The Alyona Show: Getting real about the war

The Obama administration's special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, meet with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill to discuss governance and civilian strategy in Afghanistan. RT Correspondent Lauren Lyster has the details on what was discussed and if it represents anything new.

Reuters reporter Jonathon Burch says troops in Kandahar admitted that over the last eight to nine years, there has been a dramatic change in the age of Taliban fighters. In 2002, they were 22 to 30 years old; currently most are between 14 and 18 years old. Alyona asks Burch why the commanders think this is happening. He explains why, in his opinion, this is an enemy too young to kill.

There are 27,000 gangs in the U.S., 788,000 gang members, and most of them join between the ages of 12 and 15. Alyona asks, when a population so young gets drawn into a gang, is there any hope of bringing them back? Alyona talks to Agustin Lizama a former gang member and who now works for Homeboy Industries. Lizama shares what is what like to be in a gang and the connection between young enemies in the U.S. and Afghanistan.

Then, yesterday the Obama administration unveiled its national HIV strategy to reduce the number of new HIV infections by 25 percent within five years, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. Alyona explains there is no new federal money in this strategy and that Washington, DC has higher HIV rates than some African countries. Alyona talks to Don Blanchon, Executive Director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic.

And, lawmakers are using taxpayer money to pay for their own legal fees for claims of abuse and harassment in their offices. According to records from the Office of Compliance, taxpayers have paid nearly $1 million per year in settlements to congressional employees who were harassed by their political employers for the past fourteen years. Brent Budowsky reveals what really happens on the Hill.

Finally, an anonymous envelope was sent to Utah law enforcement and media outlets containing a list of personal information of more than 1,300 people accused of being undocumented immigrants. In a few cases, the list also included Social Security numbers, employers, and even due dates for a few pregnant women. Almost every surname on the list is Latino, and the letter came from a group calling itself "Concerned Citizens of the United States." Alyona says this list is reminiscent of McCarthyism. Is this the new Red Scare? Jack Martin from FAIR and Ron Gochez from Union Del Barrio discuss this with Alyona.