tv [untitled] August 22, 2012 10:00pm-10:30pm EDT
coming up this hour on r t we've heard presidential candidates talk about everything from abortion to the economy but there's something missing from all the political promises like the plan for the war in afghanistan ten years and more than two thousand u.s. military deaths later has this become the forgotten war. plus several inmates of the guantanamo bay detention center in cuba are finally getting their day in court but talks of torture to extract confessions those are strictly off limits for defense attorneys are to take a look at the case of trial and error. president obama and western leaders offer condolences and praise for a deceased ethiopian leader a man described by some as a genocidal tyrant so why the diplomatic double speak from bahrain to libya syria to ethiopia show you how military interests have the power to crown both kings and criminals.
again this hour with a look at a subject you're not hearing about on the mainstream media we're going to talk about the war in afghanistan now the wars in both iraq and afghanistan were central to discussions this time four years ago as candidate barack obama and candidate john mccain laid out in full detail their plans for ramping up and then winding down the wars there are still a few months left but this is a topic neither candidate this time around seems to want to touch shortly after coming into office president obama announced a surge of thirty thousand troops in afghanistan and that surge was to be followed by this plan. we will pursue the following objectives within afghanistan we must deny al qaeda safe haven we must reverse the taliban's momentum and deny the ability to overthrow the government. and we must strengthen the capacity of afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take the lead responsibility for afghanistan's future so when will that future be upon us by the
time voters have a voting booth in november the war will be in its twelfth year i want to talk more about this with a man who was actually taken captive by the taliban for forty five days for more i'm joined by jerry van dyke a journalist and author of the book captive my time as a prisoner of the taliban hey there jerry thank you so much for being on the show tell me first a little bit about this experience this forty five days with the taliban and what your lessons have to offer us as a country as we look to the next chapter in afghanistan. my experience as a prisoner of the taliban and i was the first american journalist captured by the taliban i was the second captured in pakistan the first one was daniel pearl who was slaughtered by al qaeda i was captured by the taliban the difference between a cut in the taliban and my experience is that i was a guest as much as i was a prisoner they made
a very clear point that while i was definitely a prisoner that they would treat me according to the laws of the country the laws of their tribe the laws of their people the questions that was called question while the pashtuns are the largest ethnic group enough to understand in western pakistan the taliban are pushkin's nato the united states are in essence at war against the pashtuns not against other ethnic groups in afghanistan what i learned was that they will never give in. that they're fighting the same or that their fathers as they put it their grandfathers fought the mujahedeen against the soviet union i was a journalist enough going to stand during the one nine hundred eighty s. with the mujahideen in my experience there is no difference between the two they use the same type of weapons they have the same very deep religious convictions they are not afraid to die they will fight to the very end and one reason i think that nato united states are having such a difficult time as the soviet union had
a difficult time is because they are not afraid to die for a cause which they believe we are both seen nato the united states as the soviet union in the one nine hundred eighty s. as infidel invaders outsiders non non muslims come to impose upon them what they call a western religion that is democracy therefore i don't think that today in my experience will show that based upon my own experiences that nato and the united states are fighting we have no about. the surge is drawing down and there were the thirty thousand to which you alluded earlier that president obama sent in will be drawdown at the end of next the end of september they've got seventy thousand are fighting with you consider all the afghan security forces are fighting about the chord in the pentagon twenty thousand taliban and the war continues yeah absolutely and you really have a unique perspective because of the time that you spend with the mujahideen back in the one nine hundred eighty s.
and i was going to ask you and you sort of answered it that things are very similar today as they were thirty years ago but it seems to me that either the military generals those leading this effort those sort of designing the strategy that they either don't understand that or they're not really conveying that to the american people so i guess i want to ask you jerry i mean what would you add to that to the discussion here when it comes to what the american public needs to know about afghanistan as a region. i think with the united states and that's you made a very good point at the start of your question there and that is i don't feel that the bush administration or the obama administration has been straight with the american public as to exactly why we are fighting in afghanistan what led to this war in afghanistan and that goes back to the one nine hundred eighty s. when or even in the one nine hundred seventy s. before the soviet union invaded in according to secretary defense former secretary of defense robert gates in his book from the shadows as well as president jimmy
carter's national security adviser zbigniew brzezinski who said in an interview with nobel observatory a french magazine in one thousand nine hundred eight we drew this so we wanted to draw the soviet union into afghanistan in the one nine hundred eighty s. in order to pay it back cording to them for what it did to us in vietnam so what happened was this is the same thing today on a different level it became a proxy war in which the united states used with pakistan its ally the mujahideen to fight against the soviet union and the people who suffered most far and away with the afghans today we have another form of a proxy war which is evolved into a proxy war in my view between the united states and its allies against pakistan pakistan very clearly is backing the taliban that's one thing that i learned as a prisoner they said not a shot my jailer said well i was very much afraid he would do have there were times when we had conversations and they never laid a hand on me he said. not
a shot would be fired to afghanistan without pakistan's permission as opposed to now as a member of the taliban acknowledged that the role of pakistan was crucial and i think that that is the real issue here so let me stop you here that i can carry that that's a really really interesting that you brought that up and i think something that a whole lot of people don't know in the clip i showed at the beginning from president obama that was from two thousand and nine and he really laid out sort of a little more specifically the plan for afghanistan and one of the things he said was that pakistan and the united states were in this together that the success quote unquote success depended very largely on this relationship that was two thousand and as we know things have changed immensely between the u.s. and pakistan that relationship has taken some pretty bad turns between drone strikes in pakistan between you know the osama bin laden assassination in pakistan
and you know the list goes on the friendship is at best i can say a little scarred right now between the two countries so you're saying that in your time with the taliban that they essentially said they that those two countries were the ones with a good friendship. so you touched on a very very important point here and that is yes president obama did say that in two thousand and nine and the united states has had a longstanding and very close relationship with pakistan with the do with pakistani army almost since its inception but particularly in the one nine hundred fifty s. when it made in alliance to go against then the the spread of communism and i don't think that alliance really has changed yes you what you said is correct that the this friendship this the two allies are certainly at one another's throats to a degree now and it's been frayed to a great degree now however we don't know what is going on behind the scenes and it's my firm belief that the united states and its allies will not be able to
extricate itself from pakistan from afghanistan with an agreement from pakistan and i think that the negotiations that are going on or that have gone on are going to have to go on again cannot take place without the back in pakistan prime example that the united states now has cornered will go back to what general former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff admiral michael mullen said just before he retired when he said that the cunning network led by a man of with whom i lived in the one nine hundred eighty s. . the most lethal the most powerful the most brutal the most effective anti american taliban group he said is an arm of the head of which is military intelligence agency of pakistan today the united states has yet to declare conny network a terrorist organization even though leaders of congress about the president to do this why not most probably in my view is because we're trying to secretly negotiate
our way out of afghanistan with the economy network we cannot do that unless we work we get permission from our work closely with if you want to base this upon and i believe it with the former chairman of the joint chiefs of staff michael mullen said pakistan so this there is a very close tie here and what you. he said at the outset here is is true and what president obama said in two thousand and nine is also true one what he said is we must work closely with pakistan and what you said the relationship is frayed jerry gave the excellent reasons but deep down underneath behind the scenes we've got to work together to get out of there well let me ask you a question does it matter if we leave yesterday if we leave in a year from now if we leave in five years from now in terms of how we're going to leave that country although the reading that i've done from journalists who spent a considerable amount of time in the country say these different factions these different tribes they're just waiting and while they wait their training. it
doesn't matter when really no no but i do think that they will never give in and i want to emphasize that it was the one nine hundred eighty s. when the soviets were there and the united states was backing the mujahideen or today now that we're fighting those whose sons whose fathers we backed then they will not give in either many people feel that if the u.s. and nato draw down that the taliban will have fewer people to fight there's no infidel inviting invaders on on the ground however i don't think anybody believes that the united states is going to pull out and in this war in two thousand and fourteen the pentagon does not want to lose this war no army wants to lose this war and right now the united states is clearly not winning this war because the taliban and its backers as we've all seen in the last few weeks with these terrible incidents of. afghans killing the very min that are training them and what
president obama said in one of the third part of his speech that you showed here was that we want to create a security system an army a system that can take the place of us and that we can therefore leave afghanistan right now it's not clear that this army that we can't even guarantee is on our side one hundred percent can stand up to the taliban but most importantly the taliban's backers the mage asa system those who keep coming across the border all these people are still very much there and i don't think that you're going to see a clear into that until such time as the united states and its allies have left afghanistan but can we leave afghanistan if the other point that the president made is that al qaeda did this does not return to afghanistan and that i certainly can't guarantee sitting right here no yeah certainly you say the u.s. doesn't want to leave until they know that they won't lose i think we could talk for hours about what the definition of winning and losing in afghanistan would mean
but they were out of time fascinating discussion there with author and journalist jerry van dyke thanks so much for another major campaign issue four years ago at least for barack obama was the subject of torture and the fate of guantanamo bay today though one of a fill open and pretrial hearings for five notorious inmates those accused of helping plan the september eleventh attacks were supposed to start today but they've been postponed until further notice when those proceedings do take place however attorneys for the inmates say they have been banned from bringing up the subject of torture in court they also claim that a number of other legal restrictions are stopping them from building a proper defense in cases that let's remember here could result in the death penalty argy correspondent marine important takes a closer look. as the saying goes everyone remembers their first one time or will be closed no later than one year from now and us president barack obama's first
executive order delivered on a promise cemented over the years as president i will close guantanamo reject the military commissions act and it here to the geneva conventions i've said repeatedly that america doesn't torture and i'm going to make sure that we don't torture nearly four years after america's change took office one hundred sixty eight detainees are still being held at guantanamo awaiting their day in court before a military commission but even then the obama administration will not allow them to testify about the alleged torture and harsh interrogation techniques some claim to have suffered according to the government there is no scope. to the advocates to defend its account of his torture in the course of treatment the government's justification for that is that disclosing that information in big court could be damaging to u.s. national security interests at
a pretrial hearing at guantanamo bay the defense attorneys will challenge u.s. secrecy groups and a litany of other restrictions that experts say undermined the right of detainees to receive a fair trial and defense counsel may want to communicate or send a letter you know provide the current updates on news information to inform them of certain things that that may apply to their case and every one of those pieces of correspondence is then run through a vetting system where the government is reviewing all of that to determine whether or not it's proper material the confidences are being contaminated directly by the u.s. government over the years the u.s. military has gone as far as dosing detainees with high levels of psychotropic drugs . according to reports released by the pentagon prisoners were forced to take mind altering drugs often against their will before being interrogated
a story first broken by truth out's lead investigative reporter jason leopold what the inspector general said was is that detainees were interrogated while they were on drugs that is known to produce or will end up producing unreliable information so then you have the government going into the d.c. circuit ok and arguing that all of the detainees statements are true critics accuse obama of following in the footsteps of his predecessor george w. bush by continuing a system that revolves around censoring defendants in the name of national security this is not a legitimate process how do you prosecute someone years after the crime when you have full control of their body and the evidence for that and entire period of time nearly eleven years following the september eleventh attacks the us military
commission at guantanamo bay is set to hear the first set of arguments in preparation for the trial of five suspects the u.s. president meanwhile is campaigning for his second term apparently forgetting about the monumental promise he made when he began his first. artsy me or. so i had here on r t a man described by some as a genocidal tyrant is now being praised by western leaders so our military interest in the country a possible reason for this diplomatic double speak up next will question how the u.s. is separate the kings from criminals in this geo political chess match. at first very much as burn gerard is right right i mean it's like a derivative of actual pepper it's a food product essentially. but stronger than anything you'd be by. thousands of times stronger than any one of the over butchering of.
to take out. mr. a long time if you go beyond world war and u.s. counterterrorism ally mellows the now we have died the news of his death has caught our attention because of the international response that it's created un secretary-general ban ki moon said mehlis will be remembered for his exceptional leadership and advocacy on african issues within and outside the continent president obama added that malays deserves a recognition for his contributions to his country's development including his own yielding commitment to ethiopia support jose manuel but also president of the european commission also offered his condolences praising him as a respected african leader so. interesting about the statements made by world leaders is a lot of attention to a darker side of the now as legacy aside that includes ethiopia being criticized for years by human rights groups for the government's strict control i want to
speak more about this with the answer coalition that mike price hey there mike first of all your reaction to some of these other reactions that we're hearing from world leaders about this death well it's not surprising at all i mean the u.s. government is very very good at telling us who our friends are and who our enemies are which countries in which leaders they shower with praise like in this case and which country's leaders they denounce and target for regime change based on called human rights violations and so what we're seeing here is not out of character for the u.s. government but really the standards where a leader or a country as a friend an outline of the u.s. government not. the nature of their government or human rights record but based on whether or not they cooperate with the control of resources in the region and another thing mike i mean that that he has been praised for is getting ethiopia
sort of a little bit out at least of the economic slump he's fast tracked economic development in that country. every world leader it seems has its flaws i mean what do you think is really being hit in about finale. sure and at the same time political leaders who are actually fighting for real changes for for poor people in ethiopia and real distribution of the vast wealth of the country in the resources of the country they're in jail right now as political prisoners i mean the jails in ethiopia are flooded with people who did nothing else except stand up to the government speak out and try to organize for real justice for the poor people in that country but you know the u.s. government has a lot of interest in ethiopia and so that's human rights records really wouldn't matter i mean massive military base drone outposts in ethiopia as well and really look at the whole of africa because we can't look at this just in the context of the field in the entire continent there is a war going on and that's
a war for the vast minute mineral resources of the continent one that's been going on for centuries of colonization by by western powers of the continents you know the same colonizers you cared so deeply for the human rights violations in libya and they had to start a war in libya but look at the entire continent right now i mean the u.s. government had a very big campaign people may remember about the door for region in the so-called genocide that was happening and our foreign you know these up pro imperialists from groups like amnesty international you know took up this cause. dark fur they're saying you know hundreds of thousands of people were being killed although with no evidence when just a hundred miles away in uganda it was the biggest u.s. military base in africa from which the rwandan popular front came out of and these ugandan were and rwandan militias that were funded and trained and backed by the u.s. government were carrying out the greatest brutality in the entire continent in the
democratic republic of the congo where over five million people have been killed in the past ten years but for some reason that didn't qualify as a human rights violation even though the numbers like you know thirty five times the so-called genocide that was being committed in dar for it all comes down to. who is cooperating with the big banks and with wall street about control of resources and the entire card as you may know my washington d.c. has one of the largest ethiopian communities in this country and we did go we paid a visit to that part of town earlier today and got some differing reactions take a look. you know. so he's a day that he had voted for me and for my family and for the. what do you think it means for the people of you know oh my god i'm. going to be tough going to be hard and then last. night because. he completely destroyed judgment he
just to depend on. and. he does so interesting mike i mean just within this one neighborhood in washington itself we have tears the country is going to be terrible without him and then we have somebody saying he destroyed the country talk a little bit about this sort of differing of opinions in the u.s. . sure well in any country there's going to be a spectrum of political ideologies and tendencies and one way or the other i think it would actually be interesting if we asked people from somalia what they thought about is that there is actually a big community of somalians who live in deep sea as well because it's a people of somalia who had ethiopian troops under the orders and backing of the u.s. government come into their country if the people in somalia who are enduring drone strikes on a regular basis better coming from you. and so you know it's not even just within
the country if you see opium where you can see you know the human rights violations and crimes but the entire region that's now under domination and threat of destruction indefinite tax because of this u.s. bastion of interest in the well and we should mention that one of the reasons that those troops went into somalia for the u.s. was in order to try to help fight al qaeda members in somalia so a lot of different kind of things going on there but let's make a little more broad mike i mean this is a country in which security forces have been known for killing hundreds of people imprisoning thousands of others including on the night of méliès and now it's election in two thousand and five. this is not the only country where this happens that you mentioned a couple other african countries talk a little bit about the double speak though that goes on overall. sure well overall if you look at a list of what countries and leaders the u.s. has its allies in which the u.s. says is it and i mean and they say it's about democracy and human rights but all it
takes is a simple look to see that's absolutely not true and so the closest allies of the u.s. government are israel and colombia and saudi arabia and bach rain countries with the worst human rights records on the planet and some that actually have no democracy whatsoever but the enemies are cuba and iran and north korea. but you know the similarity is that they have is one is a group that is independent refuses to just give away all of its wealth and resources to u.s. corporations and others collaborate and cooperate with the interests of wall street and i think we should look particularly to right now where this is most significant and this is in syria where the u.s. government is using this idea of human rights violations to say that syria the syrian government must be overthrown and there must be a new government that comes in its place and who is this alliance of countries who are lecturing syria about human rights violations that the united states government
its saudi arabia and qatar that are the main proponent saudi arabia and qatar are somehow lecturing syria on democracy and human rights watch countries that are hereditary police state monarchies that are some of the most rooted one repressive dictatorships on the planet yet they're somehow able to lecture this other country about how they should run their government and be sending weapons and potentially bombs and soldiers to those countries to to overthrow its government not to mention the us government which is the greatest violator of human rights on the planet with a vast empire occupying multiple countries out war with multiple countries bombing and carrying out drone strikes in multiple countries exposed for carrying out illegal rendition illegal torture that continues to this day and with its own borders a prison population over. two point two million people the highest on the planet that's not just even per capita dots by number so you have the greatest purveyor of human rights violations lecturing others about human rights but it really all comes
down to who is controlling the resources of the region and somehow using this liberal type language to provide a pretext for imperialist intervention i think it's interesting like that you brought up bahrain cause a little bit about you know when you contrast bahrain with syria there's not that much different except one is a friend and one is an enemy. and what we bring is home to a very significant major u.s. naval base and military interests in a very strategic region and this is you know the arab spring really expose the hypocrisy of this support for human rights and democracy that's what the united states stands for it really put down to the test and it really exposed to millions of people around the world the reality where we saw you know all of a sudden countries like egypt with this you know strong u.s. backed dictator in the country you know the u.s. funding that brutal military police state in the country backed mubarak up until
the very last day basically this is the obama administration backing which brutally tortured its dictator to the very last day egypt rain saudi arabia these countries have strategic interests for the global domination for the right my prize know what the answer coalition thanks as always for weighing in thank you. guys that's going to do it for us for now but for more on the stories we covered go to youtube dot com slash arche america you can also check out our website it's our team dot com usa and you should definitely follow me on twitter i'm christine from val i want to thank you so much for watching for now have a great night. question is that so much of an oldish musician confined to the defense theory is maintained civil war without question his competence turned in one.