tv BBC World News America PBS June 27, 2011 2:30pm-3:00pm PDT
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america. >> this is "bbc world news" america. reporting from washington. wanted for crimes against humanity, muammar gaddafi faces an international arrest warrant. after 100 days of nato airstrikes is victory any closer? shrouded in secrecy, two weeks after an operation in cuba, venezuelan president hugo chavez remains out of sight. and the changing face of california. as the economy recovers to recover, some aren't ready to give up on the american dream just yet. >> every 20 or 30 years it gets into a slump and the world is going to fall apart and we get paranoid and pessimistic. this is the beauty of america.
>> welcome to our views offer pbs in america and also around the globe. the pressure against libya's leader muammar gaddafi intensified today as the international criminal court issued arrest warrants for him and two of his closest allies. wanted for alleged crimes against humanity, gaddafi remains defiant and his justice minister has just said libya does not accept the court's decisions. but 1 moon days after nato airstrikes began, rebel forces claim they're making advances in the west of the country and say they're within 50 miles of the capital. from tip owely our middle east editor reports. is >> this is the tale of two cities. the regime likes the world to see, and the one it does not. official tripoli organizes regular rallies for the colonel in green square.
the heart of the capital. the colonel would not able to stay in power without genuine support. some are brought up to believe in him. why do you like muammar gaddafi? >> because he teach us what we don't know and he save us from people that are -- that are hating us. >> the hidden tripoli starts with petro cues you cues. the bus trips for journalists do not stop to talk to disgruntled motorists. we get hints of a city that doesn't support colonel gaddafi. at night there is often unexplained gunfire. at bomb sites, one woman's words, we revoiced to disguise her identity. >> we don't like him. we don't want him here. believe us. no, i'm not scared about anything. >> and the bbc's opposition
sources claim they're hitting back. they say home made fire bombs destroyed these police vehicles in a rebellious suburb on june 5. there was a note with the pictures. >> you will find nobody on the streets after sunset. it's like a ghost town at night. only the security forces hang around the town. they open fire at random. they call us rats. >> this video was made by people who call themselves the rebels of tajura. we don't know how big or how small the group is. they circulated a leaflet threatening to kill all those who work with the gaddafi regime. and for 100 days the nato raids have been coming. but colonel gaddafi remains. this goes to show you don't just remove a regime by aerial bombing. the people involved in the western campaign against libya, they admit they're looking for some kind of x factor that
might get people back on the streets of tripoli protesting against colonel gaddafi but admit they haven't found one. tip owely is controlled by the gaddafis despite rebels, nato and the international criminal court. walk through the old town and usually it's quiet but not normal. watchful, a little tense. the capital of the regime that is weakened but not collapsing. jeremy bowen, bbc news, tip tripoli. >> 130 miles to the east in the port city of miss rata rebel forces are in a battle against colonel gaddafi's troops. as the battle drags on so do the complaints that nato is act to go slowly. andrew harding reports. >> this was his very first day on the front lines. already 19-year-old mofta is being wheeled into surgery. a rocket has torn into his leg.
yet another casualty in a besieged city where defineance is curdling with frustration. >> i don't think nato is helping as much as they should be. there is a lot of delay. 21 dead bodies and then they start to shoot. we have dead bodies every day. >> his brother has been told that amputation is the only option. >> a 19-year-old boy, student in college. they're going to amputate his leg. for what? fighting for what? fighting for freedom, that's all. >> the city's weary defenders pause for prayer. during a lull on the front lines.
for weeks they've held their ground here despite daily bombardments. but ahead of them the road to tripoli remains blocked. >> i don't understand why nato doesn't destroy gaddafi's tents. they need to knock down the one where he's hiding. when a rebel general arrives to inspect the ragtag army, the men complain that they lack guns. this front-line visit is designed to boost morale amongst the fighters here yet the general's message is not an encouraging one. without far greater nato air support, this war is still going nowhere. is nato doing enough here as a professional soldier, no. we need -- we need more of nato
to do the best, they did the best in the last few days but we need more. we need them more and more and more. >> as for his former boss, colonel gaddafi stepping down -- >> you know the man. >> he would not do it and will not, if we don't kill him, will not do anything. >> the gloom of another evening in miss rata. -- misrata. a ruined, isolated city. yet just miles from mere in neighboring towns, nato is starting to make a bigger impact. >> the sound of helicopters and we hear the sound of bombs from the ships in the sea. >> so it's a sudden increase. nato is attacking more now. >> yes. yes. >> if they continue like this day for three or four days more, the forces of gaddafi
will be decreased and people from misrata can enter the city. >> so time may yet be on the rebels' side. but while the city waits with shrines to the fallen open late into the night, new faces are being added every day. andrew harding, bbc news, misrata. >> joining me to discuss the diplomatic and military pressure being applied against colonel gaddafi is retired u.s. army general jack king. thanks for joining us. >> nice to be here. >> the rebels are saying without more nato air support they can't do the job, dislodge colonel gaddafi. >> i certainly share their frustration. 100 days into this and because we've been doing half measures right from the beginning this is taking so much longer than what it should have. the right amount of military force from the beginning to destroy gaddafi's ground forces which are really his center of gravity, maximum air power with
teams to control the air power when it's near civilians or near the rebels, probably at the most two weeks and it would have been finished. the irony of this is the longer we drag this out, the more civilian casualties we actually incur. the more people die unnecessarily as opposed to using the right amount of force which would be decisive and bring it to an end. >> given the constraints within nato and given they're not supposed to be getting rid of colonel gaddafi, just protecting civilians, what really can happen now? >> i still think the mission that nato could take on would be the destruction of gaddafi's ground forces. once they're gone, gaddafi has no security whatsoever other than his personal security forces. and that is what is keeping him in power. quite frankly, of course the support he receives from inside at the ruling class, but once you talk away that ground force which is still there, then the reason for his staying in power is gone. >> what will it take to
dislodge those ground forces? i mean you talked the beginning about the need to have some troops on the ground. is this a possibility? >> we would -- nato would have to change his its policy, we would have to put some air-ground teams to facilitate the use of that air power when it's near civilians or near the rebels. it would not take a lot of forces to do that but it certainly would take some and take a change in policy. and we would be considerably more effective than what we are right now. >> but where do you see this going? it's been 100 days. the rebels are making some progress. what are your concerns at this point? >> unless gaddafi makes a deal to leave the country, outside of this process, this is just going to drag on. and more civilians will be killed unnecessarily, frustration of the rebels will continue to grow, and i think also the frustration inside the nato countries who supported it and their people will continue to grow. >> how about america's
commitment? it's not wavering, is it? >> america's commitment in not leading this effort and certainly not making the full commitment to see it through is a huge mistakes on our part. once we decided to do something, then we should use the right amount of force to get the job done. >> retired u.s. army general jack king. thank you with that analysis. with in other news the syrian government has invited the opposition to a framework of a national dialogue after months of pro-democracy protests. it calls for a peaceful transition to democracy. the state news agency says the door was open to all syrian syrians in building a pluralistic society. four senior survivors of the khmer rouge are in on trial for genocide in upon pem. the former governor of illinois
rod blagojevich has been convicted of 17 of the 20 corruption charges against him including all 11 charges related to his attempt to trade president barack obama's vacated senate seat. jurors could not reach a verdict on two charges of attempted extortion and found him not guilty on one charge of slist iting bribes. he'll be sentenced later. venezuela's president hugo chavez is hardly known for keeping quiet and that's perhaps why the current mystery surrounding his health is causing quite quite the stir. according to top government officials chavez remains in havana where he's recuperating two weeks after an operation on a pelvic abscess. opponents are quick to seize on it as a violation of the constitution. speculation continues to build. michael voss reports. >> hugo chavez is constantly traveling to cuba to help bankroll the island's struggling economy. when his mentor fidel castro
intera series of operations he was one of the few regular bedside visitors. venezuelan officials say a meeting on june 10 he complained of abdominal pains. he was rushed to surgery to treat a pelvic abscess. these photographs of fee dell and raul is all anyone has seen of the venezuelan leader. apart from a brief phone call to caracas two days after the operation to say he was recovering and it wasn't malignant and a few recent at which timers the vociferous leader has become unusually quiet. the lack of news has put the rumor mills into overdrive whether complications following the operation or has he his doctors ordered him to take complete rest? one miami newspaper alleging he's in critical condition. the truth is, no one knows.
cuba is a place where you can have medical treatment with absolute privacy. not once since fidel castro was taken illify years ago has there been a single leak about his condition. speculation has now reached such a fever pitch that venezuela's vice president has been forced to deny the rumors. >> he is recovering, he continues to battle. the national and international press are rubbing their hands and rejoicing about the state of the president's health. even talking about the president's death. we tell them we will have chavez for a long time. >> opposition groups are questioning the secrecy surrounding his prolonged absence and the legality of his governing from cuba.
a major regional summit is due to be held in venezuela on july 5. if president chavez hasn't returned by then, this could precipitate a major crisis. michael voss, bbc news, havana. >> you're watching "bbc world news" america. still to come on tonight's program, getting in the race. michele bachmann officially joins the republican field with hopes of taking her campaign from waterloo, iowa to the white house. >> when it comes to tapping into new markets the rush is on to get a foot hold in china. today chinese companies unveiled new trade deals worth more than $2 billion. the announcement was made by prince william david cameron after talks between the two in london. at home beijing is going full speed ahead as well and later this week a bullet train will officially open between the
chinese capital and shanghai. it's all part of a hugely ambitious high-speed rail plan and the bbc's martin patience got on board to have a look around the brand-new ride. >> where it started over three years ago and it cost more than $30 billion to build. now the centerpiece of china's high-speed rail program is complete. connecting the country's two main cities, beijing and shanghai. journey time just under five hours. let's go on board and have a look. we're in the train, the final details have been -- of the menu have yet to be formalized because the train won't officially open to passengers until the end of the week. i'm with one of the train's designers.
>> this is the fastest train in china. >> the train isn't moving at its optimal speed, is it? >> no. the trains can go faster, the more power we have. >> there hasn't been an entirely smooth ride. first a corruption scandal which led to safety concerns and then the issue of prices. the cheapest tickets on this train is beyond the budget of hundreds of millions of chinese. >> make room. there's one more candidate in the u.s. presidential race. congresswoman michele bachmann is promising she's the bold choice to lead the republican ticket. kicking off her campaign in waterloo, iowa, the tea party's favorite is quickly moving up the polls. what are her chances of
defeating the rest of the field and taking on president obama next fall? for answers we turn now to our national political report are for "the washington post." thank you very much indeed for joining us. now, if you were a betting woman, how likely is it that michele bachmann will be the next president? >> you know, i think at this point it is probably pretty unlikely that she will be the next president. but what is very likely is that her entry into this republican field is going to sort of change the dynamic of the republican field. traditionally republican nomination races have been sort of orderly processes. the establishment settles on a candidate pretty early, there's always a challenge, but that establishment candidate ultimately gets the nod. this time around, a lot of people think it may not work that way in part because the field itself has been so big and so many people getting in
and out, but in part because of the tea party movement in america, and the degree to which that has tapped this kind of anti-establishment insurgent energy. and that i think is very much what michele bachmann brings to the race. >> now, does her entry into this race make it less likely another tea party darling, sarah palin, will run? >> who -- i think we should all long ago have given up predicting what sarah palin is going to do. it was interesting, however, that almost as soon as michele bachmann announced that she was going to be announcing today in iowa, suddenly we got an announcement that sarah palin would be coming to iowa tomorrow to attend the screening of a very flattering documentary about herself. the one thing we do know i think at this point is that whether sarah palin is running or not, she is not yet ready
for the spotlight not to be on her. >> and how is michele bachmann's stands play with independent voters do you think? >> that is a question that is a little bit further down the line. what she does appear to be is absolutely tailor made for the iowa republican electorate which has traditionally at least been very much dominated by evangelical christian conservative voters, and also is a very conservative electorate. so she has a very good chance of winning this first contest in iowa. the question is what happens as it moves to further states, the next one new hampshire, those independent voters do mean a lot. but then we are back in south carolina where once again the electorate does seem like a michele bachmann kind of crowd. >> karen, thank you indeed for
reading the tea leaves for us. thanks. >> thank you. >> while the presidential race may be far from settled, one thing that's for certain is whoever wins the keys to the white house will be leaving a country in -- leading a country in transition. with the economic crisis taking its toll and rising competition from abroad the definition of the american dream has been forced to evolve. nowhere is that change more evident than in california. as matt reports, the end result could decide the country's future course p. >> the paramount theater in downtown oakland. the crowd is diverse from 104 countries to be precise and they've all come to take part in a production that will change their lives forever. ♪ >> they call it naturalization here. to you and me, that means becoming a u.s. citizen. cheesy, yes. but to see one of these
ceremonies is to grasp the essence of america. california's economy may be crumbling, memorial is vexed by doubts, the most powerful nation on earth is coming to terms with the possibility of decline but that hasn't put them off. >> and all the daily racism and everything you encounter, i don't feel this here. >> gives me so much freedom. freedom to dream, freedom to do anything that i want. i can accomplish anything if i put my mind to it. >> the whole world of course knows this view. it is spectacular and it's iconic, full of hope and optimism. what you can't see are the grim statistics playinging the golden state. two million unemployed or more, an epidemic of foreclosures, a budget whole-hole that is $10 billion deep. this face of california represents more than any other in the country boast the peril and the promise of america. america has always been able to bottle hope better than anyone else. the yearning for it propelled obama to the white house. it's one of the things i've
always loved about this place. these days, hope is in short supply. 2/3 of americans say the country is heading in the wrong direction. most american. -- most un-american. and an entrepreneur and academic who arrived from india 30 years ago says the can-do spirit of america is being thwarted by the can't do anything system of government and yet, there is no country he'd rather call home. >> it's greater to be pessimistic about america but this country has a way of fighting back. every 20 or 30 years it gets into a slump and we think the world is going to fall apart and we get paranoid and pessimistic and the country fights back. this is the beauty of america. at the end of the day the american spirit triumphs. great openness, entrepreneurship, risk taking. >> down the road, silicon valley is the most fertile place on the planet for ideas. intel is unveiling how its
technology will change tomorrow and that today is so yesterday. from an avatar with your individual body shape. why are my legs so short? to facial recognition for advertising. >> we're looking at you in 3-d. turning you into 3-d. >> factories powered by bicycles. >> i would never be allowed on the streets. >> intel made $11 billion in profits last year. it is an american company but does most of its business in china. still employs tens of thousands of americans. many of those jobs may head overseas if there is a reverse drain braine drain. >> we're going where the talent is. if the talent is getting educated here and going back to india or back to china we'll go to india and china so we can have those people working for intel. >> san francisco's chinatown is no longer a quaint outpost of asian culture. but a reminder that one nation
in particular is breathing down america's neck. the u.s. is waking up to decline but to deny it, embrace it or beat it. and whoever can convince america to believe in itself once again will win the next election. >> matt frye reporting there. one dream which has come to an end, defending wimbledon champion serena williams will not take home that honor again this year. she was defeated by marion bartoli in the fourth round, her earliest exit from the tournament since 2005. she had a year away from the sport with serious health problems. that brings us to the end of today's broadcast. from all of us at bbc "world news" america, thank you for watching and see you tomorrow.