tv Democracy Now LINKTV March 21, 2022 8:00am-9:01am PDT
03/21/22 03/21/22 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from new york, this is democracy now! >> the president detailed what the implications and consequences would be a china provides material support to russia as it conducts brutal attacks on ukrainian cities and civilians. that is something we will be watching and the world will be watching. amy: as president biden speaks for nearly two hours with china's xi jinping, we will look at china's response to russia's invasion of ukraine and what it
could mean for u.s.-chinese relations. we will also speak to professor alfred mccoy, author of "to govern the globe: world orders and catastrophic change." then to western sahara, africa's last colony, for an exclusive interview with a leading sarawhi human rights defender sultana khaya, who has been under a de facto house arrest by morocco's occupying forces for nearly 500 days. during that time, she has been the victim of rape and torture. >> suffering not just for 482 days, but suffering from a long period. amy: last week, a group of u.s. activists entered sultana khaya's home, breaking a 482-day siege. we also speak to professor stephen zunes about how support
for the moroccan occupation of western sahara has emboldened vladimir putin. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. ukraine has defied russia's ultimatum that it surrender the besieged city of mariupol by 5:00 a.m. moscow time as attacks and casualties mount on day 26 of russia's invasion. mariupol officials said russian forces bombed an art school sunday that was sheltering 400 displaced people. many residents of mariupol remain trapped amid heavy russian bombardment and dwindling supplies. >> we have been in a basement for 11 days. this is the 25th day of war. we have been counting every one of them. we hope for the best to live as humans. erything is broken. where can we go from the basement? we are cooking on a fire.
for now, we have food and firewood. in week, we will have no food at all. amy: a powerful blast in the capital kyiv earlier today destroyed a sprawling shopping mall. the number of victims from tt attack inot yet known. meanwhile, moscow has said it used hypersonic missiles in its attacks on ukraine twice over the weekend. residentin the city of sumy were told to take shelter after russian shelling hit a chemical factory, triggering an ammonia leak. dozens of staff who have been working under russian orders at the chernobyl nuclear plant have been relieved and replaced by other ukrainian personnel after working for around 600 hours. the u.n. said some 10 million people have been forced from their homes since the start of the invasion of iraq a. around a third of those are refugees, while the rest are internally displaced. the world food programme warned ukraine's food supply chain is falling apart. amid the intensified fighting, ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky urged direct talks with
vladimir putin but warned if those fail "that would mean that this is a third world war." >> the time has come for a meeting. it is time to talk. the time has come to restore territorial integrity and justice for ukraine. otherwise, russia's losses will be such a will take several generations to recover. amy: this comes as turkey's foreign minister said over the weekend russian and ukrainian teams made progress on their negotiations to end the war. zelensky has also suggested israel could help mediate peace talks between the two countries. president joe biden met virtually with chinese president xi jinping friday for the first time since russia's invasion. the white house said biden warned xi of consequences if china supports russia's assault. xi said beijing was not planning to back the kremlin in its war. germany and qatar say they've reached a deal on gas supplies as berlin eks to lessen its dependency on russian energy imports. this comes as reports out of
washington say the biden administration transferred a large number of patriot antimissile interceptors to saudi abia irecenteeks, as the u.s. pressures riyadh to up -- pump more oil. in china, a passenger jet with 132 people aboard has crashed near the southern city of wuzhou in guangxi province. state media reports rescue crews were dispatched after thplane crashed in a remote mountainous region, producing a massive fireball. harrowing footage posted to social media aears to show the jet plummeting vertically towards the ground just moments before impact. a flight-tracking website identified the plane as a boeing 737-800, which has an excellent safety record. china reported two covid deaths in the northeastern city of jilin saturday, the country's first coronavirus fatalities since january of last year. jilin, home to some 4.5 million
people, went into lockdown today. tens of thousands of people across china have been ordered to stay home as the country continues to battle its largest surges of the pandemic. as cases in many asian and european nations are on the rise, health experts say the ba.2 omicron variant now accounts for 25% to 30% of new cases in the u.s. this is top white house advisor dr. anthony fauci. >> we likely will see an uptick in cases as we have seen in the european countries, particularly the u.k., where they have had the same situation as we had now. they have the ba.2, a relaxation of some of the restrictions such as indoor masking, and a waning of immunity. hopefully, we won't see a surge. i don't think we will stop -- i don't think we will. amy: climate scientists are expressing alarm over record-shattering temperatures set near the earth's north and south poles in recent days. in antarctica, temperatures in
some regions soared as much as 90 degrees fahrenheit above normal over the weekend. temperatures near the north pole soared to more than 50 degrees fahrenheit above average last week, approaching the freezing mark in areas near the north pole that were still shrouded in around-the-clock winter darkness. at least 25 migrants and refugees drowned after their ship wrecked off the coast of tunisia friday. some 35 passengers remain unaccounted for. most of the victims were believed to be from syria and tunisia. the international organization for migration says over 18,000 people have died or disappeared while attempting to cross the mediterranean to europe since 2014. the biden administration has for the first time determined the burmese military junta committed genocide and crimes against humanity against the minority rohingya community. secretary of state antony blinken is announcing the finding today at the u.s. holocaust memorial museum in washington, d.c. the u.n. reports as many as
10,000 rohingya were killed by burmese forces during the 2017 genocide, though some estimates put the death toll at more than twice that number. another 730,000 rohingya were forced to flee the country. sri lanka is seeking a bailout from the international monetary fund as it reels from its worst financial crisis since achieving independence in 1948. on sunday, authorities announced two men collapsed and died while waiting in a line for fuel amid energy shortages and soaring prices, which have driven the economy to record inflation. millions of school students had their exams cancelled after a shortage of printing paper. last week, protesters and opposition leaders marched through the city of colombo to protest the handling of the crisis by the government of president gotabaya rajapaksa and his family. the prime minister and the finance minister are brothers of president rajapaska. this is one of the protesters. >> we did not come here asking
to develop the country or any such thing. we can't live anymore because of the skyrocketing cost of living. we can't manage with our salary. we came to remove this government and bring a government that will help us. amy: the united states has suffered another weekend marked by gun violence. in norfolk, virginia, two people were shot dead and three injured outside a restaurant saturday. one of those killed was sierra jenkins, a journalist for the virginian-pilot. in arkansas, a gunfight at a car show killed one person and wounded 28 others, including six children. at least three people were shot and killed at a north carolina hotel. according to the gun violence archive, there have been 107 mass shootings in the u.s. for far this year. south carolina prisoners sentenced to death can now be executed by firing squad. prison officials said friday they are ready to carry out such executions after governor henry mcmaster signed a bill which forces prisoners to choose
between execution by firing squad or electric chair if the drugs needed to perform a lethal injection are unavailable. south carolina joins three other states which also allow firing squad executions -- mississippi, oklahoma, and utah. in washington, d, confirmation hearings start today for judge ketanji brown jackson, president biden's pick for the u.s. supreme court. jackson has received bipartisan support for previous judicial positions but in recent days, republican senators have attacked jackson over her record, accusing her of being overly lenient. in related news, supreme court justice clarence thomas was hospitalized friday with flu-like symptoms. the court said thomas, currently the longest serving justice, was diagnosed with an infection but
it is not covid-19. thomas will not be not participating in oral arguments today. in texas, 175 wildfires have scorched close to 100,000 acres in the past week. the eastland complex fire waging -- raging west of the dallas-fort worth area killed at least one person, destroyed at least 50 homes, and displaced hundreds. and in los angeles, climate activists joined indigenous land- and water protectors friday in a march on city national bank, demanding it divest from the coastal gaslink pipeline in british columbia. leading the protest was adam mckay, director of the hit netflix film "don't look up." mckay and hollywood a-listers including meryl streep, mark ruffalo, and leonardo dicaprio , say they will pull their money out of city national unless its parent company, the royal bank of canada, ends support for the pipeline that is being built on sovereign wet'suwet'en first nations land. indigenous activist george funmaker also joined friday's
protest. >> this pipeline threatens their drinking water and the air and all the other detrimental effects of drilling and the pipeline like many other poor communities here in los angeles who are affected by the oil, oil refineries and the bad air. just in that same sense, the people are fighting for clean air, clean water, clean land. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. coming up, professor stephen zunes on china's response on russia's invasion of ukraine and what it could mean for u.s.-chinese relations. stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden and chinese president xi jinping spoke for nearly two hours on friday, with much of the discussion focused on russia's invasion of ukraine. biden reportedly told xi that china would face consequences if it provides material support to russia. it was the first call between the leaders of the world's two largest economies in four months. in february, russian president vladimir putin traveled to beijing for talks with xi ahead of the invasion. earlier this month, china joined india, iran, pakistan, and 30 to other nations from the global south in abstaining from the united nations vote condemning russia's war in ukraine. on saturday, china's vice foreign minister criticized nato as a "cold war vestige" and criticized western sanctions on russia saying globalization was
being used as a "weapon." to look more at china's evolving relations with both russia and the united states, we are joined by alfred mccoy, professor of history at the university of wisconsin-madison. author of numerous books, most recently,to govern the globe: world orders and catastrophic change." his recent article for the nation is headlined "russia and china, together at last." welcome back to democracy now! why don't you start off by responding to the talk that president biden and xi jinping had on friday, what we learned, what they said. >> apparently, what president biden was hoping to accomplish was to draw on their successful video meeting last november and kind of encourage or even pressure president xi to back
away from china's strong support for russia's invasion of ukraine. and that did not happen. president xi's quote was he wanted the united states to untie the knot of russian and ukrainian security. that was a kind of bleak reference to the idea that the united states and nato are responsible for russia's invasion of ukraine by expanding nato right up to the borders of russia and threatening russian security. that is a reference to the historic meeting between putin and xi jinping on february 4 of this year when the two met during the winter olympics and issued an historic 5300 word declaration that claimed to establish a kind of new global order to attacking u.s. global hegemony and to build upon their
strong bilateral alliance, they're very close economic integration in the field of energy, and to simultaneously block nato from threatening russia and block united states from supporting taiwan against china's letimate claims to taiwan. inffect, was that failed to accomplish is simply failed to break this emergent alliance between china and russia, which is literally shaking the current world order. amy: i want to turn to the chinese abbasid or to the united states appearing on cbs "face the nation" on sunday. he was questioned by margaret grennan. >> has xi jinping told vladimir putin to stop the invasion? do you condemn it? >> actually
come on the second day of the russia's military operation, president xi jinping did talk to president putin. >> was there last phone call? >> asking president putin to resume peace talks with ukraine. president putin listened to it and we have seen four rounds of peace talks have happened. let me continue. china's relations with russia is not a liability. actually, it is an asset in the international efforts to solve the crisis in a peaceful way. and china is part of the solution. it is not part of the problem. and professor mccoy, can you respond to the siificance of
what the chinese ambassador to the united states said? >> of course. he is, again, kind of affirming what president xi said last friday in the meeting with president biden. in essence, that china is not going to rupture its relations with russia, it is not going to apply pressure on russia, it is not going to blame russia, it is not going to call the russian invasion of ukraine an invasion, and it is going to affirm that russia has legitimate security concerns in ukraine that must be met and that china is going to do anything, it will apply its considerable international power and preige to support russia in establishing its security on eastern europe. when i think is going on more broadly is we are saying a sense of extraordinary confidence from moscow and beijing that literally history, more
importantly, geopolitics is on their side. they believe their alliance gives them such dominance, such power on the massive eurasian landmass that they can prevail, that they cannot only dominate the landmass, they can dominate international politics. in essence, they are pursuing a geopolitical strategy to break u.s. control over the eurasian landmass and thereby break u.s. global power. they think they are witnessing the birth, the historic birth of a new world order in which the greatlobal hegemon, united states, in which its global power has broken and its dominance over eurasia. something united states has maintained since the start of the cold war and early 1950's. but that is also coming to an end. amy: this is the white house press secretary jen psaki talking about the meeting with xi jinping on a video phone
call. >> the movement of china to align with russia or to -- the movement of them to align with russia or the proximity of moving closer together is certainly of great concern to us as we have expressed, and we are not the only country that has expressed that concern, including many other members of the g7. we are not in pla at this point to outline the specifics. we are still discussing. amy: if you can talk more about what biden threatened, if it has an effect -- he is going to europe this week, speaking with a lot of european nations today and then meeting in brussels with other nato members and going to poland to hold bilateral talks friday and saturday. what this means for russia and then for russia and china. >> the united states is
concerned i think in two areas. one, that china will provide weaponry and financial support. in fact, china can break you financial embargo that the united states is trying to impose upon russia in order to restrain them in their invasion of ukraine. and so what washington is monitoring is flows of monitoring -- weapons and financial support from china to russia. the weapons may have short-term impact of financial flows of medium-term impact. that is the u.s. concern. i think we need to sort of analyze the situation in dual tracks. one, focus on the message, the military activity in ukraine. the course of the war on the battlefield. that may or may not go putin's way.
underline that, there is this an extrrdinary confidence in moscow and beijing that the geopolitics of eurasia are on their side, that because of their alliance and dominant position in this great landmass that comprises 70% of the worlds population productivity, that it almost inevitably they are going to emerge as the new centers of global power on the planet. and that i think is underlying the resistance to washington's pressure. so we can, from their perspective, provide weapons, not financial pressure, we can even -- mount financial pressure, even impact antitank missiles and handheld weapons, bring the missiles, bring down russian helicopters and aircraft, we can do all that but that is not material.
that is not what is going to matter. they believe because of the theory of geopolitics that being dominant powers under this great eurasian landmass, that they can slowly break the controls of the united states as imposed over eurasia since the start of the cold war. and they can break u.s. global power and together they construct a new global order. every global hegemon for the last 500 years, portuguese, spanish, dutch, british, the united states, not the chinese, have done one thing inommon -- they have all dominated eurasia. their rise to global power, including the u.s. rise to global power after world war ii, was accompanied by dominance over eurasia. and decline of all of these global powers, including the
united states, has been marked by their declining control over eurasia. and together, beijing on moscow pursuing a strategy of what i call push, push, punch -- so they are pushing at these great chains of your political control that the united states has reigned around eurasia since the cold war, airbases, mutual defense pacts -- they are pushing slowly at the east and west ends of eurasia, hoping to strain and break those chains of control that united states has imposed over eurasia until a nascent session of these punches, those chains of control snap, his domination -- u.s. domination comes to an end, and u.s. global power also declines. amy: professor mccoy, one of the
key reasons binding russia to china in addition to what you've been talking about is that russia is a major energy exporter. china is one of the world's leading energy importers. put that together with "the wall street journal" read in saudi arabia is an active talks with beijing to some of its oil sales to china in u.n., a move that would tend u.s. dollars dominance of the global petroleum market. china buys more than a quarter of the oil that saudi arabia exports. if priced in come of would boost the standing of china's currency. can you talk about the significance of both the currency and energy politics? >> one of the foundations of u.s. global powers since world war ii has been the dollar has been the functional global reserve currency. that was set in 1944.
in 1971, president nixon ended the automatic affordability of dollars to gold, saudi arabia annoced they would keep conducting their petroleum transactions in dollars. and since oil is the most negotiated of all international commodities, if the world is doing its oil business in dollars, that means the dollar has continuing support as global reserve currency. since 2015, the chinese currency has become a part of the international basket of currencies recognized by the international monetary fund. as china's dominance over the global economy grows and it bemes the world's largest economy, the chinese currency's role in the international economy is going to increase. once the dollar declines, that the most negotiable, most visible part of the u.s. global dominance. global dominance will follow the
decline of the dollar. amy: how do you see all of this playing out, professor mccoy? >> short-term, i think what we're looking at is a kind of parallel what happened with the last time china and russia were aligned. in the early 1950's, nazi germany went to moscow. he was -- formed an alliance with joseph stalin and he cashed in that aligns very quickly by using china to enter the korean war most of china fought in korea for three years. it caused about 40% of china's budget. 200,000 dead chinese soldiers. what we're looking at is a kind of rise of that. putin comes to beijing in february, winter olympics, he is
now the supplicant. he needs titus diplomatic, economic support for his ukraine ovation. at the moment of this very strong alliance, this time putin attacks, he is sacrificing his budget, his soldiers in this strategy of pushing, pushing, and breaking the u.s. dominance over eurasia. i see long-term, the growing power of china over the eurasian continent. this trillion dollar developme program that now incorporates arou 70 nations in eurasia and africa, laying down his construction, pipelines, railroads and roads come across the whole eurasian landmass. if this to bui a project succeeds, and it is 10 times the size of the marshall plan that the united states used to rebuild europe after world war
ii, the biggest development scheme in human history. if this scheme works in laying down infrastructure of rails, pipeline, and roads, across the eurasian landmass, and that draws the commerce of eurasia, home to 70% of the worlds population, towards beijing -- almost is it by natural law, power and prestige and global leadership will flow toward beijing. so what we are witnessing is the violent eruptions of the great tectonic shift in global power as u.s. global power declines come in china ascends, power shifts from the west -- europe and the united states -- toward asia, and what we are witnessing is an historic change that is -- i say by 2030, by the endf
this decade, it will become clear that u.s. global power has shifted to beijing and the eurasian landmass, and they are the new global hegemon. constructing aew kind of world order. a kind of transactional order of mutual communities. amy: we will leave it there but it is our land discussion that we will continue. alfred mccoy is a professor of history at the university of wisconsin-madison. author of numerous books, most recently, "to govern the globe: world orders and catastrophic change." we will link to your piece in the nation "russia and china, together at last." coming up, we go to western sahara for an exclusive interview with the leading sarawhi human rights attorney who has been under house arrest for almost 500 days. a group of u.s. activists have just broken the siege on her home.
stay with us. ♪♪ [music break] amy: "bord de mer" by the saharawi band group doueh. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we continue to look at the russian invasion of ukraine, we are joined by professor stephen zunes of the university of san francisco. he recently published an article in the progressive headlined "the u.s. hypocrisy on ukraine." zunes condemns the russian
invasion but criticizes what he see as president biden's focusing. he writes -- "if biden really believed that countries have a right self-determination he would not refuse to recognize this right for western sahara, as the international court of justice and virtually every country on earth has called for, nor would he refuse to support palestinian self-determination outside of the parameters agreed to by their israeli occupiers." that is professor zunes' words. he has written extensively on western sahara, which has been occupied by morocco since 1975. in a few minutes, we will turn to an interview i did with a leading sahrawi human rights defender on who has been under friday de facto house arrest since november 2020. but first, we turn to professor zunes. his books include "western sahara: war, nationalism, and conflict irresolution." welcome back to democracy now! as we see the russian invasion of ukraine play out, stephen
zunes, talk about why you're talking about western sahara. >> trump recognize, formally recognize morocco's illegal annexation of western sahara during his final weeks of his presidency. a number of impetuous trumpisms, it was thought that biden would retract that. he has refused to do so, however. united states is virtually only country in the world, the only country to formally recognize morocco's illegal annexation. if you look at maps from the united nations, google, rand mcnally, national geographic, whatever, they are depicted as two separate countries. u.s. government maps show western sahara as part of morocco. no demarcation between them. when biden says russia has no
right to unilaterally change international boundaries, that countries cannot expand their territory by force, he is correct but he seems to think it is ok if you are a u.s. ally like morocco. amy: for those who are not familiar with africa's last colony, if you can explain very quickly how morocco occupied western saha. >> morocco seized the territory in 1975 on the verge of its independence from spain. western sahara, formal name is the sarawhi democratic republic come has been recnized by over 80 countries. what biden is doing is essentially recognizing the conquest of one, recognized african state by another at a time when he is speaking sanctimoniously to how the world must unite against russian aggression because it violates long-standing international legal norms. the internationa justice, the
united nations security council, united nations general assembly, the organization for african unity all called for withdrawal of moroccan forces and active self-determination such as a referendum. but the united states has quietly supported the occupation ever since 1975 and in 2020 made the recognition official. amy: talk about why you also in the same articles talk about both palestine and western sahara, and then there is a link with trump pushing morocco and accepting their power over western sahara. >> the united states is also the only country in the world that has formally recognized israel's illegal annexation of syria's golan heights. we made a defect or of israel's annexation greater east jerusalem and since the trump administration, we have
considered illegal settlements as part of israel. so there is a link, but in -- we're not talking about a whole nation will we're talking about western sahara. what is interesting, and this happened just last week, we thought we had supported a great victory wh congress blocked u.s. military cooperation with the repressive armed forces of morocco until morocco agreed to find a mutually acceptable political solution to western sahara. at the biden administration just recently claimed morocco had done so via the dubious autonomy an which denies the people the right to self-determination as the united nations and world order has demanded. he rules out independence and makes permanent the occupation. if russia conquered 80% of ukraine and offered some vague form of autonomy under russian sovereignty, would biden find that a mutually separable
political solution? but this is what u.s. policy is. we are the outlier here just as we are trying to lead the world in upholding these international legal norms against the expansion of territory by force. amy: as we talk about occupied western sahara, i want to turn to an exclusive interview i did on with the prominent sahrawi friday human rights defender sultana khaya, who has been under de facto house arrest since november 2020. along with her mother and sister, she has been forcibly confined to her home for nearly 500 days. the khaya sisters say they were raped last year by moroccan agents in front of their 84-year-old mother. the agents also stole mobile phones, destroyed belongings, and threw trash, urine, and a noxious black liquid into the family's drinking water storage tank. last week, a delegation of u.s.-based activists arrived at the family's home to break the
482-day siege. in a moment, we will go to our interview. but first, i want to turn back to 2016 when democracy now! broke the international media blockade by reporting from occupied western sahara. during our trip, we spoke to sultana who described losing her eye as a college student after being beaten by moroccan security forces during a protest in 2007. >> one of them recognized me. he jabbed right at my eye with his baton. i bent over and i could feel my eyeball in my hand. i was yelling at him. amy: while we were reporting in western sahara, moroccan forces violently disrupted a protest led by sultana and oer sahrawi women. i spoke to her again just after she was beaten. we follow sultana khaya into a
small bedroom. she pulls back her traditional sarawhi robe and shows me fresh bruises on her leg, both arms, and on her breast. >> they were insulting us, beating us, dragging us, using violence to let us know we were not going to be able to protest. they tried stimulus out and pushed us into narrow streets where they could beat us without anyone observing. what you saw today is nothing compared to what we witnessed over and over since 1975. but that news never gets out. amy: that was sultana khaya in 2016. on friday, i spoke to her along with adrienne kinney, the former president of veterans for peace. she is a former army sergeant who worked in military intelligence. adrienne and three other activists with the human rights action cenr helped break the 482-day siege on sultana's home imposed by moroccan occupation forces.
a warning, this interview contains graphic descriptions of rape and torture. i began by asking adrienne kinney about what happened when she entered sultana's home last week. >> when we showed up here to sultana's house, we could see the evidence of the destruction of the moroccan police. and we knew they had left the corner they had been sitting on for the last 482 days because people started flooding into their home with laughter and excitement to siege other and to be free and to be in community with one another. and that honestly has been the last three days, two days, i don't even rember how many days it has been, but it is honestly beautiful. people need to know what is
happening here. amy: did you see moroccan forces outside the house? is the house surrounded right now? >> we have been watching the house, wating outside. we have seen people sitting. there have been attacks against people outside of this home. there is definitely a presence. we received reports that many cities in western sahara are on lockdown, that the checkpoints on the road have been -- there were already so many, i was just astounded at how many there were, but they are strengthening their presence. but they are also i think doing it from a bit of a distance because they know people are watching and they are trying to figure out their next steps. amy: i was wondering, adrienne kinney, if you could put sultana khaya on the phone. i would like to ask her about this last over 480 day siege to
her home and if she can describe what has happened to her during that time. >> it is not the suffering of just 482 days, but suffering from a long period since 1975. my strays just one story of all of the sarawhi women, women suffering every day under moroccan occupation. i'm just an example of an sarawhian woman. women have dead children and lost many things, actually. we are suffering in the occupation. the experience with my sister and my mom in our house, my family house, was like a prison
for us for this period of time. we practiced -- rape, torture, visas, everything you can imagine -- abuse, everything you can imagine. they bring us freedom -- not surrounding the house like before. now many people try but sometimes they fail to reach the house. now the sarawhi, many are with us. this delegation, just four people, brought happiness for thousands and thousands of sarawhis. i what to think american people
-- thank american people want to ask to push, can governments not to do like the last one, to care and push to get our rights. we have been waiting a long time, since 1991. 30 years of suffering and occupation, and no one cares about us. it was a hard experience. all kinds of torture, rape, injection into me twice. six riots on the house. they destroyed all of -- everything inside the house. during this 482 days, they practiced all kinds of torture against us. we are just peaceful women.
they did not let anyone into the house that is related to us. no one cares about us. that is why many people, they surrounded the neighborhood and the house and we can't have any support from outside. that is why our -- even though we keep resisting and resisting comment during the six raids on the house, they can sometimes 60, sometimes 80, sometimes 120 men covering their faces. all of them moroccan authorities. they are covering their faces. we believe in a peaceful process. they come to us like soldiers, and they rape us with their fingers. not one, many of them. one of them raping and one with
their finger and sexual harassment and anything, they destroyed the water inside the house. without electricity. all of this we face during this period. i can talk and talk without describing the whole story, actually. when they arrived in the raid on the house, they threw a poison substance in the house with a bad smell and they destroyed all of the furniture. they do it all around the world in palestine. we can't sleep during the night. we suffer from insomnia because we are afraid they will come for us. the agents outside the house keep knocking on the windows and the gate to keep us from
sleeping because they own our souls. when i saw from the window all the people in the neighborhood sleeping and we just wake up. it is a shame. it is hard for us to see the situation in the agents surrounding every night our house. amy: sultana khaya, why do you think the authorities have targeted you and your family? >> they targeted all the sarawhi s, moroccan authorities, targeted all the sarawhis. my eye and a demonstration in 2007 -- i lost my eye in a
demonstration in 2007. we don't have any freedom. we don't have anything. we need freedom and liberty for the next generation to not live like us, under occupation and suffering. we want something for the future. we do it in a peaceful way. amy: sultana khaya, president trump recognize morocco's occupation of western sahara in december, right before he left office. you recognize the occupation in a tweet. but president biden has not rolled it back. what message do you have for president biden? >> trump -- i was under house
arrest. that is why we have been in shock at how many people -- [indiscernible] be more aggressive. i want to send a message to biden that we still believe in a peaceful process. we need to push the process and more pressure on morocco to stop its violation. the cease-fire now is shot. we have more things happening in this land. we need our rights. we have been waiting a long time. actually, we need for biden to stop the suffering. actually, there are people here waiting a long time per referendum.
for a long time, this process continued. never a tweet or anything will give western zahara -- [indiscernible] we still believe in the peaceful process. amy: we are talking to you in the midst of russia's invasion of ukraine. the president of the united states, the secretary of state tony blinken, other nato nations have all reiterated that sovereign lines, borders of countries must be respected. do you see parallels here between the russian invasion of ukraine and what morocco has done with western sahara? >> [indiscernible]
1975 the situation in 2022. many people heard about the suffering of the ukrainian people in the situation of the invasion of russia to this country, and in 1975 we share the same thing with ukrainian people. all the practices on us from moroccan people and from the regime. they threw the napalm on sarawhi civilians. all the sarawhis are suffering. we want the world -- we want to just live in peace.
each country living in peace. that is why not a strong country invading another country. like nothing. we are believing in the same planet. mention there is actually a war between -- [indiscernible] amy: i want to end back with adrienne kinney, the past president of veterans for peace. as you enter the home of sultana khaya, this delegation of volunteers from the united states, in the midst of the russian invasion of ukraine, your thoughts on the parallels between russia invading ukraine and morocco's occupation of western sahara? and then, what are your plans at
this point? >> i have been asked by children here, even, what my thoughts are about what is happening in russia and ukraine and what is happening here with morocco and the western sahara. the only thing -- there so many thoughts. we hoped that when the whole world watching what is happening in ukrainethat perhaps they will see the hypocrisy of what is happening here in western sahara. i just implore people around the world to pase come and witness what is happening here in the last occupied african country that is longing for its own right to self-determination and freedom and it is the same rights that every single person should have.
everybody should have a right to their own home in their own homeland. amy: what are your plans? how long will you be staying in the house of sultana khaya and her family? >> we have planned to make sure that people will be here for as long as we need them to be in whatever form that takes. amy: that was adrienne kinney, the former president of veterans for peace with the prominent human rights defender sultana khaya who has been under house arrest. they help right the siege on sultana's home in northwestern africa right below morocco. sultana was speaking in a sarawhi dialect of arabic.
still with us is stephen zunes, professor at the university of san francisco. his books include "western sahara: war, nationalism, and conflict irresolution." on friday, i wanted to get your response to the significance of what has just happened there and also ask you what happened on friday, the spanish prime minister sanchez abruptly changing spain's historic position on the conflict in western sahara from supporting a u.n.-led solution to siding with morocco by providing a limited support of autonomy over the territory, the move shocking spanish society since spring was the former colonial power there. >> spain's move was surprising. spain has generally been part of the international consensus
supporting the rights of self-determination. western sahara -- a major negative reaction. this autonomy proposal which the u.s. has been supporting for some time, in fact was support for the so-called metonymy planes reiterated by u.s. under secretary of state sherman just 10 days ago, is a joke, really. it basically allows for continued moroccan occupation, does not meet international definition of a self-determination, and as a non-governing self territo, the sarawhis have the right of self-determination which must include the option of independence. that this autonomy puzzle does not get international acceptance, it will be the first time since world war ii, since the signing of the united nations charter that it countries got away with
expanding its order by force and that a colony has been denied the right of self-determination. particularly bad timing given the increasing rate russian, i mean, not only amnesty international, human rights watch documented the kinds of abuses that we have seen in terms of the khaya family, that freedom house, u.s.-based group that has a on a tate of analysis of relative human rights records , noted that of 210 countries in the world, moroccan occupied western sahara has the worst score in terms of political rights in any country in the world, say for syria. the idea this autonomy is going to give the people of sarawhi their rights, we have seen what happens when authoritarian states grant so-called ptolemy to regions. we think about if you'll ben,
it eritrea -- ethiopia, eritrea. amy: professor stephen zunes teaches politics at the university of san francisco. his books include "western sahara: war, nationalism, and conflict irresolution." go to democracynow.org to see our documentary. democracy now! is looking for feedback from peopleñ■?áaa)aaaa
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