Democracy Now! - September 11, 2015

In a major foreign policy victory for President Obama, Republicans in the Senate failed to secure enough votes Thursday to derail the Iran nuclear agreement. The Senate voted against clearing the way for a debate of the bill in a 58-42 vote, less than the 60 votes needed to advance a resolution of disapproval. The New York Times described the vote as a "stinging defeat" for AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The leader of Turkey’s Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has accused Turkey’s rulers of pushing the country toward civil war ahead of November’s elections. Over the past week, over 100 offices of the opposition HDP have been attacked. Many were set ablaze. The office of the independent newspaper, Hurriyet, was also attacked in Istanbul. Meanwhile, the predominantly Kurdish city of Cizre remains under 24-hour military curfew. Residents report facing a humanitarian crisis with food and water shortages. Tensions in Turkey have escalated since June, when the ruling AKP party lost its parliamentary majority in a major defeat for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In July, Turkey began an air campaign against camps run by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. The fighting has shattered a peace process launched to end a conflict that has killed more than 40,000 people since 1984.

The United States is marking the 14th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks today. Three weeks after the World Trade Center and Pentagon were attacked, the U.S. launched airstrikes in Afghanistan, beginning what would become the longest war in American history. The U.S. military recently reopened a criminal investigation into some of the most serious allegations against U.S. forces in Afghanistan since 2001 involving the murder of at least 17 Afghan men in Wardak province, west of Kabul, in 2012 and 2013. Eight Afghans were killed during U.S. military operations, while several disappeared after having been arrested by Special Forces in Nerkh. Their bodies were later uncovered just outside the U.S. base in the area. Afghan military investigators had concluded at the time that a U.S. Special Forces unit known as the A-Team was responsible. The U.S. military command in Afghanistan conducted multiple investigations, each of which exonerated the unit. We speak to reporter Matthieu Aikins and air excerpts of his interview with an Afghan man detained by the U.S. military.

Full episodes of Democracy Now! can be viewed at the link: https://freespeech.org/collection/democracy-now.

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