Skip to main content

tv   The Big Picture  RT  July 31, 2017 7:00pm-7:31pm EDT

7:00 pm
hello 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
7:01 pm
harrison marianne williamson later on in the program. donald trump's amped up bombing campaign against isis is 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 you tell thanks so much for joining us so what's going on here is this. the result of isis the war moving into more top
7:02 pm
populated territories cranked up and i guess the larger question of all of these civilian casualty numbers seemed just frankly surprisingly low to me for a week or that's been going on with this kind of philosophy 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
7:03 pm
residential neighborhoods that was the case on march 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 has there been more attention and if there were now in. a case of rock of war attention to civilian casualties it would mean many
7:04 pm
many many lives that would say we're saved in your saying 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 or there's 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 colorado 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
7:05 pm
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 mourners 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 literal you know i mean just you know there's nothing works anymore and everything's gone and these cities. just devastated if that happens if i was
7:06 pm
a kid growing up in lansing michigan back in the day and canada came in and just bombed the crap out of lansing michigan 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 those 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 nowhere 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
7:07 pm
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 in new conflict with different players trying 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. 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 u.s. media so i think. think the obsession with russia the obsession with every tweet of
7:08 pm
the term 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
7:09 pm
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 we 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 india. iran has been so powerful in terms of giving assad the backing that he
7:10 pm
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 and. 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 their major regional player. or in my off on 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
7:11 pm
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 namrud with saudi arabia and has basically given the green light to the crisis with cutter in the other gulf neighbors so it sendings very very mixed and strains messages especially when the secretary of state tillerson has a very different message from. trump himself and meanwhile there was really had put
7:12 pm
in 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 what's going on with this well it's a terrible thing something that was a 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 did not a very republican move small are 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
7:13 pm
that the american people are tired of yeah and in a u m f that had to do with nine eleven and none of this has to do with nine eleven and 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 we have a people reclaim what is rightfully ours as marianne williamson and sam daly here as right after the break. i do not know if the russian state hacked into john podesta e-mails and gave them to wiki leaks but i do know brock obama's director of national intelligence has not provide credible to support his claims. i also know he perjured himself in a senate hearing three months for the revelations provided by edwards he did not to be n.s.a. were. carrying out wholesale surveillance of the us from the hyperventilating
7:14 pm
corporate media has once again proved to be an ethical for government claims but cannot be verified you would have thought they would have learned something after serving as george w. bush's useful idiots in the lead up to the invasion of iraq. it is vitally important that the press remains rooted in a fact based universe especially when we enter an era when truth and fiction are becoming indistinguishable to. a batch or sudden passing i've only just learned you were a south and taken your last to bang turn. your act caught up to us we all knew it would i tell you i'm sorry i could so i write these last words in hopes to put to rest these things that i never got off my chest. i remember when we first met my
7:15 pm
life turned on each breath. but then my feelings started to change you talked about more like it was again still some are fond of you those that didn't like to question our arc and i secretly promised to never again like it said one does not leave a funeral the same as one enters the mind it's consumed with death this one different person i speak to now because there are no other takers. to claim that mainstream media has met its maker. going 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 now is that true but it's a sign that our democracy. is fundamentally broken so how can we fix what
7:16 pm
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 the 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 they're ignored in washington d.c. it's actually. should be ninety percent should make the seams at 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
7:17 pm
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 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 called and there's also a 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 or his campaign for president so all the bankers that are
7:18 pm
killers are going to bomb going to break up the big banks and you know it's these companies are something our jobs are going to stop. 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. democratic principles 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
7:19 pm
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 race 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 the well 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 hillary 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 a clear that without the resistance we'd have a massively me health care law enacted right now so the resistance is critical and
7:20 pm
it's important especially for stopping bad things from happening but if we only have resistance that'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. grecian eighteen more republicans eighteen more democrats came on board now over 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 i mean it's not noisy enough so. so so that's a specific. area and you're in d.c.
7:21 pm
for the results international call and tell us what happened and about the 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 an active part in our democracy and 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 there 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've 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
7:22 pm
have to recognize the united states is going through 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 are going to tinker with the parts of the machine but that that lack of or ghana. 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 aligned 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
7:23 pm
that have to do with the deeper yearnings of the 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 heeding planet 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
7:24 pm
is certainly correct but there's 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 and 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 we
7:25 pm
have sixty around the country they're focused 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 conference calls with speakers and 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 it's a 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 have 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 spirituality and politics going well i think democracy is by its very nature an intersection of spirituality and politics
7:26 pm
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 when i 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 ever. i think 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 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
7:27 pm
often a handmaidens to those to those forces that would cap the possibility of south out towards i said but other i think 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 well are will our generation wimp out on the job people such as you guys to perry and sam thank you both so much frank you. 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.
7:28 pm
posts and. put themselves on the line. to get except the reject. so when you want to present. to some want to be. actually going. to see what. people. are still usable. there should be. that. but a walk sell you on the idea that dropping bombs brings police to the chicken hawks forcing you to fight the battles they're going. to stop to try to tell you that would be gossiping probably by foul play. by the fox because they tell you much cool enough to buy your product. all the hawks that
7:29 pm
we've come on board with what. was the my goal was to. go. back to my palm peo gave an interesting out of breath queue when i last week and which he thoughtfully and diligently. sprayed a pile of horse. out of his face holes. with the speed and intensity mags to only by an exploding star so. what is the american interest in syria other than the defeat of isis which i assume will
7:30 pm
probably happen relatively soon in the same way that it happened in northern iraq won't be soon enough america's interests are larger than just syria right so we have to think about syria the context of the greater middle east and it is providing the conditions so that we can have a more stable middle east to keep america safe well a more stable middle east yes it is amazing how many bombs are required to create a stable middle east. book fewer americans die from isis each year than die from checking to see how much gasoline is in a gas can by using a little match to look in there. so how about we stop obliterating the middle east and instead use that money on an educational campaign about how to look inside gas cans with flashlights. then we would safe americans.

14 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on