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tv   Tavis Smiley  WHUT  December 23, 2011 7:00pm-7:30pm EST

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captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: suicide car bombings killed at least 44 people in damascus today, the most serious violence to hit the syrian capital in nine months of protests against the assad regime. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez.
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on the newshour tonight, we get the latest on the blasts from deborah amos of npr in beirut. >> woodruff: then, after a week of partisan wrangling and an agreement on extending the payroll tax cut, we get the analysis of mark shields and david brooks. >> suarez: in our second report from morocco, we examine the nation's struggle for greater democracy. it was the arab isn't ittime democratcratic position. >> woodruff: jeffrey brown talks with author daniel yergin about how the demand for more and more energy has shaped political and economic change around the globe. we as a country today are twice as energy efficient as we were during the era of the energy crisis. if we weren't we really would be in trouble. >> suarez: and fred de sam lazaro tells the story of an unusual christmas celebration at a minnesota church. >> woodruff: that's all ahead on tonight's newshour. major fuing for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> intel. sponsors of tomorrow. >> and by bnsf railway.
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and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> suarez: the carnage that has bloodied much of syria came home to the capital today. two bombs erupted in damascus, killing nearly four dozen people and wounding more than 150. we begin with a report narrated by inigo gilmore of independent television news.
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>> reporter: one of the bomb blasts left this huge crater in the ground. the tangled bodies of the dead were ferried away on stretchers, a doubly whammy in the heart of the capital damascus. the targets-- two buildings belonging to syria's security forces. >> ( translated ): i heard the explosion and saw many body parts. there were dead bodies all over the place. bodies of women and children in their cars. >> reporter: the attacks were carried out by suicide bombers driving vehicles packed with explosives. at least that's what the government claims. >> ( translated ): even before >> reporter: even before the dust had settled, syria's state media seized on the attacks, saying they were further evidence of a threat from foreign linked armed gangs. within minutes, state tv were saying terrorists linked to al qaeda were responsible.
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at the bombing sites, heavily armed security forces gathered to pledge their loyalty to the regime. car bombings have become a familiar feature in neighboring iraq, but these were the first in damascus since the uprising began. opponents of bashar al-assad's regime scoffed at the government's claims about al qaeda links to the attacks, pointing out that these security buildings were heavily guarded. >> reporter: he was referring to a visit by a delegation from the arab league, who arrived in syria just hours before the bombs blasts. they've come to oversee an initiative aimed at stopping the violence that's left more than 5,000 dead. today, they were taken straight to the scene of the bombings to see the conflict from the regime's perspective. "and you still say there are no armed gangs in syria", a state journalist scoffs at this female delegate. accused of being perpetrators of mass killings, the regime today was casting itself as the victims. it's a propaganda windfall at a
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crucial moment. they're confident they've got their opponents on the run. this amateur video apparently shows large scale demonstrations today in the northern region of idlib, the scene of a massacre this week, according to the opposition. these are the bodies of up to 90 men from the opposition free syria army, allegedly killed by regime forces. it's mass killings like this one that continue to fuel the protests. whether the arab league will stand up to the regime and insist on hearing stories of atrocities firsthand will determine if they can do anything. >> suarez: for more on developments in syria, we turn to npr's deborah amos in beirut.
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she's been covering the syrian uprising, and regularly speaks with members of the opposition inside syria, as well as those who have fled the country. we just saw the scenes evero of the country's most feared and powerful intel against services.
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technical difficulties this fits into the government story this is an attack by armed gangs, a foreign plot there is no pop loor up riding in the country. what this is the attack by armed militants and armed gangs and al qaeda and foreign plot. and so today, this was their story. and this was the way that syrian seltelevision played this story. this proffer profits proves whan saying all along that armed gang are trying to attack the country. >> are they inside of thecountr. >> there is not there are j.ihae
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border and coming into iraq. some of those people didn't leave. some of those people are still in syria. al qaeda has not played a role inside of syria. >> that is why this is sounusuas bombs go off today. that is why there were so many questions outside of the country. washington washington condemned a terrorist act and said they would condemn any terrorist ability. they called on the arab league to do their job. monitors are in the country this week or at least an advanced team to set up monitors in the country. the advanced team was brought to the bomb site today by a high official from the foreign ministry who said to them, you see this is what we have always said. these are tertse terrorists aftr syria. it gives a bad start to the monitoring group to ham o happey with a bombing in d dasmascus.
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>> images and stories haveoccurs in syria with a tremendous loss of life. >> we a massacre in a smallvill. >> between 60 and 0 100 peoplewy surrounded the town and shelled the town. and apparently this was a village that was harbor being army defectors. and that seems to be what sparked the most horrific incident in this ten month old uprising. we have reports of two mass cures. one of a group of men who were defecting from the army. they were on their way to the turkish border and they were surrounded and this vil villagep in the mountainous part of syria near the border. r > we are beginning to seevide.
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the electricity if i ther the hn off and the phone comowncation has been down. and we did see videos in the last 24 hours bodies laid out in mosques there. men with name tags it looked like notebook paper taped on to their bodies. and the cell phone camera pans across dozens of bodies from this village. in some ways, ray, it seems like we are in a new phase in the crisis we have some of the largest casualty totals in the last week. we have a reported al qaeda bomb in the middle of the capital and we have an advanced team from the arab lea league it's changee dynamics in what we have seen this week. >> they have seen the damage id. given the rules of engagements with the arab league what is the
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chance they will head up north? >> that is exactly what theadvas do. those details have not been worked out. there is serious questions. who provides security? is it the syrian government or the arab league? who provides the cards. when is it announced the monitored teams will go somewhere. do they have to announce to the syrian government where they are going. that is what the team is there to sort out. can they go to the north. we'll have to bai wait and see. these people have made stipulations about what they want to see happen. this monitoring team stays transparent and is able to see for itself what it going on on the ground. >> npr'r's deborah amos.
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>> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: shields and brooks; morocco after the arab spring; the quest for energy around the world; and the sinking of an allied ship on christmas eve, 1944. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: congress made quick work today of passing a payroll tax cut extension for two months. it won unanimous consent, first in the senate, and then in the house, with only a handful of lawmakers present. without objection the bill is engrossed. read for a third time and passed and the motion reconsidered is laid on the table. >> sreenivasan: for much of the week, house republicans had refused to consider anything except a full one-year extension. they dropped that demand yesterday, under intense pressure. today, senate majority leader harry reid claimed victory, and took a swipe at "tea party" freshmen in the house. i hope this congress has ha. especially those who are newer to this body. everything we do aren' around he
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does not have to wind up in a fight. that is not the way things need to be. >> sreenivasan: democrats did agree to open negotiations on a one-year extension right after the holidays. for his part, president obama quickly signed the temporary bill into law. he called it "good news just in the nick of time for the holidays". the president then boarded air force one bound for hawaii, where he was born and spent part of his youth. he will join his family there for the holidays. the congressional action to extend the payroll tax cut was enough to buoy wall street. the dow jones industrial average gained 124 points to close at 12,294. the nasdaq rose 19 points to close at 2,618. for the week, the dow was up more than 3.5%; the nasdaq rose 2.5%. in the presidential campaign, vice-president biden and republican mitt romney traded jabs, with the iowa caucuses looming. in "the des moines register", the vice-president wrote that romney would "settle for an economy in which fewer people succeed, while the majority tread water or fall behind". but romney insisted the president's policies are hurting
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the country, and he said: "i don't think they understand from fantasyland what's happening in real america." the tributes flowed amid solemn ceremony today at the prague funeral of vaclav havel, the former czech republic president. he led the "velvet revolution" that put an end to communist rule in what was then czechoslovakia. lucy manning of independent television news narrates this report. >> he led his people overthrowit regime and now his people stood thousands strong to honor him. from playwrite and political prisoner to prize thi presidenta man that changed history. and so world leaders came to acknowledge what he had achieved the prime minister and the former prime minister david cameron said no one of his generation would forget the scenes of the velvet revolution. >> the clintons and formsecret.e
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he had loved hi music and president clinton'visit there hahad seen the two men jamming n a. -- jazz club. >> the church bell tolled andthr the the man from the east to west. me he proved the pen was mightier than the sword. echoed by a message sent by the pope. >> he defended human rights attm systematically denied to the people of your country. >> after the sound of the rec we
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iin preston. in frys -- prison. he brought light into the places that is deepest darkness. as his coffin was carried out like in that revolutionary year they waved their keys the sign for the communists to go home and the doors to be locked and they applauded the leader that led them it t to that freedom. >> sreenivasan: havel died sunday morning at the age of 75. in iraq, a tense calm prevailed in baghdad a day after bombings killed at least 69 people there. but elsewhere, several sunnis rallied in samarra, suris rallied in samarra, ramadi, baiji and qaim. they were protesting against shiite prime minister nouri al- maliki. the crowds demanded that the charges against sunni vice- president tareq al-hashemi be dropped. he is accused of running assassination squads. france is now offering to pay for 30,000 women to have their breast implants removed after more than 1,000 of them ruptured or leaked.
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the implants were recalled last year. investigators say the french company poly implant prothese used industrial grade silicone in the implants instead of a medical variety. the firm is now going out of business. the silicone gel implants are not sold in the u.s., but were sold in europe and south america. royal dutch shell acknowledged today that a faulty underwater pipe caused an oil spill off nigeria this week. the pipeline-- seen in this photo on shell's web sote-- spewed crude into the sea for up to 25 hours. the company says the leak has lugged. today, oil sheens and slicks from the spill inched closer to the southern shore of nigeria from the bonga oil field. shell estimated the leak at nearly 1.7 million gallons, likely the worst spill off nigeria since 1998. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and to the analysis of shields and brooks-- syndicated columnist mark shields and "new york times" columnist david brooks. good to have you here sir.
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>> the stand off over thepayrol, yesterday the republicans gave in. were they out ma maneuvered what happened this. >> i sympathizessed with them i. we have a number of pastimes baits balbasebaseball and apple. that is what we decided to do. they received a rushed temporary come prcompromise to pay for sts spenting. in the house the republicans said something is going on here and they began to reject the idea. some of them the two months extension and they wanted the full year and why do this two month thing. they rebelled and they rea rebed against the sen sens net. -- senate and they tried to take a stand without having princple.
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they got rolled. in politics you don't have a good option you have six options and you choose the least bad one. this is their education and sometimes the circumstances is such just go with the least bad and get it over with. and that will be the education for them. >> how much damage has this don? >> i will add.the republicans mn reactionary missio mistake, jud. >> in the republican housecaucue understood the democrats had overwhelming supported and the house supported and the president supported it and they were out voted. this was in the republican house and the caucus and party nationally there is an anti-obama reaction. and if the president can endorse the commandments and say can we cut it to 7.
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there was that reaction. that was part driven in part by eyidealology as well. >> it was personal. >> the same party will fighttooe 1.5 trillion dollars in tax cuts that president bush wrote into lieu that will benefit the most wealthy among us. that never wondered how the iraq war should be funded or financed alt oall of a sudden become a gn eye shade of accoun accountantsd bookkeepers. i agree with david it's a questionable public policy to take the stream that is dedicated to social security and to use it and we have done it. this is not the first time it's been done. but it should not be done. >> you boasting that is amistakd
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it. we are going to have to pay it. it's not like it's free money. the defense of what the republicans were objecting to is a permanent tax cut has long term economic effects. and a temporary tax cuts no one hires people for a two month benefit. that is the inte intellectual t. >> is it a bad idea to take they fund if you feel it stimulates the issue? >> i think it's the only federal vote for. is this tax cut. so i can understand. they are putting money into people's pockets. i can understand the theory behind it and it's more than plausible. and i think in that sense you can make a case for it. bubut it isn't like three other policies that the republicans would enact. i don't think anyone thought it
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would be for two months. the republicans saw themselves arguing process. what is the problem here is we don't have regular order. people's eyes are glazing over and the democrats have the wall poster argument to say where are the tax cuts. >> how much are the democratsrr? >> the republicans did give int. instead we are talking about why they are crazy and why they can't run an organization. i think the whole country is tuned out. we have had a series of budget fights and people are focused on the presidential race. if you take a look at the apology who d -- polling who tox policy the republicans have a huge advantage and that advantage is now gone. we must may a role on that.
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>> david is helps the e sense that in reality they see partisanship and they see dysfunction and malfunction and however you want to put it. i think it does two things. it makes the president look like the one grown up in the entire melodrama. and it hurts. it hurts newt gingrich it reminds people what it was like when we were impeaching a president. the only way you can account for newt gingrich slipping. not that commercials are being used against him in iowa because no one is seeing them. outsidi think there is a sense e want to go back to those times. >> the newt gingrichrelationsh n relationship was a reallt rereay
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compared to where we are now. the super packs are loselyad mitt romney and too hit him on freddie mac and everyone else. ron paul and mitt romney are looking like the front runners which has to be good news for mitt romney in the long term. i don't think ron paul is going to go t toe toe-to-toe. >> ii think onthis show a week d something incorrect. i thought when ron paul made this iran statement in the debate, where we h he said we should not go to war with iran. it was an an posturing for ron paul. he is leading speeches with it
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and he is doing fine. >> in iowa? >> >> you are saying he could win. >> the case that the reverse is. i will make note. >> i think that it is romney.tht david, the question being losely affiliated. the super packs. this is legal fiction we go through. they're part of the campaign and thanks to terrible court decisions. this is a way of washing my hands of it. my supper packs attacks you. i intervened and that would be wrong. >> we will clarify for peopleth. these are independent entities that raised a lot of money. >> that is right. >> that are not technicallylegae candidates.
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>> that is right.where they do r supporters of one of the candidates more than other candidates and they never attacked the can gat candidate r criticized the candidate for whom they are raising money. it's basically a savaged grin gingrich out there. >> this week they asked romneyt. i would be thrown into the big house. >> technically that is correct.g romney it doesn't take a genius to attack beginnin gingrich on e mac. >> they are all on the same side record to with stand this scrutiny. and now we are seeing ron paul get attacked for the racist things that went out under his name years ago. >> we reported in the news thata
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piece going after the economy. >> i do not understand. >> i think that the presidenthas are up at least in comparison. i don't understand it but i am sure there is some shrewdness to it. the problem on the attack judy for gingrich he finds himself attacking and responding to the attacks. he is totally off message now. he is now arguing about the campaign. campaigns are about voters they are not about campaigns and they are not about candidates. the more newt gingrich feels he should respond to romney and criticize romney about this. the less he is communicating to voters and the message that got him to the point where he is the front of the race. >> why is he doing it? >> he has nothing left.and to ms that the gradual silent
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capitulation byru byrum b by ro. >> by? >> by conservatives. >> you see the others the sanyof anti-romney's rising and we are not seeing any new fresh romney. that makes me think that the conservatives are beginning to capitulate. >> i think probably the argument that the democrats made in 2004 about john carey in iowa he was the most deelectible. >> do you have a holiday wishfon politics or policy making? david. >> i would say the fourcongregad them up to a beautiful place in glacier national park montana
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frozen lake. maybe they can do nextyears. they are reading mcconnell. >> it's a beautiful place andthd be a better country. >> talk about the wisr he or she is as a colleague is civil and decent and honorable. >> the two are kind of connecte? >> he always thought he washono. >> thnk ya,ou. >> thank you.happy holidays to . we'll see you next week. >> suarez: now, the second report from my recent trip to morocco.