Democracy Now! April 16, 2003

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Democracy Now! April 16, 2003
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U.S. Marines raid the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad: We go to the Iraqi capital to speak with a reporter inside the hotel; We believe your very public criticism of President Bush at this important -- and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more danger : The Baseball Hall of Fame cancels Bull Durham celebration citing actor Tim Robbins opposition to war. Robbins joins us in our Firehouse studio; Democracy is coming to Iraq and is being met with U.S. gunfire : 20,000 Shia Muslims protest against U.S. led government talks in Nasiriyah. As ad AbuKhalil talks about the prospect of a civil war between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Iraq.

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:10 Headlines 9:10-9:11 One Minute Music Break 9:11-9:20: US Marines raided the Palestine Hotel this morning. That is where foreign journalists are staying, and is also where the US has set up a temporary operations base. Marines kicked down doors, rousing journalists from their beds and pointing M-16s in their faces, according to the Associated Press. Marines were seen guarding suspects in a hall and interrogating a man who said he is a cameraman. Marines press officer Sgt Jos Guillen said the Marines were checking the hotel to ensure it was "100% safe." Yesterday I talked to Ezzedine Said, a reporter with Agence France Press reporter based at the Palestine Hotel. I asked him to outline what happened... * Ezzedine Said, Agence France Press reporter speaking to us from the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:50: Bull Durham. Jacob s Ladder. Bob Roberts. Short Cuts. The Hudsucker Proxy. The Shawshank Redemption. Dead Man Walking. Cradle Will Rock. These are just some of the films that have made Tim Robbins one of the biggest stars in Hollywood over the past decade. But it hasn t been his acting but his activism that has put Robbins back in the headlines recently. Later this month the Baseball Hall of Fame was set to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the film Bull Durham. The film which starred Robbins and his future wife Susan Sarandon chronicled life in the minor leagues. It has since become a baseball classic. But the celebration in Cooperstown has been called off. Last week Dale Petroskey, the president of the Baseball Hall of Fame, announced the decision. Petroskey, who served as an assistant press secretary in the Reagan White House wrote to Robbins: "In a free country such as ours, every American has the right to his or her own opinions, and to express them. Public figures, such as you, have platforms much larger than the average American's, which provides you an extraordinary opportunity to have your views heard -- and an equally large obligation to act and speak responsibly. Petroskey went on to write: We believe your very public criticism of President Bush at this important -- and sensitive -- time in our nation's history helps undermine the U.S. position, which ultimately could put our troops in even more danger. As an institution, we stand behind our President and our troops in this conflict. As a result, we have decided to cancel the April 26-27 programs in Cooperstown commemorating the 15th anniversary of Bull Durham. * Tim Robbins, actor and activist 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:50 ROBBINS cont d 9:50-9:58: On Tuesday, some 20,000 people, mostly Shia Muslims, converged on Nasiriyah to protest the first talks in Iraq on a post-invasion government. Iraq s main Shia Muslim opposition group, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, organized the protest against control of the talks. The BBC reported that the Shia are concerned Washington is preparing to install a pro-US puppet government. The Shia leadership in Najaf distributed instructions to mosques across the country to form defense committees and control what s happening in the streets. Prior to the invasion, rhetoric within the Pentagon and State Department pinned Shia Muslims - who were brutally suppressed by Saddam s Sunni Muslim minority - as reliable allies in the campaign. But during the invasion, US forces met with heavy military resistance in Shia-dominated cities in southern Iraq. And now Shia Muslims are strongly resisting US influence in reshaping the country. As US occupation forces turn a blind eye to unrelenting violence and looting in cities throughout Iraq, friction between Sunni and Shia Muslims continues to escalate. The prospect of a civil war between Sunni and Shia Muslims threatens further instability in a country plagued by lawlessness. * As ad AbuKhalil, Professor of political science at University of California, adjunct professor at UC Berkeley. Author of Bin Laden, Islam and America s New War on Terrorism 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Sharif Abdel Kouddous, Angie Karran, Ana Nogueira and Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer.

Date Recorded on: 
April 16, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
April 16, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., April 16, 2003
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