tv The Big Picture RT July 27, 2017 10:29pm-11:02pm EDT
our culture is awash in lives dominated by streams of never ending electronic hallucinations that birthed fiction until they are indistinguishable we have become the most deluded society on politics as a species of endless and needless political theater politicians have morphed into celebrity are two ruling parties are in reality one party to corporate and those who attempt to puncture this vast breathless universe of fake news just signed to push through the cruelty and exploitation would be a little more up for so far to the margins of society including by a public broadcasting system that has sold its soul for corporate money that we might as well be mice squeaking against an avalanche but squeak we must.
mean. long. oh i'm tom hartman in washington d.c. and here's what's coming up tonight on the big picture is our increasingly deadly war against isis feeling another generation of terrorists last medea benjamin in just a moment and as americans lose faith in washington d.c. in our institutions is our democracy in danger we'll examine that was sam daly harrison marianne williamson later on in the program. donald trump's amped up bombing campaign against isis. killing
a staggering number of innocent people according to a new report from air wars in the daily beast as of july thirteenth more than two thousand two hundred civilians appear to have been killed by coalition raids since trump was inaugurated upwards of three hundred sixty per month by comparison air wars estimates estimates that coalition strikes in the fight against isis killed twenty three hundred civilians during the entire obama presidency joining me now for more on this story is medea benjamin co-founder of global exchange and code pink author of the new book kingdom of the un just behind the u.s. saudi connection would be a welcome back thank you good to be with thanks so much for joining us so what's going on here is this just the result of isis the war moving into more top populated territories that it got cranked up and and i guess the larger question all of these civilian casualty numbers seem just frankly surprisingly low to me for a world that's been going on with this kind of ferocity well let's take that piece
by piece i think the tremendous increase in the number of civilian casualties is due to a number of factors one yes the war has ramped up as the fighting got into heavily populated zones in the case of iraq in syria and mosul in iraq but i think there's other factors involved in a big one is that donald trump has basically said to the pentagon do what you want and you don't have to check with anybody else just decide where you want to bomb when you want to bomb who you want to bomb and the result of that has been the use of big bombs it's become normal now to use five hundred thousand pound bombs in residential neighborhoods that was the case might seventeenth you remember that bomb when they were trying to take out two snipers and used five hundred pound bomb that killed over one hundred people because the whole building exploded going after a fly with a ten gauge shotgun that's right and. there's no investigation afterwards no
accountability no sense that the u.s. has to acknowledge these casualties in fact the u.s. has stopped giving an accounting of the casualties and just thrown it into this umbrella of the coalition casualties and of course the majority of the airstrikes are done by the united states in the case of syria it's ninety five percent the case of iraqi sixty eight percent so i think it's a combination of things but it's very important to recognize that even with the fighting in more populated areas had there been more attention and if there were now in the case of iraq a more attention to civilian casualties it would mean many many many lives that would say we're saved in you're saying the numbers are not big numbers i think you have to put it in context of the larger picture of civilians being. harmed
and that so many more people are dying not directly perhaps from an airstrike but from the lack of medical facilities the lack of food fleeing the kind of desperation that people face when they are refugees so there are a lot more people being killed as a result of this war it's just not being identified in those numbers so we're not counting them were there is not a you know how do you know that this kid's cholera came as a result of a bomb that took out the infrastructure that was put in a clearing in the water no that's right in color a let's talk about the case of yemen where they talk about ten thousand civilian casualties and i say that's ridiculous to talk about ten thousand civilian casualties because there's three hundred thousand cases of cholera because there's . a famine going on so i think whether it's iraq or syria or yemen or anywhere where these wars are going on we really have to have a much broader. understanding of how people die during war is
and more and more it's not from the direct result of of attacks by munitions or other weapons it's more the wreck the destruction of the infrastructure whether it's the water the sewage system the health care facilities the schools those kinds of things from from the video the pictures that i've seen it looks like we're just you know bombing people back to the stone age to use an old phrase but but arguably a little you know i mean just you know there's nothing works anymore and everything's gone and these cities are just devastated if that happens if i was a kid growing up in lansing michigan back in the day and canada came in and just bombed the crap out of lansing michigan and took out everybody's house around. i would forgive them i mean i would probably spend the rest of my life trying to do something about that are we creating a new generation of terrorists as
a consequence of this i think there's a lot of people in both iraq and syria especially in mosul iraq are saying you know what kind of liberation is this when our lives are destroyed whether it's killing people wounding them because we haven't talked about how many people have been wounded by this war forcing them to flee their homes with no way to go and so what kind of liberation is it and yes i think in the process we and we haven't seen the end of it yet because even if you talk about mosul being quote liberated not only do we have to question what is left but we also have to say who's going to take over and that's particularly true in the case of syria because already you have the conflicts going on about who is going to take control once isis is removed and that will bring back a new conflict with different players trying to. to determine who gets control
so the wars are not over by any means once isis is gone it's just a new stage of the ongoing wars and ironically there's been virtually no coverage of this in the american media well because it's trump all the time and even when there has been some major changes for example just recently trump administration announcing that they would no longer through the cia be supporting rebel groups in syria i mean this is a major major change in u.s. policy and yet it is barely covered in the us media so i think the obsession with russia the obsession with every tweet of the puts out is really keeping the media from covering some very important aspects of the war in the middle east who's winning who's losing what is the role of saudi arabia what's the role of iran
what does it mean for the u.s. to say it's no longer going to be supporting rebel groups that have been trying to overthrow assad these are things that the media should definitely be talking about well into that last point i mean you're one of the most insightful observers and you're familiar with your you've been there many times what does it mean that we're no longer supporting the rebels against assad well first of all it doesn't mean that the u.s. is not involved in the war is anywhere because the pentagon is still involved in the war against isis but it does mean that there has been a deal that has been brokered with russia and with other countries in the region to recognize that assad is not going away and something the media barely talked about which was fascinating was when trump went to france and met with mccrone and mccrone basically said we're not going to go after assad anymore that's a recognition that assad is strong with the support of russia and iran and that.
the real politic is that we have to broker an end to the conflict with assad and that is something that the trumpets and ministration has recognized as well was that was there an element of ok we took out. you know we took. in libya we took out gadhafi in iraq we took out saddam hussein that you know didn't really work out well doing that and so this is a change in policy from the obama policy in the early trump policy. recognition one that the policy isn't working that since. the intervention of russia and iran has been so powerful in terms of giving assad the backing that he needed that taking out assad is very unlikely right now and the other is a look around at what comes afterwards and i think in understanding that now we have to broker what comes afterwards now rather then thinking we can overthrow
assad and then figure out who i want to be apropos of that it seems to me crazy for us to be in a proxy war with russia and it seems crazy for me to mean for us to be antagonizing iran at a time you know there are major regional player. or in my often no you're absolutely right and unfortunately with the moment that we're in terms of the tremendous antagonism that the press and the democratic party have against russian interference in u.s. elections or involvement with the trump administration the working with the russians is not seen by many as a positive thing but it has to be done and there are cease fire agreements that have work been worked out between the u.s. russia and jordan that is actually working right now in one small sliver of syria that's supposed to be extended to. three other areas so i think that it is
important to recognize this shifting of power within the region and how syria and how iran is a major player right now and the trump administration is all over the place because while on the one hand they are making a remittance with russia on the other hand you know that trump himself is still in nam word with saudi arabia and has basically given the green light to the crisis with cutter in the other gulf neighbors so it's sending some very very mixed strains messages especially when the secretary of state tillerson has a very different message from trump himself and meanwhile there was really putting an amendment to the military appropriations that are going through to to do away with the authorization to use military force. under which trump is currently operating in the minute or so we have left what paul ryan pointed that what's going
on with this well it's a terrible thing something that was major achievement with both parties consenting by voice vote that is to put that on the agenda and people very excited about now we're going to force congress to really talk about whether we should continue in these wars and paul ryan has pulled it might not be the end of the story because there may be other ways to get that back in again but not a very democratic move on behalf of paul ryan to say the very least small d. as in small the not a very republican move small or republican either this is you know you would think when both parties agree on something then the speaker of the house is has the responsibility for making that happen after seventeen years of continuous war is that the american people are tired of yeah and in a u m f it had to do with nine eleven and none of this has to do with nine eleven none of it's crazy medea benjamin thank you so much thank you for having us coming up trust in our democratic institutions declining now can't. we will people reclaim
what's rightfully ours as marianne williamson and sam daly hear us right after the break. most people think just stand out in this business you need to be the first one on top of the story or the person with the loudest voice of the biggest raid in truth to stand down and lose business is just the dance the right questions and demand the right answer. the. question. the mission of news with him is to go to the people tell their side of the story
our stories are well sourced we don't hide anything from the public and i don't think the mainstream media in this country can say that the average viewer knows that r.t. america has a different perspective so that we're not hearing one echo chamber that mainstream media is constantly spewing. we're not beholden to any corporate sponsor no one tells us what to cover how long the coverage or how to say it that's the beauty of our t.v. america. we give both sides we hear from both sides and we question more that journalists are not getting anything get a new way to bring it home to the american people.
i think the average viewer just after watching a couple of segments understands that we're telling stories that are critics can't tell when you know why because their advertisers won't let them. in order to create change you have to be honest you have to tell the truth parties able to do that every story is built on going after the back story to what's really happening out there to the american public what's happening when a corporation makes a pharmaceutical chills people when a company in the environmental business ends up polluting a river that causes cancer and other illnesses they put all the health risk all the dangers out to the american public those are stories that we tell every week and you know what they're working. according to a new a.p. poll fully three quarters of americans think that they no longer have influence in
washington d.c. they also think that the rich and powerful have too much influence in our nation's capital and not only is that true but it's a sign that our democracy is fundamentally broken so how can we fix what rightfully belongs to we the people joining me now are two people who are hard at work figuring that out sam dealey harris is the c.e.o. of the center for citizens of parliament transformation the c.e.o. of results the author of reclaiming our democracy healing a break between people and government marianne williamson is a lecturer and the author of eleven books including the law of divine compensation and it's great to have you both here with us tonight thank you so much for joining me and i want to start out with you had this this a.p. poll that says seventy five percent of americans feel like period nor in washington d.c. it's actually. should be ninety percent shouldn't because it seems like the bottom ninety percent doesn't get what they want legislated well i think particularly because of the occupy movement i think people really did get the message that there
is a one percent. sort of dominates the reins of government and that we have really changed the social contract from the government of the people by the people for the people to government of a few of the people by a few of the people for a few of the people kind of corporatism obviously has replaced democracy i think where people are now is figuring out who if anyone is willing on their side in all this where do the republicans stand where do the democrats stand and i think people have to take some responsibility here to people feel that way but then if they feel that way why haven't they been voting i mean i seventy five percent feel that way why haven't seventy five percent voted in most of our elections so i think that the current crisis that we're going through is really waking people up this is a moment of peril and possibility i think people have to think deeply about how their own disengagement in many cases contributed to getting this bad and then a kind of reengagement which sam is so good at is what's going to fix this but we have to fix it in some very fundamental way it's going there's also this morning
mental issue just to follow up on this miriam. a lot of people i think thought that they were voting for change you know donald trump you know in his in his political campaign and school campaign for president so all the bankers there are killers i'm not about to break up the big banks and you know it's these companies are sending our jobs and we're going to stop relate i believe that many people well intentioned people actually because he was running on on basically a democratic platform i'm not going to touch your social security medicare medicaid we're going to stop the crazy trade deals we're going to bring back the job in this but he was also saying a lot of other things and i don't care how much you might have liked certain things that he was saying there were other things that he was saying that i think would make any person or should make any person at least question his dedication to certain. i'm a credit principals so i think that part of that even has to do with the fact that we've stopped teaching our children civics in school there's a lot of there's a lot of ignorance i don't mean stupidity but ignorance among the american people
about what our constitution says what our declaration of independence actually says too many people aren't really aware anymore of the basic both work principles of american democracy and so don't know to be horrified when assaults to those principles our president and i do believe not just in his presidency but in his campaign. donald trump said a lot of things that i think would have made a person thinking. very deeply about some of this to at least question maybe they would have voted for him anyway but i don't i don't want to give the whole thing isn't. a pass on this this didn't come out of no and the fact of the matter is he got three million fewer votes than the candidate who actually won the popular vote so you know hilary so sam you've been doing essentially the same talk with different titles one is writing checks signing petitions and protest marches is that all the risks and the second is are shouting in silence the only two options
bringing bipartisanship and transformation to political activism are you rejecting resistance so i mean i'm clear that without the resistance we'd have a massively mean health care law and acted right now so the resistance is critical and it's important especially for stopping bad things from happening but if we only have resistance it's not going to cut it we really need other ways to get good things to happen and so. you know we spoke a year ago i think i was mentioning a new climate solutions caucus with ten republicans and ten democrats or at the time of the election it was down to six and six because for republicans you were tired of lost their seats after the inauguration eighteen more republicans eighteen more democrats came onboard now there are twenty four republicans twenty four democrats on this house climate solutions caucus that doesn't come that doesn't
come from the shouting how is it that that never gets reported well i mean it's not noisy enough so you know so so that's a specific that's marvelous perry and you're in d.c. for the results international call and tell us what happened and about the session well as you know sam founded result and it does have to do with all the things that he's been talking about citizens actually taking. the part and our democracy going back to what you and i were talking about before too many people don't even know the basics like you know i always say to people take the phone number of the switchboard of the u.s. congress and put it on your refrigerator make a constituent calls results they teach people how to write up too many people don't know you know don't really they know they don't have a real visceral feeling for the fact that your senator works for you your congressman works for you call them up tell them how you feel make noise so i have always supported the work of results and tomorrow i'm going to be talking in my
workshop about how in order for this revitalization to occur yes we need more citizen activism but once again as we were talking about before there's been a deadening inside us we ourselves have to have to come awake again we have to we have to recognize the united states is going to a kind of dark night of the soul right now we need to get up we need to dust ourselves off we need to realize once again a lot of our own disengagement. contributed to this reengagement is the only thing that can change it but it has to be reengagement on a whole fundamental level that has not been present and that's what i want to talk about tomorrow the changes inside us you know we treat government in a very rationalistic way people in politics treat it like it's just some machine and they going to tinker with the parts of the machine but that lack of organic and holistic perspective isn't working for one thing and it's absolutely in the twenty first century a country is not our externals it's our people and so i want to talk about
a politics that really is a mind more with who we are as people because i feel deep down democracy is aligned with the deepest yearnings of the human heart it's a democracy is not just a political imperative it's a moral imperative so i want to talk about those those those aspects of democracy that have to do with the deeper yearnings of the heart and how we have to pour back into it the deepest aspects of ourselves if we want to get it back on track at this times story and talked about. a deeper engagement and if i could just share this quote from francis more of the pay who said our real problem is not a heating planet or rampant malnutrition you only have one real problem our own feelings of powerlessness to manifest the solutions right in front of our noses and so to get the deeper engagement people have to link in with organizations that can dissolve that powerlessness. go for it well you know i'm in a field where i don't coddle that and people like woman so how do i find my voice
you find your voice by using it on behalf of someone other than yourself you find your power by using it i mean on one hand what sam is doing giving people the tools is certainly correct but there is also a lot of i feel powerless a kind of whining about what's been happening that would lead people you know if you want to google how to get involved you find organizations like results and you know i said to people all the time you interested in a particular in a particular subject or topic google it because there are all kinds of really marvelous organizations you can be an activist so i think we need to know what francis herself would say right now but i think we need to move and i also think with she said that before this current era of craziness and i think people are activated now we just need to find the topic find the cause get online fund organization and remember the midterms of two thousand and eighteen are closer than you might think. and speaking of organization sam you're also working with the
quakers. veterans tell us about well friends committee on national legislation see you know there are no chapters two years ago in this. way and now they have sixty around the country their focus on reducing the pentagon budget well the president's asking for fifty four billion dollar increase it's a tough assignment but they have folks all around the country getting together for a conference call. with speakers i'm writing these op eds and letters to be editor and meeting with members of congress and not doing it alone doing it with others so it can make a difference to quakers are great unsung heroes in american democracy. absolutely and listen this movement emerged from the quakers many of the leaders of the of the woman suffragette movement were quakers. profound profound influence and continue to be of and apropos of that theory and you've been one of the more outspoken
articulate people arguing that we need to have some sort of an intersection between spiritual politics and certainly not a state religion or anything but bringing spiritual body into politics well i think democracy is by its very nature an intersection of spirituality and politics the founding of american democracy was not just important in terms of the political history of the world but in terms of the moral evolution of the world the idea that god created all men equal i mean that's in our declaration of independence it's an idea that we could create a society where to the best of our ability self actualization of the individual would be possible that's really what democracy is about the possibility of self actualization that there shall be no external form of obstruction to your being everything that you can create for yourself that god gave you as a possibility within yourself and that the government would advocate for you or for that possibility against any form any barrier to that actual ization and what has
happened of course today is that the government is not only not advocating for the people against the excesses of a corporate order that would limit the capacity of people to self was but is too often a handmade to those to those forces that would cap the possibility of south. but other you know you look back to the to the abolitionist movement. you look back to the suffragette movement you look to the civil rights movement we've gotten off course before and people such as the quakers and others have risen up to get us back on course and we can do that now i think the only question is what will our generation went out on the job people such as you guys to perry and sam thank you both so much frank. and that's the way it is tight and don't forget democracy is not a spectator sport get out there get active tag your. my
give voice to voice. we dig a little deeper we get the stories than everyone else is afraid to touch is afraid to talk about because they don't want to upset their corporate sponsors or interrupt their government access now is the time more than ever we need to question more. we're in this post truth world world we're going to have to to matter. educating people and giving them contacts instead of telling them like a dialogue is far more valuable than to be. most people think to stand out in this business you need to be the first one on top of the story or the person with the loudest voice of the biggest raid in truth to stand down the news business is just the dance the right questions to the right
answer. questions. on the news tonight lindsey graham and two other senators call the republican bill on health care a total fraud john nichols of the nation joins us for the conversation tonight and the senate overwhelmingly passes a bill placing new sanctions on russia in limiting the president's ability to remove sanctions and the president's white house staff descends into total chaos as a new conflict erupts between anthony skara mucci and writes priebus. reporting tonight from washington d.c. you're watching r.t. america. good evening friends we start tonight with
a bizarre carnival on health care in the senate and the so-called skinny bill this skinny bill would save some of the key provisions of obamacare but the senate g.o.p. can't seem to pass even a reduced version of repeal senators graham mccain and johnson openly criticized the skinny bill this afternoon. skinny bill as a replacement for obamacare is a fraud the skinny bill is a very difficult to get in conference to find a replacement it is not a replacement in of itself the policy is terrible cost you eliminate the individual employer mandate which we all want to limited but we actually have a overall solution to the problem of obamacare so you're going to have increased premiums in most of obamacare stays in place if this skinny bill becomes law not only do we not replace obamacare we politically own the collapse of health care the three senators want to surance us from the speaker of the house paul ryan his body won't.