tv Democracy Now LINKTV August 25, 2021 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT
08/25/21 08/25/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! pres. biden: we are currently on the pace to finish by august 31. the sooner we can finish, the better. each day of operation springs added risks to our troops. amy: meeting the deadline, we will speak with afghan journalist bilal sarwary reported on afghanistan for 20 years before he fled kabul doha
on sunday with his family saying "in the city i loved, suddenly nowhere was safe." >> i hope i am able and my daughter is basically able to go to school here monday but there are things beyond my control are things that people like myself and my colleagues and others as we are powerless. amy: we will also speak with longtime until were activist medea benjamin, cofounder of codepink. and to haiti where the death toll from the massive august 14 earthquake has passed 2200 with thousands of survivors growing increasingly desperate. >> our throats are dry because we are thirsty. we have no choice but to stay here. children crying for water and food. we stay here because there is nothing else we can do. amy: we will get an update from
the epicenter and speak with a journalist helping the bbc report on the forgotten villages cut off from help. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden says u.s. troops are on pace to leave afghanistan by the august 31 deadline despite pressure from allies in the g7 to stay longer to help more people flee the country. the united states has helped evacuate over 82,000 people from the kabul airport where there have been 19,000 evacuations in the past 24 hours. president biden spoke on tuesday. pres. biden: we are currently on a piece to finish by august 31. the sooner we can finish, the better. each day of operation springs added risk to our troops, but
completion bob august 31 continues for the taliban to cooperate and allow access to the airport. amy: amnesty international criticized biden's decision t halt evacuations in the coming days. the head of amnesty's u.s. office paul o'brien said -- "the u.s. government should continue to negotiate to proceed with evacuations for as long as necessary to evacuate all of the country's most vulnerable." meanwhile, it has become far harder for afghans to reach the kabul airport over the past 24 hours. the taliban has blocked the main road to the airport and set up checkpoints to only allow passage to people with foreign passports or an invitation from the u.s. or one of its allies. at a press conference tuesday, the taliban said afghans will no longer be allowed to go to the airport. >> unfortunately, this problem has not been resolvedet. the islamic emory is seriously
trying to control the situation there. we have blocked the way people go to the airpo. afghans are not allowed to use this road and for national can use that, but domestic nationals cannot go this way because it is blocked. amy: despite the taliban's warning, there are reports some afghans are still making it to the airport. in other news on afghanistan, the world bank has joined the international monetary fund in cutting off funds for afghanistan. this comes as aid groups warn of a looming humanitarian catastrophe. the u.n. says 14 million afghans, about a third of the country, are facing food insecurity. on capitol hill, the democratic-led house has approved a $3.5 trillion budget resolution to vastly expand the social safety net and combat the climate crisis. not a single republican voted to move the process forward. in a deal to win support from conservative democrats, house speaker nancy pelosi agreed to
set a september 27 deadline to vote on a separate bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill. many progressive lawmakers are demanding a vote on the $3.5 trillion plan prior to the bipartisan infrastructure deal. the house has also voted to pass the john lewis voting rights advancement act, which aims to restore key provisions of the 1965 voting rights act that were gutted by the supreme court. every republican voted against the bill. the legislation is named after the civil rights icon john lewis who served in congress for more than three decades. georgia congressmember nikema williams who represents lewis's former district praised the legislation. >> congressman lewis taught us when we see something that is not fair, not just, not right, you have a moral obligation to find a way to get in the way. the voter suppression laws enacted across the country and
what is happening in my home state of georgia is the very definition of the good trouble that john lewis taught us to push back against. we might not be counting jellybeans in a jar, but make no mistake, they seek the same purpose, to stop people who look like me from accessing the right to vote. amy: in immigration news, the supreme court has revived the contested trump-era "remain in mexico" program. tuesday's ruling comes after a federal judge in texas and trump appointee last week ordered the biden administration t reinate the 20 policy, rmally knowns the miant protecti protoco. the program forced some 68,000 asylum seekers to wait in often extremely dangerous conditions in mico while their cases de their way through u.s. courts. many reported kidnappings and facing brutal violence while waiting in mexico. immigrant justice advocates have vowed to continue fighting the policy.
in related news, the group human rights first has tracked over 6000 kidnappings, sexual assaults, and other brutal violence against asylum seekers whhave been ocked from entering the united states at ports of entry or quickly expelled to mexico since president biden took office. the group is denouncing biden's continued use of title 42, a trump-era policy that allows immigration authorities to expel asylum seekers without due process, citing the pandemic as justification. meanwhile, social and environmental justice advocates are praising a federal judge's ruling, saying the homeland security department and customs and border protection broke the law by not properly looking into how increased militarization of the u.s.-mexico border would harm the environment and wildlife. monday's ruling comes after a 2017 lawsuit filed by democratic arizona congressmember raúl grijalva and the center for biological diversity.
the united states recorded 1400 new covid-19 deaths and 150,000 new cases tuesday alone as the highly contagious delta variant continues to spread. oregon has becomthe first state to reinstate an outdoor mask mandate in most public settings. hawaii's governor is begging tourists to stay away as the state deals with a surge in covid cases. meanwhile, the american medical association has called for broad vaccine mandates. in a statement, the group said -- "now is the time for the public and private sectors to come tother, listen to the science, and mandate vaccination." and in new york, kathy hochul announced a new mask mandate in schools in her first address as governor. >> new york is launching a back-to-school covid-19 testing program to make testing for students and staff widely
available and convenient. i am also immediately directing the department of health institute universal masking for anyone entering our schools. amy: vice president kamala harris has announced the united states will provide 1 million additional covid vaccine doses to vietnam. harris made the announcement earlier today during a meeting in hanoi with vietnam's prime minister. on tuesday, cuba announced it would also send vaccines to vietnam in addition to sharing vaccine technology to help vietnam make its own vaccines. in other vaccine news, johnson & johnson has revealed it has developed a booster shot that provides nine times as many antibodies as its original vaccine on its own. a minnesota appeals court has denied an appeal aimed at halting construction of the enbridge line 3 tar sands pipeline in northern minnesota. in a 2-1 ruling, the court upheld minnesota public
utilities commission's apoval of the 340 mile long pipeline. more than 700 people have been arrested since june in indigenous-led protests against the pipeline. indigenous lawyer tara houska of thginiw colltive condemned tuesday's ruling. >> today's ruling is yet another example of minnesota not responding to the climate crisis, not respting indigenous sovereignty, and continuing to ignore what is happening in real me all arou us with smoky skies, the world burning, the drought, and water protectors being brutalized by police that are being paid by enbridge. amy: in brazil, thousands of indigenous people marched on the capitol in brasilia tuesday to protest far-right president jair bolsonaro. delegates from 140 indigenous tribes have set up a week-long encampment in brasilia to demand protection of their ancestral
land and cultures. in colombia, advocates are demanding justice for 27-year-old esteban mosquera, a student leader who was shot dead in his hometown of popayán on monday. witnesses say two men on a motorcycle shot him near his home. in 2018, he lost an eye after colombian riot police threw a stun grenade at him. he also participated in colombia's recent massive anti-government protests and had reportedly been detained by police at least twice. the interamerican commission on human rights is urging the colombian government investigate mosquera's assassination. so far this year, over 100 human rights defenders and community leaders have been killed in colombia. israeli forces have shot dead -- killed another palestinian teenager in the occupied west bank. on tuesday, imad khaled saleh s
shot in the head while standing on the roof of his home. at the time, he was reportedly attempting to use his phone to document israeli troops raiding the balata refugee camp near nablus. imad is the 12th palestinian child killed by israeli forces with live ammunition this year, this according to the group defense for children palestine meanwhile, israel's new prime minister naftali bennett has arrived in washington where he will meet with president biden on thursday. in a new interview with "the new york tim," bennettuled out reaching a peace agreement with the palestinians, vowed to expand illegal jewish settlements in the west bank, and threatened to continue israel's covert attacks on iran. president biden has approved a major disaster declaration for parts of northern california to help areas devastated by the climate fueled dixie and river fires. over 1.5 million acres of land have burned so far this year in
california and the number is growing as thealdor fire is less than 10% contained. it is now threatening communities near lake tahoe. air quality alerts have been issued in seven states -- california, nevada, colorado, wyoming, montana, and idaho. residents of reno, nevada, are being urged to stay home because the air is unsafe to breathe. meanwhile, in minnesota, more than 400 firefighters are battling a large blaze near the canadian border. one official compared the greenwood fire to a freight train, saying -- "once it starts rolling, it starts to build up steam and feed off itself." four black police groups, including the national association of blacks in criminal justice, are calling for former black panther sundiata acoli to be released from prison.
the 84-year-old activist has been locked up for nearly half a century. acoli was convicted of killing a state trooper on the new jersey turnpike in 1973. he has long said police ambushed his car, which was also carrying two fellow members of the black liberation army, zayd malik shakur, who was shot to death, and assata shakur. she was imprisoned over the incident but later escaped to cuba, where she has lived with political asylum. the black police groups say sundiata acoli's continued imprisonment after more than four decades is "an affront to racial justice." the former u.s.-backed dictator of chad, hissène habré, has died in prison at the age o79. in 2016, he was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life in prison. habré was accused of killing as many as 40,000 people during his eight year reign in the 1980's
after coming to power with help from the reagan administration. the civil right activist lucille times has died at the age of 100. she has been credited with inspiring the montgomery bus boycott in alabama. six months before a white bus driver in montgomery ordered rosa parks be arrested for refusing to relinquish her seat to a white man, lucille times began her own boycott of the city's bus system after the same bus driver tried to run her car off the road. lucille times died from complications of covid-19. and the sociologist, author, and educator james loewen has died at the age of 79. he was the author of many books, including the best seller "lies my teacher told me: everything your american history book got wrong." loewen once wrote -- "telling the truth about the past helps cause justice in the present." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
we begin today's show in afghanistan, where president bin says u. troops are on pace to leave by the august 31 deadline despite pressure from u.s. allies in the g7 to stay longer to help more people flee the country. the united states has helped evacuate over 82,000 people from the kabul airport. biden spoke tuesday. pres. biden: we are currently on a pace to finish by the august 31. the sooner we can finish, the better. each day of operations brings added risk to our troops. but the completion depends upon the taliban continuing to cooperate and allow access to the airport. amy: amnesty iernational criticized biden's decision to halt evacuations in the coming days. the head of amnesty's u.s. office paul o'brien said -- "the u.s. government should continue to negotiate to proceed with evacuations for as long as necessary to evacuate all of the country's most vulnerable."
meanwhile, it has become far harder in the past 24 hours for afghans to reach the kabul airport. the taliban has blocked the main road to the airport and set up checkpoints to only allow passage to people with foreign passports or an invitation from the u.s. or one of its allies. at a news conference on tuesday, the taliban said afghans can no longer go to the airport. >> unfortunately, this problem has not been resolved yet. the islamic emirate is seriously trying to control the situation. we have blocked the way people go to theirport. afghanare not allowed to use this road and foreign nationals can use it. but to mystic nationals cannot go this way because it is blocked. amy: this comes as aid groups are warning of a humanitarian catastrophe. the united nations says 14 million afghans, about a third of the country, face food insecurity. for more, we are joined by bilal sarwary, an afghan journalist
who was based in kabul and reported on afghanistan for 20 years before he fled for safety. this is bilal speaking just last week on democracy now! about whether it was safe for him and his family to stay in kabul. >> i hope that i'm able and i hope that my daughter is able to basically one day go to school here. but there are things beyond my control. there are things that people like myself and my colleagues another afghans simply are powerless. we can't do that. amy: that was last wednesday. on sunday, bilal tweeted -- "the day i leave my country, my city, my kabul. a massacre of my dreams and aspirations. a tragic day in my life." his latest piece for the bbc is headlined, "in the city i loved, suddenly nowhere was safe." he is joining us now from doha, qatar. welcome back to democracy now! can you describe -- talk about
your decision to leave with your family and then describe your journey from kabul to the airport to where you are now in doha. >> extremely painful decision. all, i had to leave my office, which was next door to my home without being able to tell my sisters or family members where we were going. i took my parents, my wife, my baby daughter with me. we were hiding for a couple of nights. then we headed toward the karzai international airport. since i know the city so well, it is my hometown, my city, where i grew up, i felt like nowhere was safe for me. as the taliban fighters and certain members of the taliban faction continue to knock on doors, i don't know why they were doing that, what exactly they wanted, and why did the taliban political leadership
failed to prevent such searches, which are widespread across many different parts of the city. the only thing i could really leave was a pair of clothes. and only two weeks ago, i had gone to the northern parts of kabul city speaking to people who forced because of the war. at that moment that i was talking to them, i immediately went back to the 1990's when i was a kid and we were forced to leave kabul because of the fighting. i would never, ever thought only two weeks later, it would be my fate as well. so the fact i could only pick up my own computer and a couple of iphones and chargers and a pair of clothes and annoying actually if we will make it into the airport and outside of afghanistan, was i thinking, you know, very, very painful period
of time, especially for my family sake, my daughter's sake. once i was on the plane, thanks to the italian government evacuating close to 150 people alone on that flight, i could see everything that afghanistan was over the last 20 years. i saw the country's most popular tv presenter. i saw the most famous woman who started every morning on the most popular show. and my wife recognized her. i could not immediately because she was covering her face. you talked about areas -- we spent the next 12 hours altogether. a lot of these are people that i know. an artist known as the art lord, painting a lot of these peaceful messages on these blast walls in the streets of kabul.
he was there. no matter what i did do not think about it, i thought, well, this is the tsunami. this is afghanistan going down the drain in a matter of seconds. and some people were crying. some more quiet. others simply did not want to talk. that's some bid up for me. when i first arrived in the military airport, it really had very negative impact on me because it was that location that over the years i traveled to across the country with senior afghan military officials covering their operations. and coming back to it, you know, knowing nothing exists anymore in afghanistan's institutions, national security forces, afghanistan's air force -- all crumbled, i think also hit me
hard. amy: dcribed a scene at the airport before you got on that flight to doha. what was it like to go to the checkpoint? who checked your family's documents on the outside of the airport? >> we were very grateful to the italian ambassador who basically transported the convoy of 150 plus people, including some of the most important people in every aspect of life including media and civil society. we went through the airport where the taliban escorted the ambassadors, motorcade in the front. then we arrived to the last worthy afghan forces, special forces and working with the americans were only two to three meters from the taliban. it is what i would call a buffer zone. once they -- we got past that,
there was a sense of jubilation. a young bright student from the university of afghanistan with her family. i was watching her cry as she was trying to record something on her smart phone. i think it was at that moment that he hit me really hard. as a kid, i fled kabul not by air, but by road. i never thought 30 years down the line this would be a repeat -- not only for me, but are also other generations. it was a very, very painful moment. once we were inside the airport, the situation was more orderly. there were more and more of these massive, humongous military planes from sweden, australia, the czech republic , from australia trying to
come in and pick up afghans, foreign nationals. helicopters were also flying over the city, assuming they were airlifting people. it outside of the airport, the situation remains miserable for thousands of afghans, including women and children. and even more so, a generation of afghans who feel their lives are under threat. let alone people who are stacked in the provinces across the country. i think this is the more painful reality that those people continue to ask for safe passage and every time, given an artificial timeline, i think it is sending shockwaves among those people because they will be exposed, they will be vulnerable. this is also the best of the best of the best of the educated generation that afghanistan has.
the failure in the part of the previous government, afghan politicians and the international community, not to preserve this generation will have consequences for everyone in the years to come. amy: can you talk also about the thousands that are fleeing overland, going over the turkish border trying to get into iran? reports are suggesting that turkey is closing its borders and turning away refugees. if you can talk about the responsibilities of neighboring countries? turkey, a close ally of the united states, may be running that airport after the u.s. leaves. >> to be honest with you, i cannot comment on something that i don't know. i have not heard that people can leave by land. i think there is a sense of fear and uncertainty. people are not feeling secure. i did hear that some people
managed to cross into pakistan in the eastern province, but very limited numbers. i think here we are talking about afghans who have a history of working with the american military, the amick and government, and other -- and you can government, and other western nato nations. their lives are at risk. there the people who were told they will be evacuated and the remaining numbers are big. there are thousands and thousands of people, including people in the provinces who simply cannot come in. this is a sense of betrayal among these people. they have a massive threat against their lives by the taliban. we will have to see what happens to them if the evacuation ends under the deadline the american government has announced.
amy: what about the conditions in doha? thousands of afghans have gone to doha and the air force base in germany. some of the media is reporting the conditions are getting worse and worse in doha because of the numbers of people coming in. is that your experience? >> well i'm a we are -- well, we are looking at the plane we were in, we been provided accommodations by the qatari government, looked after and our families have been able to basically relax at least for a bit. and i want to say this publicly, i want to thank the qatari government because the world should work with governments like qatar who has the ability on the ground -- evacuate people that we should be evacuating. i think this is where allies of
the united states and other countries can come in and play that crucial role. i also feel a lot of my friends and people that i know who i had been in contact with are quite confused, angry, disappointed and confused because they hear different messaging. and now this morning, someone was talking to me, she is a very prominent member of the civil society, outside of kal. she said the fact she needs to take a bus to kabul is out of the question and she will not be a blue go through the taliban checkpoints into the airport. this is the crux of the issue at the moment. people want assurances the west, the international community will evacuate for as long as it takes, that they will put sufficient pressure on the taliban to allow safe passage because these people feel their lives are at risk. amy: bilal, in your article for
the bbc, right about the fall of the taliban after the u.s. invasion in the fall of 2001. you say, "i saw a genuine willingness among the reg stem file of the taliban to lay down weapons and resume their lives, with the americans do not want that. for my reporting is into me and many other afghans motivation was revenge after 9/11. we're coming up on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. then you talk about the piece moments lost when you actually had the secretary of defense under bush, rumsfeld, saying no to the taliban saying they would surrender if a market remain living in dignity in kanhar and even the taliban saying they would turn over before this osama bin laden? >> i think in hindsight, when the taliban government was
toppled by the americans at the time, there fighters and most of thr mid-level commanders did go back to rural afghanistan. they wanted to start their normal lives. there were raved, jailed, killed mostly at the hands of warlords were allies back then with the americans and there was a lot of family politics, tribal rivalries, people wanted to settle old scores. but people simply wanted to lie to the american so they could get something back in return. and those mistakes would cost afghanistan immensely. but it is also true the americans shut the door on negotiations very early on, refusing president karzai's request, channel talks must continue. we know there were a lot of letters and communication at the
highest echelons of the taliban leadership. the former president karzai and others of the government at the time. the other mistake was the fact the leadership went back to pakistan where they got help from the pakistani intelligence services and army and institutional support, something that has been well documented. on the ground, the afghan government literally failed -- corruption provide basic services. the afghan government was seen as a milking cow among these various powerful figures were government positions were handed over as trophies. so i think what you think about that and the u.s. decision at the time to invade iraq, the hijacking of resources, i think all of those mistakes, all of those policies at the time
contbuted toward the bigger problem. i would also say that the taliban over the years had this feeling, this prevalent feeling among the leaders and commanrs that they can win militarily. when i found out the americans were withdrawing, the announcement in the absence of a peace process cease fire. it was just a matter of time before the taliban would take over but no one thought this quit. and i also think the 9/11 style commission report must be launched to find out what led to the crumbling of state institutions in afghanistan, to the billions of dollars with a sensitive military -- taliba now control. after all, this is taxpayers money from any of these countries invested. i would also cite a personal example. where i lived in a central part of kabul, my next-door neighbor
appeared as a neighbor. had a good relationship with them. we were on friendly terms. after the fall of kabul, it was clear to us that was the taliban 's intelligence operations. in the street that was home to special forces commanders, former interior minister, the head of the defense committee of the afghan parliament, and a number of intelligence chiefs across many provinces. so you're also talking about a massive intelligence failure that should go back a few years when the taliban were able, for example, recruit diversity students, who had -- university udents, who had a job in the central part of kabul. i knew a bank employee over the years i would go and talk to them and the fact the taliban re able to recruit right into e heart of the afghan capital, right under the eyes of the afghan intelligence service, i
think also shows you that this is a massive process of failures , the responsibility of which with the afghan government, the afghan institutions and leadership. and how they failed the people of afghanistan on so many levels. amy: we just have 30 seconds. should president biden pull out all u.s. troops and and evacuations on the 31st? the taliban are insisting on this, although the u.s. said the deadline. the u.s. government is also saying they're most concerned about terrorist attacks from taliban, but taliban's enemies, isis-k and al qaeda. >> the maggots must honor the promises they have made -- the americans must honor the promises they have made. this is about human lives. i don't think anyone would want
such massacres and such tragedies to be a stain on their legacy and on their government. amy: i want to thank you for being with us bilal sarwary, , afghan journalist based in kabul who has reported on afghanistan for 20 years. we will link to his bbc piece "in the city i loved, suddenly nowhere was safe." we spoke to him last week in kabul. now he has fled with his family to doha, qatar. we continue to look at the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan and the ending of america's longest war with leading antiwar activist medea benjamin. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
in amy: the of stones" dr ummer died tuesday at the age of 80. this is democracy w!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue to look at the u.s. withdrawal from afghanistan and the ending of america's longest war with leading antiwar activist medea benjamin. for decades she is been dragged out of congressional hearings, presidential speeches, political
conventions by security as she and others have called for peace. president biden once w --ants to end the evacuations by the august 31 deadline but faces pressure to stay longer. medea, if you can start their to talk about your response to the focus of all the media on what is absolutely the chaos and catastrophe at this point in kabul for seven afghans? you have always widen the lens. for decades you have been protesting the u.s. war in afghanistan. is this how you think it should end? >> of course we did not wanted to end like this and there should have been better planning in terms of getting people out of the country, but we were very clear we never wanted the u.s. to go into begin with and every single year we kept saying get out. it was fascinating listening to bilal and him talking about the
corruption inside afghanistan. i kept thinking of the cash cow that has been the war in afghanistan that we have been fighting against all these years. we also got dragged out of meetings of shareholder from halliburton to general dynamics, to think of all of the companies that profited from this war and how they have been the ones who have kept the were going -- the were going by putting their money into the groups. you look at general dynamics, boeing, raytheon, and they're spending of $34 million in this year alone on lobbying our government. we have to find a way, amy, that we reflect on what happened over these 20 years and look at these contractors that provide all of the logistics and privatize the s milary. inact, we've had more u.s. contractors in afghanistan many
times during these 20 years then u.s. soldiers. i think there's a lot of reckoning to be done. i hope we will be able once this phase is over, which is chaotic and horrific, we will be able to look at who profited, where did all this money go, why did it happen, and how are we going to stop it from happening again. amy: afghanistan is something like a trillion dollars worth of minerals. there is a global fight now for countries to position themselves. you have been warning about the u.s. beefing up their anti-china rhetoric, something that is not getting a lot of attention right now is vice president harris is on a south asian trip. she was just in singapore and then flew to vietnam. she has warned about china and at the south china sea. can you talk about the u.s.-china brinksmanship going
on right now? >> tragedy is that the u.s. leading afghanistan for the biden administration is a chance to focus on what they call a remained adversary, which is china. it justifies this continual gargantuan pentagon budget that eats up so much of our resources and it is a delusional idea that we should be focusing on china as an enemy. it is a country of over one billion people, a nuclear country. especially at a time when we need to work with china to work on issues like china, global poverty. china will work with afghan government to build up the infrastructure. where is all that infrastructure the u.s. did not do for the last 20 years?
to be one of the most impoverished countries in the world. the u.s. should learn from china that instead of going into countries with bombs and bullets , it should go into countries to figure out how to help build the economy that would be a win-win situation. amy: what do you feel the u.s owes to the people of afghanistan? >> we feel the u.s. owes a tremendous responsibility not only for getting the afghans out as we are trying to do now, but for the millions of afghans who are left behind in terrible, dire situations from the 20 years of war. yet a great program on yesterday , amy, about humanitarian crisis . we feel like the u.s. is now going to use it as economic warfare against afghanistan to increase that humanitarian crisis by withholding $9 billion
that belongs to afghanistan and u.s. banks, by working with other countries in europe and the imf to withhold funding. we don't have to be friends with the taliban, but we cap either enemy, either, because the victims will be the afghan people. we need to let go of their funds. we need to provide generous humanitarian support. the u.s. should find the entire $350 million urgent request made by the unhcr because that is equivalent to just 1.5 days of war in afghanistan. we owe a lot to the people whose lives we have helped destroy these last 20 years. amy: as the battles rage in congress over spending -- he of the massive infrastructure bill, but the house just past the framework of $3.5 trillion, but also the pentagon budget. can you talk about what you
think needs to happen in the lessons of afghanistan. >> this is exactly where we need to go as a people in the united states and say this epic failure in afghanistan shows as militarism is not the right way to respond to goblins. that we have to cut the pentagon budget and have my barbara lee has suggested, three not -- freeing up $350 billion to address the root crisis of climate, poverty, the infrastructure we need and to help countries around the world and our own country to do with the pandemic and to get is a decent health care system. encourage all of these of orders of democracy now! to join us in these calls to say cut the mitary budget in half. that is the most responsible way to respond to this tragedy of 20 years of colossal failure in afghanistan.
amy: "dans mon village" by josephine baker. u.s. born french performer who will be given a memorial in paris pantheon mausoleum, making baker the first woman to receive that honor. her induction into the pantheon will take place in november. she left the united states for france protesting racism. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we end today's show in haiti, where the death toll from the
massive august 14 earthquake has passed 2200, with thousands of survivors growing increasingly desperate. over 12,000 were injured and an estimated 53,000 homes were destroyed by the 7.2-magnitude quake. people left homeless have been living in squalid camps in the mountains north of the hard-hit city of les cayes, where they say children are suffering from hunger, fevers, and infections. >> we are here with our children. i don't know how many, but we need to feed them. we need food, water, dress. they are crying because they are hungry and thirsty. we need medications. and now we use this place as a shelter. then we really need help to feed our children, ourselves. amy: unicef says 1.2 million people were affected by the earthquake, including over half a million children. humanitarian aid workers say shipments are flowing into haiti's southwestern peninsula, but there are still shortages of
urgently needed food and medical supplies. haiti is also facing an economic crisis made worse by the pandemic. the assassination of president jovenel moïse july 7 has pushed the country intro further political uncertainty. for more, we go to haiti where we're joined by dr. chery marie anne-lise, a general practitioner. her family is originally from camp-perrin, where most of them lost their homes during the quake. and in port-au-prince, we're joined by stépahe vincent. he is a journalist covering the aftermath of the earthquake for bbc and a piece headlined "the forgotten villages cut off from help." welcome to democracy now! dr. chery, describe what is happening. you are a general practitioner in les cayes, so hard-hit by covid. now you have the earthquake. >> good morning. yes, i am dr. chery marie
anne-lise. les cayes i and inles cayes -- i am in les cayes. when the earthquake was happening, i was inside with my house with my baby. hit my head against the wall and fell down. i have injuries. i can see everyone is panicking. this morning, we had anoer -- all of the people who were trying to sleep inside their house, they run out and are panicking. he asked the question again, please? amy: what are the greatest needs
in the injuries you are treating. are you getting enough supplies and you have enough doctors and medical staff to help with those who are injured? >> in les cayes, especially, we have not enough doctors to care for the patients. in t back place of the country -- we need doctors. people need food and water. they need clothes. many of them have infected wounds so they don't have anyone to care for them where they are. i can even see people trying to drink the well water during the earthquake. a become and your family -- amy:
and your family, can you describe what happened to your family as you help others? >> i own family, they are -- where my grandma's house fell down completely. most of them lost their house. me and my little baby have injuries because we were running out and hit against the wall and fall on the ground. i have injuries. they don't have a house to sleep. they are out. they don't have beds at night. when it is raining, they don't have anywhere safe to stay where they are during the wind. so they ed food and clothes
and medication. in the hospitals, too. amy: are you concerned about other infections breaking out and his covid getting worse? the people you were treating before the earthquake, because of the vulnerability of the populatio right now? >> haitian people go to see the doctor when they are dying, ok? so they tried to feel better at home. when they feel they are dying, they go to see the doctor. so where i am working now in a sanatorium in les cayes with covid 19 patients. i don't really receive a lot of people to be inside the hospital -- to be hospitalized. i find people who are sick and give the medication and advice
to go to their house and quarantine stop fortunately, i don't receive a lot of covid 19 patients. amy: i want to thank you so much, dr. chery marie anne-lise, for joining us, general practitioner in les cayes at the epicenter of the earthquake. we are going to go to port-au-prince to speak with stéphane vincent, who cowrote a piece for the bbc headlined "the forgotten villages cut off from help." you have made your way to the capital port-au-prince. can you describe what you have been seeing? >> good morning. thank you for having me. i have been back and forth for the past few hours. we went to les cayes. on monday we flew because at
first it was not safe to drive through les cayes -- les cayes is about a 3 hour drive from the capital port-au-prince. we hopped on a flight for about 30 minutes to get to the epicenter of the earthquake. upon arrival, there was -- it was disastrous to see, especially for me who survive the 2010 earthquake. they brought back all of the emotional -- i lived that again. there's certain disasters you go through a new think you go to the once-in-a-lifetime. to relive that again was very heart-wrenching. so far we have been around the south, whether be the main city of les cayes or the other, and around the department, and the main observation has been as oppose what many believe, the city of les cayes is not as
destroyed is we may think. up of six or seven houses, you would find one that has been destroyed. however, the major impact in what we call the communal sections, which are small villages and towns in the outskirts of les cayes where you would find a good 95%, 96% destruction, you could literally drive around villages for 10, 20, 30 minutes and see collapsed homes, churches, schools -- different types of buildings. the people right now -- the people in the city of les cayes or communes have mostly been receiving help but the people most affected are the outskirts of the south have not been receiving help. this happens for several reasons. first of all, the people who come to get help, on what they get from the news.
they rush to the main towns in the main cities to help. secondly, we had hurricane grace. because of the hurricane, rivers came down and cut off some of the villages from the main towns and the main cities. of course, aid has not been able to be driven to these people. places at first, there will be a group of young people who were able to swim. they would carryover a little bit of aid that has not been sufficient. amy: you call someone in your peace sign "do i have to scream because the government's attention or are we being left to die?" if you can also compare this to what happened -- i mean, the earthquake obviously was far worse in 2010. you are a survivor of that are. i remember covering president clinton in the prince sang the most important things to me now
are my daughter's wedding and the recovery of haiti. what happened now, of many people still suffering from that earthquake dealing with th. >> that statement i quoted in the bbc piece was a statement made -- the areas a little village with her previous doctor you were spoken to is from. it has been one of the hardest hit areas of the south. throughout the entire south, whether it be -- the theme is recurrent. the people have been feeling left out and abandoned by government. i remember the following day, we went to vis -- you have these
people telling us they spent the night sleeping standing up because it was raining and heavy wind. they felt they have beloved by the government. one interesting thing that happened is we can make this contrast, the government has decided to centralize aid to avoid would happen in 2010. to ensure equitable distribution of aid. but on the other hand, the population suffeng says, no, we don't want them to take the aid and do whatever they want with it, given to their own people. we went organizations that are helping to come and give us the aid directly. that is one thing. in contrast to 2010, there has to be an international presence. haitians have not been getting help from other local organizations. it has mostly been were brothers and sisters are helping each other so far.