tv Going Underground RT August 11, 2021 2:30pm-3:01pm EDT
the films that made it to the big screen despite the, as a lot of stories like a documentary on guantanamo bay trials have been rejected completely and never came to be back to going on the ground for you can use it's all, you know, come in for his latest film exploring the phenomenon of selling human organs in the african region of hara, go back in half an hour with the latest join us again that the, the, the, the, the, the, the with
i'm action or can see we're getting underground. the uncovering allies told by the so called mainstream media coming up in the show of the us and gun ships into afghanistan. this why do you suppose withdrawal from the country? we speak to award winning journalist and former british army captain, who and smith about 2 decades of lives told about the war and ask if truth can be found in the fog of war. while the western media differ to power and is u. k prime minister boards, johnson the government backs new colonialist actions around the world. we speak to the artist who is bringing colonial sculpture to the heart of imperialism, london, stuff. how good glen all the more coming up in today's going underground. but 1st taking place today is another extradition hearing. in the case of julian, the son j trial, that could decide the fate of journalism around the world. the wiki, lynx publisher is famous among other things for the african war logs, one of the largest leeks in u. s. military history. they detailed the horror of the nato war and f can it's done, including hundreds of reported civilian killings. so what was it all for now that us troops appear to be finally leaving f canister?
joining me now from norfolk in the u. k is warn smith, a former soldier and award winning journalist who's imbedded with the british army in afghanistan in 27. and also gave shelter to julian sandy, this home in 2010 in the wake of the release of the wall logs. he's the founder of london's front 9 club for journalists. welcome back von, to going underground. it wasn't that long ago. i seem to remember that there were journalists, your frontline club telling us things were going fine in this war after 911 will be with the saudis that were more involved in afghanistan. you were embed, it told you didn't helmand after serving the british army and you get slow via. what do you make of events now? and i tv screens. i want, yes i did. i did 3 beds. actually i was in bed with my own old regiment cuz i'd been a soldier myself in the olden days. and yes, you right, that's been so much news and discussion of this. this was, this is a factor to go on. on the 20 year we've been in
a kind of 20 years very long time. and so i think today people are slightly dumbfounded and, and don't quite see what it was. it was all for. i don't think it makes sense to people. i think the reporting was been quite poor and i think people's understanding of what happens that doesn't make sense. i think people are very confused about what's happening now. i mean, the thing that i think about it is, is something that a friend of mine says who lost the chasm. actually it was a cousin and how, what people were saying that and they, they were, you know, kind of stop making the sacrifice. but they see that was to protect us and to protect person from from terrorism. and so i think people are quite concerned as to when does that stand now? i mean, we protected them. that doesn't seem much to take home. there's doesn't seem much that we've got half of 20 years of war. and what is going to be a good soldiers?
did they know that britain had previously supported the merger dean that became the talent, the this term taliban that is used all. i didn't, i didn't find a huge amount of understanding of afghanistan within the british army. i felt that people did genuine to be the soldier general, believe they were doing good. they believe that they were that to try to help people. that's what soldiers would say. and i think there was a sudden i even see, i didn't think we understood history. i mean, you know, we lost a whole army there. ready in 181842. and we just lost 456 soldiers over 20 years. that is the chief. nothing is. what i find quite interesting about in terms of soldiers says soldiers, very proud of being in the british army. the british army hasn't actually lost very many wars in its entire history. in fact, one of the ones we lost was the one we mentioned 1842, and i've kind of we just lost 2 wars on iraq over the last 20 years,
which hadn't been sol reputation. but that doesn't seem to be a recognition of that because we just blame the americans. so i think there's a lot of confusion about what's happening. it's gonna take a long time to digest. i'm sure the british army last in many more places than that . i'm thinking this is a propaganda in the british army. clearly they, they want to tell where they were told that the graveyard of, i mean they were actually serious allegations are british soldiers torturing and killing children. and as you know, but i mean, i think we get back to this idea of what ger let alone commanding offices. although often nuremberg that may not be any excuse. you know, you know the journal. you had afghan officials in the front by him club. i seem to remember, and they would talk about post conflict development and all sorts of things, but it was all rubbish. no, i think i don't think it was rubbish. i think they were the intentions, but that was
a fundamental mistake. clearly i think who all the soldiers i speak to, i don't think that many of i speak to would have come to the hope being a waste of time. i haven't quite caught that fall. yes. but they do feel that they made a terrible mistake by staying in after the initial invasion of acronyms on when they kicked out how the bomb and, and defeated them effectively and then stayed on for what purpose, because they weren't rebuilding, if you compare what the russians did and kind of what the americans and brits are just on this very interesting. in 1979. the russians are not going to solve for 10 years. and then then with a feature that left, but they had intended to stay. and so they invested lot in the country, they invested into an infrastructure that, you know, a lot of doctors or civil servants who meet not kinda sounds staying. we're trained by the russians all that time ago. and there is a section that we in 20 years and i think it's quite important if you take my to 79, i've got to storm it's fat that has been complex that ever since 970 not. i
think shocking is that we've been 20 years of that we've, we've contributed to that, of course, but the big cold war thing when we were supporting the much dean against the russians during 7989. but essentially when they look at the russians, at least they say that a lot of dead tanks, we had a hot mess a little bit more and we didn't the part so much scrap metal. but you see that the africans had to say about the enemies, the enemies have the guns, but the africans have the time and they proven they've been proven right. we, you know, 20 years where out they want. i mean, it's almost hard to remember the breathless reports by bbc and other reports as in 2122 and talking about victory. i mean, was the media controlled, i mean, and who smuggled yourself in, in persian gulf war, one to become one of the only uncontrolled journalists and covering that war. i
know you were embedded and have cancer, but with a journalist controlled is that why people in britain, in the united states clearly did not get an accurate picture of the impact of native the nation troops in afghanistan? yes, i think there's a lot to be said for that, but your opinion on what you just said because effectively in the scuffle way. yes i did. describe myself the soldier having left 5 years and was a john on controls. the attempt to control janice in the 1st gulf war was very intense in the 2nd go. what's the that the army had done? is they, they develop something called embedding. where what they would do is they would control jonas by exchanging access for independence. so if you became an embedded journalists and i've done them 5, i know you said they didn't get access to both sides of you got very controlled axis. you had no logistical independent, logistical. it's very controlled access. and if they didn't like what you're
reporting, you will not invite you to do so again. so there's no question about it by doing so you exchange your independence for and for access, but i'm afraid it was very effective because it was run by an outfit called media operations. and you know, it's all in the name. i mean, you know, journalists were the subjects of an operation by the british on. i'm to effectively control outputs. now, in a sense, you might reasonably say, look, mama was, is about, you know, information war and the digital aids, it's become more important to armies. and i think that's a fair point, but who says that information will be directed again? should it be directed against the enemy, world opinion? should it be defensive or offensive, where i have issue where i was rather disappointed was a very great deal of the efforts by the media operations was directed at keeping public support for the war getting rather than informing the public,
actually about what's going on. and i think journalists, because the pictures you've got on them, that was so amazing. i mean you get awards for this amazing stop the access to frontline reporting with extraordinary through, through this embedding. but ultimately, i think it, we failed the rich public because we didn't inform them about what happens and i think, you know, still today, you know, the arguments delivered by the army. we should still be there. i'm sort of miss the point. i think we haven't really nailed the question of whether, you know, whether the was we have a delivered in iraq and afghanistan. have they made oh, or they made us less. it seems to me suddenly the laugh and obviously tens of millions killed wounded or this place that goes, americans will recognize what you say about embedding from, from vietnam. but while you are saying, look, i was embedded on in the, i recognize the constraints, some journalists, they came back detesting those that weren't embedded. did you,
what did you think of the recriminations against robert fisk of the late robert fisk, one of the greatest journalists, arguably of trying to hit that century? maybe it seemed a lot of reporters with n g and his body wasn't cold and they were saying, yeah, he wasn't a real journalist the way the was, you know, as if, because he wasn't imbedded, he wasn't a journalist. well, i don't wanna get into the business of defending individuals. i'm actually more interested. i'm not even actually one thing to criticize individual organizations. i think collectively journalistically we have failed to inform the public. and i agree, i mean, you mentioned robert as can. he was certainly a voice who told people things i didn't want, you know, we want to hear and there are other voices like that but that we will base no. but i feel that there has been a tendency for journalism to slightly close off. it's almost like an acceptable window of reporting. i'm not saying it doesn't, doesn't contribute to a public service. it does, even though it's in its current form,
i believe it fails massively in, in terms of failing to properly explain what's not in, not accept the window. and i feel that, you know, voice is on the outside. we don't care or listen to it all. peril, and i think, you know, both the african and iraq was which we lost. where, you know, what expedition. it was a choice. it's quite tenuous, but link as to how they were put. we're protecting our populations. it was so just protecting also time how is that really happening? i didn't think that was necessarily proven or explained. and i said earlier, certainly the situation is being made worse by, by, you know, by us, after failing to actually support and when an achieve any objectives. fundament for the afghans knew when they thought also does there one that we were going to go day . i'm to that we weren't really bad to help them because we were carrying gums and
so, you know, yeah, looks at that and see the foreigners, that country, you know, can you come? what are you going to do? you're going to fight back. i mean, and in a sense we misunderstood the fact that we do that thinking with doing good because we persuade ourselves and a lot of bad news management. when actually you really have to question what we're doing. and is the mist terrorism over the overseas increase. i know you're involved with this big translator story, rather than ordinary afghans. run the agenda on the ground that people have written that will give us these translators. i mean it's difficult to ask, given you are obviously help helping them and, and feel compassion for them. can you understand that the global sounds would consider them traitors if not even. i mean, obviously the taliban do, because they worked with nato nation troops and have done and therefore these translators of justifiably enemy combative. no, i mean, i have that view. i'm don't necessarily subscribe fully. i do. i've been, i'm very much aware of it. i, i feel i feel compassionate. anybody at risk?
i think these people have been pushing risk and i think we should be saving everybody if we possibly can. i do. i do come in the media if i'm getting together . it was quite extraordinary. i mean, it was led by a bought by 2 genesis sunday time to talk to us and god, and just an unnamed lawyer who put this together. i commend the press for doing that. i think that the media needs to the costs of the people it works with. i'm but i likewise, i'm the army saving it's translation, which is much more what you're talking about. i the journalist would like to believe that we can report and have no him and it's always disappointing for us. i think a good journalist. they feel that you are actually impacting and thing we do want to try and do some good. we want to leave the well developed place. i think that's an idealism. and that fundamentally, if you can give the public accurate information that they can make better decisions than that, that's a whole some thing. but it's clearly failing and the digital. ready wells,
i'm in information where you become a tool of one side or both sides are all sides. and these things get incredibly complicated. varner, stop you there more from the founder of the front line club on the prosecution of wiki leaks, publisher julian sons. after this break plus anti colonial sculpture comes to the heart of imperialism, the financial survival guide. i don't. why a guy on the teachers. that's not an almost friday at the last time i buy it for the future. so watch, guys are replacing me. welcome back. i'm still here with the founder of london's from 9 club born smith. you are speaking to me from the house, and you gave assigned them to before president career of ecuador to julie and
assigns. i mean, what do you make of jo biden's justice department claiming that they have a justified appeal against the british court, saying that he'll be protected in custody in the united states? i'm. i'm incredibly disappointed. i'm slightly heartbreaking about it. i mean, i know julian personally and he's not the person. his character is not as described by, you know, people who denigrate and julian has got off every day of is everyday feeling. but he's, he's serving the public. i'm troubled by the way that we can gang off against somebody who's got something that we say, but might not quite fit into what lots of people want to have. that actually we benefit by hiring, hiring people and, and, and voice like students i, i'm, you know, a marginalized and actually what's happened, jim legally is so disgraceful. it's so completely clear. but the law applied to
julia and the law replied to say you or i, or anybody who might be watching you in this country is quite a different thing. the julian has been picked up to make an example of him and the suffering he's going through is intended to dissuade other people from doing what he did. now. i personally believe, but what he did was an incredible contribution to the public understanding is very much part of our understanding of what transparency should be an important debate that he brought to us. i feel about what, what, what ro, secrecy, and transparency should have in the world. and i think the public haven't really been able to sort of focus on that or not because distracted. i all the, all the lies and smear, which is a monumental proportions against you. and it's quite extraordinary. i'm the will. it's being completely pulled over our eyes. i think be, it is just a calling saying because of the obama and the bomber administration decided not to do this. it was,
it was from who actually took the faction trump's ministration to actually get students. and i had that bike would drop it because it is essentially an assault on journalism and it ties into what's happening in our country as well. i think we should be really worried about, you know, our government is looking at legislation today about how you know about secrets and, you know, it's tending to already the public interest. defense is, you know, when, when you leave something and you can then go to court and say this was in the public interest. well that's, that was removed by mrs. patrick. but all the other arguments that might have defended. i mean, i'm sure some of your audience would have seen and seen care and likely in in hospital my sexual secrets about catherine gum. the way that i've been emerson, the famous q c, who defended catherine then, was able to protect. i'm told i'm, you know, wouldn't, wouldn't be a defense in the future. and so it is very wiring what happens and all of these
things fit together. and, and fundamentally, those people who are trying to keep the public informed appeared to be in retrace at the moment. so not institutions are being support who are not on use organizations, i think needs to get out on the front and trying to defend things which are getting too hung up on things like the definition of a journalist. well, what is the journalist today? well actually in the new media where anybody can blog shows jonathan values robin a job description. and so i think that went well losing math and this attendance. i think that the traditional media to get hung up for self interested purposes in terms of what a definition as a genesis, i've been a free loss, janice, all my career clinic, probably so and i found freelance journalist can be evangelist about the ethics and i see that a lot of blog is, and i think that we need to really look at trying to find a way of understanding who we need to believe and it's incurred to be complicated.
but those people like junior songs you've made such a contribution to getting marchmont von smith. thank you. and you can watch our interview with julian a sounds and catherine gun on our youtube channel. well, we've just been discussing up canada, started country, devastated over decades by new colonialist intervention from nato nations. but as a prime minister barak johnson's government seems more preoccupied with a debate around statues of races, trafalgar square legend before flint is to be doing with a new sculpture, celebrating resistance against colonial rule. joining me now is the artist behind the professor. samson can bother fans and welcome to going underground. your sculptures means elected to be on the 4th flint in trafalgar square in the center of london looked over by a nelson various colonial other statues. they say the 4th split is future may be reserved for queen elizabeth. g dies, who is the baptist preacher, john chil,
him wear who you depict in this sculpture? don't you think we will be unknown to a lot of people? and for me, that's what actually inspired everybody bring fell on story to target square, where they for me, from america, africa. we now invited you because i thought, well, i would do something on that, please me, something to me, even if it doesn't mean much public way somehow i thought maybe by going specific i could go universe. so that's what happened. don't she died in 1960. during the rising he was protesting against the corner injustices. and one of the justices was actually wearing of hot before white people. you few can we brandon the way people you only have to take it off. in fact
a l and you know, external shoes and yeah, don't see them but stood up against this. we could support for me is framed, you can see on the plane, don't trolley an english missionary. and he staged his photograph, months before the uprising and distributed of the former, far forgotten to support and amongst his followers. and yes, so when you look at the photograph looks ordinary, but actually these 2 main, one white, the black wedding had together was pretty submissive. but more so the half is a bit like taking the knee famously called the deplorable, at least the black lives matter movement. by boris johnson's. i'm secretary yes, i think this issue is still going on. it's who gets to where the house gets to have. i think it's, i think some members of society thinks that maybe other members of such shouldn't
be wearing that hot and you shouldn't be supporting people like that wanting fighting for we call it a basically yes. so that they are hot becomes the middle full minute thing. what do you mean when you said that your selection is a litmus test for how much you belong in british society? this was before black lives, massa and george floyd of 2 years ago. but these are the most spheres in africans with blacklist and new expedients, and they always minister for me. and i wanted to tell if there was an appetite from the public to go specific. it's one thing to say we need diversity. ah will black people, but it's quite another to start putting detail to, to, to, to do, to, to, to, to black experience. and for me don't, she begins to put detail to the african experience. we all are and we need
tolerance and diversity. i mean, you must be in your reaction then to the oligarch owned media here in this country saying this sculptures of a terrorist and then site or a racist and the same sort of media that obviously once churchill is still in parliament square, obviously responsible for the bangle family, so maybe the calling you a for to describe the joint team was working because i'm sure that that behaves, that people are talking about those don't even try to discredit you now. yeah. because they knew actually that he would, he's appraising was more symbolic. and in fact, he's slow as i q team of passivity, of kind of not being proactive enough doing the rising. because for him, the appraisal was symbolic. so i think there was no need to kind of stuff when becoming a st. and they also decrease please church, you know, as soon as they put down their price and also went into destroys church and the
spectacular photographs of the church on the internet as well. and they appear to be doing the same way because as it's hot, really, although the chip, it's just going down at the same time seems to be, are, seem to be rising into into significant somehow he started close again if you like. and but the white man is shorter than the black revolutionary in this particular sculpture sites. don't read or does it. and i can tell you what the thing don't. charlie is actually when we say i size this to say that he's this size of the statues on the square. so he is the normal size will cover this. well, don't you and balloons. the electric cost i'm showing the sculpture goes up, meaning won't be thrown. is as bad, i think the disgust to please the size,
what size me see when the sculpture goes up. i think that the 2 figures for me fighting for a condition, the tangle and to make sense of the structured have to go round. and there's an animation my practice as an artist is based on film. you look at film posters, we could pick the most straightforward examples are still possible is always big size and the support is always small. but in the end, i think it's kristen of what size me. one could say perhaps this is a monumental charlie. and maybe in this project, more people are going to have to read up about the history of malawi and the anti colonial struggle. you described yourself as a situationist. i wondered whether you had any temptation to emulate some of the other 4th splintered hands. haka had the city of london shap prices around it. i'm not saying you could have had that around july when john surely but jim,
but it was the situation is did say that the advance capitalism breeds dis satisfaction. we attempted to add things to the sculpture to make it more apparent . the connections between these 2 figures and ordinary londoners everyday lives in advance capitalism. they spoke of art nor to form of representation. but then we interested in the socialized proxies, you know, the social side of art. and they were also interested in alternative economy to, to, to, to, to capital. and this is the gift, and in africa, it's called and development we, i'm coming from, but actually the gift economy in africa to robust one place with capital it's media struggling to crock. i'm going to finish by just saying that boris johnson, the u. k. prime minister will no doubt dr. pas your sculpture every day. he said, the problem is not about africa that we're in charge,
but we're not in charge any more. what do you, what do you make of boris johnson's view of, of the effect? the issues in this work in trafalgar square that's about to happen. actually, i would like to put it to him that i think this is the world is coming to africa. in my opinion. in my travels, i know quite a bit now in asia, america and europe. what you have now. so africa. your company is mon piley's, off and what is capital leaving off a little black culture and this black conscious coming from africa for me. he still gather way around it's, it's not well that changes africa. i think it's africa, the changes the world. well, it can be to africa where they, this thing is about place. that's another thing, but i know for sure that the so called gift economy square. so going to go away and i'm sure it's going to help the last word of it. what do you have in the community?
what do you have, which is the gift professor fans and gamble and thank you. that's over the show will be back saturday, 27 years in the david carlos the jackal global. and d, colonial freedom fighter or terrorist, depending on who you believe was captured by french forces in food on until then keep in touch with social media and tell us who are, what do you think should be celebrated or commemorated in your town or city square? oh, what we've got to do is identify the threats that we have. it's crazy plantation, let it be an arms race is often very dramatic. developments only personally, i'm going to resist. i don't see how that strategy will be successful, very critical time time to sit down and talk
me the news but in police say the use of violence is part of germany's legal system response to claims of using excessive force. again, is that a recent anti lockdown running? because you didn't songs cases once again in london like court, washington appeal to extradite him to the us. i'm pretty sure position leaders lending his support. the whistleblower really is under threat. is one of the freshman. what is also the threats of example about take my 1st helicopter, right. can be for a better reason. i don't joins a helicopter crew battling the devastating wildfire. ravishing rushes fall east from.