tv Democracy Now LINKTV March 22, 2018 8:00am-9:01am PDT
03/22/18 03/22/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! trump: it is a r to have the crown prince with us . saudi arabia has been a very great friend and a big purchaser ofqu ls of other things. amy: as the saudi bombardment and siege of yemen continues, president trump welcomes saudi arabia's crown prince mohammed bin salman to the white house and announces a $12.5 billion
arms sales. we will speak with mehdi hasan of al jazeera and code pink cofounder medea benjamin. >> the history of how those arms have been used. you talked their use in devastating yemen. we also have the example of them crushing the democratic uprising in neighboring bahrain, using those weapons to fund al qaeda groups in iraq and in syria, and using those weapons internally to crush dissent, particularly in the shia areas. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. in austin, texas, authorities have identified the man they say was responsible for a series of six bombings that killed two people and injured at least six others, saying the bomber left behind a video confession. police say mark anthony conditt, a 23-year-old white man from austin's suburbs, died after he blew himself up in his car
wednesday morning as police surrounded him. in n conference wednesday afternoon with texas republican governor greg abbott, austin police chief brian manley described an as-yet-unreleased 25-minute video that conditt recorded on his cell phone. manley said the video shows conditt describing details on how he built six bombs used in the attacks. despite that, chief manley described conditt as a troubled young man, rather than a terrorist or someone driven by te. >> i know everyone is interested in a motive in understanding why, and we're never going to be able to put a ration behind these acts. but when i can take having listened to that recording, he does not at all mention anything about terrorism, nor does he mention anything about hate. but instead, it is the outcry of , very challenged young man talking about challe ihi peonal life. amy: the two people killed in
the bombings were both members of prominent african-american families in austin. in blog posts, conditt described himself as a conservative who was anti-abortion, anti-marriage equaty, and o-deaty. on capitol hill, lawmakers have reached a deal on a $1.3 trillion spending bill that would see a record expansion of the u.s. military, while failing to provide relief to immigrants who are brought to the u.s. as children. if approved ahead of a deadline at the end of friday, the measure would avert a third government shutdown. the bill does not address the daca program, which gives hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants legal permission to live and work in the u.s. president trump tried to cancel daca last year, although he has repeatedly been blockedm doing so by the courts. facebook ceo mark zuckerberg broke his silence over a burgeoning scandal wednesday, telling cnn he is sorry his company allowed a voter
profiling company named cambridge analytica to harvest the data of more than 50 million facebook users without their permission and efforts to sway voters to support president donald trump. >> so this was a major breach of trust. and i am really sorry that this happened. we have a basic responsibility to protect people's data. if we cannot do that, then we don't deserve to have the opportunity to serve people. so our responsibility now is to make sure this does not happen again. amy:'s apology came days after cbs reported facebook know about cambridge analytica's data haesting two years ago, but failed to report the practice to users. cambridge analytica was founded by billionaire robert mercer, transformer advisor steve bannon a breitbart news throw one of the key strategists. attorney general jeff sessions instructed federal prosecutors on wednesday to seek the death
penalty in drug-related cases. saying execution should be used as a deterrent to combat the opioid epidemic. the announcement came amidst a push by president trump to apply capital punishment to dracula's, setting favorably the policies of chinese president xi jinping and philippians president duterte, w has boasted ngeale himself. in israel, a military court reached a plea deal wednesday with a 17-year-old palestinian girl who became a hero to palestinians after a viral video showed her slapping a soldier near her family's home in the occupied west bank. the incident came just after ahed tamimi learned her 15-year-old cousin, mohammed tamimi, had been shot in the head at close range by an israeli soldier usin rubber-coated steel bullet. ahed tamimi faced 12 charges, including assaulting a soldier and incitement to violence. under terms of the plea deal, ahed tamimi's lawyer says the
17-year-old will be sentenced to eight months in jail and must pay a fine of 5000 shekels, or about $1400. after the plea agreement was presented, ahed tamimi told reporters in the courtroom, "there is no justice under the occupation." her father, bassem tamimi, later told reuters that the case attracted the attention of westerners because of his daughter's light skin and blonde hair. >> people see my daughter blonde and blue-eyed am a there are saw theircause they children in front of them. ,t is the stereotype brainwashed by the media. amy: we will have in the case with our guest after headlines. in burma, a pair of reuters journalists reached their 100
they behind bars wednesday as they face up to 14 years in prison for allegedly violating burma's offici secrets act. wa lone and kyaw soe oo were arrested on december 12 as they investigated a massacre committed by the burmese military targeting rohingya muslims in the village of inn din in september. as police led them away from a courthouse in rangoon, kyaw soe oo briefly held his young daughter and addressed reporters. myi would like to record for daughter that people who reported the truth were detained and put behind bars in burma. i want my daughter to know when she grows up that this i a shame. please record this of my daughter knows the things that happened with this government. the truth seekers were arrested, put behind bars, and media freedom was curtailed. amy: on wednesday, members of the hong kong's foreign correspondents' club said it ha gathered 42,000 signatures
calling for the release of the burmese journalists. members of the club say burma's embassy in hong kong closed its doors early on wednesday in an effort to avoid receiving the petition. in nigeria, dozens of schoolgirls who had been kidnapped from their school in the northern town of dapchi were released wednesday, more than a month after they were taken during a raid by boko haram militants. government officials say 101 of the 110 girls who were abducted on february 19 were returned, and that at least five girls died during their ordeal. one witness said the five were crushed to death as militants herded them into vehicles to be returned. many of the girls showed signs of dehydration and malnourishment. in peru, president pedro pablo kuczynski resigned wednesday, to face an impeachment trialed after videos surfaced showing his allies trying to bribe opposition lawmakers. in a national address, kuczynski
proclaimed his innocence even as he said he would step aside. >> in the face of this difficult situation that has developed and has unjustly made me appear guilty of acts that i have not participated in, i think the best thing f is that i resigned as president of the republic. amy: vice president martin vizcarra will replace kuczynski, who narrowly survived a impeachment vote late last year after he attempted to conceal his business ties to a brazilian construction firm which is at the center of a massive corruption scandal that has spread across latin america. back in the united states come the federal reserve wednesday arr of a percentage point in the first such height since fed chair jerome powell replaced janet yellen as head of u.s. central bank. howell signaled the fed is prepared to raise rates to more times this year amidst pressur investors who fear rising wages for blue-collar workers are adding to inflation.
a veteran fox news analyst has quit the cable news network saying he can no longer work for the channel in good conscience. in an open lr le tuesday, retired u.s. army colonel ralph peters writes that fox news hosts routinely dismiss facts and empirical reality. peters also blasted the network over its unwavering support for president trump, writing -- "in my view, fox has degenerated from providing a legitimate and much-needed outlet for conservative voices to a mere propaganda machine for a destructive and ethically ruinous administration." "the washington post" reports more than 187,000 students have been exposed to gun violence at school in the 19 years since the columbine high school massacre in 1999. despite the high number, school shootings represent only a tiny fraction of u.s. gun violence, which claims more than 13,000 lives each year.
"the post'eport comes days ahead of saturday's historic "march for our lives" rally in washington, d.c., which will be led by student survivors of the parkland, florida, high school massacre. tune in to our coverage from the washington, d.c. in a rally. we will begin -- democracy now! will be broadcasting from noon to 4:00 p.m. eastern time. in tempe, arizona, police defrom self-driving cara operated by uber showing an emergency backup driver, a human, was not paying attention tohe road the moments leading up to a fatal crash. an external camera shows the car about to strike pedestrian elaine herzberg, who was pushing a bicycle across the four-lane road an internal camera recording shows driver rafaela vasquez looking down and failing to pay tohe rd just before the car struck herzberg, who is believed to be the first
pedestrian killed in association with new self-driving technology. in new york city, advocates for taxi workers say an immigrant cab driver committed suicide as he faced financial ruin due to a shift away from yellow cabs and toward ride-sharing app-based services like uber and lyft. 65-year-old nicanor ochisor, who drove a new york city yellow cab for nearly 30 years, was found hanged to death from a wooden amnsaraglast friday. ochisor owned a taxi medallion and shared driving duties with his wife, who picked up morning shifts while he worked evenings in an unsuccessful struggle to make ends meet. the new york taxi workers aychis's death is the fourth such suicide of a driver in recent months. in february, livery car driver douglas schifter killed himself outside the gates of city hall after writing in a suicide note
posted to facebook -- "i will not be a slave working for chump change. i would rather be dead." to see our discussion of what taxi drivers face, you can go to sacrameo, california, lice have released a pair of videos showing the moments before two officers shot and killed 22-year-old stephon clark, an african american father of two who was gunned down in his own backyard. at the time of the killing, officers were investigating a 911 call reporting someone in a hoodie in the neighborhood breaking the windows of cars. one newly released video, taken from a police helicopter, shows thermal images of clark being pursued outside his home by two officers, who draw their pistols on him. amy: another disturbing video
from a body camera worn by one of the officers shows the moment clark was killed in a hail of 20 bullets as both officers opened fire on him. amy: sacramento's police department say the officers waited for about five minutes before approaching clark to administer medical attention after they shot him in his own yard. the officers initially claimed they opened fire after clark advanced toward them holding an object they believed was a gun. in a separate statement, the department later said the officers believed at the time that clark was holding a tool bar. clark was found to have only a cellphone on him at the time of his death.
mississippi republican governor phil bryant has named the state's agriculture commissioner cindy hyde-smith to serve as u.s. senator as fellow republican thad cochran steps aside due to pheth hyde-smith will become the first woman mississippi has ever sent to congress. she's expected to immediately begin campaigning for a special election for the senate seat in november. instigation into the real estate company founded by president trump's son-in-law and senior advisor jared kushner amid reports the company illegally faified building permits. city officials are looking into an associated press report that kushner companies regularly claimed it had no rent-regulated tenants in its buildings when it in fact had hundreds, in a move that allowed the company to skirt regulations. the ap reports the false documents were filed while jared kushner was running the company and before he joined the trump white house. new york city councilman ritchie torres says he'll make a
criminal referral if the city uncovers evidence that jared kushner committed a crime. if convicted on a local charge, kushner would not be eligible for a presidential pardon. the probe came as a new york tenants' rights group filed suit against kushner companies, alleging it neglected properties and used round-the-clock construction to force tenants out of rent-stabilized homes. this is aaron carr of the group housing rights initiative, speaking monday. >> it is abundantly clear that kushner companies made the lives of its tenants a living hell. from tactics that include around-the-clock construction, rodent infestation, potential asbestos exposure, black mold, collapsed buildings, and may yes, even collapsed buildings. construction harassment is a form of physical and psychological torture. it is designed to make the living situation of a tenant unbearable to the point where
they are willing to give up the most valuable thing a tenant can have in new york city in the midst of affordable housing crisis, affordability. amy: and those are some of the headnes. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. nermeen: and i'm nermeen shaikh. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. on tuesday, president trump met with saudi arabia's crown prince, mohammed bin salman, at the white house where the two leaders finalized a $12.5 billion weapons deal. this comes less than a year after trump announced a $110 billion arms deal for the saudis. during the meeting, trump held up posters of recent saudi weapons purchases from the united states and said "we make the best equipment in the world." pres. trump: some of the things that we are now working on -- thanks. and that have been ordered and will shortly be started in
construction and delivered, thaad system. $13 billion. the airplanes, the hercules, great playing. $3.8 billion. the bradley vehicles, the tanks, $1.2 billion. , $1.4 billion.s y: human rights groups warn the massive arms deal may make the united states complicit in war crimes committed in the saudi-led bombing campaign in yemen. outside the white house, peace activists with codepink denounced bin salman as a violent and dangerous waral.eace senate rejected a bipartisan resolution to end the u.s. military involvement in yemen within 30 days unless congress formally authorizes the military action. the vote was 44 to 55, with 10 democrats joining the republican
majority to block the legislation and arizona senator john mccain not casting a vote. the u.s.-backed saudi-led airstrikes and naval blockade have devastated yemen's health, water, a sanitation systems, sparking a massive cholera outbreak and pushing millions of yemenis to the brink of starvation. more than 15,000 people have died since the saudi invasion in during an interview on cbs "60 2015. minutes," prince mohammed bin blamed the humanitarian crisis in yemen on houthis. this is host norah o'donnell questioning bin salman. >> do you acknowledge it has been a humanitarian catastrophe? 5000 killed and children starving. >> it is truer painful and i hope this malicious ceases using the human a transit situation to their dage in order to draw sympathy from the internional commity. they block the manager and eight in order to great famine and if
you manager in crisis. nermeen: prince bin salman's trip has also raised new questions about his relationship with president trump's son-in-law jared kushner, who is tasked with brokering an israeli-palestinian peace deal. the intercept reports that bin salman has boasted he has kushner "in his pocket." in october, when kushner made an unannounced trip to riyadh, the two reportedly discussed the names of saudis who were disloyal to the crown prince amid a power struggle. a week later, the saudi government arrested and imprisoned dozens of members of the saudi royal family, reportedly torturing at least one. amy: well, for more, we go now to washington, d.c., where we're joined by two guests. medea benjamin is the code of codepink and author of the book, "kingdom of the unjust: behind the u.s.-saudi connection." her latest article for common dreams "don't believe the media , hype about saudi prince mohammed bin salman." her forthcoming book "inside , iran: the real history and politics of the islamic republic of iran."
also joining us is mehdi hasan, an award-winning british zeurnalist and broadcaster a inrvieprogram "upfront" and a columnist for the intercept. hasan's most recent piece is headlined, "the cbs interview with saudi arabia's mohammed bin salman was a crime against journalism." his new podcast for the intercept will go live tomorrow. it's called "deconstructed." medea benjamin and mehdi hasan, welcome to democracy now! mehdi, iyou uld start off talking about that significance of the crown prince's trip to washington, d.c., president trump's announcement of the latest weapons deal with saudi arabia, and how the media is covering it all. >> thanks, amy. yes, it is a big deal. for a coming to the u.s. two week tour. he is not going to be just in d.c. with trump and the administration, he is also visitinganthe ch guys in silicon valley and
hollywood, too. he is a reformer. he is a revolutionary. that is what the u.s. media want us to believe. "60 minutes" you just played some clips menorah o'donnell did this awful interview. a guy who is a representative of an absolute monarchy, going to be the next de facto ruler with one of the worst hun rights records in the world in the midst of an awful war in yemen, as you just mentioned, and yet he comes to the u.s. and treated as a reformer, a revolutionary, get softball questions, gets a meeting with trump and the white house for they talk about arms sales. more war in yemen with more american arms. the whole thing is a travesty. if it was an iranian government official or north korean official or a syrian official, we w alle up in arms. and yet because it is u.s. ally, 80 years a u.s. ally, we kind of accepted and shrug our shoulders. amy: medea benjamin, you have written about saudi arabia.
codepink had a protest outside. -- outside the meeting yesterday. the media coverage was not just the cbs interview that lavished ai on mohammad. last month, "washington post" interviewed him in riyadh and wrote a piece headlined "the crown prince of saudi arabia is giving his country shock therapy " which he praisedsalman's views on women's rights. he went on to write -- "women tell visitors what kind s hen june, new gyms for women are eng,reeneu are operating food trucks, and women sports fans are attending public soccer games." ignatius also mentions that mohammed bin salman gave the interview entirely in english. in the same paper, dennis ross wrote an op-ed ahead of salman's sit headlined "america should get behind saudi arabia's revolutionary crown prince"
saying his efforts to change saudi society "amount to a revolution from above." he alludes to the war in yemen towards the end of the article, only to say -- "on yemen, qatar and lebanon, had the saudis discussed their options with the united states first, we might have created a more effective division of labor to achieve our shared aims." medea benjamin, your response to all of this? >> it is just disgusting the way the western press is eating up the propaganda of the saudi regime. let's look at the basics ofregi. it is a regime where there is no freedom of speech, no freedom of press, no freedom of religion where you can get the death penalty if you are an atheist or homosexual. it is the most gender-segregated society in the world. women live under a guardianship system or a man has the right to determine the most important things in the women's lives. where there are no national
elections whatsoever. --re there is no freedom independent trade unions, any kind of civic organizations. this is one of the most repressive countries in the world and it should be treated by the western press as one of the most repressive countries in the world and they should be -- minerook behind tours when they go to saudi arabia and they're constantly taken around by government people. saudi citizens are free to talk. i was at a saudi event last night with the camera trying to talk to people. they arebsolutelafraid, even if their supporters of the government. they do not want to be seen on camera because they live in fear. and the media is also putting out the crown prince isreatly beloved, especially by the mp was saudi arabia. if people are afraid they would , like a man jail
put in jeff or 10 years because of a blog, of course they're not going to talk to reporters and get a critique. amy: we're going to go to break and come back to our discussion, this highly significant visit of the crown prince of saudi and the midst of the u.s.-backed saudiba of yemen. where 100 yemenis have died. cholera cases are now at over one million. our guests are mehdi hasan about a zero english and the intercept and medea benjamin, cofounder of codepink. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
resolution to end the u.s. military involvement in yemen within 30 days unless congress formally authorizes the military action. the bill would have forced the first ever vote in the senate withdrawal u.s. armed forces from an unauthorized war. by a vote of 55 to 44, senators votedgast pcedural motion that would have advanced the measure. this is vermont senator bernie sanders speaking tuesday before the vote. >> some will argue that american troopsre shting a ghoat, not exangingire -- gfire th their emies. d that we e not rely engagedn e ifical destruive saudhave aled war yemen th is whatome willrgue on the floor tay, thate are really n engag in stilities,ot exchaing fire. well, plseell thato the
people o yen whose hes and bves are ingestroy weons mked "maden the usa droppebiplaneseing refued byhe u.s mitary on targ osen wh u.s. asstance. ly in thearstost galistic termsan anyone are that e united stes is noctively volvedn hoilities alongsi saudi arabian yemen. anlet mtake a minute tel my colleags whats hapning in yen rightow. becausa lot peopldon't know it is t mething at is the frt pages of the wspapersr cover terriy mu in televion. ghtow in a ry, verpoor
naonof 27 miion pele -- that ithe nationf yem -- in novemr of las yeahe ited natio emergcy relie emennator ld us at was on t brink o "the rgest fane the wld h seen fo many decades this untry of7 milln peoplethis verpoor untry, ove10,000 civilns haveeen kild and 40,000 vilians ve been woued. yen millioneople in a natnf 27 milon have en displed, dren from their hes. 15 milli people la access clea wat and sanation
beuse watetreatmt plant have bn destroy. more thapele yemen, over t thirdof the pulati of th count,eed me kind of hanitaria suppor, witheaon in acud a rehan one llio suspeed cheraases havbeen repord , presenti potentily the worldra obreak in histor nermn: so that senat bernieanders saking tuesy beforehe senate vote. mehdi sant on what heaid and so expla whataudi araa is ying to do in men and w the u.s. is suppting saudirabia? >>t is a goo questiowhen u say t to expln what
saudi aria is ing in yen. i thina lot of pple are wonderg that who areudis wonding, thiwar was decred 2015 anit was sposed to be de quickl and this was the case where mbs, mohammed bin salman, at the time was a deputy crown prince and the defense minister, and he was pushing this war. it was going to be a quick, simplear most of the richest countries against supports country. three years later, still in this horrific war with all of those humanitarian consequences that bernie sanders mention on the floor of the senate will stop it isiste its been called an apocalypse, the world's worst humanitarian crisis. it all intensive purposes, is u.s.-saudi war. jets,u.s. refueling saudi roding arms and bombs, u.s. providing intel the saudi officials, diplomatic cover in
international forums. yet americans don't know enough about it because the media does not cover it. anatt esdo n mention the saudi role. it has been a disaster. no end in site. india said in the "60 minutes" interview, it is the fault of the who thes -- who these and iran, china prospect of bringing wa end. we rightly get agitated about bombing elsewhere, but that is a dictator whoe are not arming, who we are not supporting an yemen, there's a war going on whh has horrific humanitarian consuences and that is a do support in arms. i find the whole thing slightly absurd and morally grotesque. the u.s. is not pointed do anything. questi, mbs' is it is such a big deal because he is a close ally of the u.s. donald trump and office claiming he was going to a saudi critic. en he was running fo eltion, he used the saudis of
being behind the 9/11 attack. he wentming to office to saudi arabia first. the f foreign visit was saudi arabia. he praises in bs and his father. he welcomes him to the white house on tuesday and said, they have got lots of money, we want that money, we're going to have a great relationship. for trump, it iall about money. expect no change. at ait of good news come vote, 55 to 405i think it was, that is much narrower than previous " empty saudi votes had been. on capitol hill, there's much more criticism of saudi arabia that anytime i can think of in recent memories. amy: we just interviewed chris murphy of connecticut who joined was sanders and pushing for this. ask you, medea benjamin, last year the trump administration approved the resumption of sales of precision guided munitions to saudi
arabia. president obama had frozen some seeapo sales last year due to concerns about civilian casualties in saudi arabia's expanding more in yemen. obama did not cut off the support, but he did restricted. trump took those restrictions off. you have been deeply concerned about this vote. can you explain what happened on the floor of the senate? >> well, i want to give kudos to bernie sanders and chris murphy and michael lee, a conservative republican, who introduces resolution using a very unique angle, which is the war powers act to say this is an unconstitutional war, has never been voted on by congress. congress has not only the authority, but the obligation to declare war. and certainly does not fit under the authorization for the use of military force that was passed after 9/11 to attack those in theted -- involved
9/11 attack were associated forces. so it was a very good argument. i think it is horrific that 10 democrats defected and voted for this and that so man-- a f rublica have n themselves to be the war party and to not want to take on a constitutional duty to declare war or not to declare war to allow president trump continue with this war in yemen. so i think we should go back and look at all of those who voted in favor of continuing this war to tell them they have the blood of yemeni people on their hands. and when we see those amateur graphs that president trump held up to talk about all of the weapons sales and showed the states in which there were jobs being eated by those weapons sales, showed them in red, think of them as the blood of the yemeni people. that it is their gifts and their famine that is creating jobs --
famineeathsn their that is creating jobs. and ask yourself of the morality not just of president trump, but this country and congress that will be delighted by the creation of jobs on the backs of the people of yemen a suffering the largest catastrophe in the united states. what does this say about our country? what does it tell the rest of the world about the morals of the u.s.? amy: and the crown prince, saudi arabia, mom and bin salman, even before he was crown prince and take it over this power after arresting, what, hundreds of people in saudi arabia, number of members of the saudi royal family, right a jared kushner met with him in saudi arabia, he was in charge of this war even before he was crown prince. >> that is right. this is his war. that is right when anyone tksabe is not a reformer.
he is a war criminal. -- shakedown down that he presided over in saudi arabia is one of the most bizarre things, taking or 200 of the elites of saudi arabia and regain them into the skilled in prison in the ritz hotel and then demanding they turn over a lot of their assets to him under his control before they would be allowed to leave and 17 of them hospitalized, one of them killed, and this is seen as part of his anticorruption campaign. this is the same crown prie who would he was on a vacation in france saw a yacht he liked owned by russian vodka financier and spent over $500 million who owns a chateau in france, consider the most expensive house in the world, and it also bought a picasso picture, the most high-priced painting ever sold in the world.
so this is not robin hood. and he himself said on "60 minuteo beai he not gone to or mend, but he is a war criminal. nermeen: he also said that he is a great of a personal well and exactly what you said, that he is neither mandela or gandhi and that this was the way that he spent his money was entirely his own business. let's go to a clip of that, responding to a question about his own extravagant lifestyle. my personal life is something i would like to keep to myself and i don't try to draw attention to it. newspapers want to point something out about it, that is up to them. as far as my private expenses, i am a rich person, not a poor person. omandela.andhi i'm a member of the ruling family that existed for hundreds of yearse e founding of saudi arabia. we own very large lots of land. my personal life is the same as
it was 10 or 20 years ago. amy: mehdi hasan, if you want to expand on this. also, what has hpeneto the crown prince's mother? >> i love the idea that "i'm not mandela or gandhi." i didn't think anyone was going to confuse him with mandela or gandhi. amy: even with u.s. p >> some in the u.s. media what to portray him that way. the bar so low it comes to the saudis. he allows women to drive and e is ansay, wow, h emancipator of women. the death penalty for adultery, which is proportionally affects me soery and witchcraft. disproportionately affects women. no questions about democracy or freedom or election. they keep calling him a
of never come across a revolution with a dictator still in power at the end of it. i thought the whole point of a revolution was to get rid of the absolute totalitarian government. it is bizarre to call this guy a revolutionary. about his mother. this is a crown prince who basically dictate "kidnapped his own mother" in order to prevent her from stopping him from taking over from his father. he is one of many children. saudig i of the children. in most accounts, he is not in control of the kingdom. he may have dimension. he is in his 80's. this guy, 32 years old, he runs the show now. very efficient in termof taking power. you have to give him that. you may have botched the word yemen, but does he got rid of his cousin and th under palace arrest. he may have kidnapped his mother or hidden her away so she
cannot get involved. he locked up these leaders, basically with a shakedown. now he has consolidated all of this power in himself in the country at this young age. the problem is, he is not good at doing what he does in terms of foreign policy. let see what he does on economic policy. he is great house with jared kushner. ls with jared kushner. they are similar. h' both thirtysomething spoiled brats who are deeply overrated mess of everything they touch. amy: we're going to go to break. when we come back, we will talk about saudi arabia and iran and alth case taking place in palestine right now i've 17-year-old ahed tamimi who is just reached a plea deal with the military. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music eak]
amy: "you've got a friend in me." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. as we talk about the visit o crn prce of saudi arabia, a dear friend of jared kushner, senior advisor to president trump. his visit to the white house with president trump as president trump announced additional $12.5il arm deal with saudi arabia. nermeen: let's go to trump and prince mohammed bin salman's position on iran. trump has long got to withdraw from the arraignment nuclear deal and justore the visit, the saudi foreign minister called for the 2015 deal a "flawed agreement." repeatedlyrview, mbs criticized iran. he suggested that iranian backed
houthi rebels were responsible for the humanitarian crisis in yemen and defended his claim that iran's self appointed iruayallah khamenei is "the new hitler" of the middle east. salman also said iran is providing safe haven to al qaeda operatives. >> unfortunately, iran is fine a harmful role will sp the irann regime is based on pure ideology. many of the al qaeda operatives are protected in a rant and it refuses to surrender them to justice and continues to refuse to extradite them to the united states. this includes the son of osama bin laden, the new leader of al qaeda. he lives in a ran and works out of iran. he is supported by iran. amy: when asked whether the rift between saudi arabia and iran was about a battle for islam, salman suggested iran is in no position to compete with the kingdom.
>> iran is not a rival to saudi arabia. its arm is not among the top five armies in the muslim world. the saudi economy is larger than the iranian economy. iran is far from being equal to saudi arabia. , can you comment on what the crown prince said in this interview from accusing me who the rebels of being responsible for the humanitarian crisis in yemen, calling the self-appointed spiritual leader ayatollah khamenei iran the new hitler of the middle east, and finally accusing iran of providing a >> justen for al qaeda? chilling with each of those, the yemen point about the houthi rebels. human rights agrees they have exploited the aid and he niurn,ut ao agree most of the deaths have been at the hands of the saudi led coalition, the bombing
usepaign, and the major ca of the catastrophe, theholera outbreak is the restriction on the going in and going out, closing of the ports. they are blamed the majority of the on saudis. iran-saudi feud, which is what this is about, his visit to the u.s. is about shoring up saudi -- american support f any cut of saudi attempt to put iran in its place. let's be clear, iranian foreign-policy has been awful in the region, especially in syria. defending the war crimes in sya by bashar al-assad. but the idea that, number one, iran is responsible for al qaeda is absurd given saudi arabia is a country most identified by experts with al qaeda over the years, 15 of the 19 hijackers
were saudis. the u.s. state department said in 2009 in a cable that they constitute the most significant source of funding for sunni terrorists worldwide. unredacted pages suggest or links between the hijackers and their associates and members of the saudi government. this idea the saudi's would come along and say those guys over there are responsible for al qaeda, it is like summit from sicily saying, the rest of the world is responsible -- it is such an absurd claim from the saudis. on the specific issue of iranian leader ayatollah khamenei, the hitler, a love the analogyn ideg because mbs goes on to say iran has basically an awful economy and a tiny military, but there also nazi germany. that does not make sense. this is not about an actual threat. no one believes iranian tanks
are going to roll into saudi arabia or iran is going to take over the middle east. they do arove level. -- on a sectarian level. there is a huge sectarian element in terms of the political hatred between the two countries. saudi arabia has been fanning the flames. that would be a question for mbs , if you are this moderate reformer who was to bring about moderate islam, what are you going to do about the anti-christian, anti-jewish, anti-shia, anti-atheist rhetoric that goes on within the kingdom? amy: let's talk about why they're getting so much coverage, positive coverage. medea benjamin, well, before this, but you had the friedman piece in "the new york times" i don't know if they've gotten so much response down with anything they got with his pr piece on mohammed bin salman when he went to saudi arabia. can you talk about the amount of money and which lobbying firms
,pr firms that saudi arabia is investing in to burnish its image, not to mention think tanks andversitie the united states? >> it is quite remarkable the managed todis have infiltrate within the united states. you talk about russian infiltration, but the saudis haveone it spectacularly. they have about 20 different pr and lobbying firms based in washington, d.c. many with former senators, congresspeople, people from the defense department who have direct contact with our congress and are white house and state departments. they have incredible contacts in the think tanks. think tanks are putting on events for the saudi prince while he is here. they have invested large sums in u.s. ivy league colleges, so you see the kind of ideological
infiltration in some of the most un states.universities in the then they have invested in wall street. not to invest more in u.s. companies. they have already investe$3.5 biion in burr. it seems like t're invest more. they want to spread their money around. certainly they have big investments in the oil industry. that is partly why he is going to houston. they on the largest refinery in the united states right now. haveor not, the saudis infiltrated deep within all kinds of institutions here in the united states. we see the result in things like these puff pieces that come out that continue to play on this idea that the saudis should be a u.s. ally. they should not be a u.s. ally. it is extremely dangerous because one of the things we are saying iss the saudi and the
israelis in the united states coming together to see how they can work better together to attack iran. and every thing that mohammed teatiolly has backfired and it is all aimed at trying to attack iran. whether it is the ricky created with qatar -- rift he created ttemptatar, whether his with the capture of the prime minister of lebanon to create a rift with hezbollah -- which is close to the iranians. that backfired. and now i think the israelis and the saudisanto s the united states get out of the iran nuclear deal. and it is on may 12 that the trump administration will have to decide whether it continues to this day in that deal or not. d ceainl the pressure coming from the saudis and the israelis is to move out of that. i think it is actually dangerous with this very rash president we have and the very rash saudi
prince that we could be going down the path of war with iran. nermeen: i want to ask both of the 15th anniversary of the u.s. invasion of iraq. in "the new york times" marking poet writesary am a -- "the invasion of iraq is often spoken of in the united stat 'blunder, or even a itas a crime. ose who perpetrated it are still at large. the pundits and "experts" who sold us the war still go on doing what they do.
i never thought that iraq could ever be worse than it was during saddam's reign, but that is what america's war achieved and bequeathed to iraqis." mehdi hasan am a could you comment on what he said in the situation in iraq, what we know of the situation in iraq now? >> that may take those two claims in reverse order. i think, clearly, the last of iraqis aose not improved since 2003, specially in economic terms, disaster in terms of human rights. think many iraqis would dispute characterization that it is worse now than under saddam hussein. others would dispute that. the fact we even have to argue whether it is better or worse suggests what a disaster it was. in the so-called freedom for iraqis. in terms of the description of the work, i think he is spot on. it annoys me when people say, oh, the iraq war was a gesture to check error, a colossal
blunder. a failure. no, it was a crime. it was into five of international law and defined over the last 15 years by were crimes, but widespread torture, by human rights abuses, by massacres. i recently interviewed retired general who is a spokesman for the military coalition in iraq and he basically denied there had ever been any massacres. he said, no, i don't think american soldiers killed anyone intentionally. this is the kind of level of amnesia and distortion and spin when it comes tremembering iraq. this idea that americans went in and it was a mistake. that is the consensus now. it was a crime. the big scandal is that no one is being held accountable. george bush is painting paintings and dancing withllen on her show. a lot of these people have been replicated.
we now give them a pass. a lot of pundits and the media, bill kristol is smiling on cnn even if he helped pave the war -- the way for war. trump was to bring john bolton back. there been no account ability for what was essentially a war ea benjami if you could quickly comment, before we talk about ahed tamimi? >> i think there is one sector that has gotten rich off both of the iraq war in the war in yemen right now,nd that is the weapons industry. the defense contractors. i think we should recognize that war is profitable for a small sector of this country and that the jobs that areeing created are jobs that have to be transformed into jobs that deal energy and areen new kind of economy that we need. that is why we have created this campaign that is called divest from the war machine.
it is 70 different organizations. and getgo online involved with us and say, let's get out of the business of on killing andg turn our economy into something that is more life-affirming. amy: i want to get to what happened in israel, military court reaching a plea deal wednesday with ahed tamimi, the 17 euro palestinian girl who became a hero to palestinians after a viral video showed her slapping a soldier near her family's home in the occupied let herk after she just 15-year-old cousin had been shot in the head at close range by an israeli soldier using a rubber coated steel bullet. ahed tamimi faced 12 charges including assaulting a soldier, inciting violence. under the terms of the plea deal, she will be sentenced to eight months in jail and must pay somethingik0. can you respond -- and she was in court, she shouted out "there is no justice under the occupation." medea?
under theo justice occupation. she was in a military court. the military court has a conviction rate of 99% comes so she knew she was going to get years unless she did this plea bargain. we consider it a victory because she was facing about 10 years in prison. she will be out in five months because she served three months already. we are trying to get her a visa to come to the united states to speak care. it will be exciting because she is now a hero for millions of people around the world. we have to get her voice out. we need help with people to get her visa and to get her out speaking air to help change the demise of the people in this country about our policies toward israel-palestine in favor of the palestinian rights. amy: we hao e , cofounderea benjamin of codepink. mehdi hasan, award-winning british journalist and broadcaster at al jazeera english.
the big game in the world is the movies. it's the biggest game. it always has been the biggest game. television is the exact opposite. it's a postage stamp and it has to draw you in. there's no question that this is the age of images and it became that way because of television. and the movies, of course, have to deal with that.