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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 26, 2015 8:00am-9:01am PDT

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10/26/15 10/26/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> there will be no role for syrian president bashar al-assad in the future of syria. this is the position of the saudi kingdom and this is the position of most countries in the world. amy: as thousands continue to die and flee, international leaders meet in vienna to find a solution to the conflict in syria. a sticking point -- the future of syrian president bashar al-assad. we will speak with charles glasgow former abc news chief
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middle east correspondent, author of "syria burning: isis , and the death of the arab spring." then tensions continue to mount over a string of recent palestinian stabbing attacks and an intense israeli crackdown. we'll speak with rabbi arik ascherman, co-founder of the group rabbis for human rights, who himself was attacked by an israeli extremist. then a rally to end police violence. >> in the spirit of my son amadou, i say to you, we will see the end of this brutality in our lifetime. my son did not die in vain. he died so we can have change, but the change has been long coming. we are still waiting for stuff how many more victims were unjustly killed sinceamadou diallo? amy: we bring you coverage of rise up october, a rally to end
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police terror. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a powerful 7.5 magnitude earthquake has struck northern afghanistan with tremors felt as far away as pakistan and northern india. scores of people are reported dead with the toll expected to rise. afp reports at least 52 people have been killed in pakistan alone. the associated press reports at least 12 students at a girls' school were killed in a stampede attempting to flee a shaking building. aid groups are warning the damage could disproportionately impact people already displaced i violence in afghanistan. in 2005, 7 .6 earthquake killed more than 75,000 people. leaders from the european union and the balkan have agreed to a plan to handle the wave of refugees attempting to reach germany and other european countries before winter.
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the plan ramps up efforts to register the refugees and making room for 100,000 people in reception centers in greece and other countries. nearly 250,000 refugees, many fleeing violence in syria, iraq and afghanistan, have crossed , through the balkans since mid-september. violence is continuing in israel and the occupied territories. earlier today israeli forces , shot and killed a teenage palestinian accused of stabbing an israeli in hebron. a day earlier, israeli border police shot and killed a 17-year-old girl at a border checkpoint. police said the girl approached officers with a knife, but a witness told cnn the accused assailant was a terrified schoolgirl who raised her arms saying "i don't have a knife." , close to 60 palestinians have now been killed by israeli security forces this month, about 30 of whom were accused of attacking israelis. ten israelis have been killed in palestinian attacks. meanwhile, a video has gone viral of a masked israeli
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settler armed with a knife attacking the co-founder of the group rabbis for human rights, rabbi arik ascherman. we'll speak with rabbi ascherman later in the broadcast. former british prime minister tony blair has issued a qualified apology for the us-led invasion of iraq, saying he's sorry for mistakes made during the war, but not for the ouster of iraqi leader saddam hussein. blair made the comments in response to questions from cnn's fareed zakaria. >> when people look at the rise of isis, many people point to the invasion of iraq as the principal cause. what do you say? >> i think there are elements of truth in that, but again, we have to be extremely careful, otherwise we will misunderstand what is going on in iraq and syria today. of course, you can't say those of us who removed saddam hussein in 2003 bern a responsibility for the situation in 2015. amy: the remnants of hurricane patricia have moved east after drenching parts of texas with more than a foot of rain. the strongest hurricane ever
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recorded, patricia made landfall friday evening on mexico's pacific coast, uprooting trees and power lines and setting off mudslides with winds of 165 miles per hour. but the damage was blunted by mountainous terrain and patricia was quickly downgraded. despite fears of mass casualties, there have been no confirmed fatalities from the storm in mexico. scientists have warned stronger hurricanes like patricia will result from climate change. the storm came as climate negotiators in bonn, germany wrapped up preliminary climate , talks ahead of an upcoming summit in paris november 30. despite an emotional appeal from mexico's envoy, negotiators failed to reach agreement on key issues. friends of the earth called their inaction "a calamity for people across the world." a leaked draft of a massive trade deal being negotiated between the united states and european union appears to violate an eu pledge to uphold environmental protections. the guardian reports the leaked text "contains only vaguely phrased and non-binding commitments to environmental
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safeguards," despite eu promises to the contrary. indonesian president joko widodo is meeting with president obama at the white house today. indonesia is currently deciding whether to join the massive trans-pacific partnership trade deal, or tpp. human rights groups are urging obama to address human rights abuses in indonesia, including reports of prisoner torture. in guatemala, jimmy morales, a right-leaning former television comedian with no government experience has won the presidency after less than half of eligible voters cast ballots. guatemala is reeling from a corruption scandal which landed former president otto perez molina in jail. meanwhile, argentina is headed for a presidential runoff next month. in haiti, election results are not yet in. and in poland the right-wing law , and justice party has retaken control for the first time in nearly a decade. in a major turnaround on education, president obama has called for steps to curb reliance on standardized testing, including ensuring
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students spend no more than 2% of classroom instructional time on standardized tests. the obama administration also acknowledged its own role in advancing the overemphasis on testing. this comes after boycotts of standardized tests across the country from seattle to new york. a "new york times" investigation has found police in greensboro, north carolina, pull over african-american drivers for traffic violations at a disproportionate rate and search black drivers or their cars more than twice as often as white drivers. across four states that track searches made with a driver's consent, officers were more likely to search african-american drivers, but less likely to find contraband than if the driver was white. new jersey governor and republican presidential candidate chris christie has accused president obama of advocating lawlessness for voicing support for the black lives matter movement. christie made the comments in an interview on cbs' "face the nation." >> the problem is this, this
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lawlessness and up -- in the country. the president encourages it. >> encourages it how? >> he does not backup up the police. he justifies black lives matter. but it should not be justified at all? >> i don't believe that movement should be justified when it is calling for the murder police officers, no. amy: governor christie's remarks came after fbi director james comey said added scrutiny and criticism of police officers amid protests over police brutality may have fueled an increase in violent crime because officers are less aggressive. on saturday, as thousands rallied in new york city against police brutality as part of rise up october, i asked professor cornel west to respond to the fbi director's marks. >> he has no empirical data whatsoever. i think he is lying. it is part of the backlash of our resistance. thank god the spirit of ferguson is still strong.
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we are going to keep this movement strong and intense, and you can see it among our wonderful folk here. amy: the leader of the new york police department's union has called for a boycott of director quentin tarantino's films after tarantino participated in the rise up october protests here in new york on saturday. meanwhile civil rights leader al , sharpton and his national action network rallied saturday to honor the african-american police officer shot and killed last week in east harlem. the "new york daily news" reports sharpton will speak at officer randolph holder's funeral next week in a call for unity. the black lives matter network has rejected the democratic national committee's offer of a town hall meeting with presidential candidates, saying they want a formal debate. about 25,000 people have signed a petition calling on the dnc to allow more debates ahead of the election, including one dedicated to the theme of black lives matter. republican presidential candidate dr. ben carson has said abortion should be illegal in all cases, including rape and
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incest. carson, who is now leading in the key caucus state of iowa over frontrunner donald trump, made the remarks on nbc's meet the press in response to a question from chuck todd. >> what if somebody has an unwanted pregnancy, should have the right to terminate? >> no. slaveryout this, during -- and i know that is one of those words you're not supposed to say, but i'm saying it -- during slavery, a lot of the slaveowners thought they had the right to do whatever they wanted to that slave. anything that they chose to do. and, you know, what if the abolitionist had said, you know, i don't believe in slavery, i think it is wrong, but you guys do whatever you want to do. where would we be? amy: in other news from the campaign trail, democratic candidate and former rhode island governor lincoln chafee has dropped out of the race. chafee was polling at less than 1%.
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here in new york city protesters , gathered outside the dominican consulate friday to show support for pulitzer prize-winning, dominican-born author junot diaz. last week, the dominican consul in new york called diaz anti-dominican and stripped him of his 2009 order of merit award for protesting the dominican government's moves to deport hundreds of thousands of people of haitian descent. diaz lobbied against the deportations in washington, d.c., last week alongside haitian american writer edwidge danticat. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a new round of international talks to end the war in syria could begin as early as this week. the four year old war has killed more than 300,000 people and left over 7 million people displaced. on friday, secretary of state john kerry met in vienna with the saudi, russian, and turkish foreign ministers to discuss the crisis.
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then kerry flew to saudi arabia saturday, to meet saudi king salman outside riyadh. that same day kerry and russian , foreign minister sergey lavrov spoke by phone. in a television interview, lavrov said the kremlin wanted syria to prepare for parliamentary and presidential elections. >> even with still continuing anti-assad rhetoric, i think the correct understanding of the situation is developing and this gives us hope to push forward the political process in the near future for using outside players and to bring all syrians to the negotiating table. because outside players cannot decide anything for the syrians. we must force them to work out their own future in such a way the interests of any group, the religious, ethnic or political, would be well protected. and of course we must prepare for the elections, but parliamentary and presidential ones. amy: sergey lavrov's call for elections came just days after a surprise visit by syrian president bashar al-assad to
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moscow. lavrov also said russia would be ready to help western-backed free syrian army rebels if it knew where they were. the syrian army has rejected the free army -- the free army has rejected the offer. meanwhile, former u.s. president jimmy carter has just published a piece in the "new york times" titled, "a five-nation plan to end the syrian crisis." carter calls for the united states russia, iran, turkey, and , saudi arabia to work together to end the war. we are joined now by charles glass, former abc news chief middle east correspondent. his latest book is titled, "syria burning: isis and the death of the arab spring." he's just returned from syria and iraq. welcome to democracy now! it is great to actually have us in -- have you in our studio as you launch this book. talk about the latest developments, what is been proposed. >> unfortunate, nothing is been proposed. the problem is the two main
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parties backing the factions in syria, the u.s. and russia, have not budged from their positions. russia's position is the shyla sought must remain as president and the american position is that bizarre al-assad must go as president. they've not see and recognize -- reconcile these point of use. ideally, they should get all of the parties together quitting iran to discuss transition, but because the war has gone on so far, there are certain people who will not participate in discussions, i.e., the islamic state and al-nusra. if there is an agreement on elections and so forth, then you will find the non-jihadist opposition would be fighting side-by-side with the syrian army against those forces. but i don't really see that happening. amy: what about this offer of russia to support the free syrian army in the free syrian army saying no? >> russia would be supporting the free syrian army if they bought against the islamic state, but russia will not support the free syrian army to fight against the regime that it
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has been backing from the beginning of the uprising. amy: and they have said no, anyway. >> the rush as a lot invested in their not -- russia has a lot invested and they're not going to oppose it. amy: what do they have invested in syria? can you explain his long relationship between russia and syria and then syria and iran? >> it is very simple. if you look at the map of the air world, there are about 22 members of the arab league stretching from mauritania over to the borders of iran. almost every one of those countries is an american-client state. only one is syrian-client state. amy: russian. use may, russian-client state. it is going to need something in return or it will invest or deeply into syria to keep that regime, which is its only friend in the air world. is it ise effects
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developing better relations with iraq. when ia russian military was there. the russians are coordinating with the iraqis and the fight against the islamic state, against the islamic groups in syria and iraq. russia has raised its standing in the air world by this intervention. amy: i want to ask about the role of saudi arabia in the ongoing conflict in syria as well as the negotiations taking place to resolve it. speaking sunday, saudi foreign minister adel al-jubeir said that assad had no future role to play in syria. >> i believe there is been some progress and positions have moved closer on finding a solution to the syrian crisis. we reachedt say that an agreement. we still need more consultations and negotiations to reach this point. there are negotiations within the international community on how to apply the principles of geneva 1.
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we're committed for that. the applications of the principles toward geneva 1 involve the formation of a transitional body, govern, civil, military citizens prepare for new elections in syria. and there will be no role for syrian president bashar al-assad. this is the position of the saudi kingdom and this is the position of most countries in the world. amy: that is the saudi foreign minister. charles glass? >> the saudis have been consistent to push our al-assad and were instrumental -- bashar al-assad more instrument will and arming the -- which began as peaceful protest, began funding and funneling arms to those who wanted to fight in an enabling foreign fighters to come in through turkey so the saudi position has been consistent throughout. however, i would think after 4.5 years of failing to overthrow that regime, they should realize that it is not going to fall overnight and the real problem is the war itself.
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the war must stop, even if that means keeping the regime and power for a transitional period. they have rejected that consistently. amy: what about the was relationship with all the different players? >> the u.s. seems to have lost some control over its allies in the region. on the surface, the united states is fighting against the islamic state because, mainly, it went into iraq. they did not seem to mind when they were just in syria. they are still allowing turkey to keep its border open for supplies to come into the islamic state. if there fighting the islamic state, they're still allowing to bring weapons. this is fine with american policy and consistent with it, or they simply lost control over the course of the event. amy: we're going to go to break. when we come back, i want to directly address the themes in
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your book "syria burning: isis , and the death of the arab spring." we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in our next segment, we're going to jerusalem to speak with rabbi arik ascherman, one of the founders of rabbis for human rights who this weekend experienced an attack by israeli extremist who tried to knife him. he will talk about this, and the video has gone viral. you right now we're staying with charles glass. charles glass is a former abc news chief middle east correspondent. his latest book is called "syria , burning: isis and the death of the arab spring." he's just returned from syria and iraq. why do you call it "syria burning"? >> we had to come up with a title that would sell, really. but it is appropriate because
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syria since late 2011 has been on fire, and we see the evidence of this. in fact, more than half of the population is now homeless. 7 million people internally displaced and 5 million people have fled the country altogether. it is because this country is being rapidly destroyed in a conflict that probably never should have happened. amy: why did it happen? >> in 2011, there was a great wave of protest sweeping the world world, tunisia, egypt, libya, and then syria. the syrians were part of that wave. but there -- they are in syria because the opposition took up arms, which never happened in egypt or tunisia. they seem to have gone more for the libyan model with a day take up arms -- did take up arms. oppositionolitical was always suppressed, particularly, democratic opposition.
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they were not unified. and so within the first 18 james, according to there were more than 1000 armed groups in syria, sometimes fighting one another -- which was good for the regime -- sometimes fighting the regime. the anarchy was destroying the country. now there are few or groups because they coalesced into various islamic fronts, but still the destruction is unprecedented in syria will probably never recover from it. amy: talk about the factions and how bashar al-assad hangs onto power. >> first of all, because he inherited a very effective security state from his father. between 1949 when the cia overthrew syria's elected government in order to put an oil pipeline from saudi arabia through syria without syrian preconditions, and 1949 until 1970 when his father took power, there was a coup d'état in syria almost every year. the instability was crippling
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the country. his father was a great conspirator. had been minister of defense. was from a subbranch of sheer islam, which is very secretive because they don't really want the sunnis to know all of their beliefs. they were very conspiratorial they would take over the regime and solidify the regime. there hasn't been a military coup since. they were very strong, well prepared to face that kind -- and they had a muslim brotherhood uprising between 1979 and 1982, which is suppressed. they were effectively very strong. in addition to which, the enriched a lot of the sunni arab middle class in the big cities of aleppo and damascus, so they had support. if the sunnis -- if some did not support, they would not be there. they then -- when they faced this armed opposition, that a strong army that did not crack as the u.s. predict it. it's officers did not defect to
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the free syrian army, so the country -- the state institutions, unlike iraq, held together. they are still holding together. the rebels hold perhaps 65% of the territory, but the regime has between 60% and 80% of the population. amy: what about the outside forces and the role, for example, that the u.s. has played? the role that iran has played? the role that russia has played? >> russia and the u.s. have played equivalent roles on opposite sides. so russia consistently arming the supporting the regime at the u.n. and the u.s. did the same for the opposition. without actually meeting to discuss ways that this is not going to be resolved by war, the regime was never going to lose or can't win a war because both sides are equally strong, which means the war goes on and on. syrians,roblem for the they're facing a proxy war as well as their own local war as
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well as regional war between saudi arabia and iran, between sunnis and shia. the saudis now proceed -- perceive assad as a usurper. 65% of the population is sunni and they will settle for nothing less. it is up to the syrians and should be up to the syrian to decide who is going to leave them. inevitably because assad has been so strong, he will have to be part of the transition, not because they like or dislike him, but because he is held on. amy: i want to turn to the democratic presidential debate. and this is governor martin o'malley criticizing hillary clinton's call for no-fly zone in syria >> don't you want to use military force too rapidly? >> i believe as president, i would not be so quick to pull for a military tool. i believe a no-fly zone in syria at this time actually secretary
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would be a mistake. you have to enforce no-fly zones , and i believe, especially with the russian air force in the air, it could lead to an escalation because of an accident that we would deeply regret. >> there's a lot of loose talk going on. we are already flying in syria, just as we are flying in iraq. the president has made a very tough decision. what i believe, and why i have advocated that the no-fly zone -- which of course would be in a coalition -- be put on the table is because i am trying to figure out what leverage we have to get russia to the table. >> let me respond to something the secretary said. first of all, she is talking about the time spent in no-fly zone in syria, which i think is a very dangerous situation, could lead to real problems. amy: that was bernie sanders at the end of before that, hillary clinton. and martin o'malley. charles glass, your response? calling for aeen
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no-fly zone and safe havens from the beginning. the pentagon originally opposed it because it would mean taking out in the first and's -- instance, all of syria as it offenses. some of those probably now manned by russians, which would mean an order for u.s. planes to fly safely over the country, possibly killing russians in those air defense zones. second, the idea of these safe havens means that people would be fleeing there for safety. just as they did in bosnia. remember what happened, there is no such thing as a safe haven. you have to commit tens of thousands of troops to protect those areas from either side that may want to come in and massacre them. it would then be troops on the ground from russia and the united states and a very, very confused and dangerous situation. amy: you just did a piece which you write, "major military decisions come from the iranian general, the astute commander of the arraigned in revolutionary
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guards lead force. rather than from syria's discredited officer class [captioning made possible by democracy now!] muche syrian army lost so territory in the early phases of the war and lost control of the third major city in the country, homs. data turn to the iranians and they simply were not going to throw men and women -- men and weapons at them. that has given iran a decisive say in certain military strategy. without, i should say without iran and russia backing the regime, the regime probably would have fallen. they are now there and they're trying to take control. the russians are taking more control from the iranians because they're becoming more decisive as the leading ally of a certain regime. amy: what do you think will happen and what do you make of this meeting right now in vienna? >> i would like to hope they will meet in vienna and come up with a formula they can impose on the syrian parties to end the war. based on the failure of geneva 1 and geneva two, my fears they
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will stick to their old positions and not come to an agreement, not impose a settlement, then go on arming both sides, destroying the lives and homes of the syrian people. amy: you also just returned, charles glass, from iraq. talk about what you found. you are in the north and south. >> one of the things i discovered, which i was unaware of until i got there, how badly it was -- the kurdish forces are. they're not receiving the weapons they have requested from the u.s. and the rest of the coalition. while they are the strongest force fighting the islamic state in both iraq and then helping the kurds in syria, they are terribly under sourced and they cannot do many of the things they need to do because they don't have those weapons. amy: would that be because of the u.s. relationship with turkey? >> partly, and also partly with the relationship with baghdad. the baghdad government is afraid once the kurds take over the area they want, they will then be fighting against the baghdad government for their independence and controlling what are called the disputed
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territories between the kurdish regional government and the baghdad government. they're thinking of the longer-term future, not just the war against isis. it in the south, i found the opposite. the popular militias are receiving vast resources from iran and the united states to fight against the islamic state. while i was there, they took an oil refinery much of the area around ramadi from them with thousands of troops who had very good, modern weapons. amy: i want to turn to former british prime minister tony blair who was speaking to cnn saying they were "elements of truth to the claim that removing saddam hussein played a part in the creation of isis. >> you can say those of us who beared saddam in 2003 that no responsibility for the situation in 2015. it is important to also realize, one, the arab spring which began in 2011 would also have had its impact on you ran -- iraq today and also, isis actually came to
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prominence from the base in syria and not in a iran. amy: that is the former bright bu british prime minister tony blair. >> islamic state originally was treated in iraq will stop and then went underground and immigrant surge in what was called the sunni awakening, but did not disappear. then because of the u.s. support for rebels in syria in the escalation of chaos in syria, was able to reform itself in syria and then come back into iraq, which was it's goal all along was to destroy that border between the two countries and create the caliphate. blair is right that the people who did the invasion of 2003 do bear a heavy responsibility for what is happening now, not just in terms of the islamic, but in terms of the war that followed in 2003, the hundreds of thousands of deaths, the fact there still isn't properly electricity supply in baghdad, the fact that now when you talk
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to people in the streets of baghdad, they all hit the british and americans. many of them urine for saddam, and that is shocking because saddam hussein was a monster and there's nothing wrong with getting rid of him, but the way they got rid of him and the way they behave when they got rid of him led to all of this chaos in iraq, which has looked -- spread to syria. amy: you live in europe now, but what do you think coming back to the u.s., you are the former chief -- middle east correspondent for abc news, of the u.s. coverage of what is going on in the middle east? >> some of it is very good. i've seen some very insightful pieces on the intercept and here and -- probably nothing to compare with patrick cockburn plus coverage in the independent of london or in the new york times whose coverage was fabulous, but he is to longer with us. some of it is good and some is terribly misleading. amy: what is most list leading -- misleading? >> i think it is
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washington-directed. a lot of the coverage tends to follow the american narrative that everything in syria was the problem of a dictatorship. that can be quite right because every arab state is a dictatorship and every other one receives american support. so i wasn't the dictatorship u.s. was against, it was syria possible relationship with iran, syria dependence and support for hezbollah in lebanon and the antagonism toward israel. some american officials have admitted that is the antagonism. it isn't just freedom fighters against totalitarian regime. there is an element, but that is and why the freedom fighters got the western support, they got a because they were going to take down a pro-iranian regime. amy: who is the free syrian army today? >> they're now i very small faction of the opposition and they find themselves fighting sometimes against the jihadists
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and sometimes against the regime. because they are under resourced and they don't have an ideology that appeals now to make people who have lost their homes and people who feel they're being oppressed by a minority said in the country, those young men are taking the money and going to the islamic state in nusra. the free syrian army is a much diminished, frankly, irrelevant force now. amy: as you have cover the middle east for decades, what is the connection now, your subtitle "isis and the death of the arab spring"? >> i think it is a metaphor. the arab spring is certainly over -- isis is the worst representation of the killings. the ideals of the arab spring, particularly in tunisia and tahrir square in cairo, were secular. there were liberal. they wanted freedom of the press, independent judiciary, transparent governance.
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they wanted to live like normal people and not be afraid of the government. they wanted their dignity. well, what has transformed itself into in syria and iraq is an institution, the islamic state, which is opposed to all those things come even more than the military dictatorships were. so the only opposition now to the regimes in baghdad and syria, which are corrupt, is a force that is much more illiberal, much less tolerant than they were. the syrian state for all its flaws tolerated -- women did not have to dress ash were not forced to dress in a certain way. state weree islamic to take over in either country, they would impose a very, very rigorous kind of regime in which there would not even be freedom of thought, let alone freedom of speech. all of those ideals of the arab spring have been lost in this
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co-optation of the revolution by the most extreme islamist jihadist forces. amy: i want to thank you, charles glass, for joining us. his book is called "syria , burning: isis and the death of the arab spring." he's just returned from syria and iraq. when we come back, we go to jerusalem to speak with one of the founders of rabbis for human rights. he was attacked this weekend by a knife wielding israeli extremist. the video has gone viral. we will then come back to the streets of new york where there was a major anti-police brutality protest over the weekend will stop among those there, the mother of amadour di allo and quentin tarantino. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we go now to israel where tension is continuing to mount over a string of recent palestinian stabbing attacks and an intense israeli crackdown. earlier today, israeli forces shot dead a palestinian man who the army said had stabbed and wounded a soldier at an intersection near the town of hebron. a day earlier, israeli border police shot and killed a 17-year-old girl. police said the girl approached officers with a knife, but a witness told cnn the accused assailant was a terrified schoolgirl who raised her arms saying, "i don't have a knife." since october 1, at least 58 palestinians have been shot and killed by israelis at the scene of attacks or during protests in the west bank and gaza. israeli police say 10 israelis have been killed in palestinian stabbings or shootings. meanwhile, video has gone viral
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of a masked israeli settler armed with a knife attacking the co-founder of the group rabbis for human rights, rabbi arik ascherman. the incident took place after ascherman tried to film israeli settlers setting palestinian olive trees on fire in the west bank village of awarta outside of nablus. the video shows the masked man grabbing a knife out of his back pocket, then repeatedly lunging at the 55-year-old rabbi who was attempting to retreat. the masked man also kicked and punched the rabbi while making threatening gestures with the knife. the settler eventually ran away. rabbi arik ascherman joins us ofm jerusalem, cofounder rabbis for human rights. rabbi arik ascherman, welcome to
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democracy now! first of all, how are you? >> well, i'm alive, so that is a good start. there's a traditional blessing that one blesses after having been saved from a very dangerous situation in the synagogue, and this last saturday, i blessed that blessing and then immediately took my turn as we have different members guarding the synagogue because we're also concerned about palestinian violence. and that is part of reality. and yet somehow, we have to remember to stay human and to remember our humanity. i think one of the things that many of our volunteers that come out to the all of harvest or so grateful for is the midst of this craziness, remembering does remind ourselves and everyone else the really is another way. amy: your right arm is bandaged. what happened? everything happened so
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fast, i just don't know what happened, but apparently, for those who have seen the video, when i am kind of being kicked debt and having stones thrown at me -- amy: before you tell us that, explain exactly when this happened and what you are doing. talking about the olive harvest and where you are. >> sure. for some 13 years, rabbis for human rights have been a company the farmers to get there olive trees. when we started in 2002, we were being shot at, threatened, many had their heads cracked open. it was very violent. in 2006, the fact is, many farmers are getting to lands that they could not get to for 2, 5, even 15 years and by court order, the army is protecting them to get to those places. friday, the army was out there protecting farmers in a
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coordinated harvest for their trees right underneath the homes of some of the outpost belonging to be settlement. after the harvest was finished -- actually, the army shut it down quite early for some reason. from below, from far away, we saw israelis coming to steal olives. we call the police and the army. an army unit eventually gets there, but the people escaped. and in the next -- we see a fire break out. at that point, the army and police are not answering me anymore or my palestinian field worker, who was the person who filmed the video you are seeing. and so i went up to get a better standpoint both to direct the security forces to get there into film. while i'm a focused on some of
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the israelis and the fire still far away, another masked israeli surprises me from the side, pulls is not, throwing large rocks at me, and i'm also trying to protect the journalist with me as you can see in the video, and at one point, because i'm trying to back down while facing i lose it is very steep, my balance. that is probably how i broke my finger. then i have no choice but to engage him because he could have easily crushed my head or stabbed me. i'm not exactly -- my son knows much more about martial arts than i do, and i did everything wrong. eventually, he was on top of me and could have killed me easily. i'm wondering to this day why he didn't. if you wasn't just a killer in his heart, at least of jews, whether he was concerned about the cameras or whether get a moment of what we call -- of
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hearing the inner call that cost them at that last moment to make a change in his plans. our maybe as this week's torah portion tells us the story of isaiah and isaac saying, don't do it. for some reason, although he could have murdered me easily, instead, he ran away. amy: we can't see if you speaking because he has a black mask over his face, but what language was he speaking? was he speaking to you and what was he saying? >> he was speaking hebrew. he did not speak much. there wasn't time for dialogue. i was and am, you're desecrating god's name, desecrating the torrah. he said, how can you be wearing a jewish head covering? get out of here. you shouldn't be here. this kind of stuff. mostly he was speaking with his knife and that was words. amy: if you -- >> he was speaking hebrew. amy: can you explain where israeli forces were in the area,
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what had happened if you had been a palestinian? suspect if i have palestinian, things would have ended quite differently. he -- -- who knows, but amy: looks like we just lost the feed to jerusalem. rabbi arik ascherman is the president and senior rabbi of rabbis for human rights. on friday, he was attacked by a knife-wielding israeli extremist -- settler in the west bank. we will have to leave it there. you can go to our website, especially for radio listeners, and you can look at the video that has gone viral in israel of rabbi arik ascherman being attacked. we're going to come back to the streets of new york.
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on saturday, thousands rallied -- in new york city rallied against police brutality as part of three days of protest called "rise up october." some 40 families across the country impacted by police violence participated in the event alongside scholars such as dr. cornel west, journalist chris hedges as well as , celebrities like playwright eve ensler and filmmaker quentin tarantino. the rally took place one day after fbi director james comey said protests over police brutality may have fueled an increase in violent crime because officers are less aggressive. today we end today's program by bringing you some of the voices from saturday's rally, beginning with kadiatou diallo, mother of amadou diallo, a west african immigrant who died february 4, 1999 in a hail of 41 police
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bullets as he put his key in the door in his own door in the bronx in new york. new york police department street crime unit would later be disbanded. no justice for the blacks. justice for the brownss. so what are we going to do? were going to fight back. >> stand up. >> don't shoot. >> how are you doing, sisters and brothers? hello, new york city. in the spirit of my son amadou willo, i say to you, we see the end of this brutality in our lifetime. my son did not die in vain. he died so that we can have change, but the change has been long coming. we are still waiting. how many more victims were unjustly killed since amadou
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diallo? we can't begin to count. i went to many funerals. i connected with many families. we're not bitter. -- the fourthen cops who shot my son had done nothing wrong, that it was the fault of my son, i said to you, i say to you now, i said it then, we need change. it's too late for him, but we have to prevent it from happening again. when you have tragedies like that, you need to learn what went wrong and correct it and never happen because nationwide, look at it. look at the families here. what happened yet the law enforcement should know we are not against them. we are not against them, we are
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anti-police brutality. we're not anti-cop because we know some of them are doing good jobs. what we need to root out just to our brutalizing our children for no reason will. >> brothers and sisters, mr. quentin tarantino. >> take him everybody. i've got something to say, but i would like to give my time to the families that want to talk. i want to give my time to the families. however, i also want to say, what am i doing here? i'm doing here because i'm a human being with a conscience. and when i see murder, i cannot thed by and i have to call murdered the murdered and the murderers the murderers. now i will give my time to the family. >> i am is actually known to the community as uncle bobby. i am the uncle of oscar grant. how many of you have seen the "fruitvale bill --
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station"? one famous person i know standing behind me right now and dr. cornell west said this, if you want to your the truth, you must let the suffering speak. martin luther king said it this way, cowards ask, is it safe? expediency asks, is a political? vanity asks, is a popular? the conscious ask, is it right? there comes a time when neither safe, political, or vanity is the reason why you stand. you stand because it is right. rise up -- >> rise up. >> rise up -- >> rise up. but it is a great pleasure to introduce the people's scholar, the people's leader. let's give it up for dr. cornell west. >> i love you. >> we are here because we have a
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deep love for those who have been abused by the police. twisted, this is a love train. this is what the isley brothers call a caravan of love. how many of you love the people? -- many of you we are here because we want to keep the families center stage. this is not the time for speech. we know that the capitalist system is failing us. we know the criminal justice system is failing us. we know that white supremacy is alive, it is still alive. homophobia, too. anti-arab, too. anti-jewish, too. anti-muslim ,too. but we're here to focus on the family,y;all. this is been a major effort to bring families from all over the
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country, from every corner of the american empire. and we want to make sure we salute them. dr. that last speaker was cornell west, speaking at the anti-police brutality protest saturday in new york city. before that, oscar grant's uncle , bobby johnson, a director quentin tarantino, the leader of the new york police department's union has called for a boycott of tarantino's films after he participated in the rise up october protests saturday. on the streets after the rally, 1000 -- when thousands marched from washington square park up to bryant park were the new york public library is, i spoke to uncle bobby further, the uncle of oscar grant. >> imf actually known to the committee as uncle bobby. i am the uncle of oscar grant, the young man that was killed in the movie "fruitvaile station."
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amy: tell us what happened. fruitvale bart station in oakland, california, oscar brent was laying face down with his hands behind his back before johannes messily she's amid in the back without any apparent reason. he alleged he thought oscar had a gun. amy: who witness this? >> there were many on a platform that saw -- amy: it was new year's night. it was new year's and they videotaped what was occurring. for the first time in california state history, because of the community, because of the union to shut down the port and the community that embraced the family, we got for the first time in california state history and officer arrests, charge, convicted and sent to jail. we count that as historical, not a victory, because he only did 11 months because of a technicality that the judge alleged. however, we know the unifying of these families across the united
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states will bring about a real change. amy: that is oscar grant's uncle, uncle bobby. in the streets of new york, though he is normally in california. thousands marched on saturday. among those who addressed the crowd was the pulitzer prize winning journalist chris hedges. who wrote for "the new york times" for over 15 years, 20 years a middle east correspondent covering war. his latest book is, "wages every billion: the moral imperative of revolt." >> i am chris hedges, writer. i teach in a prison in new jersey and have her many years. i am also a presbyterian minister. at this moment, i would like to ask us to pray for the loved ones we have lost in the loved ones who brought in cages across this country. oh, god, and the name of the profits, and the name of
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jeremiah and moses and jesus, and the name of the holy prophet and messenger from god mohammed, please be upon him. in the name of our martyrs, martin and malcolm, and the names of all who have risen up to five the a press or on by half of the -- on behalf of the oppressed, we implore you to take a do your hands the grief, the loneliness, the suffering and the pain inflicted on our brothers and sisters who have lost loved ones to police violence, who are trapped in cages, and to empower us to struggle until we bring justice to the streets of our cities and let our captives go. there are mothers and fathers among us whose sons and daughters have been swallowed by this great monstrosity of mass incarceration or whose lives
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have been tired -- cut short. their husbands and wives severed, sometimes forever, from their spouses. there are sisters and brothers that have been torn apart, but this morning, we remember most the children, those whose mothers and fathers are locked behind bars or whose parents will never come home again, whose tiny lives have been shattered, whose childhoods have been stolen, who endure the painful stigma of loss or of having a mother or father in prison and cannot comprehend the cruelty of this world. and we say to all of these people, especially these children, we as a society have failed due and we will fill you know more. we cry out today for all of those who have become invisible, those who have disappeared behind a prison walls, those who
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have become prey, rape, torture, beatings, prolonged isolation, sensory deprivation, racial profiling, chain gangs, forced labor, rancid food, inadequate medical care, children imprisoned as adults, prisoners forced to take medications to induce lethargy, little or no heating, and ventilation, decades long sentences for nonviolent crimes and endemic theence, and we damn states that perpetuate this abuse. we say to all those who have turned nothing pressure and into a business, the commissary companies, the phone companies, global tellings, the food-service companies like rmr, the private prison companies like corrections corporations of
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america, their lobbyists who write the laws that ensure long sentences, full presents, and huge recidivism rates and our politicians who pass these laws in exchange for campaign contributions in our system of legalized bribery, we are not deceived. we call out the corporations that exploit underpaid and bonded prison labor for their --plicity in neo-slavery chevron, bank of america, ibm, pennies, sears, walmart, wendy's, procter & gamble, johnson & johnson, motorola, caterpillar, microsoft, texas instruments, here cardin, and target. we say to all of those across the forest and most honorable among us that what you do is sinful and evil in the eyes of god. amy: that was pulitzer prize winning journalist chris hedges
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speaking at this weekend's rise up october. thousands protest the police brutality. 11 people were arrested at the rally. that does it for the show. we are hiring a director of development. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to úñ
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