tv Headline News RT February 18, 2013 5:00pm-5:30pm EST
we were. today on our t.v. trying to contain the damage the president of afghanistan says his troops can no longer take part in joint airstrikes with international forces so what does this mean for nato forces in the region and u.s. relations inside of afghanistan are t. questions more next. and president obama took a mini vacation over the weekend to south florida but the white house press corps is up in arms after being denied coverage of obama and tiger woods playing golf together but why does the media really care about who the president plays golf with aren't there more pressing issues they should care about. taking to the streets over the weekend thousands turn out in washington d.c. to protest the keystone x.l. pipeline they hope president obama blocks the plan but will he disappoint his
liberal environmentalist base we'll ask that question coming up. it's monday february eighteenth five pm in washington d.c. i'm meghan lopez and you're watching r.t. . harsh words coming from afghan president hamid karzai today enough is enough in the wake of an airstrike that left ten civilians dead last week president karzai has issued a decree banning afghan security forces from requesting international air strikes during operations in residential areas for quite some time now nato and afghan security forces have teamed up to conduct counterterrorism operations that relied heavily on these airstrikes but it appears those days are over in his decree president karzai said quote our india s. in their own country calls foreigners to assist them and bombard
a four or five al qaeda or taliban members it is very regrettable to hear this you are representing afghan pride how do you call for an airstrike from foreigners on your people president karzai went on to say that these airstrikes show a lack of respect for his country's sovereignty by the u.s. and national and nato forces so how will this change the face of war in afghanistan is that the end of collateral damage in the country well earlier today i was joined by jake deliberate oh he's a former marine and current political researcher at the university of birmingham the afghans rely heavily on air support to fight insurgents and given the poverty of the region i asked him if this will change the face of war. well you know it's interesting this decree that came out from from president karzai
you know we've seen him over the last decade or so say a number of very you know obscure or things he's made several policy decisions that have been in somewhat in some ways you know nonsensical the banning of the airstrikes is is interesting because it's one of the main ways that the coalition is able to target the insurgency and specifically anti governmental insurgents in mountainous region areas by the fact him saying that they can't use them in an urban areas is not is fairly insignificant but it is significant in the sense that they can't use airstrikes anymore in urban areas that are mountainous terrain which means more risks to the coalition and it's also more risk to afghan soldiers but simultaneously i think it's also important that for the most part in the mountainous mountainous terrain it's not the afghans that are being forced into you
know rural and you know mountainous terrain it's for the most part coalition fighters are suffering those casualties so overall this is it's another one of the messy decisions that karzai has made nimitz that this very very dysfunctional conflict ok but on the other hand president karzai came to the same just last month asking for everything from tanks to military hardware to aircraft capable of carrying out these airstrikes like f. sixteen also it was the afghan forces that called for this most recent strike that actually killed those ten civilians so how does that complicate the narrative. well again i mean this we've seen president karzai make a series of decisions make a series of claims you know blame americans for this or blame the coalition for that this time clearly there was a there was some sort of mistake made the reports are still coming in are still very vague the the idea though that the war is going to be won through airpower
is sort of a mistake anyways because what they what the coalition what karzai is main problem is basically getting the rural ethnic pashtuns to support the government if in fact that stopping the air raids helps the rural pashtoon afghans support the government then the it doesn't matter because then the the what the coalition needs to win and what cars i need to gain control of that area is victorious so it's not so much about telling bad guys are telling the taliban or telling the insurgents it's more about will the rural pashtoon support the government if this move helps them that it's a good thing if they can't get their moral questions on their side then it doesn't matter about the airstrikes or not ok let's talk about the collateral damage what effect does that house on civilians and collateral damage the system meaning air airstrikes. well you know that's the interesting part because obviously in any war
as civilians but it is you know it's a moral problem it's a it's a psychological problem it's you know it's just terrible in any possible way but however in terms of getting people to support from the real passion support the government if civets innocent civilian deaths decrease that it's more a lot of things they're in they're going to support the government if in fact they don't take you have. more civilian casualties then they're not likely to support it here's the deal if the airstrikes stop i think there will be less civilian casualties and i think that the you know our weaponry is not as precise that needs to be it's not as precisely can be and often times are mistakes made in targeting as well or so for instance in pakistan seven hundred to fourteen ratio ok ok. i don't sorry to interrupt you here but you have on the ground experience and we've seen this rising green on blue violence and now we have cars i kind of turn it back on integrity part of how the u.s.
and afghans conduct military missions is that a sign that relations kind of had a breaking point. well you know we there's been a breaking point for a long time you know there is you know the. there's the there's all kinds of problems in afghanistan ok one of them is obviously the support of the government if things breaking down sure things have been breaking down for a long time that this is the issue for the united states and for the coalition though is can things stay together can see u.s. forces the glue long enough to keep this thing together until that we leave so our base is safe so that when authorities handed back to the afghans if it crumbles into you know another nine hundred ninety civil war type situation you know you will the united states took the blame for you know my share my own perception is that when the u.s. leaves it'll it'll be more stable than one thousand nine hundred but it's still going to be very very very corrupt very corrosive. like the afghans one or i and
one more point i want to right now what we have a very short amount of time left but i do have to turn the conversation to pakistan for just a moment last month there were two drone strikes there that kills a twenty five soldier is it a friendly fire incident the pakistani government has not publicly protested the stepped up drone attacks that we've seen in twenty thirteen and yet you have on the other hand president karzai coming out with this decree so can you talk about the differences very quickly about between these governments and how they're dealing with civilian casualties. yeah well right now pakistan is kind of like a sand castle where the ocean is coming in and it's just sort of like fading away and meanwhile you know the the western forces are you know have a you know dark suit the throwing of the top you know just not going to talk meanwhile the whole council is falling apart i mean pakistan's on the brink of disintegration it's on the brink of disintegration because the local authority structures have been challenged by both terrorists insurgents and also the u.s.
you know drone strikes the raid on bin laden's house obviously bray serious questions about the legitimacy of the trust of the government in the military with the west in afghanistan the there is a central government that's been propped up by the west that is corrupt it's got problems but right now that the biggest fear in the universe are is a nuclear armed pashtunistan that's disintegrating because of western intervention that was jake till a better former marine and political researcher at the university of birmingham thank you so much for joining us well president obama is spending a lot of time in the rough these days but i'm not talking about his golf match against tiger woods the fact is that we don't know how he's playing or how he played because he asked reporters for a mulligan by not allowing them to tag along on his trip and the media is taking shots at the president's transparency policy as a result. talkback should we have the right to see the president play golf with
tiger woods yes that tiger woods champion golfer and former serial adulterer he has the right to have his own down time but the american people deserve to see what the present united states is doing it's just the optics of it and i mean if this is supposed to be the most transparent administration in the history of the world the best family man and the worst family man they don't want them in the same boat. but it wasn't only c.n.n. chipping away in d.c. and fox news are among some of the other stations to air out their frustrations with the commander in chief yes president obama promised transparency when it came to his policies and his actions that is what is he required to share every detail of his personal doings with the media and morse importantly why is the media so stuck on the fact that they can't have pictures of him golfing when there are other more legitimate threats to transparency that deserve their attention the ever
outspoken christopher chambers joined me earlier for a critique of the media's criticism of the president he's a journalism professor at georgetown university and began explaining why there's so much focus on this story. into this he has created a situation where it's basically he's the catalyst for the perfect storm because he has asserted again and again that he has the most transparent presidency in recent memory which is not we all know that's not true however again the policy. you know this is not the same as a george w. bush going to baghdad or any president going to another country as the head of state this is golf with tiger woods now again perfect storm sort of situation it's tiger woods you heard the fox commentator so you serial adulterer that gives you a hint to a metaphor what's going on here they have a twenty four hour cycle to fill some of the stations have let's have a point of view. they have to you know to throw to their demographics who might
take the president. and b c has their own you know it's so but you don't have any of that analysis with a golf trip with tiger woods but they need to fill that there has to be that constant churning you know and yes to see quest ration going on a lot and foreign affairs problems but you know who's discussing that you know jack lew is not there denis mcdonough is not there tom donilon is not on the green with them so you know obviously this is our grapes and a little stupid are it well let me bring up a quote that put it very harsh context the type of rhetoric that there that you're saying coming out of the media right now so this was by one of the fox news contributors if we could go ahead and bring up that quote. it says speaking on behalf of the white house correspondents association i can say a broad cross-section of our members from print radio online and t.v. have today expressed extreme frustration to me about having absolutely no access to
the president of the united states this entire weekend there is a very simple but important principle we will continue to fight for today and in the days ahead transparency. so obviously they're fighting for some sort of transparency it just comes to pictures of. you know who has been seen in a negative light in the media in recent days what is that let me ask you what is the possible reason that the president could have for not allowing pictures or he doesn't have to have one that's the thing that's what people need to stand there's no policy there's no state craft going on there at least theoretically if there was some probable cause or at least a reasonable suspicion on the part of the press doing their job not churning the twenty four hour cycle not feeding the pundits and then their demographics but actually doing investigative work finding their sources mcdonough's office. off a successor like what is what is there something else going on is going to play
a couple rounds with tiger and then go and talk to karzai over the phone you know but there hasn't been any of that it's literally it is sour grapes and that word transparency is almost like a touch word like. you know it's a touch word that they're using to cut it to basically hide behind to say ok well this is a legitimate concern we have but i mean there isn't any state craft or policy making going on like he used that word and his state of the union space but when he was talking about targeted killings i mean is that is the media really dropping the ball here you know in their opinion are they having by specially i want to ask you are they did they show this type of coverage when it came to save the osama bin ladin pictures no no i mean well look they are not doing their job they have dropped the ball a long long time ago they're still looking for it this is basically them trying to create a story that is not there it is not there and if we had had
a situation where he was overseas where there was a meeting at camp david where there were other people present on the green and there was some probable cause or hunch that there was something else going on there i understand that but that is not the media doing. it is more churning and so the reports of the punditry or about the reports in the punditry and not real news not even the situation with the protests with the keystone pipeline or other situations with the with the nominations there's no you know there's no investigation into the liberations there it's just about him playing golf and they do silly it is a while and finally just a point to bring up is that he has held the fewest press conferences and also question and answer sessions with reporters so yes it is silly. to it though he's created i guess of the because he's kind of created the catalyst and now they're just running with the journalism professor chris chambers thank you so much further for joining us on this topic while president obama was soaking up the sun and working on his golf strokes with tiger woods some thirty five thousand protesters
braved the cold in washington d.c. this past sunday why well the speak out against the keystone x.l. pipeline. in what many are calling the largest climate change protest in u.s. history activists marched around the you know white house and demanded the president to move forward with his clean energy proposals advocates say the pipeline would cause irreparable damage to the environment due to the canadian tar sands extraction process it was only a month ago that president obama promised to be a leader and clean energy he reiterated that same promise in front of congress just six days ago at the state of the union address so will the president hold true to his word earlier i was joined by independent journalist well potter i asked him why the pipeline is so controversial. controversy with keystone pipeline really reflects a coming together of
a lot of issues that have been really central to the environmental movement for years i mean we have issues of corporations claiming you know an eminent domain to go thousands of miles with this pipeline from canada to texas along the way destroying communities destroying the environment threatening the water supplies and at the same time we're ignoring the cost to future generations so really it's become a question of is president obama going to walk the walk with his promises on climate change and sustainable and energy or is he going to defer to corporate interests let me ask you this is it possible for him to both support the keystone pipeline but also support clean energy is there are those two just fundamentally against each other the montreux of the. pipeline movement accused own protest has really been that all pipelines leak and all the oil peaks i mean there's no way to have a sustainable pipeline and there's no way to have a sustainable energy policy that still fund policies like this and addition to other hot button issues like fracking in mountaintop removal i really reflects the
depth and breadth of environmental destruction that's going on right now and the name of energy and so it's up to obama to change course you know a lot of proponents for this for this keystone x.l. pipeline have brought up different things that you know are benefits for the u.s. in the short term it would bring down oil prices right now we are seeing oil prices are gas prices anyway rise a thirteen percent in one month to an average of three dollars and seventy three cents per gallon across the nation they also say it will bring jobs and infrastructure into the u.s. at a much needed time it'll also reduce the reliability of the u.s. on in middle eastern oil expect considering how how turbulent that environment is so is there any reason for environmentalist maybe back off a little bit or is it just so bad in the long run that it's there's no positive benefit i think it's tempting to get red. in the turbulence of markets and oil and gas prices but i think we also have to remember the turbulence of what's going on
right now with the climate i mean we've seen the hottest years on record we've seen superstorm sandy droughts across the country everywhere we look there's this mounting evidence of climate change so i mean how do we balance those two and i think a lot of environmentalists and i think generally the american public would say you really can't balance them i mean at the end of the day there are no jobs on the planet now some critics say that these tar sands are going to flow through canada regardless of the pipeline or not it is going to happen it's just a matter of whether it's going to be cheaper in the long run or a lot more expensive one which we don't have that pipeline what it whatever. people that are against this pipeline say about that i mean is it inevitable well you know it's easy to fall into that trap but i think it's important to remember that even though there will be plenty of challenges ahead regardless of what happens with the peace don't pipeline that doesn't mean we stop fighting i mean what we're seeing right now just in the last couple of years is really a resurgence of a new and more mature environmental movement that's bringing together civil rights
leaders using civil disobedience at the white house ranchers in texas clergy in oklahoma that's really a vibrant diverse movement and i think they're ready to tackle any new issue that comes down you know too often we hear protesters come out to washington d.c. come out to the white house to protest against something we're not protesting for something else we have a lot of criticism but very few solutions are there any proposed solutions with the people that came out this weekend that's what's really inspiring to me about what we're seeing right now with these movements i mean as someone who's covered these issues for well over a decade now and that the movement is not just about protesting in d.c. we're seeing on the ground work and eyes around the country bringing together for instance first nations groups in canada such as i don't know more than just indigenous rights groups like i said with ranchers in texas with really diverse interests even some tea party groups coming out and i think that's what they're building is a. power and voice what are their solutions if not if not oil if not gas if not
fossil fuels what's their solution i think part of it is really restructuring the debate so it's about who has the voice who is allowed to ask those questions right now that's not even on the table and i think it's a radical shift to even say we need to be able to have these discussions as people as a community rather than restricting it to boardrooms of corporations ok and just really quickly fifteen seconds or less would it i'm darn mentalists have supported obama as much as they did in the two thousand and twelve campaign if they known that this could possibly go through i think it's hard to say i mean what's without a doubt right now is that obama has said this is going to be his legacy is looking forward to the future and it's up to him if he's really going to walk that walk right well potter independent journalist thank you so much for joining me. still ahead on our t.v. from black and blue to just plain red it's no secret that the city of baltimore took a beating financially over the past few years but a new analysis says the city could be facing bankruptcy does not for show when
impeding financial do more or is there more to this city's future we'll see after a quick break. well a potentially deadly blizzard taking aim for the northeast it's expected to hit starting in a few hours from new york to maine we have team coverage of the storm. but what we're watching is the very heavy snow moving into boston proper earlier today it was very sneaky you can see it start to become much more kind of the end of the line there's still a lot of snow out here a place for snowball fight. jason it is been a pretty incredible day there and record snowfall throughout much of it might still be flooded to be driving the system urgency here exceptional.
baltimore maryland is known as the charm city however a less than charming report has come out recently saying that the city could face bankruptcy in the next ten years if it doesn't make some significant changes since then some current and former city employees have questioned the motivations of the report is just seen underhill has a story. baltimore is looking at a dire economic forecast according to a ten year forecast commissioned by the baltimore city government major financial reforms will be needed to steer clear of a projected bankruptcy the report projects that the city will accumulate seven hundred forty five million dollars in budget deficits over the next decade this is due to a widening gap between projected revenues and expenditures other expenses for infrastructure and obligations for retiring health benefits can push the city's budget shortfall to as much as two billion dollars over the next ten years that's almost as much as the city's annual operating budget of two point two billion dollars per year. at
her recent state of the city address the mayor of baltimore spoke about budget concerns we cannot build a foundation of a growing city on the mud of a fiscal swamp the status quo is unacceptable and the price of an action is clear we must change to grow by taking steps proactively baltimore hopes to avoid the fate of jefferson county alabama and stockton california to municipalities that recently filed for bankruptcy but each city has unique challenges baltimore city councilwoman ricky spector sees population decline as a key issue since we have lost population. piggybacked tax that you pay to the state. it goes to the jurisdiction where you sleep at night not where you earn it so baltimore city the economic generator of the state where billions of dollars are earned in the city but don't sleep in the city the mayor recently
outlined plans to tackle the fiscal challenges the report highlighted the deficit is largely driven by growing health care and pension costs we must rebalance the way we compensate our hardworking employees but this report is just a projection of the future it doesn't reflect the current state of the city's budget according to a lead author on the report the city is in the black city is not in a current crisis at the moment the city's budget is balanced for the current year over time the city has built reasonably healthy reserves there are some who question whether this newly released projection is the reason for the proposed budget cuts or if this report was commissioned in order to justify cuts that were already in the works detective robert cherry head of the baltimore city police union dismissed the report as a political effort he told the baltimore sun which going on here is all a smokescreen they don't know what the tax base is going to look like their
consultants asked to come and deliver bad news so that the city can do political posturing furthermore cristela port a former baltimore city recreation and parks director sees the forecast as window dressing to direct attention away from a serious lack of financial oversight the firm that's at this work no faction basis said no a lot of it you know had nothing to go on so it's good for there if you know you're saying to have a firm take four hundred fifty thousand dollars make a projection over ten years about the fiscal reforms it is never mentioned in the report the missing is the beginning to audit the action and that's why in effect i describe it's over for this report was designed to address the financial issues that plague the city but the question now is whether this forecast will lead to positive changes or if it's just politics as usual in baltimore just seen underhill r.t. . an update now on julian assange in his bid to run for senate the wiki leaks founder
who currently resides in the ecuadorian embassy in london spoke to the ecuadorian website the conversation and gave a few details as to why he's decided to run for office in his native australia according to a sun if he were to win on september twenty fourth the day that the elections are held he believes the u.s. would have to call off the dogs and drop its investigation against him he also believes the u.k. would be forced to follow suit saying quote the political costs of the current standoff will be higher still now running under the wiki leaks party which is a party newly founded. by assad himself the platform would be focused specifically on promoting greater transparency within the australian government a son was last in australia in june of two thousand and ten and sticking with the topic of ecuador a minute speaking sunday vote to ecuadorian president rafael correa won his
re-election handily with fifty six percent of the vote the closest of his seven opponents came in with twenty three percent that comes out to a thirty three point margin for victory for ecuadorian president correa our sister channel r.t. spanish caught up with korea after his decisive victory take a look. it took to europe now and who has used sovereignty to do what it had to do one country doesn't have to ask anybody for permission or offer explanations but with an immense arrogant and a policy of neocolonialism they want us to provide some explanations over the granting of a signed them why should we do that and on top of that they want us to counsel that decision we will never do that. well looks like ecuador and the rest of the world for that matter can expect this can do or form the president until at least twenty seventeen and that does it for now.