tv Cross Talk RT December 30, 2013 8:30pm-9:01pm EST
the year that was as two thousand and thirteen and what has made it memorable we ask in this edition of crossfire who excelled and who disappointed us and what stories captured our attention because of hope or due to despair. i would rather ask questions to people in positions of power instead of speaking on their behalf and that's why you can find my show larry king now right here on our
police. oh and welcome to crossfire where all things are considered on peter lavelle the year that was two thousand and thirteen and what has made it memorable we ask in this edition of crossfire who excelled in who disappointed us what stories captured our attention because of hope or do you despair.
to cross-talk the year two thousand and thirteen i'm joined by my guest in washington kelly vlahos she's a journalist at antiwar dot com we also have medea benjamin she is a co-founder of code pink an alter of drone warfare and we also have kayla williams she is author of the book love my rifle more than you young and female in the u.s. army and she is also a truman national security project fellow all right welcome ladies to cross talk are you know in my view kelli i guess i'll take. surprise you and hopefully not your viewers because i'm an avid reader of antiwar dot com your favorite story is legit snowden tell me why. yes well i think edward snowden has he's ushered in a new era of independent journalism along with taking the end of the information revolution to on charted extraordinary heights i mean it's ongoing he the leaks that he is response of all four have spawn stories
that revelations about government spying u.s. government spying every day every day there are new revelations about what the government has been doing in the shadows for the last thirteen years and i think what's different about the snowden leaks. in contrast to what bradley no child chelsea manning has done for the information revolution and wiki leaks which are very important up until now and still are but what he has done is he is changing the minds of americans about the importance of their privacy he has taken the issue of privacy government surveillance and transparency and brought it to the kitchen table now americans are seeing what it's like and feeling what it's like to be spied upon by the government and i think the poll numbers differentiate i think we're seeing americans a lot more concerned about what the government is doing up until now you know they
took what wiki leaks and bradley manning and brought to us. somewhat with a grain of salt they saw the iraq war logs and the afghan afghanistan war logs and they said you know the wars are over now we're finding there that the government's been spying on our phone records our e-mail our social media browsing and they're saying this is a little bit more personal personal and it's making me uncomfortable in washington also what's your favorite story of this year what moved you what do you think changed the world. two stories that i think have been incredibly important this year have been malala yousafzai and the delhi rape victim though both of those women were actually attacked in two thousand and twelve their stories continue to gain traction this year malala addressed the u.n. published a book the early rapists were convicted and i think that these cases have drawn attention to violence against women and girls and started to really change the
conversation more women are speaking out starting to reclaim the word feminism and stopping their long silence on some continuing inequities i think that this conversation is finally changing in tone and hopefully is the beginning of a fourth wave of feminism ok that's very interesting that if i go to you in washington what was the story that moved you the most this year i was very excited this year to see the american people finally coming out and say they didn't want to get involved in more wars we saw across the ideological spectrum when president obama wanted to take us into the war in syria the american people spontaneously rising up and saying no way and we see the same thing around the negotiations with the run there are forces in the united states that are pushing for us to get involved militarily or support israel in a military attack on iran and instead we have the american people saying no we want to go and so this is a sigh of relief after twelve years. americans giving
a lot of support for military interventions kili i agree very. much to my delight because i've always been very depressed about the mainstream media that americans are spoon fed every single day and in light of that when we look at the major networks i call them the party of war we still have the americans say no to invasion of attack of syria and remarkably enough looking at poll numbers most people want an agreement with iran even though you can't move capitol hill most of the american people are saying this is this or is this some kind of shift you see in the end of this year is that it least on foreign policy people can say enough is enough. absolutely and i think it's a shift because after twelve years of war americans are tired and not only are they and their emotional way but they're watching tens of thousands of veterans
come home accessing v.a.'s coming home with troubling injuries whether physical or mental and they know in their heart that they have created a generation of injured souls that we're going to be taking care of for a lifetime they see that they see the cost it's done to our economy i mean we're still living in a recession here no matter what republicans on the hill want to say about. growth people are still feeling the effects of the recession so when they think about the idea of going into another war whether it be syria or iran or staying in afghanistan for another decade they say no way and they've been saying that all year and now you're seeing that reflected in legislation you're seeing that reflected in the attitudes of people in polling you're seeing that reflected in individual members of congress and their attitudes about war and i think like you that it's a very promising development you're going back to your original comment. was
crosstalk jump in go ahead jump in maybe right. i think that it's more than just being war weary i think there's also an element of being war wise and that merican is looking at what have been the results of these interventions and seeing afghanistan still one of the poorest countries in the world seeing iraq just imploding they recognize that even if we wanted to do something to help people for example in syria that u.s. military intervention is not the answer. we're all on the same wavelength here kayla one of the most depressing stories i read this year was a very interesting report i didn't bring the woman's name with me but the amount of the level of domestic violence is going to increase in the united states because of veterans coming home not getting pop proper treatment being under-diagnosed and just essential to being forgotten by the veterans administration but the the level
of domestic violence murder self-inflicted wounds i think it's like i don't know what every hour every two hours a veteran commits suicide in the united states i mean this is again one of the but long terms affects of these wars here because if you use it you you mention that this fourth generation of feminism in what we would call the third world at one time but there still may be another wave of violence coming to the united states because of foreign wars. i'm not sure that the connection is as clear as article you read may suggest we certainly do have veterans who come home struggling with physical cognitive and psychological injuries and it can be very difficult to come back from those but it's also really important to remember that over a lifetime veterans are actually more highly educated more highly employed than their civilian counterparts who never served. veterans bring a lot to the table when it comes to getting employment we can significantly benefit
employers and the department of veterans affairs has done quite a bit to increase these services that they can make available to returning veterans we still have a long ways to go but certainly there have been i think absolutely incredible improvements under secretary shinseki that i've been greatly encouraged by including really amazing progress in specifically addressing the needs of women veterans were the fastest growing segment of the veterans population and they've been working very diligently to make sure that our particular gender specific needs can be met. i've not seen any statistics that. strongly correlate that it can show causation between combat experience and increased rates of violence that's across the board actually i think are incarcerated at slightly lower rates than our civilian counterparts and also there are exciting there's progress being made in something called veterans' courts where
instead of putting vets who have committed minor crimes in jail they're instead hooked up with services mental health care substance abuse treatment so there are some really exciting steps being made to improve the services available to today's vets and hopefully we can break some of the cycles for those who are struggling earlier so that they don't become entrenched lifelong conditions kili snowden is here wait a minute wait a minute. just suppress the. i'm just surprise. you don't talk about one out of three women being in assaulted in the military and how the changes that the senator kristen gillibrand wanted to make in the military to make it more possible for women to get redress was rejected by the military. ok we do want to talk about veterans' issues specifically was the question absolutely the rates of violence in the military against women but not exclusively against women one of the pieces
that i think is really under reported is that men make up about half of those who report on one of sexual contact of some kind women are such a small minority in the military that we experience it at higher rates the numbers can be roughly similar of men and women there were several competing legislative proposals on how to try to tackle some aspects of this problem and neither of the two biggest competing proposals made it into the n.b.a. but there are a number. of different efforts being made to increase both prevention efforts and increase prosecution i think it's going to be a long time to try to before we see the end results of these efforts unfortunately it's not a problem that's exclusive to the military we saw some really atrocious examples in at the high school level in steubenville we've seen it universities where some of the prosecutions are also atrocious so we really need to tackle this from every
direction within the military absolutely but also nationwide we have to change the discussion about about sexual violence and really tackle it from the right you know i'm going to judge you here would you go to a short break and after that short break we'll continue our discussion on the year there was state party. leave. wealthy british style is not. the time to write for.
markets why not. come to. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike's cause or for a no holds barred look at the global financial headlines tune into kinds of reports . i've put. aside. i think corp mind. can do and the bank and the hobbit all about money and i think that's like that for a politician writing the blog and. coming. here just to plug. today's diet. that. it's a. pleasure
to have you with us here on t.v. today i'm sure. you know. we. welcome back to cross talk where all things are considered on peter lavelle two minute we're discussing the year that was and its major event. ok kelli i know that snowden the snowden story was your favorite one of the year but who are some of the other people i'd like to ask the other members of the panel
here i mean let's say for example example mr obama is he finishing the year in a in a very good place poll numbers would suggest not. yeah poll numbers would suggest that he is he is at the worst place of his his two terms in office i think the health care the rollout of the health care on your wealth care law has been absolutely devastating to his overall agenda it is not only been devastating to his legacy i believe but to his ability to carry out any other big big tag you know. forthcoming. i think that he's lost credibility not only with his own democrats on capitol hill but with the american people and that's that's reflected in the poll numbers so no i think it going into two thousand and fourteen yes he's on really shaky ground and we were looking at
midterm elections next year and after that probably we're looking at the presidential election fight and which new party leaders will emerge making obama weaker than ever as a lame duck president we do know about it how about you who is your favorite person of the year i hope it is said mr obama ok go ahead well i have to agree with kelly about snowden i just came back from europe and. he is considered a real hero there i would say on the worst side would be congress it's just been an awful year with gridlock nothing being passed on immigration and even basic kind of reforms around gun control the the budget fights leaving everybody bloody and battered so i think for the u.s. government in general it's been a bad year ok ok well can you give me a person that you like outside of the two that you mentioned of the sort of the program and we give me a little bit more optimistic ladies ok. i actually have been fairly
pessimistic about this year is well i've been extremely disappointed both in congress and in the international computer community writ large about our inability to take any any concerted action to address the humanitarian crisis in syria or to seriously address climate change even though we've been seeing some really terrible storms and who won and hurricane sandy so on and so forth we have environmental degradation that is causing major problems and no move in sight to address these problems and also with syria the humanitarian catastrophe there not only is it a crisis but we see a resurgence of polio here in the united states anti vaccine propaganda has led to a resurgence of whooping cough and communicable diseases on the rise it's really unfortunate and i am very pessimistic about the end of this year although we do see bright spots and women under thirty five in america are finally approaching wage
parity with men gay rights in the america are expanding significantly with the repeal of doma legalized gay marriage in several states but compare that with the state of gay rights in countries abroad including russia and if you look at it internationally globally i think it's a really mixed picture and not a very positive one for this year ok kelly can you can you give me anything more upbeat here i mean well you know we big three issues of three additions of cross talk every single week i must admit most of the problems are quite depressing because all we do with problems all the time give me something to be optimistic about this year. well i'm actually quite fascinated by pope francis ok very good i mean to be seen but i but yeah i have never seen at least in my recent memory the religious conservative faction of the catholic church so apoplectic as in their response to pope francis's talking
about the economy talking about money and talking about human rights social justice talking about gays so yeah i mean i'm having a great time and it all started back in july when they had those first pictures of him and gauging reporters while he's leaning over the sea on a plane i mean this is this is unprecedented right and he says and in response to a question about. homosexuality he says who am i to judge i mean it set ripples through the conservative catholics sphere and it still is i mean two weeks ago we had rush limbaugh practically example loading because. the pope had dared to take free market free market tearing to task and i still i googled up today and i found a number of articles national review bloomberg saying how the pope has got it all
wrong about free markets and and what. is therefore saying he's forcing them to look at the real kernel of what catholicism and christianity is and that's pure love that's charity it's about forgiveness it's about shedding your spirit your wealth and caring about others and and for so long we've heard about the republican edict about free markets and and pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and he is questioning that he is saying no that's not what christianity is all about and i'm just like i love seeing the response. irrespective of your faith three maybe you could be in a. yes but everything that kelly just said all of the the values that he just mentioned then it was being attributed to this catholic pope even makes old cynics an atheist like me stand up and listen because i agree with everything that kelly had to say there is that it leaves i'm willing to give the guy a hearing for the last most of my life i wasn't willing to give the catholic pope
pope much listening at all how do you feel about him i think he's a breath of fresh air and as a jew i say it's exciting to think of somebody at the head of the catholic church who is really a spell saying values that i totally believe in and that he wants to celebrate the holidays by going out and hanging out with the homeless and he's. his thoughts and his actions are really quite remarkable. how do you feel about the pope because again you don't have to like the catholic church or even the institutions within the county church but the things that he had to say i think is something that a lot of people the stopped and listened to and you find commonality with with others that way only because through through these values here he's not called women are not to become priests are not going to and they're not going to support abortion go on and on and on but nonetheless the values that he exposed was kind of a breath of fresh air as we just heard absolutely i'm a secular humanist and yet i'm still excited to hear
a lot of what he has to say i think it's so important to reconnect people to to values of compassion humility caring for others and we could all come together as a community to help one another these are values i think that many many people can agree upon and i agree that it's fascinating to see those who claim to be christians rejecting a lot of those really important messages that i always thought were at the core of christian tenets so i see a lot of my friends who are jewish are secular humanist like me are from all kinds of different faiths posting. goals and stories about what the pope has to say and and i think it's a really exciting time to try to bring some of these core values back into a larger conversation that we can talk about values we don't have to just talk about market returns we can talk about values and helping our fellow man it's an important time now as we see the food stamp benefits here in the united states
being cut absolutely tragic i grew up on food stamps they helped me succeed as an adult and to think that there are little kids today who may have to go to bed hungry is absolutely tragic so any message that can say hey this is about values this is about the loaves and the fishes not bootstraps i think is a great message to share ok can we also have the remember go ahead medina jump in go ahead yes let's remember that with the passing of nelson mandela have been a time to talk about values and it's been beautiful to hear the tributes to a life well lived that showed us that even when you struggle against such oppression to come out and say that you love your adversaries is something i think that is a uplifting message for the end of the year in the beginning of a new new one ok when you are thousands and thousands of miles away from me but you're reading my mind i was going to mention mandela keli do you want to jump in there too because you know i think he's a fascinating character unfortunately think whoa unfortunately west western
mainstream media made him very. complicated and kind of just so you know a photo op guy but i mean probably one of the most interesting lives ever lived in modern times. the only thing that i can add to what medea had said was that i think the you know the let the last week in the media coverage and cause you know it caused everybody everyone in washington to sort of pause and feel a little bit more humbled by the stories that you know the returning to some of the stories that many of us grew up on in terms of his imprisonment his shewing of total power after he became president and i think you know kind of recognize that he makes a lot of what goes on in washington look pretty stupid pretty thick pretty lame and i think for the last week there was a maybe a pause and i and i enjoyed that because i think that you know reflecting on his
his values reflecting on what he had gone through reflecting on the struggle of the south african people had made us maybe feel that maybe our are the fights that seem so critical in washington right now being you know obamacare for example it's pretty small and petty. i'm going to give you the last word on the ticker and also may go ahead jump in go ahead i think you can also make us ask what side of history do we want to be on i mean looking back at who did or did not support mandela when he was in the midst of his struggle and then ask ourselves who today may be engaged in similar struggles or who in another forty fifty years may be saying similar similar things about when they end up passing who is taking over his mantle is it on song su kyi who might it be and where do we want to stand.
incarceration nation where the law does jailers in the world is it working when i start practicing thirty years ago a ten or twenty year sentence was a big deal now you can win in court and you get ten twenty thirty years people are given sixteen years for less than unifying factor folks so we're locking up and in this country is beyond race beyond anything is that we're locking up an alarming number of poor black folks a large number of poor latino four and a white folk or locking up a poor to twenty one people make money in the system every time someone is arrested there's money being made off of the blood sweat of people who don't belong in prison plus we have to humanize the people that we're locking up in this country if they just become numbers and just become race groups and just become for folks we forget one juror tall next on larry king now.