another war and iran. a country with 8 million people. so i agree very much with you daniel, i'm so glad you called in and as the military person but i think it is important that we get together and force our government to not listen to those but listen to the majority of americans who do not want war. host: just in the case that we do not want to make this a case of love and hate here are some of the comments that are coming in. ken says, think whack job. phil says, waste of time, and he
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said leftist nuts. another one says please do not forget that you're calling in on my radio program is well on august 3 here in florida. she wanted to remind you about that. raymond is in kalamazoo michigan, hello. >> caller: hi, how are you? a placebo. peter you are my hero too. the young lady is my newfound hero, i just wanted to say thank you, god god bless you for your show. i wanted to know, how can one become a member of code pink, a, a member of your organization, ms. benjamin? an active member. we are activists here in michigan, we are against police
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profiling and racial profiling. the likes of the police and public safety here in kalamazoo are so sneaky and so snake, because of all the goings on with the police brutality in baltimore and more recently in cincinnati, with the young man beach on the face in the car and so on. then i hold these neighborhood police meetings to show they are on the side of the community, which they're not. we protested in washington, dc, d.c., invasion of iran, rather iraq. where bush win in and gave a 48 hour to saddam hussein that he
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better get up out of dodge. i'm an african-american who i was told in the history of kalamazoo, or kkk kalamazoo as my daughter does grab it, others say caliban mob. i was told we would only be able to stand up against police brutality and racial profiling and that sort of thing in kalamazoo. host: hey raymond, there's a lot on the table. let's hear from our guests. guest: first about raymond, i'm glad you asked about how to join code pink because some people think it's only women. we welcome and encouragement to join us. you can go online and sign up, then you are a member of code
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pink. we send out weekly alerts giving people ideas of things they can do. i'm also glad you brought up the issue of police brutality because that is an issue that we care about very much at code pink. we have posted, for example, mothers who have lesser children to police violence. bringing them to washington to have meetings with the justice department and congress, at the white house. i remember sitting at the code pink house with them and asking them, have any of the police officers who shot their children, have they been in the military? one by one, the women raise their hand and said the policeman was in iraq, he had been in afghanistan, you know many of these police came back and are people who came back from overseas tours of duty with ptsd, trigger-happy, and that accounts for a lot of the killings that are happening by the police. the other thing is the military contractors we just talked about war being a racket, well the
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defense department is a quote giving a way hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military grade equipments to police departments. these are things no police department should have. tanks we see in our streets, grenade launchers, silencers, assault weapons. we have to fight back against this. we don't want our police to have military equipment. of. of course, we don't want police who are trigger-happy, so we do work together on the issues showing the militarization overseas and the militarization up on our streets, unfortunately unfortunately they are connected. when we talk about moving towards a piece economy, peaceful way way being in the world, we have to look towards
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how police are treating citizens in their own community. host: a book you contributed to after you visited iraq, is twilight of empire, responses to occupation. what were your travels in iraq like? guest: we went with one of the first things code pink did was go to iraq. we have always felt it was important to go to the places where our government is involved so we can speak from first-hand experiences. our first trip to iraq was in february 2003, right at the time that we thought the u.s. was going to invade. so imagine getting together a group of women and saying alright, we may be there when the bombing starts but we are so committed to going there, we're going to go. what we found was our stereotypes just blown away. i write in the introduction to the book that i do with my code funder of code pink, and experience on that first trip we flew to jordan, rented a car,
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drove drove across the desert, extremely nervous about what would happen when we got to the checkpoint to enter iraq. here here we were under saddam hussein, art country about to invade them, the customers take our passport. looks at them, stance them, looks at mine and says that benjamin, isn't that jewish? and i thought, oh my god. the iraqis hate the jews. daniel pro had just been beheaded, i just had had just been beheaded, i just had these flashes through my mind of being pulled aside and having my head chopped off. the guy disappeared and i'm left their standing, sweating it out wondering what will happen to me. he comes back having a puffing and says, iran help to get my notebook, i've to get my notebook, i've been studying hebrew and i wondered if you could correct my grammar. i was like, oh my goodness. first of all i felt bad saying i
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didn't speak hebrew. and he said my government might go to war with israel and i want to communicate with those with those i am told are my enemies. when we went i wrote with iran and farsi. i don't consider any people my enemy. that is the first person i met going into iraq under saddam hussein. then we get to baghdad, the first woman i meet is a woman who speaks perfect english, never been out of iraq in her life, studied in the iraq he schools and heard question to me was who are the black women american poets that are your favorites? i like alice walker, i like giovanni, giovanni, she goes on telling me all of her favorite. this is a woman in iraq, a product of the iraq he university system. she said yes and i study the study the u.s.
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literature. black literature in the university. you go to iraq and you realize the women are very sophisticated, they are judges, lawyers, architects, businesswomen, they in their own way are fighting against saddam hussein area let them change their government. they do not want us to bring liberation to them, that is not how it works. so i think traveling to iraq was a tremendous eye-opener just as it has been a tremendous eye-opener to travel to yemen, to meet with victims of u.s. drone strikes. to travel to gaza where i have been seven times meeting with hamas people who then i'm told and crazy because i meet with hamas, while i sure wish my government would meet with hamas because it is a lot better to talk than it is to fight. i've been constantly educated and grow by every time i am able to go overseas and meet with people who think very
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differently than i do. i learn from them and they learn from me. host: alice walker, she did the forward to stop the next were now. who is jodie evans? >> jodie evans is the cofounder of code pink. she lives in los angeles although she is constantly all over the world. she just came over from brazil there is a meeting from people who came from all over the world to look at how we could build a global movement for peace and justice. we worked mostly as volunteers in code pink, we are not typical ngo where we have a lot of staff, jody jody and i ourselves volunteer with the organization, many of the people who work with code pink are volunteers. many of us are retired, or
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people who have paid work on the side and do this as volunteers. that is one of the beautiful things with code pink, i feel blessed having been able to work with jodie evans for all of these years because she is an extraordinary colic and an extra in a revisionary just as alex walker is. i have the pleasure of traveling with alice walker, we went went to gaza together will went for international women's day after one of the horrendous is really in invasions of gaza, we went to see the results of that destruction with our own eyes. we went to honor the women and gaza, in fact we called our friends and gaza and what can we bring, do you need medicine? what are the most urgent things? and they said for international women's day, bring things for women that make them feel like women. bring them pretty
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scarves, nice smelling soaps and shampoos, so we got together 1000 pink gift baskets for women and spent international women's day with the united nations going to 13 different women's organizations in gaza distributing these beautiful baskets of sweet smelling soaps and scars, and beautiful candies to women throughout that strip who had suffered so much. it's. host: next call comes from tom in washington d.c. >> caller: think you for having me. thank you to book tv and thank you for c-span for having such a great program. i like to reiterate some of your previous guest said i just thank the benjamin, i have tears in my eyes thinking about you women going to gaza strip gaza strip and giving out these gift baskets. i have a couple of questions. one of my questions as you consider yourself more of an activist or a writer? i read you online and other publications often, and i am a
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budding activist myself and i would like to ask you, why isn't there more of a peace movement in the united states? do you think the education work and protest you have done about drones have had an impact in our country and around the world? you're just bringing up gaza and hamas and other different organizations and what extremist groups are groups like this, i am wondering how would you deal with like isis and haman and all of these other groups out there? i will take your answer off line but i really want to thank you
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and am proud to be able to speak with you. host: if you would start the activist author, what's the balance? guest: activist number one, author number two. i. i do spend a lot of time writing. i write articles i would say about two times a week. i have an article published in many places like huffington post, common dreams, true ballot, there is a very nice group i work with called the other words and they take a column and sends it out to small newspapers around the united states, which is a great way to reach many different the people. so writing is important but activism is my number one love
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because i want to change things. the caller asked has this activism had any impact? will you look at drones, when we started doing the work round drones the government wasn't even admitting peter, that we are having a drone program. they were line is that we don't use drones. or they would say it's a covert program and we don't talk about it. we force the government to talk about it. we force them to admit that their civilian casualties. we have managed to compensation for the innocent on victims. we have forced our government to stop using drones in the way it was using them, for example double taps when they would send in one round of missiles and then send him another round right away which was actually killing the rescue workers who are coming coming in to help the people killed in the first row. it stopped them from doing the drone killings that they knew would kill a significant number of civilians in the process. there have been changes in the policy, it is not good enough, we would like to see an end to drone killings. we have at least modified the behavior. the caller said, wise wise and the marva peace movement? it's a very good question there i would do some self-criticism and reflection that many of the
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people who got out on the streets to talk about, to try to stop the war in iraq, when obama came and they said okay, job done we now have a peace president. many were democrats who thought democrats were in the white house and thought he was going to do a good job and others were so exhausted from eight years of war and the bush administration they wanted to believe obama would solve the problems for us. it was time of a tremendous economic crisis, people were losing their homes, tremendous debt, people were having a hard time finding a job. people had to focus on economic issues, keep their families together and didn't have time for wars. for whatever reason, the peace movement almost is all. it is a shadow of its former self. for that, because of that, we allowed the obama administration to have this drone program to
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invade and overthrow the program in libya which created such a disaster now to do other military invasions. i think the lesson is to people that it doesn't matter who is in the white house, what matters is having a movement that is independent of both political parties, that that will protest both democrats and republicans and that will really is a movement that is tied to other issues, green economy, militarization, militarization at home, money and politics, corruption of all that, he recognizes that you have to type these things together and we have to hold our government accountable the matter who is in office. host: you covered activist, the peace movement, and i think his last, was about taking the gift
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baskets to gaza. guest: i think yes howie you would deal with these terrorist groups? i said hamas i use that as an example. i am secular feminist jew, i certainly do not like what hamas stands for at all. just like i do not like what the muslim brotherhood stands for. yet, any chance i get to talk to hamas or muslim brother i do it. in fact when obama came into office we had a chance to talk to people and hamas and we said to them, obama is coming to cairo, he is going to address the arab world why don't you send a message to him opening arms and saying let's talk. we took a letter from hamas, from a man who is a deputy foreign minister who spent the whole night writing a letter and brought it to us in the morning to actually take to cairo and try to deliver to obama.
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i have a copy of this letter, it is quite extraordinary because it says we want you to come here and see for yourself our ground zero. zero. see what the israeli invasion did here. we want you to start discussions and we are willing to talk to anybody, i.e. israel, based based on no conditions and we want discussions based on international law. we could not even get the obama administration to respond to that at all. that is an example of reaching out and trying to promote discussions and our government refusing to do that. how would you do it today? i think i mentioned earlier that we have to involve iran, saudi saudi arabia, turkey, all of the countries in the region. we have to get back to the peace
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table. let me add one other thing, because code pink worked with women around the world when the first talk happened in geneva around trying to find a solution to the war in syria. we brought a group of 40 women, we work with the women's international league for peace and freedom, the oldest women's peace group bringing 40 women to geneva to try to get them observers status and get a few of them at the table for the peace talks. these were women who were involved in peaceful protests against assad, people who are trying to find ways to deal with the conflict in non-violent means. we cannot convince john kerry or anybody that women should have a seat at the table, the only one who had the seat at the table or the guys at the guns. so course nothing happened. if you don't have any peacemakers at the table you're not going to have peace.
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>> .. be involved and are all rebels of peacemaking and would like to see our government treat that more seriously. >> host: from our twitter feed, vicky says the u.s. shouldn't interfere in other countries internal affairs? what about human trafficking and genocide. >> guest: we should work through the united nations, international bodies. we should not take it on myself. we have a lot right here in the united states. caller talked about police brutality and the incredible proliferation of guns in people being killed every day. human trafficking inside the country we have to deal with. we should clean up a lot of the problems we have at helling fund international organizations that work on these very, very difficult issues like human trafficking. >> host: john you have been holding for a while.
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thank you for your patience. you are on booktv with madea benjamin sunny don't mind holding and listening. when i hang up i will continue listening. i wish to echo the comments can the opening comments of the first caller and the comment's of the retired military caller and that leaves only i am both humbled and honored to have this opportunity, and i would like to start with -- i was watching c-span on the morning of september 11, 2001, and when the second plane hit the tower, my first thought was, okay, it's time for the women to start running this country because the men have done nothing but cause trouble. and i'm not talking like hillary clinton or nancy pelosi or anything like that. elizabeth warren should stay where she is at. she can be more effective in her post, and if hillary is the democratic nominee i will reluctantly vote for her because the alternative is more death
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and destruction on a greater scale. if it is a sanders administration, however, miss benjamin, i would like mr. sanders -- i would like president sanders to nominate you as secretary of state, maybe winnowa duke for department of interior and just so it's nonal-an all-female cabinet, perhaps ralph nader as attorney general, and then one final quick comment for c-span and one for miss benjamin. for c-span, before the last survivor of the uss liberty passes away i would hope that c-span could do a series or bring the survivors in and do interviews with them, and perhaps make even bring johnson's biographer, and go through and bring out the entire truth surrounding the uss
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liberty, and for ms. ben gentleman minimum -- benjamin with the uss liberty and rachel corey and all of the problems that israel has caused -- the government of israel, not the people of israel -- miss benjamin do you think it will ever be possible to hold the government of israel to account without being labeled an antisemite? and again, i am both honored and humbled at this opportunity. thank you very much. >> guest: well, thank you so much, john, for calling in, women rising up, i'm totally there with you. that's what we have been trying to do. i prefer to do it outside of government, and i wanted to give you an example of something i was involved with recently, which is a woman, christine awn, a korean american woman who had a dream about women rising up to do something about the unresolved conflict in the korean peninsula, and woke up
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and said, i'm going to organize a group of women, and we're going to walk across the demilitarized zone and that's what we did. we organized 30 women, including nobel peace prize winners, women from 11 different countries, and we got the permission of both north korea, south korea, the u.s. government this u.n. command to walk across the demilitarize zone. it's an example of women rising up and bringing attention to an unresolved conflict of an armistice agreement that dates back to 1953, that still has not been turned into a peace treaty, and needs to happen. so, i am very anxious to see women rising up globally to demand that the guys put down the guns, and i agree with you. it's not just about any women.
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i consider hillary clinton to be a hawk. we met with hillary clinton about iraq, pleading with her to not vote for the iraq war. she knew better. she knew that there were not weapons of mass destruction. she made a choice, and she made a very bad choice. while she was secretary of state, what did she do to bring peace in the world? look at her record and now look at what kerry has done around iranship has done nothing. she did nothing to move the peace process between israel and palestine. in fact she continued the u.s. policy of total allegiants to the israeli -- allegiance to israeli government. want to move toward your other comment about israel. as a jew, i care very much about israel, about the jewish people, about the israeli people, and i think that the path that israel is on now is the worth thing
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possible for the jewish people and at the israeli people. i think that, as a jewish-american i have a particular responsibility make my government have an even-handed policy that recognizes we need to promote human rights of all people in israel, the palestinians, as well as the jewish population. i think that our giving over $3 billion a year to the israeli military to then be used to attack the poor people in the gaza strip, is a war crime. i think israel committed war crimes, and the international criminal court is hopefully looking into that. i think the u.s. did, too by turning and allowing the israelis to continue to do that. i also think that the continued building of settlements is -- has been shown by the international community to be
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illegal. the recent right wing settlers who burped the homes of palestinians, killing a 14-month-old baby is despicable, and the u.s. had to stand up against those settlements as well. one thing that i see happening is that the jewish community in the ute united -- united statess changing and moving away from the israel lobby, aipac, with a lot of money and a lot of clout, but is losing the younger generation. we're seeing now with the fight around the nuclear deal, that the younger jewish population in the united states is for the deal, and that aipac is having to use massive amounts of money. in fact they started a new organization, put $20 million into it to try to sway the american public because the public, including the jewish
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population, does not want to see another war in the middle east. so, thank you for your call, and i'm hoping that more jewish-americans will join groups like jewish voice for peace, wonderful new organization that has policies that i think are actually good for jewish people around the world. >> host: madea benjamin, you mentioned you like to work outside of government but you ran for office on the green party next california for senate, and eduardo e-mails in, have you considered being a presidential candidate for the pink party? >> guest: well, i actually prefer being on the outside because i think it's a position where you can constantly be moving forward no matter who is in office, and i like the organizing and being part of larger groups. i found when i was running for office, i felt very uncomfortable with the me, me, me kind of thing you do when you run for office. you have your name on t-shirts
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and pins and always talking about my position, and my this, and i like to work in a collective, where it's our position, and our this. i think it would be great to have a women's party. i think it would be great to have a labor party. great to have a multiparty system in the united states. the green party i have been supportive of, it bun fortunately the domination of the two-party system doesn't give space to the libertarian party to green party to really grow because there's such a dueopoly. so i would like to see major changes in the way our electoral system work inside the united states, instead of the winner take all system, have a proportional representation like they have in europe and so many democracies around the world. you get five percent of the vote, you get five percent of the positions in congress. that would really turn things around. that way the tea party can have
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it people in congress, and codepink can maybe have it people. >> host: we have a little over an hour and 15 minutes left with our guest, madea benjamin, and we like to ask them, what are their influences, what are they currently reading. stick with us and we'll show you madea benjamin's responses and we'll be back live in just a few minutes. will be back live in just a few minutes. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> madea win gentleman minimum, one book you're reading is peter schweizer's clinton cash. why? >> guest: i'm reading that book because i have been looking at saudi arabia, and why is it that there's all this talk about iran and, yes, it's a bad regime in rank but you want to look at a really bad regime, look at saudi arainy. the country responsible for spreading extremist ideologies all over the world. the country that is the

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