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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  April 4, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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04/04/17 04/04/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> today's republican party i think is the most dangerous organization in human history. literally, it is racing toward destruction openly. amy: today, an hour with noam chomsky on the first 75 days of president donald trump. we will speak about the expanding u.s. wars in the middle east, china, the climate deniers running the white house and chomsky's fear over a new , nuclear arms race. >> the other crucial issue in ,uman life, issue of survival
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existential is nuclear weapons. have's positions on this been all over the map, so it is very hard to know what he means, but some of them are pretty frightening. amy: we will also speak with professor noam chomsky about his new book "requiem for the , american dream: the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & power." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the british-based monitoring group the syrian observatory for human rights reports dozens of people have been killed in more than 200 wounded and suspected chemical weapons attack the rebel held town in idlib province also the observatory reports at least 11 children under the age of eight were
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killed in the attack. afp is reporting a few hours after the alleged gas attack, a rocket hit a nearby hospital where victims were being treated. the observatory says it does not know whether the attack was carried out by the syrian government or its ally, russia. the syrian government has denied using chemical weapons during the six-year conflict, although the u.n. says the syrian government used the chemical weapons at least three times in 2014 and 2015. while speaking at the united nations on monday, u.s. ambassador to the united nations nikki haley said the us does not think the syrian people want to be ruled by president assad any longer, though on friday she said "our priority is no longer to sit there and focus on getting assad out." the "washington post" is reportinthat blackwate founder ik prince cretly met with a russian cse to russian president vladimir putin in efforts to establish a secret back channel between trump and putin in the days before trump's inauguration.
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the meeting was reportedly held in the seychelles and was arranged by high-ranking emirati officials. the article says prince represented himself as an unofficial representative for trump. unnamed u.s. officials told the -- "the washington post" the fbi isooking into the seychelles meeting as part of its investigation over whether the trump campaign colluded with russia in efforts to influence the 2016 election. the white house denies prince was an unofficial envoy for trump, and says prince had no official role within transition team. however, prince has ties both to trump's chief strategist, steven bannon, as well as to trump's education secretary, betsy devos, who his prince's sister. citing unnamed officials, "the washington post" reports prince was frequently referenced in internal tru transition team conversations, suggesting he acted as a form of outside adviser. prince also donated $250,000 to
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elect donald trump. prince is the founder of the now defunct private paramilitary company blackwater, whose guards were convicted of killing civilians in iraq in 2007. on capitol hill, the senate judiciary committee voted -9 in a straight-party vote to send the nomination of neil gorsuch for supreme court justice to the full senate floor. democrats say they have enough votes to filibuster gorsuch's nomination. the full senate is expected to vote on republicans have friday. threatened to invoke the so-called nuclear option to push through gorsuch's confirmation. this means republicans would change senate rules to allow confirmation with a bare majority of senators, rather than the 60 now needed to overcome a filibuster. president trump praised egyptian president abdel fattah al-sisi during a meting at the white house monday, saying the two leaders agree on so many things. pres. trump: it is great to be with the president of egypt.
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and i will tell you, president el-sisi has been someone who has been very close to me from the first time i met him. we agree on so many things. i want to let everyone know in case there was any doubt that we are very much behind president el-sisi. he is done a fantastic job in a very difficult situation. amy: human rights organizations say sisi and his security forces have arrested tens of thousands of egyptians and have committed torture, forced disappearances and extrajudicial killings. , protesters gathered near the white house monday to protest the meeting, holding signs calling sisi a war criminal. president trump's son-in-law and senior adviser jared kushner met with iraqi prime minister haider al-abadi in iraq on monday, amid the ongoing u.s. and iraqi militaries' battle to retake the city of mosul from isis. the journalistic monitoring group airwars says u.s.-led coalition airstrikes reportedly killed hundreds of civilians in
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mosul last month, including in a single airstrike on march 17 that killed up to 200 civilians. the u.s. also has thousands of on-the-ground troops in iraq, although, it's becoming harder to track their numbers and movements. last week, a pentagon spokesman announced that, unlike under the obama administration, the u.s. will no longer announce or confirm the deployments of conventional u.s. troops in iraq and syria. jared kushner, donald trump's son-in-law, went to iraq before the secretary of state rex tillerson has. meanwhile, president trump has signed a directive classifying parts of somalia as areas of active hostilities, meaning the pentagon now has more power to carry out airstrikes and ground raids in the region. the new classification also means the pentagon will have more permission to kill civilian bystanders. trump also declared parts of yemen areas of active hostilities last month.
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in russia, authorities say at least 14 people were killed and dozens more wounded in a bombing on a metro station in st. petersburg monday. kurdistan authorities identified the attacker as 22-year-old akbarzhon dzhalilov, who was born in kyrgyzstan and had russian citizenship. authorities say a second bomb, which was disguised as a fire extinguisher, was placed at another station but was disarmed before it exploded. st. petersburg residents gathered monday to mourn the victims of the blast and call for peace. such eventshope will help all of us, not only people in russia, but around the whole world. understand we should remain human, to encourage humanity inside ourselves, not be animalistic and not to treat each other like wild animals. amy: back in the united states, fox news continues to be rocked by accusations of sexual harassment. on monday, fox news contributor
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julie roginsky sued former fox chair roger ailes for repeatedly sexually harassing her, and then retaliating against her professionally after she rejected his unwanted advances. in the suit, roginsky says she -- roginsky says fox also pressured her to publicly support ailes after he was accused of sexual harassment by former fox news gretchen carlson. roginsky said she refused, telling a colleague that aes was "a sexual predator and that she would not join in the smearing of gretchen carlson." also on monday, television commentator dr. wendy walsh came forward to accuse fox news star bill o'reilly of sexually harassing her, and then retaliating against her professionally when she rejected him. this is walsh describing what happened after o'reilly offered her a job at fox news over dinner. >> when did it was finished, he simply said, let's get out of here. i assumed he meant we should go ourhe bar to continue m conversation.
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he said, no, no, come back to my suite. i'm a woman of a certain age. i've had situations like this in my life. i knew how to behave. i simply said, i'm sorry, i can't do that. and he immediately got defensive and said, what do you mean? you think i'm going to attack your something? for soon after coming of the executive producer called me and say they're going to take a break from the segment for a little while, but they would start up again later. they did with the other psychologist, but not me. but i know it was coming. amy: that was television commentator dr. wendy walsh. her testimony comes after "the new york times" revealed saturday that fox news and o'reilly have paid out $13 million to five other women who have accused o'reilly of sexual harassment. on sunday, "the wall street journal" reported fox news renewed o'reilly's contract. in response to the revelations, mercedes-benz and hyundai both announced they were pulling current or upcoming ads from the "the o'reilly factor." the jewish american newspaper the forward has reported that trump's chief counter-terrorism
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adviser sebastian gorka publicly supported an anti-semitic and racist paramilitary militia in while he served as a hungarian 2007 politician. the militia, known as the hungarian guard, was later banned after the european court of human rights accused it of racism. the forward report draws on a 2007 tv interview in which gorka expresses his support for the guards. a previous investigation by the forward revealed gorka took a lifelong oath of loyalty to a hungarian far-right, nazi-allied group. to see our interview with forward editor larry cohler-esses, go to our website democracynow.org. attorney general jeff sessions has ordered a wide-ranging review of the federal consent decrees and agreements with dozens of local law enforcement agencies that have been accused of violating civil rights laws. the review signals the justice department intends to shift away from monitoring and forcing changes within police departments such as ferguson's, where systematic racial
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discrimination by the police and the police killing of unarmed 18-year-old african american michael brown sparked an uprising in 2014. this comes as in utah, in a video has emerged of a police officer shooting and killing a man's own gun. the video shows roy police officers approaching 38-year-old nicholas sanchez, who is standing outside a gas station on the 21st of february. he is carrying a gun on his waist. utah is an open carry state. the police officers demand becomes big with them. when he asks why, they tried to arrest them both up when he lifts up his sweatshirt, when officer then lunges at sanchez who begins to run away. he is than shot multiple times. the guardian reports he was shot both by one of the officers using his police gun and by another officer who grabbed sanchez's gun and shot him with it. the california senate has passed the so-called sanctuary state bill, which would limit police statewide from cooperating with federal immigration agents in carrying out president trump's promised mass deportations.
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attorney general jeff sessions has vowed to withhold federal law enforcement grants to so-called sanctuary cities. the bill, sb54, now heads to the california state assembly. to see our full interview with the bill's author, california senate president pro tem kevin de leon, go to our website, democracynow.org. florida governor rick scott announced monday that he was removing a state attorney from about two dozen murder cases, in an escalating dispute over the death penalty. she announced she would no longer seek the death penalty, including markeith loyd who is accused of killing his pregnant ex-girlfriend as well as orlando police officer deborah caton. -- deborah clayton. in response, scott swiftly said he was removing ayala from the prosecution of a man charged with killing an orlando police officer, the most high-profile case under her jurisdiction. she is the first african-american state attorney
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in florida history and she has received racist death threats, quitting suggestions she should be lynched in the wake of her announcement will stop to see our interview about ayala, go to democracynow.org. in virginia, the word "resist" was spray painted on the grass of the 13th hole at president trump's national golf club over the weekend. it's the second time the virginia golf course has been the site of anti-trump protests. in october, ahead of trump's election, the words "black lives matter" and "no justice, no peace" were spray painted on the trump international hotel in washington, d.c. and in new york city, hundreds of artists, librarians, broadcasters and museum workers gathered at city hall monday for a rally aimed at stopping federal cuts to the arts and humanities. president trump's proposed budget would eliminate funding to the national endowments for the arts and humanities, the institute of museum and library services and the corporation for public broadcasting. this is new york city council speaker melissa mark-viverito. >> people who are and appreciate culture and the arts are people
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that have a greater understanding of the world. that is a threat to this a administration. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. 75 days ago today, donald trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the united states. on the international front, trump has expanded u.s. military operations in iraq, syria, yemen and somalia while resuming arms sales to bahrain. on monday, he welcomed egyptian leader general abdel fattah el-sisi at the white house as thousands of activists remains locked up in egypt. at the united nations, the trump administration led a boycott of u.n. talks to ban nuclear weapons while pushing for the united states to expand its own nuclear arsenal. trump has also threatened to unilaterally act against north korea. on the environmental front, trump picked climate deniers to
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head the environmental protection agency and the energy department while slashing the epa's programs to combat climate change. trump's budget calls for an unprecedented $54 billion increase in military spending, while ending dozens of environmental, housing, diplomatic and educational , programs. trump is also requesting nearly $3 billion increase in funding, largely to pay for expanding the border wall and hiring 1500 new border patrol and ice agents, amy: however, the trump agenda has faced some judicial and legislative setbacks. federal court have blocked the implementation of two travel bans targeting residents from of some majority muslim nations. and in congress, trump failed in his attempt to repeal obamacare, which would have stripped up to 24 million people of health insurance while giving the rich a massive tax break. meanwhile, his administration is facing an fbi probe over its dealings with russia before the election. this all comes as a resistance
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movement is growing throughout the country. to help make sense of where the country stands 75 days into the trump administration, we are joined by one of the world's best known dissidents, the linguist and activist noam chomsky. institute professor emeritus at massachusetts institute of technology where he has taught for more than 50 years. he is the author of more than 100 books. his latest book comes out today. it is titled, "requiem for the american dream: the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & power." noam chomsky, welcome back to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. so why don't we start on his 75th day by your assessment of what has happened in these first few months. >> well, i think it was captured pretty well by "los angeles times" editorial which simply called it a train wreck. but it is very consistent, very systematic.
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anything that can be of assistance to ordinary people, working people, middle-class people, people on the street -- any such program has to be decimated. anything that adds to wealth and power or that increases the use of force, that we carry forward. and it is done with -- it is kind of a two-tiered system working. i presume, consciously. it is hard to question. the bannon-trump team once to make sure they dominate the headlines. whatever they do, that is what people look at. and one crazy thing after another, the assumption, apparently being you will forget the old ones by the time the new
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ones come in. so no one talks anymore about the 3 million illegal immigrants who voted for clinton. we're on to the next one and going to the next one. while this is going on in front, the paul ryan-style budgetary and planning operations are going on quietly in the back, ripping to shreds any element of peopleent that can help either today or tomorrow. that is the point of the destruction of the environmental system. it is not just the epa, which is slashed. most of the environmental programs were actually in the energy department. those programs were slashed seriously. juan: what do you make in terms of when you talk about
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decimation, clearly, one of the big failures was their inability to end obamacare. could you talk about what your sig. now as the potential in terms of the health care system in the country, what they will try to do and what the potential is there? >> pretty interesting poll came out a couple of days ago. simply asking people what they preferred. the republican proposal was the ,owest of the choices available i think about 15% of the population were going to accept it. somewhat higher was the existing system, so-called obamacare. on that, it is worth bearing in mind that a lot of people don't know that obamacare is the affordable care act. so you have negative attitudes toward obamacare thanks to lots of propaganda, but more positive attitudes toward the affordable care act because of what people see. most popular of all, over half,
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was the so-called public option. government guaranteed health care program. which is pretty remarkable because no one publicly advocates that, but it is been a consistent polling result for decades. when peop asked what they want, that is their choice. in fact, that is about the proposal that makes any sense. is u.s. health care system an international scandal. it is roughly twice the per capita cost of comparable countries. and some of the worst outcomes, mainly because it is privatized. it is inefficient, bureaucratized, lots of bill paying, lots of officials, all kinds of many wasted, health care in the hands of profit-seeking institutions -- which are not health institutions, of course. for decades, people have preferred what every other ,ountry has in some fashion
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either straight national healthcare, heavily government regulated health care like, say, switzerland. sometimes the support is astonishingly high. so in the late reagan years, for example, about 70% of the population thought that kindred healthcare should be a constitutional guarantee because it is such an obvious -- about 40% thought it was already in the constitution. the constitution is this holy collection of anything reasonable, so it must be there. but it does not matter what people think. obama put through his own program, i think support for the public option was almost two thirds. it was simply dismantled. discussedly, this is in the press, "the new york times" and others. they mention it. they say it is a possibility,
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but it is called politically impossible -- which is correct -- which means you cannot pass it through the pharmaceutical corporations and financial institutions. that is politically possible in what is called a mock received. sometimes they say "lacking political support," meaning from institutions that really matter. we can dismiss them. amy: do think there could be a next and in china moment with trump? he in the past has expressed support for single-payer. he is extremely angry right now at the freedom caucus. he can't decide which are the villains in this more, the freedom caucus or the democrats. he goes back and forth. do you think you could sort of throw it all out or is it going to just go, as we are seeing in the past few days, where looks like they're going to revive it to wither so-called freedom caucus once? >> i think it will probably revise it. trump is all over the place. you don't know what he believes.
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he says anything that comes to his mind at 3:00 a.m. the people who are really setting the policy in the background, essentially, the ryan ultra-right republicans, they understand what they're doing. they want to destroy the aspects of the health care system that are beneficial to the general public. that is systematic policies. probably what will happen is the kind of compromise that is all ready been discussed with states having the right to opt out of whatever the federal program is -- which might satisfy the ultra right freedom caucus am a make it even worse than the current republican proposal. juan: i want to turn to -- >> i think kansas turned out expansion of medicaid. anything that is going to help people in need has to be wiped
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out. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to this discussion with the world-renowned political dissident, linguist, author noam chomsky. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. our guest for the noam chomsky, hour, world-renowned political dissident, linguist, and author. he is institute professor emeritus at massachusetts institute of technology where he . his latest book "requiem for , the american dream: the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & power." juan: i want to ask you something that has been in the news. the cable channels, they talk about the whole situation of russia's supposed intervention in american elections for a
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country that has intervened that so many governments, so many elections around the world have kind of a strange topic, but i know you referred to this as a joke. could you give us your view on what is happening and why they're so much emphasis on this particular issue? fact is pretty remarkable -- first of all, it is a joke. half the world is cracking up in laughter. the united states doesn't just interfere in elections, it overthrows governments. it overthrows governments it doesn't like, statutes military dictatorships. in the case of russia alone, it is the least of it, the u.s. government under clinton intervened quite blatantly and openly, then try to conceal it to get their man yeltsin and in all sorts of ways. it is considered -- it is turning the united states into a laughingstock of the
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world. so why the democrats focusing on this? in fact, why are they focusing so much attention on the one element of trump's programs which is fairly reasonable, the one right of light in this gloom trying to reduce tensions with russia? the tensions on the russian border are extremely serious. they could escalate to a major terminal war. efforts to try to reduce them should be welcomed. a couple of days ago, the former u.s. ambassador jack matlock said, just can't believe that so much tension is being paid to appear in efforts by the incoming administration to establish connections with russia. said, that is what they ought to be doing. meanwhile, this one topic is the andary locus of concern
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critique, meanwhile, policies are proceeding step-by-step which are extremely destructive and harmful. yeah, maybe the russians interfered in the election. it is not a major issue. maybe the people in the trump campaign were talking to the russians. not a major point. certainly, less than is being done constantly. it is a kind of paradox, i think, the one issue that seems to inflame the democratic opposition is the one thing that andsome justification reasonable aspects to it. amy: of course, because the democrats feel that is the reason somehow that they lost the election also interesting that james comey this week said
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he is investigating trump campaign collusion with russia when it was james comey himself who might well have been partly responsible for hillary clinton's defeat when he said he was investigating her while we now have learned at the same time he was investigating donald trump, but never actually said that. >> you can understand why the democric party managers want to try to find some blame for the fact -- for the way they utterly mishandled the election and blew a perfect opportunity headed over to the opposition. that is hardly justification for allowing the trump policies to slide by quietly. many of them not only harmful to the population, but extremely destructive, like the climate change policies.
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meanwhile, focus on one thing that could come a step forward if it was adjusted to move toward serious effort to reduce growing and dangerous tensions right on the russian border. where they could blowup nato maneuvers taking place hundreds of yards from the russian border, russian jet planes are buzzing american planes. this is something that could get out of hand very easily -- both sides, meanwhile, are building forces. military the u.s. -- the russians are very much concerned about the assaultd intimal installation -- antimissile installation the u.s. allegedly has near the border to protect europe from nonexistent iranian
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missiles. a firstunderstood to be strike threat. these are serious issues. parry, ake william distinguished career in nuclear strategy, no alarmist at all, is saying we are back to one of the worst moments of the cold war if not worse. that is really serious. thatfforts to try to calm down would be very welcome. we should bear in mind, it is the russian border, not the mexican border. no maneuvers going on in mexico. that is the border the russians are quite reasonably sensitive about. they practically have been destroyed the last time -- the last century. juan: in light of your concern about the growing threat in terms of nuclear weapons, there are maneuvers going on off the coast of korea.
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-- the words we've heard from trump, if china doesn't tilt north korea, the u.s. will. can you talk about his policies already, his developing policies toward korea and china? >> it is interesting to look at the record. the claim is, we have tried everything. nothing works, therefore, we have to use force. is it true that nothing has worked? there is a record, after all. if you look at the record, it is interesting. 1994, clinton made -- established what was called the framework agreement with north korea. north korea would terminate its efforts to develop nuclear weapons, the u.s. would reduce hostile acts. it more or less worked and neither side lived up to it by 2000, north korea had not proceeded with its nuclear weapons programs.
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george w. bush came in and immediately launched an assault on north korea and axis of evil. north korea returned to producing nuclear weapons. in 2005, there was an agreement between north korea and the united states. pretty sensible agreement. north korea agreed to terminate its development of nuclear weapons. in return, it called for a nonaggression pact. threats,ng hostile relief from harsh sanctions, and provision of assistance to provide north korea with low in enriched uranium for medical and other purposes. that was the proposal. george bush instantly toward to shreds within days. u.s. was imposing -- trying to
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disrupt north korean financial transactions through other countries. north korea backed off and started building nuclear weapons again. it is thecan say worst regime in history, whatever you like, but they have been following pretty rational tit-for-tat policy. why the developing nuclear weapons? the economy is in bad shape. they concern we use the resources. everyone understands it is a deterrent. and they have a proposal, actually. there's a proposal on the table. china and north korea proposed that north korea should its further development of nuclear weapons. in return, the united states should stop carrying out threatening military maneuvers with south korea right on its border. not an unreasonable proposal.
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simply dismissed after obama dismissed it, too. there are possible steps that could be taken to alleviate, which could be extremely serious crisis. if the u.s. did decide to use force against north korea, one , according totion the military sources available to us, would simply be wiped out by mass with korean tillery -- artillery. who knows where we would go from there. the opportunity to produce -- to move toward a negotiated diplomatic settlement does not seem outlandish under this chinese-north korean proposal, certainly, worth serious consideration i would think. it is worth bearing in mind, north korea has some -- they were practically destroyed by
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some of the most intensive bombing in history. -- people should read the official air force history of the bombing of north korea. it is shattering. i mean, they had flattened the country. there were no targets left. therefore, they decided, well, ms in thettack the da description of the attack on the , without the exact wording i hate to paraphrase it, you should read -- resulting in the official books about how magnificent it would be to see this massive flood of water coursing through north korea, asians,ut crops for rice crops is their life. this will destroy them. it will be magnificent.
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north koreans lived through that. and having nuclear capable b-52's flying on their border is not a joke. but most significantly, there is inecord of partial success diplomatic initiatives, total failure with sanctions and harsh moves. an options that are on the table, which could be pursued. now, instead of concern about whether somebody talked to the russians, this is the kind of shouldhat should be -- be pursued very seriously. that is what the democrats or ofone hoping for some form peace and justice should be working for. amy: which brings us to china. president trump said if china is not going to solve north korea, we will. are you concerned that with
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trump at an all-time low for presidents when it comes to popularity with suffering defeat after defeat, lashing out and trying to focus on a foreign enemy? but at the same time, you have china coming to the united states, this meeting that he is going to have with the chinese i in mar-a-lago, also very interesting considering it is a golf course. he hates golf and forbade communist party members to play golf. is it more about trump feeling he has more access to shut down press coverage or any information about who is meeting with him when it is in his private resort, but more importantly, what the agenda is there and what our relationship is with china? >> as you recall, one of the interesting incidents was a public discussion of significant resorty issues in the
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with people sitting around drinking coffee and having drinks. maybe they keep the press out, but they did not seem to keep the guests out. amy: not if you pay 200,000 dollars year and you're a member of mar-a-lago. can you get to take photos, selfies with the men caring the nuclear codes. >> he is extremely unpredictable. aretions with china extremely serious issues. china is not going to back down on its fundamental demands concerning taiwan, for example. and if trump -- a lot of what china is demanding, i think is it is notacceptable, internationally acceptable. but the reaction through use of force is just extraordinarily dangerous.
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you cannot play that game in international affairs. we are too close to destroying ourselves. take a look at the record through the nuclear age of near accidental, sometimes accidental irrationales kind of actions, it is honest macula's we survived -- almost miraculous we survived. to get a good estimate of the bestr, take a look at the monitor of the global security situation that we have as a simple measure. mainly, the doomsday clock. this is set every year since the beginning of the nuclear age, 1947, by a group of serious
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politicals scientist, analysts, and others, who try to give a measure of the danger that the human species faces. midnight means we are finished. at1947, the clock was set seven minutes to midnight. in 1953, right after the u.s. and russia tested hydrogen bombs , nuclear weapons, he went to two minutes till midnight. that is the closest it has been to total disaster. right now, as soon as trump came in, it was moved to 2.5 minutes to midnight. both because of the nuclear threat, recognized to be serious, and the threat of environmental catastrophe, which was not considered in earlier years and now is. thee are overwhelmingly
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most crucial issues that face us. everything else fades into insignificance in comparison to them. those are literally questions of survival. 2.5 minutes to midnight means extraordinary danger. these should be the make it -- should be the major focus of attention. it is kind of astonishing to see the way they are ignored. throughout the whole electoral campaign, practically no mention of them. every republican candidate, every single one, either with regard to climate, either denied what is happening or said the moderates like jeb bush, kasich, said, well, maybe it is happening but we should nothing about it. amy: and the boycott at the nuclear ban talks. >> there is also the question of the conference of test ban treaty. there are now three nuclear
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powers which have refused to ratify, china, the united states, and israel. istests begin again, it actually serious danger. as i mentioned, it was when the first tests were carried out at the doomsday clock went to two minutes to midnight. there is the problem of the new start treaty. there has been inadequate, but significant reduction in nuclear weapons since the end of the cold war. the new start treaty is supposed to carry it forward. russia and the united states have overwhelmingly massive nuclear weapons. on theuld cut down number, but also the more -- wouldng ones would reduce it. trump has indicated, nobody knows what he means, but he is indicated, what he calls a bad deal for the united states, suggesting maybe we should pull out, which would be a disaster.
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these are major issues. the fact they are merely being -- it is as shattering commentary on the level of the contemporary civilization. amy: we're speaking with noam chomsky, world-renowned political dissident, linguist, and author. he is institute professor emeritus at massachusetts institute of technology where he has taught for more than 50 years. he has a new book that comes out today. it is called "requiem for the , american dream: the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & power." we will be back with him in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "noam chomsky is a soft revolution." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez.
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is noam chomsky, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist, and author. his latest book is "requiem for the american dream: the 10 principles of concentration of wealth & power." juan: i want to ask you, those on the left are accustomed to looking at the american government basically as in the service of the capitalist class. occasionally, they have a member who went in. with the trump administration, it is next for nearing number of extremely wealthy people who have moved directly into government. and yet you are seeing this narrative that they are attracting support from the white working class of the country. can you talk about the capitalist directly taking over government? say, they have run it all the time. the simple measures like
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campaign funding alone, simple measure like that, is a very close predictor, not only of electoral victory, but even of policies. it has been true for century -- for a century. if you take a look at the analysis of public attitude -- a major topic in academic political science is comparing the popular attitudes with public policy. pretty straightforward. public policy, you can see popular attitudes from extensive polling. the results are pretty startling. it turns out about 70% of voters, which is maybe half the electorate, about 70% of voters are literally disenfranchised. the lower 70% on the income scale, meaning their own representatives pay no attention
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to their attitudes and preferences. if you move up the income scale, you get a little more correlation, a little more influence. the very top, probably a fraction of 1% if you did the data, where policy sits. the trump administration is kind of a caricature of this. it is always pretty much true. arehere it is as if they purposely trying to flaunt the fact that this country is run by goldman sachs and the billionaires, and no discounts. juan: wilbur ross, betsy devos. >> it is him is like a shocking parody, as if they're trying to true,hat we all know is dramatically true, and we're going to show it to you. in interesting question but the
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one you raise, is, how are they maintaining support of the people there kicking in the face? that is not uninteresting. if you look into it, there is a number of factors. first of all, many of the trump voters -- white working class voters -- quite a few of them voted for obama in 2008. you go back to the obama campaign, the exciting words were "hope" and "change." -- item usually agree with sarah palin, but when she asked where is this hope and change stuff, she wasn't talking nonsense will stop it quickly became clear there is no hope and the is no change. the working people work dissolution. you could see it in massachusetts, think when kennedy died, the liberal lion that was going to be a vote to replace him in 2010. amazingly, a republican won in
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democratic massachusetts, kennedy's seat. and union voters did not vote for the democrats. they were very upset by the fact , they felten cheated rightly, by the obama campaign of promises. and they turned to their bitter class enemy, who at least talks therepublicans have mastered the technique of talking words as if your sort of an ordinary guy, kind of guy you would meet and a bar, that sort of thing. he goes back to reagan and his jellybeans and mispronouncing words by bush and so on and so forth. it is a game that is played. it is a con game. it in the absence of any opposition, it works. what happens when there is an opposition? that is very striking. the most astonishing fact about
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the last election, which is the standards achievement. that is a break from a century of american political history. as i said, you can pretty well predict electoral outcomes simply by campaign funding alone. so there are factors that intensif here comes sanders, somebody nobody ever heard of. no support from the wealthy, no support from corporations, the media ignored or disparaged him. he even used the word "socialist." he would have wanted democratic party nomination if it had not been for the shenanigans of the obama-clinton party managers that kept him out. he might have been president. from nothing. that is an incredible break. it shows what can happen when policies are proposed that do meet the general just concerns
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of much of the population. amy: do you think you could win if he ran again? >> there was a fox news poll couple of days ago. who is the favor political figure. ahead, was way and it far ahead of anybody else. with no vocal articulate support among the concentrations of power, media corporations were elsewhere. in fact, if you look at policy preferences, you see something similar. the arguments in the health issue. issue,, on issue after much of the public that is actually voting for their bitter class enemy if you look at the policies. actually favors social democratic policies. even environmental policies. amy: we have had hundreds of questions come in from every
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means to ask you post up one of them asks on twitter about trump exploiting fear. he asked -- >> well, actually, the statement i made was pretty muted. it was not right as strong as the headlines indicated. what i pointed out and what i think everyone is aware of is, sooner or later, this con game is not going to work. that people will understand he is not bringing back jobs, that he is not going to re-create the partly illusory and partly really sure of life inhe past inh manufacturing jobs functioning society, we can get ahead, and so and so forth. he is not going to create that.
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what happens at that point, something has to be done to obvious control of the technique is scapegoating. ,o blame it on immigrants muslims come on sunday. but that can only go so far. the next step would be, as i said, and alleged terrorist attack, which is quite easy. in fact, almost normal. like condoleezza rice toss mushroom clouds. that is easy to construct, alleged attacks. another possibility is a staged attack of a minor kind. and how hard would that be? fbi technique, which they're using constantly, of creating situations of entrapment. suppose one of them goes a
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little too far? you don't stop it right in time? that would not be hard to work out -- i don't particularly anticipated, but it is a possibility. and this is a very frightened country. for years, this has probably been the most frightened country in the world come although, the safest country in the world. it is very easy to terrify people. juan: i would ask another question that came in from melbourne, australia. he said -- >> that has been going on for years. right through the obama years. karen was regarded as the greatest threat to world peace. that is repeated over and over. , obama'sns are open race, meaning, if we want to use nuclear weapons, we can because of this terrible danger to peace.
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we have a few interesting comments that should be made about this. one, there is something called world opinion. what is -- what does the world think is the greatest threat? we don't from gallup poll's. evennited states, nobody close, far ahead of any other threat. pakistan, second. much lower. irae ran, hardly mention -- n, hardly mention. why is iran largest threat to these? it comes from the intelligence community, which provides .egular assessments a couple of years ago, -- of ,ourse, there was discuss iran and the reports are consistent. they say irn is very low military spending, even by the
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standards of the region, much lower than saudi arabia, israel, others. defensive.y is they want to deter attacks long enough for diplomacy to be entertained. the conclusion, intelligence conclusion a couple of years ago, is if they are developing nuclear weapons, which we don't know, but if they are, it would be part of their deterrent strategy. why is the united states and israel even more so concerned about a deterrent? is concerned about a deterrent? those who want to use force. those who want to be free to use force are deeply concerned about a potential deterrent. so yes, there ran is the greatest threat to world peace. amy: today's the 50th anniversary of dr. king giving his beyond vietnam speech at
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riverside church where he said the united states is the greatest purveyor of violence on earth. your thoughts today as we wrap up -- in the last 30 seconds? by keyinghat speech was very important. also, other speeches he gave at the same time, which at the time, seriously harmed his reputation among liberal northerners. condemned the war in vietnam, which was the worst crimes since the second world war. the other thing he was doing was trying to create a poor people's movement. separated poor people. amy: we will depart to and post it at democracynow.org. i will be with him on april 24. denver this week and as well as british columbia. i am amy goodman.
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