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tv   [untitled]    December 30, 2011 4:01pm-4:31pm EST

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the most memorable events that helped shape the world from a protest in the u.s. to an arab spring at the change the globe we say goodbye to twenty eleven. good afternoon it is friday december thirtieth at the almost new year it is four pm in washington d.c. i'm christine freeze out there watching our t.v. well it's the end of december the end of the year and also we're told the end of the war in iraq throughout the day today will be taking a look at what was left behind despite the more than one hundred thousand troops that have come and gone but first a recap of some of the most significant aspects of operation iraqi freedom and a look at where it all started my fellow citizens. at this hour american and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm iraq to
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free its people and to defend the world from grave danger. it started with a campaign shock. and awe designed to be rapid and power. at first many americans were on board with the plan in part because of this earlier announcement by secretary of state colin powell one of the most worrisome things that emerges from the thick intelligence file we have on iraq's biological weapons is the existence of mobile production facilities used to make biological agents weapons of mass destruction a key factor in selling the war. combined with the idea of bringing freedom to the iraqi people this gesture. largely symbolic and discovered later to be staged and directed by u.s. troops but still it was presented as a win for the americans and a sign of
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a free iraq just twenty days after the invasion began. a few weeks later president bush landed on an aircraft carrier and declared mission accomplished in the battle of iraq. the united states and our allies have prevailed . it was a short lived victory speech that withered in the shadows of reality that the short war that was promised became one of america's longest with more than four thousand american deaths and nearly a million iraqi civilians estimated killed as well along the way america's reputation increasingly soiled by images of americans humiliating iraqi prisoners. or helicopter pilots shooting unarmed iraqis video game style still many stick to the story line they hope will show up in the history books going into iraq was the roads and progress in iraq has allowed us to continue our policy of return on
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success i don't. think that it damaged our reputation around the world i just don't believe that i think it was sound policy that dealt with a very serious problem and that the limited saddam hussein this image another graphic and memorable one iraq's former leader being hanged on december thirtieth two thousand and six even president obama who is anti iraq war stance helps propel him into office he's asking others now to leave iraq alone other nations must not interfere in iraq. iraq's sovereignty must be respected iraq now home to the largest u.s. embassy in the world and while the combat troops are gone sixteen thousand will stay to guard the embassy today we mark the end of operation new dawn now the flags are being lowered though the story colors of flight number or they will never fade the memory of all who have sacrificed so much the bases cleared out to bring the promise of freedom to the people of iraq it was a freedom never asked for and came with
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a high price for both iraqi and american citizens the war was neither painless nor prompt it love the people of iraq with a country destroyed by a decade of war teetering on the verge of sectarian chaos as to change the nations try now to look ahead christine for r.t. . there are of course not just the events of the war but the results of those events and the implications it had on the past present and future of this country and its place in the world so let's talk about all of this with the war with iraq war veteran r.t. blogger vera tow in london and michael o'brien who worked as a contractor in iraq and also wrote this book america's failure in iraq there it is fellas thanks so much for joining us and jake let me start with you i know you served in iraq from two thousand and three to two thousand and four and there are people who call iraq the biggest hellhole on earth do you agree with.
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chrissy and mike you did see it through the telly there. i mean it absolutely has been extraordinary disaster both for the americans and iraqis and mainly because it was an unnecessary war and after nine eleven when we chose to go into iraq we single handedly destroyed our reputation i mean a rock war what the skepticism that the greater islamic world had prior to the iraq war only was exactly exasperated and also on top of that if you consider all the failures the the bat the vacation the abu ghraib incident the double down and surging the the massive ethnic cleansing that took place in baghdad it just was a complete political and military disaster whether the surge was successful or not and whether stability or not doesn't matter we can never ever reclaim the place we had before the iraq war due to the f.t.
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cleansing the abu ghraib incident and basically because we just gave the middle east to iraq so if they bring in that they bring up some really important points especially about the u.s. reputation so michael i want to get your perspective as a former contractor it's pretty interesting because when people especially in this country think about contractors working in iraq the reputation of them has sort of been tainted a little bit certainly after the blackwater incident. you know i want to know what do you have to say to people who say you know contractors they have the best of both worlds you know they get paid one hundred dollars an hour or more tons of money they have immunity they can do whatever they want and they don't get disciplined is that really what's going on that's basically a nutshell but that's only one group of contractors security contractors which who are mercenaries ok contractors do everything else too because our military you know they do everything they drive the trucks there they cook the food because our
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military is so small they don't. soldiers don't do that anymore so we don't have a draft so we have to depend on the guard the reserves and all the active forces the guard the reserves all of them combined can't handle the wars that our politicians get assent to so we have to augment lack of numbers of troops with contractors that do everything specifically speaking about security contractors such as blackwater aka z. services aka academy or whatever its name is today. they are mercenaries they are making a ton of money it's all about money it's all about money and the money that they're making i mean this is really interesting because before iraq if you look at our defense contracting industry i mean it has become a multibillion dollar kind of a machine the military industrial complex that i do and why guys in our ward to serve in one thousand nine hundred sixty one we are knee deep in that we're not need to keep it's up to warriors he warned the country be wary of it it's the tail
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is wagging the dog and we are there now and instead of just making bullets rifles tanks and planes and boats they're now soldiers too so interesting i think the money aspect of this is really important to look at i want to put up a survey of opinions in iraq now that the combat troops are gone when asked who benefited the most from the war with iraq iraq is were allowed to give two responses and they most often answered iran to four percent of them forty eight percent say the united states benefited the most forty percent say the iraqi elite and just four percent of iraqis say the iraqi people benefited the most from war jake are you surprised by these results yeah i'm surprised that iran's not at the top of the list because i want is a look at a fifty four percent of iraqis say iran abetted them benefited the most. ok well yeah i mean that and then i missed that point no this of shouldn't be surprised at
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all i mean the that this year in the south have totally you know hand over fist that partnered with the iranians and prime minister maliki and mick tuttle sautter as well as the iranian special operations forces should pat themselves on the back because they hoodwinked hoodwinked the united states in this. situation and it wasn't obama that did it this was an agreement that the bush administration screwed up again so now i'm not i'm not surprised by this and. it's a it is just a sad sad tragedy and i think it's a thank god that the things over with so we can say that much michael you're sitting you're nodding your head that and that jake said that that sort of resonated with you agreeing with everything jake said and all i can do is add more to what he said both his first segment and the one that just ended look at the the disparity top of the list is is iran at the very bottom of the list with four
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percent is the iraqi people the iraqi people are the ones without a doubt that suffered the most up to a million iraqi people are dead and the whole the whole thing is that what are we going to learn we obviously didn't learn anything from viet nam. we went to iraq so we didn't learn anything from viet nam it was an illegal war in your in your segment in the piece you did which by the way i thought was excellent you said it was a freedom the iraqi people didn't ask for you nailed it when i was there they would say mr mike that's what they called you they called you mr or ms by your first name we understand mr bush wants to fight the war on terror why does he have to fight it here there would be nothing i could say in response to that they're the ones that are the big losers and dick cheney and those guys can say whatever they want it's all smoke and mirrors i think that's a really good point i think it's also a good point that you brought up. what did we learn what did we really learn and i
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think back i remember where i was when that announcement that i showed at the beginning my report was made by george bush on march nineteenth two thousand and three i was living in d.c. i was celebrating st patrick's day you know at an irish bar and there were hundreds of people in this bar watching the guy playing tunes on this little guitar and just a couple of us were looking at the small t.v. on the other side of the bar and it was the president announcing something that would change our world forever jake you were there will you ever be the same can americans understand what exactly you went through without having you know the ones who didn't go like you did. now this i mean this this iraq war and this afghanistan war has been the bloodiest war that united states has ever fake not in terms of casualties but in terms of the amount of deployments i mean we've gone on you know
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i mean i went to two combat tours and to chip in two years and a lot of these guys are in there serving now in their tenth and twelfth and some of them fifteenth tour in both iraq and afghanistan and that amount of trauma is incredible i mean divorce rate in the military right now is that eighty percent we've got an astonishing number seventy percent of the forces deployed have gauged in combat some form so it is. it is beating the military to pieces that said it has value personally how has this war impacted you personally. well you know i wrote a post. blog and i talk about the talk about basically what what for me what it was and it's total distrust in our government i feel betrayed i feel that the bush administration lied us into this war and that obama is doubling down on the lies and that it's just it's just ruined
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a lot of what i think about the great part about america is it's a great country and i lost a lot of friends there i was at a lot of friends that were killed and nobody can take them back and if you look if you're in iraq or if you're a muslim and you're thinking about the afghans pakistanis in iraq is up and killed it's unimaginable the amount of trauma that's been caused by this war michael i want to talk to you about sort of what's left behind you mentioned it a little bit when you were talking about you know the growth of the defense contracting industry it's not just the people guarding the embassy it's not just all those contractors as you say that are there now that are going back that's a whole lot of weapons thousands of weapons being sold by u.s. defense contractors to iraq number one to to build up the iraqi military number two to make sure that there's arms there in the case of iran what are your predictions for the future i mean there are people who are already seeing signs of a civil war in iraq this isn't over really
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a civil war is going on right now. we just saw the ouster of the vice president the most hadn't even dried the boots leaving iraq and going into kuwait when the prime minister munroe moloch he fired vice president hashemi i mean any sunni i mean it's well it's it's all ethnic and then the kurds the kurds population to the north the whole the the reason given by bush the first and powell back in one thousand nine hundred one for stopping halfway to baghdad was we didn't want to create a power vacuum twelve years later bush jr goes over there. and creates the very thing we were afraid of creating in ninety one we invaded illegally a country that was of no threat to us no threat to a neighbor we invaded with a fraction of the forces we set and did nothing for four years while the place went down the drain and now we're we're we're watching wall all the ethnic cleansing is jake mentioned is starting to go on it's all sunni versus shia and up in the north
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in kurdistan it's a little bit better of a place but. as bad as saddam was absolutely he was a tyrant he was terrible he was a bad actor a fifty cent bullet would have saved a million iraqi lives and five that forty five hundred american lives yet we don't do assassinations ok fine got it but we never should have invaded iraq in the first place why did we invade why did george michael bush invade iraq. what we do do is that the nation now i just thought that obama's fix that problem for us well actually that's a true maybe yes it we didn't at the time get it. yeah right now to now we dive in and. i can't wait to see what dick cheney and feith space is going to look like when with total solder becomes the next brought by mr of iraq because you can bet your boots that the shiite majority of congress inside of iraq is priming
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him up abseiling him up to do lead the charge when the allowed him to do that we allowed him to get away with murdering american soldiers and american marines and let him take off to iran to study for a couple years and now he's back to his tricks again it's a mess that's an interesting discussion and a really important to have especially as this year wraps up the war is you know sort of over the for the combat troops are gone but there is still a lot that we're going to keep in our eyes on takes over to iraq war veteran in our team blogger joining us from london we do appreciate it and right here with me michael o'brien author of america's failure in iraq thanks guys. also ahead on our team we remember the events that made headlines this year and those that deserve more attention from the mainstream media two thousand and eleven interview coming up next.
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here the police corruption. but what is the test the body seems to know. that never a pepper sprayed the face of the argument that they're being overly dramatic. welcome to the capital and now because i'm lauren lister. well as is the spirit
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this kind of this time of year we want to take a look back and reflect now or earlier in the show we talked in-depth about the pullout from iraq and let's take a look at some other major events that shaped this country and the world in two thousand and eleven correspondent on a stasia churkin i gives us her take on the year in review. a year of frustration january twentieth. full rage mode for the arab spring and indicator of events to come washington d.c. across the atlantic the year kick starts with one in six americans officially living in poverty what's been called one of the worst recessions in u.s. history places like new york over flooded with mountains of trash as much as fifty thousand tons of garbage in just one week february. the revolutions in the arab world rage on egypt's leader of thirty years resigns.
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in america's midwest workers' protests to kick off nearly one hundred thousand rally at the wisconsin state capitol march back to back disasters hit japan the most powerful earthquake to ever hit there then a monstrous tsunami then a nuclear catastrophe the largest since churn noble and in libya a nato led coalition intervenes with deadly consequences april twentieth eleven going on here in the world is glued to the royal wedding while the libyan war is in full swing the real interests of the west are questioned rwanda you have the genocide of nearly a million people and nobody lifted a finger made sexual assault charges the dummy extra khan case takes over the us mainstream media the alleged rapist is found not guilty r.t. fights off mainstream media attacks mainstream respectable news stations would never be interested in any of our and respectable extreme guests.
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june twentieth eleven. grease on the brink of collapse taken over by chaos. as we meet this our two crew tear gassed in the protests july rather than. mainstream media is busy with the murder trial of a woman accused of killing her two year old r.t. covers nasa's final shuttle flight they are well protected and investigates the bohemian grove mystery august twenty seventh two a double plus historic crash america's credit rating dropped. the u.k. in riot spasms symptom for the tenth anniversary of nine eleven first responders on the verge of tears a decade on just to have somebody from the government say thank you.
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to thank you with. this protest reach america the biggest movement in the us in the years kicks off in the big apple parties on the ground from day one one week into the protests violence begins women netted and pepper sprayed last was october twenty eighth eleven libyan leader moammar gadhafi killed. in new york a march of thousands hundreds arrested u.s. marines join the movement. at occupy oakland protest the war veteran severely injured in the head into unconsciousness. november three years since obama's election riot police tear gas to occupy oakland strike we're still reporting from the. occupy wall street's first camp in new york as a victim. journalist arrests at occupy wall street go public december twentieth eleven one of the most famous political prisoners in the world held in the u.s.
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taken off death row after thirty years but gets life behind bars without parole in moscow tens of thousands of people protest election results he gets protests in twenty years. in the u.s. despite initial promises to last only until. the occupy wall street movement still very much alive. protest a symbol of twenty eleven some have brought changes others results uncertain or even none at all news events come and go on the media can inflate them down play them or just question well the lessons of two thousand and eleven we learnt the your head will show so stay with us here at r.t. . r t your quite a bit of ground cover there highlighted and a lot of it i should mention she was on the front lines for so i want to bring in our to correspond honest. with me to talk about a few of the items we just saw in the report. i remember this the mountains of
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trash that you're year in new york started off with remind me what was that about bad weather i remember there were just days on end and piles of trash that just didn't get cleaned up was to say that won't happen again. well nobody crissy you know that was the first thing new yorkers were greeted with after new year's eve tunes of trash all over the city it happened because there was a huge snowstorm in new york around the time of the new year and the city authorities really didn't have enough time to clean it up so new yorkers were really walking around in shock amidst amidst these mountains of garbage so that was something leaves something very surprising that we discovered last year so you know hopefully nothing like this in the year to come just so interesting and really visual i remember when you were going through that let's talk about wisconsin i know you went down to the state house in madison wisconsin absolutely amazing
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pictures and issues that have sort of been a little bit forgotten about perhaps in the shadow now of the occupy protests let's talk about what you expect to see for wisconsin for the union issue governor scott walker all of the above any predictions for that. well you know chrissy i think it's important to point out that wisconsin really seemed to be sort of an embryo a little bit of a hint in terms of what americans could expect to see in their country last year when wisconsin happened it was some people on the ground were comparing the protests to the extent of ones that america had seen during the vietnam era so this is something that when we saw it was really interesting to experience and discover and that kind of sent us a message really that we should be expecting these protests to grow and then of course just several months later occupy wall street began like you mentioned so really the future of these protests it looks like they're not going anywhere now
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that they've started this huge wave that really as we saw in that report spread all over the world but the ones in the united states are still ongoing so and with a lot of those issues that the people were protesting in wisconsin and at occupy wall street they still exist so it's very likely that it's almost one hundred percent certain really these days that these crowds are going to keep reappearing in the next year to come for sure i think it's a really good point that what we saw there what we saw in egypt some of these issues about the economy about workers' rights these are issues that really did carry on throughout the year to those occupy protests and i know not to nobody was more sort of involved than you are because you're in new york let's talk about some of the things that at first were pretty shocking the tear gas the police baton. we have the perspective we have the benefit of hindsight here anything that really stuck out to you in terms of the occupy wall street protests and what you saw there on the ground in new york. i think the most
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a memorable really and important thing about occupy wall street protest is that nobody really expected them to become what they have because when they started we certainly when we were down there in the first day we certainly could not have predicted that they were going to grow to the extent of taking over other other cities not just new york really becoming a huge movement in the united states and that's something that really nobody predicted at the time and that's something that we saw this year and these occupy wall street protests look like they're going to keep going strong here in new york city for sure these days the occupiers are looking for a new camp and they are very likely to get him to move into that campus soon as they're allowed to take one over so this is a story that's not going anywhere in the year to come chris and we're hearing through a lot of them are sort of using this time of cold weather and of you know a lack of a place to occupy for now to make a bunch of plans for the future and that we will see this even bigger and stronger once the springtime comes and i know on aceh you'll be there to show it to us all
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artes own on a saturday night in new york city thanks so much well that is going to do it for now but for more on the stories we covered go to our t. dot com slash usa or check out our youtube page at youtube dot com slash r t america you can follow me on twitter at christine for the best of capital account with laura lister is up next.
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world. science technology innovation all the latest developments from around russia we've got the huge earth covered. news today violence is once again flared up. these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada. giant corporations are on the day.
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good afternoon and welcome to capital account i'm lauren lyster here in washington d.c. and we are on vacation this week for the holidays but we still have exciting shows for you all week we've been on the air for a little more than two months but we have already had so many great interviews with amazing guests and for those smart but maybe not financially expert viewers we've broken down so many financial terms from the dense to the.


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