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Democracy Now! is an independent daily TV & radio news program, hosted by award-winning journalists Amy Goodman and Juan González. We provide daily global news headlines, in-depth interviews and investigative reports without any advertisements or government funding. Our programming shines a spotlight on corporate and government abuses of power and lifts up the stories of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. Democracy Now! is live weekdays at 8am ET and available 24/7 through our website and podcasts.
Updated: 2 hours 5 min ago

Former Top Bush Official: I Saw the March to War in 2003. I'm Seeing the Same Thing with Iran Now

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 08:53

We look at the Trump administration’s assassination of Iran’s top military commander Qassem Soleimani with Lawrence Wilkerson, a retired United States Army colonel who served as Secretary of State Colin Powell’s chief of staff from 2002 to 2005. On February 5, 2003, he watched as Powell made the case for war in a speech to the United Nations. He has since become an outspoken critic of U.S. intervention in the Middle East. In 2018, Wilkerson wrote an article for The New York Times titled “I Helped Sell the False Choice of War Once. It’s Happening Again.”

AOC Condemns Killing of Soleimani: This Was an Act of Aggression Committed by the United States

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 08:49

Over the weekend, Democracy Now! spoke with New York Congressmember Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and asked her response to the assassination of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani. “We need to be tactical about how we can actively resist further escalation on already an unprecedented level of escalation and aggression by the president, and therefore by the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “He did this on behalf of our entire country. And that’s what makes the potential illegality of his action so flagrant, because he did not consult Congress and this was not done with the support of the United States.”

Trump's Killing of Qassem Soleimani Means "Rules of the Game Have Totally Changed" in Middle East

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 08:35

The Iraqi Parliament voted Sunday to expel all U.S. military forces from Iraq. President Trump responded by threatening to impose sanctions on Iraq “like they’ve never seen before.” Iraq has already been the target of some of the harshest sanctions the world has even seen. U.S.-backed sanctions killed more than a million Iraqis, including over 500,000 children, between 1990 and 2003. From Baghdad, we talk to Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, correspondent for The Guardian newspaper.

Soleimani's Death Could Galvanize Shia Coalitions Against One "Foreign Aggressor" — The U.S.

Mon, 01/06/2020 - 08:12

Fallout continues to mount following the U.S. assassination of Iran’s top military commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week. Iranian media reports that over a million mourners took to the streets of Tehran today for the funeral of Soleimani, who headed Iran’s elite Quds Force. On Sunday, Iran announced it would suspend its commitments under the landmark 2015 nuclear deal, which the U.S. pulled out of in 2018. Trump has also threatened to target 52 locations in Iran, including cultural sites, if Iran retaliates against the U.S. The targeting of cultural sites is widely viewed as an international war crime. Meanwhile, Iraq’s caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has revealed he had plans to meet with Soleimani on the day he was killed to discuss a Saudi proposal to defuse tension in the region. From Washington, D.C., we speak with Narges Bajoghli, professor of Middle East studies at Johns Hopkins University and the author of “Iran Reframed: Anxieties of Power in the Islamic Republic.”

"This Country Is a Tinderbox": Australia Braces for More Devastation as Gov't Denies Climate Crisis

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 08:53

Australia is bracing for what is expected to be the worst weekend yet in an already devastating climate-fueled wildfire season that has ravaged the southeastern part of the country, killed at least 18 people and nearly half a billion animals, and destroyed 14.5 million acres of land. As thousands of evacuees fled to the beaches, conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing growing outrage for his inaction on climate and close ties with the coal industry. As fires blazed in December, the prime minister went on a holiday to Hawaii. He told reporters this week that fighting the fires — not climate change — was his top priority. On Thursday, Morrison was shouted out of the town of Carbago after being confronted by angry fire victims. We go to Melbourne, Australia, to speak with Tim Flannery, chief councilor at the Australian-based Climate Council.

"Right-Wing Populists Will Sweep the Elections": U.S. Killing of Soleimani Helps Hard-Liners in Iran

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 08:42

We host a roundtable discussion on the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani, who has long been one of the most powerful figures in Iran. He was the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force — Iran’s powerful foreign military force, similar to a combination of the CIA and U.S. Special Forces. Iran called Soleimani’s assassination an act of “international terrorism.” “It was probably the best, the fastest, the quickest way to have a unifying rallying cry for the Iranian political establishment,” notes Iranian journalist Negar Mortazavi. We are also joined by historian Ervand Abrahamian, author of “The Coup: 1953, the CIA, and the Roots of Modern U.S.-Iranian Relations,” and Phyllis Bennis, fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and author of “Understanding the US-Iran Crisis: A Primer.”

U.S. Assassination of Soleimani Could Spark "Another Round of Civil War" in Iraq

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 08:33

After the United States assassinated Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in a major escalation of the conflict between Iran and the United States, which now threatens to engulf Iraq and the Middle East, we get response from Iraqi journalist Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, who says the U.S. killing of Soleimani was reckless. “Did anyone consult Iraqis about the assassination of Qassem Soleimani on Iraqi soil?” he asks. “We don’t want another round of civil war.”

Rep. Ro Khanna on Qassem Soleimani Assassination: Trump's Actions Are Unconstitutional

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 08:24

We continue our discussion of the U.S. assassination of Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani with Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna of California. Khanna says he believes the assassination was planned for some time and that Congress has failed to hold the Trump administration accountable. “I believe that the president’s policies are putting us in tremendous danger, and the motives are almost not relevant. What’s relevant is that he acted in a way that’s unconstitutional,” Khanna says.

Trita Parsi: U.S. Assassination of Iranian General Is Major Escalation & Will Make America Less Safe

Fri, 01/03/2020 - 08:12

The United States has assassinated Iranian commander Major General Qassem Soleimani in a major escalation of the conflict between Iran and the United States, which now threatens to engulf Iraq and the Middle East. President Trump authorized the drone strike that killed Soleimani at the Baghdad International Airport and four other people, including a high-level Iraqi militia chief, Thursday night U.S. time, Friday morning in Baghdad. Iran called Soleimani’s assassination an act of “international terrorism.” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said, “The U.S. bears responsibility for all consequences of its rogue adventurism.” The Pentagon justified Soleimani’s assassination as a defensive strike, saying the general was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.” The Pentagon did not offer evidence of an upcoming planned attack. We get response from Iranian scholar Trita Parsi, who is executive vice president of the Quincy Institute, a new think tank.

Death Toll Rises in India as Protests Against Modi Government's Citizenship Law Intensify

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 08:50

In India, the death toll amid the government’s crackdown on widespread protests has risen to at least 27 people, and over 1,000 more have been arrested. The protests are against a controversial new citizenship law, which provides a path to Indian citizenship for undocumented immigrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan — unless they are Muslim. Opponents of the law say it’s a step toward the official marginalization of India’s 200 million Muslims. Paramilitary and police forces were deployed in response to the demonstrations in Muslim-majority districts in Uttar Pradesh and New Delhi, and the internet was shut down. We go to Mumbai for an update from Rana Ayyub, global opinions writer for The Washington Post, where her latest piece is headlined “India’s protests could be a tipping point against authoritarianism.”

"The Genocidal Regime Is Still in Power": Assad Forces Push into Idlib, Last Rebel Stronghold

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 08:29

The United Nations says a quarter of a million people have fled the Russian-backed Syrian government offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib. Aid groups are now warning the offensive in Idlib could become the worst humanitarian crisis in the nine-year war in Syria. Nearly 200,000 Syrian civilians have fled toward the Turkish border as Syrian government ground troops advance into Idlib, the last major rebel-held territory, where about 3 million people live. Displaced civilians have sought refuge in several camps along the border, where they struggle with harsh winter conditions, flooding and mud due to heavy rainfall. We get an update from Yassin al-Haj Saleh, a Syrian writer, dissident and former political prisoner, and Loubna Mrie, a Syrian writer, photographer and activist who worked in Idlib from 2012 to 2014 for Reuters. “The genocidal regime is still in power,” Yassin al-Haj Saleh says. “It is more powerful now than ever because now it is a protectorate of the Russians and the Iranians.”

Could a "New Civil War" Erupt in Iraq as U.S. and Iran Fight for Influence in the Country?

Thu, 01/02/2020 - 08:10

In Iraq, Iran-backed militia members withdrew from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad’s heavily guarded Green Zone on Wednesday after being tear-gassed by American security forces. Their withdrawal ended a tense standoff that began Tuesday when militia members broke through the embassy’s reception area chanting “Death to America” while thousands rallied outside to protest a slew of U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria that killed at least 24 members of the Iranian-backed militia Kata’ib Hezbollah. The U.S. airstrikes came after an American contractor was killed in a rocket attack in Kirkuk, Iraq, Friday. The embassy withdrawal was ordered by militia leaders, who said they agreed to leave after Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi pledged to pursue legislation to force U.S. troops out of Iraq. We speak with Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, a correspondent for The Guardian newspaper.

First Lady of the World: Eleanor Roosevelt's Impact on New Deal to U.N. Declaration of Human Rights

Wed, 01/01/2020 - 08:30

2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote, and we begin the new decade with a New Year’s Day special about one of the most influential women in U.S. politics: first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. She served as the first lady of the United States from 1933, when her husband Franklin D. Roosevelt took office, until his death during his fourth term in office in 1945. She went on to serve as United States delegate to the United Nations General Assembly and spearheaded the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. President Harry Truman later called her the “First Lady of the World.” We speak with the prize-winning historian Blanche Wiesen Cook, distinguished professor of history and women’s studies at John Jay College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She is the author of the definitive three-part biography of the former first lady: “Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 1: The Early Years, 1884-1933,” “Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 2: The Defining Years, 1933-1938” and “Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 3: The War Years and After.”

Dangerous Women Embracing Risk to Change the World: Ava DuVernay, Ai-jen Poo, Abigail Disney & More

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 08:27

Media trailblazer Pat Mitchell is a person of many firsts. She was the first woman president of PBS, CNN Productions and the Paley Center for Media, formerly known as the Museum of Television & Radio. She is chair of the Sundance Institute and the Women’s Media Center. Mitchell tells her story in her new memoir, “Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World,” and speaks with us about some of the women she chose to profile. “Being the first or the only person in any situation that looks like you is always an additional challenge because there is a harsher spotlight,” she says. “For women leaders, it’s always meant a fear of being judged entirely as a woman leader.”

Jewish Community Denounces Anti-Semitic Attacks Fueled by a "White Nationalist Administration”

Tue, 12/31/2019 - 08:12

Federal prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against the man accused of stabbing five Jewish worshipers with a machete during a Hanukkah celebration at a rabbi’s home in a heavily ultra-Orthodox New York suburb of Monsey. They say the suspect, Grafton Thomas, kept journals that had references to Adolf Hitler, “Nazi culture” and a drawing of a swastika, and his cellphone showed multiple online searches for “Why did Hitler hate the Jews.” His family and lawyers say he is mentally ill. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has called the attack “domestic terrorism,” and several Jewish elected officials in New York have asked him to declare a state of emergency and to deploy the National Guard to “visibly patrol and protect” Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. It was New York’s 13th anti-Semitic incident in three weeks and comes after a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City in which two assailants killed three people before police shot them dead after an hours-long shootout. A new Associated Press database counts more mass killings in 2019 than any year dating back to at least the 1970s. We speak with Audrey Sasson, executive director of Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, and Alex Yablon, a reporter who covers guns, extremism and mass shootings.

Michael Moore on Trump, 2020 & Why "the Old, Angry White Guy" Doesn't Represent the Working Class

Mon, 12/30/2019 - 08:11

Last week on Democracy Now!, acclaimed filmmaker Michael Moore predicted Donald Trump would win-re-election if Democrats don’t choose a candidate to run against him who excites their base of voters. His comments prompted President Donald Trump to respond on Twitter, “He made [the] same prediction in 2016. Nobody ever said Michael was stupid!” But Moore’s comments went further than Trump’s tweet alluded to. He said the working class in the United States is mostly women, people of color and young people — all groups who tend to vote Democratic. Moore, who supports Bernie Sanders, said Democrats can win if they focus on these voters and on bold proposals like Medicare for All.