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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  December 15, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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12/15/15 12/15/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> we are hitting isil harder than ever, the coalition of craft, our fighters, bombers and increasing been strikes, your lord 9000 up-to-date. isil leaders cannot hide in our next message is simple, you are next. amy: president obama claims progress in the fight against the islamic state. but isil vows more attacks like paris for every single country involved in bombing it. as obama sends more special forces to iraq and syria, can the u.s. strategy succeed? we'll speak with middle east expert gilbert ashcar. then white former police officer daniel holtzclaw is convicted of serial rape in oklahoma city.
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13 women testified against him. was he able to hurt so many and did the corporate media ignore the case because the victims are african-american? cooksey pulled me over and fondled me and it certain things to me. i was out there alone and helpless and did know what to do and in my mind, all i could think as he was going to shoot me. he was going to kill me. he did things to me that i didn't think a police officer would do. >> unworthy of national media attention in such a sensational situation as a serial rapist with a badge? amy: we'll speak with candace liger of okc artists for justice in oklahoma city a group , founded around the case, and to law professor kimberlé crenshaw about the conviction of daniel holtzclaw and the treatment of african-american
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women. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama has claimed progress in fighting the self-proclaimed islamic state while urging u.s. allies to do more. speaking after a national security meeting at the pentagon, obama touted the gains of the u.s.-led military coalition in iraq and syria, claiming it's hitting isil harder than ever. >> this continues to be a difficult fight, as i said before, isil is including carbon areas and they hide behind civilians using defenseless men, women, and children as human shields. so even as we're relentless, we have to be smart, targeting them surgically with precision. we are hitting isil harder than ever, coalition aircraft, fighters, bombers, and drones have been increasing the pace of airstrikes.
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nearly 9000 as of today. amy: secretary of state john kerry is in moscow to lay the ground for possible peace talks on syria. we'll have more on syria after headlines. in the philippines at least , three people have been killed and millions are without power melor.oon in preparation for the typhoon, the philippines evacuated nearly 800,000 people, marking one of the largest mass evacuations in recent years. in ethiopia, at least five and potentially dozens of people have been killed amid a crackdown on students protesting a government plan to expand the capital addis ababa. protesters say the move will cause the forcible evictions of farmers from the oromo ethnic group. last year, ethiopian forces opened fire on peaceful oromo protesters, killing dozens. the ethiopian government has put the death toll from the past few weeks of protest at five, while opposition reports say more than 30 have been killed. yemen's rival factions have entered u.n.-brokered peace talks in switzerland as a
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seven-day cease-fire takes effect. the truce comes amid reports u.s.-backed saudi-led airstrikes killed 19 yemeni civilians in their homes and at a market over the weekend. about half of the nearly 6000 people killed in yemen's conflict are civilians, including more than 600 children. army sergeant bowe bergdahl who spent five years in taliban captivity will face a general , court-martial for leaving his post at a base in afghanistan in 2009. bergdahl was released by the taliban last year in exchange for five guantanamo prisoners. he said he walked off his post in an attempt to reach another u.s. base to report on wrongdoing in his unit. the army officer who investigated his case testified against any prison time for bergdahl and recommended he go before a special court martial, where his maximum possible punishment would be a year behind bars. but on monday, army general robert abrams ordered bergdahl before a general court-martial -- the most serious form of trial -- where he faces a
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possible life sentence on charges of desertion and endangering troops. a new report by the republican-controlled house armed services committee alleges the white house misled congress and violated federal law with bergdahl's prisoner exchange. the news comes as the second season of the hit podcast serial focuses on bergdahl's case. donald trump has reached an all-time high in a new national poll ahead of tonight's republican presidential debate in las vegas. the poll finds he has 41% support among republican-leaning voters, nearly three times as much as his closest rival, texas senator ted cruz. at a rally in las vegas monday, trump was repeatedly interrupted by black lives matter protesters. an msnbc reporter attending the event said trump's supporters yelled, "shoot him!" "kick his ass!" and even "sieg heil" -- a
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nazi salute -- as one protester was dragged away. video shot by a buzzfeed reporter shows protesters yelling, "light the [expletive] on fire!" at an african-american protester. a new report finds the flagship news programs at major networks nbc, cbs and abc have dedicated , 234 minutes this year to stories about donald trump -- compared to just 10 minutes for democratic presidential candidate vermont senator bernie sanders. the gap comes despite the fact trump and sanders have often shown similar levels of support in polls of primary voters. the tyndall report found abc's "world news tonight," for example, has devoted 81 minutes to trump campaign stories and less than one minute to sanders, for the entire year. democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton has outlined her policy on immigration. speaking in brooklyn, new york, on clinton promised to waive monday, fees associated with naturalization, close privately
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run detention centers and help , create a path to full citizenship for the millions of undocumented people living in the united states. >> we are and they carted country and we should never forget that, and we should not stageybody on the public say that we are mean-spirited, that we are going to build walls , mentally and physically, that we are going to shut doors and we are going to lose the talents and contributions of millions of people who are here doing the best they can building lives for themselves and their children. amy: hillary clinton was interrupted by protesters who criticized her previous remarks on immigration and called for a moratorium on immigrant detention. a federal judge has blocked ohio from taking legal action against planned parenthood after the ohio attorney general accused connex -- clinics of improperly disposing of fetal remains in landfills.
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planned parenthood filed suit, calling the accusations flat-out false and accusing them of trying to end access to abortion. the accusations are part of the fallout from heavily edited anti-choice videos that showed planned parenthood officials discussing the donation of fetal tissue to medical researchers. ohio attorney general mike dewine launched a four-month probe into planned parenthood, but as in multipleinvestigationo evidence planned parenthood is profiting from tissue donations. attacks against planned parenthood clinics have continued across the country. in california, a man has been charged with making death threats against an executive at stemexpress, a tissue research firm that once worked with planned parenthood. in st. louis, missouri, a woman has been charged with smashing the windows of a planned parenthood clinic. the clinic provides birth control, cancer screenings and std testing -- but not abortions. in tennessee, a woman has been charged with attempted first-degree murder for trying to induce an abortion with a coat hanger.
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anna yocca was arrested last week after being rushed to the hospital where doctors delivered her 1.5-pound, 24-week baby. in a statement, the tennessee-based reproductive justice group sisterreach said -- "our greatest fear has come to pass, and it could have been avoided. women are attempting to self-abort due to restrictive abortion and punitive fetal assault legislation." seattle has become the first city in the united states to allow drivers who work for ride-hailing apps like uber and lyft to unionize. the seattle city council voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance monday following a campaign by drivers and supporters. privacy advocates are sounding the alarm after they say lawmakers tucked a controversial cyber surveillance measure into a key spending bill. critics say the cybersecurity information sharing act, or cisa, will expand mass surveillance by allowing corporations to share sensitive user data under the guise of cybersecurity.
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major tech companies including apple, google and twitter have , joined a wave of opposition to cisa. now the group fight for the future is calling on obama to veto the measure amid reports it was added to the so-called must-pass budget bill congress is due to take up this week in order to avert a government shutdown. jurors are deliberating the fate ofwilliam porter, the first six officers to go to trial over the death of freddie gray in police custody. grace family attorney said his fine one -- spine was 80% severed at his neck. his death led to an uprising over police abuse of african-americans. officer porter faces up to 10 years in prison if convicted on charges including involuntary manslaughter and second-degree assault. in all in chicago, police commander accused of putting his gun in a man's mouth has been acquitted by judge. commander glen evans said he chased the man, ricky williams, because he saw gun in his hand.
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commander evans was accused of holding a taser to williams growing, shoving his gun in his mouth, threatening to kill them if he didn't reveal ligons location. the judge acquitted evans after questioning williams reliability. and monday marked the three-year anniversary of the massacre at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. on december 14, 2012, adam lanza fatally shot his mother, 20 children and six adults before turning the gun on himself. since the shooting, congress has failed to pass a single gun control measure, apart from renewing an expiring ban on plastic guns. an nbc news tally finds 555 children under the age of 12 have died from gunshots since the sandy hook massacre -- that's the equivalent of one child shooting victim every other day. at a rally outside the national rifle association, reverend jim atwood was among about 100 to call for gun control. >> we pray that you would give comfort and peace to all those whose broken hearts need
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mending. we gather as a people who grieve in front of a powerful nra whose only response to mass shootings in the murder of children is to ask everyone to get a gun. amy: wednesday marks the first anniversary of another school massacre. on december 16, 2014, taliban gunmen stormed a school in peshawar, pakistan, killing more than 150 people, most of them children from military families. it was the deadliest militant attack in pakistan's history. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president obama has claimed progress in fighting the self-proclaimed islamic state while urging u.s. allies to do more. speaking after a national security meeting at the pentagon, obama touted the gains of the u.s.-led military coalition in iraq and syria, claiming it's hitting isil harder than ever. >> every day we destroy as all forces, their
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fighting positions, bunkers and staging areas, their heavy weapons, training camps. in many places, they have lost their freedom to maneuver because they know if they masked the forces, we will wipe them out. since this summer, isil has not had a single successful major offensive operation on the ground in either syria or iraq. we are hitting i so hard are the never stop coalition aircraft, fighters, bombers, and drones have been including the pace of airstrikes, nearly 9000 as of today. the point is isil leaders cannot hide in our next message to them is simple -- you are next. amy: president obama's comments come amid a quietly expanding u.s. military presence in iraq and syria. just last month, obama broke a pledge of no troops on the ground by ordering the deployment of around 50 special forces to syria. earlier this month, the u.s. said it was deploying another team of less than 100 special forces to iraq. and last week, the pentagon said
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for the first time it's ready to send u.s. advisers to help the iraqi government retake ramadi from isil. in his remarks, president obama acknowledged that with isil's continued control of large parts of iraq and syria and recent terrorist attacks abroad, progress "needs to keep coming faster." and in an implicit rebuke of middle eastern allies such as saudi arabia and turkey, obama did not mention any of them among the nations assisting the u.s.-led coalition. instead, obama said the "others" he did not name should do more in the fight. >> we recognize that progress needs to keep coming faster. no one knows that more than the countless syrians and iraqis living -- living every day under as well as those in san bernardino who are grieving the loss of their loved ones, just as the u.s. is doing more in this fight, just as our allies france, germany, and the united kingdom, australia and italy are doing more, so must
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others. and that is why have asked secretary carter to go to the middle east -- he will depart right after this press briefing -- to work with our coalition partners on securing more military contributions to this fight. on the diplomatic front, secretary kerry will be in russia tomorrow as we continue to work as part of the vienna process to end the syrian civil war. amy: secretary of state john kerry's trip begins in russia today for talks on syria. even if isil is losing ground from u.s.-led strikes, obama's comments highlight a dangerous predicament laid bare in recent weeks. while the coalition says its bombings will help stop future isil terrorism, isil says those bombings will lead to more terrorist attacks. in a video last month, isil vowed to strike every single nation involved in the campaign against it. and with the downing of a russian jetliner, a suicide attack in beirut, the massacre in paris, and the shooting
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rampage it apparently inspired in san bernardino, isil has nation involved in the campaign shown it is making good on its threat. for more we are joined by gilbert achcar, professor at the school of oriental and african studies at the university of london. his most recent book is, "the people want: a radical exploration of the arab uprising." he's working on a book on recent developments in the arab world, in particular syria and egypt. welcome to democracy now! gilbert achcar, first responder president obama's address. >> good morning, amy. i think this was a poor attempt at imitating george w. bush. some trying to show muscular kind of speech. i say poor attempt because it was unconvincing. judging from most comments, he did not have any real substance in what he said. strikingow there are
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bombings for isis for over a year now. close to 9000 airstrikes, which makes it a very high proportion of airstrikes for fighter, five or one to something like this, which is obscene. and yet this isis is still there . old oh it is not expanding, hasn't been expanding recently, it is holding firm. afterthe land it acquired the summer of 2014. amy: what do you think accounts for isis's strength? we interviewed an isis hostage last week on we were in paris. and he said when countries put up walls to refugees, that increases the power of isis. that is just what they want. he also said when the coalition forces bomb isis, that also
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increases strength. what do you say? >> well, that is true. starting with the refugees. the attacks that isis is launching in western countries like the one in paris or even the san bernardino one, have led to exactly what isis once. that is, more and more politicians asking for stopping the flow of refugees. and in the case of the united states, there has been no flow. the united states has taken very, very, very few syrian refugees on board. but you hear that all over europe. you see the german chancellor angela merkel herself asking for strict limitations. in this feeds into the discourse of isis. quite clever of obtaining what they want through their attacks. as for the bombing, i mean, the issue is that of course, you
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can't eradicate an organization that is controlling whole swaths of territory, including the urban territory, just by bombing, especially, and that's trying tocoalition is civilians as possible. they are trying to avoid what they call collateral damage, because they know this would isisvery much increase appeal. so they all know -- they keep repeating at that they need forces on the ground to do that. but the question is, which kind of forces can you use in fighting isis? if you take the case of iraq,
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what you have is the united states working with -- a sickly, working with iran. theuse what you have on iraqi side, whether the official militias, -- i mean, shiite militias backed by iran, therefore, very much, you know, playing into the whole scenario, the whole discourse of isis of, you know, defending the sunnis, the sunni muslims, against what they represent as shia-jewish-western conspiracy. predicament, the predicament that obama is facing in iraq. in the same goes now for syria because, i mean, it is out of the question that you could
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defeat isis through any alliance with russia, iran, and the assad regime. because that is precisely what isis is pretending, that they're fighting all of these people in defense of the sunnis. so you need people who are seen as representing the overwhelming majority of the syrian population who are -- who belong to the sunni branch of islam and who are seen as such. and that is the opposition -- i mean, the only force is this group of opposition forces, which are fighting assad and fighting isis at the same time. saudiare now, i mean, the kingdom is trying to unify as we have seen recently in the meeting there. amy: saudi arabia has announced the formation of a 34 state islamic village terry coalition
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to combat terrorism, they say. a long list of air countries like egypt, qatar, the united arab emirates together with turkey, malaysia, pakistan and gulf arab african states were mentioned with a center in reality. what do you know about this? and what about saudi arabia's role in both attacking and in supporting isis? ofwell, you have a kind compliment or a game being played by both the saudi kingdom and iran. both of them have a stake in turning all this conflict into a sectarian conflict. the saudi's on the sunni side in the ring in on the shia side. the saudi coalition, the saudi kingdom just announced it is obviously a sunni-sectarian inspired coalition since a, which is an arab country, is not part of it, or ran is not part of it. -- iran is not part of it.
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actually,e ignore, the saudi kingdom and the other gulf monarchies are not part of the bombing of isis in iraq where they regard this as, you know, being actually -- that would be in favor of pro-iranian forces. they only do it -- amy: we're talking to gilbert achcar. we're going to take a break and come back to this discussion. gilbert ashcar is professor at the school of oriental and african studies at the university of london. we will be back with him in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
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as we continue our conversation with gilbert achcar, professor at the school of oriental and african studies at the university of london. about president obama's speech and what is happening in syria. just goingt in syria through some of the figures, if you could comment on the human a terry and crisis that is -- humanitarian crisis that is taking place. you have the you and undersecretary general stephen o'brien saying 6.5 million syrians are internally displaced, 2 million kids are out of school. 72% of the population has no access to drinking water will stop more than 4.3 million syrians have led. what do you think is the answer right now, professor? you gave the figures. it is an absolute terrible tragedy. , a should point to the fact new dimension in all of that
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since for over a year or most especially since last summer, which is that until now, we have people staying in bordering countries and waiting for, you know, the time when it would be able to go back to their country, to their villages, to their towns, and all that. and since then, we have had a outlawed people who have lost hope about the possibility of this will tragedy stopping. and they have been -- the people were trying to reach europe or had been to europe are gone to europe, many of them coming people even from the middle class, let's say the educated who sold everything they have in the country and are trying to make themselves a different future abroad. tragic.is absolutely
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until midway to stop this -- stop the war. the war will not stop in syria as long as bashar al-assad is at the helm because he is the source. started withnflict an uprising, which was as peaceful in syria as it was in thet or tunisia, chanting same slogans including "peaceful! peaceful! it was one of the most your -- brutal displays of killing we have seen. the figures of the kill kept increasing day after day after day, week after week after week. of course, the ultimate logic of this will lead to a militarization of the conflict and then we got into this terrible civil war. as thewon't stop as long main culprit is in power. and that -- if you want the contradiction and barack obama's
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position withholding from the opposition the defensive means it has been requesting from the beginning and especially anti-aircraft weapons, and at the same time, wanting a compromise through which assad would step down and you would get some coalition as you had in, for instance, in yemen. that was the reference of obama. but this cannot work -- i mean, unless the regime feels it is really going to lose if it doesn't go for a copper mice. amy: so what is kerry doing right now in russia as it meets with bashar al-assad's ally? exactlyi mean, that is the point. russia and iran have been backing the regime much, much powerfully than whatever anyone -- the united states or the gulf
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countries or anything -- have been backing the opposition. the imbalance of forces is quite obvious. in russia regards syria as a main threat -- strategic ally. you have russian military bases there. through this posture, russia is also sending a message to all dictators that you can rely on us defending you much better than the united states. look how the united states abandon mubarak and how well we're doing with assad, backing him fully. that explains the great friendship between vladimir , the new dictator in egypt. that is the basis of it. it is reaping fruit. you have countries like egypt
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who are regarded as u.s. clients are now buying weapons from russia. so to believe that russia will get, you know, in order to peace or anything like this, get rid of assad is just dreaming. the only way to bring this kind of result would be if there was a serious support to the opposition, giving it the means seriously to defend itself, especially with regard to airstrikes. and then -- then, this, of course, would create a situation compelling p bothutin, iran -- amy: you're saying the u.s. should militarize the opposition? ,.s. isn't even taking on assad they say they're trying to strike isis in syria now. >> militarize the opposition is not the proper turn.
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it is militarized. it is -- i'm just saying, they needed it from the beginning and had this been done in 2012, we wouldn't be here now. they need defensive weapons. they need antitank weapons and anti-aircraft weapons. now they're getting, since russia entered, they are getting antitank weapons and this is making a difference, but they don't have antiaircraft weapons. and this is the main edge, the main advantage of the regime has been all the time this total control of the air and the ability to strike not only with fighters, but also with helicopters, which are slow-motion engine compared to bombsts with the barrel -- murderers and criminal barrel bombs. the united states is a major contributor. they only did not provide this
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kind of defensive means to the opposition, but it prevented its allies over the region from doing it. there's a very clear u.s. veto on everybody from turkey to the gulf countries for about providing this kind of weapons. this has been respected, given the u.s. influence in the region. amy: we just went to the calais refugee camp in france. we were covering the u.n. climate summit in we went about two hours north of paris. thousands of people are camped out in makeshift tents, freezing , large afghan population. another huge syrian population that is only growing. we spoke with one refugee and i asked him why he left damascus. >> to escape from the war. i don't want to die. this war is not my war. yes, everyone -- everyone is fighting in my country, yes. so i escaped from the war.
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i don't want to be dead for nothing. amy: you said everyone is attacking your country. who? >> who? everyone. russia, america, iran -- ev eryone. soas amy: soas do you think the russians, syrians, french british bombing of syria will save it? , no, it is not the solution. you can protect someone by killing someone else. you know? they can't stop the bombs here when they won't in syria will stop this is not the solution. amy: that was majd. he was afraid to use his last name because his family still lives in damascus in an area that is a stronghold of assad. he wanted the whole area to militarized. gilbert achcar, what would that look like? >> he is completely right. you said he is coming from damascus. this is very telling because
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until now, most of the people fleeing syria were fleeing from zones were the opposition is in control for the simple reason that every zoned that come under opposition control gets bombed by the regime, which has the monopoly of air force. whereas the regime controlled areas do not have this treatment and you can live and you can -- almost looks like normal. but that is because they are not afraid of any kind of bombing coming from the sky, unlike the other areas. and yet you now have people fleeing more and more from the regime-controlled areas because the regime-controlled areas are a very stressful kind of situation with the development of sectarian militias which are practicing, you know, like mafia forces, racketeering and all sorts of actions and violence. and people -- that is why people
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are losing hope like this majd, probably, leaving the country. amy: gilbert achcar, you supported intervention in libya. look were libya is now. if this area -- if the weapons aren't removed as opposed to bombing, every country, even enemies of each other and enemies of assad a bombing syria and more often than not, it is a civilian population, bombing them together. >> yes, thank you, amy, for raising this. i never supported the intervention in libya. falsity which has been spread all the time. mean, you're -- i just repeating something that you have heard. amy: yes, so explain what your position was. >> my position was just at the beginning of the intervention in libya when the city of benghazi was threatened by gaddafi
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troops, after the terrible speech by gadaffi threatening to massacre the population, i said i can't blame the population for welcoming the bombing that were saving them as they were seeing it. that is the point. and that is all for the city of benghazi. as soon as the siege of the city was broken and there was no longer any threat, i said, i mean, i'm against the bombing and against direct intervention because i know that the united states and its allies would intervene anyway, even if it is on the side of a popular revolt, it would be to control it, to try to steer it to their own interests. that is why i'm against them intervening directly the true bombing or of course are troops on the ground. on this, the libyans were quite clear, they did not want troops on the ground. they made a very clear. and so that is the point. i'm against the bombing in syria
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because i think this is leading to nothing. it is not going -- this regard, the one you interviewed, the syrian refugee is completely right. what i'm saying is something else, that the opposition should have been given the means to defend itself. defensive weapons from the start in order to really create a situation where by the regime would have no choice but to seek a compromise. instead, the west -- i'm sorry, the united states in particular and barack obama in particular has a huge responsibility in the terrible tragedy that has resulted in syria. because non-assistance to people in danger, i regard as much a crime from the point of view as direct contribution to the crime. amy: do you think the u.n. has a role here? >> well, you know, the u.n., the
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role of the u.n. is what those who are permanent members with veto rights in the u.n. security council wanted to play. so that means in this case, essentially, the united states and russia. and of course, i mean, the situation in syria hands very much on an agreement -- hinged very much on an agreement between these powers. how do you create the ground for this with someone like vladimir putin who seems to only speak the lineage of forests? i mean, you have to create facts on the ground where he would believe that it is in his best interest to stop shoring up the regime and push for a real compromise which would mean al-assad stepping down because there won't be any ending of the conflict as long as he is in power. that is the key point.
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the in the last 30 seconds, u.s. sending troops into or special forces into syria, into iraq? the were continuing in afghanistan? >> yeah, i mean, they're sending these troops in order to facilitate their airstrikes, i guess and maybe some training, but this won't change anything. we have seen those attempts and they lead to ridiculous results. it is not through bombing, not through direct intervention that can stop theates war, if ever, it is really and seriously wanting to stop that war. amy: gilbert achcar, thank you for being with us professor at , the school of oriental and african studies at the university of london. his most recent book is "the people want: a radical exploration of the arab uprising." he's working on a book on recent developments in the arab world, with particular focus on syria and egypt. when we come back, we go to
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oklahoma city to talk about a white police officer who has just been convicted of serial rape. why wasn't he stopped before? stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. a former oklahoma city police officer is facing life in prison for the serial rapes of african-american women. an all-white jury convicted daniel holtzclaw last week of rape and other crimes against 8 of the 13 women who accused him. all victims testified during the 13 trial, each with similar stories of rape, sexual assault, and threats if they did not comply with holtzclaw's demands. holtzclaw targeted them during traffic stops and interrogations, forcing them into sexual acts in his police car or in their homes.
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prosecutors say he deliberately preyed on vulnerable black women from low-income neighborhoods. they ranged in ages from 17 to 57. most of the women said they didn't go to the police because they didn't think they could get justice. one said -- "i didn't think anyone would believe me. i'm a black female." but one woman did come forward to get the case rolling. it was holtzclaw's oldest victim, 57-year-old jannie ligons. at a news conference the day after the verdict, jannie ligons spoke out. >> all i can say is, i was the victim. i was traumatized. i went to therapy. i had a stroke behind this. and i still live to this day -- day after day. and all i know is i was in a criminal. i have no record. i didn't do anything wrong. you said i did something wrong.
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you said i was swerving, which i wasn't. you just wanted to stop me. all i can say is, i was innocent and he picked the wrong lady to stop that night. >> yes. amy: that is jenny lykins, a victim who reported officer daniel holtzclaw to the police. the rapes happened between december 2013 and june 2014. holtzclaw was reportedly under investigation by the oklahoma city police sex crimes unit six weeks before his final crime. that means holtzclaw assaulted half of the women he was convicted of attacking while under investigation. holtzclaw broke down in tears as the verdicts were read last week and prison officials say he is now on suicide watch. while holtzclaw's conviction may bring his victims some relief, the case has raised questions about whether it's part of a wider problem of devaluing african-american lives, in this case african-american women.
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, despite the charges and ultimate convictions of serial rape, the holtzclaw prosecution got far less corporate media attention than other criminal trials. and following a series of high-profile police killings and abuses of unarmed african-americans, some have questioned whether holtzclaw's crimes were enabled by a criminal justice system that dehumanizes african-americans. in a variation of the movement slogan "black lives matter," some who attended the holtzclaw trial have been saying, "black women matter." we are joined by two guests. -- three guests. kimberlé crenshaw is a law professor at ucla and columbia university and the founder of the african american policy forum.ts.
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they know some the others he was involved with. this guardian piece as he was -- when everything washe
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--ng down, i just -- i felt i mean, i was scared. i didn't know what to do. i felt like i was in survivor mode, so i had to do what he was making me do. so -- >> that's fine. that's fine. thank you. amy: that was sharday hill, what holtzclaw's victims. crump called his
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clients heroes. >> the biggest hero here, the i hold hero here -- hand up in victory because she is a survivor. she is a survivor. sharday is a survivor. this is a victorious time. we are not celebrating just because we're -- what happened in court, we're celebrating their courage to come and tell the story for so many other women who never came forward after they suffered as victims of rape, of domestic violence, of abuse where this is the face of courage where people dare to stand up and say, we refuse to remain silent. so we applaud you all. we thank you all. america thanks you all. amy: that is attorney benjamin
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crump. repressor kimberlé crenshaw, talk about your involvement -- professor kimberlé crenshaw, talk about your involvement in the case and these women heroes who came forward. >> this is precisely an example of the vulnerability that black women face through various forms of police abuse. we wrote about this and report called "say her name" including sexual abuse of police officers as one of the together ways that black women experience police abuse of it also one of the ways that police abuse is not included in the way we have been mobilizing around violence against black bodies. so these are examples of what happens when police have the authority, unchecked discretion, the belief that whatever they're doing is generally legitimate. what happens is, those who are marginalized, both because of their race, their gender, where they live, their criminal
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background, all of these are the things that make these women more vulnerable because they're less likely to be believed. what happens to them doesn't matter. and quite frankly, as you mentioned earlier am a the corporate media doesn't pay any attention to these issues at all. so we were to think about, for example, what would have happened if a security guard or a campus police officer had raped 13 women on a college campus or a coach had done the same thing, that courtroom would have been packed. we would have known everything about what happens to young women in college campuses post up so we really have to ask ourselves, how could this have happened with so little attention to these cases? amy: the lawyer, benjamin crump, also raised the issue of, where was the media surrounding this case? >> i scratch my head after i talked to ted and i said, what that about these 13 women
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is problematic, troubling -- what is it about them? why are they unworthy of national media attention in such a sensational situation as a serial rapist with a badge? women?a dozen of -- aren't about them they american citizens? don't they have civil rights? more important, don't they have human rights? amy: that is lawyer benjamin crump who represented five of the victims. he was surrounded by some of those women, the women he called heroes. professor crenshaw, 13 women testified.
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in only eight of the cases, which he found guilty, what happened and what happens to these women who testify and they don't find him guilty in those cases? >> one of the women whose testimony, apparently, wasn't believed, was the one who was handcuffed to a hospital bed when the actual assault occurred. so it is absolutely mind-boggling. amy: sharday? >> yes. part of what is so surprising about it, the statute actually says individuals who are assaulted in custody when an officer has control over them, supposedly, that is a second-degree rape charge. we can only speculate that aspects of their character that the jury credited in deciding some of these women would not be believed. but it is important understand this with a broader, historical context. if we look at rape overall,
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black women are the least likely to be believed. their cases are most likely to be thrown out. and when it is a conviction on the rare occasion that happens, there is silence get the least number of years -- their assailants get the least number of years. we start with the fact that does black women are generally not believed, you add to that that those victims that have particular kind of background are also less likely to be believed, you put those two things together and it becomes a textbook example of what happens to black women, poor black women, poor black women in neighborhoods where generally their expectation of privacy is lessened. amy: some of these women were prisoners, meaning they were brought into the court to testify. is this true, grace franklin, in orange jumpsuits and they were handcuffed? this is how they appear before thekinds of misconduct and abus.
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amy: candace liger, what sentence does officer crenshaw face now that he has been convicted in eight officer holt? amy: yes. what is this is fashion
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and we will post it online at democracynow.org. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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