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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  April 26, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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04/26/17 04/26/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from burlington, vermont this is democracy now! eras ine in these coup which the possibility of human survival is very much at stake. amy: we will spend the hour with the world renowned linguist and dissident noam chomsky on the twin threats of climate change and nuclear war, as well as north korea, iran, syria, and we ask him about trump administration's threats to prosecute wikileaks founder julian assange. >> is the charge is true, he should be honored for it.
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chelsea manning and edward up euro,arried courageous acts. they fulfilled the responsibility of some who takes citizenship seriously. that is, who believe people of the country ought to know something about -- amy: professor noam chomsky for the hour in a public conversation i had with him earlier this week in cambridge, massachusetts. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump is slated to announce his tax plan today. the plan proposes to slash the corporate tax rate from 35% to a mere 15%. the plan would also grant the 15% tax rate to companies known as s corporations, which include
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both small family businesses and massive corporations, such as hedge funds and real estate empires, such as trump's own companies. "the washington post" reports that some of the biggest winners of trump's proposed tax cuts would be construction and retail companies. the tax plan would sharply increase the national deficit. a tax foundation analysis found the proposed cuts to the corporate tax rate alone would reduce revenue by $2 trillion over 10 years. democrats have vowed to refuse to work with president trump on any tax plans until he agrees to release his own tax returns. turkey carried out a series of airstrikes in iraq and syria tuesday that reportedly killed up to 20 u.s.-backed kurdish fighters. u.s. officials say they are deeply concerned about the turkish airstrikes. two u.s.-backed kurdish groups, the ypg in syria and the peshmerga in iraq, say the airstrikes hit their camps and killed their fighters. the ypg says the airstrikes hit a radio station, media center,
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and communication facilities. turkey says the airstrikes were targeting camps of the kurdistan workers party, known as the pkk, which turkey claims is a terrorist group. the journalistic monitoring group airwars says 17 civilians, including nine children, reportedly died in u.s.-led coalition airstrikes on the syrian city of tabaqa in raqqa province on monday. the victims reportedly included the six-month-old baby abd al salam and the toddler ali abu aish, along with their entire family. the local journalistic group raqqa is being slaughtered silently says the civilians were killed when coalition warplanes bombed their cars and then attacked them with machine gun fire as they were trying to flee the besieged city. meanwhile, in more news on syria, two democratic lawmakers -- virginia senator tim kaine and california congressman adam schiff -- sent a letter to the white house tuesday demanding president trump provide a legal justification for the u.s.
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attack on the shayrat air base earlier this month. back in the united states, a federal judge in california has dealt a major blow to the trump administration's attempts to withhold billions of dollars of funding from so-called sanctuary cities. on tuesday, u.s. district court judge william orrick issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the administration's efforts, writing trump had overstepped his legal authority and that only congress could make such funding conditions. the trump administration has been trying to force sanctuary cities to mobilize local law enforcement to work with federal immigration agents to carry out trump's mass deportation plans. in a statement, the white house slammed the ruling, saying -- "today, the rule of law suffered another blow, as an unelected judge unilaterally rewrote immigration policy for our nation." this morning president trump tweeted -- "first the ninth circuit rules against the ban & now it hits
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again on sanctuary cities-both ridiculous rulings. see you in the supreme court!" the california ruling comes as immigrants and their allies continue to organize nationwide against president trump's crackdown. in boston, 20 people were arrested monday at a protest and sit-in outside boston's south bay detention facility. in baltimore, advocates have launched a new $500,000 legal defense fund for undocumented immigrants who get arrested in ice raids. and in tacoma, washington, imprisoned immigrants have relaunched a hunger strike at the for-profit northwest detention center after the strike organizers say the prison's operator, geo group, reneged on the conditions of the negotiations and actually worsened, rather than improved the food. , to see our full interview about the tacoma hunger strikes, go to democracynow.org. two senior lawmakers on the house oversight committee, utah
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republican congressman jason chaffetz and maryland democratic congressman elijah cummings, say former national security adviser michael flynn may have broken u.s. laws by receiving payments from the russian and turkish governments, and then failing to disclose these payments when seeking security clearance. flynn received tens of thousands of dollars from the russian government for a 2015 speaking event. he was also working as a foreign agent for the turkish government last fall as he served as a top adviser to donald trump's campaign. this is congressman chaffetz. >> is a former military officer, he cannot take money from russia, turkey, or anybody else. it appears as if he did take that money. it was inappropriate. the report gush and for the violation of law. in berlin, germany, president trump's daughter and ivankaouse adviser
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, trump, was booed and jeered during a panel discussion at a meeting of women business leaders, when she claimed that fathers. >> and proud of my father, long before he came to the presidency. jenna campaign, and the primaries, he is been supporting --ilies and enabling them [inaudible] amy: that was the panel's moderator miriam meckel. ivanka was sitting alongside german chancellor angela merkel and managing director of the imf christine lagarde. the panel came as the "washington post" reported that the chinese workers in a factory that produces clothing for ivanka's brand earn just over $60 a week for nearly 60 hours of work. or about $1 an hour. a new investigation by the intercept reveals how major corporations, including koch industries and nestle, lobbied
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directly for some of president trump's key cabinet nominations. koch heavily supported now environmental protection agency head scott pruitt. the clothing manufacturer trade group the american apparel & footwear association lobbied to support andrew puzder, trump's first pick for labor department head. nestle lobbied for sonny perdue, now the secretary of agriculture, while the new york city police sergeants union backed the confirmation of attorney general jeff sessions. in japan, protesters gathered in okinawa tuesday to oppose the first day of construction of a highly controversial new u.s. military base on the island. for decades, residents have called for the expulsion of u.s. troops from okinawa, which houses about two-thirds of the 50,000 u.s. troops currently stationed in japan. in venezuela, two more people have died after being shot at political demonstrations tuesday as political unrest continues. both government forces and armed opposition members have been responsible for deaths during
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demonstrations in recent weeks. a total of 26 people have died. among those who have been killed was trade union leader esmin ramirez, whose body was found after he was kidnapped over the weekend. ramirez had been participating in marches in support of the venezuelan president nicolas maduro. his friends say his death was politically motivated. in brazil, more than 3000 indigenous people demonstrated in front of congress tuesday, protesting ongoing theft of their land and resources, which they say has worsened under president michel temer. the demonstrators carried hundreds of coffins to symbolize the genocide of indigenous nations in brazil. the protests turned into clashes after the police attacked the demonstrators with tear gas, prompting some to respond by throwing spears and shooting arrows at the police. back in the united states, in seattle, washington, prosecutors have charged a married couple with first and third degree
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murder for the shooting of an anti-fascist protester at a demonstration against a speech by white nationalist former breitbart news editor milo yiannopoulos at the university of washington in january. joshua dukes, a member of the industrial workers of the world, was critically injured when alleged shooter elizabeth hokoana fired a single shot from a glock semi-automatic handgun into his stomach. prosecutors say hokoana and her husband, marc, went to the armed protest intending to provoke the anti-fascist protesters. marc messaged a friend on facebook writing -- "i'm going to the milo event and if the snowflakes get out off hand i'm going to wade through their ranks and start cracking skulls." "snowflake" is a derisive term used by white nationalists to refer to leftists and liberals. joshua dukes is still recovering from the shooting and says he's seeking a restorative justice process, not incarceration, for the alleged shooter. and in new york city, hundreds
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of people gathered to protest and disrupt citibank's annual shareholder meeting to show their opposition to the controversial dakota access pipeline and keystone xl pipeline as well. the protest was led by indigenous women. citibank has invested both the dakota access and keystone xl pipelines which have faced , resistance over concerns the pipelines could contaminate land and drinking water, violate the sovereignty of indigenous nations, and contribute to climate change. these are two indigenous women "fancy dancers," speaking after they danced down the aisles of the shareholder meeting and onto the stage. they went in there and laughed. they told us to get jobs. it i thought as long as people are taking from other earth, i will always have work to do. i will always need to be working. it did not get to me at all.
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i just danced. i hope they felt what i felt. thank you so much for being here. >> also, there were people in there who clapped for us. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as president trump prepares to mark 100 days in office, we spend the hour with the world renowned linguist and dissident noam chomsky. i spoke to him on monday night at the first parish church in cambridge, massachusetts. we talked about climate change, nuclear weapons, north korea, iran, the war in syria, and the trump administration's threat to prosecute wikileaks founder julian assange. i began by asking him about the comments at the republican party is the most dangerous organization in the world. i want to ask about this comment
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that you made that the republican party you said is the most dangerous organization in world history. can you explain? >> also said it is an extremely outrageous statement. but the question is, whether it is true. i mean, has there ever been an organization in human history that is dedicated with such commitment to the destruction of organized human life on earth? not that i'm aware of. is the republican organization committed to that? overwhelmingly. there isn't any question about it. take a look at the last primary campaign. plenty of publicity. very little comment on the most significant fact. every single candidate user
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denied that either denied that 's move happening, syria toward and by mental catastrophe, or there were a couple of moderate so-called jeb bush, who said maybe it is happening, we really don't know, but it doesn't matter because fracking is working fine, so we can get more fossil fuels. there's the guy who was called the adult in the room, john kasich, the one person who said, yes, it is true, global warming is going on. it is doesn't matter. he is the governor of ohio. in ohio, we're going to go on using coal for energy and we aren't going to apologize for. so that is what hundred percent commitment toward racing toward disaster. and take a look at what has happened since. election.er 8 was the
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there was, as i'm sure most of you know, very important conference underway in morocco -- marrakesh, morocco. almost roughly 200 countries at the united nations-sponsored conference, which was the goal of which was to put some specific commitments into the verbal agreements that were reached at paris in december 2015, the preceding international conference on global warming. the paris conference did intend to reach a verifiable treaty, but they could not because of the most dangerous organization in human history will stop the republican congress would not accept any commitments, so therefore, the world was left with verbal promises, but no commitments.
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last november 8, there were going to try to carry that forward on november 8, in fact, there was a report by the world meteorological organization. very dyer analysis of the state of the environment and the likely prospects also pointed out that we are coming carelessly close to the tipping point, which was the goal of the pairs negotiations was to keep things below that, coming very close to it. and other ominous predictions. at that point, the conference pretty much stopped because the news came in about the election. and it turns out, the most powerful country in human history, the richest, most powerful, most influential, the leader of the free world, has just decided not only not to support the efforts, but actively to undermine them.
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so the whole world on one side, literally, at least trying to do something or other, not enough maybe, although, some places are going pretty far like denmark and a couple of others -- on the other side, in the splendid isolation, is the country led by the most dangerous organization in human history, which is saying, we are not part of this. in fact, we're going to try to undermine it. we're going to maximize the use fuels.il it could carry us past the tipping point. we're not going to provide hunting -- funding as committed in paris to developing countries that are trying to do something about the climate problems. we're going to dismantle reatard --theat devastating impact of the
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production of carbon dioxide, in fact, other dangerous gases, methane, and others. ok. so the conference kind of pretty much came to a halt. the question -- it continued, but the question was, can we salvage something from this wreckage? pretty amazing, the countries of the world were looking for salvation to a different country -- china. here we have a world looking for salvation to china, of all states when the united is the wrecking machine that is threatening destruction. with all three branches of government in the hands of the most dangerous organization in history. i don't have to go through what has happened since, but the -- in general, the cabinet appointments are designed -- assigned to people whose are thatt and believes
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it is necessary to destroy everything in their department that could be of any use to human beings, and would not just increase profits and power. they are doing a very systematically, one after another. epa, environmental protection agency, has been very sharply cut. the main department that is concerned with environmental issues is the department of energy, which also had very sharp cut, particularly in the environment-related programs. there is even a ban on posting and publishing information material about this. this is not just at the national level. whateverlican party, you want to call it, has been doing this at every level. so in north carolina a couple of years ago, we were at the legislature, mostly thanks to
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gerrymandering, in the hands of the republicans, there was a study. they called for a study on the affective sea level -- on what sea level rise might be on the north carolina coast. there was a serious scientific study, which predicted -- i do forget how many years, roughly a meter rise in sea level, which could be devastating to eastern north carolina. and the legislature did react, namely, by passing legislation to ban any actions or even discussion that might have to do with climate change. actually, the best comment -- i verbatim,ld quote it was by stephen colbert who said "if you have a serious problem, the way to deal with it is to legislate that it doesn't exist.
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problem solved." amy: m.i.t. professor noam book,y, author of the new "requiem for the american dream." threat oflk about the north korea, iran, and more. 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. on monday, we were in cambridge, massachusetts, where i sat down at the first paris church in cambridge with m.i.t. professor, longtime dissident, world-renowned linguist noam chomsky. >> huge specter that we are kind of trying to survive under, and that is nuclear war. that is a whole other story here, but the obama administration and increasingly
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trump or radically increasing thedanger, the threat of ew developments is captured very effectively in the best, simple monitor of the state of the world, established at the beginning of the nuclear age of the bulletin of atomic scientists. the bulletin of atomic scientists regularly brings ,ogether a group of scientists political analysts, other serious people to try to give some kind of estimate of what the situation of the world is. the question is, how close are we to termination of the species? they have a clock, a doomsday clock. when it hits midnight, we are finished. the end of the human species and much else.
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the question every year is, how far is the minute hand from midnight? 1947, theinning in beginning of the nuclear age, it was placed at seven minutes until midnight. it has been moving up and back ever since. the closest it has come to midnight was 1953. 1953, the united states and russia, they both exploded hydrogen bombs, which are extremely serious threat to survival. intercontinental ballistic missiles are being developed. this was the first serious threat to the security of the united states. there is an interesting story behind that, though. we will put it aside, unless there is time to talk about it. two minutescame to until midnight, and it has been moving up and back ever since. two years ago, 2014 i think it
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took intonalysts account for the first time something that had been it toward. the fact the nuclear age -- the beginning of the nuclear age coincided with the beginning of a new geological epoch. there is been some debate about the epoch in which human activity is drastically affecting the general environment. there's been debate about its inception. at the world geological organization has recently determined that it is about the same time as the beginning of the nuclear age. eras ine in these two which the possibility of human survival is very much at stake. with us, everything else, too, most doing things, which are already under severe threat.
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a couple of years ago, i think it was 2014, the bulletin began to take that into account and move them in a hand up to three minutes until midnight. where it remained last year. 'about a week into trumps term, the clock was moved again to 2.5 minutes to midnight. that is the closest it has been since 1953. and that means extermination of much an opens very question. i don't want to say it is solely the impact of the republican party -- obviously, that is false -- but they certainly are in the lead in openly advocating and working for destruction of the human species. i agree that is a very outrageous statement.
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therefore, i simple he suggest that you take a look at the facts and see if it has any merit or if it should be bitterly condemned. that is up to you. to me, the facts are pretty clear. amy: at this point, as president come inars is 100th day north korea and iran have been a major focus. are you concerned that with the president at the lowest popularity rating i think in any president's history at this point, that he will focus a broad -- as he has in the last few weeks, dropping the moab, mother of all bombs in afghanistan, bombing the syrian government, and yet focusing specifically on north korea and iran. and general mcmaster, the
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national security adviser saying, tensions with north --ea are coming to a head the you think there's a possibility that the u.s. would attack north korea? >> this administration is extremely unpredictable. trump probably has no idea what he is going to do five minutes from now, so you can't -- [laughter] you can't make predictions with much confidence. but the reason is simple. in attack on north korea would unleash, no matter what attack it is, even a nuclear attack, would unleash massive artillery bombardment of seoul with the biggest city in south korea right near the border, which would wipe it out, including plenty of american troops. mean, i am no technical
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expert, but as i read and can see, there is no defense against that. furthermore, north korea could basesate against american in the region, where there are plenty of american soldis and so one can also in japan. they would be devastated. north korea would be finished. so would much of the region. but if attacked, presumably, they would respond, very likely. in fact, the responses might be automatic. the master, and mattis, understand how much influence they have. we don't know. i think in attack is unlikely, but the real question is, is there a way of dealing with the problem? there are a lot of proposals, sanctions, a new missile defense system, which is a major threat to china will increase tensions there. military threats of various kinds.
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, theng aircraft carrier vinson, to north korea, except by accident that happened to be going in the opposite direction, but we will forget that. these are -- those are the proposals, the kind of proposals how to solve. there is one proposal that is ignored. you see a mention of it now and then. it is a pretty simple proposal. remember, the goal is to get north korea to freeze its weapons systems. weapons and missile systems. so one proposal is to accept their offer to do that. it sounds simple. they have made a proposal, china and north korea, proposed to freeze the north korean missile and nuclear weapons systems. in the u.s. instantly rejected it. you can't blame that on trump. obama did the same thing a couple of years ago, same offer was presented.
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i think of was 2015, the obama administration instantly rejected it. and the reason is that it calls for a quid pro quo. it says in return, the united totes should put an end threatening military maneuvers on north korea's borders, which happen to include under trump, sending of nuclear capable b-52's flying right near the border. maybe a americans don't remember very well, but north koreans have a memory of not too long ago when north korea was absolutely flattened, literally, by american bombing. there was literally no targets left. i really urge people who have not done it, to read the official american military histories, the military histories describing this.
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they describe it very vividly and accurately. they say they're just weren't any targets left, so what can we do? well, we decided to attack the huge dams. that is a major war crime. we will put that aside. then comes an ecstatic, gleeful description of the bombing of the dams in the huge flow of water, which was wiping out valleys and destroying the rise crop on which asians depend on for survival. lots of raciscomment. itith all ofhe exultation and glee -- you really have to readt to appreate it -- north koreans don't have to bother readi it, they lived it. so when nuclear capable b-52's are flying on their border, along with other threatening military maneuvers, they are kind of upset about it. strange people.
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develop what to they see as a potential deterrent that might reject the ,egime -- protect the regime and the country, in fact, from destruction. this has nothing at all to do with what you think about the government. so maybe it is the worst government in human histy, ok. but these are still the facts that exist. so why is the united states unwilling to accept an agreement which would end the immediate threat of destruction against north korea? and in return, freeze the weapons and missile systems? well, i leave that to you. remember, that is bipartisan in this case. could negotiations -- the usual argument is, well, you can't trust them, and so on, and so forth. but there is a history. time to run for the history.
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it is quite interesting. underins in 1993 when clinton, the north koreans made a deal with israel to terminate north korean missile shipments to the middle east -- which is a great, serious right to israel and the world. and in return, israel would recognize north korea. the clinton administration would not accept that. they pressured israel, which has to do what they're told to do, withdraw from it. and north korea responded by firing their first intermediate range missiles. i will go on with the rest. it is a very interesting story. there was actually an agreement in 2005 that north korea would implicitly -- would completely dismantle its missile systems. end them. dismantle them. in return for a nonaggression pact from the united states, an
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end to threats, provision by the oft -- the united states -- a light water reactor, which can't produce nuclear weapons, but could be used to produce peaceful purposes, medical research, other purposes. that was basically the agreement in 2005. it did not last for a long. the bush administration instantly undermined it. it dismantle the consortium that was supposed to provide the reactor, and it immediately -- when u.s.ure pressures, it means it happens -- banks to block north korean financial transactions, legitimateerfectly trade. so the crazy north korean's started producing missiles and nuclear weapons again. that is been the kind of record
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all the way through. maybe the most horrible regime and history, but the fact of the matter is, the regime does want to survive. it even once to carry out economic development. there is pretty general agreement about this, which it cannot do in any significant way when it is pouring very resources into missile production. so they have considerable incentive, including survival, to perhaps continue this process of reacting in a tit-for-tat fashion to u.s. actions. when the u.s. lowers tensions, they do. when we raise tensions, they go on with these plans. how about that is a possibility? --ean, if you look at the the present occasionally mentions. not about article in "the
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washington post" about it recently about a u.s. professor that teaches in south korea. occasionally, it is this strange possibility of letting the north koreans do exactly what we want them to do. sometimes this is mentioned, but it is pretty much dismissed. we can't do that sort of thing. there are similar questions to raise about iran. iran is, you know, again, the mattis,n the room, like say it is the greatest threat of peace will step how is the sponsor of terrorism? i could go through that. for example, in yemen, it's claimed their providing some -- to rebel tribesmen in yemen. ok, maybe they are. what is the united states doing in yemen? it is providing a huge flood of arms to its saudi arabian ally who are destroying the country,
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who have created a huge humanitarian crisis. huge numbers of people killed, areive starvation, they threatening now to bomb a port, which is the only source of aid for surviving people. of iran is a major source terrorism. if you look around the world, there are many questions like this. i don't want to go on too long, and theretrikingly -- is one lesson that you discover when you carefully look at the historical record. what i just described about north korea is pretty typical. over and over again, there are possibilities of diplomacy and negotiation summit which might not succeed -- you can't be sure if you don't try them, but look pretty promising, which are abandoned, dismissed literally without comment, in favor of
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increased force and violence. in fact, that is also the background for the 1953 moment when the clock moved to two minutes until midnight and the u.s. faced the first serious .hreat to its security and fact, since probably the war of 1812, could have been avoided. pretty good evidence it could have been avoided, but it was the possibility -- literally, was not even considered. case after case like this. it is worth looking at the historical record from that perspective to ask whether that general comment has some validity. i think if you do, you will find that it has considerable merit. amy: we will be back with professor noam chomsky in a minute to talk about the war in syria and the trump administration's threat to prosecute wikileaks founder
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julian assange. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: visit democracynow.org we are premiering the whole music video. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. i am in burlington, vermont, where we are continuing our community tour through the country. we go back to my conversation with linguist and dissident noam speaking monday in cambridge, massachusetts. i last interviewed you a few weeks ago on april 4. it was the 50th anniversary of dr. king giving his beyond vietnam speech, where he called the u.s. the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. and i want to turn from north
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korea and iran to syria. it was the day of the gas attack in syria. we did not get to talk about a very much. i'm wondering your thoughts on what you think happened and then the ensuing u.s. bombing that president trump would later talk about, saying he was having chocolate cake with the chinese president -- very, very good chocolate cake -- when they launched the tomahawk missiles into iraq. he was corrected by the interviewer who said it was syria. some thingsre are we know for sure. chemical a serious weapons attack. nobody doubts that. it is plausible that it was the syrian government. it does raise some questions. not so obvious, why the assad
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regime would have carried out a chemical warfare attack at a moment when it is pretty much winning the war and the worst that aus faces is counterforce will enter to undermine its progress. so it does raise some questions. maybe youven though can think of some reason why the assad regime -- which is a murderers, brutal regime -- is even another question as to why the russians would have allowed it. remember, this is -- the air base is a joint russian-syrian air base. russia has plenty of clout in syria. for them, it is a total disaster. they have global concerns, not just local concerns in syria. so there are some concerns. and there are further concerns. there has been -- the white house did put out a careful
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analysis -- a justification, intelligence report to explain and account showing why they had absolute confidence it was a syrian government attack. this was analyzed closely by a very serious and credible analyst, a professor at m.i.t. who has a long record of highly successful, credible analysis. he is a highly regarded should you took analyst and intelligence analyst. he gave a pretty devastating critique of the white house report. you can pick it up online and take a look at it. so there certainly are some questions. that syria is capable of a monstrous act like that, the syrian government, that much is not in doubt. but one question that arises is, before doing something, could you find out what happened?
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ok? i mean, let's have an inquiry. take a look and see what in fact actually happen. there are plenty of cases where things look as though they happened, but they didn't. remember, reporting from syria is extremely difficult. if reporters go into the rebel held areas and don't do what they are told, you get your head cut off. patrick cockburn and others have written about this. you just can't seriously report from those areas that are obvious questions when you're reporting from the government. so the reporters -- there are very good reporters doing a serious, courageous job, but there isn't much you can do. so we just don't know a lot. well, those of the circumstances in which the 59 tomahawk missiles were launched. that is pretty easy. in washingtonsit
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a push of button and say, go kill somebody. that is considered courage. macho, showing how strong we are. what do they actually do? apparently, the tomahawk missiles were targeting a part of the airfield that does not seem to be used. in fact, the next day, planes were taking off. in fact, the village that was attacked by the chemical weapons has been even more heavily attacked by straight bombing from the assad government after the 59 tomahawk missiles. they intended to do, doesn't seem to have anything to do with syria. i suspect what they were intended to do was put a much what you described, to shore up trump's image as -- i think it was nikki haley at the u.n. said there is a new sheriff in town. so now we have wider pulling out
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his gun and getting rid of the bad guys. no more of this soft stuff. it was probably an attempt to shore up that image. pretty much like the bomb in afghanistan -- nobody knows what it was for or what it had to do with, probably destroyed a large part of afghanistan. shortly after that, there was an incredibly brutal and successful taliban attack, which killed a couple hundred recruits -- most of them unarmed, young draftees that did not know it were doing. so bad, the defense minister resign. doesn't seem to have any effect -- supposedly, was aimed at isis. maybe it was. maybe it wasn't. they don't sing to be affected by it. there doesn't seem to be any strategic analysis behind any of these actions as far as anyone can tell.
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but soon-to-be of the level of the twitters that keep coming out. something that occurs to me, so when i do it yet go it is cheap. it may kill a lot of people, makes me look good, seems as if i'm defending the country and so on. it as anythingee but that. but these things help the people israel hard toaq imagine. amy: what do you think has to be done to solve the crisis, the humanitarian catastrophe in syria? >> it is a terrible catastrophe. unfortunately, there isn't a lot that can be done about it. there are some things that can be done. i mean, the idea that you can send in the marines and bomb and so on, that has a small problem. if you do, you probably set off a nuclear war. his syrialy destroyed, but the rest of the world, too.
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so there is a little difficulty in that scenario. whatever one takes about the justification for it. so what can be done? well, one thing that can be done, which is really easy, very easy, is to take care of the people fleeing from this disaster. there are huge number of people fleeing from the disaster. what do we do about them? make sure they don't come here, you know. kind of like people fleeing from -- my relatives, in fact, trying to flee from eastern europe under the -- when the nazis were coming. well, we don't want them, not here. so the syrians don't come -- maybe a tiny trickle, but very few come here. europe is not that much better. in fact, pretty wearable, too. one thing you can do is take care of the people who are fleeing the disaster. another thing you can do is provide humanitarian aid for
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those in the region. there are countries who are absorbing refugees. take lebanon. not a rich country like as. a poor country. about 40% of the population are refugees. many of them fleeing from the israeli wars as far back as 1948. in huge number of syrians. jordan, another poor country, has absorbed a huge number of refugees. turkey has a couple of million. iran has accepted refugees. there are poor countries that refugees, buting not the rich countries. the rich countries, it is not our business. certainly, not us. regardrious problem with to us, moral problem with regard to central america. so another thing we can do is provide badly needed aid and
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assistance for those who have succeeded in fleeing the disaster, or who remain in parts of syria where survival is possible to stop but they are living under horrible conditions. that is all cheap and easy. a tiny fraction of increasing the military budget to cause more destruction. the other thing that can be done and is being done is to try to support local efforts throughout syria at local cease-fires. just a lower the level of violence. that is happening in different places. maybe the people don't like each other, but people sometimes like to survive. there are accommodations worked out, and they can be helped. our broader possibility is to try to pursue the negotiations that will lead to some kind of diplomatic settlement. there have been efforts, but they are mixed.
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possibilitiesbe that were dismissed. for example, in 2012, there were the former finnish an incredible record of involvement in international peacekeeping, who a republic veteran, russian diplomat, have proposed a settlement in which assad would be eased out in the course of the negotiations. and some settlement would be reached in which the assad regime would be ended. that at fairly was dismissed without comment. the u.s. and britain and france just assumed at that point they could overthrow the assad regime. they didn't want anything to do
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with it. that is report. the report appeared in england. as far as i know, it was never reported here. a good reporters. is it true? who knows. got to look into it to find out if it is true. you have to inquire, pursue the options if they exist. and they weren't. that can beings done. not what we would like to see -- it would be nice to see, here's a solution that will make everybody happy. the destruction. but those just don't seem on the -- fore agenda because all kinds of reasons, including the threat of very serious war if russia and the united states don't act in a high level of whatevern pursuing they may be doing. amy: noam, before we get to your
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book, your latest book, i want to ask you about the latest of --ment in the united states development in the united states. the director of the central intelligence agency gave his first major address. you focused on wikileaks. -- he focused on wikileaks. it looks like u.s. is preparing an arrest war for julian assange, who has been in ecuadoran embassy for almost five years now. pompeo calling wikileaks hostile, nonstate intelligence service, calling julian assange himself a demon and said he is not protected by the first amendment. your thoughts? well, i think it speaks for itself. wikileaks has released lots of information that governments don't like. it is overwhelmingly information .hat citizens should have
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it is information about whether governments are doing. perfectly natural that systems of power that don't want to be exposed, so they will do what they can to prevent exposure. i think it is a disgraceful act. in fact, i think it is disgraceful to even keep julian assange hold up in the ecuadoran embassy. i did visit him there once, but you can guess your self -- in many ways, it is worse than imprisonment. at least if you're in prison, you can see other prisoners and you can get out and look at the sunshine now and then. wherein a small apartment he can't -- he can go to the balcony, but that is about it. basically, a couple of rooms inside a small apartment. it is not a big embassy. the embassy is kind of like an
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apartment in london, surrounded by police and so on. --re have been no incredible no credible basis for this to go on, to try to raise it to the level of criminal prosecutions i think is, again, one of these efforts to look tough at home. the kind of effort that a government would carry out, that is dedicated to trying to protect itself from exposure of facts that citizens should have. systems of power. want them to have. -- but systems of power don't want them to have lost him him suggestions are it has to do with his aiding and abetting perhaps chelsea manning and also edward snowden. that with edward snowden, which he openly admits, while he is trapped in the ecuadoran
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embassy. charge is true, he should be honored for it. chelsea manning and edward snowden carried out heroic, courageous acts. they fulfilled the responsibility of somebody who takes citizenship seriously. that is who believes the people of a country ought to know something about what the government is up to stop ok? like every government is going up murders, brutal attacks in iraq, people should know about it. it takes us back to martin luther king's talk in 1967. if the government is, and corporations, too, incidentally, are listening into your telephone conversations, what havingdoing, you know, a discussion and so on, we should know about it. governments have no right to do
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things about that. people should know about it. if they think it is ok, fine. they should all about it come and not do it in secret. i don't think people would agree to it, and that is why it is kept secret. these are people who exposed it at great risk to themselves. so those are her wrote, courageous acts. if wikileaks was abetting them, more power to them. that is what they should be doing. amy: president trump endorsed wikileaks. he said "i love wikileaks" during the campaign. >> when it was releasing things you like. any system of power will do that. he release information i like, that is great. but i don't want to be exposed. her fezt is an much of or noam chomsky speaking on monday at the first parish church and cameras. to see our full conversation, go to democracynow.org. i will be speaking at middlebury college in vermont today at noon, then on to the vermont college of fine arts in montpelier at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow at noon, i will be at bennington college and the tomorrow night at the first unitarian universalist society in burlington vermont.
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on saturday night, after a five-hour
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