21/08/2017 Newsnight


21/08/2017

A look at the total solar eclipse in the US, the latest on Grenfell institutional failures and there is a report from Mosul. Kirsty Wark presents.


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The last solar eclipse to be seen on this continent in this century and

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not until August the 21st, 2017, will an eclipse be visible from

:00:19.:00:19.

North America,. That day was today -

:00:20.:00:22.

the Great American Eclipse. Millions turned their faces

:00:23.:00:24.

to the sky - from Donald Trump Millions turned their faces to the

:00:25.:00:34.

sky. Why is this awe inspiring,

:00:35.:00:36.

but rational mathematical event And does it have any

:00:37.:00:38.

scientific value? We speak to Nasa's director

:00:39.:00:41.

of planetary science. In just over three hours,

:00:42.:00:43.

Donald Trump is due to make a major speech on military

:00:44.:00:46.

policy on Afghanistan. And I am in Afghanistan as President

:00:47.:00:52.

Trump reveals his new strategy for the war in Afghanistan.

:00:53.:00:53.

We speak to the US's former Ambassador to Afghanistan.

:00:54.:00:55.

After Grenfell - tonight we are finally getting some clarity

:00:56.:00:58.

on how big a safety problem has been uncovered

:00:59.:01:01.

The government now knows of more than 200 high-rises fitted

:01:02.:01:07.

with cladding that does not meet our fire rules.

:01:08.:01:12.

A pulverised city, Isis fighters still hiding out in pockets.

:01:13.:01:19.

Can traumatised residents, and returning refugees

:01:20.:01:21.

This is what liberation looks like. Iraq's second-largest city, just

:01:22.:01:37.

ruins. The bulk of the city is completely destroyed and devastated.

:01:38.:01:38.

There is nothing left. Millions across the United States

:01:39.:01:43.

witnessed the Great American From the Oregon coast

:01:44.:01:50.

to Charleston in South Carolina, people gathered in sport stadiums

:01:51.:01:55.

and on beaches and city roofs as the country

:01:56.:01:58.

was plunged into darkness, coast to coast, for the first

:01:59.:02:00.

time in 100 years. It was said to be the most

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documented such event in history. Centuries ago, an eclipse

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was everything from a divine warning The ancient Chinese thought the sun

:02:11.:02:13.

had been eaten by a dragon. No matter the rational explanation,

:02:14.:02:17.

it is still for many an extraordinary moment,

:02:18.:02:20.

when we realise we are just So what's the draw,

:02:21.:02:22.

and can we actually learn We'll hear from Nasa in a moment,

:02:23.:02:27.

but first here's Stephen Smith. I have seen grown men cry at solar

:02:28.:02:50.

eclipses. Across a great swathe of America, and in a break from the

:02:51.:02:54.

norm, people have been taking a holiday and rushing to get out of

:02:55.:03:01.

the sun. A shadow cast by a once-in-a-lifetime solar eclipse.

:03:02.:03:05.

For once, the president did not seem to mind being put in the shade. For

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90 minutes the eclipse tracked east over 14 states, from one American

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seaboard to the other, before heading out over the Atlantic. If

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the eclipse is a highlight in the calendar, consider the men and women

:03:23.:03:27.

who devote themselves to studying solar activity. For then it is a

:03:28.:03:32.

real day in the sun, or rather shadow. I am working on how the sun

:03:33.:03:38.

shines and we keep making progress and understanding how the sun

:03:39.:03:42.

shines, but there are gaps and it is exciting to be outside and have the

:03:43.:03:47.

universe dark and and have this fabulous stuff go on in the sky. The

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view outside is fabulous. We have tried for a long time to explain

:03:54.:03:57.

this to people and my conclusion is you have to see it to believe it. It

:03:58.:04:06.

is unbelievable. On a red day like this, our earthbound concerns seem

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suspended and it is possible to sense the war and terror our

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ancestors must have felt at a celestial event like this -- awe.

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Not until August the 21st 2017 will another eclipse be visible, 38 years

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from now. Maybe shadow of the moon fall on a world of peace. ABC News

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will bring you a report on the next eclipse. Even better, this is Evan

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Davis on the spot in his eclipse chasing talks. A few observations.

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The sound changes. Dogs start barking. We heard a cow in the

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distance and the insect noise changes. Huge temperature drop. We

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have been in the burning heat, 94 degrees in American money, and

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suddenly it begins to cool down and become cool. Perhaps the most

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exciting, just at the edge of the eclipse, as you look at the sun, you

:05:14.:05:20.

catch a bead, which is the sun catching behind the hills and

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valleys of the craters on the moon. You are seeing the sun deemed behind

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the rough surface of the moon, as the shadow passes. It is really

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extraordinary. They are calling this the American eclipse. At a

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particular American moment. I suppose we do now have a president

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who really enjoys being the centre of attention. And finds it hard to

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be eclipsed, if you will. I found something maybe a little funny, that

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we have moment here where we really are, as Americans, celestial li

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required to look at something else, to look at something larger and

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think of ourselves as members of the planet. Others say today is a

:06:17.:06:20.

reminder of what man now understands about the heavens. I have heard

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people say they are reminded of the awe of things but I think the

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opposite, that it shows humans have been able to understand the workings

:06:31.:06:35.

and predict this and understand how the stars shine with these details

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we are trying to improve. This brings the universe to us and

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humanises our son shows we can understand it.

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I'm joined from Idaho Falls by Nasa planetary science director

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And from Wyoming by David Baron, the author

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Good evening. I can see David Baron in bright sunshine but Jim Greene,

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you look happy. What was it like the experience? It is the first one I

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have ever seen but I have to tell you there was not a cloud in the sky

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and it got dark and it was just beautiful. What did you learn? You

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have the awe and wonder, but what immediately are you learning from a

:07:28.:07:33.

scientific perspective? Nasa has an array of instruments we tested, some

:07:34.:07:39.

from planes, others from balloons we launched. We launched 57 balloons

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along the path. They went up to more than 100,000 feet. We performed a

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variety of experiments. What will that tell us and help us, that we do

:07:52.:08:02.

not know now? I had as a planetary scientist and experiment. A

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principal investigator David Smith had bacteria we put on two coupons.

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One on the ground and one on the balloon and we did it to 30

:08:17.:08:21.

balloons. We went to 100,000 feet. The reason we put the bacteria on

:08:22.:08:28.

it, and it is a hardy, harmless bug, but pervasive in this world, is that

:08:29.:08:34.

we wanted to see if it could survive the conditions. They were special

:08:35.:08:40.

conditions. At 100,000 feet you are above ozone and you get ultraviolet

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light. You also are at a temperature and pressure with the same

:08:45.:08:50.

conditions as on the surface of Mars. The concept is, camber bugs

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survive on the surface of Mars? David Baron, you have seen many

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eclipses and have a rational response in a sense, but for you it

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is still magical when you watch eclipses. Absolutely. I am a science

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writer and my background is in science, but chasing eclipses is

:09:17.:09:21.

about emotion. It is the most awe-inspiring spectacle anyone can

:09:22.:09:25.

have on this planet and I'd tell you everyone in their life owes it to

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themselves to see a total eclipse. After you have seen one you often

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want to see more. Why? We have a rational response to it but in years

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past it was seen to be a harbinger of doom, harbingers of happiness. We

:09:45.:10:00.

interview the -- we imbue it with meaning. In ancient times you see

:10:01.:10:05.

this beautiful shining ring of light and people were confused and even

:10:06.:10:12.

today. We know that all is going on is the moon passing between us and

:10:13.:10:15.

the sun but it messes with your head. It looks like no sky you have

:10:16.:10:21.

seen and it just connects you with universe like nothing else because

:10:22.:10:26.

you realise you are looking towards the centre of the solar system and

:10:27.:10:30.

you see with the naked eye what a beautiful object the sun is. It is

:10:31.:10:38.

not just a simple disc in the sky, it has like air. Beautiful tendrils

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coming off you can only see in a total eclipse. Thank you.

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It's being reported in the New York Times that

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in a major foreign policy speech tonight, President Trump

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will announce a new military push in Afghanistan.

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One that will put more American military boots on the ground -

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perhaps as many as 5,000 pairs - in order to ramp up the war

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against against the mainly Taliban insurgents who have been

:11:01.:11:02.

Trump has been accused by US lawmakers of dragging his heels

:11:03.:11:09.

over an intensification, and a kite was flown that

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suggested he might want mercenaries to do the job.

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But tonight, at Fort Myer in Virginia, he is expected

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to indicate the US military will be the ones

:11:19.:11:20.

We'll hear from a former American ambassador to Afghanistan

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First, I asked Secunder Kermani in Kabul what the security

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The levels of violence have been steadily increasing.

:11:29.:11:34.

And some of the statistics are really quite shocking.

:11:35.:11:38.

Last year for example there were nearly 3500 civilian

:11:39.:11:40.

And parts of the country that were previously

:11:41.:11:46.

considered quite safe, like Kabul, for example,

:11:47.:11:49.

Kabul has seen a number of high-profile, quite

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In fact, not too long ago there was a rocket attack

:11:55.:12:00.

And across the country the Afghan government only controls around

:12:01.:12:07.

Insurgent groups, that's mainly the Taliban, control just over 10%.

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And they contest nearly a third of the country.

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One of the criticisms in the past has been that President Obama did

:12:19.:12:26.

commit to sending large numbers of troops back in 2010, 2011,

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there was around 100,000 American soldiers here in Afghanistan.

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But he was also quite explicit in saying that he wanted America

:12:36.:12:39.

to withdraw from Afghanistan and set a date for that.

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And the argument goes that that encouraged

:12:42.:12:44.

the Taliban to effectively wait the Americans out.

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On the other hand it seems there is no real simple solution

:12:49.:12:51.

The crux of the problem seems to be that whilst many in Afghanistan

:12:52.:12:57.

and internationally believe that peace can only be achieved

:12:58.:12:59.

through some kind of negotiated settlement with the Taliban -

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because it is not going to be possible to defeat

:13:03.:13:04.

at the moment the Taliban do not really seem to have much

:13:05.:13:12.

of an incentive for coming to the table for talks

:13:13.:13:14.

because they feel they have got the momentum behind them.

:13:15.:13:17.

So what most analysts say needs to happen is there needs to be

:13:18.:13:20.

a greater level of military pressure exerted on the Taliban to encourage

:13:21.:13:25.

them to come and start meaningful negotiations.

:13:26.:13:31.

So how will Afghans take the news this evening of a kind of beefed

:13:32.:13:34.

Well we have to wait and see what exactly President Trump says

:13:35.:13:40.

but certainly the figures in the Afghan government that I have

:13:41.:13:44.

been talking to want to see more American troops here in Afghanistan.

:13:45.:13:47.

Although at the same time they are quite clear

:13:48.:13:51.

that they want to see them in that training and advisory role that most

:13:52.:13:56.

American soldiers are primarily in in Afghanistan at the moment.

:13:57.:14:00.

They want to see Afghan troops take the lead on the battlefield.

:14:01.:14:06.

What they want to see more of is they want greater access

:14:07.:14:09.

to American military technology and aerial capabilities.

:14:10.:14:12.

One thing that many in the Afghan government I think would be quite

:14:13.:14:15.

concerned about would be a greater role for private security firms

:14:16.:14:20.

which is meant to be one of the options that

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I think that would also cause a great deal of concern amongst many

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Zalmay Khalilzad is a former Ambassador to Afghanistan and US

:14:31.:14:37.

ambassador to the UN under George W Bush.

:14:38.:14:39.

Good evening Ambassador. Reports coming out of the US of increased

:14:40.:14:54.

troop deployment. Is that what you understand will happen? That is my

:14:55.:15:00.

understanding as well but we will have to wait and see until we hear

:15:01.:15:07.

from the President. He has inherited a difficult situation. He has been

:15:08.:15:13.

very deliberate taking his time, looking at the US objective going

:15:14.:15:17.

forward. Looking at alternative strategies. And we will see what the

:15:18.:15:26.

result is. I hope the strategy he announces will be comprehensive as

:15:27.:15:32.

the review has been. The word is it could be roughly about 5000 troops.

:15:33.:15:37.

Do you think that in this situation when the Taliban seems to be back on

:15:38.:15:42.

the front foot that 5000 US troops will be sufficient for the task? The

:15:43.:15:51.

question is what is the task. If the task is as military leaders say, to

:15:52.:15:57.

stop the momentum of the Taliban and also indicate unlike the previous

:15:58.:16:02.

administration in the US which set a timetable for reducing the forces

:16:03.:16:08.

that it had increased and was indicating it was anxious to get all

:16:09.:16:12.

troops out, which encouraged to tell about not to come to the negotiating

:16:13.:16:19.

table. That this increase plus giving more flexibility to the

:16:20.:16:25.

commanders to use the force as they see fit, plus pressure on Pakistan

:16:26.:16:32.

which is a diplomatic issue of great importance affecting Afghanistan,

:16:33.:16:37.

might change the Taliban calculus, the power -- the Pakistani calculus

:16:38.:16:42.

and therefore encourage negotiations. That is what the

:16:43.:16:46.

objective is and they believe that the troop numbers associated with

:16:47.:16:50.

the other things that I said could produce the results of a negotiated

:16:51.:16:56.

settlement. But we will have to wait and see. Interesting that you talk

:16:57.:17:00.

about pressure in Pakistan which is a US ally but it has been there for

:17:01.:17:05.

a long time but the war goes back 16 years. And tonight not even the

:17:06.:17:11.

whole of ten to say. Why has there been such a long term failure of

:17:12.:17:17.

policy and indeed over the issue of Pakistan, why have they failed to

:17:18.:17:22.

get to grips with Pakistan and its continuing harbour of the Taliban?

:17:23.:17:29.

Afghanistan on the one hand is not what it was 16 years ago and I think

:17:30.:17:34.

it is a mistake to say it has been a failure. Because now Afghanistan has

:17:35.:17:41.

a large security force, it has state institutions that they did not have

:17:42.:17:46.

16 years ago. We needed 100,000 troops only six or seven years ago

:17:47.:17:51.

to prevent the Taliban from winning if you like or prevailing. Now the

:17:52.:17:57.

military are saying we need only 4000, 5000. So that has been a

:17:58.:18:00.

positive change but on the other hand you are right that the strategy

:18:01.:18:06.

to encourage Pakistan to play a constructive role has failed. And we

:18:07.:18:11.

need to and we will have to see what President Trump says about this

:18:12.:18:16.

tonight, how to shed Pakistan from its comfort zone that it can be an

:18:17.:18:22.

ally on the one hand and also act as an anniversary and support the

:18:23.:18:28.

Taliban network. At the start of the interview you said President Trump

:18:29.:18:32.

had been very deliberate and looked at reviews and taken is fine. Others

:18:33.:18:37.

accuse him of dragging its heels. And there was also talk that part of

:18:38.:18:43.

the announcement tonight, which may have come from the Steve Bannon win,

:18:44.:18:49.

that it was not military force but mercenaries. What you think of that?

:18:50.:18:54.

I think there is a role for contractors to assist the military.

:18:55.:19:02.

At the present time we have more contractors in Afghanistan Ben

:19:03.:19:04.

troops. But I do not think that you can subcontract the war to the

:19:05.:19:11.

contractors. Their role is a limited role to be in support of the

:19:12.:19:14.

military. And I believe that is where it will come out tonight.

:19:15.:19:16.

Thank you very much. Today the results of the final

:19:17.:19:19.

significant fire safety test triggered by the Grenfell

:19:20.:19:22.

disaster were released. They seek to help us

:19:23.:19:24.

work out which other buildings are safe or not,

:19:25.:19:27.

by working out what sort of cladding The results make for

:19:28.:19:29.

troubling reading. I'm joined by our Policy

:19:30.:19:33.

Editor Chris Cook. I'll have we got here, just remind

:19:34.:19:48.

us. Just after the Grenfell Tower fired the government began an audit

:19:49.:19:52.

of tall buildings across England to work out of the buildings that had

:19:53.:19:56.

aluminium cladding on the outside, what type of installation did they

:19:57.:20:00.

have and what sort of aluminium facing they had on the exterior. The

:20:01.:20:04.

reason why they wanted to know that was that it is possible to have some

:20:05.:20:12.

kind of slightly combustible installation and some kind of

:20:13.:20:15.

slightly combustible exterior cladding if you have them in the

:20:16.:20:20.

right combinations. If they are properly designed and only used in

:20:21.:20:23.

certain combinations. But they did not know what the safe combinations

:20:24.:20:28.

where. So having done that audit, they have done six fire tests so

:20:29.:20:33.

far, there will be seven, and these are to work out which combinations

:20:34.:20:38.

of materials can be used. So what is the significance of this report?

:20:39.:20:43.

This is the last of the ones that were in doubt, the conclusions are

:20:44.:20:46.

that when you take all the test results together we now know the

:20:47.:20:53.

right children 28 tall buildings across England that have designs of

:20:54.:20:57.

cladding, combinations of integration and aluminium cladding

:20:58.:21:00.

on the outside that is not fire safe. 200 buildings unsafe, how do

:21:01.:21:10.

we get to a situation where we handle that. In principle under the

:21:11.:21:14.

building regulations you should not be able to put up the stuff without

:21:15.:21:19.

going through a rigorous fire test of the sword the government has been

:21:20.:21:23.

doing. But the institutions that we rely on to police that requirement,

:21:24.:21:28.

they basically let us down. One example, the longest standing

:21:29.:21:32.

Private institution that has a lot to do building inspection in the UK,

:21:33.:21:38.

the National house-building Council, Derry esteemed, not a jazzy company,

:21:39.:21:44.

they released guidance last year saying they would sign off

:21:45.:21:50.

combustible cladding and insulation without anyone needing to do any

:21:51.:21:53.

test or any further requirement to show it was safe just because

:21:54.:21:57.

culturally that is what was accepted. Institutions like that who

:21:58.:22:01.

had a responsibility to the public to make sure buildings were safe

:22:02.:22:05.

they basically dropped the ball. They took their eye off fire safety.

:22:06.:22:11.

And now we discover many buildings to not read the rules that we set

:22:12.:22:12.

up. The coalition forces who retook

:22:13.:22:15.

Mosul from Isis have moved on west, where the battle is now for Tal

:22:16.:22:18.

Afar. In their wake, they have

:22:19.:22:20.

left a city, much of it Mosul suffered three years of Isis

:22:21.:22:22.

occupation and then a nine-month 700,000 of the residents,

:22:23.:22:26.

many of them traumatised, But is there anything to come home

:22:27.:22:31.

to and is it really safe from Isis? This special report by Yalda Hakim

:22:32.:22:42.

contains images some viewers The road to Mosul is

:22:43.:22:44.

long and convoluted. To reach even the outskirts

:22:45.:22:57.

of the city you have to navigate The Baghdad government

:22:58.:23:00.

has declared victory. There are still pockets

:23:01.:23:16.

of IS fighters in the old city. And this is what

:23:17.:23:28.

liberation looks like. Iraq's second largest

:23:29.:23:33.

city, just ruins. The bulk of the city is just

:23:34.:23:42.

completely destroyed and devastated. I cannot even begin to imagine

:23:43.:23:45.

what it would have been like for the people trapped

:23:46.:23:55.

in this city. They were not allowed out,

:23:56.:23:57.

Isis wasn't letting them. And there was constant

:23:58.:23:59.

bombardment here. Trapped beneath these ruins

:24:00.:24:00.

there are untold numbers of bodies. This woman is now homeless along

:24:01.:24:30.

with a million other This is the ambulance that has

:24:31.:24:34.

come to transfer me. This doctor is getting to work,

:24:35.:25:35.

the only way he can. I am a volunteer doctor,

:25:36.:25:46.

not a graduate doctor. And now I'm going to the hospital

:25:47.:25:50.

in the west of Mosul. Mosul's only functioning

:25:51.:25:53.

hospital is overwhelmed. There is no one checking the people

:25:54.:26:17.

who are coming and going. And so the security forces

:26:18.:26:20.

are concerned that some of these people could be Isis fighters

:26:21.:26:23.

or Isis supporters. And I'm examining the site of the

:26:24.:26:34.

shrapnel and the depth of the nail. At the height of the fighting

:26:35.:27:07.

the doctor was treating up And not just from injuries

:27:08.:27:10.

but illnesses caused due According to the Army,

:27:11.:27:17.

retreating Isis fighters have rigged 90% of the buildings

:27:18.:27:50.

with improvised explosive devices. Do you have the resources, I mean,

:27:51.:28:07.

do you have enough men to...? But the Iraqi military is now

:28:08.:28:11.

accused of targeting and killing people they suspect

:28:12.:28:25.

of belonging to Isis. The government say they are

:28:26.:28:30.

investigating these allegations. When Islamic State swept

:28:31.:28:43.

into Mosul three years ago the world watched in horror

:28:44.:28:46.

as they unleashed At first many saw them as liberators

:28:47.:28:47.

from an oppressive Shia Mosul University, once home

:28:48.:29:00.

to over a million books. Rare maps, ancient manuscripts

:29:01.:29:13.

and a ninth century Koran This is the college

:29:14.:29:16.

of computer and mathematics. This seat of learning represented

:29:17.:29:27.

everything Isis stood against. Intellectuals like Ali Al Hadidi,

:29:28.:29:34.

a renowned professor of law, I have come to visit

:29:35.:29:38.

the doctor from Mosul Over lunch he explains

:29:39.:30:14.

that it was his profession that ultimately saved him and his family

:30:15.:30:28.

from the wrath of Did that make you nervous, though,

:30:29.:30:30.

that your son would go out Is there fear then that there

:30:31.:30:57.

could be another uprising? The people of Mosul now have to

:30:58.:31:52.

rebuild a broken and divided city. But real reconciliation

:31:53.:31:56.

will be a battle. And all the while, Isis fighters

:31:57.:32:01.

are hiding amongst the population. When is it appropriate to remove

:32:02.:32:05.

statues from our streets and squares and parks,

:32:06.:32:25.

erected to men whose past glories When the city of Charlottesville

:32:26.:32:27.

voted to remove a statue of General Robert E Lee,

:32:28.:32:34.

who commanded the confederate army of North Virginia,

:32:35.:32:37.

the ensuing furore saw KKK, white supremacists and

:32:38.:32:41.

neo-Nazis on the streets, violent clashes with

:32:42.:32:43.

counter-demonstrators, the death of one

:32:44.:32:47.

young woman, and approbrium heaped on Trump for his failure to condemn

:32:48.:32:55.

the actions of far-right groups. In Russia, it's the 80th anniversary

:32:56.:32:58.

of the Great Terror, the purges in which Josef Stalin

:32:59.:33:00.

killed and enslaved millions, and yet new statues to him

:33:01.:33:03.

are springing up in the country, led by Vladimir Putin's

:33:04.:33:06.

admiration of the dictator In a moment, we will be discussing

:33:07.:33:08.

what to do with fallen idols and how But first, here's a Vewsnight

:33:09.:33:16.

on the subject from Dr Rahul Rao, And Rahul Rao joins me now,

:33:17.:33:22.

as does the historian Tim Stanley. Good evening. Let's have a

:33:23.:35:39.

conversation about how you decide all this. He would suggested in his

:35:40.:35:49.

piece that it is possible to consider bringing down the statues

:35:50.:35:54.

of Washington and Thomas Jefferson. I admire him for his honesty and

:35:55.:35:59.

logic because a lot of people would say they want to stop at one set of

:36:00.:36:04.

statues but once you approach the subject from the principle of let us

:36:05.:36:09.

eradicate those things from the past that were morally wrong and not

:36:10.:36:14.

acceptable today, you cannot stop at Confederate statues, you put

:36:15.:36:18.

everything on the table and the problem with that is you create an

:36:19.:36:22.

artificial sense of the past. We try to cleanse it of all things that

:36:23.:36:26.

make no sense morally today and therefore you rewrite the past and

:36:27.:36:30.

create a past that simply was not real. You are rewriting the past?

:36:31.:36:36.

Not at all, I think a lot of these movements objecting to statues are

:36:37.:36:40.

not about rewriting the past. The rash of Confederate monument that

:36:41.:36:46.

scars the American landscape were exercises in revisionist history and

:36:47.:36:54.

built to nurture a view of the Civil War as a noble struggle fought

:36:55.:36:57.

against Northern aggression and removing them help source right a

:36:58.:36:59.

better history of the Civil War. Looking back at the Second World

:37:00.:37:04.

War, and indeed looking at the Spanish Civil War, are you against

:37:05.:37:10.

the removal as has been done, statues of Franco, Mussolini? It is

:37:11.:37:15.

about contemporary culture and context and it must be a legal

:37:16.:37:20.

process, not driven by a particular interest group. Ukraine is removing

:37:21.:37:25.

statues of Lenin, which makes sense to me. By contrast, consider

:37:26.:37:30.

Parliament Square because we are focused on Big Ben today. Who is in

:37:31.:37:36.

the square? You have Winston Churchill, architects of Empire, men

:37:37.:37:41.

with bigoted and unpleasant views. In Parliament Square you have Nelson

:37:42.:37:47.

Mandela. Statues tell the full story. History does not start in

:37:48.:37:51.

leaps and bounds, it is evolution and if you keep all the statues, you

:37:52.:37:56.

then have a full history of Empire for people to read. You cannot

:37:57.:38:02.

remove everything, obliterated his street. It is not about

:38:03.:38:06.

obliterating, the ascetics of celebration are different from the

:38:07.:38:09.

aesthetics of critique. It would be one thing to put the statues in a

:38:10.:38:15.

museum. It is quite another thing to put them on a pedestal literally in

:38:16.:38:22.

a public place. Where do you stop? I could say you would not want a lot

:38:23.:38:26.

of statues of 19th century politicians because they stood

:38:27.:38:31.

against suffrage for women. I do not think any historical figure should

:38:32.:38:35.

be beyond examination and re-evaluation. Does that mean

:38:36.:38:39.

removal? It could mean replacing those statues in a museum. If you

:38:40.:38:46.

put them in private places you do not have a dialogue. Why put them in

:38:47.:38:51.

a museum? These people are so fundamentally immoral, why not get

:38:52.:38:56.

rid of the statue altogether? The objective is not to raise and skill,

:38:57.:39:03.

it is to expose and the renaming of Robert E Leigh Park as an

:39:04.:39:08.

emancipation park tells the history better, that does not glorify

:39:09.:39:12.

slavery that recalls the struggles of those who were enslaved. That is

:39:13.:39:20.

a particular contemporary context but my fear is a lot of the effort

:39:21.:39:24.

to take down statues is not about correcting history but telling a

:39:25.:39:34.

particular Buddhist school... -- a political political... What about

:39:35.:39:42.

Oliver Cromwell. One section of the community to them he was a tyrant

:39:43.:39:47.

and is remembered as a tyrant and to another section of the community in

:39:48.:39:51.

he is not. When you have a divide, how do you decide? When putting up

:39:52.:39:55.

the statue of Cromwell it almost brought the government down it was

:39:56.:40:01.

so controversial. I am catholic and have Irish and my family and

:40:02.:40:05.

Cromwell is a war criminal who shut down Parliament that 100 years on

:40:06.:40:09.

from the statue being erected I understand it is part of British

:40:10.:40:14.

identity and sometimes we lie to ourselves and tell national

:40:15.:40:18.

fantasies and it is part of our identity that Cromwell stood up the

:40:19.:40:25.

Parliamentary sovereignty. Russia, Vladimir Putin seems hell-bent on

:40:26.:40:30.

rehabilitating Josef Stalin. The idea now that people in Russia will

:40:31.:40:35.

look and see the man who murdered their ancestors put on a pedestal. I

:40:36.:40:40.

think we are talking about different examples as if they are equivalent

:40:41.:40:44.

and we need to distinguish between situations where those in power bill

:40:45.:40:51.

statues to ratify their stranglehold and those wanting to put up statues

:40:52.:40:56.

to get a toehold in a public sphere from which they are excluded. Thank

:40:57.:40:59.

you. On a day when we looked

:41:00.:41:02.

to the heavens, we sadly lost a giant of the science

:41:03.:41:05.

fiction literary world. The great Brian Aldiss

:41:06.:41:07.

passed away aged 92 today. One of the pioneers of the genre

:41:08.:41:09.

who used sci-fi to hold up --

:41:10.:41:17.

he counted everyone from Stanley Kubrick

:41:18.:41:18.

to Agatha Christie, CS Lewis to Tolkein as friends

:41:19.:41:20.

and colleagues. So in his honour, we dug

:41:21.:41:22.

into the BBC interview archive to let him say goodbye

:41:23.:41:24.

in his own words. Really, a novel takes

:41:25.:41:27.

you about a year to write, so you have not got to be bored

:41:28.:41:29.

by it, so you don't plan it. But Doris Lessing told me long ago,

:41:30.:41:33.

no, sorry, it wasn't Doris, Iris said, you must never tell

:41:34.:41:40.

anyone how much you enjoy writing. You must always make out that

:41:41.:41:48.

it's really hard work. Well, it is hard work,

:41:49.:41:52.

but it's also the second most Well, I don't agree with those

:41:53.:41:54.

people who think that science fiction is some kind of prediction

:41:55.:42:06.

of the future. I think it is a metaphor

:42:07.:42:08.

and it is a metaphor There is certainly something in me

:42:09.:42:13.

that urgently needs expression, and it doesn't quite tell me

:42:14.:42:20.

what it is. Hello, Tuesday morning will dawn

:42:21.:42:41.

mild but murky. A lot of

:42:42.:42:43.

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