tv Democracy Now PBS May 30, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
05/30/17 05/30/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> two men lost their lives standing up to somebody spewing hateful words directed at muslim passengers on an afternoon commuter train. these two men died heroes as a result of a horrific act of racist violence. another man was injured. amy: retired army veteran ricky best and recent college graduate taliesin myrddin namkai meche were fatally stabbed in portland , oregon friday with a third man
critically injured as they all tried to defend two teenage girls against an islamaphobic attack on a commuter train. their attacker, jeremy joseph christian, who is white, shouted ethnic and religious slurs at them. we'll speak with heidi beirich, intelligence project director of the southern poverty law center, who has been monitoring racially motivated attacks and hate groups in the united states under president trump. then, is the united states slipping into tyranny? pres. trump: from this day forward, it is going to be only america first. america first. amy: donald trump has referred to federal judges as "so-called" judges, called journalists enemies of the people, and insisted on america we'll speak first. with yale history professor and author timothy snyder, who has a
new book out called "on tyranny: twenty lessons from the 20th century." >> worried someone might come along who could be elected -- we areprecisely now in that situation. up until now, there is nothing in mr. trump's words or actions which would convince us or even suggest that he cares even a little bit about democracy or the rule of law. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president trump has returned to the united states after his first foreign trip as president, where trump faced condemnation from u.s. allies for his failures to commit the united states to fulfilling its pledges to the landmark 2015 paris climate accord. is german chancellor angela
merkel speaking sunday after contentious meetings that nato and brussels in a g7 meeting in sicily. long and how rocky this will be came clear when no agreement was reached with the united states. that is why i have to say the consultations were very unsatisfying. is, of course, a close partner of the united states. we are and will stay convinced transatlantic, but we also know we europeans really have to take our destiny into our own hands. amy: the german foreign minister went even further, saying of trump -- "anyone who accelerates climate change by weakening environmental protection, who sells more weapons in conflict zones and who does not want to politically resolve religious conflicts is putting peace in europe at risk." meanwhile, french president
macron has said he was tried to convey a deeper significance to his long clenched white knuckle handshake with president trump and brussels, saying it was "not innocent. and "we must show we will not make small concessions, even symbolic ones." president trump says he'll make a final decision about whether to pull the united states out of the 2015 paris climate accord this week. back on capitol hill, trump and his administration are facing mounting questions about trump's son and law and senior adviser jared kushner, who is now a focus of investigations into whether trump's campaign colluded with russia to allegedly influence the 2016 election. "the new york times" reports that in mid-december jared , kushner met with russian banker sergey gorkov, who was under u.s. sanctions, as part of kushner's efforts to establish a secret back channel with russia after the election. the meeting is now reportedly being probed by federal and congressional investigators.
trump himself blasted news reports over the weekend about kushner's attempts to establish a secret back channel with russia, tweeting -- "whenever you see the words 'sources say' in the fake news media, and they don't mention names, it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers. #fakenews is the enemy!" this was part of trump's first controversial tweet storm in more than a week. he had refrained from incendiary tweets during his trip abroad. meanwhile, cnn is reporting based on unnamed former intelligence officials that u.s. spies intercepted russian officials discussing having potentially derogatory information about trump and his top aides during the 2016 campaign. a white house spokesman has denied the report. all this comes as trump's communication director michael dubke has resigned. in syria, a monitoring group says u.s.-led airstrikes killed more than 100 civilians, including 47 children, on
thursday and friday in the isis-held town of al mayadeen in eastern syria. the syrian observatory for human rights says the two rounds of strikes targeted the families of isis fighters, and that the vast majority of the victims were civilian women and their children. the u.s.-led coalition has acknowledged launching the airstrikes on the town. in iraq, as many as 27 people have died after isis militants detonated a car bomb outside an ice cream parlor as families were gathering to break their ramadan fast early tuesday. meanwhile, thousands of families continue to flee mosul amid the u.s. and iraqi militaries' campaign to retake the city from isis. over the weekend, u.s.-led airstrikes on old mosul reportedly killed at least 15 civilians, including women and children. as many as 700,000 civilians have already fled mosul amid months of fighting. egypt has launched airstrikes targeting militant camps in eastern libya following a shooting rampage that killed 24
coptic christians on a bus heading to a monastery south of cairo. the airstrikes came as family members held funerals for the victims of friday's attack. >> this is the result of only one thing -- negligence. negligence from the government for not punishing these people. negligence from the government cannot punishing those in prison. we're not asking for them to be killed. we are asking for them to be tried fairly. these are killers and murderers. what did the victims do? what do we do for our children to become orphans? amy: in sri lanka, more than 180 people have been killed and half a million people displaced amid the worst flooding in sri lanka in the last 14 years. search and rescue teams are looking for more than 100 people who are still missing. scientists have linked torrential rains and increased flooding in sri lanka to climate change. meanwhile, flooding in northern brazil has killed at least six people and displaced more than
30,000 people from their homes. this comes as brazil was rocked by a new wave of protests sunday demanding the ouster of president michel temer over charges of corruption. to see our interview with the ousted president dilma rousseff, go to democracynow.org. in colombia, authorities have agreed to invest tens of millions dollars in new hospitals, highways, and infrastructure in the state of choco following a massive 18-day civic strike by residents of the port city of buenaventura. the strike prevented hundreds of thousands of tonnes of cargo from reaching the port. meanwhile, a nationwide strike by teachers in colombia is continuing into its third week, as teachers demand better pay and working conditions and more investment in education for students. in spain, taxi workers have launched a nationwide strike today to protest uber and other wall street-backed ride-hailing services. the strike comes after thousands of people rallied in madrid on saturday to protest austerity measures, demonstrating under the slogan "bread, work, a roof and equality." more than 1000 palestinian prisoners in israeli jails have ended a 40-day hunger strike, after israeli authorities
reportedly agreed to compromise on a slew of the prisoners' demands. the palestinian prisoners solidarity network says up to 80% of the prisoners' demands have been met, including increased family visitation rights, increased access to telephones, more education for child prisoners, and better ventilation in overcrowded prisons. family members of prisoners celebrated the end of the hunger strike, which was declared on the eve of ramadan. , a greeting to the prisoners in the holy month of ramadan, the month of blessing. may god keep you healthy and make you stronger until you are free from prison. our prisoners, our lovers, we hope you always stay well. amy: in afghanistan, at least 18 people were killed in a taliban suicide bombing on the first day of ramadan. officials say the attack in khost province was targeting afghan security forces but that the victims were mostly civilians. in morocco, protest leader nasser zefzafi has been arrested following nationwide protests sunday night.
zefzafi has emerged as the leader of an economic justice movement that was sparked by the death of fish seller mouhcine fikri, who was crushed to death in the compact of a garbage truck while he was trying to retrieve fish confiscated by police in the northern city of al-hoceima last october. back in the united states in portland, oregon, more than 1000 people gathered for a vigil to saturday honor retired army veteran ricky best and recent college graduate taliesin myrddin namkai meche, who were fatally stabbed as they tried to defend two girls against an islamaphobic attack on a commuter train on friday. the two young women, one of whom wore a muslim hijab, were riding the portland light-rail when jeremy joseph christian, who is white, started shouting ethnic and religious slurs at them. when best and meche intervened, christian stabbed them, as well as a third man, who survived. this is 16-year-old destinee
magnum, one of the victims of the attack, describing it. >> he told us to go back to saudi arabia. he told us we should not be here and to get out of his country. he was just telling us that we basically -- that we should just kill ourselves. this white now from the back of his committee was like, he is talking you guys? you can't disrespect these young ladies like that. then they just all started arguing. the and my friend were going to get off and when we turned around while they were fighting, he started stabbing people and it was just blood everywhere. we just started running for our lives. amy: following the attack, portland mayor ted wheeler has announced portland will not issue new permits to alt-right groups for planned white supremacist rallies in june. we'll have more on the portland attack after headlines. meanwhile, here in new york city, leading palestinian-american organizer
linda sarsour is facing a barrage of death threats ahead of her scheduled commencement speech at the city university of new york school of public heal this thursday. sarsour was the co-organizer of the national women's march and the former head of the arab american association of new york. last week, white supremacist milo yiannopoulos led a protest against sarsour outside cuny's main office. cuny's chancellor says he will not cancel her speech. in minnesota, st. anthony police officer jeronimo yanez is going on trial this week on charges of manslaughter for killing african american philando castile during a traffic stop last year. it's the first time in at least 30 years that a police officer in minnesota has faced charges for killing someone while on duty, and comes after nationwide demonstrations protesting castile's killing. in texas, hundreds of protesters flooded the texas house gallery to protest the anti-immigrant bill known as as before which
man sanctuary cities and allows police officers to check immigration status of anyone they detained. scuffles between state lawmakers after matt rinaldi said he called the and customs enforcement agency on protesters reportedly hispanic lawmakers "i am glad i just called ice to have all of these people deported." immigration activists held a noisy 38 graham -- 3:00 a.m. rally outside governor of its mansion with a blaring mariotti band and signs reading "you have disturbed our piece, so we're disturbing yours." into targetsion styleth military counterterrorism measures. it began as a u.s. military and state department contractor and hired by energy transfer partners going to come to behind the pipeline. the investigations is based on leaked internal document special how tigerswan collaborated closely with law enforcement agencies to surveilling target
the nonviolent indigenous led movement. in the documents, the company repeatedly calls the water protectors insurgents and the movement and ideologically driven insurgency. and former panel mom military dictator manuel noriega has died at the age of 83. he was an ally of u.s. government until the u.s. invaded hannah montana 1989 a convicted of drug trafficking in 1991 it's been nearly 20 years in u.s. prisons before being invited to france and finally back to panel mall. 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. we begin the show on this day after memorial day in portland, where for the second time in a week a military man was killed by a white extremist. on friday, 53-year-old ricky best, a retired army veteran, and 23-year-old taliesin myrddin namkai meche were fatally
stabbed with a third man critically injured as they tried to defend two girls against an attack by a man going on an anti-muslim rant. the two young women, one of whom wore a muslim hijab, were riding a commuter train when according to witnesses, jeremy joseph christian started shouting ethnic and religious slurs. best and meche, along with a third man who intervened, were stabbed. best died at the scene. meche died at a hospital. portland police department spokesperson pete simpson described the scene. >> officers, they went down onto the train and found one male victim suffering from traumatic injuries. they attempted lifesaving measures on the train but were unsuccessful. that victim died at scene. two additional stabbing victims were located and a merely transferred by medical personnel. one of the victims also passed away. the third victim is at the hospital being treated.
he is suffering from what are believed to be non-life-threatening injuries. one coat been an emotional interview with cnn, 16-year-old destinee magnum, one of the targets of christian's hate speech, described what happened. magnum, who is not muslim, thanked the three strangers who saved their lives. >> he told us to go back to saudi arabia. he told us that we should not be here and to get out of his country. he was just telling us that we basically worth anything and we should just kill ourselves. this white male from the back of us came and he was like, he is talking to you guys? you can't disrespect these and ladies like that. then they just all started arguing. me and my friend were going to get off. then we turned around while they were fighting and he just started stabbing people. it was just blood everywhere. for ourstarted running lives. i just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on
the life or me because they didn't even know me. and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look. just want to say thank you to them and their family and that i appreciate them because without them, we probably would be dead right now. amy: the attack unfolded hours before the start of ramadan, islam's holy month, when most of the world's 1.6 billion muslims observe a daily religious fast. police arrested christian, a convicted felon, soon after the attack. he was booked on two counts of aggravated murder and charges of attempted murder, intimidation and being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon. christian was ordered held without bail and is scheduled to be arraigned today. following the attack, the portland mayor, ted wheeler, announced the city will not issue permits to alt right groups for plan supremacist rallies in june. the attack comes just six days
after 23-year-old richard collins iii, an african american student at bowie state university and army second lieutenant, was fatally stabbed by an alleged member of a white supremacist facebook group called alt reich: nation. well, for more, we're joined by heidi beirich, intelligence project director of the southern poverty law center. welcome to democracy now! joining us from a camera, alabama. can you tell us what you know about this attack and about this man who will be arraigned today? ,> yes, well, jeremy christian based on extensive facebook postings, was motivated by pro-hillary ideas, a love of the pro-hit city bomber -- ler i just a love of oklahoma city bomber timothy mcveigh. he was also a trump supporter who had shown up at trump rallies.
he's a true radical in terms of his ideas. juan: some people have suggested incident fits into the broader pattern or the history of neo-nazi violence of the northwest. could you comment on that? >> the northwest has been victimized by neo-nazis and skinheads for a very, very long time. this also has involved murders of people of color in antiracist activists. neo-nazis have tried to move into that region for years to create a homeland, thinking i guess because it is a white population, it would be a good place to be. what i find interesting about jeremy christian, although some of those ideas are there in his writings, in many ways, i think his rhetoric has more to do with the campaign and the ideas unleashed in the campaign over the last 16, 18 months by the trump folks than it does with hard-core neo-nazi is an -- at least, a mix of the two sets of ideas. amy: jeremy christian's facebook
page includes several posts in extremistspouses views. on april 19, the anniversary of the 1995 oklahoma city bombing, christian praised okemos city bomber timothy mcveigh writing -- "may all the gods bless timothy mcveigh a true patriot!!!" in a post dated may 9, christian wrote -- "i just challenged ben ferencz to a debate in the hague with putin as our judge. i will defend the nazis and he will defend the ashkenazis." that is a reference to european jews. can you talk about this? of timothye praise mcveigh is particularly troubling. people sometimes forget that mcveigh, who was directly inspired to commit that bombing in 1995 by reading and neo-nazi novel called "the turner diaries ," but that was the largest domestic terror attack part to 9/11.
there been many people who have praised him over the years. we had an incident in the past week in tampa in which four neo-nazis, one of whom converted to islam and and killed two of his roommate, have bomb making material, there's a picture of mcveigh in their room. when you're praising mcveigh, what you're talking about is killing people and you're talking about being inspired by white supremacy. we also had the incident in maryland where this black man was killed by someone who was involved in the neo-nazi so-called alt-right group. it is quite scary. juan: i want to turn to the portland mayor ted wheeler list of he urged white's premises groups to cancel their plans for upcoming demonstrations in portland. >> our city is in mourning. our community is angered. the timing and subject of these events can only exacerbate what
♪ is already a very difficult situation. i'm appealing to the organizers of the alt right events to cancel the events that they have scheduled on both june 4 and june 10. i urge them to ask their supporters to stay away from portland at this difficult time. there is never a place for bigotry or hatred in our community, especially not right now. comes as the top republican in portland said he is considering using militia groups as security for public events. james bugle told the guardian that republicans could make their own security arrangements rather than relying on city or state police, including groups like the oath keepers and the three percenters. this comes as a video recently al limiting what
he called open borders -- lamenting what he called open borders. enemies, while a lot of things are bad for us, above all else, they want open borders. because they know if they keep the borders open, bring in all sorts of people from third world countries who have no conception many of them may not even be interested. if they give doing that, it will change this country forever. it will destroy everything that is special about america. this election was very important because our enemies were on the verge of winning potentially permanency eight more years of this, and that may well have been the end. and then trump got elected. so now our enemies are more dangerous than ever. there more ruthless than ever. they are more determined than ever. death facing life and
battles. , i am wondering your response? >> those are outrageous claims related to bringing in militias and whatnot. you have to wonder if these folks don't realize that it just wasn't that long ago that a militia group -- militia groups took over a wall of refugee in a very dangerous situation in eastern oregon. to hear on the one hand the andr calling for calm honoring the victims and so on, then have somebody else from the gop side calling to have out is, brought frankly, frightening. amy: i want to get your response to the aclu of oregon saying that mayor ted wheeler's efforts to keep far right protesters from holding more rallies in portland is an unconstitutional violation of the first amendment. >> i think the aclu is actually
right in that case. we have to protect people's first amendment rights, regardless of how heinous they are. i can understand the mayor being upset, not wanting to see more hate in his town. but this is probably the wrong tactic to take. the better one would be to continue with the positive events like the vigil such a place over the past weekend, which dropped tension to the better parts of our nature and allow these other folks to have their events, unfortunately their hateful beyond parade during them. ask you howto tel long it took president trump to respond. it was only on monday that he tweeted -- >> yeah, president trump whose words and the campaign against muslims, immigrants, against others, unleashed a wave of hate crimes and buys incidents
especially after the election, the as built the documented about 900 in the first 10 days. he is been incredibly reluctant to announce the hate violence that in many cases has been perpetrated in his name. this is another example where he waits several days and then this tweet only one out on the official president of the united states account, not from the twitter account usually fiddles with. he did not mention the jewish population during his holocaust remembrance day speech. it is outrageous he won't stand up and announce these hate crimes given the role he is played in stoking the anger out there. amy: what about the trump administration's proposal to cut all funding for the department of homeland security program known as countering violence extremism? can you explain more what that program is and why the trump administration is trying to get rid of it? >> sure. under the obama years, countering violent extremism set
a programs gave money basically two muslim groups that were fighting extremism in their community. in the later years, the obama administration can't organizations battling against white supremacy. administration, organizations battling against whites for missy. trump doesn't seem to we realize there is a wave of hate crimes breaking out across this country based on racist and weiss from assist ideas. it is clear he wants to cut the battling white supremacy. it is though domestic terrorism does not come from white supremacist ideas when in fact in the united states, the bulk in recent years of domestic terrorism has not been inspired by radical interpretations of islam, but by whites for missy, which is in addition is thought process that goes back even to our history. we just had three incidents, maryland, tampa coming up portland that show how dangerous and violent these ideas can become.
amy: "boots of spanish leather," performed by carolyn hester. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: we spend the rest of the hour with award-winning author and yale university history professor timothy snyder, whose new book draws on his decades of experience writing about war, and genocide in european history in order to find lessons that
can help the united states avoid descending into fascist authoritarianism. it is titled, "on tyranny: twenty lessons from the twentieth century." amy: professor snyder writes -- "the founding fathers tried to protect us from the threat they knew, the tyranny that overcame ancient democracy. today our political order faces new threats, not unlike the totalitarianism of the twentieth century. we are no wiser than the europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, nazism, or communism. our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience." that's from "on tyranny: twenty lessons from the twentieth century" by timothy snyder, levin professor of history at yale university, where he joins us from now. professor synder is also the author of "bloodlands: europe between hitler and stalin" as well as "black earth: the holocaust as history and warning." welcome to democracy now!
the talk about what we quoted you saying their? do you think that the united headed toward tyranny? >> i guess the place to start would be with the location. like the framers of the anstitution, i'm not american exceptionalism. i am a skeptic. my tendency is to look at examples from other places and to ask what we could learn. the point of using the historical examples is to remind us that democracies and republics usually fail. the expectation should be failure rather than success. the framers, looking at classical examples from greece and rome, gave us the institutions that we have. i think our mistake at present is to imagine of the institutions will automatically continue to protect us. my sense is that we have seen institutions like our own fail.
20 century authoritarians have learned the way to dismantle systems like ours is to go after one institution and then the next. which means we have to have an active relationship, both to history, so we can see how failure arises and learn from people who try to protect institutions, but also an active relationship to our own institutions that are institutions are only as good as the people who try to serve them. juan: professor, in terms of the rise of tyranny in the 20th century, clearly, the rise of fascism came in the period after world war i, the masses of people in the world have been exposed to these imperialist wars and german is insecurity. -- what parallels do you see in the 1930's and our situation today? >> a wonderful question. canelps us see how history brace us andgrounding.
when we think about globalization today, we imagine that it is the first globalization that everything about it is new. that is just not the case. the globalization is the second one. the first globalization was the late 19 century and the early 20th century when there was a similar expansion of world trade, export-led growth. there was also a similar rhetoric of optimism, the idea that trade would lead to enlightenment, would be to liberalism, would be to peace. that pattern of the late 19th century, we saw a break. we saw the first world war, great depression going to second world war. one way to understand that is a long failure of the first globalization. once we have that in mind, we should not be surprised that our own globalization has contradictions, has opponents, that he generates opposition, that it generates ideas of the far right -- sometimes the far left -- that are against it. history instructs us that there
is nothing new or nothing automatic about globalization, but it also instructs us that there are people who lived through the end of the first globalization. the kind of people eyesight in the book who observed these fx and he gave us a practical advice about how we can react. part of her own misunderstanding of globalization that it is all new is that history does not matter, precisely because it is all new. i'm trying to say, no the opposite. before,en globalization fascism rise, other threats to liberalism, democracy republics. what we should be doing is learning from the 20th century, rather than forgetting it. amy: you wrote a facebook post in november. tell us what you wrote about when donald trump was elected. abouth, i mean, the thing the facebook post. i wrote it right after the election. it was the first thing i did. it was these 20 lessons.
it was an attempt to compress everything i thought i understood about the 20th century into a very brief points that would help americans react. i have the strong feeling -- i think it turned out to be correct -- there would be tens of millions of americans that would be surprised and disoriented and shocked by the and wouldf mr. trump, be seeking some way to react. i did it as quickly as i could because it is very important in these kinds of historical moments to get out front. the tendency or the temptation to normalize is very strong. the temptation to wait and say, let's see what he does after inauguration, who his advisers are, with the policies are. that temptation generates normalization, which is only happening in the u.s. i was try to get out front and give people practical day-to-day things they could do. what stood behind all of that was a lifetime of working on the worst chapters of european history. a sense of how things can go
very wrong. also, my friendships with my teachers and my students from eastern europe, people who have their own biographical connection either to the authoritarianism's of the 20th century or, sadly, the new authoritarianism's of the 21st. it is that little bit that helps me to see these kinds of things can happen to people like us, but also there are practical ways that people like us can respond. juan: i want to ask you about the first lesson you talk about in your book, especially in light of the realities that in our day and age, clearly, authoritarianism has enormous power of surveillance and social control of populations will stop you right in your first lesson "do not obey in advance. most of the power of authoritarianism is freely given . in times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want and then offer themselves without being asked. a citizen who adapts in this way
is teaching power what he can do [captioning made possible by democracy now!] i think about that and the norma's gravitation the population toward social media and in the ability of states and corporations to actually monitor control what people say and do and shop and every thing they're thinking about. >> yes. i agree with that completely. the historical basis of that first lesson, "don't obey in advance" is what historians think we understand about authoritarian regime change, particular, the nazi regime change of 1933. historians disagree about many things, but once you thing we agree about is the significance below intion from 1933. when we look at hitler in retrospect, we tended to give him as a super villain who can do anything. in fact, the lesson of 1933 is consent from below matters a lot. not consent in the sense of
voting or marching or anything active, but consent in the sense of by standing, going along, making mental adjustments. so the point of don't obey in advance is not to give your consent in that way -- which is very important because if you do just drift at the beginning, then psychologically, your lost or deleted a different way, if you don't follow lesson one, then you can't follow lessons two to 20, either. politically, it is important because the time which matters the most is the beginning, where we are now. right now we have much more power than we think we do. our actions are magnified outwards now. when protest becomes illegal or dangerous, this will change. but right now americans actually have more power than they think they do. your point magnifies this. the reason -- one of the reasons you should not obey in advance is when you do, you are giving power ideas. they don't necessarily have plans. they don't necessarily know what they can do.
but when we lean towards what we think they want and social media is a good example of this, then we give them ideas. we teach them what they can do. in our lives and in social media, it is very important not to obey in advance. you are right. that information is being collected and collated and considered. amy: number two, timothy snyder, in your "20 lessons from the 20 century" is defend institutions. explain. >> well, that is the second most important lessons. reason.mber two for a i have in mind, above all, the constitutional institutions. but i also have in mind later on in the book, other cuts of institutions like professional or vocational institutions or nongovernmental organizations. the reason why institutions are so important is that they are what prevent us from being those
atomized individuals who are alone against the overpowering state. it is a very romantic image. at the isolated individual is always going to lose. we need the constitutional institutions as much as we can get them going. it is a real problem now, especially with the legislature. when you do professions, whether it is law or medicine or civil servants to act according to rules that are not the same thing as just following orders. we need to be able to form ourselves up into nongovernmental organizations. it is not just we have freedom of association, but freedom itself requires association. we need association to have our confidence raised, to be in a position to act as individuals. some of that is happening, which is a good sign. juan: i want to ask about number nine of your lessons "be kind to our language," especially in the times in which we are today where kindness is one of the few things that politicians were
academics talk about much -- were academics talk about much. >> i have in mind the necessity thehinking, really, because way we are now, and this can back to your earlier question, the way we are now, we are bombarded from the television, from the internet with whatever strokes and means are being chosen for us for a given date or given hour. and whether we agree or disagree or feel comfortable or uncomfortable, they are the certain tendency to express ourselves in the terms that come down from above. up in this daily rush. you see this in people who think they're critical of trump, but use his language. first, they use it as a joke and then they find they can't get themselves out of it. language is one of these lessons it seems easy. it seems read, think, and try to express your views, whether they are for or against, in your own words.
my very strong sense is if we have pluralism of expression, what we're going to be fostering is pluralism of thought. and if people can clarify why it is that they are opposing this or that, they're going to be more likely to be persuasive. at a minimum, in the worst case, if you have your own way of expressing yourself, you at meme clatter up the daily s, at least put a barrier in the , a forcee daily tropes field around yourself and those closest to you where it is possible to think and have a little peace. amy: we're going to go to break and come back with timothy snyder, professor of history at yale university, author of the book "on tyranny: twenty lessons from the twentieth century." the newe number one on york times bestseller list for a long time now. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. professor timothy snyder. his book, "on tyranny: twenty lessons from the twentieth century." since taking office, president trump has continued to escalate his attack on the media, what he calls the fake news. on sunday, he once again took to twitter after there was a few days of not tweeting. lambasted the "fabricated lies made up by the fake news media" he tweeted -- "whenever you see the words 'sources say' in the fake news media, and they don't mention names. it is very possible that those sources don't exist but are made up by fake news writers. #fakenews is the enemy!" meanwhile, "the new york times" recently revealed that in a february oval office meeting, president trump asked then fbi director james comey to consider imprisoning journalists who report on leaks of classified information. and this is trump speaking earlier this year in melbourne, florida. pres. trump: thomas jefferson
and andrew jackson, and abraham lincoln, any of our greatest presidents, fought with the media and called them out, oftentimes on their lies. when the media lies to people, i get never, ever let them away with it. i will do whatever i can that they don't get away with it. they have their own agenda. and their agenda is not your agenda. amy: in fact, while jefferson often lambasted the press, he also believed it was fundamental to democratic society, famously relet -- famously writing "the only security of all is in a free press." timothy snyder, historian, talk about the attack on the press and how much it fits into your thoughts about on tyranny. >> at the deepest level, i think we should be aware that this is about getting rid of a common
sense of truth. truth is an awkward concept for us these days and should probably be less often awkward concept. if we're going to resist all of this, i think we have to take a innd, even if it feels naive favor of the facts. what we know about 20 century regime changes are that they involve, at their base, and assault on every day sexuality. whether it is the extreme right, fascist idea that facts are not important, only a sense of collectivity, belonging to the nation, this organic group is important. or whether it is extreme left i did at the fax of today have to be sacrificed in the name of a vision tomorrow. we know that these forms of radical politics have to begin with undermining a sense of everyday faction walid he. in the 21st century when ideology no longer proposes a future, what you have is a much more direct attack on fact
uality. the first of its to lyle the time, as mr. trump did in 2016. the second step, since late 2016 into the presidency is to say, it is not me who lies, it is the press, the journalist. in the final goal is that everyone is so confused that we say, we don't really have truth, we just have her own private klan0like sets of beliefs. it becomes impossible. we don't know whom to trust. an atrocity and it is a violation of basic american traditions to attack journalists like that. i think it is possible something deeper is at stake. this is a direct and well understood attempt to transform the regime, the easiest and cheapest way possible -- which is to make us all distrust one another. what i also want to say, there is something we can do about this. there are simple things we can do. we can support reporters who
actually travel and investigate. we can subscribe to newspapers and other sources of reliable information. those seem like easy things to do, but if we all do them, it makes a huge difference. morley for the reporters, financially for the sources of good information. juan: in your book, you never mentioned donald. i'm wondering, was that a deliberate on your part? also, what responsibility you administrations, whether it is the obama administration or the bush administration, have for the slide or the move toward tyranny and authoritarianism in this country? >> let me take that in reverse order. problem,an underlying at least in this country, and it goes back to our earlier discussion of globalization. and that is inequality. in particular parts of the country, there are unspeakable
levels of inequality. that says of the possibility for someone like mr. trump. mr. trump won a promising things he can't deliver. he won by being a good speaker it had cyber help from foreign powers. there are many reasons why he won. for one reason he could win as he could say, look, it is nala guard the out there. i am an oligarch, but i am your oligarch. that is not true. he doesn't care about americans. there are plenty of other oligarchs behind them, they just weren't americans. it you can only tell that story in a situation of radical inequality. that radical inequality has its roots, i think, in the false story we told ourselves since 1989, that history came to an end capitalism brings a margarethe and so forth. history never comes to an end. there was a moment in 1989 that we had to reshape things. he missed that moment and
betrayed younger generations. why don't i mentioned mr. trump? it is largely because i think he is not going to change. mr. trump is not a young man. he has from sets of ideas. he has a certain kind of personality. he is going to push against the walls of the system. some of those walls are already weak. he's going to push and push because that is what people do. you don't have to have a plan to be and authoritarianism. you just have to have a set of inclinations in a certain amount of energy. he has that. i'm not trying to change mr. trump. i am trying to alert us, change of us. if that system is going to be preserved, it is because we hold of the various parts of the structure. from trying to get away what i knew was coming from all of the personal stuff. is he crazy echo can he read? there are certain talents he doesn't have, but there are talents he does have.
the real question is what we can do. the book is meant to be about us, much more about -- then about him. amy: number six in your book is "be wary of paramilitaries." talk about this in the current context. >> it is such a woerful example and he has things that we used to know -- it has things that we used to know, that have either is applications, we just need to make those. one of the ways, not just hitler , but other authoritarians, break the public's, they break the monopoly of violence. they break what we think is a normal citizen when there is law and certain organs job it is to enforce the law, state organs. what you do if you are hitler and other authoritarians have done this, too, you have your own militia, paramilitary, and oregon of violence which is beyond the state. you use it to change the
atmosphere of politics, to intimidate opponents. then after you win, you keep it going. in nazithe story germany. in the current situation, where our society is flooded with guns like never before and there are lots of paramilitaries, it is very important to watch out for the connection of this paramilitaries to politics. for example, if an elected representative or an important politician in, let's say, oregon , says, we ought to bring in paramilitaries rather than the police when we have our own demonstrations, that is something to really watch out for. likewise, in the firing of mr. comey, of which there were so many desperately bad things, one thing that was striking in the firing of mr. comey by mr. trump is he sent keith schilling to do it. yet a confrontation of the man who was the head of mr. trump security detail, his own paramilitary, going to fire the head of elan forstmann agency.
that is a sign of the way mr. trump thanks and honestly, not a good sign. you, anotherto ask one of your lessons, lesson 12 "make eye contact and smalltalk." strong wayseem not a to battle authoritarianism. your thoughts on that? >> i love that question because it is really important for us to see we have power in all kinds of ways that we don't have. some of the lessons look easy, but in fact are hard, like number one "don't obey in advance." that is really hard. order number 19 "be a patriot." some are not that difficult, but they magnify our words. number four, take care of the face of the world, which means this page over swastikas when you see them. that is not that hard when you get to do it. but it does make a difference. smalltalk is a little bit like that.
can't -- and ii contract or important for a number of reasons. going back, you don't know who feels left out, who feels threatened, but if you are more pleasant or affirming to everybody in your daily life come you're going to make a difference. the reason this is so close to memoirs, there is that moment when people start crossing the street rather than talking to you. that is the moment we have to avoid, both for the sake of the political atmosphere, but also what kind of people we want to be. smalltalk is important because one of the deep problems where we are in her own postmodern authoritarianism, we spend too much time on the internet and in front of screens. we forget how to talk to one another. that human contact can be very important. one thing personally that suggests to me this is right is the difference between last fall
and this spring. last fall i spoke to many people in other parts of the country about what i thought was going on. i basically got zero resonance. the fact i talked to people, and not just post online, means that now sometimes people come back and say, "oh, yes." you never convince anyone with smalltalk, but you did demonstrate your human being and not the enemy and that maybe at some future point there could be some better conversation. amy: i want to ask you, professor, about president trump in brussels and sicily, the nato meeting. trump sparked outrage after he shoved the prime minister of montenegro out of his way while barreling to the front of the pack at this weakens g7 summit. this came after french president, the new president macron, clenched trump's hand until his knuckles turnedk white. nuck even when truck attended to pull away, macron continued to grip trump's hand.
he sent said the handshake was a moment of truth and designed to trump saying "we must show that we will not make small concessions, even symbolic ones. can you comment on this and then on your number 18 that which is unthinkable the arrives"? >> so europe is so important for us, whether you care about trade in american jobs, it is the biggest market in the history of the world. whether you are more -- whether you think more about security, these are america's long-term partners. it is the only libel set of democracies or the main reliable set of democracies we have in many ways to europe is a positive example for us. it is tragic that we are cutting ourselves off from that market, from that security from those
set of values, for no particular reason. it fits many things. it fits mr. trump's desire for an america that is more isolated and, frankly, poor. mr. bennet's idea by the european union. what it does not fit is anybody's interest. us,europeans are seeing a as one of my friends says, we " when of the power that is animating them, perhaps weakening them, setting a bad example. the heartening thing is that people like angela merkel or macron, notice this and seem to be taking it as a reason to try to re-create europe, rather than just being distressed about all of this. that is a positive thing. there is no good segue to your next question, which is about terrorism and talk about terrorism.
the last four listens of the book, which are about the where a certain kinds of language, be calm when the applicable arrives, the courageous. they have to do with a particular mechanism where regimes change. the template is from 1933, pretty much i think saying all modern tyrants know that they need a moment of fear of terrorism to make a regime change. in the atmosphere we have now with mr. trump, we have to be aware that when something unthinkable happens, despite our fear and grief, what we have to be protesting for is our own rights. amy: professor timothy snyder, thank you for being with us, yale historian, author of "on tyranny: twenty lessons from the twentieth century." that does it for our show. welcome to the show, the daughter of our news director mike and his wife michelle burke.