Democracy Now! - December 3, 2015

British warplanes have begun bombing targets in Syria just hours after British lawmakers voted 397 to 223 to support Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for airstrikes. The warplanes took off from an airbase in Cyprus. They struck oil fields in eastern Syria controlled by the self-proclaimed Islamic State. The decision to bomb Syria divided the opposition Labour Party in Britain. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn opposed the bombing but was challenged from within his own party by foreign affairs spokesperson Hilary Benn. Lawmakers held a 10 hour debate on Wednesday, and we air an extended excerpt of Corbyn and Benn along with Prime Minister David Cameron.

"For those who stand in solidarity with the Syrian people, we cannot say the decision to send more bombs by UK airplanes will help them," says Asad Rehman, former national organizer of the Stop the War Coalition in the United Kingdom, reacting to the British airstrikes on Syria just hours after lawmakers voted 397 to 223 to support Prime Minister David Cameron’s plan for bombing the country. "Nobody has invented a bomb yet that is magically precisioned that can take out the so-called terrorists but can keep innocent civilians alive. We know there will be a tragic loss of life, and that is a blemish on British political history."

As Democracy Now! broadcasts from the U.N. Climate Summit in Paris, France, we examine the connection between a warming planet and increasing conflicts around the globe. “If we want to deal with the issues of conflict, go to the root cause: inequality and climate change,” says Asad Rehman, former national organizer of the Stop the War Coalition in the UK, who now serves as Head of International Climate for Friends of the Earth. He notes that from 2006 to 2011, Syria suffered from five years of the worst drought ever in the country’s history. Nearly two million people moved from rural to urban areas, and 80 percent of livestock died. Asad compares this to the Arab Spring, which was driven in part by an agricultural collapse that prompted food prices to triple and generated mass social unrest.

On Wednesday morning, a man and woman armed with assault rifles and semiautomatic handguns opened fire at a social services center in San Bernardino, Calif., killing 14 people and wounding at least 17. The suspects, identified as married couple Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, were later killed by police. The shooting took place about 60 miles east of Los Angeles at the Inland Regional Center, a facility that provides services to people with disabilities. It was the worst mass shooting in the United States since the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., nearly three years ago, when a gunman killed 26 people, most of them first graders. Wednesday’s shooting came just five days after a gunman opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colo., killing three people and wounding nine. According to a tally maintained by, there have been 355 mass shootings in the United States this year – an average of more than one a day. We speak with California State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, who has been an advocate for stricter gun control.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced Wednesday that authorities had carried out more than 2,200 raids since a state of emergency was declared following the November 13 attacks that killed 130 people. Under the state of emergency, French police can raid any home without judicial oversight. In addition, police have held 263 people for questioning – nearly all have been detained. Another 330 people are under house arrest, and three mosques have also been shut down. The vast majority of those targeted in the raids have been Muslim. We speak with Yasser Louati, spokesperson and head of the International Relations Desk for the Collective Against Islamophobia in France.

Amy Goodman Climate Talks Democracy Now! School Shooting Terrorism

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