tv Democracy Now PBS March 2, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PST
03/02/15 03/02/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica this is democracy now! >> it is my duty as prime minister of israel to make israel's case. on march 3, i will fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of israel before the two houses of congress. amy: israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu arrives in the united states to address a joint session of congress above the objections of president obama. today, m.i.t. professor noam chomsky responds. >> basically come in a joint effort by esther netanyahu -- mr. netanyahu and most the
republicans from the united states to undermine any possibility of a negotiated settleme with iran that neither israel nor u.s. hawks want to tolerate a deterrent in the region to their violence. amy:, and much a professor of linguistics, today, for the hour on israel, iran, palestine isis, and ukraine. >> ukraine could turn into an exterior is -- extremely serious crisis, the famous doomsday clock has just been moved from midnight, the highest it has been for 30 years, for russia this is a strategic issue from which they will not back down, could lead to serious confrontation. amy: author, activist, m.i.t. professor, noam chomsky for the hour live an hour new york
studio. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. tens of thousands of people have rallied in moscow to honor the slain opposition leader boris nemtsov. a former deputy prime minister turned dissident politician, nemtsov was shot to death friday night near red square. speaking just hours before in what would be his final interview, nemtsov had accused russian president vladimir putin of authoritarian rule. >> we need political reform in the country. when all the power is concentrated in the hands of one person and not person roles eternally, it will all end in absolute catastrophe. the main question people ask us is, you are inviting us to join the march. if we come, what will change?
i answer, if a lot of people come, something will change. amy: weeks before his death, nemtsov reportedly told a russian news site he feared putin wanted him dead. putin has condemned the murder and vowed to find the perpetrators. nemtsov had been set to lead sunday's rally to protest russian economic policies and its military role in ukraine. it instead turned into a vigil in his memory. an estimated crowd of 50,000 marched past the kremlin carrying signs reading, "i am not afraid." secretary of state john kerry is meeting with russian counterpart sergei lavrov in geneva to discuss the conflict in ukraine. the meeting comes just days after kerry publicly accused russian officials of lying to his face about their military support for separatist rebels. russia and ukraine are also holding direct talks in brussels to resolve a dispute over the delivery of russian gas. the u.n. said today the death
toll from the nearly year-old conflict has topped 6000. a recent ceasefire continues to hold after a shaky start. iraq has launched a new military operation to retake the city of tikrit from the self-proclaimed islamic state. thousands of iraqi forces and militia fighters have converged in the city samarra to strike nearby isis strongholds. the u.s. is expected to provide air support as part of its continued bombing campaign. the offensive comes as the iraqi military prepares for a major u.s.-backed operation to retake mosul from isis in the coming weeks. opposition groups in syria have rejected the u.n.'s plan for a temporary ceasefire in the northern city of aleppo. u.n. envoy staffan de mistura recently won a pledge from the regime of bashar al-assad to stop attacks on aleppo for up to six weeks. but aleppo's revolutionary council says it won't meet with de mistura unless he proposes a
conference solution based on assad's removal from power. this month marks the fourth anniversary of syria's civil war. the self-proclaimed islamic state has reportedly freed 21 assyrian christians kidnapped in syria. but more than 200 assyrians are said to remain in isis captivity following its raids on more than a dozen villages last week. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has arrived in washington for a trip aimed at stopping a nuclear deal with iran. netanyahu is set to address the pro-israeli lobby group aipac today followed by a controversial speech before congress on tuesday. his visit comes just as iran and six world powers including the u.s., are set to resume talks in a bid to meet a march 31 deadline. we will have more on the iran nuclear talks and netanyahu rcs visit after the headlines.
hundreds of people have rallied in the west bank to mark a pair of anniversaries in the palestinian struggle against israeli occupation. on friday, demonstrators gathered in hebron to mark the 20th anniversary of the massacre of 29 palestinian worshippers by u.s.-born settler baruch goldstein. protesters also marched in the village of bilin to mark the tenth anniversary of the village's campaign against the israeli separation wall, which carves up the west bank to divide palestinian land and annex the major jewish settlement blocs. dov khenin, a leftist member of the israeli parliament, was among the israeli protesters taking part. >> this is a very important struggle because it is a struggle of a small village that from day one opened its houses, opened its heart to other people , to people from international
communities, to democratic israelis who come here and together, struggle and demonstrate against the separation wall, against occupation. amy: an egyptian court has upheld a decision that deems the palestinian group hamas a terrorist organization. the move will further strain ties between egypt and hamas which rules the gaza strip on egypt's northern border. hamas has called the decision "shocking and dangerous." hamas could react by no longer accepting egypt as a broker with israel, a role it most recently played during the assault on gaza last summer. venezuela has announced the arrest of an unspecified number of americans on charges of espionage. speaking at a rally, venezuelan president nicolas maduro said the suspects were trying to stoke anti-government political sentiment. >> we detected activity and we
have captured some u.s. citizens and undercover activities, in hidden activities, espionage trying to win over people in towns along the venezuelan coast trying to win over people in some neighborhoods and to -- we captured a pilot of latin origin with all sorts of documentation. amy: maduro also announced new restrictions on the number of u.s. diplomats allowed in venezuela, and rule changes that will subject americans to the same visa requirements venezuelans face in the united states. maduro has also unveiled a list of american politicians barred from entering venezuela in response to u.s. sanctions against venezuelan officials last year. president maduro has repeatedly accused right-wing opponents of fomenting a coup with u.s. support. the white house has denied the charges but said last week it's considering "tools" to "steer the venezuelan government in the direction they should be headed."
the u.s. and cuba have held a second round of talks as part of the effort to restore full diplomatic ties for the first time in more than half a century. after meeting in washington, the head of the u.s. delegation, roberta jacobson, said she the -- said the two sides could reopen embassies in time for a regional meeting next month. the head of the cuban delegation, josefina vidal, said cuba expects the u.s. to remove it from the state department's list of countries sponsoring international terrorism. >> we can get this done in time for the summit of the americas, and i certainly think that with the kind of cooperation that we had today, i certainly leave those conversations today optimistic, but committed and recognizing the work that still has to be done. >> it is a priority for cuba that we hope it is addressed and solved in the process toward the
establishment of diplomatic relations. as i have already said, he would be there difficult to say that we have established relations with our countries still on the list, we believe very, very firmly that we have never -- don't belong to. amy: uruguay has sworn in tabare vazquez as its new president. vazquez previously served in the post from 2005 to 2010, when his leftist ally and now outgoing president, jose mujica, replaced him. mujica, a former guerrilla fighter, leaves office after a term that included the legalization of marijuana, abortion, and same-sex marriage. he chose to live in a modest one story home instead of the presidential palace, and famously donated 90% of his salary to charity. that earned mujica the nickname, "world's poorest president." a large crowd gathered in the bangladeshi capital of dhaka on sunday to honor a bangladeshi-american blogger
killed in a brutal attack. avijit roy, a u.s. citizen born in bangladesh, was walking home from a book fair when machete-wielding assailants hacked him to death. roy's wife and fellow blogger, rafida ahmed, was left seriously wounded. roy's family says islamist extremists recently threatened him for speaking out against religious fundamentalism. congress has averted a partial shutdown of the department of homeland security just hours before the agency was set to lose its funding. on friday, lawmakers approved a stopgap measure keeping the dhs open for another week. house democrats helped approve the bill hours after far-right republicans revolted against a three-week funding measure brought by house speaker john boehner. republicans have sought to tie the dhs money to reversing president obama's executive actions on immigration. boehner has reportedly promised democrats that a "clean" long-term funding bill without the immigration provisions will
reach the house floor this week. los angeles police have shot and killed a homeless man as he lay on the ground. it was viewed lanes of times online. the footage shows police wrestling the man to the pavement and deploying a taser. in the foreground, a woman who tries to pick up an officer's baton is also wrestled to the ground. a voice in the background appears to yell "drop the gun" before at least five gunshots are heard. a warning, this footage is graphic. [gun shots] amy: the man, identified by witnesses as "africa," was pronounced dead at the scene. police say they opened fire after a struggle over an officer's weapon. one witness described his account of the shooting. >> about five officers were
wrestling the got to the ground. he managed to get up, they took him down. then they beat him while he was on the ground. the next thing i knew, heard one shot and i looked over across the street and i see three more shots being fired at the guy. he was laying on the ground. amy: los angeles police say they are investigating. and dozens of people have rallied in chicago outside a secretive police facility tied to the abuse and mistreatment of prisoners. the guardian revealed last week , chicago police have used a nondescript warehouse known as homan square to conduct detentions and interrogations. prisoners were allegedly denied access to their attorneys, beaten, and held for up to 24 hours without any official record of their detention. on saturday, a group of demonstrators gathered at homan to demand an investigation and the facility's closure. >> when you became officers, you became public servants not an extension of a military branch
of the state. we are not the enemy. >> mr. mayor, we demand an immediate impartial investigation of homan sqaure. we demand that you shut down this facility, at least so far as taking any accused people here. there are plenty of pulleys lockups that are monitored -- fully police lockups monitored around the city. amy: local activists have organized another rally today calling on chicago to pay compensation to victims of longtime police abuse. and those are some of the headlines, this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. aaron: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu has arrived in washington as part of his bid to stop a nuclear deal with iran. netanyahu will address the lobby group aipac today, followed by a controversial speech before congress on tuesday. the visit comes just as iran and
six world powers including the u.s. are set to resume talks in , a bid to meet a march 31 deadline. at the white house, press secretary josh earnest said netanyahu's trip won't threaten the outcome. >> i think the short answer to that is, i don't think so. the reason is simply that there is a real opportunity for us here. the president is hopeful that we are going to have an opportunity to do what is clearly in the best interest of the united states and israel, which is to resolve international community's concerns about iran's nuclear program at the negotiating table. aaron: the trip has sparked the worst public rift between the u.s. and israel in over two decades. dozens of democrats are threatening to boycott netanyahu's address to congress, which was arranged by house speaker john boehner without consulting the white house. the obama industry in will send two officials, national security advisor susan rice and u.n. ambassador samantha power, to address the aipac summit today. this comes just days after rice
called netanyahu's visit "destructive." amy: israeli prime minister netanyahu is also facing domestic criticism for his unconventional washington visit, which comes just two weeks before an election in which he seeks a third term. on sunday, a group representing nearly 200 of israel's top retired military and intelligence officials accused netanyahu of assaulting the u.s.-israel alliance. but despite talk of the u.s. and israeli dispute, the obama administration has taken pains to display its staunch support for the israeli government. speaking just today in geneva, secretary of state john kerry blasted the u.n. human rights council for what he calls an obsession and bias against israel. the council is expected to release a report in the coming weeks on potential war crimes in israel's u.s.-backed gaza assault last summer. for more, we spend the hour today with world-renowned political dissident, linguist
and author, noam chomsky. he is written over a hundred books most recently, "on western , terrorism: from hiroshima to drone warfare." his forthcoming book co-authored with ilan pappé, is titled, "on palestine," and will be out next month. noam chomsky is institute professor emeritus at massachusetts institute of technology, where he has taught for more than 50 years. noam chomsky, it is great to have you back here at democracy now! >> delighted to be here. amy: let's start with netanyahu's visit. he is set to make this unprecedented joint address to congress, unprecedented because of the kind of rift it is demonstrated between the republicans and the democratic president, president obama. can you talk about its significance? >> for both -- prime minister
netanyahu and the hawks and congress, mostly republican, the primary goal is to undermine a potential negotiation that might settle whatever issue there is with iran. they have a common interest of ensuring that there is no regional force that can serve as any kind of deterrent to israeli -u.s. violence, the major violence in the region. if we believe u.s. intelligence, and i don't senior reason not to, their analysis is that if iran is developing nuclear weapons -- which they don't know -- it would be part of their deterrent strategy. their general strategic posture is one of deterrence. they have low military expenditures.
according to u.s. intelligence, their strategic doctrine is to try to prevent an attack up to the point where diplomacy can set him go. i don't think anyone with a gray cell functioning thinks they would ever consider -- considerably is a nuclear weapon or try to. the country would be obliterated in 15 seconds. but they might provide a deterrent of sorts. and the u.s. and israel certainly don't want to tolerate that. they are the forces that carry out regular violence and aggression in the region, and don't want benefit them into that. -- impediment to that. to undermine anything that obama might try to do. so that is a separate issue there. the republicans stopped being an ordinary parliamentary party some years ago.
i think there are described accurately by norman ornstein, very respected conservative political analyst, american enterprise institute. he said the party has become a radical insurgency, which is abandoned any commitment to parliamentary democracy. their goal for the last year has something been to undermine anything that obama might do in an effort to regain power and serve their primary constituency, which is the very wealthy and corporate -- in the corporate sector. they try to conceal this with other means and in doing so, -- you can't get votes that way, so they've had to mobilize sectors of the population, which have always been there but were never mobilized into an organized political force. extreme nationalists, terrified people who have to carry guns
into starbucks because some but he might be after them and so on and so forth. that is a big force. inspiring fear is not very difficult in the united states. there's a long history back to colonial times as extremely frightened society, which is an interesting story in itself, mobilizing people in fear of them -- whoever "them" happens to be, is an effective technique used over and over again. and right now, the republicans have their nonpolicy that has exceeded in putting them back in a position of aggression will power. the attack -- this is a personal attack on obama intended that way, which is the blue part of the general effort. but there is a common strategic concern underlying it.
and i think that is pretty much what u.s. intelligence analyzes -- preventing any deterrent in the region to u.s. and israeli actions. aaron: you think no one with a gray cell things their line would launch a strike, were to have nuclear weapons yet netanyahu accuses them of planning a genocide against jewish people. he recently said it in january saying the ayatollahs were planning a new holocaust. that is an argument that is taken seriously here. >> is taken seriously by people who don't stop to think for a minute. iran is under extremely close surveillance. u.s. satellite surveillance that is everything that is going on in iran. if iran even began to load a missile, that is to bring a missile near a weapon, the country would probably be wiped out. and whatever you think about the
clerics, the guardian council, and so on, there's no indication that their suicidal. aaron: the premise of these talks, a ring is to enrich uranium in terms of -- intern of lifting sanctions. does the u.s. have the right to be imposing sanctions on iran? >> iran should be imposing sanctions on us. remember, when you hear the white house spokesman talk about the international community, it once iran to do this and that -- it wants iran to do this and that, it is important or member the phrase "international community" in u.s. discourse refers to the united states and anyone who may be happening to go along with it. that is the international community. if the international committee is the world, it is a different story. two years ago, the bottom line movement, a large majority of
the population of the world, had the regular conference in iran in tehran. once again vigorously supported iran's right to develop nuclear power as a signer of the nonproliferation treaty. that is the international committee. the united states and its allies are outliers, as is usually the case. as far as sanctions are concerned him a it is worth bearing in mind that it is now 60 years since -- during the past 60 years that not a day has passed without the u.s. torturing the people of iran. it began with overthrowing the parliamentary regime and installing a tyrant, the shaw, supporting the shaw through very serious human rights abuses and terror and violence. as soon as he was overthrown almost instantly, the united states turned to supporting
iraq's attack against iran, which is a brutal and violent attack. the u.s. provided critical support for it and pretty much won the war for iraq by entering directly at the end. after the war was over, the u.s. instantly supported the sanctions against iran. though this is kind of suppressed, it is important, this is george h.w. bush, now he was in love with saddam hussein. he authorized further aid saddam in opposition to the treasury and others. he sent a presidential delegation, a congressional deliberation -- delegation to iran in april 1990, 1989, headed by bob dole, the congressional -- amy: sent to iraq?
>> sorry, sent to iraq, to offer his greetings to his friendsaddam, to ensure him he should disregard the critical comment he hears in the american media. we have this for rush -- free press thing here, we can't shut them up. they said they would take off critics of their friend saddam. he invited iraqi nuclear and jameer's to the united's -- engineers to the united states for advanced training in weapons production. this was right after the iraq-iran war, along with sanctions against iran. then it continues without a break, up to the present. there has been repeated opportunities for a settlement of whatever the issues are. so for example, i guess in 2010, an agreement was reached between
brazil, turkey, and iran for iran to ship out its low enriched uranium for storage elsewhere in turkey. and in return, the west would provide the isotopes that iran needs for its medical reactors. but when that agreement was reached, it was bitterly condemned in the united states by the president, by congress, by the media and brazil was attacked for breaking ranks and so on. the brazilian foreign minister was sufficiently annoyed so he released a letter from obama to brazil from her proposing exactly that agreement -- proposing exactly that agreement on the assumption that iran wouldn't accept it. when they did accept it, they had to be attacked for daring to accept it. 2012, the was to be a meeting in finland in december to take
steps toward establishing a nuclear weapons-free zone in the region. this is an old request pushed initially by egypt, the other arab states back in the 90's will stop so much support for it that the u.s. formally agrees but not in fact, and has repeatedly tried to undermine it. this under the u.n. auspices in the meeting was supposed to take place in december. israel announced they would not attend. the question on everyone's mind is, how will iran react? they said they would attend unconditionally. a couple of days later, obama canceled the meeting. the situation is not right ford, and so on. but even steps in that direction, would be an important move toward eliminating whatever
issue there might be. of course, the stumbling block is there is one major nuclear state -- israel. and if this middle east nuclear-free zone, the would-be inspections. amy: i want to ask about major revelations that have been described as the biggest intelligence leak since edward snowden. last week, al jazeera started publishing a series of spy cables from the world's top intelligence agencies. in one cable, the israeli spy agency mossad contradicts prime minister benjamin netanyahu's own dire warnings about iran's ability to produce a nuclear bomb within one year. in a report to south african counterparts in october 2012 the israeli mossad concluded iran was "not performing the activity necessary to produce weapons." the assessment was sent just weeks after netanyahu went before the u.n. general assembly with a far different message. netanyahu held up a cartoonish
diagram of a bomb with a fuse to illustrate what he called iran's alleged progress on a nuclear weapon. >> this is a bomb. this is a fuse. in the case of iran's nuclear plans to build a bomb, this bomb has to be filled with enough enriched uranium. and iran has to go through three stages by next spring, most i next summer, a current enrichment rates that will finish the medium enrichment and move on to the final stage. from there, it is only a few months, possibly a few weeks before they get enough enriched uranium for the first bomb. a red line should be drawn right here.
before -- before iran completes the second stage of nuclear enrichment necessary to make a bomb. amy: that was israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu in september 2012. the mossad assessment contradicting netanyahu was sent just weeks after, but it was likely written earlier. it said iran "does not appear to be ready" to enrich uranium to the higher levels needed for a nuclear weapon. a bomb would require 90% enrichment, but mossad found iran had only enriched to 20%. that number was later reduced under an interim nuclear deal the following year. the significance of this, noam chomsky, as per minister netanyahu prepares for this joint address before congress to undermine the u.s.-iranian nuclear deal? >> the striking aspect of this is the puts but involved -- puts but involved. they've had nuclear weapons for probably 50 years or 40 years.
estimates are maybe 100, 200 nuclear weapons. they are an aggressive state. israel has invaded lebanon five times, carrying out an illegal occupation, carries out brutal attacks in gaza last summer. and they have nuclear weapons. the main story is that -- incidentally, the mossad analysis corresponds to u.s. announces. they don't know if iran is developing nuclear weapons. but i think the crucial fact is even if they were, what would it mean? it would be just as u.s. intelligence analyzes it, it would be part of a deterrent strategy. they couldn't use a nuclear weapon. they couldn't even threatened to
use it. israel, on the other hand, can. has, in fact threatened the use of nuclear weapons in number of times. amy: so why is netanyahu doing this? >> because he doesn't want to have a deterrent in the region. a simple enough. if you are an aggressive violent state, you wan use force really. you don't want anything that might impede it. amy: do you think this has undercut u.s. relationship with israel, the netanyahu-obama conflict that what susan rice has called destructive? >> there is undoubtedly personal relationship which is hostile, but that has happened before. back in around 1990 under the first president bush, james baker went as far -- the secretary of state, telling israel, we're not going to talk to anymore. if you want to contact me, here's my phone number. in fact, the u.s. imposed mild
sanctions on israel enough to compel the prime minister to resign and be replaced by someone else. but that did not change the relationship, which is based on deeper issues. than personal and titan is him's. r meanwhile, support for the occupation continues, so much so that during the gaza assault the u.s. rearmed israel. >> it was kind of interesting how the u.s. rearmed israel. it is true the pentagon sent more arms to israel. they were actually running out of arms in this vicious assault against totally defenseless population. the arms were taken from arms the u.s. stores in israel pre-positioned in israel, for eventual use by u.s. forces. that is one part of the u.s.-israel strategic alliance, one small part of it is that israel is regarded as essentially an offshore military base. so we store pre-position arms
there and some of those arms we transferred to israeli control so they could complete -- continue the massive destruction of gaza, which is horrific. one of many indications of the nature of the alliance. it is a very close alliance and deep enough -- so, for example, one of the interesting links from -- leaks from wikileaks was the u.s. government study of sites in the world by the pentagon that are such high significance that we must protect them at all costs. one of them was right near haifa , the rafael military industries , one of the main producers of drones and other high-tech military equipment. and that is one of the highest strategic sites of highest
importance. in fact, the relationship is so close, that rafael actually transferred its management offices to washington where the money is, the contacts are. essentially, an offshore military base in many ways. also a major source for u.s. investment, high-tech investment . intel, for example, is setting up its major new facility for next generation chips in israel. warren buffett just bought a big israeli company. many very close relationships. they're not going to be affecting by personal conflict between obama and netanyahu. amy: the obama administration has taken great pains, even as this division has taken place to show his support for israel. on sunday, john kerry said the
u.s. has intervened on israel's behalf hundreds of times in international arena. >> the prime minister of israel is welcome to speak in the united states. obviously -- and we have a close relationship with israel right now in terms of security than at any time in history. i was reviewing the record the other day. we have intervened on israel's behalf in the last two years more than several hundred -- a couple of hundred times in over 75 different areas in order to protect israel. amy: that was john kerry on abc's "this week." >> one has received a fair amount of publicity because, i suppose, that was february 2011, roughly, that the un security council -- there was a resolution proposed at the security council calling on israel to abide by official u.s. policy.
the official u.s. policy is objection to settlement expansion. it is a pretty minor issue incidentally. that is what is talked about. at the issue is the settlements, not the expansion. they are all in legal. criminal activities that undermine any hope for a peaceful settlement. but u.s. policy is that settlement expansion, as they put it, not helpful to peace. the security council proposed a resolution, asking israel to abide by official u.s. policy. obama vetoed it. that israel's support for israel. amy: are going to take a break and then come back to our discussion with the world-renowned political dissident, ling west, professor emeritus noam chomsky. stay with us.
amy: "we are the wave," sung by harry belafonte. he celebrated his 88th birthday over the weekend. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. our guest for the hour is m.i.t. institute professor emeritus noam chomsky, known around the world for his political writings. we're going to turn right now to the issue of russia and ukraine. john kerry's meeting with russian counterparts are gay lab rob in geneva to discuss the conflict in ukraine. the meeting comes just days after john kerry publicly accused russian officials of lying to his face about the military support for separatist rebels. russia and ukraine are also holding direct talks in brussels to resolve a dispute over the delivery of russian gas.
the u.n. said today the death toll from the nearly year-old conflict has topped 6000. recent cease-fire continues to hold over a shaky start. also in russia, the murder this weekend on friday night of the opposition leader former deputy prime minister turned dissident politician. he was shot dead friday night near red square. he was going to lead a major rally that was critical of vladimir putin on sunday. it grew much larger after his death with tens of thousands perhaps 50,000 people marching past the kremlin caring signs reading, "i am not afraid." noam chomsky if you can comment on what is happening in russia and ukraine? >> what is happening is quite ugly. and i think the criticisms are mostly accurate, but there --
they're past the point. there's a background we have to think about. it is fashionable now in the united states and britain to condemn putin is some sort of distorted mind. there's an article in "psychology today" analyzing his brain, asking why he is so arrogant. he is been accused of having as burgers -- aspbergers. this is all very reminiscent of the early 1950's when i was a graduate student then. at that time, the u.s. had overwhelming power and it was able to use the united nations as a battering ram against its enemy, the soviet union, so russia was be telling lots of resolutions, condemning it. and leading anthropologists in the united states and england developed dust began to analyze
why the russians were so negative, what makes them say no if united nations all the time. their proposal was that the russians are negative because they raised their children in swaddling clothes and that makes them negative. the three or four of us at harvard who thought this was ridiculous, used a collet diaper -- call it diaperology. this is being reenacted right now. whatever you think about putin ok your double, rat face, the russians have a case. you have to understand the case. the case is understood here by people who bothered to think. there was a lead article in the foreign affairs with the title of "something like the west is responsible for the ukraine crisis. he was talking about the
background. the background begins with the fall of the soviet union 1980 9, 1990. there were negotiations between president bush, james baker and mikael jurek gorbachev about how to deal with the issues that arose at the time. the crucial question is, what happens to nato? nato had been advertised since the beginning as necessary to protect western europe from the russian hoardes. ok, no more russian hordes of us in what happens to nato? well, we know what happened to nato. but the crucial issue was this. gorbachev agreed to allow germany, a unified germany, to join nato -- a hostile military alliance. it is a pretty remarkable concession, if you think about the history of the preceding century, half century.
germany alone had practically destroyed russia several times. and now he was agreeing for germany to join a hostile military alliance, led by yellow super power. but there was a quid pro quo that germany, that nato would not move one inch to the east. that was the phrase that was used meaning to east germany. and on that condition, they went forward. nato immediately moved to east germany. gorbachev vigorously protested naturally, then he was informed by the united states that it was only a verbal commitment. it wasn't on paper. the unstated implication is, if you are naïve enough to think you can make the germans agreement with us, youur problem. i'm saying that, they didn't say
that. a couple of weeks ago, u.s. military increment was -- equipment was taking part in a military parade in estonia a couple of hundred yards from the russian border. russia surrounded by u.s. offensive weapons. sometimes called defense, but they're all offensive weapons. and the idea that the new government in ukraine that took over after the former government was overthrown, last december late december, it passed a resolution overwhelmingly -- i think something like 300-8 announcing its intention to take steps to join nato. for a russian leader, no matter who it is, could tolerate ukraine at the rate the suu kyi
to concerns -- joining the alliance. we can imagine how u.s. would have reacted during the cold war if the warsaw pact had extended to latin america and mexico and canada were now planning to join the warsaw pact. of course, that is academic the guys the first up would have led to the violent u.s. response. amy: the cuban missile crisis. >> it is interesting to think about what happened at the cuban missile crisis, which is very striking. the issue, the crucial issue with the missile crisis was the peak moment was october 26 and 27 at the end. khrushchev had sent a letter to kennedy offering to end the crisis by simultaneous, public withdrawal of russian missiles from cuba and u.s. missiles from
turkey. these were obsolete missiles for which withdrawal order had already been given because they were being replaced by much more lethal u.s. missiles and polaris summary and's -- submarines. that was the offer. they would withdraw the missiles, we would withdraw obsolete missiles, which were our to being replaced by more lethal ones. kennedy refused. his own subjective assessment but whatever that means, of nuclear war was 1/3 to 1/2. that has to be the most horrific decision in history. khrushchev backed down. the u.s. did secretly say that it would withdraw the obsolete missiles, of course, which we do need anymore. but take a look at the balance of power that was assumed to be legitimate. we have to establish the principle that we have a right
to surround anyone with lethal offensive weapons that can obliterate them in a second. but they can't do anything anywhere near us. take a look at the conflict with china over the maritime conflict. where is it taking place? is it off the coast of california? the caribbean? no, it is off the coast of china. this is part of the concept that we basically own the world. and that we have a right to do anything anywhere we like and nobody has a right to stand up to it. in the case of ukraine -- again, whatever you think about putin you can think he is the worst monster since hitler they still have a case and it is a case that no russian leader is going to back down from. cannot accept ukrainian move of the current government to join
nato, even probably the european community. there's is a very natural settlement to this issue. a strong declaration that ukraine will be neutralized. it won't be part of any military alliance. that along with, more or less agreed upon choices about autonomy of regions, finesse it this way and that, but those are the basic terms of a peaceful settlement. but we have to be willing to accept it, otherwise, we are moving toward a very dangerous situation. i mentioned before the doomsday clock, the famous clock of the atomic scientists that says it has just been advanced to three minutes before midnight. midnight means we are finished. that is close. that is the closest it has reached since 1983.
and we might remember what happened then. what happened then was, the reagan a administration -- as soon as it came into office, began highly provocative act and. it wanted to prove russian defenses, so they simulated air and naval attacks against russia. very publicly and openly am a they wanted the russians to see how they would respond. it was a very tense moment. missiles were being installed in western europe with five to 10 minute flight time to moscow. reagan had announced the star wars program, which is called defense, but strategic analysts on all sides agree it is a first strike weapon, what is called missile-defense. it was an extremely tense period. the russians were concerned. it was down at the time they were concerned, but recently released archives, russian archives indicate the concern was very high.
there's a recent u.s. intelligence report analyzing in detail what the reactions were in it concludes, it's words are the war scare was real. we came close to war. it is worse than that. because in 1984 at the peak of this, this is when the doomsday clock was approaching midnight, right in the midst of that, russian automated -- the detection systems, which are much worse than ours, we have satellite detection and we can -- they have radar detection, line of sight. they can only detect missiles when you can kind of see them with radar. they detected a u.s. missile attack. the protocol is for that information to be transmitted to the high command, which then launches a preventive strike. it went to a particular
amy: "i can't breathe," by pussy riot. their first english language song, inspired by the death of eric garner. this is democracy now! democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. noam chomsky's our guest for the hour, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author. aaron: i want to ask about isis.
the big news is iraq is planning a major offensive to retake moselle to currently launching strikes to recapture to create with u.s. support. my question is about the effectiveness of the u.s. strategy. to what extent is the u.s. constrained by its own policies in terms of the effectiveness of defeating isis? in terms of its ties to saudi arabia and his refusal to engage with iran and groups like hezbollah which have been effective in fighting isis? >> patrick cockburn, who is done the far best reporting on this describes it as an ounce in wonderland strategy. the u.s. -- alice in wonderland strategy. u.s. is closing a report that is fighting isis. so the main state opposed to isis is iran. they support the iraqi government, shiite government, but iran is on our enemies list and probably the main ground
forces fighting isis are the pkk and its allies, which are on the u.s. terrorist list both in iraq and in syria. saudi arabia, our major ally, along with israel, is both traditionally, for a long time the main funder of isis and similar groups. not necessarily the government-rich saudis, not only the funder, but the ideological source. saudi arabia is committed dominated eitan extremist fundamentalist group of islam. and isis is an extremist offshoot of the doctrine. saudi arabia is a missionary state. it establishes schools, mosques, spreading its radical islam version.
so they are our ally. our enemies are those who are fighting isis. it is more complex. isis is a monstrosity. it did not come from nowhere. it is one of the results of the u.s. hitting a very vulnerable society -- iraq -- with a sledgehammer, which elicited sectarian conflicts that had not existed but became very violent. the u.s. violence made it worse. you're all familiar with the crimes. out of this came lots of violent murders. forces isis has one. at the shiite militias are not that different. they are carrying out -- they are -- when they say the iraqi army is attacking, it is probably mostly the shiite militias with the iraqi army in the background. the way the iraqi army collapsed is an astonishing military fact.
this is an army of i think 350,000 people heavily armed by the united states and trained by the united states for 10 years. a couple thousand guerrillas showed up and they all ran away. the generals when roy first. -- ran away first. the shoulders did know to do. they ran away after them. amy: we have 20 seconds. >> the -- it is hard to see how iraq could even be held together at this point. it has been devastated by u.s. sanctions. the war, the atrocities that followed from it. the current policy, whatever it is, is not very likely to even put band-aids on the cancer. amy: we have to leave it there but will continue this discussion tomorrow on democracy now! our guest, noam chomsky. i am amy goodman with a cook's illustrated
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