Democracy Now! March 25, 2003

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Democracy Now! March 25, 2003
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US and British warplanes begin intense bombardment of Republican Guard positions outside the Iraqi capital: We go to Baghdad for report from May Ying Welsh; Kurdish officials say 150 killed by U.S. bombing, scores of Iraqi civilian casualties elsewhere: British writer Milan Rai analyzes the opening days of the U.S. invasion; From broadcasting images of POWs to distributing propaganda leaflets to embedding reports in the military: a review of the Pentagon s psychological operations; U.S. military has been quietly refueling its B-52s over Spain: Protesters fear a reoccurrence of the 1966 disaster when a B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons crashed with an aerial tanker over Spain

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:20: US and British warplanes have begun an intense bombardment of Republican Guard bunkers outside Baghdad to prepare for a ground assault on the Iraqi capital. Army helicopter gunships in the frontline of the attack were forced to turn back after encountering a hail of small-arms fire. One of the Army's Apache helicopters went down. Shortly afterward, Iraqi state television showed the two crewmen, 26-year-old Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Young Jr, and 30-year-old Chief Warrant Officer David Williams. The airmen were the second set of POWs displayed by the Iraqis. Troops from the US army 5th Corps have formed a frontline about 50 miles south of Baghdad. Vast convoys of tanks and ground forces are racing up from Kuwait to join them. The US army's 3rd Infantry Division is attempting to push towards Baghdad but is stalled by a sandstorm. Guest: May Ying Welsh, independent journalist in Baghdad 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:40: The Pentagon is reporting about 500 Iraqi fighters have been killed in the last two days by the 3rd Infantry Division. Meanwhile it is extremely difficult to get any information on Iraqi civilian casualties. The London Guardian is reporting In Nassiriya a US warplane dropped up to four cluster bombs on a civilian area killing 10 and wounding 200. In northeast Iraq, U.S. missiles hit a village killing 34. And Kurdish officials say at least 150 people were killed by US bombing over the weekend in northern Iraq. The BBC has just reported Bodies of at least 30 Iraqis have been seen along the road from southern town of Nasiriya. Thirty-nine U.S. and British military personnel have been confirmed killed since the Iraqi conflict began. We talk to Milan Rai, author of War Plan Iraq and one of the founders of Voices in the Wilderness, UK, about the opening days of the US invasion Guest: Milan Rai, author of War Plan Iraq and one of the founders of Voices in the Wilderness, UK. 8:40- 8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:50: As the ground and air war plays out in Iraq, another battle, just as crucial, is taking place -- the propaganda struggle between the British-US coalition and Baghdad. This is the opening line of a recent piece by Agence France Press headlined Propaganda One of the Biggest Weapons for Both Sides in Iraq War. The article goes on to say: The most high-profile pawns in this psychological campaign have been the prisoners of war -- the hundreds of Iraqis said to have surrendered in the south and, more dramatically, five US soldiers captured on the weekend and shown alongside Arab broadcasts of dead comrades. The apparent downing of at least one US Apache helicopter Monday added to the shock being felt in the United States and Britain. But other developments either reported in the news or asserted by officials on both sides sought to exploit the situation and turn it to their advantage. Thus US authorities claimed to have located a suspected chemical weapons plant as their forces drove on towards Baghdad, and raised doubts over the health and command of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. In return, Iraqi officials have accused the Anglo-American coalition of war crimes and of suffering losses against fierce resistance mounted by their troops, militias and even ordinary peasants. Washington and London have insisted that their advance is going well and they are on track to start the siege of Baghdad. To talk about psy-ops of psychological operations we are joined by Chris Simpson. He is professor of communications at American University and author of Science of Coercion, among other books. Guest: Chris Simpson, Professor of communications at American University and author of several books including Science of Coercion 8:50-8:58: Massive protests are continuing in Spain against the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The Guardian of London reported that up to 500,000 marched against war in Barcelona on Saturday. Police violence against protesters has increased dramatically since the war started. And more protests are expected after recent revelations that U.S. B-52 bombers refueled over Spanish cities last week on their way to bomb Iraq. In 1966, a B-52 bomber carrying nuclear weapons collided with an aerial tanker while refueling near Palomares, Spain. The bombs fell away, with two scattering plutonium dust over several hundred acres of Spanish farmland. The Palomares area is still being monitored for radiation today. Guest: Maria Carrion, filmmaker and former Democracy Now! producer 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press, with thanks to Noah Reibel. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer.

Date Recorded on: 
March 25, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
March 25, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., March 25, 2003
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