tv Democracy Now LINKTV August 11, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PDT
08/11/21 08/11/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> i think given the circumstances, the best way i can help now is if i step aside and let government get back to governing. amy: andrew cuomo resigning after a report concluded he sexily harassed at least 11 women. we will get the latest. it would go to capitol hill were
seven democrats have admits two major spending packages to vastly expand the safety net and invest in infrastructure. pres. biden: this is transformation. i know compromise is hard for both sides, but it is important, necessary for democracy to be able to function. amy: we will speak with congressmember ro khanna about infrastructure and afghanistan as the taliban seized its ninth provincial capital today. the u.n. is warning the taliban may be committing war crimes. >> they must cease military operations in cities and unless all parties returnedo the negotiating table and reach a settlement, the already atrocious situation for so many afghans will become much worse. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
senate democrats passed a $3.5 trillion budget resolution plan early this morning. the budget vastly expands the social safety net, improves health care, education, and worker rights, includes measures to combat the climate catastrophe, and increases taxes on the rich and corporations. the budget passed 50-49 after a 14-hour vote-a-rama, in which any senator can propose amendments. this came less than 24 hours after a $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill was approved 69-30 in the senate. president biden celebrated the passage of that bill, calling it transformational. pres. biden: historic investment in the nation's roads and highways, bridges, and transit, in our drinking water, clean energy, environmental cleanup, making infrastructure more resilient and the climate crisis
much more in our minds of how to deal with it. amy: progressives have said they will not vote in favor of the bipartisan infrastructure bill before the house approves the $3.5 trillion budget. once the larger budget package is hammered out, democrats hope to pass it using reconciliation, allowing them to bypass republican support. we'll have more on all this later in the show with congressmember ro khanna. disgraced new york governor andrew cuomo announced tuesday he is resigning after months of mounting scandals and one week after the release of attorney general letitia james' damning report which found cuomo sexually harassed 11 women. cuomo refused to take responsibility for his criminal acts as he announced his resignation. >> in my mind, i have never crossed the line with anyone. but i did not realize the extent
to which the line has been redrawn. amy: one of cuomo's accusers, former aide lindsey boylan, vowed to sue and condemned cuomo's victim-blaming. in a statement, she said -- "it is a tragedy that so many stood by and watched these abuses happen." adding -- "my hope always has been that this will make it safer for other women to report their own harassment and abuse." the resignation takes effect in two weeks, after which lieutenant governor kathy hochul will replace him, becoming the first woman governor of new york. the new york state judiciary committee is reptedly stil looking into whether impeachment is possible. meanwhile, cuomo could still faceriminal ancivil chars. he is also under investigation for covering up nursing home deaths earlyn the pandic. as covid-19 cases and deaths continue to trend upwards in the u.s., haii is the latest state
to impose new measures, including limiting the number of people permitted at social gatherings and events and requiring masks indoors unless actively eating or drinking. oregon is restoring a statewide indoor mask mandate for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people amid the delta surge. in neighboring washington state, the immigrant justice group la resistencia is warning of a full-blown covid outbreak at the northwest detention center in tacoma, where over 170 cases have been reported since june. the group is calling on congress to end the biden administration's inhumane policy of transferring and locking up asylum seekers. meanwhile, in texas, two judges ruled to temporarily allow local officials in two counties to require masks in schools and other public buildings despite republican governor greg abbott's attempts to ban mask mandates statewide. in international news, six mexican states have been placed on the highest pandemic alert
level as cases surge and vaccinations lag. bangladesh has begun vaccinating thousands of rohingya muslims in cox's bazar, the world's largest refugee settlement, amid mounting cases nationwide. in afghanistan, the taliban has now seized control of nine provincial capitals since friday. hundreds of afghan soldiers have reportedly surrendered at the kunduz airport, sealing the taliban's control over the city after they captured it over the weekend. meanwhile, russian media is reporting taliban fighters have also taken control of afghanistan's borders with tajikistan and uzbekistan and afghanistan's acting finance minister quit and left the country. the u.n. says there have been more than 1000 civilian casualties over the past month, including the death of at least 27 children. nearly a quarter of a million people have been internally displaced since may. all this as uncertainty also
looms at ongoing peace talks in doha. and with just weeks left but for the u.s. completes its withdrawal. in ethiopia, as the months-long conflict in the tigray region continues to escalate, unicef is sounding the alarm on the disastrous conditions faced by children. more than 100 children were reportedly killed in recent attacks. at least 160,000 others are facing famine-like conditions, and amnesty international reports hundreds of women and girls in tigray have been raped, subjected to sex slavery and mutilation by ethiopian and eritrean troops. this comes as ethiopian prime minister abiy ahmed is urging eligible residents to join the armed forces as the government continues to fight rebels in tigray and surrounding regions. last week, the ethiopian government threatened to deploy its entire defensive capability against the tigray people's liberation front, which
have now also entered the afar and amhara regions. in britain, challenging to halt the extradition of wikileaks founder julian assange. he faces up to 175 years in prison in the united states under the espionage act for publishing classified documents exposing u.s. war crimes. in algeria, at least 42 people have been killed as wildfires blaze through several rural areas, burning homes and forests to the ground. at least 25 soldiers who battled the inferno are among the dead. the interior ministry suggested arson was to blame for dozens of active fires as some survivors condemned the government for failing to respond to the unfolding disaster. >> as you see, there are fires everywhere. we have not seen the government here. we do not have a state. along with the members of the civil protection team.
-- long live the members of the civil protection team. amy: record-breaking wildfires continue to rage across the globe, from greece to siberia to the western united states. meanwhile, chile says its climate change-induced, record-breaking, decade-long drought is causing devastation to agriculture and water levels. chile recently approved a measure to limit private control of water supplies, and enshrine access to water as a human right. in immigration news, the biden administration is being sued over the unsafe conditions faced by unaccompanied migrant children at two holding facilities in texas. children and teens detained at fort bliss u.s. army base near el paso and at an oil workers camp in the city of pecos have reported abuse, medical neglect, prolonged detention, and being subjected to mental distress. their attorneys are demanding the biden administration immediately release them, arguing the u.s. government is violating the 1997 flores settlement agreement, which established legal requirements regarding the treatment of migrant children in u.s. custody.
in other news from texas, the republican-ruled house of representatives voted to authorize the arrest of democrats who fled the state last month to block the passage of sweeping voter suppression laws. the texas house speaker then signed civil arrest warrants for 52 democratic legislators. those who have already returned to texas could be subject to arrest or forcibly returned to the state capitol in order to establish a quorum. the u.s. postal service has finalized its contested plan to slow down some first-class deliveries as part of its efforts to slash spending. postmaster general louis dejoy, a trump appointee, announced the 10-year plan in march. opponents say the move will disproportionately impact small businesses, middle- and low-income people as well as seniors, and that the risks are not justified by what's expected to be a low financial return. meanwhile, usps is paying $120 million over the next five years to a major logistics contractor
called xpo logistics. dejoy previously served as an executive at xpo and continues to have financial ties with the company. and the australian government has agreed to pay some $280 million in reparations to indigenous people who were forcibly separated from their families as children. from the early 1900's to 1970's, over 100,000 indigenous children were ripped from their families and communities -- known as the "stolen generation" -- and sent to so-called boarding schools as the australian government enforced a program aimed at eradicating indigenous culture. while some indigenous advocates welcomed reparations, they fear history is repeating itself as indigenous children are still far more likely to be removed from their homes and placed under state custody than non-indigenous children in australia. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york,
joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: new york governor andrew cuomo announced he is resigning following the release of the devastating report from the new york attorney general's office which found the three-term democrat sexually harassed at least 11 women in violation of state and federal law. new york lieutenant governor kathy hochul will take over in two weeks, becoming new york's first woman governor. cuomo made the announcement tuesday afternoon as state lawmakers were moving forward on starting impeachment proceedings against him. >> new york tough means new york loving. and i love new york. and i love you. and everything i have ever done has been motivated by that love.
and i would never want to be unhelpful in any way. and i think given the circumstances, the best way i can help now is if i step aside and let government get back to governing. therefore, that is what i will do. amy: during his resignation speech, governor cuomo denied all of the allegations and continued to defend his actions. >> i take full responsibility for my actions. i have been familiar with people. my sense of humor can be insensitive and offputting. i do hug and kiss people casually. women and men. i have done in all my life. it is who i have been since i can remember.
in my mind, i have never crossed the line with anyone. but i did not realize the extent to which the line has been redrawn. there are generational and cultural shifts that i just did not fully appreciate and i should have. no excuses. amy: one accuser responded by saying -- governor cuomo had faced mounting calls to resign for months over the sexual harassment allegations, as well as his cover-up of thousands of covid-19 deaths in new york nursing homes. we are joined now by two guests.
zephyr teachout is a pfessor of law at rdham university who ran against andrew cuomo in the mocratic gubernatorial primary in 2014. we are also joined by democratic assemblywoman yuh-line niou, who first called on cuomo to resign in february. she was one of the first. thank you for joining us on democracy now! respond to governor cuomo's resignation yesterday. again, this does not go into effect, this has been unexplained why he wants to ask, but for 14 days. >> i don't believe it is a shock to us he also still once to control the narrative, control the timeline, control everything. governor cuomo is still gas lighting new yorkers. he had his lawyer that the state is in for come out and defend him again, basically telling these women that they were
imagining it, that they were -- and he continued to say things like the clip you played "i did not know the line had been redrawn." all of these different things that continued to basically dismiss the fact women do know when men are mistreating them and then at the end, he addressed the legislature and tried to say it would be costly to the state and painful for the state to proceed with impeachment proceedings because he does not want us to actually hold them accountable. governor cuomo basically told new yorkers unit -- in exchange for resigning, he would like to not be impeached or be investigated any further. this is gas lighting all new yorkers. impeaching him is not costly not impeachi costly. juan: in terms of the issue of
what happens now with the impeachment proceedings -- because there's been some speculation the governor in some of his remaining few supporters would like to see him possibly have the come back later and if he was impeach, obviousl he could not come back to run for office again so i am wondering what your senses in terms of whether the assemblywoman forward now that he has resigned? >> impeachment must continue and we must remember the governor's abuse of power extends far beyond just the women he actually harassed and harmed and victimized. it extends to the millions he made while abusing his staff and misusing his staff and extends to victims of covid-19 who passed away in nursing homes and whose deaths he erased and their numbers in the legislature. this is a pattern of abuse. impeachment means new york will
not be paying andrew cuomo's pension for the rest of his life. it means governor cuomo will not be able to run for office again i claiming to be -- by claiming to be a victim will also gas lighting and harming further the actual victims he caused harm to. impeachment means we are securing justice for folks who came forward, brave enough to speaup about their experience and e folks who are not yet able to come forward, whom we know there are many. juan: could you comment on this irony of governor cuomo, while he was in office, supposedly championing the rights of women and now being forced to resign in disgrace because of his treatment of women? >> i mean, it is interesting you commented on that because just because governor cuomo is retiring, it does not mean the toxic culture of abuse and
misogyny in which he operated and thrived in is going away. we want to work to change that. we have to pass legislation that will make albany a safe place. landmark legislation was passed in 2019 to protect workers from sexual harassment, but ironically exempted our own staff, our own folks from being protected. i had a bill to close that loophole. amy: how is that possible you exempted yourselves? >> i believe that was a clause or an exemption the executives wanted. amy: is governor cuomo continually says "i did this to everyone, it is just that morays are changing that and i was not up on the times," i want to go to governor cuomo's former executive assistant. and the report she was known as executive assistant number one.
this past week she came out, named herself and filed a criminal complaint. her name is brittany commisso, accusing cuomo of groping her, kissing her against her will, verbally harassing her. this is her speaking on cbs about one of the incidences that occurred at cuomo's execution mansion. >> he gets up and goes to give me a hug. i could tell immediately it was probably the most sexually aggressive manner than any of the other hugs he had given me. it was then that i said, "governor --" my words were, "you're going to get us in trouble." i thought that probably wasn't the best thing to say but at that time, i was so afraid that one of the mansion staff, they were going to come up and see this and think, "oh, is that
when she comes here for?" that is not what i came therefore and i was terrified of that. when i at that, he walks over, shut the door so hard to the point i thought for sure someone downstairs must think, what is goinon? came back me and that is when he put his hand on my blouse and cupped my breast over my bra. i remember looking dn and seeing his hand, which is a large hand, thinking to myself, "oh, my god, this is happening." it happened so quick. he did not say anything. when i stopped it, he pulled away and walked away. amy: again, that is the executive assistant number one.
she is naming herself, brittany commisso, filing a criminal complaint accusing cuomo of groping her. unclear if other criminal complaints will be filed. a number of local da's from albany to new york city have asked for the evidence behind the attorney general's report. this could continue at that level on a criminal level. state assembly member niou, you yourself are a sexual assault survivor. you have championed legislation that ultimately governor cuomo has signed off on. can you tell us whether he will be impeached, whether or not he leaves as impeachment proceedings are continuing in the assembly now? >> you mentioned the child
victims act, which is about child survivors of the childhood sexual assault, etc., that we actually passed. but we have not passed the adult survivors act, which is very important in this case. if you are a svivor of sexual assault, it does not matter if you had to laugh it off, go to a party, or drink until you make yourself sick or make a joke or even have sex or forget or just read a book or take a shower, whatever you had to do to survive something like that because the way governor cuomo's lawyers addressed that situation was just gas lighting and very harmful. talking about how britney got up and ate cheese and crackers and made jokes with her colleagues. i wanted to say there are a lot
of different ways for survivors to cope and to survive after something violating. and it is a really big deal that they just got through it and i think it is really big deal to acknowledge that. juan: i would like to bring into the conversation zephyr teachout , professor of law at fordham university. you were a candidate for governor in 2014 against andrew cuomo. i am wondering, one, your reaction to what has happened in the last few weeks and also to the governor's resignation -- and also, how the governor dealt with you in your campaign? >> thankou so much for having me on. i do want to take a moment to thank assemblywoman niou for her extremel -- extraordary leadership. one thinthat has not gotten enough attention in the last 24 hours since momo has resigned is
something that all new york politicians and leaders know, which is that he is extraordinary -- extraordinarily vengeful and willestroy people's careers, will go out of his way to make sure those who speak up against him are crushed and vanished. a salute woman niou, as -- assemblywomaniou, as well as the brave survirs who should never have been in the position they were in, they are speaking up has been an incredible service for all neworkers and has been with extraordinary bravery because they are not wrong to be scared of cuomo's revenge. when i ran against andrew cuomo, just one small example of hundreds, few organizations supporting me, including the new york chapter of e national
organization of women in the public employees federation. cuomo threatened troy the leaders of those organizations. after my race, after i got about 34% of the vote with their suprt, both those leaders were gone. he made sure they no longer can keep their leadership position. when he threatens come he threatens with all power, threatens -- i'm not use to the past tense yet and we cannot wait for those 14 days -- wit the full power of the state resources behind him. as you hear the stories of these survivors and the extraordinary report by attorney general james, which interviewed over 170 witnesses and look at over 150,000 documents, remember, not just he was doing these gross abes and assaults, there is no
time at which there was a cultural line where it was ok to grope proposition nor employees. he was doing it notith this deep threat of state power behind him -- and he never hetated use the per of the state. state resources to serve his own en. my feeling yesterday was one of extraordinary relief for the state of new york, which has crumbling infrastructure, some of the hhest inequality in the nation, and feeling of relief that we might finally have a government worthy of its people and extraordinary gratitude to those who dare to speak up against a petty tyrant with too much power. juan: i am wondering if you can also talk about that general situation that continues to
exist in albany and in many state capitals across the country, not only of the harassment of women -- we have seen it over and over again, not just with governors, but also with elected assemblymen and senators and their staffs. and the fact that most of the state capitals have very little press coverage anymore to somehow hold people accountable. i am wondering, do you expect there will be any significant change in the culre of this corruption at the state government lel? >> we are at that moment of significant change in new york. and this is aftedecades up decades of old boys club that covers up its own, both in terms of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and corruption. these two are deeply intertwid. the is an abuse of power that
connects these two. it is important to understand as assemblywoman niouas mentioning, andrew cuomo not only used his powerful position to abuse women, but also used it to retaliate against them. and also used his staff to cover up nursing home death lying about the mber of people who died in nursing homes and tn lying about the reason he lied so that he could make millions in book deal ando a victy lap and look like the hero while people were suffering. he epitomizes the connection between abuse of power, ofoxic masculinity and the abuse of power and corruption. web is changing in new york, whh relates to why andrew cuomo resigned he did not reside in a fit of
love as he described yeerday. those of us who watched him yesterday know this is a man who rules entirely by fear and power, not love. he resigned because he could count the numbers and for the first time he knew he would be impeached, he would be convicted, and he would no longer be able to run for office in t future. now, why did that happen? it happened because of local grassroots organizg that elected a new generation of lawmakers. lawmakers who despite the threats to their career -- to their constituents, because this is what andrew cuomo does come he threatens to take away money from people's local needs. so lawmakers are afraid to speak up not only for how he will smear them in oppress, but also the effects on his constuents. it is important to support the
new lawmakers, support the legislation that assemblywoman niou talked about, the adult survivors act, among others, and to take this moment and say we don't want to replace andrew cuo with somebody else who is backed by big real estate money, big health care money, and hold all ofhe strings of powers in his or her hands. weeed a new generation of small democratic leadership where we see the legislation leading, where the executive anch does not collect power and a lead out as favors and pushments. it is a major moment for new york state but i would argue it is a major moment for the democratic party nationally. we should be proud that democrats looking at sebody who had a "d" next to their name, but democts had the
moral courage to say "no. what he has that is beyond the pale." that is something we should be proud of and make sure we do in other states as well. amy: finally, zephyr teachout, in we just have a minute, ironically that resignation of governor cuomo is paving the way for the first woman new york governor, kathy hochul, who became a congressmember after winning a special election because the previous congressmember was forced to resign because of sexual malfeasance. but what do you know of soon to be governor hochul? well, when she was at andrew cuomo's side, she but
eutenant governor who largely serves as a spokesperson, not a lieutenant governor who has been a public credit. but before that, we know she was fairly conservative. she was a bank lobbyist before she became lieenant governor. when i rein in 2014, my runnin mate was tim wu, who rafor lieutenant governor and pointed out she was opposed to driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants. she has changed her position on that. there is bit of a blank slate here. it has been a long time since she has run on her own platform, but i think what is critical here is -- cap the hogle ani do not share the same -- kathy hochul and i do not share the same politics. but i believe kathy hochul will
not abu her position of power. i don't think she will use threats, abusers staffers come and that we need to take this moment to transform the deeply corrupt and usive and toxic culture of albany. and i would be pushing her to be -- lead as a progressive governor. and i said this before, this is the moment for the state legislature in new york. it is a moment to stop looki at individual leaders and look at the small d democratic moment so we can look at assemblywoman niou who deleting on legislation to drive with funding for schools and infrastruures, for building new york and that requires both a change in our understanding of what is possible in new york, but also a
wholehearted rejection of granting anye souch power to be so abusive as andrew cuomo has. amy: zephyr teachout, thank you for being with us, professor of law at fordham university. 2014, she ran for the democratic party nomination for new york governor against incumbent andrew cuomo. thank you to democratic assemblywoman yuh-line niou. two major spending packages around infrastructure. we will speak with congressmember ro khanna about infrastructure and in afghanistan. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: "already dead" by beck. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the democratic-controlled senate has approved a $3.5 trillion budget framework along party lines. the final vote took place just before 4:00 a.m. in washington this morning. it came less than a day after 19 republicans joined democrats on
passing a separate $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that includes $550 billion in new money to help repair road and bridges, invest in public transit, expand broadband, and more. senate democrats are hoping to use the budget reconciliation process to pass the larger package, but they can only do that if every democratic senator supports it. arizona senator kyrsten sinema has already expressed opposition to the price tag. both spending packages now go to the house, where speaker nancy pelosi has indicated she will not bring the bipartisan bill to the house floor unless the reconciliation bill is also considered at the same time. on tuesday, senator bernie sanders urged his colleagues to support the $3.5 trillion budget package which would help expand the nation's social safety net. >> this legislation will not only provide people support, unprecedented in recent american history, the children in our
country, the parents in our country, to the elderly people in our country, to the working families of our country, but it will also, i hope, restore the faith of the american people in the belief that we can have a government that works for all of us and not just a few. amy: we are joined now by ro khanna, democratic congressmember from california. welcome back to democracy now! in the next segment, we will be talking to you about afghanistan, but this happened in the last hours, two major infrastructure bills. $1.2 trillion then a $3.5 trillion a reconciliation. it is hard to understand. explain both and what happens next. >> senator sanders is absolutely right. this is a historic piece of legislation that marks the end
of neoliberalism that has governed america for the last four decades. it is a major investment in the american people. this will have childcare being universal. you will have community college for everyone. it will expand medicare to include dental, vision, hearing. it will be the largest investment in tackling climate crisis with massive investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and it will have significant investment in infrastructure, including improving our broadband, replacing lead pipes, and upgrading our roads, bridges, and airports. it is an extraordinary piece of legislation, and we need to pass it throughout the house and senate. juan: first about the infrastructure bill. it is considerably smaller than what the president wanted, about 1/5 in terms of new money. a lot of the stuff was scaled
back. lead pipes, $15 billion. the president originally wanted $45 billion. most estimates are it will take $60 billion. this is a down payment on a much bigger problem when it comes to infrastructure. i'm wondering your sins, was it worth it to go through this bipartisan process to get such a whittle down hard infrastructure bill? >> first, let's see what they add in the reconciliation. not enough to lead pipes, doesn't have anything for climate, broadband. hopefully some of that funding will be restored in the reconciliation bill. the rson we had to go through the bipartisan process to get the reconciliation bill is we would not get 50 votes for the reconciliation bill if we --
you are right to point out the flaws of the bipartisan bill. it is why the progressive caucus has been cleared that the reconciliation bill has to pass for us to support the bipartisan bill come the bipartisan bill is inadequate. but if we get the reconciliation bill, which i believe is one of the best bills in modern american history in making the investments we need, then supporting the inadequate bipartisan bill. juan: in terms of getting the reconciliation bill to the senate, your sense at this point where the ski lawmakers, joe manchin and kyrsten sinema, are standing right now? >> my senses that will ultimately vote for it because if one or two senators rejected, they are at the point literally rejecting the president's entire agenda. it is important to note the reconciliation bill is not bernie sanders or elizabeth
warren's agenda, it is joe biden'agenda. everythingn the bill is something that president biden ran on. the question for every united states senator is very simple, do you believe we should have the mitt romney agenda -- which is basically the bipartisan deal using joe biden who a leftist president of the united states is entitled to his agenda? if you believe we should have the joe biden agenda, i don't see how you vote no on the reconciliation package once the house -- not amy: what will happen with that senate with manchin and sinema? >> that is joe biden's agenda. $3.5 trillion is directly with the white house propose, directly with president biden ran on. i just don't see how any senator votes against it once pu comes
to shove. sure, they may right now may be making noise about things they want to see differently, but as long as we stick to the facts that the 3.5 trillion dollars already represents a compromise -- as you remember, bernie sanders started out at 6 trillion dollars -- and the 3.5 trillion dollars doesn't have a single thing in there that president biden did not propose or run on, i am confident that we will not have a united states senator on our side vote against this president's agenda. ro khanna, we want you to stay with us. the taliban seized the nine provincial capital as the u.s. troops, most of them, leave. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
earlietoday, afghanistan's acting finance minister resigned and fled the country after the taliban captured key customs posts, stripping the government of a critical sour of revenue. the taliban now controls most of afanistan's borders with tajikistan and uzbekistan in the north. this all comes as the united states is withdrawing troops after nearly 20 years of the longest u.s. war, the war in afghanistan. on tuesday, the u.n. office of the high commissioner for human rights called for an end to urban fighting. >> civilian casualties are continuing to mount and reports of violations that may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity continue to emerge. we all know urban warfare result in scores of civilians being killed. we have seen it before too many times. in afghanistan since the ninth of july in four cities alone, at least 183 civilians have been killed and 1181 haven't injured,
-- have been injured, including children. amy: still with us, ro khanna of california and we are joined by phyllis bennis, fellow at the institute for policy studies. phyllis, let's begin with you. one provincial capital after another is in taliban control. can you talk about the significance of this? >> i think this important we recognize that this kind of a crisis was inevitable whever the u.s. pulled out, whether it was 10 years ago, 19 years ago, or 10 years from now. the reon being this was rooted in the nature of the u.s. occupation that began in 2001. there was not at that time, there is now not a military solution to terrorism, which was ostensiblyhe reason for the occupation of afghanistan will stop there is noilitary solution to the "problems of
afghanistan." and the notion the u.s. could create a military force in afghanistan that was going to be prepared to defend the country against an indigenous opposition force, the taliban, was never going to be possible because it was based on the idea this would be a military that was supporting a goverent shaped and imposed by the united states in a western model that had no bearing on the reality of politics and culture in ghanistan, specifically the question of imposing a nationally-based government with powers centralized in the capital -- something completely opposite of the long-standing eons long culture and history of afghanistan was always based on local and tribal and family and clan-based power rather than national power.
"the new york times" this morning said the current events show how little control the afghan governmt has without u.s. military's support. the reality is, shows how little powethe afghan military has without popular support -- wch it never had. that is e reason it has failed to support the country, failed to fight back in most of these situations. i think the count is something like six out of the nine, may be more. there was virtually no fighting back by the afghan military forces. this is a force ostensibly made up of 300,000 troops trained and armed by the u.s. for 20 years. the issue is not that afghans don't know how to fight. afghanistan has not been called the graveyard of empires for nothing. afghans can be good fighters when they're fighting for something they believe in. it is clear this military in support of a government characterize more than anything
else by corruption and incompetence as well as dependency on the united states simply had no will to fight. what we don't know for sure is what the final results will be, whether this will result in a level of the taliban control over the country or whether there will still be some kind of power-sharin arrangement. either way, the taliban are clearly going to have significant influence, significant power in afghanistan . e key situation, the key challenge right now is the civilian casualties and the displacement of thousands and thousands of people. many of them crowding into kabu which is not yet capable of providing thel basics of water and shelter, for the many families including many, many children who are flooding into the city. this will be a huge challenge for everyone in power in every place in afghanistan including the government and certainly including the taliban as they
take power in some of these cities. juan: i want to ask congressmember ro khanna, where is the outrage in congress over not only the loss of lives over the last 20 years, but the extraordinary cost of these rs in afghanistan and iraq? we're talking about $2 trillion that was all financed by debts --we will have spent $2 trillion on the interest payment and the debt of these words and that is not including the $220 expected and benefits -- $2 trillion expected in benefits. enormous amount of money wasted, essentially, where we are right now in what is really this generations vietnam. >> it has been a colossal waste
of resources. $6 trillion when you combine both the afghanistan and iraq war and enormously tragic loss of american lives and civilian lives. i supported the initial strikes into afghanistan to go after al qaeda. al qda perpetrated the 9/11 attacks. and we achieved that mission within six months to seven months. but it then morphed into a mission to try to deny the tele-band control over afghanistan. --taliban control over afghanistan. well before president biden's courageous decision to withdraw, the telegram was already controlling almost 70%. even when we had the escalation troops into afghanistan, the surge into afghanistan, the taban continued to win. this idea that amecan military force was going to deprive the
taliban of control was just wrong. what we do now? the president has sent a special envoy to the region. we need to do whatever we can with the international community and the regional community there to seek a cease-fire and do it we can to uphold human rights, recognizing that the taliban does violate human rights but we have to do the best we can in the circumstances and we need to do the best we can for the civilians, including making sure we are taking our share of asylum-seekers from the area and that we're doing what we can to provide water and basic necessities to the civilians to the international organization. juan: phyllis bennis, what is your sense -- are we likely to see and at the coming weeks and months seems like we saw in
vietnam as he was troops are leaving, the taliban are marching into the capital? >> i don't think we know that yet. in the past, the taliban as indicated some reticence to take the capital. they know what the consequces could look like. the u.s. concerns for many years habeen that a vietnam come as you say, the notion of creating a "decent interval" between the times u.s. troops pullout the opposition forces consolidate their power overhe country that interval is likely to be very short in afghanistan. what we do have to recognize is the u.s., while pulling out ground troops come is contending right now and indicating further continuation of airstrikes and drone strikes. those are continuingo kill civilians. and that is a significant problem, as well as the continuing of cia forces throughout the country.
significant reports in the last year from human rights watch and intercept and others indicating massive training by the cia of death squads and afghanistan that have been responsible for attacks on schools, villages, on children as. . young as eight years old and those debts was as far as we know are continuous. there's no indication they have stopped. no indication the cia officials have been training those death squads are being pulled out as the ground troops are pulled out. so the continuing u.s. responsibilityor the violenc in afghanistan is still very serious. there is a possibility for negotiations with the taliban, no question. we know in the past, negotiations have gone on between taliban officials and local religious and tribal officials over issues of education, health care, other
social questions. they have been able to be resolved in a relatively amicable way. the notion the lives of afghan women are suddenly going to get better, of course that inot the case. but we have to be clear while the taliban represent a very extreme and misogynistic and violent definition of religious law, the government and its supporters in afghanistan have been very close to that level of misogyny and violence toward the civilian population. right now the forces fighting on the government side include a number of warlords-let militias that are reconstituting, including some of those, for example, the magician -- militia led by a member of afghanistan's ruling forces the time the u.s. to cover his militia was responsible for one of the biggest massacres, one of the biggest human rights -- were
crimes, in the first months after the u.s. occupation began when they captured somewhere between 250 and 2000 taliban prisoners who are then killed by these suffocated -- being suffocated in shipping containers. that militia is now being reconstituted and is fighting on e side ofhe u.s.-backed government. so the notion that somehow the gaps between that guy taliban and good guy government is a very wide gap. it is something not the case. amy: president ghani just held crisis talks where you are describing the warlord engaged in that massacre and also he met with prominent ethnic leader noor about defendingmasur. i want to play a clip of president biden. >> people cities and afghanistan
well into the taliban, irrefutable evidence that the majority of those afghan forces cannot hold ground there. measure current plan to withdraw u.s. troops changed at all? pres. biden: no. please been over a trillion dollars, over 20 years we trained with moderate -- modern equipment over 3000 forces. afghan leaders have to come together. we lost thousands, lost death and injury thousands of american personnel who have to fight for themselves. fight for their nation. amy: fight for their nation. congressmember ro khanna, the u.s. is pulling out of afghanistan but actually thousands -- there will be mercenaries there, intelligence, cia operatives.
phyllis talked about them helping to set up death squads. what should be the u.s. role after? >> first of all, i give president biden credit for pulling out our troops. he had to overrule, as i have read in the papers, the advice of his own generals. he is a president who has the courage to end this war would many previous presidents have not. i believe it shows us we can't intervene in a civil war. the tele-band, no doubt, are brutal actors who have no guard for women. i don't think we should sugarcoat that. they have committed extraordinary atrocities. i don't think there is a moral equivalent to the taliban in the current afghan government. but as the other guest has suggested, the afghan government has committed atrocities as
(sophie fouron) we're in the land of gods here. it sure looks likes it, anyways. it's the birthplace of greek mythology. apparently, zeus was born here, in crete. and the gods have been very generous to their land. you can find pretty much everything and anything on this island. they are wild herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables everywhere. there are more sheep here than human beings. they can live off their land. they still have a very strong culture, very strong traditions. and here, they say they're cretans before they say they're greeks. and people either come from t m