tv Democracy Now LINKTV December 20, 2018 4:00pm-5:01pm PST
12/20/18 12/20/18 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: frorom new yorkrk, this iss demoacacy no pres. trump so our boys, young men, our men -- they are al coming b bk in the coming bac now. we won. amy: president trump orders the withdrawal of all 2000 u.s. troooops from syriria in a movet shocked many in the region and in the political establishmement in washington. we will speak toto syrian-canadn writiter yazan al-saadi anand phyllis bennis of the e institue for policy studies.
then we look at the growing scandals surrounding facebook. >> we did not take a broad enough view of our responsibility, and that was a big mistake. it was my mistake, and i am sorry. i started facebook. i run it. and i am responsible for whahat happens here. amy: eight months after facebook's mark zuckerberg apologized to congress, the naacp is calling for a weeklong facebook boycott for allowing russian trolls to target african-americans out of the 2016 election. we will speak with naacp president derrick johnson about facebook, about passage of an anti-lynching law, about criminal justice reform, and momore. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
on wednesday, president trump ordered the withdrawal of all 2000 u.s. troops in syria in a move that surprised many in washinington and around the wow. pres.rump: weave been fighting for l long time. i ve a an esidenent omisededwo year andnd whave really stepped u up. and d weave won againstsisis. eaten beat them and them badly. we have taken back t land. w it is ti for our tops to me back home. amy: trouble ordered the withdrawal by tweet, despite opposition from within the white house in september, trumps national security visor john bolton had said u.s. troops would ststay in syria a until iranian troops andnd its proxy forces leaveve. has beenmp claimims isiss defeated, report by the united nations in august found up to 30,000 isis figighters remain in iraq a and syria. president trumump's move has ben praised by some in the american peace movement and some progressive lawmakers, as well as anti-interventionist
republicans including senator rand paul and mike lee. at other republican lawmakers have openly criticized trump. his ally senator lindsey graham said "an american withdrawal at this time would be a big win for isis, iran, srl assad, andd russia. in addition to the fight against russia, syria remains the center of double proxy wars involving the united states, russia, iran, turkey, saudi arabia, israel, and other nations. we will have more on trump's decision and the situation in syria after headlines. the senate passed a last-minute stopgap spending bill last wednesday in an effort to avert a possible government shutdown friday. the measure would keep the government open until february and does not include funding for trump's border wall. $5 billion last week, trump declared he would be proud to shut down the government over border wall funding during a contentious public meeting with democratic leaders. the measure will now have to pass through the house before arriving at president trump's desk.
it's unclear whether he will sign it. on wednesday, trump appeared to back off the border wall funding provision, tweeting -- "mexico is paying for the wall through the new usmca, the replacement for nafta! far more money coming to the u.s. because of the tremendous dangers at the border, including large scale criminal and drug inflow, the united states military will build the wall!" "the wall street journal" is reporting that william barr, president trump's nominee to be the next attorney general, sent an unsolicited memo to deputy attorney general rod rosenstein in june, criticizing special counsel robert mueller's ongoing russia investigation. according to the report, barr wrote in the memo -- "mueller should not be permitted to demand that the president submit to interrogation about alleged obstruction." if confirmed, barr will oversee mueller's investigation. cnn revealed wednesday that
president trump signed a letter of intent during negotiations on the proposed trump tower moscow, despite his lawyer rudy giuliani claiming just days ago trump never signed such a document. the letters dated october 28 last month, trump's former , 2015. personal lawyer michael cohen said he lied to congress about the timing of the trump tower plans in an attempt to be consistent with trump's political messaging that the campaign had no ties to russia. cohen was sentenced to three years in prison last week. in washington, d.c., former blackwater contractor nicholas slatten was found guilty of first degree murder wednesday for his role in the 2007 nisoor square massacre in central baghdad. on september 16, 2007, blackwater contractors killed 17 civilians after opening fire with machine guns and grenades on a crowded public space. slatten was convicted of killing 19-year-old ahmed haithem ahmed
al rubia'y, an aspiring doctor. slatten had previously been found guilty in 2014, but the verdict was thrown out on appeal least year. three other blackwater guards charged in the case are awaiting resentencing after their 30-year sentences were vacated. the d.c. attorney general sued facebook for allowing outside companies, including political consulting firm cambridge analytica, to access user data and misleading users on the privacy of their data. in more news about facebook, the social networking giant has temporarily blocked the account of yair netanyahu, the son of israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, over hate speech. earlier this month, yair netanyahu posted multiple racist posts, calling palestinians monsters and saying he wished there were no muslims in israel, claiming muslims were terroriststs. in britain, tensions are continuing to mount among
leadership as the spectre of a no-deal brexit looms. this is leader of the opposition labour party jeremy corbyn during a parliamenentary session wednesday. >> the prime minister has punished this country ininto a national crisis. she refused parliament -- she refused parliament the right to vote on n her brexit deal. she said she did that to seek further assurances. she failed. she is now claiming she is still seeking further assurances, while e all the time running don the clock on the alternatives. so can the prime minister explained to us when the european council will meet to approve the changes that they have alreaeady rolled out? amy: meanwhile, britain and the european commission say they are preparing for the possibility of a no-deal brexit, which many
fear will severely disrupt trade, travel, and the flow of essential goods, including food and memedicine. britain is currently scheduled to exit the eu on march 29. in tijuana, mexico, two honduran teenagers who traveled to the u.s.-mexico border with the migrant caravan have been killed. the teenage boys, believed to be aged 16 and 17, were reportedly strangled and stabbed after leaving the migrant youth shelter where they were staying. two men and one woman have been arrested and charged in the case, according to local authorities. in more news from the border, maria lila meza castro, the honduran woman who was captured in a viral reuters photograph fleeing from a border teargas attackck with her children, is reportedly now in the u.s. california congress members jimmy gomez and nanette barragan said meza and her five children had beenen taken in and their asylum request is currently being processed. in california, a five-month-old girl who traveled to the
u.s.-mexico border with the central american migrant caravan has been hospitalized with pneumonia after she spent five days in freezing government cells known as hieleras, or iceboxes. agents at the immigration prison in california where she was being held reportedly refused to seek medical attention for the girl after her mother notified them she was ill. this comes as public outrage is growing over the death of seven-year-old jakelin caal maquin from guatemala, who died in u.s. custody after she was detained at the u.s.-mexico border in a remote area of new mexico earlier this month. a federal judge has struck down trump administration policies designed to prevent people fleeing gang and domestic violence from seeking asylum in the u.s. the wednesday ruling came in a lawsuit fileled by thehe aclu ad the center for gender & refugee studies, representing 12 adults and minors who were denied asylum under the new government rules.
u.s. district court judge emmet sullivan, who called the trump administration policies "arbitrary, capricious and in violation of the immigration laws," ordered any deported plaintiffs in the case be returned to the u.s. earlier this week, judge sullivan delayed sentencing for former national security adviser michael flynn and told him in his courtroooom, "you sosold yor country out." in more immigration news, the trump administration is easing the requirements for sponsoring migrant children in government custody. sponsors are most commonly relatives s of unaccompanied children who are able to take them into their care. the department of health and human services announced it will no longer require a full background check on all members of a potential sponsor's household, which draws out the process significantly. in september, ice confirmed it was arresting potential sponsors for possible immigration violations. recently revealed data showed that immigration and customs
enforcement has arrested 170 people since july. a reported 15,000 immigrant children are currently being held in government custody, a record high. the department of agriculture is proposing a new rule making it more difficult for low-income americans to receive federal assistance from the supplemental nutrition assistance program, known as snap. the proposed rule limits state'' ability y to issue waivers on employment requirements before people are deemed eligible for food assistance. in legal news, a colorado appeals court dismissed 83 complaints against supreme court justice brett kavanaugh. one of the ethics complaints alleged capital lied under oath to the senate during nomination proceedingngs. ththe judicial panel said d that they do o not veve the authohory to take action on the complaints, which relate to events before his confirmation as a supreme court justice, because his seat on the supreme court bench excludes him from the judiciary's misconduct rules. "the new york timemes" is reporting hackers accessed
diplomatic european union cables for years. a trove of hacked documents reveal concerns over trump and his relationship with world leaders, the failure of the iran -- the fate of the iran nuclear deal, and fears of russia-annexed crimea turning into a nuclear hot zone. other major international institutions, including the united nations, were also reportedly targeted in the widespread cyber attack. cyber experts say the attack was perpetrated by chinese hackers linked to the government. "the new york times" is reporting that democratic operatives employed covert methods borrowed from russian cyber agents on facebook and twitter in an attempt to sway last year's special senate election in alabama. the democratic operatives admitted to using false flag operations to make it look like russian bots were helping republican roy moore's campaign. democrat doug jones narrowly beat out moore in the historically conservative
state after moore came under intense fire as at least nine women accused him of sexually harassing or assaulting them when they were teenagers. the u.s. senate unanimously approved a bill to make lynching a federal crime. newly elected mississippi senator cindy hyde-smith presided over the vote. last month, hyde-smith came under fire a after shehe made te campmpaign stop remark, "if he invited me to a public hanging, i'd be on the front row." she was referring to a supporter. in illinois, a new report by the attorney general finds that nearly 700 catholic priests have been accused of sexually abusing minors, but the church withheld the identity of at least 500 of the alleged sexual predators. the report reveals a pattern of discrediting survivors and neglecting to investigate allegations. the report is the latest shockwave in the ongoing sexual abuse crisis in the catholic church. earlier this month, an american catholic priest, kenneth hendricks, was charged with sexually abusing at least 10 young boys in the phililippines.
meanwhile, in los angeles, bishop alexander salazar has resigned following revelations of sexual abuse against a child stemming from the 1990's. the los angeles archdiocese was reportedly aware of the allegation as early as 2 2005. altria, the company who produces marlboro cigigarettes, is reportedly close to signing a $13 billion deal with e-cigarette maker juul. earlier this month, altria invested $1.8 billion in canadian cannabis company cronos. canada legalized recreational marijuana use in october. in brookoklyn, ohio, a b black n was apprehended and handcuffed by police after tellers at huntington bank refused to cash his check, then called 911 on him. the 30-year-old man was attempting to cash a paycheck of just over $1000. social media reports of the incident, which took place on december 1, hahave been circulating with the hashtag #bankingwhileblack.
in texas, the aclu filed a lawsuit against the state's attorney general, two universities, and two school districts over the controversial state law requiring employees to vow not to boycott israel. the suit claims that such a demand violates constitutional rights. one of the plaintiffs in the case is a reporter at npr-affiliate radio station ketr, which is licensed with a public college in texas. last week, the aclu of arkansas filed a suit on behalf of "the arkansas times," challenging a similar law that says government workers must pledge not to boycott israel or suffer a pay cut. austin-based palestinian-american speech pathologist bahia amawi is also suing texas for losing her job over her refusal to sign the pro-israel oath. to see our interview with amawi, go to democracynow.org. in new york city, the activist who climbed the statue of liberty to protest president trump's anti-immigrant policies, has been found guilty on
multiple counts, including trespassing and interfering with government agency functions. therese patricia okoumou and other activists staged a fourth of july protest, dropping a banner reading "abolish ice" from the base of the statue, before okoumou attempted to scale the statue. okoumou, wearing a dress with the words "seeking asylum is not a crime" written on it, addressed supporters outside of the courthouse monday. >> we are still talkingng about children and concentration camp s. thank you for those who are with us in spirit. amy: and those are some of the headlines. 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. we begin today's show looking at syria. on wednesday, president trump ordered the withdrawal of all 2000 u.s. troops in syria in a move that surprised many in
washington and around the world. trump tweeted -- "we have defeated isis in syria, my only reason for being there during the trump presidency." he later posted a video on twitter explaining theovove. pr. trump:e have bn fititing f a l lontime.. i havend president promised two yes,s, ande have rllyy steppepeit up anwe have won against isis we he beatenhem and have been them dly. we have taken backck the land. and now it is time for our troops to come back home. amy: president trump ordered the withdrawal despite opposition from within the white house. in september, trump's national security advisor john bolton had said u.s. troops would stay in syria until iranian troops and its proxforces leave. while trump claims isis has been defeated, a report by the united nations in august found that up to 30,000 isis fighters remain in iraq and syria. president trump's move has beenn praised by some in the american peace movement, and some
progressive lawmakers as well as anti-interventionist republicans including senator rand paul and mike lee. but other republican lawmakers have openly criticized trump. like his ally senator lindsey graham who said -- "an american withdrawal at this time would be a big win for isis, iran, bashar al assad of syria, and russia." in addition to the fight against isis, syria remains the center of multiple proxy wars involving the united states, russia, iran, turkey, saudi arabia, israel, and other nations. nermeen: trump's announcement to withdraw u.s. troops comes just days after turkey threatened to launch an offensive against u.s.-backed kurdish fighters in syria who have been battling isis. erdogan said he wants to clear turkrkish fighters from east of the euphrates. trump's announcemement also came one day after the state department announced it had approved the sale of a $3.5 billion patriot missile system to turkey. one kurdish commander told "the wall street journal" he fears trump's move will be a
green-light for turkey to attack the kurds. meanwhile, the kurdish-led syrian democratic forces criticized the u.s. withdrawal saying it could lead to isis rebuilding itself. earlier today, russian president vladimir putin said he agreed with trump's decision. presence of american forces in syria necessary? i think not all stuffed let us not forget their presence, the presence of yoyour american forces, is not legitimate. it is not a knowledge by united nations security council resolution, military forces can only be there by decision of the u.n. security council or by the invitation of a legitimate government of syria. we are there at the invitation of the syrian government. they have needed this, not that. if the u.s. decided to withdrarw their r forces, that is s corre. amy: putin was speaking at his multihour news conference in moscow. to talk more about syria, we are joined by two guests.
in beirut, lebanonon, we are joinedy y yazan al saadi. he is a syrian-canadian writer and researcher. and them washington, d.c. phyllis bennis. , she is a fellow at the institute for policy studies. she's written several books, including most recently, "understanding isis and the new global war on terror." let's begin with yazan al-saadi in beirut. your response to the surprise announcement that apparently not only shocked the political establishment in washington, but the pentagon and the state department as well. your thoughts on president trump saying starting now he is immediately removining 2000 u.s. troops, beginning with state department employees being evacuated immediatately? are plelenty ofof thoughts i havave. we can s start w with the idea t isis in my h head that i don't really thinknk there is going to be a fulull withdrawal because peopople assume thatt finally, e u.s. is gogoing to be out. you mighhahave a large chunk of the boots on the ground leaving,
but it seems very clear that the american air p power is going remain. the u.s. led d coalition itself, whwhether it is france or r the u.k., are gointoto be on t the ound.. the idea a of this full americican withdrawal i thinkk a bit simplistic. and the way y i see it a as w wn ananalogy y that comes to mind, which is based o o history,, we lookok at the histoto of u.s. military intntervention throught the 20th century. when it happens, it is sort of like, what happens next is it is sort of like an std. , werere thepes ameranans never r leave. ththis is s true when you u loop cases of jan orr cuba,, guguantanamomo bay. so i don't think ththe americans are fufully withthdrawing.g. i think we have to be careful about that. one key concern, obvioususly, te destructive airpower that hahas been decimatina a lot of innonocent civilians. raqqa is a good example of that.
ground --means on the i mean, what we're g going tsee, hostly, , the turks are going to leleap on this, in my opinion. they'rere going to use that opening to push forward east of the euphrates. you'u'll have increased violence there. ththe al-a-assad regime, with is russian and iranian allies are going to try to push forward against the pyd. will make a p pyd deal with h them post of the situation isn't going to b be better. i am fully against any presence of the u.s. soldiers, just like i'm fufully against the presence of the russisian soldiers. i like h p putin talks about a legitimate governmenent determining the p presence,e, bi don'tt think al-assad is lelegitimate. if we follow along that line, well, eses thimemean the saudis should remain in yemen? i don't think so.
there is a lot thahat is going o be happeningng. we have to be cacareful. all of t this, what is driving s not aboutt a mission a coalititn or caring abouout what is happenining in syriaia. this couould be e related to multiple scandals ththat are brewining, multiple pressusuresn trtrump. it could be relalated toto so my otother things. but i don't think the u.s. is ever going to leave. lilike i said, it is an std in many ways. adjusted,ouour process do you think it is likely that u.s. might escalate airstrikes once and if thehe troops are withdrawn? >> yeaeah. i mean, the airstrikes -- there were c comments by o oicials tht talkedbout the continuation of airstrikes. you mimight see an incncrease, t definitetely. while the boots are not on the ground, they won't have to worry. they will do what they do and bombarardment like ththey did in
-- utterlyh iss e ever devastating. i i don't ththink ththe solutits more war, personally. nermeen: what about how you think this might impact russian and assad airstrikes in areas that are not yet f fully under government control? >there are concerns that have been expressed that basically i trump making ththis announcemen, he is giving a g green light to assad and to the russians and to everyone who has b been backckig thee regime. verymeaean, that could be well trurue. let's not rgetet there iss ordinationon betweween the u.s.d rusussia and the assadd regime. this idea that there is u.s. coconspiracy to oveverthrow and reregime change in syria, i do't think that is true. but what you might see i is maye the p pyd being forced to make a deal with assad a and russians
amy: explained to the pyd are. pyd is the democratic ununion party, the kurdish leded party. there are mamany different k kuh partieies in syria, honenestly s is one of them. it is the ststrongest force on e ground. the pyd is a political arm of ththe f, which you mentiononed earlier,r, the summer -- sir democratic forces that are in the north and northeastetern pat ofof syria all the w way down. they took k the fight to isis. i feel l like this is also a lessonon that the pyd shouould e rerealized because any partnersp with t the u.s. -- it buburns. this is somemething that we are seenen in history time and time again. a lot of u.s. allies throughout the e 20th cenry andndeyeyond to get burned. care abouttends to a self f and sells you u out. at this is something that most superpowers dodo. the pyd is learning a a harsh lesssson. .my: you mentioned the kurds
many are talalking about convnversations the president hs , the presidentgan of turkey, who went behind-the-scenes around the murder of khashoggi with erdodon putting out the video of his saudi hit team in istanbul. concernsare erdogan's about the u.s. working with the kurds in syria, and what a are turkey'ss plalans now? concern forrdogan's the turks ---- w we need undersd histstory. ththere is a long, dark hihiston termrms of dealing with kurdish rights andnd kurdish representation. a the pyd, as a force of kurdish force that is militarily strong and growing due to the vacuum that happened over the years, it is a major concert he
---- security concncern for the turks. the e turks started babacking various syrianan rebel groups against the pyd. what i i find interesting is tht today, the i inian president in turkey, , just had a press conference other s seems like there e mighbe m mor coordidination. yoyour radiance themselveses art interested in kukurdish autonom, because ththat might afft t the kurdisish communities there. neitheher does iraq wantnt that. and neither does the syrian government in manyny ways. so i i think t there is going te a support thehe turks g going they're mighty bebe court nation in order to e ensure thee i't going to be e a spillover battle between the turks a and e russiaians andnd everyonone els. i think the biggest victim will be the pyd come a a for many reasons. mentioned, the rainy president rouhani is in turkey today. what is thehe extent of ininian
involvement in syria now? involvemement has been a long, lonong time. the relatationship was built in the 1980's. ththe steering regime was the oy -- i think one of thee only arab gogovernments that really supporte karenen turn the iran-iraq war. this relationship has developed a long, long time. so what aree the iranians doing in syria? they are playing advisors. yes someme fhthters. they are sendiding and foreign fighters, whetheher it is afan militias bececause they promised themem nationality, oror the iri shia militias s brought in. so you havave that. the e iraniaians are playing stf a political military coordinator of sortsts, because e backing of protection for bashar alal-assa. and in the mix as wewell, part f that. ththe iranians are defifinitely tryiying to ensure their interet
regardless o of what happens in syria. ultimately, and i think k this s a very keyey point, with all o these power games played by all these countries and leaders, revolting men they all are -- the biggest losers are communities in syria whether they are kurdish, arab, armenian, or whatetever. because the struggle e for self-determimination an n actual freedom is really takining a pounding here.e. taking a pounding by all sides. amy: before we go to break, i want to ask you about president trump p saying that isis has ben destroyed. any pepeople calling thihis geoe w. bush moment when he said "mission accomplplished" in ira. >> yeyeah, it is a very -- it ia vevery trumpmpian moment. i meanan, he said it on twitter. wonderfuful. great. i don't thinink -- regardlessssf
u.s. remains or leavaves, what s the problemem in battling isisis the same problem w we have been seeing since the start of the global war on terror 17 years ago. and you cannot defeatxtremismsm and terrrrorism with war. you u need to offer alternative. you need to do with the corere issues t that are d driving t te things, which is politicacal issues, sosocial issssues come ececonomic issueues -- true liberalizationon and representaonon for the p people and d communitity. this is a major faiailure we are seeing wthther from m the states -- not just the u.s., i'mm talkining about nationstates, internationanally -- and the problem is as well, the global war onon terror mentality, discourse ethos has been appropriated by a lot of government worldwide. and it has been utterly destructive. i was thinking about it.
there's like a tragic al qaeda.ce of it seems like al qaeda was a cup of tea compared to what we're seeing today. i think we will see worst things tomorrow because the key issues are not being dealt with in these powers that t be are realy not interested in dealining with them bececause this means a comptete change e of the status quote. this means changing core issues, whether it is discrimination, injustice -- all of these things. soso they are not interested. they benenefit by havingng this continual enemy. they always benefit, and w we gt rerewed as p people. amamy: yazanan al-saadi is a syrian-canadian wrwriter a and researcher. when we come b back, we will alo ofjoined by phyllis bennis the institute for policy studies. this is democracy now! back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
by syrian musician gaida. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. went to just before we air this money, president trump issued a number of tweets about syria. he wrote -- "getting out of syria was no surprise. i've been campaigning on it for years, and six months ago, when i very publicly wanted to do it, i agreed to stay longer. russia, iran, syria & others are the local enemy of isis. we were doing there work. time to come home & rebuild. #maga" "does the usa want to be the policeman of the middle east, getting nothing but spending precious lives and trillions of dollars protecting others who, in almost all cases, do not appreciate what we are doing? do we want to be there forever? time for others to finally fight. russia, iran, syria & many others are not happy about the u.s. leaving, despite what the fake news says, because now they will have to fight isis and others, who they hate, without us. i am building by far the most powerful military in the world.
isis hits us, they are doomed!" those are the words of president trump this morning. amy: i want to bring in phyllis bennis, a fellow at the institute for policy studies. she's written several books, including most recently "understanding isis and the new global war on terror." so the question is, has isis been defeated and whether or not it has, should the u.s. stay in syria? ,cross the political spectrum political establishment, mainly the democrats and republicans in the senate are attacking president trump, especially his republican allies. there are number of anti-interventionists and people in the peace movement who are saying this is a good idea. phyllis bennis, your thoughts? >> i think thehe answer to yourr questionons is no and no. isis has not been defeated and the u.s. should not remain in syria militarily. i think the notion of a military defeat of terrorism -- we know
-- if we want to talk about fitness, that is been a classic piece of take news for the last number of years the so-called global war on terror. we do not defeat terrorism militarily. terrorism is a phenomenon that emerges out of social, economic, national, and all caps of crises in all kinds of countries. and stopping it does not mean playing whack a mole with your military, slapping them down here and they rise up there and letting them d down h here and y rise again there. that is preciselely what wil happenen again. it is fascinating to hear these tweets from m trump claimining n the one hand, we havave defeated isis and that is why we're coming out, at the same time saying, well, isis hasn't been defeated but we're going to leave it to the people whether it is syria or russia or it ran, it will be their job to wipe them out. were you look at the distinction presidentst various
have said, the reason for u.s. troops being in syria in the first place, o we are there to go after isis. the pentagon says we are there to protect the allies, in his case, the kurds. john bolton says we are in syria to make sure that iran is not build up its presence there. and the state department says that we have to stay there because isis is still there. so we don't even know what was theationale f for u.s. troops to be in syria. there certainly is no clarity on what any future rationale should be. because we know that terrorism cannot be destroyed militarily. and i think that is thee fundamamental question here. we do know the warplanes and the drones are going to continue to be bombing in syria. and it is those u.s. bonds and u.s. coalition-led bombs that pressure,ng enormouous wreaking havoc on the people of
syria. again, this is something that yazan al-saadi spoke about eloquently. will we look at the city's largely destroyed by u.s. bombing after being under attack, both people and the ever structure of cities by isis. this is not going to qualitatively change that on the ground. the presence of 2000 u.s. troops, most of them special forces, that is not enough to change the military balance of forces when you're talking about thousands of fighters from all of these different countries on all of these different sides, fighting each other to the last syrian. the syrians are doing the dying. it is the militaries of the u.s. and britain and russia in iran and the saudis and qataris and turkey, all of these countries in the region, the global powers have been fighting each other in combination inin syria since 20.
think in that contextxt, the withdrawal of any y one of those major military forces is important as an advantage for the people of syria who will have one lesss force bombing them. is it going to change the political dynamics on the ground? no. we don't know whether the pd is goingces, the y to turn toward renewing their old allies with the assad regime. that is probably the most likely possibility. this is not the first time kurdish forces have been first embraced and then abandoned by the united states. that has been a legacy of kurdish history for almost a century now. so in that context, it is n not going to change the e situationn the ground for the population of syria. it will temporarily shift things around for who the kurdish forces will be relying on, whether or not the turkishsh forces go o into syryria and go they havee k kurds
identified as the kurdish enemies becacause of their t tio kurdisish forces inside turkey - we don't know wheheer the turks will do that. we do nonot know if that is part of the negotiations underway between turkey a and iran on the one hand themem perhaps b betwen turkrkey and the united states n another hand where we see -- where we see a recruitment. turkey may gain, but there is a diminished level of fighting if there is less tension ememerging before turkey and the various other forces.. the complexity or you have at least come in my book on isis i identified 11 separate wars that were being waged in syria. none of them in the interest of syrians, but all of them causing enormous death and destruction to the people and cities of syriria. if some of those wars will be diminished by this withdrawal, that can only be a good thing.
withdrawal, that can only be a good thing. nermeen: i want to ask about what u.s. involvement is likely to be in the future even if the withdrawal does take place. trump's announcement was a radical departure from comments that his own administration senior officials have been making, including national security advisor john bolton. it also trump's special envoy for the global coalition to defeat the islamic state brett mcgurk just last week in a press conference said u.s. troops were going to be in syria for the foreseeable future. >> right. and james jeffries, the political -- amy: we're going to go to that clip. we have obviously learned a lot of lessons in the past and we know once a physical space is defeated, we cannot just p pickp and leave so we are prepared to make sure we do all we can to ensure this is enduring. areas we havclcleared up i says, they have not returned to seize political stop their clandestine cells. no one says they're going to
disappeaear. nobodydy is ththat naive. we want to stay onon the grounud and d make sure e stability y ce maintained. i think it is fair to say americans will remain on the ground until we have pieces in place to ensure the defeat is enduring. nermeen: phyllis bennis them a that is brett mcgurk speaking last week. do you think first of all that u.s. military strikes, as said earlier, that those strikes are not only likely to continue, but might even intensify so in a certain sense, there will be continuity in u.s. policy there and that this was just a symbolic gesture on trump's part? >> i think that is largely true. i think the politics of it, as we get into the christmas holiday period when trump has been under fire for saying he is leaving the white house for 2.5 weweeks to go play golf, and otr saying, why arere you going arod the world to visit u.s. troops in harms way? he is not doing that. this may be his effort to undermine those attackers.
but i think what is clear is that u.s. military and gauge meant is not fully ending here. the bombing is going to continue. it may well escalate. we should be clear the involvement of the united states militarily in syria was never aimed at protecting syrians. if it were the goal of those ,roops to protect syrian livives syrian lives would have been protected also by allowing them to come to the united states as refugees. and we knonow how well that word , with the muslim band, syririas werere among the hardest hit o f refugees around the world, desperate to escape certain death in their towns and cities, partly caused by the united states and its u.s.-backed forces, partly caused by other forces. and the refusal of the united statates to allow syrians to enr as refugees is one more example, if we needed any, about the fact that the u.s. engagement militarily has never been about protecting syrians. so if there is an escalation in
the air war in syria, the u.s. air war in syria, it will be without any regard to the impact that will have on syrian lives. amy: just a chaos now in washington. you have republican senator law corker saying he was stunned by trump's "the stupidest decision to withdraw u.s. troops from syria." he is the chair of the senate foreign relations committee. > we are about six or eight weeks away in syria from really getting to the nextt threshold there. we have got allies around the world that have been w with us l thisis time, have been fighting with us. there are probably 50 o or 60 countries involved in some form or fashion. toto my knowledge, we did not en communicate with them that this morning g we were going toto mae this announcement. itit has caught everybody off guard. i know -- i doubt there is anybody in the republican c caus
in the senate that just isn't stunned by this precipitous decision. like you woke up in the morning and made it. amy: he went to the white house to meet with trump. that was canceled. reporters being sent to the pentagon and the state department, which canceled its briefing by the white house, and the both of those places were just say, no, yet at the w white house because apparently both of them were surprprised by this. becausemp is doing this something like 17 investigations of him and he is feeling very under siege, do you see as these investigations encircle him and as he feels were targeted, will he be pulling troops s out from many other places in the world? >> i think that is unlikely given he's is what the results are politically to his move here. he is not getting embraced by ththose. he is gegetting a certain distraction, and that was undoubtedly at least part of his thinking and pulling this off. it has to be a question whether
this is even going down been. i don't think even as commander in chief has ever issued an order to the military by tweet. now whether there was another order given, we don't even know that. the pentagon has a place that, as of now, we're continuing to cooperate with our colleagues in the coalition. we know about how the u.s. deals with their so-called coalitions. want to thank phyllis bennis for joining us and and with the comments of ro khanna, the silicon valley congressmember who tweeted yesterday -- "the withdrawal of troops from syria as a first step toward ending our policy of interventionism, but we also need to end u.s. support for saudi arabia and yemen. fromraw our troops afghanistan, regular 2001 authorization for use of military force." to thank phyllis bennis of the institute for policy studies and yazan al-saadi, syrian-canadian writer andnd researcher. when we come back, we are going
tengo. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: we turn now to new revelations that russian trolls targeted african americans on social media in an effort to influence the vote ahead of the 2016 election. a pair of bipartisan reports published by the senate intelligence committee monday claimed the russssian government focused on a african-ameriricann its effortrt to suppress the turnout of voters likely to cact ballots fofor hillary clintoton. spreading fake news and d sowing discord d in the r run-up to the election. the disinformation effort was conducted by the russian state-supported internet research agency, or ira. the ira cultivated black audiences and recruited african americans as assets on facebook and instagram. in response, the naacp has launched a one-week digital protest to boycott facebook, demanding the social media giant be held responsible for allowing the disinformation campaign. the civil rights group says facebook has a history of data breaches that unfairly target
users of color. ae naacp has also returned recent donation it received from facebook in protest. amy: the boycott comes as "the on thek times" reports privacy rules, even as it misled users in a thinking their data was protected. the investigation found companies like microsoft, spotify, netflix, were given access to far more user stated ththat even cambriridge analyti, the british pr firirm that collected the data of 87 million n effort ton a sway the 2016 election for donald trump. it defies a consent agreement on user privacy. for more, we're joined by the president and ceo of the naacp derrick johnson. welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. talk about thehe digital b boyct you have l launched.d. >> good morning and thank you
for hahaving me on your show. the naacp, after r reviewing several inincidents over thehe t year, we became concerned with facebook's lack of responsisiveness. denyve seen a pattern of and delay. they have hired outside pr firms . they have a a corporate cultltue which alallows them to target african-americans. ananffort to subvert democracy and suppress the vote. we have long had concerns with the lack of corporate diversity. all of these t things have come together for us to s say we must take action so o they can r reay own up to the responsibility and remedy some of the harm and damage they have committed against african-american community's. nermeen: what have been the effects of facebook doing, allowing this kind of thing to happen? what kind of influence did they actualllly have? about think
african-american usage of facebook. we over index with that tool. they have allowed the data, personal data of individuals to be utilized by for nations in an democracy.divert most important, the festering racial intolerance and hate tt we have seen over the lasast yes is their platform was a part of creating this environment. they must t make the necessary momodifications and begin toto remedy those problems. there aren to that, pending lawsuits against facebook because they also allowed their children be used to discriminate and housing personages -- purchases and coconsumerism is "it for african-americans as a result of their platform. there's a lot wrong with facebook today. amy: facebook just annouounced n update in ththe progress of its civil rights audit. and said t that the naacp is one
of the organizations it consulted. can you talk about this and also your c call, the naacp's call fr mark zuckerberg and sheryl sandberg to step down from the board of facebook? ande have asked our members log off facebook as a sign of protest. begegan toat because we realize that facebook really has not taken any imimmediate steps into the cononcern -- americansn general. anytime you allow data breaches or provide o openly private informrmation without permission of users, that is a problem. we have asked our supporters, our members, and are private organizations to log off as a show up solidarity in protest. amy: can you talk about what you understand happened?
how the black community was targeted? >> first off all, anytime you have a corporation like facebook andhires an outsidede pr firm that pr firm begins to doo opposition research, targeting african-american groups and individuals, that is the corporate cultural problem. secondly, we over index. anytime they did not prevent a foreign nation t to u use their platform, targeting individuals using issues of racial hatate or division, , specificically aroun afrirican-americans long-s-stang issues in n this c country am mt is a problblem. any time you have a set of employees who lack the cultural sensibility or understanding t e uniqueneness of the afrirican-american experience ad they are able to creatate false
equivalencies s between conservative views and civil righghts issueues, that isis a problem. all of these things together create a real dynamic for facecebook that they m must cont likenaacp and other groups us will begin to push even farther r to say, this p platfos not healthy for african-americans, this platform is not healthy for our democracy. amy: i want to go to facebook ceo mark zuckerberg speaking during a press call last month, during which he dismissed claims facebook ignored russia's election meddling or undermined investigations. beforeve said many times that we were too slow to spot russian interference, too slow to get on top of it. we certainly stumbled along the way. but to suggest that we were not interested in knowing the truth war that we wanted to hide what we knew or that we try to prevent investigations is simply untrue. nermeen: derrick johnson, that is mark zuckerberg. do you agree that it was what
facebook is guilty of is a crime of omission, not of commission? in other words, that they did nothing to prevent -- that they were slow to spot what was happening, but they did not in any way obstruct an investigation once they knew? us, we are not going to get into what they did or did not do. we are going to get into the impact of their actions or lack thereof. the outcome e is whatt i am more concerned about. the outcome is one in which they have allowed youour tool l to be used to discriminate agagainst afrirican-american communinity'n terms ofof homee purchases, usuy foreign nations to subvert democracy and seek to s suppress african-american vote. that allow their tool to festerr racial hatred anand allow the culture climate to hire an outside firm to investigate african-american groups and individuals as if we were thee candidate to be opppposed to. ththey have allowed their platfm
to subvert democracy in ways which is not acceptable. so how they y got there, why thy got there, what steps they'veve taken n and stumumbled along thy becomemes irrelevant.t. it is thee outcome, the impact e are momost concerned aboutut. we have not seen a sense of urgency or priority by facebook to remedy the harm's they have created. amy: beforore we go, i want to k about the latest news out of the senate, the senate unanimously approving a bill to make lynching a federal crime. sponsored by the senate to african-american members, democrats kamala harris, worry booker, a republican tim scott. since 1918, o over 2000 anti-lynching bills have been introduced in congress, all of them voted down. the significance of this?? it is huge. naacp, we are 109 years old. we were created the antililynchg orninization.. and now we have seen the outcome of a long journey of creating a federal policy to make
anti-lynchching crime sosomethif significance. --ommend the senators senator kamala h harris. i commend senanator cory booker. i appreciatete the hard work thy have put into it. i commend tim scott for standing up agagainst what t most pplple would have thought his party's interest, but understand that our racialal identity trumps any party y a dedication come and i commmmend tim scott. the three of them taking leleership on n their foundatiol issue for african-americanans ia significant moment in history, and we should all celebrate their courage, their vision, and their strength to make it happen. and go finally, the senate also approving the bipartisan bill that would roll back sentences for federal prisoners, about 1/10 of the prison population of this country, rolling back mandatory life terms for a third time offender as well asas mandatory sentences for
nonviolent drug users and those convicted of firearms crimes. array acrossunding the political spectrum, the number of republicans who joined democrats in voting for this. your thougughts? >> it is a great step in the right t direction. all of the senate members s who steppeped up to recognize t that what a waste o of our tax dollas and our human cacapital resourcs when we throw people away for small miststakes. many of us arere sitting in we didns only because not fall into a particular trap or we didid not get caught in tt particular trap. .here are so much to bee offered if we can get the same type of reform as relates to the 50 states reform laws, we could be a better nation for it. there is so much talent that has been thrown away in the station,
and when he to prevent that from ever happening again. amy: how do you see moving this rum federal prisoners to all of the prisoners? ,ills targeting all prisoners over 2 million, the largest prison population in the world? >> i think this is a step in riright direction. it sets an example for the state. policymakers to consider their decisions, to get t away from te profits rising of individualsls being incncarcerated, and understand that we need to address some of the e social ils to prevent the certain traps. but more important, this last electionon cycle a also gave usa trememendous opportunity. a mememo for bank in florida whe 1.4 million individuals are now re-enfranchised. amy: although the new republican governor says he's going to strident -- try to stop that. freedom i is accosted struggle. if to continue to push. what a tremendous message the
♪ welcome back to nhk "newsline." i'm kyoko tashiro in tokyo. we start with a story that's taken center stage in japan. all eyes are on a tokyo detention center where nissan motors' former chairman and his close aide could be freed as earlrly as friday. lawyers for c carlos ghosnn and greg kelly are expected to ask for bail after a japanese court rejected prosecutors' requests to extend their detention. the two men have
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