Democracy Now! April 22, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! April 22, 2003
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Hour 1: My feeling is that there will be a war it may already have begun against the Americans by the Iraqis : British journalist Robert Fisk discusses looting, the U.S. targeting of journalists, the possibility of civil war in Iraq and why he feels the U.S. will not attack Syria Hour 2: Nina Simone 1933-2003: The High Priestess of Soul dies at age 70; Dennis Kucinich on war, abortion, corporate-financed campaigns & the Democratic Party: The presidential candidate and chair of the Progressive caucus joins us in our Firehouse studios; Publisher of Harper s magazine calls a story in yesterday s New York Times the closest thing I ve ever seen to American state media and a watershed in the history of the paper : The story, which was censored by the US military, appears to accomplish everything the Pentagon could wish for.

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:10 Headlines 8:10-8:11 One Minute Music Break 8:11-8:20: London Independent reporter Robert Fisk writes in his most recent article: It's going wrong, faster than anyone could have imagined. The army of liberation has already turned into the army of occupation. The Shi'ites are threatening to fight the Americans, to create their own war of liberation . At night on every one of the Shia Muslim barricades in Sadr City, there are 14 men with automatic rifles. Even the individual US Marines in Baghdad are talking of the insults being flung at them. " Go away! Get out of my face! an American soldier screamed at an Iraqi trying to push towards the wire surrounding an infantry unit in the capital yesterday. I watched the man's face suffuse with rage. " God is Great! God is Great! the Iraqi retorted. " F*** you! It is much worse than that. The Americans have now issued a Message to the Citizens of Baghdad , a document that is as colonial in spirit as it is insensitive in tone. " Please avoid leaving your homes during the night hours after evening prayers and before the call to morning prayers, it tells the people of the city. " During this time, terrorist forces associated with the former regime of Saddam Hussein, as well as various criminal elements, are known to move through the area. Please do not leave your homes during this time. During all hours, please approach Coalition military positions with extreme caution. " So now - with neither electricity nor running water - the millions of Iraqis here are ordered to stay in their homes from dusk to dawn. It's a form of imprisonment, in their own country. Written by the command of the 1st US Marine Division, it's a curfew in all but name. " If I was an Iraqi and I read that, an Arab woman shouted at me, I would become a suicide bomber. And all across Baghdad, you hear the same thing, from Shia Muslim clerics to Sunni businessmen, that the Americans have come only for oil, and that soon - very soon - a guerrilla resistance must start. * Robert Fisk, reporter with the London Independent Link: 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:40 FISK cont d 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58 FISK cont d 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits 9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:10 Headlines 9:10-9:11 One Minute Music Break 9:11-9:20: She was called the High Priestess of Soul. She was one of the most influential American musicians of the last century. She was a singer, composer and pianist. She fused elements of spiritual, jazz and protest songs. She was Nina Simone. Nina Simone died yesterday at her home in France at the age of 70. Simone was born Eunice Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina in 1933 as one of eight children. She sang in church and began playing the piano at age two. She studied piano at the Juilliard Conservatory in New York and planned on a career as a concert pianist, but she began singing in nightclubs to earn a living. A 1959 concert in New York s Town Hall turned her into a star. In the 1960s and 70s, Simone moved from popular ballads to protest songs as the civil rights movement gathered steam. She left the United States in 1973, denouncing the racism in the country, and lived in the Caribbean and Africa before settling in Europe. As late as 1998, she said she felt a palpable disgust at the treatment of blacks in the US. Artists of all different kinds said Simone influenced their work, including Aretha Franklin, Sade, India Arie, Norah Jones and Peter Gabriel. * Dave Marsh, editor of the journal Rock N Roll Confidential. He is the author of many books on music. He is currently working on one about the freedom songs of the civil rights movement 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:50 Dennis Kucinich on war, abortion, corporate-financed campaigns & the Democratic Party: The presidential candidate and chair of the Progressive caucus joins us in our Firehouse studios Richard Cohen wrote in a Washington Post opinion piece several weeks ago: Liar is a word rarely used in Washington. This is not because the town lacks liars but because the word is so unambiguous -- so lacking in customary fudge -- that its use was long ago forbidden by, of course, consensus. So it was particularly shocking, not to mention refreshing, to hear Richard Perle on Sunday call Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) a liar to his face. I paused to see if the Washington Monument would crack down the middle. It did not. Moreover, Kucinich himself seemed only momentarily fazed by Perle's sharp right to his integrity and went on, indomitable demagogue that he seems to be, to maintain that the coming war with Iraq will be fought to control that nation's oil. Kucinich, a presidential candidate, has made this charge before, and when Tim Russert asked him on "Meet the Press" to back it up, here is what he said: " I base that on the fact that there is $ 5 trillion worth of oil above and in the ground in Iraq, that individuals involved in the administration have been involved in the oil industry, that the oil industry would certainly benefit from having the administration control Iraq, and that the fact is that, since no other case has been made to go to war against Iraq, . . . oil represents the strongest incentive. " Rep. Kucinich is running for president and it is significant that the opinion-makers in Washington believe he is enough of a threat to take him on in the pages of the Washington Post. Today, Rep. Kucinich joins us in our studio to discuss his campaign including his views on abortion, the Democratic Party and the war in Iraq. * Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) 9:50-9:51 One Minute Music Break 9:50-9:58: Chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix has charged that US officials tried to discredit the work of inspectors in Iraq to justify invading the country. In an interview with the BBC, Blix said US officials leaked suggestions that inspectors had deliberately suppressed information to the media in an attempt to undermine their work in Iraq. Excerpts of the interview were released just before Blix is due to address the Security Council today. Meanwhile, it appears the Pentagon propaganda apparatus is still in high gear as the US struggles to explain why it has failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq the main justification for the US invasion. Yesterday, The New York Times ran a front-page piece about a former Iraqi scientist, who allegedly told a US military team that Iraq destroyed chemical weapons and biological warfare equipment only days before the war began. The scientist also said Iraq secretly sent unconventional weapons and technology to Syria, starting in the mid-1990's, and that more recently Iraq was cooperating with Al Qaeda. And he led Americans to material that proved to be the building blocks for a toxic agent that is banned by chemical weapons treaties. US officials said it is the most important discovery to date in the hunt for illegal weapons. The Pentagon is refusing to identify the toxic agent or name the scientist. The piece is by Judith Miller, who is embedded with the US military. She reported she was not allowed to write about the scientist for three days. Her report was submitted to military officials for censorship. The piece appears to accomplish everything the Pentagon could wish for. It explains why US troops have been unable to find weapons and why they may never find them. It ties Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda. And it even implicates Syria possibly the Bush administration s next target. New York Times reporter Judith Miller is not new to Pentagon propaganda. She and colleague Michael Gordon were the first to report on the now famously discredited Pentagon claim that Iraqis were trying to buy aluminum tubes in order to build nuclear weapons. U.N. inspectors were able to disprove the claim, but not before President Bush repeated it in two major addresses, and Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell used the false information in his address to the U.N. Security Council to drum up support for war. * John R. MacArthur, publisher of Harper s magazine and author of the book Second Front: Censorship and Propaganda in the Gulf War. 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
April 22, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
April 22, 2003
Item duration: 
118 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., April 22, 2003
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