tv [untitled] October 12, 2011 11:30pm-12:00am EDT
this week the ten year anniversary of our nation's war in afghanistan quietly came and went and is now the longest war in all of american history and despite ten years of this continuous warfare our nation seems no closer to reaching any sort of responsible conclusion or any way to bring our troops home in fact things seem to be getting worse this past august was the deadliest month in the entire ten year long war with seventy one u.s. soldiers died and so far two thousand and eleven is on pace to be the deadliest year in the entire war surpassing two thousand and ten is the deadliest year which surpassed two thousand and nine is the deadliest year in the war as in over the last three years violence confronting our troops in afghanistan has gotten worse and worse and worse and last week the former commander of the coalition forces in afghanistan retired general stanley mcchrystal brought more bad news speaking at the council on foreign relations mcchrystal said that we are maybe
a little better than halfway toward reaching our goals in this war he went on to say this about the planning going into the war quote we didn't know enough we still don't know enough most of us me included i have very superficial understanding of the situation and history and we had a frighteningly simplistic view of recent history the last fifty years and quick. as a result here we are ten years later figuring out a way to come back home so how can we do just that your help us answer that is jonathan steele a journalist and foreign correspondent with the guardian newspaper and author of the new book ghosts of afghanistan the hunted battleground jonathan welcome let's let's start with a little history here and quote you said mcchrystal talked about how the bush administration had a superficial understanding of history now i think your book titled it relates it's called ghosts of us afghanistan so what do you mean by by ghosts give us
a little you know history how did the admitted administration missed the clues going into this war well i've been covering afghanistan for thirty s. and i covered the survey dr patient i was there three times in kabul while they were that and they have exactly the same problems that the americans have no they got completely bogged down they did regime change at the beginning but then they found themselves moving into through mission creep into kind of nation building but they never could control the whole country they controlled the cities they controlled the towns but every time they tried to move into the rural there is they got pushed back and the many americans should have known because the americans were part of the people who were pushing them back the cia was funding the mujahideen who were operating from pakistan against the russians so how could it be that there's so little historical memory that you know fifteen years later when they start going in they don't know unless there's going to be the same armed resistance that the russians faced it even goes back before the russians as you talked about
you in your book you talk about american exceptionalism in particular exceptionalism when it comes to war or wars were where a country that has had total victory in most of our wars you know since the beginning of this war of eight teams well world war one world war two you know the civil war there was a winner at least the nation was preserved but then there were you know two wars where total victory was an achievement in. and those are generally stains in our history we consider those wars where we had to you know have a peace treaty and we had to settle as failures how how does this you know history of warfare in america how is that preventing policy makers today from finding a way out of afghanistan well i'm glad you mentioned vietnam because i mean one of the difficulties about vietnam in terms of the american psyche is that there was actually a negotiated end to that war in one hundred seventy three henry kissinger in the north and we signed a peace deal in paris to to end that war and unfortunately the north vietnamese did
violated and then they pushed forward two years later and captured saigon and you remember the pictures of helicopters taking off from the roof of the u.s. embassy so i think in the minds of a lot of american decision makers of that generation that's the idea of you should first of all never negotiate so much better with them and if you do negotiate you know those guys will cheat you violate it so it's better not to negotiate and i think that's really damaging because actually that's the russians found out in the mid eighty's the only way to get out of afghanistan is to negotiate a withdrawal and they did quite successfully do that and the americans have to do it now too i think the obama administration has to recognize as mikhail gorbachev did in one thousand nine hundred five that this war is unwinnable it's just a long war of attrition americans won't get featured as such in a pitched battle but mobile the taliban so it's got to be looked at with as a stalemate and the only way out is through politics through negotiation through trying to create a government of national unity that will bring everybody in and fighting well it
seems like president obama didn't get that memo when he came into office he talked about how this is the necessary war you pledged to escalate it you know we know that there's no less than one hundred maybe al qaeda members actually operating in fact so we're really fighting an insert we're fighting a surge of battle against taliban and we have to actually be negotiating with to get out of this war i mean it seems to be like a strategy as you said. that is that is completely unwinnable do you think that this is going to dawn. on the president and on policy may well i think there are some signs that they are beginning to realize that there was a report recently that the cia came up with that sort of annual assessment which used the word stalemate a number of times so it seems that the cia. analysts and people who really study it understand that it's a stalemate certainly their boss david petraeus is a man who still believes in winning he thinks he won in iraq you know through the
troops more money more men and so on and he thinks he can do the same in afghanistan and he obviously has the ear of the president because he's in the white house all the time as the head of the cia so the real problem i think is that even if the politicians if obama came to the conclusion as mikhail gorbachev did will his military allow him to do that or will it try and undermine and say he's being a wimp or allowing the enemy to win the big thing about a surrogate experience and this is one of the lessons which is haunting the current position is that the soviet military they were intelligent enough to see that yes indeed the war was unwinnable they didn't oppose the global trough decision to withdraw in fact is supported it and applauded it and we have now evidence from the secret politburo meetings that in all the archives that come out since the soviet union collapsed we have this defense minister sergei sokolov saying look this war is unwinnable we have marshall said you're our career was the chief of the journal
stuff in one thousand nine hundred sixty nine hundred eighty six so there is not one single kilometer of afghan soil that has not had the boot of a soviet soldier on it and yet every time we leave the enemy comes back in and we can't occupy the every inch of the country so in thirty seconds we have left are you optimistic here i'm optimistic because the american public is a majority of them is against the small i think slowly they are pushing the bombers to think more seriously about changing course. well that's that's that's some best insight and your book goes about get a stand on to go to ground thanks for coming on thank you it's great talking with you very much as we all know afghanistan was our first target in the war on terror we've been center trips to iraq and have since watch covert and not so covert wars in syria yemen somalia libya and pakistan and who knows where else all in all in the name of ending religious extremism as in launch more wars to end war
sounds like something ripped straight from orwell's one thousand nine hundred four back in december tom pointed out the flaws in the strategy and told us all how we can really end islamic extremism around the world. on this day back in one nine hundred seventy two the united states military was conducting a massive bombing campaign in north vietnam the biggest air raid for u.s. forces since world war two it was informally known as the christmas phones at the time however americans didn't know that another bombing campaign took place over into china into china as well it was kept classified until two thousand the purpose of the secret bombing was to attack sanctuaries of north vietnamese insurgents in cambodia it didn't work and insurgents kept streaming across the border but the bombing did do however is succeeded in these stabilizing the cambodian government at that time creating a huge power vacuum and paving the way for pole pot and the genocide of well over
two million people a lesson learned more war never brings about peace now let's fast forward to today we're fighting a war in afghanistan have you have difficulty stopping insurgents from coming across the pakistani border or doing articles more in the new york times u.s. military commanders are trying to remedy this problem calling for expanded attacks in pakistan including using ground forces consider that ground forces that's called an invasion pakistan is an ally and a nuclear equipped one at that now the u.s. has been secretly conducting attacks in pakistan with unmanned predator drones and special combat forces for quite a quite quite some time now attacks that are increasingly does destabilizing the region and that are fomenting anti-u.s. sentiments all the way to islam about the capital the country sentiments that are now threatening to even topple the government of our ally pakistan that has nuclear
weapons how often do we have to say that so can a us invasion of pockets our ally really work to bring about peace pastor. i mean is it even possible or we have to repeat the same mistake we made almost forty years ago in vietnam in cambodia that ultimately led to the cambodian genocide in the death of two million people only three day instead of a genocide the consequence could be pretty could even be graver with pakistan's lose grip on their own nuclear weapons the military industrial complex that faction of president dwight eisenhower warned us of fifty years ago and stronger now than it's ever been and it already forced president obama's hand last year when he agreed to escalate the war in afghanistan with a troop surge now that they want war and pocket stuff you can bet that heavy pressure will soon start to be applied on both the white house and the public watch
for the news reports janine is up at all the commentators out there we've got to go to to caucus. frankly instead what we have to do now as americans is stand up to prevent a catastrophe in the middle east abraham maslow the famous psychologist once if the only tool you have is a hammer and every problem looks like a nail right now our government believes are only tool to defeat muslim extremism is a hammer of the military but as we as we've seen this decade military force breeds more extremism it doesn't stop it on the other hand a more effective way to squash this fear extremism is through education as greg mortenson discovered he's the founder of pennies for peace an organization that is funded one hundred thirty schools educated more than fifty thousand kids in afghanistan and pakistan mostly girls mortenson discovered that in the communities where he built schools for girls girls who have traditionally been illiterate in both afghanistan and pakistan people been kicked out the taliban or in some cases
taliban members with the taliban some even became teachers in the schools after having left behind the taliban as incredible as it may sound at first simply by educating women and girls and cultures were traditionally had no access to education you greatly reduce extremism religious extremism after all educated mothers tend to be more effective at this waiting it can be talking their children out of becoming suicide bombers and educated women have social status and both social and economic power mortenson offers this new way for us to fight the war on terror and we need to listen to him because if we keep using nothing but the hammer of military power our fate will be the same as the past three military empires and tried this in afghanistan before us we define another tool and frankly greg mortenson offers one of the best we're spending one hundred sixty billion dollars a year a bomb a country with a core g.d.p. of between two and four billion. yes they have rare earth minerals we need to make
high tech things like computers and cell phones so let's stop the military adventures and just buy the minerals from them and the occupation of afghanistan it's doing no good for anybody and that's coming up in so mad still you take tom tells us how america's transforming into something you may have read about in your high school textbooks. let's not forget that we had an apartheid regime right here. i think. well.
we have the government says they're going to keep you safe get ready for freedom. you know how sometimes you see a story and it seems so for lengthly you think you understand it and then he lives something else and here's you some other part of it and realized everything you thought you knew you don't know i'm charming welcome to the big picture. for. the.
film. like drives the world the fear mongering used by politicians who makes decisions to put it through what sort of people had made who can you trust no one who is you know deal with a global mission who would see where we had a state controlled capitalism is called sasha's when nobody dares to ask we do our tea question more.
after last night's republican debate at dartmouth college texas governor rick perry stopped by the bay to maternity on the college campus and although there were no drinking games or wild partying involved he seemed a little foggy responding to a question on state's rights perry delivered a syrup pail in where they go take a look at our founding fathers never meant for washington d.c. to be the founder of all wisdom as a matter of fact they were very much afraid of bad because they had just had this experience with this far away government that had centralized thought process and planning and. and it was actually the reason that we thought the revolution in the sixteenth century was that to get away from that onerous. crown if you will and we fought the revolution in the sixteenth century well not quite the revolutionary war was fought in the eighteenth century but what two
centuries among friends right well it didn't take long for the new hash tag perry history to start trying to go on twitter and our favorite contenders for the funniest perry history tweets were rick perry's favorite movie eighteen o one a space odyssey and. why else did paul revere carry a flashlight through the alamo if not to fight off the tyranny of air pollution rules and people who don't learn the lessons of history are doomed to be the governor of texas i think there's been a president said with that whole governor of texas thing let's always hope that's where rick perry stays. toward the end of last night's republican debate rick santorum lets slip this
amazing fact about just how messed up our economy is today. income mobility from the bottom to quit college up into the middle of america up into the middle income is actually greater mobility in europe than it is in america today suite by income mobility santorum is referring to how likely likely it is that someone who was born poor can make their way into the middle or upper class throughout their life that's essentially what the american dream is all about that anyone no matter how poor they were born can make it and unfortunately same form is right among all the developed nations in the world and united states has the lowest rate of social mobility as in we were last in the so-called american dream and according to research done by k. pickett in richard work with wilkinson with your quality trust in the u.k. research we've talked a lot about on the show the greatest factor behind social mobility is wealth inequality as in the less equal
a nation is the harder it is to move from being poor to being rich. and just like our nation ranges dead last in social mobility we also rated last and wealth inequality in the developed world not something to be proud of backward forbes magazine released their top four hundred richest americans list a few weeks ago the problem a wealth inequality in unpaired taxation was brought to the forefront and that's when tom gave his take on the unfortunate direction our nation is headed and it's the subject of tonight's billeted. most americans learned about feudalism in high school it's that economic system that plagued medieval europe for most of the population lived as presents to day in and day out just to get enough to survive while the small ruling elite class of landowners and nobles control all the wealth and property and basically were the only ones with any rights we learned about feudalism as though it is
a primitive economic system something that's long forgot something that our democracy and free markets rendered obsolete around the world and we embrace what's replaced a population of presence which is our middle class as a sign of human progress or at least we pretend to the truth is in case you missed those history lessons about feudalism and school you're in luck because you can learn everything you need to know about feudalism today by just looking out the window by looking at the current united states of america a nation that over the last thirty years has traded in its democratic middle class free feudal peasantry this week forbes released their list of the top four hundred richest americans a list chock full of billionaires from bill gates to warren buffett to become brothers in fact to even make the list if you had to be a billionaire. and these four hundred billionaires who own more wealth than one
hundred fifty million other americans combined saw their enormous fortunes grow twelve percent since last year to a mind boggling combined total of one and a half trillion dollars to put that in perspective in one thousand nine hundred two before all the reagan tax cuts for the super rich went into effect and forbes first published its top four hundred the combined wealth of that list of all the people on that list was ninety one billion dollars again today it's one and a half trillion dollars that's a sixteen hundred percent increase in fewer than thirty years so while the wealth of these corporate c.e.o.'s in oil barons and other guards frankly are what we would have called nobles and feudal europe have seen astronomical increases in their wealth what has the middle class seen in these thirty years squat to begin
with wealth doesn't even apply to the middle class largely because outside of their homes which are increasingly being foreclosed on the average working american doesn't have a humiliating wealth but the c.e.o. class to us so when we look at the middle class we have to look at their incomes how much money there. and twenty nine hundred seventy nine in two thousand and five middle class families saw their incomes increase a measly twenty one percent not all the time so the four hundred richest americans saw a sixteen hundred percent increase in wealth now the average middle class americans saw a twenty one percent increase in their incomes someone's getting a raw deal and since reagan rose to power ninety percent of all the new wealth created in america went to just the top one percent of americans since one thousand nine hundred eighty we've seen the largest transfer of wealth from working people to the richest of the rich it's ever taken place in the history of this nation or of any other nation in the modern history of the world. as
a result forty six million americans are in poverty the largest number ever recorded in the history of this nation thirty seven percent of young families people under thirty the future leaders of our nation are living in poverty and he had the largest number ever recorded in the history of this nation and fifteen point seven million children roughly one in four children live in poverty in the united states the supposedly richest nation on the planet more than forty million americans depend on food stamps more than fifty million americans don't have health insurance the middle class has morphed into the working poor people who work three jobs just to survive people who we used to call the peasants in a feudal economy but now call the working poor in our neo feudal economy so how did this happen. i break it all done in my book an equal protection to long story goes back to eight hundred eighty six when corporations were given personhood by a rogue supreme court reporter and
a case of so the pacific railroad versus the county but more recently it's what these corporations have done with their personhood in terms of buying off politicians in the last thirty years that accounts for the destruction of the middle class and the rise of neo feudalism in america after all billionaire feudal lords see the middle class as a threat is a force that will become politically active and demand their share of the pie thus it needs to be destroyed or at least badly hobbled and started in one thousand nine hundred two and reagan stopped in force in the sherman antitrust act which triggered and mergers and acquisitions frenzy of corporations consuming other corporations and growing so big that the combined wealth outweighs most other nations in the world but massive transnational corporations dominate the market they can and did eliminate their small business competition that drives prices up meaning middle class americans go broke having to pay more for essential is like energy and health care and then when the tax breaks the income tax rates corporate tax rates and capital gains tax rates taxes paid mostly by wealthy people have
plummeted payroll taxes the taxes paid by mostly working people have increased only adding to the increasing wealth inequality today the wealthiest americans pay the lowest amount of taxes that they've paid in fifty years and as recent analysis by the tax policy center found out or her of all millionaires and billionaires in america now pay a lower effective tax rate than the average forty five thousand dollars a year worker our nation has the largest wealth inequality in the developed world and the largest ever recorded since right before the republican great depression as a result of that explosion of wealth inequality like back in the one nine hundred thirty s. right now we are in a crisis as one of the preeminent scholars on the futile history of your. mark block who wrote the several books feudal society tells us the transition from a free society to a feudal society is marked by two simple elements they are the rapid accumulation
of power and wealth into the hands of the few which we've clearly seen in the last thirty years along with the reduction in the power and responsibility of government as we've also seen we're in the final stages now where the rich and powerful have seized control of our government are starving it through the politicians they have bought out his ratings that starve the beast and the primary way they starve it is by letting themselves off the hook from paying taxes as more clark noted in feudal society nobles need not pay taxes or is lower lorraine a helmsley said only the little people pay taxes and the second way they do this is by using the corporate form to amass great and multi-generational amounts of wealth that are beyond the reach of government but there are ways to reverse the slide into feudalism before it's too late as i discuss in an equal protection it starts with ending corporate personhood by saying once and for all corporations are not people and money is not speech sorry mitt romney and money is not speech sorry
chief justice john roberts you can find out of do that by going to move to amend or only when we wrestle back control of our democracy from the millionaires and billionaires who thought they are actively bringing feudalism to america can we set this nation on the right course again a course that ends new feudalism once and for all and breathe new life into the greatest economic creation in the history of the world the american middle class let's leave feudalism where it should be in our school texts textbooks. and that's the big picture for more information on the stories we covered visit our website set. free speech and. also check out our two you tube channels. and this entire show is also available as a free video podcast on i tunes and we have a pretty tom hartman i phone and. twitter. on facebook. and on our blogs message boards and telephone comment line.
market why not. come to. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike stronger for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines. is a report on r.g.p. . more news today violence is once again flared up the front and these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada as. the chinese hope for a show to rule the day. to come.