Democracy Now! May 29, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 29, 2002
Series Title:
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The Pentagon says a nuclear war between India and Pakistan could kill 12 million people. Today, well look at the threat of nuclear war--with a family of Indian and Pakistani anti-nuclear activists. Well talk to a former Indian navy chief and two prominent Pakistani physicists. And, as Russia joins NATO and Bush and Putin sign a new nuclear arms treaty, is the threat of an American nuclear war over? Well look at the changing nuclear landscape here at home. All that and more coming up on Democracy Now!, the exception to the rulers.9:01-9:06 Headlines: 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break MUSIC:6: Instant Karma - John Lennon The John Lennon Collection20: Longing - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Night Song - Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook MIXED WITH: Bombay Boogie - Badal Roy One in the Pocket 40: New World - Prince Emancipation End: War - Bruce Springsteen 9:07-9:20 INDIA AND PAKISTAN MOVE NUCLEAR WARHEADS TO THE BORDER AS TENSIONS ESCALATE Pakistan and India are on the brink of war. Pakistani sources are reporting that India and Pakistan have moved their 'tactical' nuclear warheads to the shared Kashmir border. Cross border skirmishes are continuing. India's foreign minister Jaswant Singh said today that Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf had been given enough time to fulfill his pledges to halt terrorism by militants operating from Pakistani soil. Meanwhile, General Musharraf is dispatching five special envoys to the US, Europe and several Muslim countries to carry the president's message that Pakistan does not want war with India and is ready to resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue. General Musharraf on Monday promised Pakistan's armed forces would not start a war with India over Kashmir. But he said, "If war is thrust upon us, we will respond with full might." Meanwhile, the Pentagon says a new American intelligence report has concluded that a full-scale nuclear exchange between the two countries could kill up to 12 million people immediately. Officials say even a "more limited" nuclear war would have cataclysmic results, overwhelming hospitals across Asia and requiring vast foreign assistance to battle radioactive contamination, famine and disease. Today we are going to talk about the threat of nuclear war between India and Pakistan. We are going to begin with a family story, a family of anti-nuclear activists from both India and Pakistan. We are joined from India by Admiral Ramdas, former chief of the Indian navy and one of the most vocal opponents of the nuclear buildup on the subcontinent. We are also joined by his daughter, Kavita Ramdas, and by her Pakistani husband, Zulfa qar Ahmad, an activist from a prominent Pakistani family. 12 years ago, when Kavita Ramdas married Ahmad, it caused a furor in the Indian media. Now they are working on peace and social justice causes in California. Guest: Admiral Ramdas, former chief of the Indian Navy and one of the most vocal opponents of the nuclear buildup on the subcontinent. He has been a consistent voice of peace between India and Pakistan for decades. Guest: Kavita Ramdas, CEO and president of Global Fund for Women (a grantmaking foundation that gives grants to women's organizations outside the US). Contact: Guest: Zulfiqar Ahmad, South Asia program officer at the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development (a Berkeley-based think tank). He is a Pakistani peace activist working to develop the "South Asian Initiative"-a nuclear disarmament plan for India, Pakistan, and China. Contact: 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 INDIA AND PAKISTAN: Contd Guest: Zia Mian, co-editor of the book "Out of the Nuclear Shadow" and a researcher on South Asian security issues at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Guest: M.V. Ramana, physicist and researcher in Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security, and a founding member of the Indian Coalition for Nuclear Disarmament and Peace. He recently co-authored a groundbreaking study in Scientific American called "India, Pakistan and the Bomb which discusses why the Indian subcontinent is the most likely place in the world for a nuclear war." 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:40-9:58 BUSH AND PUTIN HAIL THE SIGNING OF A NUCLEAR ARMS TREATY, BUT IS THE US REALLY LIQUIDATING THE LEGACY OF THE COLD WAR? As India and Pakistan draw closer to the brink of nuclear war, President Bush and Russian President Vladmir Putin have signed a nuclear arms treaty that they are hailing as the official end of the cold war era. But does the treaty really reduce the threat of nuclear war? It doesn't require either side to destroy a single missile launcher or warhead. It allows them to keep weapons in storage where they can be reactivated on short notice. The agreement is also expected to pave the way for Bush's unilateral withdrawal from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty, so he can build a "star wars" global missile system. The treaty's only real constraint is that each side must have no more than 2,200 warheads by the year 2012. But that's when the treaty expires. And both sides have far more strategic nuclear warheads than they need. The Pentagon itself called for reducing its active warheads to that number in its own classified strategy documents. Meanwhile, Putin joined President Bush and leaders of the 18 other NATO nations in adopting a Rome Declaration at a heavily-guarded Italian air force base outside Rome on Tuesday. The declaration establishes a NATO-Russia joint council in which Moscow will have an equal voice in taking common decisions on military issues, terrorism, and arms proliferation. NATO Secretary General George Robertson said "there is a common enemy out there" that needs to be defeated by "leaders of the democratic world." Were joined right now by Jacqueline Cabasso, who is the executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation and the co-author of a recent report, "The Shape of Things to Come: The Nuclear Posture Review, Missile Defense, and the Dangers of a New Arms Race." Jacqueline Cabasso, you say the administration's real nuclear weapons agenda can be characterized as "fewer, but newer." Tell us about the treaty Bush and Putin signed last week. Guest: Jacqueline Cabasso, executive director of the Western States Legal Foundation. She coauthored the recent report "The Shape of Things to Come: The Nuclear Posture Review, Missile Defense, and the Dangers of a New Arms Race." Contact: 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

Date Recorded on: 
May 29, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
May 29, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. May 29, 2002
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