Democracy Now! April 12, 2002

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Democracy Now! April 12, 2002
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Colin Powell and Ariel Sharon meet in Israel ; a debate about whats happening in the conflict ; Venezualan leader Hugo Chavez resigns after a military coup ; world governments celebrated the ratification of the International Criminal Court.

9:01-9:06 Headlines: THE WORLD BEGINS TO WITNESS THE MASSACRE IN JENIN REFUGEE CAMP The world is finally getting a glimpse of the massacre in the Jenin refugee camp. The few journalists who have seen the camp say there are piles of rubble where homes once stood, and gaping holes ripped in the sides of buildings. There is water flooding out of broken mains and running down the rubble-strewn streets. The Israeli army said several hundred Palestinians have likely been killed, but later retracted the claim. The Palestinians are asking the United Nations for an international inquiry. Kristen Schurr is one of several International Solidarity Movement activists who have gone to the villages to hear the stories first hand, in the hope of offering some humanitarian aid. She filed this report last night. GUEST: KRISTEN SCHURR, activist with the International Solidarity Movement, reporting from a village outside Jenin 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20 VENEZUELAN PRESIDENT HUGO CHAVEZ RESIGNS AFTER MILITARY COUP: WAS THE CIA INVOLVED? Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez was forced to resign today after a military coup followed civilian demonstrations that ended in government troops firing on protesters. National Guard troops and pro-Chavez gunmen opened fire on 150,000 protestors with bullets and tear gas. At least 13 people were killed and over 100 wounded. The head of Venezuela's National Guard announced last night the military had taken control of the country, and the chief of staff said military leaders had asked the president to resign. Details of the coup are unclear. The western press is reporting that unrest came to a head three days ago when Chavez vowed to crush a general strike called by Venezuela's largest business and labor groups. The groups called the strike to support oil executives who wanted Chavez to sack new management he appointed at the state oil monopoly. What is clear is that the US has significant interests in the country. Venezuela is the world's fourth largest oil producer and is the third largest foreign supplier to the US, accounting for 15% of all imports. Chavez has constantly challenged US foreign policy. He was the first elected leader to visit Saddam Hussein since the Persian Gulf War. He provided ideological and economic support for Fidel Castro. Last October, Chavez said the US was "fighting terror with terror" in Afghanistan and displayed photos of dead Afghan children to make his point.GUEST: JAMES PETRAS, Professor of Sociology at SUNY-Binghamton and author of Globalization Unmasked : Imperialism in the 21st Century and The Nationalization of Venezuelan Oil. He is currently working in Argentina.9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:30 GOVERNMENTS WELCOME THE HISTORIC INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT, BUT THE UNITED STATES IS ABSENT FROM THE CELEBRATIONS At the United Nations headquarters in New York yesterday, governments welcomed the historic establishment of the first permanent international tribunal but the US government was absent from the celebrations. Despite strong support for the Court from nearly all of its closest international allies, the US has been consistently hostile to this international body, partly because there will be no exemptions for US nationals in the court. As of this July, the ICC will have permanent jurisdiction over the most serious breaches of international human rights law -- crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide, committed in both international and national conflicts. It was created because national court systems have often failed to provide justice to the victims of egregious crimes. We are joined now by Rhonda Copeland from the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice, a group created to help mainstream gender concerns within the ICC. Guest: RHONDA COPELAND, Legal Adviser to the Women's Caucus for Gender Justice and Director of the International Womens Human Rights Law Clinic at CUNY School of Law in New York City IN STUDIO Contact:;; ARE THE ISRAELI MILITARY INVASIONS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES ABOUT ROOTING OUT TERRORISM, OR ABOUT DESTROYING THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY? A DEMOCRACY NOW! DEBATE Secretary of State Colin Powell and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon emerged from hours of talks today with no timetable for withdrawing Israeli troops from Palestinian cities and towns on the West Bank. Instead of reiterating the Bush administrations demand that the Israeli army withdraw from the West Bank without delay, Powell said in a joint press conference: "I hope we can find a way to come to agreement on this point of the duration of the operations and get back to a track that will lead to a political settlement because that is uppermost in everyone's mind. Sharon gave no commitment on when the military operation would end. He said: Israel is waging war against the infrastructure of Palestinian terrorism and Israel hopes to conclude this war very soon. Today, were going to have a debate about whats happening in the Occupied Territories. Is the Israeli invasion about rooting out terrorism, or is it about destroying the Palestinian Authority? Guest: DR. RAPHAEL COHEN-ALMAGOR, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Communication at the University of Haifa. Also a member of Meretz, the civil rights party in Israel. Contact: Guest: JEFF HALPER, coordinator, Israeli Coalition Against House Demolitions and Professor of Anthropology at Ben Gurion University. He has lived in Israel since 1973. Jeff has researched and written extensively on Israeli society and is the author of the book "Between Redemption and Revival: the Jewish Yishuv in Jerusalem in the nineteenth century." Jeff founded and directed Israels Committee to Save the Ethiopian Jews. He has been active in the Israeli peace movement for many years. As the Coordinator of ICAHD, he has forged a new mode of Israeli peace activity based on nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience to the Israeli Occupation authorities and in close cooperation with Palestinian organizations. CONTACT: Guest: ALI ABU NIMAH, media analyst and Vice President of the Arab American Action Network Contact:; 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58 ARE THE ISRAELI MILITARY INVASIONS IN THE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES ABOUT ROOTING OUT TERRORISM, OR ABOUT DESTROYING THE PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY? A DEMOCRACY NOW! DEBATE CONTD 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits

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