tv Democracy Now LINKTV June 29, 2021 8:00am-9:00am PDT
06/29/21 06/29/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> biden has inherited the strategyf donald trump and is now engaging in rotella terry lirary strikes with iran potential return to a nuclear deal is looking bigger than ever. amy: a u.s. militaryase near a syrian oil field came under attack monday, one day after
u.s. airstrikes targeted an iranian-baed militia in syria and iraq. we will get the latest. then no climate, no deal. dozens of youth climate activists were arrested at the white house monday demanding biden back an infrastructure bill that includes major investments to confront the climate emergency. we will speak to new york congressmember jamaal bowman. >> right outside the white house, hanging out with sunrise, pushing the to go big for our country and for our planet. amy: plus, we will go to el paso, texas, to speak with leading immigrant rights defender fernando garcia about vice president kamala harris' trip to the border. >> the border will define the character the nation.
we need to build a border that is welcoming and american values. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the pacific northwest is sweltering under an unprecedented june heatwave fueled by the climate crisis, with all-time high temperatures shattered in oregon, washington, and british columbia for the second day in a row. seattle reached 108 degrees fahrenheit on monday, portland hit 116, while the village of lytton, british columbia, hit 46.1 degrees celsius, or 115 fahrenheit. the highest surface temperature ever recorded in canada. more than 12,000 residents of western washington lost power amid surging demand for electricity and a wildfire
spread below high-voltage power lines in king county. >> it is already bad enough not having air conditioning, but have no power at all? this heat is dangerous. amy: in russia, torrential rains anheavy winds tore through moscow on monday, flooding streets and subway lines and uprooting trees. the violent storm broke a record-setting heatwave that saw moscow and st. petersburg reach their highest june temperatures on record. last week, a siberian town known for its extreme cold temperatures above the arctic circle recorded a peak ground temperature of 118 degrees fahrenheit. in washington, d.c., hundreds of youth climate activists surrounded the white house monday in a non-violent blockade demanding president biden take meaningful action on the climate emergency. secret service agents made dozens of arrests. members of the sunrise movement are calling on biden and
congressional democrats to pass an infrastructure bill that includes major investments in green energy, including a fully funded civilian climate corps. joining the protests was new york democratic congressmember alexandria ocasio-cortez, who said there was no time to waste in preventing climate catastrophe. >> what a of folks here in d.c. don't understand is while this may be the hottest summer of their lives, it is going to be one of the coolest summers of our lives. [applause] what that means is they brought this heat on as, so we bring the heat on them. amy: we will have more on the fight over infrastructure spending later in the broadcast. we will be speaking with your congressmember jamaal bowman, who joined the sunrise movement protest yesterday. in northern minnesota, hubbard county sheriff's deties on monday barricaded access to an encampment of water protectors who are resisting construction
of the enbridge line 3 tar sands pipeline, which has the backing of the biden administration. officers towed several of the activists' cars and made several arrests throughout the day. an attorney for the indigenous-led protesters called the move "nothing less than an overt political blockade." in ethiopia, rubble fighters in the tigray region are dismissing the unilateral declaration of a cease-fire after its military retreated from the capital on monday. the tigray liberation front has claimed control of the city's airport and other strategic areas and says its forces will continue to drive out ethiopian troops from the region. nearly a million civilians have been internally displaced since ethiopia launched an offensive against tigray separatists in november. the u.n. says the fighting has pushed through had a 50,000
people to the brink of fighting. a u.s. military base near a major oil field in eastern syria came under attack monday oneay after the biden administration launched airstrikes in syria and iraq targeting an iranian-backed militia. the u.s. responded by firing artillery fire at nearby rocket launching positions. on monday, president biden defended his decision to order airstrikes. pres. biden: i directed last night airstrikes targeting sites used by the iranian backed alyssa groups responsible for recent attacks on the u.s. personnel in iran -- iraq. i had that authority under article two and even those of been the hill who are reluctant to acknowledge that, acknowledge that is the case. amy: this comes as criticism of the u.s. airstrikes grow. iraq's prime minister condemned the u.s. attack as a "blatant and unacceptable violation of iraqi sovereignty and iraqi national security." we'll have more on this story
later in the broadcast. a federal judge has thrown out two major anti-trust lawsuits against facebook. u.s. district court judge jeb boasberg, a george w. bush appointee, ruled the federal trade commission failed to provide enough evidence to make a case that facebook operated a monopoly. the judge gave the ftc 30 days to file an amended lawsuit. in a second ruling, judge boasberg threw out another anti-trust suit brought by 46 state attorneys general, ruling they waited too long to bring their claims. the court rulings sent facebook's share price soaring, bringing ceo mark zuckerberg's estimated personal wealth to over $128 billion, while facebook's market capitalization topped $1 trillion for the first time. a new book claims former president donald trump asked in
february 2020 if the u.s. could send citizens infected with coronavirus to the guantanamo bay prison, asking aides in the white house situation room, "don't we have an island that we own?" "washington post" reporters yasmeen abutaleb and damian paletta also write in their book "nightmare scenario" that trump complained to then-health and human services secretary alex azar on march 18 about coronavirus testing. trump reportedly said -- "i'm going to lose the election because of testing! what idiot had the federal government do testing?" in florida, hope is fading that search-and-rescue crews will find more survivors of the rfsideondominium disaster, five days after the building suddenly collapsed into a massive pile of twisted steel and rubble. the confirmed death toll has risen to 11, with 150 people still unaccounted for. cnn reports the champln towers south condo association was cing assessments for $15
million worth of repairs, with paymen set to begin just one week after the building's sudden collapse. the e-cigarette maker jewel labs has agreed to pay $40 million to settle a lawsuit brought by north carolina, charging its marketing practices led to widespread nicotine addiction among teenagers. the settlement comes as 13 other states and the district of columbia are pressing similar lawsuits and as the food and drug administration is considering whether to allow jewel products to remain on the market. in a landmark victory for transgender rights, the u.s. supreme court announced monday it will not hear the case of gavin grimm, a former high school student who sued his local school district over its policy forcing him to use a separate, single-stall restroom that no other student was required to use. the court's move lets stand a lower court ruling that policies segregating trans students from
their peers are unconstitutional. gavin grimm spoke to democracy now! in 2017. >> when you are in an environment where you are not being affirmed and were being kept apart from your peers, not only does that send a negative message to you, but a negative message to your peers and conveys a precedent for how they will treat you. so i think it is very important we talk about rights a bathroom usage for trans youth, especially because if you cannot use the bathroom, cannot participate in public life and that is really what is at the center of this. amy: california will restrict state-funded travel to arkansas, florida, montana, north dakota, and west virginia, bringing to 17 the number of states sanctioned by california over their discriminatory policies toward lgbtq+ people. california attorney general rob bonta cited recently-passed laws banning transgender youth from playing sports and blocking access to life-saving gender-affirming healthcare.
>> there is a coordinated attack against our fundamental civil rights. and the fact is, when states discriminate against lgbtq americans, california law requires us to take action and that is what we are doing today. amy: in honduras, lgbtq+ rights advocates are celebrating a historic ruling by the inter-american court of human rights declaring the honduran state responsible for the 2009 killing of vicky hernández, a transgender woman. hernández was assassinated on june 28, the day a u.s.-backed coup overthrew former democratically elected president manuel zelaya. hernández was a sex worker and was out during a military curfew. the landmark ruling was issued monday, on the 12th anniversary of the u.s.-backed coup in honduras, and mandates reparations for hernández's family and for honduras to reopen her case.
mexico's supreme court has decriminalized the use of marijuana for adults. the court's ruling comes after the mexican congress failed to enact legislation legalizing recreational use of marijuana by the end of april -- a deadline set by the supreme court. while many celebrated the ruling, some critics warned there are still legal loopholes that could criminalize people for cultivating or distributing marijuana. efforts to legalize marijuana in mexico are also aimed at curbing drug violence in the country. since the u.s.-backed war on drugs was launched in 2006, over 300,000 people have been killed. a new u.n. report analyzing -- is calling on all nations to dismantle racism and end impunity for police officers who kill and violate the human rights of black people. the long-awaited report was released by the u.n. high commissioner for human rights monday, just days after former minneapolis police officer and convicted murderer derek chauvin was sentenced to 22 years in prison for killing george floyd
. the report looked into over 190 police killings, most of which occurred in the united states , followed by latin america. this is mona rishmawi, chief of the u.n.'s rule of law, equality and non-discrimination. >> we found worrying trends of associating blackness with criminality and other vices that shake interaction of people of african descent with law enforcement and the criminal justice system. i research shows in a number of states, people of african descent are particularly vulnerable to racial profiling. identity checks, stops and searches, arrests, and related abuses. also to violence, including serious injury and death. amy: and u.s. olympic hammer thrower gwen berry is facing backlash after turning her back to the u.s. flag while the national anthem played during a medal ceremony at the u.s.
olympic trials in eugene, oregon saturday. toward the end of the anthem, berry turned away from the flag and placed a black t-shirt with the words "activist athlete" on her head. following the nonviolent action, berry said -- "my purpose and my mission is bigger than sports. i am here to represent those who died due to systemic racism. that's the important part. that's why i'm going. that's why i'm here today." berry is a longtime activist, who famously raised her fist at the end of the star-spangled banner after winning gold at the 2019 pan american games. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman in new york, joined by my co-host juan gonzález in new brunswick, new jersey. hi, juan. juan: hi, amy. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. amy: in washington, d.c.,
hundreds of youth climate activists around the white house monday in a nonviolent blockade demanding president by and ke meaningful action on the climate crisis. secret service agents made dozens of arrests. members of the sunrise movement called on by nan congressional democrats to pass an infrastructure bill that includes major investments in green energy, including fully funded civilian climate corps. the protest came as the states of oregon and washington, as well as the canadian province of british lumbee, battled historic heat. portland hit 116 degrees fahrenheit on monday, making it one of the hottest places in the world. the sunrise movement kind its protest as negotiations heat up over infrastructure spending. lastly, president biden announced he had reached a bipartisan deal with senators on a slimmed-down infrastructure spending bill. democrats are hoping to pass a
second larger infrastructure package, the macon families plan, using the budget reconciliation process, which would not require any republican votes. biden initially said he would not nine the bipartisan infrastructure deal without the other. then he walked back the statement after pacing criticism from republican lawmakers. we're joined now by david dayen, executive editor of the american prospect, as well as democratic commerce member jamaal bowman. congressmember, thank you for rejoining us. talk about yesterday's protest. the historic heat wave that is hitting the northwest, what is happening to the green new deal being stripped out of this deal that biden apparently made with other democratic and republican senators but then because i backlash said he would veto this
smaller deal unless the larger green new deal included bill were also passed? >> well, thank you for having me. yesterday's protests were very powerful, very inspiring, and very necessary. the sea of young people chanting and demanding justice on climate was so movin i was honored to be a part of it. republican negotiated bipartisan infrastructure deal is completely unacceptable on its own and on his face. it does not meet the moment in terms of responding to climate change and it does not meet the moment in terms of our overall infrastructure needs. the president ran on a platform on climate justice, on racial justice. we have progressives across the
country organizing in support of him to not only help him get to the white house, but also to help democratsin the senate. this is where we are. we have been trying to negotiate with republicans not just on this bill, but smaller bills in the house and senate. they continue to vote down transformative policy like s1 and continue to show they're not willing to negotiate in good faith. so we have a process. we have a reconciliation process that gives us the opportunity to invest in -- transformative leap and community's that have been marginalized also chilling with the issue of climate change. so this is where we are in this is why we have to move forward. not just the president, senator manchin needs to make sure he is on board, senator sinema needs to me sure she is on board so we can have enoughemocratic votes to move a robust,
transformative reconciliation package. juan: what do you say to those who will tell you the votes are not there? because of the people like joe manchin and sinema, even among the democrats, they're not the votes to get the kind of infrastructure plan both in terms of physical infrastructure, human infrastructure that you and other progreive democrats want? >> well, that answer is unacceptable. if senator manchin and senator sinema care about our country and democracy, they would know and understand this is the moment to invest in areas that have been historically ignored -- like the care economy, like public housing, like green infrastructure [captioning made possible by democracy now!] this is why we have to speak honestly and truthfully about whsenator mahin make and senator sina are more beholden and responsive to.
they more responsive to the corporate elite, large corporations, wealthy donors? or are they more responsive to the american people. what democrats are fighting for and what we have been sent here to do to do the job of the american people. so to say we don't have the votes is unacceptable. i represent the bronx, mount vernon, yonkers, new rochelle that have pockets of poverty as high as 30% in some areas. those areas are disproportionately black and brown. those areas are disproportionately suffered from asthma because of environmental conditions. they live in public housing that has been neglected. we have children living with lead paint. these issues are happening in west virginia as well. joe manchin's state. let's talk honestly about what is happening here. they are not upholding
democracy. they are upholding corporate control of government and there wealthy backers. we are fighting for the american people. that is why the people are with us. if we want to maintain control and the opportunity to do great work and a 2022, it is time for democrats to deliver in this moment. juan: you tweeted in a video when you towardhe plic hoing uns where u grew up, show somef the oblems. uld you talk abo somof the specificnfrastruure issues thatou seen your o distri? >> firstf all,if theres ldinin the plic housing apartmt oromethis broken and nes to b fed, whenou ll mntenance to ha the come f theroblem, e lag time inbelvably lond at is beuse therare not enoumploye, not eug prerly traed emploes becae we do't ha the money to he those ployees.
whene see in oth areasf puic housi in my distrt dos are bren wide en where the is no fety and surit -- you c walk rit intohe ilding. in oer ces, a maboxes oken we open. thera container is outdated, built decades ago so you can't fit the trash back into the receptacle properly so people are taking the trash outside and dumping it in a designated area outside. because we don't have a large trash bins to dump the trash into so it is right on the stre and we don't have enough peopleo clean up the trash so it remains outside, which leads to rodent the station, which leads to roaches, etc., i'll be impacting their breathing and how our children live within these spaces.
i also want to mention, these are redlined communities. i always connect what we're talking about now to the new deal. the new deal that built the white suburbs, built white suburban wealth and purposefully, explicitly kept african-americans out of those communities -- like they could not access the federally subsidized homelands to move to the suburbs, so they were forced to live in ghettos and had those ghettos undervalued just because the people were black. like, this is what we are responding to. historical racism and historical ha. we could go further back to the homestead act and what happened there. this is our moment and i believe president biden knows that, but we have to continue to engage in put pressure on the white house and my colleagues in congress to
go big and invest in the way we need to invest. because if they care about this country, if we give everyone an opportunity, and america will finally reaches ideals of democracy. amy: we're also joined by david dayen, executive editor of the american prospect. his latest book is "monopolized: life in the age of corporate power." david, you have mitch mcconnell singh president biden, get to rein in schumer and full of c. for people who are not following the inside out of what turned into the major conflagration of the week coming out the climate emergency but biden saying he would veto the structure bill, the bipartisan one, if they did not include linking to the reconciliation bill that senator sanders would be in charge of -- by the way, senator sanders tweeted out "no reconciliation bill, no deal."
tell us the ins and outs of this and what you think that smaller republican infrastructure bill is really a cover for. >> sure. bid's statement was recitation of speaker pelosi's statement earlier where she said the house would not vote on the bipartisan bill until the senate passed a reconciliation bill. that reflected work that was done by representative bowman and other members of the progressive caucus who informed pelosi they would not move forward on a bill until there were two bills passed in the senate. that is really what is driving this. it is a bit unusual to see progressives really drive the agenda in congress, but pelosi knows she cannot afford to lose those votes on her left.
and it is a bigger threat to the overall project, the infrastrture package, and moderates -- than moderates would be to passing in the house. that really was the dynamic and biden mimicked it my republicans who knew this was all happening and proposed a two-stage process initially, calculating a second reconciliation bill would get bogged down in infighting among democrats. but because pelosi kinda figured out a way to pass the two-stage process in a way that gave everyone trust that two bills would actually go forward, i think they were met with said out loud. it was something that was obviously going to happen but they did not want to see it leaked like that. biden walked it back but not
really. he just said, republicans can try to stop the second bill but of course they don't have the votes for that necessarily, and pelosi and schumer are going to run the process. but what you lay out their is correct. i think progressives have been a decent job of linking these two bills. but what is the key piece of the bipartisan bill to me in addition to the lack of climate measures and as you correctly point out, the fact nature from seattle to miami were sea level rise may have been a large contributor to the collapse of the condo building is just screaming for a change in priorities in america most of the need to upgrade our infrastructure to reflect this new reality. but the other thing in the bipartisan bill is privatization. it is really the selling off of
infrastructure to private companies. and really the substitution of public tax collection where we pay for these common assets that we all use and share to private tax collection where you sell the infrastructure assets to a private company whether for toll roads or private has water systems, privatized parking meters, or what have you, and that private company gets to effectively tax the public. inevitably, the tax goes up because they have to build in their layer of profit. i think that is something that progressives like representative bowman need to focus on because it is a very dangerous part of the bipartisan bill. juan: david dayen, are those concerns sufficient for progressive to say, no, let's kill this thing altogether? because clearly, the move to privatize a public asset has
been part of the neoliberal agenda now for about four decades. >> it has been and that is what it is incumbent to take a stand at this point. i mean, you can ask presented ivanka if that is sufficient or not -- vaughn if that is sufficient or not. it is a serious issue. we have examples of this come as you say, all over the country stop water systems that charge exorbitant rates parking meters like in chicago that have gone up 800% over a number of years and every time the street is shut down for a street fair, the private company gets to recoup lost reven from that day. not just the gouging of the people who use the infrastructure, it is the loss of democratic control. so a private company is in charge and says when the street will be shut down or not and the private company is in charge of
when a certain toll road is open or not. i think that is at the core of the issue with privatization, which as you correctly point out, was part of this neoliberal project. but we are in a new era. i would hope it would be very strong pushback against it. juan: what about that, congressman bowman, in terms of in chicago, for instance, the private parking meter company whenever the city wants to shut down a street for a parade, it has to reimburse the private parking meter company for its lost revenues? what about this issue of even in the compromise bill, there being some poison pills in there? >> another reason why it is unacceptable. poison pill is a great way to describe it. we don't have to go to chicago. in my district, the privatization of public housing has taken hold. yonkers -- i represent yonkers as well post of public housing
in yonkers has been given over to privatize her's before i got into office. we need more houses. they chester houses has already been given over to privatize r's, company called red. as you kno my workn public hosnd whais happeng withharterchools a vouchers a theiphoningf puicesources. that ithe thing. we are fightg forhe renciliati pacge to bi but we e alsoighting ep it public. housg invtment d the pubc frastrture pacge, for exame, 50 billion, sounds like aig numbe but the capitaeeds alo are about 40 billion. sot do noteet thnation need we areighting keeit big and were to ke it publ,
buwe haveo even sound uder ala and be more outspon ainsthis pratizatiopiece beuse that is whathategotiated bipaisan bildoes. but it isnother exale o corpore contr of our vementnd w republins are ghting for theyre fightg for th privaters, not theest of us. thats why at happed at the white hoe yestery needs replited acro the coury byveryone. cause thewill privatizehe enti countryf wellow the . y: we wanto thankou both for bein wh us and we will contin to foll this issue as, at least for this moment, parts of the northwest have become some of the hottest places on earth. congress member jamaal bowman i new york was out there yesterday at the sunrise movement protest outside the white house where
many got arrested. and david dayen is executive editor of the american prospect. we will link to your latest book "monopolized: life in the age of corporate power." next up, u.s. military base dare syrian oilfield comes under attack one day after u.s. airstrikes targeted an iranian-backed militia in syria and iraq. we will get the latest. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: "first in flight" by blackalicious. the always amazing mc gift of gab died june 18 of kidney failure. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. a u.s. military base near a major oil field in eastern syria came under attack monday one day after the biden administration launched airstrikes in syria and iraq targeting an iranian-backed militia. shortly before 8:00 p.m. local time, multiple rockets hit the u.s. base near the u.s.-controlled al-omar oil field. the u.s. responded by firing artillery fire at nearby rocket launching positions. this comes as criticism of the u.s. airstrikes grow. iraq's prime minister condemned the u.s. attack as a "blatant and unacceptable violation of iraqi sovereignty and iraqi national security." a symbolic funeral was held today in baghdad for four members of the iraq popular mobilization forces killed in
the u.s. strikes. syrian media is recording a iran's foreign ministry accused the united states of "disrupting security in the region." on monday, u.s. secretary of state antony blinken defended the military strikes claiming they were done in self-defense. >> we took necessary, appropriate, deliberate action that is designed to limit the risk of escalation but also to send a clear and and ambiguous message. this action in self-defense to do what is necessary to prevent further attacks i think sends a very important and strong message. i hope very much it is received by those who were intended to receive it. amy: the u.s. military airstrikes come at a time when the biden administration is holding indirect talks with iran
about reviving the iranian nuclear deal. we are joining now by jamal abdi, president of the national iranian american council. welcome to democracy now! can you respond to these attacks? >> it is hard to find something novel to say about the united states bombing iraq. we have been doing this for 30 years. this comes at a time when the biden administration has potentially the opportunity to pivot off this track that was late for them by the trump administration where they are engaged in this constant tit for tat, tipped and rebecca iranian influence, striking iranian air forces. instead, bombing targets inside of iraq, we're giving more fuel to this conflict. instead of just incentivizing further attacks by iran-linked
groups, we see immediate retaliation. this is how these things continue to log the united states down in the region and unless bite and is able to break out of the cycle, this is the norm that will be continuing. juan: what is the iraq popular mobilization forces and what is their connection, if any, to iran? also, what is the status of u.s. troops in iraq these days? how many are there? >> the groups that biden struck are part of the popular mobilization units which were formed to combat isis and have been integrated in the iraqi security forces. from the iraqi perspective, this is an attack on their sovereignty, and groups that are part -- the united states is still in iraq. the iraqis voted to kick the
united states out back when donald trump was doing these strikes. when donald trump actually killed the iranian general soleimani and the leader of one of the groups that biden then struck yesterday -- after the strikes in 2020, the iraqis voted to kick the u.s. out. i think there are still about 3000 troops in an advise and assist role to support the iraqi government. but as we see, this is not having a stabilizing effect and the united states is a target for these groups that prior to the donald trump administration were actually working cup if not in coordination with the u.s. than in close proximity with the united states, and we were not having these conflicts. i don't think it is any coincidence that is when the united states and iran had a deal. we were at the table and had a nuclear agreement and we started
to see this trend reversed. now we're back in a state where we don't have a nuclear agreement, we are trying to get back there. the u.s. is in iraq but in a different role. and biden supposedly wants to withdraw from the region or draw down from the region at the failure of diplomacy, combined with the willingness to engage in these strikes supposedly to create a deterrent but actually put a big target on our backs -- it is a very bad place to be and it is hard to see a way out of it unless there is a diplomatic breakthrough. amy: this is like a rite of passage and biden already did this once, this is the second time since he has come to office. but he is the sixth u.s. president in a row to bomb iraq. you have george h.w. bush, president george w. bush, president obama, president trump, and then you have biden. let me play how the white house
spokesperson jen psaki defended the airstrikes. >> the targeted strikes were directed at facilities used by iran-like militias involved in these ongoing attacks for purposes including weapons storage, command logistics, and unmanned aerial operations. article two, the self-defense, the defense of the united states in our interest is our thomistic justification for these strikes announced yesterday. the president's view is it was necessary and appropriate, and deliberate action, these strikes designed to limit the risk of escalation. amy: the u.s. is saying it was self-defense but it is also interesting that the airstrikes come two weeks after the house of representatives voted to repeal the aumf, the authorization for use of military force which grant sweeping war powers to the president. what will this mean for the nuclear deal that the supposedly
is president biden is attempting to revive? >> as you know, the talks to revive the nuclear deal are ongoing. we are now in this awkwar position where we have a lame-duck administration in iran who the -- rouhani government, who placed all of its political hopes and capital in the prospect of to talk with the west and the united states and getting this deal. then to have the rug pulled out from under it by u.s. and now we are where we are today where iran's is expanding its nuclear program and a's are suffering under sanctions, covid, the government's management. it is a terriblsituation. the talks are ongoing and i think the talks may still yield a return to the deal. i don't think that is necessarily off the table, but i think these actions make it a
lot more difficult and have a risk of poisoning the atmosphere. that being said, io think the iranian supreme leader has signaled he does want to get this deal and the incoming president, the hardline raisi, has also, if not signaled his work for the deal, signaled he will is subject -- except it. , b negotiations in iran but it also may come under this new government and the question is, what does that build towards? is there further diplomacy that can happen? that does not look like to be the case. her congress, her a lot of voices cticizing these talks and saying either we need to not be talking to iran or seek a bigger and better deal that donald trump was trying to get. there's no bigger, better deal on the table unless we return to these obligations. i think the fact the biden
administration is using this legally dubious grounds for these strikes and keeping congress out of that conversation -- congress is for us to be authorizing the wars. they're detached from the consequences of the failure of diplomacy so it is easy to cheerlead these trucks and criticize diplomacy for members of congress who do not actually have any skin in the game when it comes to having to authorize the strikes that are very unpopular among the american public. juan: i want to ask you also, this whole issue of self-defense. isn't this the essence of how an imperial power operates? if you station enough troops around the world -- the united states has troops in scores of countries around the world -- you can always claim self-defense of the united states because you were so extended in so many different parts that have really no direct relations to our own country. >> yeah, absolutely. the u.s. presidents -- going
back to 1991, the u.s. presence in iraq and the region have only put targets on the united states back and given rationalization to groups that want to see legitimately or illegitimately, i will let you decide, want to see the u.s. out of the region. counter to popular belief, iran is not going to the region. they are geographically stuck there. the u.s. is not. the notion we are going to perpetuate whether it is having a large-scale troop presence there or even of women to presence by engaging these deterrent strikes and this to protect is going to lead to any meaningful result is a lie that has 30 years of history with the united states in the region. amy: jamal abdi, thank you, we will continue to follow this, president of the national iranian american council. next up, vice president harris
to go to the border friday, went to el paso, texas, but did not go to this massive emergency shelter for migrant children at fort bliss military base. the border network for human rights held a protest there with other groups yesterday demanding that the site for the children be shut down. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. suicide attempts, spoiled food, and extreme heat are among the conditions described by boys and girls held at the country's largest emergencies so-called shelter for migrant children at the fort bills military base in el paso, texas.
it has been described as a tent city that can hold up to 10,000 unaccompanied boys and girls in soft-sided tents on desert land, and currently holds about 800 kids -- all boys. vice president harris did not visit the site when she traveled to el paso friday on a visit to the border. that task was left to department of health and human services secretary xavier becerra, who was met with protests when he visited fort bliss monday. "shut it down" the little girl is saying. more than 14,000 migrant children are currently in the custody of the department of health and human services, which has set up 15 emergency sites like fort bliss to get them out of overcrowded border patrol holding facilities. but some kids have been held there for months. a court declaration reported b cbs news quotes a 17-year-old guatemalan girl held at fort
bliss for 60 days who said she got so anxious, she once fnted and that after she reported not sleeping for three days, she was prescribed medication. during an event last thursday, becerra defended conditions at fort bliss. >> i will agree with anyone who says this is not where you're going to do long-term care for a child. we get that. it is far better than the deserts they were in. this far better than an adult detention facility and absolutely providing them, these children, with everything you would expect a child to get to provide for their basic needs and attention they require. amy: from or we go to el paso, texas, to speak with fernando garcia, founng director of the the border network for human rights, and among the advocates who actually spoke to vice president kamala harris on friday. thank you for joining us. why don't you start out by
talking about your demands to close this site for children at fort bliss and then what you said to the vi president friday. >> yes, amy and juan, tha you for having me. this is not the first process. we did it -- at the beginning we'd seen thousands of unaccompanied minors arriving to this location. there are too many problems with this location. the first one is this is a military base, this is fort bliss. as you might imagine, there no transparency. no one can go in without a number of filters. access is difficult. also for human rights organizations. the second thing is what that represents. what is the message that having
children on a military base represents. it means there's danger for our society -- it is incomprehensible in that sense. going back to the question of why we are protesting, we have seen some instances up to neutral abuse -- instances of potential abuse. you mentioned in the introduction, we have people reporting to us seleka food, health care, lack of basics that teenagers, children have decided to commit suicide because of the conditions inside. no improvement would be a nap. for us, it is important this administration close the detention centers. when the vice president came, we
thought it would be a political show. as you know, it is always a political show. [indiscernible] weere concerned about it. we met with vice president harris and surprisingly, she was listening. she listened to what we proposed. it was a very short meeting, less than an hour. but i think she was engaged. i really appreciated the opportunity. juan: fernando, in terms of the biden administration saying they have been working to reduce the number of children from a few months ago, do you see, generally speaking, they're moving in a better direction? >> no, i don't think so. we have systemic problems with detention centers for children in this country, especially at
the border. one of them is that these detention centers are run by contractors, private contractors. when i say that, it is true hhs -- coordinates the detention centers or shelters, buteople actually taking care of the children are people connected to private contractors. so we believe -- it does not change the dynamic, the lack of ansparen. second, ose children suld nobe detained at all. you probably heard yesterday we are asking for these detention centers to be closed but also to reunify those children with family members. 80% of those children,
unaccompanied minors come have a relative in the united states that can receive them. i think they suld impre that process. they should invest mostly on reunify and these children with their families rather than building this shelter, this facility. juan: i want to ask you about the continued role of the u.s. in denying weather no matter what administration the u.s. impact on migration? the u.s. foreign-policy in central america? vice president harris when she went to central america recently did not acknowledge the u.s. role in creating these crises. your response to that? >> well, if we really want to tackle down root causes, we need to recognize the u.s. is responsible for many of the root causes that expel people from their countries. take for example a couple of things.
violence. [indiscernible] the weapons they're getting they're getting from the united states. nothing's been done in that regard. it starts in the united states. secondly, economic conditions, poverty. [indiscernible] as a result, their part of the problem. workers need better wages, housing, health care. companies are going to central america but they're not raising
the economic standards. we need to start with reforming those economics, be sure we have enough so people do not have to leave their countries. amy: fernando, apparently, vice president harris went to el paso because that is where trump's separation policy began and the biden administration wanted to show the difference between them. there were a few photo ops a few weeks ago showing families reunited. but in fact, aren't there still thousands of children who are not reunited? what is happening? isn't dr. biden, jill biden involved with overseeing, this beating up of this process is you describe? 80% of these kids have family members in the united states. how are they changing the trump policy? >> this is what i see with this administration.
political national level from the white house, we do see a different narrative. i think there's a different message from the last administration. i think biden and vice president harris see they need a dignified border. although that is good, but that is not -- at the border, we have two major problems that we have mentioned already that have not change. one of them is title 42. title 42 is what i consider any illegal program is dispelling refugees, families, and children's without due process. many of them are fleeing violence and cominto the united states for protection. thousands of people are being expelled. that program should have been
gone the first day of this administration and it has not. second, we have thousands of children in detention. instead of investing in jails and detention centers and these big shelters, this administration should have done exactly that -- build a welcoming center -- build welcoming centers and to do it in a different way that we have not seen. what is national rhetoric and the second is what is happening at the border is not reflecting that rhetoric. amy: we want to thank you for being with us, fernando garcia, founding director of the border network for human rights, or in el paso. met with vice president harris which which of the border on friday. that does a per hour show. happy belated birthday to jon randolph. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to