Democracy Now! January 28, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! January 28, 2002
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 

Black Hawk Down, movie : as Washington paves the way for an attack on Somalia, Hollywood joins forces with the Pentagon to transform the 1993 invasion of Somalia from the militarys darkest hour to its brightest Columbia University tries to restrict a student activist counter-summit during the World Economic Forum : new education law is a victory for Bush and for his corporate allies.

9::01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 AS WASHINGTON PAVES THE WAY FOR AN ATTACK ON SOMALIA, HOLLYWOOD JOINS FORCES WITH THE PENTAGON TO TRANSFORM THE 1993 INVASION OF SOMALIA IN "BLACK HAWK DOWN" The New York Times is reporting that the majority of Americans support expanding the so-called war on terror to Somalia. According to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll, more than 80 percent of the country favors operations in alleged al-Qaeda hideouts even if those countries refuse to assist. At the same time, the Hollywood war epic, "Black Hawk Down," tops the box office charts for the second week in a row. "Black Hawk Down" says it tells the true story of the last U.S. invasion of Somalia in 1993, a mission the Clinton administration presented as humanitarian, designed to liberate thousands of starving Somalis from a brutal clan leader who was blocking U.N. food shipments and massacring U.N. workers. But when U.S. forces dropped into a teeming market in Mogadishu on October 3, 1993, 18 U.S. soldiers and over a thousand Somalis, were killed. President Clinton called the massacre one of the darkest hours of his administration. But former Disney studio chief Joe Roth, whose Revolution Studios made the $120 million movie, says his team would work to assure the audience that "it is, in fact, America's brightest hour." So far, American audiences - both civilian and military - seem to be responding. But not everyone is pleased with the movie. In a number of cities, Somali-American leaders and progressive activists have called for a boycott of "Black Hawk Down." We go first with "Democracy Now!" producer Miranda Kennedy to a demonstration against the film in New Yorks Union Square. TAPE: Activists protest Black Hawk Down in New York GUEST: MARK BOWDEN, author of Black Hawk Down, recorded last month 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 AS WASHINGTON PAVES THE WAY FOR AN ATTACK ON SOMALIA, HOLLYWOOD JOINS FORCES WITH THE PENTAGON TO TRANSFORM THE 1993 INVASION OF SOMALIA IN "BLACK HAWK DOWN" GUEST: OMAR JAMAL, director, Somali Justice Advocacy Network in St. Paul, Minnesota GUEST: CLAUDIA CARR is an activist and one of the leading scholars on Somalia U.S. interests. She has spent years living in Somalia and studying U.S. policy in the region. 9:35-9:40 THE CRACKDOWN ON DISSENT IN THE ACADEMY: STUDENT ACTIVIST SUMMIT THREATENED BY COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY Several months ago, students around the country began planning a national activist and student mobilization counter-summit for this week, during the World Economic Forum in New York. Every year the WEF brings together hundreds of the worlds top business leaders and powerful politicians to shape the global agenda. The Forum usually meets in Davos, Switzerland, but this year shifted to New York, saying they wanted to show solidarity with the city after the September 11th attacks and boost the citys economy. But Columbia students from the group Students for Global Justice were among those who say that the neo-liberal economic agenda is not the best way to heal New York City. They decided to hold a counter-summit at Columbia, but only weeks before the scheduled conference, the University changed its mind. While Columbia is now saying the students may hold the counter-summit, many see it as an example of the escalating crackdown on academic freedom since September 11th. GUEST: YVONNE LIU, Students for Global Justice 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 READING BETWEEN THE LINES: THE NEW EDUCATION LAW IS A VICTORY FOR BUSH AND FOR HIS CORPORATE ALLIES. Vice President Dick Cheney announced yesterday that the Whitehouse was prepared to go to court to fight the release of documents demanded by Congress as part of the investigation into the Enron scandal. But the head of the General Accounting Office disagrees and has vowed to file suit if the Whitehouse does not hand over the documents by the end of the week.Meanwhile, with eyes fixed on Enron, the nation has ignored what s perhaps the latest victory for crony politics. On January 8, the President signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It is the most ambitious federal overhaul of the public school system since the 1960s. The Education Act, commonly known as the "Leave No Child Behind Act, has been hailed by the mainstream media as a bipartisan triumph. The bill received the full support of Senators Edward Kennedy and Paul Wellstone; and when it came up for a vote in mid-December, both the House and the Senate voted overwhelmingly in its favor. But, for all the bi-partisan photo-ops and the cross-aisle handshakes, make no mistake: the education act of 2002 is a huge victory for Bush. Much like the Enron scandal, the new Education Act has its roots in old-boy connections and big business influence. In particular, the textbook and testing industries played a role in the legislation, crafting the policies from which they now stand to benefit. A fascinating article recently published in the Nation magazine lays out the connections clearly, beginning with the long and cozy relationship between Bush and the famous McGraw publishing family. The amount of cross-pollination and mutual admiration between the Administration and [the McGraw Hill] empire is striking, writes Stephen Metcalf in Reading Between the Lines. Harold McGraw Jr. sits on the national grant advisory and founding board of the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. McGraw in turn received the highest literacy award from President Bush in the early 1990s, for his contributions to the cause of literacy. The McGraw Foundation awarded current Bush Education Secretary Rod Paige its highest educator's award while Paige was Houston's school chief and Harold McGraw III was selected as a member of President George W. Bush's transition advisory team. But thats just the beginning. Today, well learn more about these connections as we speak with an educational psychologist and student activist about the big business behind the Bush education act. GUEST: GERALD COLES is an educational psychologist who has written extensively on literacy and learning disabilities. He is the author of Reading Lessons: The Debate Over Literacy and Misreading Reading: the Bad Science that Hurts Children as well as numerous articles in educational and psychology journals. He is formerly a professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the University of Rochester. He now writes full-time and lives in Ithaca, New York. GUEST: BILL WETZEL, founder, Students Against Testing (in studio) CONTACT: 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
January 28, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 28, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. January 28, 2002
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