tv Democracy Now PBS March 31, 2016 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
[captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! the spanish civil war was really the first battle of world war ii. , wereelse, after all americans in uniform being i pilots for years before the u.s. entered the second world war? amy: 70 years ago, the spanish civil war began. thousands of americans headed to spain to defend democracy against the fascists. the story is told in the new book "spain in our hearts: americans in the spanish civil war," by the prize-winning author adam hochschild.
he will join us today and we will hear the voices of some of the americans who fought as some of the abraham lincoln brigade. andighting against fascism we were political enough to understand that. it was not for an adventure or money. it was fighting against italy and italian fascism and german nazi-ism. amy: first, the case of cherelle baldwin, the survivor of domestic abuse, charged with murdering her ex-boyfriend. she had an order of protection against him, now she is on trial for first-degree murder and faces 60 years in prison. we will speak with her mother and a journalist who has covered the story. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
coastal cities, including new york, london, shanghai, and hong kong, could be flooded before the end of the century. global warming could melt the west antarctic ice sheet within decades. the collapse of the sheet combined with ice melting in other regions could cause seas to rise six feet by 2100. authors also found that the melting of the west antarctic i sheet -- ice sheet is not yet inevitable, but the omission reduction plans are far too weak to stop the sheet from melting. republican presidential hopeful donald trump has sparked widespread outrage by saying women should be punished for having abortions if the procedure were to become illegal. he has advocated for banning abortion.
this is donald trump speaking to chris matthews. in certainpeople parts of the republican party and conservative republicans say, yes, they should be punished. >> how about you? mr. trump: i would say this a very serious problem. >> do you believe in punishment for abortion? mr. trump: there has to be some form of punishment. >> for the woman? mr. trump: yes, there has to be some form. >> what is it? mr. trump: i don't know. immediateomments drew backlash. naral called the statement horrifying. said donald trump was out of touch with the pro-life movement. all of the other pro-life -- all of the other presidential
candidates responded to trump's candidates -- comments. texas senator ted cruz said trump would say anything just to get attention. former secretary of state hillary clinton told rachel today iswhat he said among the most dangerous and outrageous statements anybody running for president has been said the same time -- has ever said." following the backlash, donald trump attempted to walk back the comments by saying that it should be doctors who performed the procedures should be prosecuted, not the patients. his comments come only one day after a 15-year-old girl was pepper sprayed and sexually assaulted outside protests during a donald trump rally. she was surrounded by trump supporters, some chanting "all lives matter." she said she was
groped by a man in the crowd and was then pepper spray by another person when she confronted her alleged attacker. this comes amid donald trump about increased criticism supporting violence at his rallies. in minneapolis, hundreds to to the streets after hennepin county attorney mike freeman announced no charges will be filed against the two police officers involved in the shooting death of jamar clark. he was shot in the head after a scuffle with officers who responded to a call on an assault. death sparked a series of protests in minneapolis, including a weeks long occupation outside the fourth police precinct. am a revolutionary!
i am a revolutionary! family alsolark's the lack ofainst charges. >> there is blood on mike freeman's hands. we are tired of this. y'all are not protecting. y'allare killing us and get to get away with it. approvedu.s. fda has new labeling for the most widely used abortion drug mifepristone. says womeng change can use the drug further into pregnancy with fewer visits to a doctor and at a lower dosage. restrictionsplaces that were long considered outdated.
pentagon has drafted plans to deploy u.s. troops and tanks full-time along nato's eastern border in what would be the first such deployment since the end of the cold war. this is part of a broader military escalation in eastern europe. meanwhile, a new report by the justice department inspector general reveals the pentagon and the drug enforcement administration have spent more than $86 million on an aircraft that has never once flown in afghanistan. the aircraft was still inoperable as of march. french president françois hollande has abandoned controversial plans to change the conch duchenne -- constitution to strip people of citizenship if convicted of terrorism. he had proposed to the constitutional amendments in the wake of the november paris attacks which killed 130 people.
the proposals inspired widespread opposition across the country. a german historian has revealed the associated press cooperated with the nazi regime in the 1930's. the revelations are based on archival materials unearthed by harriet samberg. promisingned a law not to publish anything to weaken the regime. under the law, they also hired reporters who worked for the nazi's propaganda division, including a photographer whose photos were personally selected by hitler. rejects theed press notion that they collaborated with the nazi regime at any time.
a joint investigation has been launched into the moroccan company unaoil. the huffington post published a multipart exposé based on thousands of league documents showing how the company paid millions of dollars of bribes to government officials to broker contracts for some of the world's largest companies, including halliburton and kbr. the exposé also shows how honeywell colluded to conceal bribes in iraq contracts. arizona, five people were arrested during a protest outside the era gonad governor -- arizona governor's office. themselvesers locked together to block the entrance to his office. this is protester maria castro.
>> whatever it takes for the community. it is important for us to make our voice heard. they do not care about our votes, about democracy, this is the only way for us to be heard. amy: capitol police also ,rrested cap -- carlos garcia although he was not part of the lockdown and was off to the side doing media interviews. the president of harvard university has announced she will install a plaque to commemorate four enslaved people who lived and worked at the one-time home of harvard presidents. in an article, she wrote that slavery is an aspect of harvard's past that has rarely been a knowledge sure invoked, but harvard was directly complicit from the college's earliest days. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
welcome to our listeners and viewers around the country and around the world. we begin today in connecticut where jurors are deliberating the fate of cherelle baldwin, a 20 four-year-old mother accused of killing her alleged abuser. baldwin is charged with the 2013 killing of her ex-boyfriend, jeffrey brown, who baldwin alleges had stopped and abused her. he had repeatedly threatened baldwin, took her credit cards and money, and assaulted her during visits to see their son. she eventually attained a court order barring threats, harassment's, and assaults during visits, but brown continued to center threatening text messages. according to a police affidavit, brown showed up at her house, climbed through her window, and attacked her, choking her with his belt. baldwin escaped and managed to get inside her car, but so did
brown. what happens next is hard for even baldwin to remember. when police arrived, they found baldwin on the ground with a broken leg and brown was dead in front of the car, pinned against the garage wall. baldwin was arrested on murder charges. amy: since the incident, cherelle baldwin has spent three years in jail after a trial in 2015 help -- ended in a hung jury. if convicted, she could spend decades in prison. the case has caught the attention of domestic violence organizations nationwide, who are calling for prosecutors to drop the charges. the case as an example of how black women are unfairly targeted when they fight back after being abused. a meme was tweeted about black
women being consistently denied the right to self-defense and survival. for more, we're joined by yherelle baldwin's mother and b cynthia law. , cherelle article baldwin's story is far from unique. let's begin with cynthia long. you have been going to the trial of your daughter. she has already served three years in jail. for murderingore her ex-boyfriend. can you talk about this case? cynthia: well, there are certain things that i can't talk about, but there are some things that i can. my daughter has been in prison for over three years, almost three years.
i just find that it is very unjustifiable that they keep her in there after a mistrial and not lowering her bond. we went back to court to get the bond lowered and the judge refuses to do it. so we have to ask for another trial. the lawyer had to pretty much bag to get a retrial. it took them a while to figure out, should they retry her or not or should they take a plea deal? it has been a very difficult time for me and my family, it has been a very hard struggle, especially for cherelle. because she is innocent. she was home, she was in her own home, she was minding her own business. he had no business there. i don't understand why the court and the police department doesn't understand that.
there was a court order for him to stay away from her. law let me bring victoria into this conversation. you have been writing about this case for a while now. lay out the history of the abuse and the order of protection. victoria: cherelle baldwin met the man who became the father of her child jeffrey brown when she was 19. they started a relationship and unbeknownst to many family members, there was abuse and the relationship, which is not uncommon when abuse begins in a relationship. people may minimize the abuse, they may not realize that they are being controlled or manipulated. abuse is not necessarily walking down the street with bumps and bruises. the physical assaults may not happen more than a couple of times. what her family has told me is that they noticed that she was pulling away a little more.
she was not at their family gatherings as much. she often had to check with jeffrey before she was able to make decisions. her mother said this was not like her. they had a baby boy together. by 2013, the couple had split up. domestic violence advocates will tell you that ending the relationship is often the most dangerous time for a domestic violence survivor because that threatens the abuser's control and they are more likely to lash out and try to fatally harm their ex-girlfriend or ask partner. in 2013, they had split up, he had moved out, but he continued to harass her, come by and use their son as a reason to stay in contact and intimidate her, take her money, take her phone. she had an order of protection against him after he showed up at her house and through her clothes out the window and smashed her cell phone. the police arrested him, they
gave her an order of protection. he continued to violate the order of protection. he was not supposed to threaten or intimidate her. he definitely was not supposed to assault her. on the morning of may 18, 2013, he sent a series of threatening text messages and then showed up at her house, broke in, tried to strangle her, tried to hit her with his belt. she tried to escape, she got into her car. he tried to get into the car after her. that was when he ended up dead and she ended up with a broken leg. by the time the police arrived, this had all happened and witnesses say they saw him attacking her. amy: where was the child? victoria: in the house. >> cynthia long, can you talk about what you recall of jeffrey's behavior or what you knew then about their relationship? in 2012, i noticed the
jeffrey's behavior became a little difficult. he was very controlling. she couldn't do anything without his permission. she could not go anywhere. we had a family gathering in miami, florida and we all went down and i noticed that she was the only person missing from the gathering. he had her in the hotel. she was not able to have any contact with us. it was just unusual. started -- he started acting very controlling. she would be a house and he would be stocking her. it was just kind of weird. she never really said that he , but, youanything
know, at the time, she was hiding it also. that is what abused women do. they hide things. controlling and he was determined that she was going to be with him no matter what. him.is what we saw in that if thelike protection order did a little more for jeffrey besides hand him a piece of paper, things would be different. amy: she has been in jail for three years, was not convicted at this point. there was a first trial. explain. in early 2015, cherelle baldwin went to trial
on first-degree murder charges. after five days of deliberation, the jury said there was a hung jury, meaning they could not all agree. 11 jurors wanted to acquit her and there was one holdout. after five days of deliberation, they were unable to budge the one holdout. the one holdout was unable to budge the other 11. the judge declared a mistrial. at that point, the prosecutor's office could have said, we are done. we are not retrying the case. instead they said, we are going to retry this case. goes back towin prison. in connecticut, women detained and awaiting trial are sent to the state prison, not to a local jail. she goes back to prison for almost another year and now she is on trial again. >> can you explain why her bail was set at $1 million? victoria: bail is set not necessarily as any sort of risk assessment, but it is often set to supposedly ensure that people come back to court. she has family,
she has a loving family, she has a son, she had a job, strong ties to the community. there was no need to set her bail at $1 million. it seems more punitive. obviously, her family has not been able to raise the money, so she is not allowed to be at home helping to prepare for her defense, which is easier when she is outside -- unable to see her son, and unable to be with the rest of her family. amy: according to an article published earlier this week about her case, connecticut law states that when police respond to a domestic violence call, if there is evidence to suggest some sort of altercation took place, at least one party has to be arrested. often police who cannot quickly discern who the instigator was will arrest both parties. arrestscticut, dual occur almost 20% of the time.
the article went on to quote a 2007 department of justice study that found connecticut's mandatory arrest law forces officers to throw their common sense out the window. the torilla, talk about this. victoria, talk about this. victoria: in these kind of cases, police are required to make an arrest and it is up to the officer to determine who to arrest. is the victimwho of domestic violence does not fit their perception of who a domestic violence victim looks like -- say she is loud, say if she is angry, say if she is color,black, a woman of if she has pop back in any way, even if the fighting back is very disproportionate -- if she is being badly beaten or strangled and she throws a remote control at her abuser, the abuser might say that she
also did this to me and that could be a dual arrest. for many women, particularly those who do not fit this preconceived notion of what a victim looks like, calling the police may and up with them behind bars, as well. >> were those the arguments that the prosecutors made in her case? victoria: no. as far as i know, the police did not threaten to arrest her, but across the country, we see many women and domestic violence victims talk about how, often times, they are not taken seriously or they are perceived also was being aggressive. amy: talk about the marissa alexander case. it became famous after george zimmerman killed trayvon martin. there was a woman who had been abused and explain what happened to her, facing 20 years in prison, versus what happened to george zimmerman. victoria: marissa alexander was a florida mother of three.
she had just given birth to her baby nine days earlier. she was estranged from her husband, but because they had a baby together, he was at her house. she went to the bathroom. he looked at her phone. which is something that abusers do. they want control. phone,e looking at your monitoring your e-mails. he looked at her phone and noticed she had sent baby photos to her ex-husband. when she came out of the bathroom, he attacked her. he shoved her against the wall, he tried to strangle her, she escaped and fled into the garage and she meant to get in her car and drive away. she realized she had forgotten her keys and cell phone in the house in her hurry to get away from him. so she had no choice but to reenter the house. she was in florida, she had a registered and licensed gun. she said she fired the gun at the ceiling as a warning shot to
say don't come any closer. he did not come any closer. he left the house and he immediately called the police and said my estranged wife tried to shoot me. she was arrested and tried. alexander,s michelle not marissa alexander, back in 2013, author of "the new jim crow" talking about marissa alexander's case. dr. alexander: the case you just described is a sharp example of the discriminatory application of the stand your ground law itself. here is a woman firing shots in the air to protect herself from what she believes is an abusive spouse and she winds up getting 20 years, while george zimmerman is released scot-free after pursuing someone based on racial stereotypes and assumptions of criminality. she received a 20 year sentence
because of harsh mandatory minimum sentences, sentences that exist in florida and in states nationwide. amy: that is michelle alexander talking about marissa alexander. what happened? victoria: marissa alexander tried to plead stand your ground, which george zimmerman was successful at doing, and the judge ruled that she could not argue stand your ground because he said that she could have receded from -- retreated from her own house. we see the ways in which the law is not equally applied to people in the state of florida or perhaps anywhere. she, ultimately, was convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison. the appeals court overturned her conviction and the prosecutor could have decided not to retry her, but instead, the prosecutor, who is the same prosecutor who tried george zimmerman, vowed to retry her and seek a 60 year sentence if convicted. before we conclude, cynthia,
could you tell us where cherelle's son is and who has been taking care of him and if you could talk about some of the support you have received from advocates of survivors of domestic abuse? cynthia: at this time now, the mey is in split custody with and other grandmother. we are sharing custody. he spends five days with her and five days with me. lovely little child. whole advocate people have been so wonderful. holly out of chicago has been awesome. there has been a lot of support from all the domestic violence advocates around the country, even in the united kingdom.
i had some people from australia who facebook does and they are showing all of their support and love. i'm just happy that everyone was able to hear her story and hear about it because we could not get any kind of support in the beginning of this. now that everyone knows about her story, we are very grateful for all of the support out there and we want to thank the centerd domestic crisis for coming to her closing argument on thursday -- wednesday, but they have been so supportive and i just want to thank everyone. get to seeherelle her son? yes, i take him up there every other sunday. not so much during the week, but every other sunday. he is fully aware of who his mother is. court, the case
is in the jury's hands, is that right? cynthia: yes. amy: you are awaiting their decision. cynthia: yes. amy: we will continue to cover this. cynthia long as the mother of cherelle baldwin, a 23-year-old connecticut mother on trial for killing her alleged abuser. years in prison if convicted. thank you very much to victoria law. her recent article is headlined "facing years in prison for fleeing abuse: cherelle baldwin 's story is far from unique." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, adam hochschild on "spain in our hearts: americans in the spanish civil war." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: paul robeson. democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. >> we spend the remainder of the hour with best-selling author adam hochschild, who has just written a remarkable, sweeping history of the spanish civil war. the book is called "spain in our hearts: americans in the spanish civil war." the book tells the story of how the spanish civil war captivated with volunteers flooding to spain to bolster the democratic government's efforts to stave off a fascist uprising. went to0 americans spain as volunteers in the fight against fascism and nearly a quarter of them perished. the americans were known as the abraham lincoln brigade. fascists years, the
declared victory in 1939. world war ii did claire -- began shortly thereafter. the last known surviving veteran of the abraham lincoln brigade died in his home in california at the age of 100 earlier this year. he was also a longtime labor organizer who worked with the united farm workers. he recalled his decision to fight in an interview in 2013. by thes very affected fascist attempt to take over spain. i couldn't tell you why. i just didn't like the idea. that was my political understanding. i didn't like what them sob's were doing. i got in the army and then i did not know how to get to spain.
i was going to work in hollywood as a dishwasher one day at the roosevelt hotel and i see on the side of a building, the abraham lincoln brigade. i turned the corner, went up them, i want to go to spain. amy: most of the people adam hochschild profiled thought against fascism. some supported franco, like the ceo of texaco. we will talk about this and more with adam hochschild now in our studio. he teaches at the graduate school of journalism at the university of california, berkeley. he cofounded "mother jones" magazine. his new book, just out, "spain in our hearts: americans in the 1936-1939."l war,
welcome back. it is great to have you. start off with why you decided -- i don't know if you knew how relevant fascism would become in this election year, specifically being addressed by some of the ,andidates, but before to that talk about why you wanted to write this book. adam: i don't we spend interested in the spanish civil war. one of my first jobs was as a reporter for the "san francisco chronicle." there were two other reporters who were veterans of the american -- spanish civil war. they were americans who had volunteered to fight. when times were slow in the newsroom, i used to ask them about their experiences. later, i read ernest hemingway, .eorge orwell, visited spain i grew more fascinated by the war. if you years ago, i decided it was time to write a book about it.
i discovered a lot of things, some of which i don't think had been well-known before. >> what about the title of your book, "spain in our hearts"? adam: it comes in a quotation from albert camus. he saidsomething like it's a minor 10 years after the war, "men in our generation have always had spain in our hearts, there you could learn to still be right, but still be defeated and the courage was its own award" -- and it goes on like that. amy: thousands of americans went to spain to fight. explain who they were -- this is before world war ii. explain why they did it. do you think this could have stopped world war ii and the rise of mussolini and hitler? adam: big question. roll back the clock to the mid-1930's. fascism was on the rise everywhere. mussolini has just conquered ethiopia.
hitler is making noises about taking over eastern europe. he has his eyes on a big slice of russia. this is an aggressive movement. all of a sudden, in western europe, in a democracy, spain, which had an elected government since 1931, there is a rising of right-wing generals from whom a leader quickly emerges, a tough talking young general, francisco franco. they try to take over the country. they clearly want to impose a regime that will suppress all trappings of democracy, free trade union, free press, none of that. it was very clear who their friends were. immediately, hitler and mussolini began sending large quantities of help, airplanes, pilots, tanks, tank drivers, artillery, military advisers --
mussolini sent 80,000 ground troops, as well. from all over the world, people began coming to spain as volunteers to fight to defend the republic. from the united states, some 2800 americans went before long. the largest number of americans who have ever gone to fight in somebody else's civil war. i think they went, above all, because of the danger of fascism. , "forw yorker said later us, it was never about franco, it was always about hitler." another young american, who was a 23-year-old rabbi, wrote to his mother from spain before he was killed saying, "if he had not come to spain, for the rest of my life, i never could have forgiven myself for not waking up when the alarm clock rang." most of the american
volunteers were jewish. could you explain what accounts for that? adam: the couple of things. the fact that hitler was rapidly rising. he had come to power in germany in 1933, he was making no secret that life was going to be very tough for the jews. the full extent of the holocaust, nobody could imagine. it was clear terrible things were coming. jews were also heavily overrepresented in the left wing in the united states. the organization of most of these volunteers was organized by the communist party in this country and the other countries the volunteers came from. not all of them were communist. many of them came from other strains of the left, as well. amy: let's go to a few of them. i want to turn to another veteran, the late mo fishman.
i spoke to him in 2007. >> the international brigade consisted of about 40,000-45,000 volunteers from 52 countries who came to the aid of the spanish republic. i want to emphasize, came to the aid of. it was the spanish republican there people who fought this war and deserve the major credit for the big fight that they put up, which gave the democracies a 2.5 year window of opportunity to change from a policy of appeasement fascism and subscribed to actively fighting fascism. if they had actively fought fascism in 1936, 1939, we would have stopped hitler and there would have been no world war ii. amy: how would you have stopped hitler? this was spain, this was franco. >> hitler had been appeased,
they permitted him to rearm germany. it was done with the finances of both britain and the united states, the financed it on credit. they permitted hitler to march into austria. then spain came along and they were letting him do as he felt in spain with his powers of appeasement. if they turned to fighting fascism and opposing what he was doing, hitler would not have attempted to fight a two front war. he would not have been armed as much as he became armed when he conquered one country after another and built the war machine that almost succeeded in conquering the world. iswould have been stopped there had been a conflict. he might have been rash enough to start something, but he would have had a two front war to confront and it would have been a minor kind of war. it would not have been world war fascism almost one.
and 60 million dead and distraction beyond compare. there would have been no holocaust, if hitler had been in 1936-1939.in amy: that was abraham lincoln brigade veteran mo fishman speaking in 2007. he died four months later at the age of 92. that same year, i interviewed another veteran, clarence kaelin , in madison wisconsin. >> we were fighting against fascism. we were political enough to understand that. it was not for an adventure and it was not for money. italy fighting against and italian fascism and german nazi-ism is what it was about. that if we lost the war,
that world war ii was pretty much inevitable, which is what happened. britain andbecause france and the united states refused to give us any help at all. so we fought barehanded at times. amy: that was clarence kaelin speaking in 2007 in madison, wisconsin. he died two years later at the age of 95. adam hochschild. adam: a moving story about clarence kaelin. when he enlisted to fight in spain, he went to spain with a school friend of his from wisconsin. his friend was a physics instructor at the university of wisconsin and he was killed, one of the last americans killed in spain in the late summer of 1938 and he was buried there. his grave is the only known the
grave of an international volunteer in spain that survived destruction under franco and his nationalists during the long franco's rule. it was hidden by spanish villagers. it was capped,d tended, flowers put there, carefully hidden for decades afterwards. clarence kaelin went back several times in later years to visit his friend's grave and asked that when he died that he be buried next to it. today, you can find these two gravestones side-by-side. amy: when clarence talked about john, he wept. adam hochschild is our guest. his book is "spain in our hearts: americans in the spanish civil war." when we come back from break, we
adam, i would like to ask about the ceo of texaco at the time of the spanish civil war. he made a deal with franco's regime. could you talk about that deal and what the implications of that deal came to be? adam: he was a remarkable man who had a remarkable effect on this period. it is almost unnoticed by historians. it went completely unnoticed by the foreign correspondents of the period. here were all of these correspondents, thousands of journalists reported to spain -- , everybody you can think of during the war. the big story was the bombing of madrid. were, the first european capital under heavy sustained aerial bombardment. they looked up at the aircraft in the sky, which had been sent by hitler, and they never
stopped to think, whose fuel is powering those planes? spain had no oil wells. hitler and mussolini were oil importers and not exporters. it would have been difficult and expensive for them to send oil to franco. as it happened, franco had no problem because the ceo of texico, a major american oil company, was a fascist sympathizer who decided to back franco, violated u.s. law by selling him oil on credit, which was against the law when you were selling anything to a country at war, violated u.s. law further by transporting the oil to spain on american ships. the ships full of fuel would leave the texaco pipeline at port arthur, texas ostensibly bound for amsterdam or rotterdam or antwerp.
at sea, their captains would redirectingorders them to nationalist spain. this violated u.s. law. , without telling texico shareholders or his own board of directors, he gave franco the oil at a huge discount. finally, he did something else which has come to light only in recent years. being a multinational oil hadany, texaco installations, tank farms, offices imports all over the world. he sent out orders to all of these places saying, send in immediately, as you get it, any information about oil shipments going to the spanish republic. this was then put together by
forwardedand swiftly to the nationalists, where it was to be used by bomber pilots and submarine captains looking for targets. over the course of the war, 29 oil tankers carrying oil to the spanish republic were sunk, captured, or damaged. in one or two cases, we can directly tie that to information supplied by texico. even though we think of general franco's allies as being primarily in italy and berlin, there was one in the chrysler building in new york city. amy: was he ever prosecuted? adam: he got a little bit of a wrist slap from the justice department during the war. a $22,000 fine for selling goods on credit to a country at war. he could have been prosecuted much more severely, should have been, but president roosevelt
was very wary of getting drawn into the spanish conflict in any was verynew there strong isolationist feeling in the country. he decided not to do anything more. a lot of this stuff, he did not know about, the business about the intelligence information, for example. amy: this is very interesting. in light of jane mayer's new book "dark money," about the father of the koch brothers, who made his fortune partly on providing an oil refinery that was personally approved by adolf hitler. adam: that's right. also built oil installations in the soviet union long before the united states recognized the soviet union. oil companies have always made their own foreign policy. it's time to recognize that. amy: let's talk about fdr. to theseened
americans, thousands go to fight in the spanish civil war, what this label meant in the united states -- they were called premature anti-fascists? adam: that's right. fdr was a good man, he was a good president, he was certainly someone who himself hated fascism, but he was a shrewd politician. he knew that he had no constituency in the united states for heavy involvement in the spanish civil war. believed, although nobody has ever been able to prove it because it is one of these things that was never promisedown that he the hierarchy of the catholic church before the 1936 election that he would stay neutral in spain. the church was very pro-franco veryse the spanish were anti-clerical. so, he stayed hands-off.
we should remember that it was not a matter of should the u.s. send military aid to the spanish republic? that is not what they were asking for. they were not asking for the united states to send them battleships, they were simply asking for the right to purchase arms from the western democracies. from the united states, britain, and france. republican spain had the money had the because they fifth largest gold reserves in the world. all of the major democracies eventually shut their doors and said, no arms purchases. the only place that would seldom arms was joseph stalin's soviet union. this was roosevelt's policy throughout his presidency and in early 1939, just before the war ended, he said in a cabinet meeting, we've made a grave mistake. point that at that
fascism was continuing to rise and expand in europe. amy: do you think of franco had been defeated that that could have preempted the rise of mussolini and hitler? adam: i don't think so. because mussolini and hitler were already entrenched in power always above all was interested in expanding east. he had his sights set on show in russia who was boss, on taking over eastern europe, on grabbing the balkan and caspian oil fields, whatever happened in spain would not have prevented him from doing that. but i do think that if the spanish republican won the war, spain would not have had to have lived under a very harsh dictatorship for 36 years. press, nof no free elections, an, no
dictatorship, routine torture. the spanish people would have been spared that. had the republic won the civil war, hitler would not have had a de facto ally in spain in world war ii. general franco gave hitler a base on spain's atlantic coast where there were 21 german attack submarines that attacked convoys in the north atlantic. lots of american sailors lost their lives because of that. he supplied hitler with a steady stream of strategic minerals. he also encouraged 45,000 volunteers to join hitler's army. >> another issue has to do with what you say is a failure of a number of foreign correspondents who were covering the war. you say that they were not asking the right questions and they omitted a lot of information and that one of the exceptions to that was virginia towel, who was not as well-known as a number of other reporters
covering the war. cowells was the best journalist writing in english from spain, almost totally forgotten today -- unjustly so. her book about that time is still a lively read today. she was also working at a time when it was very hard for women to work as foreign correspondents. she played the role of the helpless feminine ingénue, traipsing in in high heels and begging people to carry her suitcases, and pretending she did not know what was going on, but she noticed everything, she wrote beautifully, and she was one of the very few -- she was incidentally 26 years old when she got to spain, had never gone to college. amy: let's go to a clip called "into the fire," american women in the spanish civil war.
featuring an actor reading her world after -- words after the bombing of kournikova. >> -- guernica. >> they said that everyone knew that it was armed -- burned by the reds. it was a lonely chaos of timber and brick. one old man was inside an apartment house that had four sides to it. of brick.y a sea i asked him if he had been in guernica during the destruction. said thathis head and this guy had been black with planes. burned, the press officer contradicted. the old man insisted that there was little left to burn after the four hour bombardment. the press officer moved me away. into in the day, we ran two staff officers and he brought the subject up. guernica is full of reds and
they all try to tell us it was not bombed, it was burned. we bombed itsaid, and bonded and bombed it. the press officer never mentioned it again. amy: that was from "into the fire." featuring an actor reading the words of virginia cowells. women were leading reporters then. >> very few besides those two. hertz.ine was also there at the time. one of my favorite women was a 19-year-old honeymoon or who found herself in spain two months after the war began. , who lived through a part of that experience that , whichgets written about is the social revolution that took place in spain's northeast
during the first eight or 10 months of the war, where workers took over factories, waiter stick over restaurants, peasants took over huge estates, locomotive engineers took over the transportation system. it was an extraordinary moment. the foreign correspondents largely ignored it. virginia cowells noticed that the hotels seem to be being run by the busboys and elevator operators. lois orr wrote about it in a remarkable series of letter home. amy: we will continue the conversation and posted online, including your thoughts on donald trump in his comments about fascism. "spain in our hearts: americans in the spanish civil war" is the name of adam hochschild's new book. he teaches in the graduate school of journalism at the university of california, berkeley. "spain in our hearts: americans in the spanish civil war." that does it for our broadcast.
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