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tv   [untitled]    December 23, 2011 7:01pm-7:31pm EST

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driving the country into the poorhouse. and while some fight for food others fight for air jordan trust me this is one flight you don't want to get in the middle of especially when police are pepper spraying shoppers. it's friday december twenty third seven pm in washington d.c. i'm liz wahl and you're watching r.t. . well in the middle east suicide bombings are making a deadly comeback today in syria two suicide car bombs blasted damascus killing forty people the bombings came just one day after the arrival of arab league observers whose mission is to monitor syria's promise to end its crackdown on protesters those protesters are rising up against president bashar assad's regime assad is calling them armed gangs meanwhile iraq is trying to recover after
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a series of suicide bombs tore through the neighborhoods in baghdad killing at least sixty nine people many of them shiites well there's one thing to be said about both attacks we see a unified theme of sectarian violence now so what does it mean for the middle east and how does the west playing into this here is my discussion with lawyer and author eva golinger. i would say absolutely it's an attempt to sabotage the mission of the arab league and the attempts to try to resolve the conflict in syria in a peaceful way and also you know to try to paint a picture of what's happening in syria as just absolute chaos and instability and of course to terrorize as well those who have now come there on the mission i mean of obviously that would be a scary situation to be in their first day arriving into the country that there would be this level of terrorist attack and and there's no question that it was
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directed against the government at least based on the information so far that that's come out of the country and again i think that it also supports what the government of syria has been saying from the beginning that these are not protesters seeking some kind of democratic reform in the country these are violent militants that have been armed in large part from abroad and are looking for a way to disrupt the country turn it into a situation of chaos in which they can provoke regime change and there are outside influences that are egging and feeding this point of this conflict on in order to achieve that goal precisely well the syrian president is calling the opposition terrorists he's going as far as saying that al qaeda is behind the suicide bombings could this possibly provide an excuse for the west to get involved. the west is already involved the united states has been involved from the beginning when when the whole situation started in the middle east with the arab spring the u.s.
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began pushing immediately for similar protests and uprisings to happen in the countries precisely where it wants to provoke regime change which are syria and iran and the case of libya and i mean i think we can't ignore what happened in libya because there's a lot of similarities that we're seeing playing out now in the case of libya they were not in large part protesters that were engaged in a conflict with with the government of gadhafi those were armed insurgents that were being art that had been armed in large part from abroad there were similar reports coming out of the case out of libya about al qaida being involved in prising against the government of gadhafi and they were being supported in a covert way by the united states i mean you have to remember that the u.s. has been involved in a lot of dirty operations around the world and particularly in the middle east where it has armed and funded on previous occasions al qaeda insurgents despite the fact that you know they have been the same ones to attack the united states so i
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think the west is heavily involved and that now you know it's feeding this conflict and yes there are certainly people in syria who are protesting legitimately against the government of bashar al assad and from the beginning as well that those types of protests started the government of bashar assad and president assad himself was very clear that he wanted to initiate reforms in the that had to be done in a democratic and peaceful way it can't be done in a way where it's being you know where the government is being terrorized and it's a situation where there's an armed conflict that's not how democratic change can come about speaking of a libya where nato intervened could we see a similar situation in syria where this there's going to be this push for nato to intervene and if nato does intervene what would their motivation be. the motivation is to provoke regime change there's really no other motivation beyond that and of course well the the reason they would want to provoke regime change is to put in
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place a government that would be friendly to us and its allies interests and of course to enable those interests to control strategic resources in syria and throughout the region which is the same case that we saw in libya i mean the whole justification of protecting the population was really just a front to be able to overthrow and assassinate really moammar gadhafi and put in place a government that would be friendly to the us libya is a country that has substantial oil reserves as well as being positioned strategically in a way that's incredibly important to control for those who want to dominate that region syria has similar should teach it importance and of course is a government that's not friendly to the united states and its allies and there are certain they certainly would like to see it overthrown at the same time well two things we have to remember that right after the obama administration with drew troops from iraq some of those were relocated to the border of syria from jordan
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and in preparation of arming this conflict and possibly engaging in it as well and being involved and at the same time countries like russia and china have taken a really strong position saying hey we're not going to allow this kind of situation to happen against syria that happened against libya and so you know there are tensions around any kind of military aggression towards libya towards syria coming from abroad and of course it wouldn't be as simple to play out but they are trying to prepare the scenario and i think that these terrorist attacks that happened today are part of that or part of maybe a justification to say hey there needs to be a stronger military presence from abroad in order to prevent further military conflict internally in the country that could result in the deaths of so called innocent civilians now i also want to talk about iraq where suicide bombings also blasted through the neighborhoods of baghdad so we are seeing deadly sick terror in both countries what comparisons can you draw between the conflicts in the two
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countries. well there certainly is a religious component there's no question about that at all and then of course there's there is the influence of those who wish for these types of conflicts to continue in order to justify maybe a larger military presence the an increased presence of foreign contractors or those who want to sabotage also a process of a peaceful process of change or of reform as in the case i think all of those things are happening in both countries i mean i don't think it's a coincidence either that days after the u.s. withdraws most of its troops that we see these kinds of attacks take place in iraq although there has been that level of of instability in the country over basically the past nine years since the war against iraq began i mean we've seen these types of internal insurgencies and attacks going on but certainly i mean that i think that the religious component is also being aided from abroad or utilized in
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a way that could benefit outside interests and so i think we have to be cautious when we're looking at you know is this a religious war is this a war of outside interests against internal interests i think there's a combination of all of that going on and that it's an incredibly delicate situation in both of those countries and lastly but want to ask you if civil war does break out in the middle east what are the greater implications for the region and what would it mean for the west. well syria first of all has a very strong armed forces and of course it's a country where from the beginning those who are protesting actually against the government of bashar al assad were pretty clear that they didn't want outside intervention so i think that the the angle of violence that has now been provoked over the past few months has been a way in order to sort of sabotage those efforts for real change in the country in order to provoke some kind of overthrow of the government that would implement
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a u.s. more u.s. friendly regime and at the same time yes civil war i mean it could spill over and of course the fear here is that iran could become involved and of course the situation between iran and the united states is already incredibly tense it's on a very very dangerous limit at this moment and the u.s. is looking for ways also to pull you ron into this these types of conflicts that are going on in order to do the same there and provoke regime change i mean i think that's what this is all about in the end you know that there's a situation in the middle east where a lot of people regular citizens want changes take place in our country just as is happening in the united states is happening all throughout european nations as well and unfortunately you know there are really powerful interests from the u.s. and its allies that want to be the ones to impose whatever that changes and to to somehow craft it to their own interests that takes place in the middle east and so that's what we're seeing and i think that
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a broader war of course would have huge implications especially if you ron became involved and you know i mean this could be i think in any case we're looking at a situation today in the twenty first century where there is just a state of permanent war where there's endless wars that don't have any any kind of borders that are defined where the adversary the enemy seems to also be anyone and everyone and you know i think that it would potentially come back to the united states and hit the u.s. in a way that again would be. not you know something that most people in the united states would really want to happen eva thank you so much for weighing in on this that was our lawyer and author eva golinger things. well still ahead on r.t. there is plenty of food to go around here in the u.s. so much of it many americans are throwing it out we take a look at how america's wastefulness is taking a toll on the world. on
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you do you believe the ref in. one of the protest nobody seems to know. the number of pepper sprayed the face but part of the argument that they're being overly dramatic . just.
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played. played. it just put a picture of me when i was like nine years old i just had a look through the leg. leg. i'm a confession i am a total get a friend that i love rap and hip hop music and pretty much. the way that he was kind of a big yesterday. i'm very proud of the world without you here it's a place. i. love playing . the lead. to the more likely. to lead.
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to the rock. tell me only some are much better than the crime. or neighbor to her. coming on the plane. actress lindsay low and. the free child is what many people are suggesting she's a mother no she says she's a star. let's
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not forget that we had an apartheid regime right. i think. even on the well. whenever government says they're going to keep you safe get ready because you get their freedom.
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well it's that time of year again when millions of americans raced to the malls in search of the hottest trends last minute shopping seems to be on the minds of many people around washington d.c. today the average american spends about six hundred fifty bucks during the holiday season that's according to the american research group that amount is down just a smidge from last year but not much the hard ticket item this season nike's new air jordan price at one hundred eighty bucks a pop and the release of those shoes caused quite a frenzy among shoppers across the country and seattle police broke up a fight by dousing over one hundred shoppers with pepper spray the all too familiar scene similar to last month's black friday sales but as a mare millions of americans that line up for a pair of kicks there's another line growing packed with the same sense of desperation but for a hot meal people doing whatever it takes to feed their families even if it means
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waiting for handouts like this food line in los angeles or thousand meals were served along with a thousand toys people started getting in line since midnight. just another example of the huge income gap consuming the u.s. these days. meanwhile as the holidays approach millions are filling up their refrigerators and filling out their waistlines during this most gluttonous of holidays if you stop to think about the amount of food wasted to put into perspective take a look at this this is the rose bowl a ninety two thousand five hundred seventy two seat football stadium in pasadena california and each year americans waste enough food to fill that stadium to the brim that's an average of five hundred ninety billion pounds of food and the typical family of four throws out an estimated one thousand three hundred and fifty dollars worth of food annually. all of this weighs happening while sixteen percent
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of americans live in poverty and line up for food stamps or to correspond or in a poor and i it takes a look at food waste and disparity in the u.s. . the number of people on food stamps has reached an all time high and more and more people are going hungry one in three americans live in or near poverty and suffering hunger in this land of plenty. in this land of plenty roughly two point seven million tons of food is reportedly raised and grown each year the same country that loves so much to consume calories. also loves to waste that. doesn't look like gio and although is a dumpster diver instead of paying for food he wrote midges through garbage bags on the streets of new york city. here's another truth were tons of edible food is thrown out the each night i'm never found that's not
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a slice of the pizza here this is a raisin raisin bagel the twenty seven year old musician makes his way from the bakery the deli there is hot food here which probably comes from a hot food bar relying on supermarket trash for his essential vitamins even without opening the bag i can see the orange. parcel and some of the greens what we and those crowding around g.o.c. is that in a country where more than forty million people struggle daily to get enough food millions of meals are literally being wasted as this as you can see is still perfectly edible and there's no sense to be wasted there in a way. otherwise it would end up. on top of the landfill somewhere and as to me the thirty to fifty percent of u.s. food produced for consumption ends up at landfills each year that comes at an annual cost of one billion dollars simultaneously food prices continue to rise
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leaving millions more on line at soup kitchens and ultimately searching through trash eating meat a big show of the documentary die follows filmmaker jeremy seifert and his friends in the back alleys and rubbish piles of los angeles as thousands of dollars worth of edible food is salvaged it's a result of our excess we are a wealthy country and we have excess and so we is. really necessarily a byproduct of excess and it's a bad habit of sort of the spoiled rich kid as it were i'm in america's expanding climate of food waste critics say the country's overall carelessness causes ripple effects around the world it is a global market and our over consumption directly impacts the hungry and the poor in other countries. taking more than we need and wasting it
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affects the prices of food affects the availability of food so yeah i guess it was why did they make the film there was a sense of outrage just as food waste something of a paradox society defined both by wasteful consumption and an ongoing struggle to make ends meet i need to cut my expenses are first thing that goes food so the question is why pay for that which you can get for free marine upper nile r.t. new york. so marina's report is just a small example of a shocking reality in the u.s. it's a story we here at r.t. hear time and time again of a widening gap between the haves and the have nots so just to go over some of these statistics coming out of the u.s. these days take a look at this right now one in every two american lives in poverty that's half the
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country considered poor now to break these numbers down for you a little bit ninety seven point three million americans fall into the low income category meaning that they are barely getting by and might require some financial assistance and then forty nine point one million who fall below the poverty line and finally one in every four americans needs emergency food assistance or food stamps to talk more about this and more earlier i spoke to max proud of wolf senior analyst greengrass capital i asked him what this says about the u.s. and our mentality take a look. well i think it's a little bit of a poignant holiday reminder about some of the limitations and issues with a market economy you make food to make money and you want to sell it what people do with it after they purchased it is kind of a separate matter and in an economy where growth is placed on a pedestal where there's a premium on growing you have to figure out a way to grow your profits grow your revenues by constantly selling more food but
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even with the obesity and the diabetes epidemic which you mentioned in your report it is there are limits on how much people can consume when it comes to food so there's a limitless need to sell more and grow your sales if you're in the food production or distribution business but there really are limits to what the population of the united states albeit a growing population can possibly consume and part of what happens with the overage of the excess is it ends up being an expensive problem that some people live off of in their dumpster diving but actually many restaurants and grocery stores pay a small fortune to have carted around and dumped in landfills so would you say that this is kind of a result of a capitalist society a negative impact of that capitalist culture. sure it's a consumption ist as much as it's a catalyst so it's a kind of culture of consumption and over consumption people tend to lose interest in what happens to any product after it's consumed so if you're in the book
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business you don't really care if people are reading the books you care if they're buying the books if you're in the corn business or the wheat business or the meat business or the dairy business what determines your success or failure your longevity or your short duration your death as an industry is whether or not you can sell this stuff how it gets used to sort of human interaction of using products is almost outside the purview of the market because what you're really trying to figure out is can i sell everything i sell more can i sell it at a profit and you know it is the holiday season and you know that christmas is coming because people are counting down the shopping days so i mean is america going to be able to keep up with this consumerist culture in this tough economic state. well i mean the obvious long term answer to that is no we do see a general public and in fairly bad shape today's earlier today we got the number for disposable people income for americans across the month of november and actually went down so the actually lower than it was in october in the long run we
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can't there's also an ecological component here there's an economic logical carried a limit to the population and the resource consumption so i think in the long term we can in the short term looks like christmas sales are up a little bit particularly online sales and so we may have another more or less good christmas what may be more interesting from an economic and a long term standpoint is it looks like americans spend a little more christmas and are going to therefore have to spend less than they would have otherwise across january february and march which are historically fairly slower months so we may have reached into the future and done something which we have a proclivity to do rather unfortunately here which is eat the future corn now or the seed corn today and that does not bode enormously well for the robustness of the consumer economy over the few months that will confront us after new years well you know what will it take to reverse this culture of consumerism this culture of waste which seems to be so deeply ingrained. well i think it may be a herculean task will probably take
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a long time i would say even though it's not something that i would celebrate i think it's fairly negative nothing gets people into being more efficient users of products more interested in recycling and using less like a whopping dose of poverty and forty years into some smaller less stagnant wages we do see a trend toward less consumption at least in some areas that's likely to continue as we stick around you know eight and a half plus percent unemployment and a very difficult wage increase market so most people haven't seen any wage increase for several years now they're still over eight and a half percent official unemployment that will probably reduce the amount of waste that we produce the problem that we may have globally with terms of resource prices and ecological issues is that the world has modeled its consumption more or less after an over consumption pattern that became popular in the united states during the heyday of american wealth in the fifty's and sixty's and that that that does not produce altogether positive set of results for the global economy either and speaking of poverty the latest census report shows shocking poverty statistics
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a record number of americans one in two are now living in poverty talk about what is contributing to this shrinking middle class. well excess in some areas and want and others are kind of always matched out so the excess wealth may be offset by the poverty of others the enormously high wages in area one are sometimes correlated to the enormously lower absent wages an area too maybe the best way to describe it especially because it's the holidays is one of the most famous moments from one of the most famous pieces of literature written here in the united states which is john steinbeck's the grapes of wrath of the families displaced by the dust bowl and our last great depression of the one nine hundred thirty s. and one poignant scene and that fantastic piece of literature watch the orange growers in california burn the oranges while they starve and they basically come to understand that orange growers have to keep those oranges off the market to keep the orange prices up but those oranges mean the difference between
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a meal and vitamins and no meal and no might even vitamins for them so this is one of a series of imbalances that tends to haunt and overly market dependent and perhaps under regulated economic structure the likes of which we seemingly do have in many areas the united states and in this christmas season here two thousand and eleven well yes it is christmas season we are now just hours away it's also hanukkah so max have we lost the meaning of christmas has it turned into a consumerism holiday instead of you know everything else that we're supposed to be celebrating during the holidays i don't know if we've law yeah it's a great question or if we've lost it and probably the united states is a huge country three hundred ten million people lots of variety lots of diversity i think we could get it back i think that a lot of our holidays a lot of our traditions have become commercial events where revenue maximisation is the key feature and part of the important place of a holiday whether it's kwanzaa christmas easter thanksgiving you know any of the
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holidays is to remember our connection to each other what we dream of in terms of a better society i think that's lost and gone but i do think that it's sort of a quiet voice of emitted in made by commercial up. heels of a kind of major consumption focus in the u.s. economy which is the largest economy in the world fifteen trillion dollars and seventy percent about private consumption lozzo why is the words of advice from max max happy holidays to you that was max bradwell senior analyst actually cross capital. well that does it for now for more on the stories we covered go to r.t. dot com slash usa and check out our you tube page its you tube dot com slash our team america you can also follow me on twitter at liz well see you back here and a half hour.
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welcome to the capital account i'm lauren lister. well through the. years which is on technology to next generation places made from super slow. building materials with only the isotopes planted thanks to a revolutionary way to get rid of a growing field and along with. leaders.


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