Democracy Now! April 3, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! April 3, 2003
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Hour 1: U.S. forces close in on Baghdad from two directions: We go to the Iraqi capital to talk with umembedded reporter May Ying Welsh; Kesbeh family arrives in Jordan after being deported from Houston: We talk with them from a refugee camp where the family of nine now lives near penniless in a single bedroom; Green you go, yellow you are questioned and red you don t fly: As Delta prepares to rate the terror threat of every passenger, we host a debate on privacy and security. Hour 2: Over 60 people dead after US bombs impoverished Iraqi neighborhood in Hilla: we talk to the AFP reporter who saw cluster bomblets there; Send in giant, armored bulldozers, Israeli military advises US troops poised to invade Baghdad: but when confronted by peace activists, retired Israeli General admits Israeli army makes many mistakes and calls for withdrawal from Occupied Territories

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:10-8:11 One Minute Music Break 8:11-8:20: US troops have reached the Baghdad airport after fierce fighting with Iraqi forces. US troops are closing in on Baghdad from two directions. The Pentagon says they are just six miles from the edge of the city. US commanders claimed they have effectively destroyed the Medina and Baghdad Republican Guard divisions defending the approaches to Baghdad. Casualty figures are not known. Iraqi forces shot down a Black Hawk helicopter near Karbala. The Pentagon says it appears seven people were killed. A fighter plane also went down; the fate of the pilot is not known. Two US soldiers were killed in an apparent Iraqi rocket-propelled grenade attack. A BBC reporter said he saw American dead being tended on stretchers near the Euphrates. US officers said some 500 Iraqi troops were killed including members of the Special Republican Guard, in fighting for a key bridge some 20 miles southwest of Baghdad. * May Ying Welsh, independent reporter in Baghdad 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:30: As the U.S.-led invasion rages in Iraq, the persecution of Arabs and Muslims continues at home. For the past six months we have been following the story of the the Kesbeh family. The Kesbehs are Palestinian. They came to the U.S. after fleeing Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War. They lived in Houston, Texas for 11 years but last year armed INS agents raided their house. The father and eldest son were arrested and detained for several months on immigration violations. When we last spoke with the Kesbeh family on Friday, they were outside a Houston immigration center. They were deported last week. Today we speak with the eldest daughter Noor Kesbeh joining us from a refugee camp in Amman, Jordan. * Noor Kesbeh. Was deported with her family to Jordan this Monday and is living in a refugee camp in Amman. 8:30-8:58: There is a new website that you might have heard of. Its address is Its logo is Less leg room. No privacy. It was recently created after news reports that Delta Airlines would become the first airline to test a new passenger screening system that attempts to rate the terror threat of each passenger. The system is called CAPPS II, the Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System. CAPPS II would require background checks on all airline passengers when they book a ticket, including checking credit reports, banking and criminal record. Based on this information, every passenger would be assigned a color-coded threat level. Greens will pass through security as normal. Yellows would require additional screening. Reds would be barred from flying. The screening program is expected to begin a trial run at three Delta airports. Today we are going to have a debate on this and other issues related to privacy and surveillance. * David Sobel, general counsel of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, * Barbara Simons, fellow and former president at the Association for Computing Machinery, * Michael Scardaville, policy analyst with the The Heritage Foundation and Davis Institute for International Policy Studies, 8:40-8:41 One-minute music break 8:41-8:58 Privacy 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: The London Independent is reporting that over 60 people, mostly civilians, have now died since the US bombed an impoverished Iraqi neighborhood in the town of Hilla, south of Baghdad. Hundreds of people are wounded. The London Guardian reports unedited TV footage from the Babylon hospital showed horrifically injured bodies heaped into pick-up trucks. Relatives of the dead accompanied them for burial. Bed after bed of injured women and children were pictured along with large pools of blood on the floor of the hospital. An Edinburgh-trained doctor at the hospital Nazim al-Adali, told the Guardian: "All of these are due to the American bombing to the civilian homes. He said there were not any army vehicles or tanks in the area. And Robert Fisk writes in today s Independent: The wounds are vicious and deep, a rash of scarlet spots on the back and thighs or face, the shards of shrapnel from the cluster bombs buried an inch or more in the flesh. The wards of the Hillah teaching hospital are proof that something illegal something quite outside the Geneva Conventions occurred in the villages around the city once known as Babylon. The wailing children, the young women with breast and leg wounds, the 10 patients upon whom doctors had to perform brain surgery to remove metal from their heads, talk of the days and nights when the explosives fell "like grapes" from the sky. Agence France Press correspondent Nayla Razzouk reported seeing cluster bomblets all over the neighborhood, but the Pentagon denied using cluster bombs on Hillah. However, the Pentagon has just admitted U.S. forces are using cluster bombs elsewhere in Iraq. Amnesty International yesterday condemned the Hilla bombing and U.S. use of cluster bombs. The human rights group warned, "The use of cluster bombs in an attack on a civilian area of al-Hilla constitutes an indiscriminate attack and a grave violation of international humanitarian law. We are joined now by Agence France Press reporter Nayla Razzouk. Guest: Nayla Razzouk, reporter with Agence France Press in Baghdad 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:30 HILLA BOMBING, CONT D 9:30-9:35 What our listeners are doing in time of war Tape: Listener Comments, 4/3/03 9:35-9:58: US troops have reached the Baghdad airport after fierce fighting with Iraqi forces and are closing in on the Iraqi capital from two directions. The Pentagon says they are just six miles from the edge of the city. US commanders claim they have effectively destroyed the Medina and Baghdad Republican Guard divisions defending the approaches to Baghdad. They say some 500 Iraqi troops were killed including members of the Special Republican Guard, in fighting for a key bridge some 20 miles southwest of Baghdad. U.S. forces are poised to attack the city of 5 million people. The Guardian of London reports US forces may try to learn from Israeli tactics when they launch the largest US attack on an urban area in decades. Pentagon strategists have poured over video of the Israeli military assault on Jenin a year ago. Estimates of Palestinians killed in the raid range from 52 up to several hundred. Of the confirmed Palestinian dead, over half of them were civilians. 23 Israeli soldiers were also killed. 1,000 U.S. soldiers were sent to Israel for joint maneuvers earlier this year. Guest: Chris McGreal, reporter for the Guardian Newspaper in London. Wrote an article published in the Guardian yesterday called Send In the Bulldozers: What Israel Told US Marines About Urban Battles. He s speaking to us from Jerusalem, Guest: Shlomo Brom, retired Brigadier General with the Israeli military. From 1990 to 1998 he served as Deputy Chief and then Chief of the Strategic Planning Division of the Israeli Defense Forces. He now workers at the Jaffee Centre for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University. Guest: Will Hewitt, describing how an Israeli bulldozer ran over and killed US peace activist Rachel Corrie last month, (recorded on Democracy Now!, March 17, 2003) Guest: Adam Shapiro, Jewish-American activist with the International Solidarity Movement who is currently a graduate student at American University, 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogueira and Elizabeth Press. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer.

Date Recorded on: 
April 3, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
April 3, 2003
Item duration: 
118 min.
WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., April 3, 2003
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