tv BBC World News America PBS December 15, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm PST
>> this is bbc world news america reporting from washington. >> it is over as america formally ends its military mission in iraq. we look to the state of the country left behind. after a land dispute in china, a tiny village takes on the massive communist party and kicks out the officials. >> the only way to protect themselves is bayou nighing. >> and auctioning off a tiny treasure. this charlotte bronte manuscript went for over a million dollars, but actually reading it, that's the hard part.
>> welcome to our viewers on abc and around the globe. they said goodbye, a seemingly easy end to one of the most tangled military missions. leon panetta said the country is now fully responsible for directing its own past and future and security and prosperity, but how well will it manage? the bbc world affairs starts our coverage tonight. >> a quiet downbeat ceremony marks the end of an occupation which lasted 100 months, costs the lives of 4,500 americans, and of an unknown but far greater number of iraqis. >> this is a time for iraq to look forward. this is an opportunity for iraq to forge ahead on the path to security and prosperity. >> welcome to sadder city,
sprawling working class shiite suburb of baghdad. the occupiers are going, thanks to our government. yet things have changed here out of all recognition. the last time i was here in sadr city was about three years ago and i have to say, i was pretty nervous. kidnapping was rife and there were bombs here just about every day, and now, well, you can see for yourself how relaxed everything is. >> but not everything is necessarily better. there are power cuts every day here and everywhere in iraq. the americans never managed to fix the electricity supply. in sadr city, u.s. army engineers put in the first decent sewers of water supplies, but that's all being forgotten. instead, people remember the american attacks on sadr city.
this man keeps the pictures on his mobile. these are pictures from the internet and that's america. the meat market as well as anyplace here, you won't find any love for the united states. the butchers of baghdad are happy to see the back of americans. this man says they brought poverty and killed our children. >> according to jaba who sells cow hearts, they destroyed our country. >> the seller of sheep's heads, even thinks things with better under saddam, and yet, the united states has done a really good job of training the security forces here. these checkpoints are everywhere and they're the front line of the continuing civil war. there are attacks on them every day. can the iraqis sort out their own defense now?
the answer is almost certainly yes. you can see how well trained and self-confident these men are, how well equipped as well, and on the other side, the insurgents are finding it really difficult nowadays to get people to volunteer to be suicide bombers. >> the there were 79 bomb attacks last month. this one targeted the prime minister. still, in 2007, there were over a thousand bombs a month. the suffering doesn't stop, but the insurgency is visibly winding down. the u.s. invasion was done on the cheap and there was far too much brutality. the iraqi government thinks the americans simply didn't understand their country. >> they tried to help the iraqis to free them from dictatorship and build
democracy, prosperity, progress in iraq, but they committed serious mistakes, particularly in the treatment to the people on the roads and in the streets and so on. >> for 40 years, not just the eight of the american occupation, iraq has known little more than dictatorship or isolation. now, though, people are daring to hope that their luck may finally be changing. john simpson, bbc news, baghdad. >> well, for more on the future of iraq, i spoke a short time ago with generally wesley clark, the former nato supreme allied commander in europe who joined me in new york. general clark, thank you very much for joining us. it seems to us that iraq, it is how you look at it. you could say there are 79 bombings a month, still a certain amount of insecurity but you can think well, it is a heck of a lot better than a thousand bombings a month, which is what we had
just a few years ago. >> the iraqi people have a chance. there is a structure in place. there is security in place. above all, there is incredible potential wealth in iraq from their oil, both the discovered and the undiscovered deposits in iraq. they could double, maybe trip 8 -- triple their exports with the right kind of policies and right kind of policies and work abroad. they could be an incredibly bountiful country for their first people. so they have a chance. we're not a half a world away. we're over the horizon, obviously. we have relationships there. we will still have a lot of trainers with the embassy. we will be working closely with the government of iraq. they have to chart their own way. you know, we left panama in 1999, turned over the panama canal, all of our troops left and the panamanians have done brilliantly despite those who for 20 or 30 years before that said, oh, it's the end of the
panama canal like they would never run it and so forth. i'm not trying to compare the two countries, except to say when you give people a structure and then put the responsibility back on them, sometimes, some pretty wonderful things can emerge. >> general clark, you have commended president obama for pulling the troops out of iraq at the moment. if you have concerns about the future of the country, what are they? >> well, obviously, there's still the latent hatred that's expressed. they're still insurgent forces that want to topple the government or eliminate leadership factions in the government. there are stresses from the neighbors. there's uncertainty with syria. there's covetedness from iran. there is a nation that is like a border -- iraq is a border state. it's got to maintain relations with all its neighbors and it's got frictions in the north and
east and west. >> but you don't agree with those who say that by pulling out now, america has unnecessarily emboldened iran? >> no, because there is a lot of other pressures on iran first, but secondly, this was discussed with the government of iraq, and they weren't prepared to have u.s. troops stay there and have the kind of legal immunity that's required for troops to take action in a foreign country. they understood what the consequences would be. they made that decision, and frankly, after all this time, if you listen to the expressions of popular support and they say they're happy that we're going, good. i think we should listen to people. we've done an awful lot in iraq, some of it didn't work out as well, but a lot of it was with the greatest intentions and there have been some tremendous accomplishments by our soldiers, our men and women in uniform, from the bottom of the organization to the top. i think history will white their story of iraq, not
current events. >> ok. general wesley clark. thank you so much for joining us there from new york. >> thank you. >> the chinese communist party has lost col of a village in southern china. what started as a protest against corrupt officials selling farmland has ended in a small fishing village. the last of the party officials fled on monday and thousands of people have blocked army police from retaking the village, standing firm against tear gas and water cannons. this report is from the village. >> this is what a rebel onlooks like in china, a bitter land dispute with authorities. but instead of being silenceed, they have chosen to stand and fight. party officials have fled and the authorities have
lost control of the village. but in china, such often, defiance can be deadly. this video shows a brutal police crackdown in the village last week. there are thousands of incidents of social unrest in china every month, often when local officials confiscate the land to sell it to developers. but these disputes erode support for the communist party. villager here was negotiating with authorities to end this dispute, but he died in miss custody earlier this week. his family are preparing to bury him tomorrow. but his daughter is struggling to cope. she says the authorities have yet to handle hand over the body.
>> i know my father's body is not likely to return. he wished to get the land back and punish corrupt officials. we will put aside our emotions to achieve this. he sacrificed himself and we will, too. >> in a country where dissent is rarely tolerated, people here believe there is safety in numbers. >> villagers are calling for the overthrow of the officials and want to see safegaurds for their land. they insist that the only way to protect themselves is by by uniting and speaking out. >> but tonight, many fear reprisals. five men have already been snatched, most likely by undercover policemen. we joined locals as they went out on patrol. >> we volunteer day and night to prevent people being taken away. where we see police, we sound alerts and fight them off as group and protect our
own lives. >> people here are on guard and know a fresh crackdown could come at any time. bbc news, southern china. >> extraordinary scenes. claims of electoral fraud, public protests and calls for him to step down has made this one of the most testing months of vladimir putin's political career, but today he came out fighting, speaking during his annual t.v. phone-in, russia's prime minister accepted demonstrations were lawful but accused organizers of trying to weaken the country at the behest of western powers. >> he entered the studio as confident as ever. he was russia's president for eight years and has now been prime minister for four, but this winter he is facing his biggest political crisis for a decade. and in the first few questions, he dealt with the controversial parliamentary election results head-on.
>> i have no doubt that the results of this election reflects the real balance of power in the country. five days ago, tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest the same results. he said he is glad so many young people have become politically active but suggested that some of the opposition were being paid by foreign powers. >> evidence that the election was rigged is accumulating by the day. dimitri certainen was at polling places but the official results he posted were changed in the data base. the number of votes to the ruling party was more than double the original count. >> and that story is far from unique. we have been sent examples from right across the russian federation where the number of votes received by united russia went up markedly from the initial
certified results to the results entered in the official computer. >> but all that was swept aside as vladimir putin gave a performance lasting over 423456 hours. he made no concession that there was widespread cheating in the election. he said that's just what opposition parties always claim everywhere in the world. bbc news, moscow. >> from embattled leaders of the present to those of the past. today former french president jacques chirac was found guilty of corruption, giving him the dubious distinction of being the first french head of state to be convicted of a crime since the second world war. while he has avoided jail time, the damage to his reputation is something he can't escape. >> he's been at the heart of things for as long as france can remember. he is the great, familiar ever present survivor. he entered politics under
his hero, general de gaulle, and at 41 he was prime minister. under his command, he sold a nuclear reactor to a young leader called saddam hussein and later a plane destroyed the nuclear plant. as mayor of paris using we now know public funds he built a powerful electoral machine that would win him in 1995 the presidency. the man had bulldozed his way to the palace. as president, his government's promise, radical reform, but always backed away in the face of public protests. france began to seem unreformable. >> in 2002 he was re-elected by a land slide and the french held their noses and voted for jacques chirac. tony blair tried to get him
to back a u.n. resolution authorizing war against iraq. he declared he would veto that resolution no matter what. >> iraq does not represent today a present threat which justifies an immediate war. the americans were furious, but in his heart, chirac believed that france was a counterbalance to american power and chirac charmed his way to the top of french politics. even his critics liked him. they couldn't help themselves. >> chirac was the man that the french left used to love to hate but he was also a very endearing figure. everybody loved him. everybody who approached him loved him because he was genuine. >> the charge of corruption has followed him for years. the french have always known it, but he remains, even now, the rogue whose charm they couldn't resist. bbc news.
>> and staying in france, a court there has convicted the venezuela-born terrorist known as karloff the jackal for organizing four deadly car bombings. 11 people died and 140 others were injured in those attacks. you're watching bbc world news america. still to come on tonight's program, they've occupied everywhere from wall street to oakland, but where does the movement go from here? we ask one of the high profile supporters of the court. youth unemployment is a growing problem around the world. the u.s. is no exception. more than a quarter of teenagers eligible for work can't get a job. it is a meaning to create business opportunities. this or the comes from new york. >> next fall, i think we
should incorporate a gray tone. >> instead of sending out resumes, suzy and katie took a gamble, scraping together every penny they could, roughly $10,000 to set up city slip which sells portable shoes that fold up easily into a woman's purse. with the economy stalling, they figured ne they had nothing to lose. >> we thought to ourselves opportunity costs are low right now. there's not a lot of jobs out there, so why not take the opportunity to create our own jobs? >> with jobs for the young virtually nonexistent in america right now, entrepreneurship may be the best way to make ends meet. scott gerber, the head of the young entrepreneur council thinks so. >> it is about creating something that has the ability to sustain you, your family and others who can rebuild the american dream. >> chocolate wasn't the first choice of career for fabian and his partner eric, but it turned out delicious nonetheless. in starting the business in
late 2009, they have sold over a million dollars worth of chocolate and they now employ between 8 and 9 people. >> we looking to create jobs for others. we were looking to create jobs for ourselves. >> the world has changed and so have young people, creating their own opportunities, like here, this space is empty right now, but in a year they hope to fill it with cubicles and staff, an alternative to unemployment and the corporate life. abc news, new york. >> okay pie is a word that -- occupy has taken on a new meaning by protestors pitching tents. today new census data shows a record number of americans, nearly one in two, are living in poverty or classified as low income.
princeton professor purnell west is highlighted across the country and joins me now. >> almost half of americans are living in poverty or have low incomes and yet this is the richest country in the world. how can they still call itself that? >> that's a good question. it is corporate greed run amok. it has to do with those at the top who are unanswerable, middle class shrinking, middle class devastated but with little resources but fighting back. it's the occupy movement. deep democratic awakening. >> you talk about the occupy movement as the arab spring becoming the american autumn. we're headed now into winter. i don't see many of those occupiers out there anymore. is this movement over? >> oh, no, the spirit is strong. you can evict bodies. you can never evict an idea whose time has come. it is taking a number of different forms. in the spring, it is going to explode with democratic possibilities. again, but the important thing is, we shift the
public discourse. people talk now about truth and justice, condition of truth to allow suffering to speak, corporate greed, wealth, inequality, big money shaping politics, arbitrary police power in poor communities, black communities, and in new york, and military power, the ax sis to those drones that drop bombs on innocent people, it is a whole movement concerned with suffering across the board. that's what is magnificent about it. >> 2012, the election campaign slogan for the presidential campaign is the middle class stupid? >> no, they're missing the point. they would like to coopt a movement but it is not cooptable. you have mean-spirited republicans and you have milquetoast democrats. milquetoast democrats are better than mean-spirited republicans when it comes to foreign working people. i think at the core of the occupy movement, it is
oligarkq. >> isn't it also reality of the shift in the world, the economic world from a world based on brawn that needs lots of people working in factories to a world based on technology and that we are simply not going to be able to replace those jobs and this shift is very hard for people to resolve. >> i think at the level of technology, that's true, but at the level of power, you have old style and new style. it is more difficult to keep accountable the new style, the heads of wall street, men and women who were able to gain access to billions of dollars. 57% of america's children now live in poverty or low income. 70% are brown. 69% of black, and we never forget our red, our indigenous brothers and sisters here in the united states, almost 70%, so you can see that wealth inequality is so obscene. i have seen levels of unemployment, decrepit schools, decrepit education. no democracy can arrive
unless there is a transfer of power and resources democratically to every day citizens. this is true in italy. it's true in greece. it's true in britain. it's true in china. >> occupy will come. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> now to a tiny manuscript which has fetched a hefty price at auction. today a work by british author charlotte bronte sold for over a million but the french museum keeps an ice eye on the pricey pages because at half the size of a credit card it is quite a small treasure. >> so small, you need a magnifying grass to read it, but every page is crafted with add verbs an short stories much. it details an imaginary world written by charlotte for her brother's toy soldiers. it hasn't been seen in public for over 60 years and until its owners, a family in germany, sold it to
auction today. >> thank you very much! >> new hope will be a museum in france, a disappointment for many when you consider how important this tiny manuscript is to english literature. >> this is the first time it has been seen in living memory. it's not been known about, modern scholarship hasn't seen this, so it is a tremendous exciting opportunity. >> that significance is not lost on the village where she grew up, and the family houses a museum and the trustees were out there bidding on the auction. they wanted it to complete their set, because all six of the mini manuscripts were written here, and it was in this room that charlotte would talk about her story ideas with her sisters and with her brother, and it's on this table that her classics were written like shirley the professor and jana. >> he said every now and then an immense fire was
continually burning -- >> when you listen to charlotte's words in the manuscript, you might recognize similar passages in jane eyre. this goes some way to explain how her genius develops. >> it is significant because this teenager became one of the greatest novelists in the english language, and it's significant because this particular little book has the seeds of charlotte's greatest work, jane eyre. >> the manuscript may not be coming home but there is one edition missing and with it, more stories yet to be told. ed thomas, bbc news. >> tiny books, very big work of art. well, that brings today's program to a close, but remember of course you can find updates at any time on our website. from all of us here at world news america, thank you for watching. be sure to tune in tomorrow.
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