tv Headline News RT January 19, 2014 1:00am-1:30am EST
of the. voice. for the weekly. with the top headlines of today the week. following months of uncertainty syria's main opposition. has finally decided to meet face to face with the government and this happening at wednesday's geneva two conference this is the first time the sides will be in the same room struggling to strike a roadmap for peace now some key groups of the syrian national coalition had previously rejected talks. the conditions for the blocks participation in the meeting thereby
just fueling the internal disarray in the body and right before the decision the country's foreign minister offered a prisoner swap with the rebels. it appears kind of reports from the latest on syria's diplomatic front. with time running out before the start of geneva two conference on syria it was a busy week for global diplomacy it's our hope that in the face to face meeting of the regime and the opposition will be the beginning of the beginning of the end to this unspeakable conflict never before have russia and the us been so united over syria holding damascus and the rebels both responsible for atrocities standing together for a political solution and going further still we wouldn't be going to try to send the signals to all the syrian sides on the need to establish localized ceasefires to consider the lists of prisoners of war including civilians and also as to allow
humanitarian aid. washington even turned around its stance on iran saying it could also take part in the conference so long as it supported previous international agreements on syria to keep our swing the foundation for he would say you are on the same page when it comes to the most important issues are the same can be said about some western nations who may be risking it all of them have right now just one wrong move is enough to bring down this diplomatic house of cards such as the mixed signals sent from france to the rebels who themselves took the whole week to decide whether they'll take part. we don't have the assad regime on one side and terrorists on the other it is the regime that is fueling terrorism. such statements may be music to their ears but these are cynical statements the western military alliance has been recruiting right from the outset and it's confirmed by numerous.
reliable sources from pears the diplomatic breach moved to moscow which was visited by syria and iran's chief diplomats the most this has confirmed it will be a geneva two and after much debate so has the opposition but still in question is iran's participation it's quite a widespread acceptance that it's a key player in the region and boil to peaceful solution for syria he was going over there. and the coalition explained the last minute decision to attend the geneva talks saying it wanted to ensure it will be supported by fighters on the ground but syrian presidential advisor who say in a shop and thinks that the blocks internal dispute shows it's alienating people all across the country this part is first of all they have and they have been living outside the city of for so many years they are kind of sittin in arbroath who do not know what the syrian people are going through and second i think because of the source of finance i think many of them are deceiving finances from different
parties but anyone who lives with this is and people who want the interest of the syrian people to be above the thing as would give the most priority to stopping this terrorism that is this throwing the lives of the state and people i believe it's a question of what is the one the priority is in this is that people and city and its territorial integrity or is it something that's in the interest being an ally for other forces. another potential player in the region whose participation is in the air is that of iran with russia around the u.n. urging tehran's presence but washington continuing to send mixed signals hillary mann leverett an expert on iran and american foreign policy thinks the u.s. isn't serious about getting a political settlement in the ongoing syrian conflict i think it's very clear if you want to have any kind of a serious process. get started at geneva syria as
a process that might actually have some chance at producing a little political settlement to this terrible conflict you need to have all relevant parties at the table and that means you need to have iran. i think the problem is the obama administration is still not really serious about wanting a political settlement in farai and basically they just they can't get over the idea that if you could just get president assad out of office it would be this terrible blow to iran is regional position they just can't let go of that of that fantasy that they've indulged for almost three years now this is all it's the international top u.k. military officials could face trial in the international criminal court after victims of the iraq war submitted a dossier accusing forces of numerous assaults and torture by the british
government rejecting old allegations picking up the story of london. up until now the international criminal court at the hague had mostly tried to african dictators and tyrants but the i.c.c. has been asked to investigate thousands of allegations of war crimes committed by british forces in iraq a two hundred and fifty page dossier presented by a human rights organization and a british law firm contains allegations of beatings of electrocution smoke executions and sexual assault committed by u.k. forces and according to the all says of this report the finger of blame extends to the very heart of the british government at the time so the head of the british army the former defense secretary and the former defense minister could face prosecution for what this cools systemic war crimes there are many hundreds of
cases where the people have been interviewed in the provided reports about this abuse and it varies from what people might think are. relatively mundane examples of abuse to really quite appalling physical they're put says that british military commanders knew that their forces were committing war crimes and moreover that their civilians to perry as cautiously ignored such information at their disposal but the u.k. foreign secretary william hague has already firmly rejected the suggestion that those at the top here in westminster knew what was taking place on the ground in iraq we reject allegations of systematic abuse but whether all substantiated allegations of things going wrong these things have been or are being investigated that does not require references to the international criminal court the position of the british government has been or were doing enough the point of this is simply
that they still haven't done enough there are right now. no at the international criminal court two heads of state one of them the sitting head of state of kenya and the other the former head of state of called d'ivoire they're both on trial at the international criminal court not for getting their hands bloody they didn't do anything themselves but people under their authority are people they should have controlled or committing the crimes so if it's good enough for the african countries it should be good enough for the u.k. to the international criminal court has come under increasing pressure to act against war crimes committed by western countries it's now up to the prosecutor at the i.c.c. to go through the claims of abuse and to decide whether to call high ranking british officials into the dock at the hague probably boy artsy london. the content of the dossier is held in secrecy although there are some extracts that have now come to light and those that witness accounts made public while they are
rather alarming among the abuses reported beatings electrocutions various kinds of sexually mation all the way going to that of rape family members of inmates were also allegedly threatened by british troops in at least one case some of them were harmed and one of the victims said after being beaten his eight year old son was also injured by an officer reports from another witness suggest that while he was interrogated soldiers threatened to rape his sister and also threatened to arrest his elderly parents earlier aussie international spoke to a legal adviser at the european center for constitutional and human rights which coauthored the dossier. evidence shows that it's not only about individual single cases and incidents it's really a systematic pattern of reparative acts which are. finding in our report or communication to the i.c.c. it's mars and single isolated incidents it's not all the time because the u.k.
had ten years to investigate to prosecute the direct perpetrators but also the higher ups. in the u.k. ten years there are still hardly any prosecutions in the country so now it's simply the time that international courts have to step in. just a bit later in the program here on our international spanish road rage what began as a protest against a street project in a simple northern town spreads across the country you know wave of government rallies some of them right there in violent. also to come for you here on the program a new low for us afghan relations as washington tries to president karzai into signing a crucial security deal amidst of all the civilians most of them children were killed in a nato raid those details are just around the corner. there
is so little self reflection on the part of both the american public and the american decision makers i wonder why is that. country of three hundred fifty million people very self-absorbed. from the world by two large oceans. we tend to think of foreign policy is something we do to other people. is that something we are just a baby and. right to see. first strike. and i think that your.
orders. international is coming to you live from moscow thank you for joining us today and the drip drip of secret information fed into the media by whistleblower edward snowden well it seems to have forced the hand of u.s. president barack obama this week he said he wants to rein in the activities of the far reaching n.s.a. obama announced there would be no more spying on foreign leaders friendly to the u.s. and limits who we've placed on how tros of collected data used or authorities also need a court order if they want to run a check on a phone number using the n.s.a. as extensive data critics however say the measures to be introduced will end up
changing very little. well i think the speech was a few baby steps in the right direction but it was a lot of i dissembled lane and certainly it was a reassurance to the n.s.a. and its employees that they have been doing the right thing he talked really focus was on the two fifteen telephone metadata program that is just one of dozens of massive collections nothing in obama's speech put any rain rain the end this collected all approach and yesterday that there was a big revelation of our called this fire program that just fire program was collecting all tax calls literally hundreds of thousands of text calls every day are going into the n.s.a.'s vacuum it's gigantic hoover. now the global spread of america's all seeing eyes have certainly cost taxpayers a pretty penny as well and the actual figures are as you would expect top secret
but there are some leaked information that lifts the lid on the spy spending by the so-called black budget reportedly amounts to fifty two point six billion dollars for twenty thirteen out of that over ten billion went to the n.s.a. in fact its funding has grown by a half and just a decade it has surveillance methods that are being used in terrorist activities only amount to seven point five percent of the time now the n.s.a. is by no means the first spy agency to have seriously overreached his mandate as ati's peter all of a found out that advances in technology must spying can easily if far out of hand. on finding out that the united states attempt to private mobile phone and gillum urkel confronted president obama this claim. former
offices in the east german secret police which was known as the star of a warning for the n.s.a. if they think must surveillance is the solution to a nation's problems who quote if it's even the best qualified and most advanced secret service cannot save the state we showed you that away from the professed shock of the politicians at the n.s.a. spying ability how does it compare with the actions of the east german secret services during the cold war this can now it's really this is exactly as illegal as some of the tactics that the stars are used to employ it is a breach of human rights but the government machine is so powerful that you can't stop it edward snowden's leaks about the shape and scope of n.s.a. surveillance showing germany as one of the top targets for u.s. snooping again. on top of the ominously named devil's mountain life the remnants of the last major n.s.a.
spying program to look into the private lives of the people of berlin or it's abundant now but back in the day this post with ears to listen in normally private phone calls of thousands of citizens in both the east and the west of the fifty then it was thousands of calls now it's millions sometimes tens of millions of data connections that are tracked and logged in them electronically mukesh the way they do it now is much more intensive your web browsing history credit cards they can build a profile on you way easier than was ever possible in my day. didn't have access to this type of technology they rely on developing personal contacts indices even those who were working in counterintelligence in the west were ours even they said it we were pretty good even then the fear of being listened into was taken seriously as one former officer charged with looking into nato told us human those
fyrst my superior office. is there any technology that they can use to stop eavesdropping on my calls yes just don't pick it up these veterans of the spy game might be impressed by the capabilities of the n.s.a. but they cautious about the quality of the information collected for lessons yet they relied too much on technology that technology might let you locate a person or listen to their cause it doesn't let you know what they think with the usa doing all it can to justify its intelligence gathering the operation. two point zero by critics like since it continued for some time yet peter all of a germany. it has taken moscow officials more than a decade to get permission to visit the only russian citizen behind bars it gives the delegation was told that his case will be reviewed in the near future moscow saying that the one time obey prison is violating the basic rights of detainees and
should be closed down a correspondent reports visit securing the release of the only russian national held at the detention center for over twelve years without charge reveal. the human rights commissioner reiterated russia's position on the detention center in guantanamo bay in his meetings with officials from the defense department and from the department of state he said that russia's position is that this detention center be closed down as soon as possible this detention the mere existence he said of this detention center is in violation of human rights and international law the most important probably. element of it was to meet with rebels who doesn't and to convey their message to the american representatives of america. that we insist they heard his words. and legitimate. quickly taken care of back in two thousand and eight barack
obama the u.s. president promised to shut down the detention center multiple times he said that he wasn't able to fulfill his promise because of the congress which. a number of occasions has vassals to make it harder and harder for the u.s. administration to either transfer. detainees to other countries or to bring them back to the u.s. and try them on u.s. soil which has left the u.s. administration really in political limbo because this detention center has has seen the image and reputation of the u.s. despite official reports the hunger strike at guantanamo bay stopped in december a human rights advocates claim the number of inmates still protesting stands at thirty three but the military authorities are refusing to release any new data they're actually say that the release of information quote trucks from the more important issues like the welfare of the detainees on the safety of troops and
clive stafford smith a lawyer for several good detainees he shared with us his impressions of the force feeding. if a prisoner from camp six which is the least can't goes on hunger strike they automatically get transferred not just count five but you can't record which really has been the most abusive place in all of the town of prisoners are held in the old steel cell and deny the most basic human rights just as a punishment for going on strike but force feeding techniques are very much an action unfortunately against the very abusive force feeding techniques but we can't stand aside the question of whether it's not the culture correspondent toure and the world medical association says it's not you know unfortunately the techniques they're using grant groups you're assisting so for example in the some of those that they used to leave but use up the prisoners noses to hurt so much they're
still pulling those tubes out every single time tries to force them back up each time there's still that forcing far too much too quickly into the prison american prisons if you're sick they just carry on doing it it really is horrendous it's not . hard to spain where there were violent protests this week at least fifteen rallies were reported dozens were arrested several injured in clashes with police it was all sparked by a demonstration in the northern town of port augusta where people were angry at a costly plan to redevelop a street they said it would force some of the poorest locals out of their homes the whole idea costing thirty million euros though the mayor has now canceled the scheme the fact that the protests continued nonetheless shows the overall level of distrust towards the government that is according to at least one political analyst . demonstrators say that they will continue. protesting against this project because they they still don't believe that he's going to be withdrawn the reason
why people are so angry specifically because doesn't fit with the current situation of austerity of cutbacks seen in services this is an area which has suffered from those cutbacks in public services recently so people they say they professor of schools and hospitals rather than parking lots this is the very conservative c.t.s. this is the other small city in space never happens something like that in a city like little or so this is probably. one of the symptoms of of how problematic it's been the situation on the whole in the whole of space. afghanistan has accused u.s. forces of killing eight civilians seven of them children during an anti taliban night raid on a house it's one of the many incidents to have tested relations between the nations it's washington is losing the argument as to why you come bullshit sign a security deal the agreement is crucial for america he would allow
a huge portion of troops to stay in the country past the main withdrawal later this year i got a porter and investigative journalist specializing in u.s. security policy you believe that obama can actually forget about this deal. what he is really after here is concessions that would. basically establish his credentials as somebody who is standing up to u.s. military power in afghanistan. and basically make it more likely that he would be an acceptable partner in future negotiations. i don't think the united states is going to agree to the demands that he would need to put forward when he has put forward as the price of such a deal and that's why i think this does represent a a real crisis in u.s. relations with the karzai government at this point. mounting civilian casualties
from american military operations one of the key reasons the u.s. afghan security pact remains on shaky ground and washington's draft pushes for thousands of us soldiers to stay in afghanistan after the combat mission ends later this year although their role is supposed to be one of support the u.s. still wants its troops to be able to carry out raids and attacks on afghan homes all the while being immune to afghan prosecution president karzai reluctant to approve the deal demanding an end to airstrikes as a precondition for any type of agreement. right after the break here on the international it's worlds apart with host of. because you don't states is the big dog the only hyper power and the cultural
driving force of globalization it takes a lot of flak i mean globalization means the whole world gets hollywood and hot dogs and not the other way around so let's take a break from the negativity and talk about something truly amazing about america and as a guy who lives in moscow i could say that the constitution of the united states is something truly amazing in russia there is constant talk about needing a new national idea a new ideology or political theory or big changes to the russian constitution and so on and it's hard for people in america understand this but twice in the twentieth century the system that russians gave their lives for collapsed and the current constitution was written quickly after a period of violence and said collapse not after a glorious victory now you see why people here aren't exactly memorizing amendments and founding fathers quotes here in america there are debates between liberals and conservatives but almost everyone believes the constitution and it is america's greatest strength there is a national idea that is a sacred document with a list of rules as almost universally agreed upon everyone with half a brain on the street but sadly not in congress knows when something is against the
constitution or should i see against america near universal belief in the constitution is actually something truly exceptional about america but that's just my opinion. hello and welcome to one of the choir. it's hard to find a country of course foreign policy half off elated more between idealism and cynicism than the united states many american presidents began their terms in office with blah just to make the world a better place and finished with the world uttering now right dan what needs to happen for american foreign policy to become more pragmatic and in touch with reality while to discuss that i'm now joined by caspar eamon
a distinguished american diplomat who also served in various capacities in the state and defense department ambassador freeman it's a great privilege to have you on the show i'm glad to be here you know every time when we try to examine the u.s. foreign policy we get a lot of responses from and graham merican accuse as few as bashing and maybe my being a russian invited some of those accusations but you're an american the you gave thirty years of your lives to the service of your country and yet some of your views on the american foreign policy a pretty solid bearing i wonder how do you distinguish between critical thinking and criticism and is it possible to avoid criticism while applying critical thinking to american role in foreign affairs the united states has a democracy and one of the responsibilities of citizens as ours. is to speak out
and try to influence policy and that's particularly the case when the policies that are being followed are either unrealistic or counterproductive. and in the middle east in particular u.s. policy has been pretty consistently counterproductive in recent years so i don't see a contradiction at all between. service for the us government. own view of ourselves as an american patriot and criticism of our government's policies now many of the policies that bureau. analyzed in your book america's misadventures in the middle east tend to have some sort of recurring patterns you know some of the mistakes tend to be made over and over again and yet i think. there is so little self reflection on the part of both them merican public and american decision makers i wonder why is that we're.