tv Worldfocus WHUT October 1, 2009 10:30pm-11:00pm EDT
tonight on "worldfocus" -- >> in switzerland, high stakes talks over iran's nuclear program get under way, including a one-on-one meeting between american and iranian officials. so what was achieved? for the second day in a row, indonesia is rocked by a powerful earthquake. hampering efforts to find survivors from yesterday's quake that killed many hundreds. the devastation is described as staggering. china pulls out all the stops for its 60th celebration of communist rule. we'll show you the amazing pictures.
and controversy in the caribbean. part three of our series on pop culture politics takes us to jamaica where they dance to a different beat that some say is way too dirty. >> from the world's leading reporters and analysts, here's what's happening from around the world. this is "worldfocus." major support has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters -- good evening. i'm martin savidge. thank you for joining us. the obama administration's policy of engagement with iran was put to the test today in the highest level direct talks in three decades between the two
countries. the u.s. was joined by five other world powers in the meetings in geneva. afterward, president obama said iran heard a clear message, that it must act on its commitment to open a newly disclosed uranium enrichment plant to international inspectors. that, said the president, must happen within two weeks. there will be more talks but the president said the u.s. will not negotiate indefinitely and will increase pressure if needed. >> this is a constructive beginning, but hard work lies ahead. we've entered a phase of intensive international negotiations and talk is no substitute for action. pledges of cooperation must be fulfilled. >> in tonight's lead focus, we're going to take an in-depth look at the issues, starting with today's meetings in geneva. at the conclusion of today's meeting, european union foreign policy chief javier solana who is formally heading the talks with iran spoke with reporters. there he announced that the ironens would be returning for more talks, characterizing today's meeting as a step
forward. >> we agreed to intensify the dialogue in coming weeks and we expect the progress in the following days. first, there will be a second meeting before the end of october. second, iran has told us that it plans to cooperate fully and immediately with international atomic energy agency on the new enrichment facility near qom. we expect within the next couple of weeks. >> the recent revelation of that second uranium enrichment facility in the city of qom has raised concerns that iran is secretly pressing ahead with efforts to make a nuclear weapon. william dowell is a correspondent for "global post" based in geneva and is covering today's talks. >> the american negotiators that came in here made it clear they want open access to that site
for the international atomic energy agency to come in, make complete inspections without having the iranians block them. that's really at the top of the agenda in the talks here today. >> in another possible sign of progress, senior american officials and iranian delegates met for their own one-on-one meeting. the u.s. said it wants to keep the talks limited to iran's nuclear program. but the iranians have said they want to expand them to a wider array of issues. now, for more on today's talks, we're joined by flynt leverett, the director of the iran project at the new america foundation and professor of international relations at penn state. he joins us from washington.wel >> thanks for having me. >> iran pledged today to cooperate with the u.n. and to let inspectors into its newly revealed uranium enrichment facility. what do you make of these developments? >> iranian officials said before the geneva meeting they would grant the iaea access to this
second enrichment site, so there's nothing surprising there. it seems as if the united states and others in the p5 plus 1 are using this as a positive outcome from today's discussions and using it to justify a second round of meetings later this month. >> and as you point out, the parties also agreed to that second round of talks. what do you think will come out of round two? >> i think round two will hinge on a couple of points. on the iranian side, i think the iranians will continue to insist that they are not going to accept new limits on further development of their nuclear infrastructure and i think they'll continue to insist that any discussion of nuclear issues needs to be inbred in a much broader strategic conversation. the united states, i anticipate, will really start to press hard for the iranians to accept some kind of limits on the further development of their nuclear infrastructure while talks are ongoing.
as stated, those two positions are irreconcilable. someone's going to have to give on some aspect of that if this dialogue is going to continue for very long beyond this second meeting. >> say they don't give in and the talks fail. there has been mention by the u.s. government and by those that are supporting the u.s. of more sanctions for iran. do you think that's a good strategy? >> it's not a good strategy if you actually want to accomplish anything. in the end, neither russia nor china is going to agree to new sanctions against iran that would come anywhere near secretary clinton's favorite standard of crippling sanctions on iran. russia and china may accept marginal expansions of sanctions, but not anything that
would be crippling. and even if you think what might be possible, the international community is not going to impose so much suffering and hardship on iran beyond what iran endured, say, during the iran/iraq war. sanctions would generate strategic leverage over their decision-making. it's not an effective strategy. >> what would you suggest as an alternative? >> i think the alternative is serious strategically grounded diplomacy with iran aimed at resolving differences between the united states and iran and as part of that process, iran needs to know, understand, feel confident that its own strategic needs are being addressed and can be met. that's what got us the breakthrough with china. that's what got us the breakthrough with libya. if we want success here, that's the approach that needs to be pursued. >> flynt leverett, thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. now it's your turn to weigh in on this debate. for that, we are going to ask the question, if the talks ultimately fail and sanctions
are imposed on iran, do you think that iran will give up its nuclear program?let us know by w you see it" section on our home page at our website, that's worldfocus.org. from afghanistan tonight, military officials are investigating the reported deaths of at least six civilians, all members of the same family, in an air strike. it happened in helmand province in southwest afghanistan. a british military spokesman said there were unconfirmed reports of as many as a dozen deaths, eight of them civilians, as well as four militants. the u.s. military called in the air strike after reports that ground forces were coming under fire from inside a residence. as u.s. forces try to contain the taliban, civilian casualties have infuriated many ordinary afghans and that issue was addressed today by the u.s. commander in afghanistan, general stanley mcchrystal, who said, we must protect the afghan people from all threats, from thenemy and from our own actions. mcchrystal also said we are going to have to do things
dramatically differently, even uncomfortably differently in the way we operate. but he also recommended up to 40,000 additional troops for afghanistan. that recommendation is being considered by president obama who held a three-hour meeting last night on afghanistan with key members of his national security team. some of whom are divided on that troop issue. "the wall street journal" reports that defense secretary robert gates may be among those undecided. for more on this debate over strategy in afghanistan, we are joined once again by alex their. he is the director for afghanistan and pakistan at the united states institute of peace. welcome back. >> pleasure. >> so let's review. what are the options available to president obama in afghanistan? >> well, of course there's a wide range of options. president obama could continue the strategy that has been pursued for the last eight years, which has gradually increased the number of u.s. forces and u.s. civilian presence. he could increase that much
further, a sort of surge-like approach, or he could begin to draw back on those resources. >> so what are you hearing? do you think that there could be a major shift in strategy? >> i don't think that this year a major shift is in the cards. i think that the general consensus, although there are some who disagree, is that a counterinsurgency strategy is still possible in afghanistan and that fundamentally, the goals that we feel that we need to achieve for national security purposes are still achievable. bu creeping amount of doubt among certain people which is why i believe we're having this debate. >> and we get these reports of division appearing within the administration on this issue. and i'm wondering how deep are those divisions? do we know? >> i think the divisions in many ways are more political than they are tactical at the moment. as i said, i believe that a lot
of the decisions that are going to be made now, whether you add some troop, are relatively tinkering with the model that the president announced last march.hf i think that the political aspect of this debate which has newly crept in and where deeper divisions do exist is about the long-term, is about fundamentally where american interests are and where we want to engage in the world in order to further those interests. >> but if the president doesn't respond in some way in a short time frame, is there a danger that there could be harm done to what has already been achieved in afghanistan? >> we've been in afghanistan for eight years. and i think it's certainly a good opportunity and a necessary act by the president to step back and consider how the last eight years have gone and where we're going. so i don't think that we're running out of time. at the same time, the afghan election process is still unresolved.
and i think that an announcement at this date before that crisis is resolved would probably be premature. >> and do you think this is a decision the president makes all by himself? >> well, ultimately it is the president's decision. i mean, he has many very experienced advisers around him. but ultimately, he has to make the call and it will be his responsibility. >> and within the pentagon, is there any division there? >> well, i think there's certainly a skepticism among some in the pentagon that a counterinsurgency objective can be achieved over the long-term in afghanistan. i think that there is concern that adding more troops into the feeder could make things worse. but obviously the commanders on the ground feel that they need more forces to fulfill the mission that they've been given. >> alex their, thank you. >> my pleasure.
indonesia was jolted by a second earthquake today as m rescuers desperately search for thousands of people believed to be trapped in the rubble from yesterday's powerful earthquake. the second earthquake was also off the island of sumatra injuring dozens of people and damaging hundreds of buildings. authorities are now saying that perhaps 1,000 people or more died in yesterday's quake. the toll is expected to grow even higher in sumatra and from the tsunami that hit the islands of samoa and american samoa in the south pacific. we have more on the samoan and indonesian disasters tonight in this report from jenny wivell of itn. it was filed earlier in the day. >> buried alive but still breathing. this young woman was pulled from the rubble by rescuers searching for survivors of the sumatran earthquake. hundreds of others were not so lucky when the quake measuring
7.6 on the magnitude scale tore through sumatra yesterday, destroying more than 500 buildings in padang, the capital of the province. >> we hope we'll find survivors but we can't say for sure. we're trying our best but we have seen dead bodies inside. >> more than 500 people have been confirmed dead in sumatra, but the country is bracing itself for that number to rise. overnight, residents struggling to cope with the devastation also had to tackle fires that broke out across the sprawling city. at the same time, others were using their bare hands to search for survivors. many are still trapped under collapsed schools, hotels and homes. with thousands injured and two hospitals reduced to rubble, many victims are being treated in makeshift clinics. >> the evacuation process is still going on, although the power is down. telecommunication lines also cut. the city was paralyzed after the quake.
>> the earthquake in padang came shortly after a tsunami struck the samoan islands yesterday, killing more than 100. many residents and tourists feared a tsunami might follow the quake in sumatra as well. >> i felt the floor shaking of a little bungalow and i ran out to a little place where everyone has already summoned to get out of the houses and then we felt the sandy floor shaking. >> relief teams from around the world are now arriving in both samoa and sumatra. but the risks of aftershocks along one of the world's most active fault lines remains ever present. that brings us to a story that struck us as remarkable in several ways -- china's celebration today of six decades of communist rule. a fireworks display capped off the spectacle that featured a huge show of military might and a commitment to socialism and modernization by china's president who appeared in a
parade that seemed like a remnant from a bygone era. but actually. you'll see what we mean in this excerpt from china's state-run english language television. >> showcased the achievements of the past six decades. >> a flag-raising ceremony kicked off the grand celebration. president hu jintao, also chairman of the central military commission, reviewed the military f [ speaking foreign language ] >> china's display on this national holiday was precisely choreographed, a projection of the power that china has and the global power that it has become.
melissa chan of al jazeera english was in beijing on this extraordinary day. >> a celebration with a clear message -- china is a great power, on display, row after row, formation after formation. >> we will unswervingly follow socialism with chinese characteristics and comprehensively implement the ruling party's basic theory, basic line and basic program. today, a socialist china is standing firm, the east is marching to its modernization, embracing the world and the future. >> after five months of rehearsals, the people's liberation army, the people's armed police and militia were on parade. down the avenue of eternal peace, marching on to tiananmen square, the same route the
people's liberation army took 60 years ago under mao zedong's command. but with more color and fanfare than ever before. perfectly coordinated performances and the celebratory red splashed everywhere. there's been much anticipation and curiosity over the weapons on display. the army's second artillery was there, the strategic missile force that handles nuclear and conventional ballistic and cruise missiles. and main battle tanks, armored fighting vehicles, self-propelled artillery and rocket launchers. up above, the air force, including china's newest fighter, the j-10. but the show of force has not been seen just along the parade. it has been seen everywhere. on the streets, a country at once showing confidence and concern if anything should go wrong. but most chinese didn't seem to mind the extra security measures. they're very proud of their country.
>> we have transformed in 60 years. we're stronger and stronger. as chinese, we hope only to have a stronger future and have a r?c place in the world. >> witmuch of the focus on the military hardware, it's easy to forget the parade also involved civilian performers and floats. floats representing each province and major events such as the olympics, achievements such as china's space mission and of conomic reforms that have transformed this country. that reminds the world and its own citizens why the country has so much reason to celebrate. melissa chan, al jazeera, beijing. finally tonight, our signature story and another look
at an issue that resonates in many countries. pop culture politics. tonight we want to show you how it's playing out in jamaica. the battle there is over what's known as dance hall music in that caribbean country. to some, it's musical poetry, not unlike rap in this country. to others, it's not only raw, but dangerous. on a recent visit to jamaica, in collaboration with the center, "worldfocus" correspondent lisa biagiotti took a look at how it's reverb baiting in jamaican society. >> almost every night in jamai jamaica, music booms from the inner city until daylight. it's wednesday night at this dance hall in one of kingston's most notorious ghettos. this club draws party-goers from all levels of jamaican society. but many are outraged by the genre of music. earlier this year, murderous and
sexually explicit lyrics were banned from the jamaican air waves in the name of protecting children. >> me personally, it doesn't make me want to have sex. it's just a song. >> the reason they don't want it is to avoid the subject. >> it's really an issue of class and power. it's under the facade of, we're losing our young people. it's destroying the nation. an analogy for you is elvis presley doing stuff with his hips back in the day and people think, there goes the united states. >> for dr. kingsley stewart, a professor of anthropology and a popular radio deejay, dance hall music has become the focus of a cultural war, revealing the minds that divide jamaican society. >> there are people who write me from botswana, south africa, they want dvds of israel. but you have to understand, dance hall is from the working
class poor ghetto areas of jamaica. there are those here who are comfortable with the popularity of this base representing jamaican. they're offended by it. >> personally, i would be totally embarrassed for anybody to associate me with some of the songs that are written in the name of some of the dance haul culture, the violence and the crude sexuality. i am not -- that is not my culture. i do not embrace it and i reject it. esther tyson is one of jamaica's most outspoken critics of dance hall music. ♪ >> earlier this year, she wrote a column that appeared in one of jamaica's national newspapers ñ÷ denouncing this song -- as damaging the values and morals of the society. ♪ >> the moral foundation that we had in previous generations,
that is being eroded. music has -- it's one of the greatest influences in jamaica. so in my mind, if the music can influence us in such a negative way, can you imagine if it is turned around and the lyrics are positive lyrics. the impact that will have on the psyche of our nation. >> supporters of dance hall believe the band was less about censoring graphic images and lyrics and more about the battle between jamaica's upper and lower classes. grace hamilton is a prominent jamaican dance hall artist. her sexually explicit song led to the nationwide band on broadcasting the most graphic dance hall music. >> they have a problem because we say things -- that is what was causing the problem. everybody was like, oh, this is unfair. they're fighting dance hall and our own culture because we come from the ghetto or inner city. they don't want to see us step up to their level. they want to split jamaica into
two different halves. >> like any other country, we have a history and that history is steeped in a plantation past where you have a white kind of victorian effect that's supposed to be the appropriate way of being. this was diametrically opposed to. it's what's thought of as ungodly. >> some people are described as having two tribes. we have an english tribe and we have another tribe. and these tribes operate differently. >> karen carpenter is a sexologist studying culture and sexual behavior in jamaica. she believes the music man reflects longstanding social demands between rich and poor, known as uptown and downtown. >> the uptown person is an english speaker. could be a speaker of jamaican as well. but will speak in english most of the time. it's someone who lives in an area that is a residential area where you can't play loud music
at night and parties must end at a certain time and the police do come when you call. and sex is not a topic of conversation. downtown is what we call disorderly, untidy. you live in the industrial areas or the business areas and you are likely not to have much privacy. you speak, quote, unquote, badly. downtown, you are allowed to express yourself. downtown, you are a sexual being. >> they would never get dance hall to stop talking about sex because from a class perspective, there's a fundamental different way sex is discussed amongst dance hall people and amongst the so-called elite. dance hall has gone uptown. dance hall was once exclusively downtown. a lot of uptown kids, a lot of uptown people love dance hall. >> for an island that is renown worldwide for its music, for
better or worse, this is what jamaica sounds like. and dance hall music, while controversial, may be the place where these two jamaicas meet. >> believe it or not, dance hall is the only spaces people from these radically different backgrounds come together. >> for "worldfocus," i'm lisa biagiotti in kingston, jamaica. that's "worldfocus" for a thursday evening. be sure to let us know what you think by going to our website at worldfocus.org. i think we'll hear from a few of you. i'm martin savidge in new york. thank you very much for joining us. we'll look for you back here again tomorrow and anytime on the web. again tomorrow and anytime on the web. until then, ve a good night. -- captions by vitac -- www.vitac.com major support for "worldfocus" has been provided by rosalind p. walter and the peter g. peterson foundation, dedicated to promoting fiscal responsibility and addressing key economic challenges facing america's future. and additional funding is provided by the following supporters --