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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  August 17, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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08/17/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. biden: i stand squarely behind my decision. after 20 years, i have learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw u.s. forces. amy: preside biden is defending his decision to withdraw u.s. troops from afghanistan as calls grow for the u.s. and other nations to do mark to help civilians trying to
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fully after the taliban take control of afghanistan. we will speak with law professor haroun rahimi, investigative turner -- journalist azmat khan, and retired u.s. army colonel ann wright. then we go to haiti were tropical storm grace has slammed parts of the country had by saturday's earthquake, which has killed more than 1400 people. >> my house is completely destroyed. i have lost everything. i have no food. i have nothing. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden is defending his decision to withdraw u.s. troops from at and a stamp. he spoke from the white house
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monday, wendy after kabul was captured by the taliban. pres. biden: the truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. so what happened? afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. the afghan military collapsed. some without trying to fight. if anything, the developments of the past week reinforced any u.s. involvement in afghanistan now was the right decision. amy: human rights advocates are urging the united states and other nations around the world to open their doors to the thousands of refugees fleeing afghanistan. nobel peace prize winner malala yousafzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the pakistani taliban, spoke out on monday. >> i thinkvery count has a
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role in the responsibility right now. countries need to open their borders to afghan refugees. biden has a lot to do. president biden has to take a step forward for the protection of the people of afghanistan. amy: progressive u.s. lawmakers have joined the call. congresswoman rashida tlaib tweeted -- "if we don't start putting everyday people first, no matter what country they're born in, this will keep happening. let's start by opening our country to shelter refugees fleeing the consequences of our actions." meanwhile, the u.s. government is reportedly planning to detain some 30,000 afghan refugees at two militaryases -- fort bliss in texas and fort mccoy in wisconsin. fort bliss is currently holding hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children and has been plagued by allegations of abuse and unsafe conditions. we will have more on afghanistan after headlines.
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tropical storm grace swept into haiti and the dominican republic overnight, bringing heavy rain and winds just two days after a massive earthquake killed more than 1400 people in haiti. saturday 7.2 magnitude quake left some 6900 people injured and the toll is expected to rise. hospitals report they are inundated with earthquake survivors and facing a shortage of medical supplies. in the city of les cayes and the town of jérémie, two of the most badly hit by the quake, roads were further damaged due to aftershocks and mudslides. in related news, haitian and immigrant justice advocates are denouncing the biden administration for its ongoing deportations of haitian asylum seekers, even after the assassination of president jovenel moïse in july. last week, at least two deportation flights departed from texas to haiti with some
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130 refugees, including children. in a statement, guerline jozef, co-founder of the haitian bridge alliance, said -- "how can the u.s. government deport anyone to haiti right now? how do they think so little of haitian lives, deporting children and babies in the middle of the chaos? this is a clear example of external violence that continues to deepen the instability in haiti." the biden administration will advise nearly all u.s. residents to get a booster shot against covid-19 eight months after they completed their initial vaccinations. white house officials told reporters the plan is contingent on fda approval but could be formally announced as early as this week. public health officials believe the shots can provide additional protection against delta and other emerging coronavirus variants. but the policy is likely to deepen the global vaccine divide. of the 4.7 billion vaccines distributed worldwide, more than 80% have gone to the richest countries.
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the world health organization has called for a moratorium on booster shots until at least 10% of people in every nation have been vaccinated. meanwhile, outrage is growing after johnson & johnson shipped at least 32 million doses of covid-19 vaccine produced in south africa to the european union, with plans to ship 10 million more even as the african continent faces its deadliest wave of the pandemic. a clause in south africa's contract with johnson & johnson requires south africa to waive its right to impose export restrictions on domestically-produced vaccines. just a small fraction of africans have been vaccinated against covid-19. by comparison, nearly two-thirds of germany's population has received at least one dose. the people's vaccine alliance said in response -- "this is further proof that the world cannot trust a handful of pharmaceutical companies to fairly allocate vaccines across
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the world." u.s. coronavirus cases continue to soar, with hospitalizations now at levels seen during last summer's peak. the u.s. is now detecting over 140,000 new infections a day, with florida, hawaii, louisiana, mississippi, and oregon all recording their highest caseloads of the pandemic. in arkansas, a record high number of patients are on ventilators, with more than 300 people intubated. medical workers at a little rock hospital report they're overwhelmed. >> it is actually really hard. i made it a whole year without crying and a couple of months ago, left your from work crying because of two deaths in one shift from patients that have i had for a long period of time. amy: washington, d.c., mayor muriel bowser said monday that all healthcare workers in the district must be at least partially vaccinated against
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covid-19 by the end of september. new york's outgoing governor andrew cuomo announced a similar requirement. in florida, nearly 5600 students and more than 300 employees of hillsborough county schools have either tested positive for covid-19 or are currently in quarantine. florida republican governor ron desantis has prohibited schools and local governments from ordering mask mandates. in tennessee, republican governor bill lee signed an executive order monday allowing any parent or guardian to opt out of mask requirements in school. in arizona, a judge in maricopa county ruled monday that republican governor doug ducey's ban on mask mandates is not yet in effect. the ruling leaves the phoenix school district's mask requirements in place until at least september 29. also on monday, governor ducey ordered local governments not to create their own vaccine mandates. indiana governor eric holcomb on
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monday broke from his republican counterparts, saying school districts requiring masks are "making a wise decision when the facts warrant it." malaysian prime minister muhyiddin yassin resigned monday amid mounting public anger over his government's handling of the covid-19 crisis. malaysia is in the grip of its worst wave of the pandemic and is averaging more than 20,000 daily case with just one-third of malaysians fully vaccinated. iranian officials have ordered a six-day countrywide lockdown to battle its worst surge of the pandemic. iran reported a record covid-19 death toll monday with over 650 deaths. in tehran, residents reported the lockdown was bng only loosely enforced. >> when there is a lockdown, many people contin to go to work. they come and go. it is called a lockdown but everything is operating and
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restaurants and businesses continue to do business. amy: in immigration news, the biden administration has appealed a texas federal judge's order to reinstate the contested trump-era remain in mexico program. in his decision, judge matthew kacsmaryk, a trump appointee, ruled the biden administration "failed to consider several of the main benefits" of the 2019 policy, formally known as the migrant protection protocols. the program forced some 68,000 asylum seekers to wait in often extremely dangerous conditions in mexico while their cases made their way through u.s. courts. many reported kidnappings and facing brutal violence while waiting in mexico. the biden administration officially terminated the program in june. the united states government has for the first time in history officially declared a water shortage on the colorado river, ordering mandatory cuts to water consumption across states in the southwest.
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this comes as lake mead, which is fed by the colorado river, has hit an unprecedented low level of just 32% amid an unprecedented drought. this is the assistant secretary for water and science at the u.s. interior department. >> there is no doubt climate change is real. we are experiencing it every day. amy: and in northern minnesota, where resistance to construction of the enbridge line 3 tar sands pipeline continues, four water protectors on monday locked themselves to each other and to machines, halting a pipeline worksite near hay creek. their protest followed similar direct actions last week. >> this pipeline and all pipelines like it are a violation of indigenous rights and an assault and world of increasing climate crisis. >> i'm here to stand to protect
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lands against big oil industries that are hell-bent on destroying the land, taking from the people and making profits. [bleep] ambridge. >> this incredible movement. i am doing this for future generations. climate change is urgent. we can't wait on politicians. we have to take action. amy: more than 700 water protectors protesting line 3 have been arrested to date. if completed, the pipeline would carry more than 750,000 barrels of canadian tar sands oil a day across indigenous land and fragile ecosystems. line 3 has the backing of the biden administration. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. thousands of afghans who worked for the united states and other foreign countries remain stranded in kabul two days after
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the taliban seized control of afghanistan. military flights out of the kabul international airport have resumed a day after thousands of afghans raced to the airport with hopes of leaving the country. they filled the tarmac and even tried to grab on to departing planes. at least seven people died, including several who fell to their death after trying to cling onto u.s. planes as they flew out. u.s. troops also shot at least two people dead at the airport. on monday, president biden defended his decision to withdraw troops from afghanistan. pres. biden: i stand squarely behind my decision. after 20 years, i have learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdrawal u.s. forces. that is why we are still there. we were clear right about the risks.
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we plan for every contingency. but i always promised the american people i would be straight with you. the truth is, this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated. so what has happened? afghanistan political leaders gave up and fled the country. the afghan military collapsed. sometime without trying to fight. if anything, the developments in the past week reinforced that any u.s. involvement in afghanistan now -- ending the u.s. involvement in afghanistan now was the right decision. cannot and should not be fighting in a war and dying and a war that afghan forces are not willing to fight for themselves. amy: on monday, the biden administration pledged to spend $500 million to help refugees and others trying to flee afghanistan. but biden is facing growing pressure to do more to help afghan civilians.
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on monday, congressmember ilhan omar tweeted -- "there will be plenty of time for confronting the repeated failures of afghanistan policy over the course of four presidencies. the urgency of the moment now demands we marshal an international coalition to evacuate every afghan citizen who is fleeing for their lives." nobel peace prize winner malala yousafzai urged all countries to help afghan refugees. >> i think every country has a role and responsibility right now. countries need to open their borders to afghan refees. i have sent a letter to the prime minister to allow refugees but also ense the refugee children and girls have access to education and access to safety and protection, that their futures are not lost. that they can receive education within those refugee camps. i have not yet made contact with
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prime minister boris johnson, but whoever can hear me right now, i think it is impornt for them to remember there such an important strategic leadership role to play right now. amy: malala yousafzai won the nobel peace prize in 2014 after being shot in the face by the taliban when she was just 14 years old for advocating education for women and girls. since seizing afghanistan, the taliban has sought to present a more moderate face to the world. earlier today, day announced an amnesty to all government officials and urged them to return to work. the taliban also encouraged women to join its government. and today, a female journalist from the news outlet tolonews conducted a televised interview with a taliban official.
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we begin today's show with haroun rahimi. assistant professor of law at the american university of afghanistan. he was enroute back to kabul when the taliban seized power. he joins us now from istanbul, turkey. professor, welcome to democracy now! it is great to have you with us. >> thank you. amy: can you respond to all that has taken place, the extremely fast seizing of the provincial capitals and then taking kabul without hardly a bullet? can you talk about the significance of the taliban victory, who they are, and what you expect? >> obviously, there's a lot to impact. the general of taliban to cover
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afghanistan, it is important have context here. the taliban have been growing in strength andhe government was losing ground for a very long time. undeying those, a series of problems sustaining the insurgency and weakening the government. also a military component, logistical and military issues and bad leadership that affected -- contributed. and toward the end, exacerbated even further and resulted in the quick collapse of afghanistan into the taliban hands. there was also a psychological component. the way the taliban were perceived -- we received by
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the united states, other countries, the way they were conducting the propaganda underground. they all played a role in t matter. it is going to take years to unpack what happened, but it is a very complex picture. commenting on what president biden said, i want to point out, first of all, the decision to withdraw troops -- there was have inaccuracy. first of all, people not willing to die for afghanistan? don't take my word for it. look at report, the casualty reports of war from the u.n. for years there were almost no casualties. there were thousands of soldiers dying every day fighting for the
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republic, for the government side. for people not willing to side, that is not true. soldiers did surrender en masse. it was political to keep soldier outposts to not be supported. [indiscernible] that csed a momentum. soldiers were feeling they should not be fighting that hard and just surrender because they were afraid if they fight hard, they would also not be supported and that would be isolated and -- the taliban was brutal when they ran over a post. the fact that soldiers were not willing to fight is inaccurate.
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you can see how many soldiers were dying every day into the very end. american troops under u.s. assistance had almost no casualties. the other issue from his speech, he was not willing to accept any responsibility. it was as if the u.s. was just a bystander. the soldiers were there and for some reason afghans were in charge of everything and they failed and now that delete -- that is a very disingenuous statement. they both contributed to what happened in afghanistan. many aspect of governance, policy decisions, conduct the war -- issues were either making
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staff involved, there was an army of consultants, ngos, service providers involved in all aspects. health, education to finance -- any aspect you canmagine, silar with the military post, working closely together. i believe [indiscernible] whatever the outcome was in terms of failed leadership and corrupt government, which were all true, the u.shas a role to play. itoes not mean -- i'm saying the way president biden was defending thu.s. fro everything tt happened is inaccurate. finally, with regards to the withdrawal, i do not believe it was handled well. it was handled in a way that demoralized afghanistan forces.
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it was handled in a way, the was -- he was forced any concessions to the taliban. 5000 taliban troops were released under immense pressure from the united states. you can talk about how it was handled. toward the end, the weight was handled was horrible. not your question of who the taliban are. it is a complex movement. it has history, morphing -- it has been an effective insurgency. they were able to cause the afghan government to collapse. that is something we have witnessed. it is not debatable. as to why and how does what they want to do, they have --
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[indiscernible] they talk about foreigners who they consider occupiers and those were motives they presented for the soldiers. people join the taliban sometimes for protection, also taking advantage of the opportunity that would be given to someone who is part of the taliban in terms of the power and other aspects of being a militia that has support on the ground. a complex picture. in terms of what they will be when they come into power, we have one reference point. when they were in power in the 1990's, they ruled brutally.
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afghans have experienced firsthand how they ruled. the question is, have they changed? will they govern differently? you pointed out there have been different messaging. they have announced amnesty, said principal they believe women can have education and work under conditions that are not clarified yet. they have done -- [indiscernible] they also allowed the shias of afghanistan, which are a minority. they don't follow the dominant sect of islam. they are a sizable nordic in afghanistan. they allowed them to continue their rituals that are important for the shias. and a public act -- other
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aspects that happen every year in afghanistan. the taliban allowed it. there were pictures that showed solidarity they also met with the hindus and sikh and gave the assurance that will be protected. both of these happen in kabul and iran, where i also have family and have seen reports. those are good, positive messaging. but also we have reports of people being taken for questioning, people being killed , and reports of some executions of forces that surrendered recently. just a very mixed picture, unclear picture at this point. the uncertainty is -- people are
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afraid of the future. they are trying to get out when they can. yet to remember, taliban control of land crossing and no flights flying out of any parts of the country except for kabul airport, which is under u.s. control. people trying to get out, they see the window and if it closes, the taliban will take over the airports and anyone who would like to leave the country, they will have to go through the taliban authority. if you are afraid of retaliation, he will certainly try to get out through the kabul airport, the only point left without having to go through the taliban. taliban has said they will let anyone who wants to leave, leave. but you have to realize these are not credible for very good reason. they are not credible because until recently in matters -- taliban considered any civilian
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employee of the government a target. a couple weeks ago in kabul, targeted the ministry of defense's home. they killed many civilians. it was a car bomb. buildings were destroyed draw large radius. they also had a campaign of judiciary persecutors a female police officers. for them to claim they have transformed in a short period of time, doesn't seem believable to most afghans and that is why you are seeing the rush. yet to realize many people believe it is were tactics -- you have to realize many people believe it is war tactics.
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basically a purging happening. that is what people are so afraid. whether that is true or taliban will have hope, means to be seen. but it is a mixed picture. also there is not a lot of journalism. there has been a killing effect on journalists during to document what is happening. taliban have fought a brutal insurgency. the beheaded opponents, executed many people. brutal insurgency. the government did not cause the destruction. there bombardment destroyed the countryside and because many civilian casualties.
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[indiscernible] the moment of rest is very much welcome. some hold government accountable for the horror they were living. it was a war using brutal methods. what is continuing to happen in areas -- because journalists are too afraid to speak out and document and reflect, relying on hearsay. people say "i heard someone say this happened there." unless we have journalists working independently underground, we will not know the whole picture. the other side is the taliban will have to make pronouncement of troops -- amy: professor, we have 10 seconds. are you afraid to go back?
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you were enroute when the taliban took kabul. >> at the moment, yes. i afraiof the future of my country and for everyone that is there. i will go back of the promise of amnesty holds up. i want to continue to educate -- they have taken over our university. we had to evacuate already. whether we wilbe able to resume and under what conditions , not known. we will continue to teach students. if the amnesty holds up, the environment where i feel -- [indiscernible] amy: the skype froze but i want to thank haroun rahimi, assistant professor of law at the american university of afghanistan. he was speaking to us from istanbul, turkey. coming up, we go to
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investigative journalist azmat khan and ann wright, who helped reopen the embassy in kabul nearly two decades ago. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now! i'm amy goodman. to talk more about the crisis in afghanistan, we are joined by two guests. the award-winning investigative journalist azmat khan, new yo times magazine contributing writer and a carnegie fellow. she's also a visiting professor at columbia university. and we are joined by ann wright, retired u.s. army colonel and former u.s. state department official. she was part of the team that reopened the u.s. embassy in kabul, afghanistan in december 2001. in 2003, she resigned on the eve of the u.s. invasion and occupation of iraq. she is now a member of codepink and veterans for peace. ann wright, let's begin with
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you. take as back 20 years. you reopened the u.s. embassy right after the u.s. invaded and attacked afghanistan. can you talk about that moment? and then how you came to change your views -- you are a u.s. army colonel -- and condemned the worse. thank you, amy. i went to afghanistan shortly after the u.s. went into afghanistan -- first with the cia and then with a small team of special forces. we reopened the embassy in december 2001. i anticipated it was going to be a short time the united stes was going to be in afghanistan to go after al qaeda and then get out. however, that did not happen. as i stayed there over five months and saw the u.s. government was really not
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providing any sort of funding for any programs that we thought perhaps we should do they quickly like an education and health and then went on to my next assignment which was in mongolia, i found the u.s. government had already made its decision it was going to invade and occupy iraq, country that had nothing to do with 9/11. at is where i decided i would resign from the u.s. government and -- in opposition to that war. amy: can you talk about watching the u.s. embassy close now and what you think should happen, also your response to what president biden said yesterday? >> first, i do not think the embassy should have closed. it is one thing the taliban came in, but not all embassies closed in kabul. if the united states really wants to help the people of afghanistan over the continuing period next, the next years, we
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have got to have a presence in afghanistan. i have closed embassies before. i closed the u.s. embassy in sierra leone in 1997 due to the violence. i do recognize the u.s. governme did notnow for sure what the tibanas going to do when it came into kabul. however, we have had negotiators in doha for the last 18 months, including the afghan and south afghan american, but has been he was special envoy to afghanistan, u.s. ambassador to afghanistan, as well as the ambassador to iraq and to th united nations and has been a special negotiator with the taliban for 18 months. i would have anticipated there would have been some sort of an agreement that not only was the -- with the taliban not shoot at u.s. military, but would not harm the u.s. embassy and it
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would be possible for the embassy to remain open. closing it since a real signal. when the signal was made to the government, leading ghani to say if the u.s. is going to pull it embassy out then he was going to get out, and for the military and police forces around the country saying the u.s. seeing the u.s. -- i was one of the many people that said the u.s. needed to get out of afghanistan. we did not need to be in there for 20 years. but the way it was done certainly did not in any way assist in the security of the country. amy: let's bring in in azmat khan he was covered afghanistan for years. your response to president
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biden, to the complete chaos at the airport, the thousands of afghans who are trying to leave and the taliban victory and afghanistan overall. >> president biden focused on the decision to end the war and not on the criticism of this withdrawal, the chaos we are sitting at the airport, the leaving behind of many people to whom the united states had made promises. people like translators, people like local journalists who were working with american journalists, as well as activists who now face not just great uncertainty like really are was being talked about, but significant threats to their lives and safety. none of that was really discussed in any detail, but i think another omission that really needs to be highlighted is the fact president biden took this negative view of afghan security forces for "not
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fighting" and that is not accurate. as the earlier speaker was describing, many afghan soldiers have died fighting the taliban over the last 20 years, countless, whereas american soldier since -- we have lost 64 mega soldiers. there is a real disparity about who was paying that human cost. at least from the side fighting the taliban. at the same time, what he did not acknowledge is the fact the entire way those soldiers were doing that fight was with the support of u.s. airpower. the united states was bombing heavily parts of that country where there were fights against the taliban regime. just to get some context, in 2019 the u.s. dropped more bombs and afghanistan then in any
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previous year of the war. i think it was something close to more than 6200 bombs that year as they were trying to negotiate. even with incredible bombs dropping, this is the deal they were able to get. even then, look at how many afghan soldiers were dying. once you take that level of airpower out of the mix, who would expect any afghan soldiers to continue to fight? if that many afghan soldiers died with support, what happens when you take that out of the mix? i need to say that airpower may have helped keep this tenuous hold the afghan government had on the country, but it also killed scores of civilians in rural areas, areas that don't often get talked about. nearly three quarters of afghanistan is rural countryside. the majority of the population comes from these kinds of areas.
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populations that have seen their brunt of the war. we rarely hear about it. they suffer not just bombings, airstrikes, not rates, but also taliban attacks. many wanted the war to end and you cannot really talk about that airpower and the teen was script the government had without acknowledging the ways in which that has created space for the taliban were even civilians who did not like the taliban just one of the work in. it makes sense when you take airpower out of the mix, that tenuous hold falls but at the same time at this point, the taliban has resuscitated itself. many of his more recent recruits were people who did lose loved ones and really wanted revenge for those casualties. in many ways, surprising that swiftness of it was, it also makes sense what we see happening right now. amy: the intercept reports
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military stocks outperformed the stock market overall by 58 percent during the afghanistan war, including boeing, raytheon, lockheed martin, northrop grumman, and general dynamics. "from the perspective of some of the most powerful people in the u.s., the afghanistan war may have been an extraordinary success. notably, the boards of directors of all five defense contractors include retired top-level military officers." you have written extensively about these contracts and who financially profited from this war. >> it is stunning. incredibly stunning because people don't often talk about the massive wealth. the people who maybe went to afghanistan temporarily got hazard pay and built themselves homes. wealthyen, former military
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officials who now, by the way, come on television talk shows to give their views without concealing the -- they're on board and many of these defense contractors. there have been incredible corruption on the part of many americans, many contractors, as well as just on the ground that has really helped to isolate local people from the afghan government. just to give you some examples, i spent a lot of time investigating u.s.-funded schools and afghanistan. something we might consider the kind of untouchle success of the work, right? in these 20 years, the u.s. has radically transformed education for afghan children and in particular, girls. i dug into the schools the united states had funded and picked 50 of them in seven battlefield provinces.
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what is happening at these schools now. i think 2% of the schools either were never built were no longer exist. a vast majority of them were falling apart. when i would try to understand what happened, for example in oncase there was a school missing, turns out it was built in the village of a notorious afghan police chief who was allied with the u.s., known for many human rights abuses, and the lol education chief said, yes, wbuilt it he and there were no children in the village for three years so no one really attended so the school did not number of years. another instance, the school was empty, never finished, all of the kids were across the street at a mosque having a religious education, not the curriculum they were on the books as having. it turned out the contract for the school which of the brother of the district governor who
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then pilfered the money and it was never finished as a result of that. down the block and another part of kandahar, the contract for school was given to a notorious local warlord -- for a clinic that was to be built next to the school. was given to this notorious warlord who basically wound up being the source for the rise of the taliban in many ways. his family was part of the corruption in the early years that preceded the taliban that really riled up individuals to support the taliban because of the massive corruption and the human rights abuses that were happening to afghan people. so even something as noble and as worthy of effort as education has been mired in these -- and this kind of corruption, this wheeling and dealing. if we have to understand why, i think it is the fact that
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counterterrorism goals were baked into every aspect of the american project in afghanistan. so even something great like schools, had this desire to imbue counterterrorism narrative of some kind that left them willing to work with people who were abusive actors and in the name of fighting terrorism when in reality they often undercut afghan people and a lot of promises the u.s. and on most every level. amy: jérémie azmat khan, thank you for being with us. and i give ann wright the final word as you speak to us from hawaii and you look at what is happening in afghanistan where you were almost two decades ago, what you think needs to happen and what you think americans should understand about the war in afghanistan. >> well, i think the u.s. public ought to be very wary of every
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administration, the things -- that things we should take a military option in trying to resolve any sort of conflict. we have seen the unit states in vietnam and iraq and afghanistan, the lies that are told to us about why we need to go into countries with our military versus having some nonmilitary resolution to these issues is really, really important. particularly as we face our government right now that is saying china and russia are enemies, that are threats to our national security. we need to push back against our government, against any more military invasions, occupations, attacks on any country. my heart goes out and bleeds for the people of afghanistan who have suffered through these decades long war, a violence.
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i certainly hope the next years somehow calm down and that the taliban takes a very different tact and what it had when it was in power from 1996-who thousand one stop because the people of afghanistan deserve much better than what they have had. thank you. amy: i want to thank you both for being with us and we will continue to cover this. ann wright is a retired u.s. army colonel and former u.s. state department official who was part of the team that reopened the u.s. embassy in kabul, afghanistan in december 2001. azmat khan is an award-winning investigative reporter, a new york times magazine contributing writer. we will link to your articles including the one you describe "ghost students, ghost teachers, coast schools." when we come back, we go to haiti where the tropical storm has slammed the same parts of the country shattered by the earthquake on saturday that has killed more than 1400 people.
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stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we turn to haiti, where heavy rainfall from tropical storm grace dnched the me parts of the countryonday that were h by saturday's earthquake where at the death toll has now climbed to more than 1400 and are suffering from injuries amid 7000 overwhelmed hospitals. thousands more have been left homeless. doctors treated hundreds of injured people in makeshift tents, including young children and the elderly. meanwhile, the investigative judge charged with overseeing the multinational probe into last month's assassination of haitian president jovenel moïse stepped down friday, saying he was concerned for his safety after one of his court clerks was found dead. these are some of the survivors. >> my wife called me to have coffee with her when the quake
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hit. we were talking and i heard a sound and try to get out quickly but the stairs were destroyed. thanks to god we were able to get up against a force of nature. nobody could us but god. >> my house is completely destroyed. i have lost everything. i don't even had bedsheets. i have no food. i have nothing. >> we were in our home when the quake happened. a number of people who were inside could not escape. the elderly were under the rubble. my father's two legs broke and my mother-in-law has broken a leg. on the day of the quake, we went to the hospital with them but there were not enough medics to treat them. they are suffering. i don't know what to do. amy: we are joined by jacqueline charles, the haiti and caribbean correspondent at "the miami herald." she has reported on haiti and the english-speaking caribbean for "the miami herald" for over a decade. she is a pulitzer prize finalist for her coverage of the 2010 haiti earthquake.
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awarded the 2018 maria moors cabot prize, the most prestigious award for coverage of the americas. she is right now in les cayes, haiti, not far from the epicenter. can you describe what you have seen? >> you see homes that look like they are ok and when you take a second look, you will see the bottom of the house completely collapsed. or you see where the whole house has collapsed. this is an area that is agricultural. the houses are not right up on each other like in port-au-prince. visually, the devastation is different from what we saw in the 2010 earthquake but the impact is great because these are individuals who were still in the process of rebuilding from hurricane matthew five
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years ago and now basically lost their homes. people are afraid to stay in buildings so they have been sleeping in their yards. last night we had grace that came in and people are losing patience because they do not have tents. they were using sheets, whenever they could. some were just exposed to the elements. they had to choose between the aftershocks or the rain. amy: what was your response when you first heard 7.2 category on the richter scale, this earthquake? >> oh, my god. i had been in haiti for an entire month following the assassination of jovenel moïse and had just got off a plane that morning. i was like, here we go. i just did a project last year. we knew there was going to be a big one, another big one. we assumed it would be in the
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north of the country. the fact this happened in the south, it took a lot of people by surprise. the first thing you're thinking is where in terms of the death toll and damage? what are we going to find given we know 7.0 just 11 years ago i was wiped out port-au-prince? amy: among the dead are the former mayor of les cayes? >> yes. the former mayor of les cayes, also the advisor to the assassinated president jovenel moïse and a former senator. a very cute figure. -- a very huge figure. he died in the rubble. he was among seven individuals were four individuals taken to a local hospital to confirm that they had died. that was probably the biggest news in terms of the debt. -- news in terms of death.
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everybody has a story about someone. yesterday i visited a business owner of a supermarket and hotel. two of his employees died. i spoke to a security guard and she could still smell the scent of death even though they had retrieved the bodies. one of them it was just body parts. it was a fellow security guard whom she had just relieved at 6:00 and this quake happened at 8:30 a.m. amy: if you can talk about the hospital, the needs right now? >> one of the things we saw before and we've seen it today, people are not waiting for aid to rescue them. they're doing it on their own but doing it with a lack medical bandages and tapes, anesthesia.
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every day people are coming with injuries. some have tried to wait it out because they don't have the transportation. the hospitals have been overwhelmed. because of the southern entrance with the gangs, people in port-au-prince would like to provide assistance but they cannot do it for fear of that road. it is not easy getting into this region because that humanitarian flights and a limited number of flights. there is a huge need and the hospitals. some of these hospitals have been damaged, so they are basically turning courtyards into makeshift hospital wards. they have been over 100 operations. because there are so many bone fractures, they lack what they need to repair these injuries.
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amy: before we go, this happening in the midst of a political earthquake -- you have the assassination of the haitian president moïse and you have the judge presiding over the investigation quitting because one of the court clerks was just found murdered. >> this court clerk was found murdered just days earlier. yes, he withdrew from this investigation a day before the earthquake, concerned about his safety. we still have the unresolved issue in terms of the president's assassination. 44 people had been arrested by police have not identified the mastermind or demoted. that is still very much a huge issue. the president was one of 11 elected officials. there is been this pressure from the u.s. and others to hold election. haiti's prime minister henry says --
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get everybody on board and said this is the way we need to go. he is determined to have elections. there cannot be democracy without elections, is what is that. but now to have this disaster, which he has declared a state of emergency, to try to address -- we still don't know yet in terms of what damage was done because of the rains. mudslides. yesterday, there were huge boulders in the roads. one road has been cut off because the boulders have been split and cut. we are basically going to go out -- we understand -- the weather continues to deteriorate. more needs in just a few hours. amy: jackie charles, stay safe. jacqueline charles is the haiti and caribbean correspondent at "the miami herald."
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we will link to all of your reporting at she is talking to us from les cayes epicenter of the earthquake. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to or mail them to democracy now! q/úçççococ
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