Democracy Now! February 12, 2002

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Democracy Now! February 12, 2002
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As the Pentagon fights a public relations battle against the gray areas of the so-called war on terrorism, GUEST NOAM CHOMSKY : the Hague War Crimes Tribunal kicks off its trial of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic. He's defending himself and says Washingtons the real criminal : to serve or not to serve: as more and more Israeli reserve officers refuse to serve in the occupied territories, a counter-movement blooms in Israel. Well have a debate.

9:01-9:06 HEADLINES 9:06-9:07 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:07-9:20 TO SERVE OR NOT TO SERVE: AS MORE ISRAELI RESERVE OFFICERS REFUSE TO SERVE IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES, A COUNTER-MOVEMENT BLOOMS Israeli warplanes and Apache helicopters attacked the Palestinian Authority's security headquarters in Gaza City yesterday after Palestinian armed groups fired a new type of homemade rocket into Israel. The attack came at a time of changeover between morning and afternoon shifts at nearby schools, and streets were crowded with youngsters who ran away from the explosions, some screaming in panic. Almost 40 people were injured in the assualt, four critically. It was the second air strike on Gaza City in two days. Meanwhile, inside Israel, battle lines of a different kind were being drawn. In the biggest challenge to the army's authority since the second Palestinian intifada began 16 months ago, a growing corps of Israeli reserve officers has begun to refuse service in the occupied territories. Almost three weeks ago, 52 officers signed a public petition denouncing the occupation and refusing to take part in it through military service. The petition was published in one of Israel's leading newspapers, and reads like this: " We hereby declare that we will continue to serve in the Israel Defense Force in any assignment that will serve the defense of the state of Israel. The assignment of occupation and repression does not serve that aim - and we will have no part in it." Since its publication, several hundred more reserve officers have added their names to the petition, while streams of others have risen to condemn it. As of last Friday, the army had suspended nearly 50 petitioners, and a counter movement has emerged with its own letter denouncing the officers. The streets of Israel are buzzing with debate, marking perhaps first time since the second intifada began that the national consensus has been fractured. Today, we'll have our own debate. GUEST: YAIR HALPER, Conscientious Objector. Just finished serving 3 months in prison for refusing to be drafted into the army. He is 18 years old. GUEST: URI AVNERY, journalist, peace activist, former member of the Knesset, and leader of Gush Shalom, the most militant part of the Israeli peace movement. He is also a highly decorated war veteran, who served in an elite unit of the Israeli army. GUEST: DR. YORAM PERI, political science teacher at the Ankori high school, the largest private school network in Israel. Before that, he was a high-ranking army officer. LINK for resisters (petition): 9:20-9:21 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:21-9:40 MILOSEVIC GOES TO THE HAGUE Three years after the US-led 78 day bombing of Yugoslavia, the International War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague began its trial of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic today . He is officially charged with genocide and crimes against humanity in a number of indictments spanning from the wars in Croatia and Bosnia to the fighting in Kosovo. No American or NATO official has been charged by the tribunal for the bombing of Yugoslavia which killed hundreds of civilians, including 16 journalists from Radio Television Serbia, after US war planes bombed the TV station in central Belgrade. Since his extradition to the Hague, Milosevic has maintained his innocence and has accused the Hague court of being a political tool of NATO and a private court for American justice. Milosevic is defending himself at the Hague and has said he may issue subpoenas for former US President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Madelline Albright and General Wesley Clarke. GUEST: LJILJANA SMAJLOVIC, reporter for the Serbian magazine, Nin. She is one of Yugloslavias leading columnists. She is currently in the Hague covering the beginning of Milosevics trial at the UN War Crimes Tribunal. GUEST: ALEKSA DJILAS, Yugloslav author and writer. He is the son of the famous dissident under Marshall Tito, Milovan Djilas. 9:40-9:41 ONE-MINUTE MUSIC BREAK 9:41-9:58 AS THE PENTAGON FIGHTS A PUBLIC RELATIONS BATTLE AGAINST THE GRAY AREAS OF THE SO-CALLED WAR ON TERRORISM, WELL HEAR FROM PROFESSOR NOAM CHOMSKY At the top of the agenda when the White House public relations "war room" convened for its morning meeting on Afghanistan yesterday were media reports that apparently innocent Afghan prisoners had been beaten by their U.S. military captors. On top of a string of nagging reports of mis-targeted bombs and dead civilians, two of the Pentagon's recent biggest triumphs -- the killing of 21 Taliban and capture of 27 more in a commando raid north of Kandahar, and last weekend's launch of a Hellfire missile at a tall man who might have been Osama bin Laden -- appear instead to have been tragedies. Even in the White House, the Afghan war has moved beyond its black and white days, when President Bush proclaimed that the world could be neatly divided into us and them. Now it has taken on shades of gray. The U.S. military, accustomed to being the undisputed good guys in this conflict, has grown defensive over reports of possible errors. The response of the administration, reflected in yesterday's "war room" meeting, has been to defer to ever-ongoing investigations, and suggest that seemingly innocuous villagers may actually be terrorists. But there are those who have spoken out about the gray areas of the so-called war on terrorism, since shortly after the attacks of September 11th. We turn now to a speech Professor Noam Chomsky gave on December 8, at a conference sponsored by the American Friends Service Committee, at Tufts in Cambridge MA. TAPE: NOAM CHOMSKY, Professor of Linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a leading scholar and critic of US foreign policy and the author of many books, including 9-11, just published by Seven Stories Press. MUSIC: "A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall" Bob Dylan "Srbjila: Sounds Global" from Free B92 radio "Motherless Chil'" and "Anybody Here?" Sweet Honey in the Rock 9:58-9:59 OUTRO AND CREDITS

Date Recorded on: 
February 12, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
February 12, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WPFW; Amy Goodman, host. February 12, 2002
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