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tv   BBC Newsnight  PBS  August 20, 2010 6:30pm-7:00pm PDT

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>> "bbc newsnight" is presented by kcet, los angeles. funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global
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>> we are a nation of explorers. we seek new ways of living, of thinking, and of expressing ourselves. we take risks. we learn from experience. and we keep moving forward. that is why we encourage and celebrate the explorer in all of us. >> and now "bbc newsnight." >> and bloodshed in iraq. should u.s. combat troops to be leaving the scene? this week, as iraqi insurgents step up the violence ahead of the withdrawal of american combat troops, we asked a senior
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pentagon adviser if the strategy is wrong. and the battle for ethnic identity in the balkans. and google's chief warns we may have to change our names to escape our cyber past. are we throwing away our privacy by social networking? hello. iraq was shaken by a series of insurgent attacks this week. one blast in baghdad killed 56 and injured more than 120. it was one of the bloodiest suicide attacks this year. it was a chilling reminder that the country is still volatile. we have this report. >> the suicide bomber struck near the station where hundreds were hoping for employment.
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and in recent weeks, the violence has been growing. it is a grim reminder of the fragility of the country. the obama administration's attention may be struggled more on the conflict in afghanistan, but this is mr. obama's other war. it is not going away. many fear a new iraqi crisis could be looming. on monday, u.s. forces handed over command of an air base. this month they see the end of american combat operations altogether. american troop numbers in iraq will be down to 50,000. their job -- to train and mentored the iraqi armed forces. but the buildup of iraqi police and army has been delayed by a crippling economic crisis. there is political chaos. and in the vacuum, violence is growing.
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this latest baghdad bombing adds to a worrying trend. the number of deaths has been steadily increasing. the provisional figures for the smuggled gun show -- for this month alone show that the death toll is rising. there are still fewer deaths than during the sectarian clashes during 2006 and 2007 that left thousands of civilians dead. but it points to the resilience of the insurgency, with al-qaeda and its allies striking out with security forces, civilians, and sunnis who have sided with the americans. >> the security of the iraqi forces has been delayed by nearly a year. and while the iraqis have shown they can deal with a lot of issues and deal with them out well -- and deal with them well,
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the expansion tied to the u.s. withdrawal has not happened. >> five months after a general election, iraq still has no government. no one has secured an outright majority. neither of the major blocks -- blocs, nor the secular party of the former interim prime minister which galvanized many snee voters, once you work together. -- sidney of voters, want to work together. -- sunni voters want to work together. >> if that perception continues that america is pulling out of iraq, can no longer all the attention on iraq because there are so many other issues worldwide, then obviously, there are very few good forces that
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can help the country. we shy away from being active. >> iraq's economic crisis adds to the turmoil. unemployment is high. there is little money for long- term rebuilding of industry or agriculture. the country's most -- much- vaunted oil reserves is something of a mirage. >> by the many people think of iraq as an oil-rich country, and it is not. it has 6% per capita income in the world, and that puts it roughly in the category of the west bank in gaza. its oil revenues, which are the government's only source of money, only fund the job creation and personnel side. there is little left over for development. >> the u.s. is clearly not washing its hands of iraq. the suicide bombings, though he
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terrific, are not yet the main threat facing the -- those horrific, are not yet the main threat facing the country. that may be the politicians themselves, whose inability to agree brings a question to the future of this democracy. >> i am joined by my guest. he worked with former secretary of state condoleezza rice and is still advising david petraeus in afghanistan. first of all, your reaction to the most recent insurgent spike? >> i am not sure we can call it a spike yet. 59 people dead. although it is a very significant hit, it is nowhere close to the sorts of levels we had a year or so ago. and i think what we are probably seen as a reflection of
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uncertainty associated with the political situation. >> but that uncertainty does not look like it is going to be resolved anytime soon. that, with the insurgency, combined with the removal of the air combat troops, is the alchemy of that good news or bad news? >> there are brigades in iraq that have taken over what the military calls be outer corrigan functions. they watch over the iraqis, and the iraqis themselves have been doing the vast majority of security work in iraq for the last 12 months. the cities in iraq are secured by the iraqi police. the iraqi military government is not illegal in as much as they used to. at think we're seeing the late stages of a transition to -- i think we are seeing the late stages of a transition to iraqis self-sufficiency. that does that mean the insurgency as a wide.
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-- goes away. >> so you think the decision is the right decision? >> i do think the drawdown is the right decision for a variety of reasons. not only for strategic reasons, but also for iraq. the way this stuff works is not that the far end intervening force destroys the insurgency. what happens is you drive it down to the level where the locals can handle it, and they handle it. it does not mean there is no insurgency. it just means it is one the locals are capable of handling without vast numbers of foreign combat troops. i do think we're at that stage in iraq. large numbers of foreign troops can become a hindrance to their self-sufficiency. >> what are the chances of a military coup? >> i think there is always that risk in a long-term counterinsurgency. i would suggest that is quite minimal at this stage, but it is
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something we want to be looking out for five or 10 years down the track. >> the u.s. troops are staying behind in a training capacity. is it not a danger they will become the targets of insurgents? >> it is. but training is not a full description of what they are doing. they are accompanying the iraqi forces on certain operations. they are providing key, what the military called, enablers. they are still engaged. they are in the wall of dealing with iraqis in the -- the role of dealing with the iraqis and in the street is being dealt with by the iraqis themselves. >> can you see the possibility that if the worst happens and iraq implements, than large numbers of americans -- and iraq implodes, and the large numbers of americans will go back?
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>> there's always the possibility, of course. in the case of al-qaeda, as an organization, they are at their lowest level ever in iraq. i would not call it an insurgency anymore. it is still a threat. it can still mount attacks. it can still inject itself into iraqi politics and in a deeply negative way. it is nowhere close to the level where it might threaten the long-term existence of iraq, of which is where we were a couple years ago. >> thank you very much indeed. >> thank you. >> the merkel may not be recognized, but that -- the miracle may not be recognized, but that is not discouraging the faithful. in 1981, six teenagers said they saw the virgin mary on what is now called apparition hill, and some claim she still appears
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regularly. this is all taking place in a country where a faith is equated -- is equivalent to ethnic identity. our correspondent returns to explore this phenomenon. >> yes, jesus loves me. jesus loves me ♪ >> at the catholic church is still investigating, but how long can it hold out against the rapture of this scale? hundreds of thousands make the trek every year. at this time, there are 600 priests here. you can handle and money to confess your sins and seek absolution. here has a shred of doubt.
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-- no one here has a shred of doubt. you think the virgin mary comes here? >> oh, absolutely. some of the testimonies we have heard -- a young girl was crippled and had to be carried up the mountain. she tripped and fell on the way down, and later she waltz. >> this is one of the six teenagers who saw the virgin on the mountainside. he divides his time between here in massachusetts now. ivan is one of three visionaries mary appears to every day. a handful of pilgrims are specially invited to witness the apparitions. the operations happened at precisely 6:40. the intensity builds. then, the moment comes.
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ivan sees mary, the latest of more than 8000 visitations he has experienced over three decades. for seven or eight minutes, he dozens and converses. and it is all over. he tells the kilograms what he has heard. and then, he takes questions. -- he tells the pilgrims what he has heard. someone asks what she looks like. he says, you see the statue? a lot like that. her beauty is hard to describe. ivan has a rock star status among the pilgrims. they listened to his speeches on headsets which provides simultaneous translation in several languages. he does not often give
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interviews, said this, i am to understand, is a privilege. how was it when you meet new people and ask what you do? do you say, i get visited by the virgin mary? >> a lot of people ask me that. a lot of good comes from them asking me that question. we talk of deeper things, about everything. i help people to get back to the right path. >> a lot of people around the world say those kids, those six kids have become rich telling their story. >> nobody has ever said that steamy. -- teammate. money is essential to modern life. we have to support our family and our children. everyone needs money. is that consent? i do not think that is the sen. -- is that a sin?
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i do not think that is a sin. >> it is like a christian theme park. buy a cheap plastic souvenir and have it blessed by a priest. this one is the virgin mary. they're part of the miracle. the virgin mary has brought wealth to this town. >> of course. of course. you can see it, can you? and nobody is trying to deny it. that is not white our lady came here, to make us rich. -- that is not why our lady came here, to make us rich. i have the croatian coast of arms right here. -- coat of arms right here.
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>> for the pilgrims, it is a street if you of celebrating faith. but for others, it is more than that. faith and national identity is inseparable year. the catholic church is a powerful vehicle for the expression of croatian national aspirations. it is the way you assert yourself as a bosnian croat. 10 years after the first apparition, war came. people divided along religious lines. they fought to dismember the country known as bosnia- herzegovina and fought to carve out ethnic states of their rahm. thousands of muslims were driven from their homes here and what was known as ethnic cleansing. since the war, they have come back. before them, public displays of
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group allegiance that might seem harmless to outsiders are loaded with meaning. this is what happens if somewhere there is an expression of croatian national aspiration. >> very much. how else would you explain our religious sites serving as a place for display of nationalist ideology? most of them will welcome you to croatia. mr. the people, ironically, think it are living in croatia. this is a clear display of how the religious institutions are linked to the nationalist leaders here. >> some cling to the dream of separation from bosnia even now. >> we have to try the political roots to get our own republic, but then we have the right to unilateral action, whether it is war or some other form of the
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uprising. we have the right to self- defense. >> i do not care what a muslim or and englishmen are american it says about that. i only care about my freedom. we are the only nation that is not free. the croatians of bosnia- herzegovina. what's more and more pilgrims come every year, largely -- >> more and more pilgrims come every year, largely unaware of the political implications. the catholic faith was central to the war and what the croatians were fighting for. it is still central to what many dream of. they look to the church for spiritual delegation, and that aspiration, that yearning for a national redemption indoors. >> that was allan little reporting. has the internet made privacy
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impossible? more than 600 million people round the world use social networks to share pictures and gossip about their lives. but there are cases that we -- that they will be dismissed from their jobs if they are too liberal with their eyes -- with their on-line identities. our correspondent sent off to safeguard his own online reputation. >> like most people work for the bbc, i joined for the copper- bottoms pension scheme, but a little recognition would not kill a piece. >> are you -- >> yes, i am, actually. thank you. you're very kind.
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i am waiting to see someone who says he canvassed my image. close enough. you must be dated. hello, david. thank you for coming. have a cup of tea. the thing is, david, you have probably seen me on tv, right? >> no. >> that was not actually me, but -- yes, i do some stuff for news. it is kind of public service and public spirited, but i feel i'm not getting a big enough profile. >> online is everything. most people do not exist. yes, you have got to do it online. basically what you want to do is you want you to get yourself a googles ranking. you want to be on social media. we need good content. >> to be honest, i have always fancied being a bit of an
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international playboy. you know. looked at lionel blair. he has done ok. >> true. >> i am getting high-quality photos taken for might be launched. i cannot wait to see the results. -- for miny relaunch. i have had to take my image seriously after a warning from, of all people, the boss of google. >> i am not sure people understand. we really have to think about these things as a society. people sometimes say they have nothing to fear, nothing to hide, why should they worry about it? but actually everybody has something they would rather not catch up with them later, and this can be shown quite clearly by flashing someone up
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photograph of when they were young. they are embarrassed and a blush and they say, oh, put it away. this will be played to us all the time if we could it online. >> it back at my focus session, they say the camera never lies, but what about the internet? can you get a new image online? it is good to see you again, after what? how many hours that's about five hours. what have you managed to do? >> a completely new image. we have photographs of you and in some very interesting places. >> all fixed up, we should say. >> yes. >> what does this say about how difficult it is to reinvent yourself online or disappeared? >> it is very, very difficult to
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create a new image. >> you cannot escape the old one? >> you cannot escape the old one. >> do you think this will bring in friends? >> well, no. >> you could break it to me a bit more gently than that. no friends at all? >> in joined in the studio by sarah from the social network geekdom. you were actually speaking on the whole question of public and private identity this week. do you think we are ending the time where we can have an inner and outer life? >> i am worried we are entering a time where real life is getting lost. everyone in silicon valley and in seattle is proclaiming the end of privacy. that is something we want. i am not sure what the future of
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humanity is. if all we do is live extern telling -- externally, i am very worried about it. >> do you think that what happens is you define yourself or we define ourselves by the public life and not the private life? >> right. we are entering what people in silicon valley are calling the "reputation economy." everything is defined by are the identity online. the private then becomes irrelevant, but comes shriveled, and there are guys like jeff jarvis, who proclaimed the age of publicness where privacy is over and people are celebrating the end of secrecy, which is very terrifying. >> we have 600 million social networks -- social networking
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people declaring the into their privacy. you think they will not get that privacy back? >> i do not think everyone uses the privacy tools they have available online at the moment. i do not think they are educated to understand where these tools are and how they are supposed to be used. >> so when the material is out there, it is being brought into many areas, from which it is hard to retrieve it that's correct it can be hard to retrieve the information. you have to follow the right path to be able to do so. >> andrew, we are entering into the 21st century a time where we will have only one identity, and that is the identity for all the -- for all the world to see, albeit an edited one. >> marc zuckerberg made it
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clear. he said, "you have only one identity." that is wrong. he wants people to have only one identity so he can profit. facebook has it close to 1 billion members. we have many identities that are revealed in many different ways. if we are to fall into the illusion of having a single identity, we will be much poorer as a human race and in terms of our individuality as well. if anything, i think that will create more secrecy and more screwed up lives. >> and that is all for this week. from all of us, goodbye. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news"
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online. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. newman's own foundation. the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global financial strength to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for years? >> bbc
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