Democracy Now! May 13, 2003

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Democracy Now! May 13, 2003
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Britain's Longest Serving MP Tom Dalyell Criticized for Calling Bush Administration a Cabal; U.S. sends chief weapons search team home empty-handed; Bombing in Philippines kills 10; We hear from Filipino journalist Luis Francia

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:10 Headlines 8:10-8:11 One Minute Music Break 8:11-8:28: The Australian newspaper is reporting that the mayor of London, Ken Livingstone has launched an outspoken attack against US President George W. Bush. "I think George Bush is the most corrupt American president since (Warren) Harding in the '20s. He is not the legitimate president, the Mayor said. Livingstone was answering questions on the Iraq war and other subjects during a two-hour meeting with 200 schoolchildren at London's City Hall. "This (the Bush administration) really is a completely unsupportable government, and I look forward to it being overthrown as much as I looked forward to Saddam Hussein being overthrown," he added. The mayor's outburst was immediately condemned by opposition Conservatives and Liberal Democrats who warned it could put Americans off of visiting London. Well another British politician is also coming under fire: Tam Dalyell, Britain s longest serving member of Parliament faces an investigation for inciting racial hatred. According to the Guardian newspaper last week, he accused Tony Blair of being unduly influenced by Jewish ministers and officials. Dalyell made the remarks in an interview with Vanity Fair magazine, identifying Lord Levy, Tony Blair's Middle East envoy, Peter Mandelson, whose father is Jewish, and Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who has Jewish ancestry. Dalyell also said he felt Blair was influenced by a "cabal" of Jewish advisers. Dalyell, who is known as the Father of the commons, later said he used the word cabal in reference to the Bush administration, not Downing Street. The cabal that I referred to was in the U.S that is the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. I was thinking of [US Deputy Defense Secretary Paul] Wolfowitz, [defense adviser Richard] Perle, [Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John] Bolton Leading British Jews criticized Dalyell for his misguided remarks. One of them, Professor Eric Moonman a former Labor MP and President of the Zionist Federation in London, said he would refer Dalyell to the commission for racial equality. [Moonman said last week he was seeking advice on whether there was a case for referral. "I believe there is," he said. "I will be distressed to do it because of a relationship with a man I admire enormously. But he made the statements and he knew what he was doing." Dalyell who is a fierce opponent of war denies the accusations of anti-semitism. He told the Sunday Telegraph: I am fully aware that one is treading on cut glass on this issue, and no one wants to be accused of anti-semitism, but if it is a question of launching an assault on Syria or Iran, then one has to be candid. He said, I am not going to be labeled anti-Semitic. My children worked on a kibbutz. But the time has come for candor. Israel s conservative newspaper, The Jerusalem Post acknowledged that Dalyell is the conscience of the party, the voice of its ideological soul, known for speaking out and, when necessary, disagreeing with his leader, loudly and publicly. Commentator Douglas Davis said that Dalyell is not expressing a lone view; he is giving voice to the darkest thoughts of many others, both within and without his own party, and he is giving such private thoughts public respectability. Well today, we re joined by Tam Dalyell, veteran British labor MP and Professor Eric Moonman, president of the Zionist Federation of London. * Tam Dalyell, veteran British labor MP who criticized Tony Blair and President Bush of being influenced by Jewish ministers and officials. Link: See article: Fury in British press as Labor leader attacks Blair s Jewish Cabal : s.DTL * Eric Moonman, President of Zionist Federation of London, who is considering referring Tam Dalyell to the Commission for Racial Equality. Link: See article: Dalyell May Face Race Hatred Inquiry,3604,949536,00.html 8:28-8:29 One Minute Music Break 8:29 -8:40: During the war, British journalist Geoff Meade asked an indignant Pentagon official if this war was going to make history by being the first to end before its cause could be found. Well, Meade s premonition appears to be coming true. The group directing the U.S. search for weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq is leaving the country without finding proof that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. In Sunday s Washington Post, Barton Gellman wrote that Survey teams have combed laboratories and munitions plants, bunkers and distilleries, bakeries, file cabinets and holes in the ground to no avail. The article also said that the frustrated 75th Exploitation Task Force, which was in charge of the weapons search, consistently found targets identified by Washington to be inaccurate, looted and burned Meanwhile doctors in Iraq fear that hundreds of Iraqis may be suffering from radiation poisoning, following the widespread looting of the country's nuclear facilities. Many residents in villages close to the huge Tuwaitha Nuclear Facility, about seven miles south of Baghdad, were showing signs of radiation illness last week, including rashes, acute vomiting and severe nosebleeds. Alarmed by the reports, the International Atomic Energy Agency last week sent a letter to reiterate earlier demands that the US grant the agency access to Iraq's nuclear sites, but so far there has been no response. Well we re joined by the Washington Post s New York Bureau chief, Barton Gellman. His article Weapon Hunters Come Up Empty-handed appeared yesterday in the Washington Post. He also reported on the looting of seven nuclear sites in Iraq which appeared in the Post this weekend. He has just returned from Iraq. * Barton Gellman, New York Bureau Chief, Washington Post. He has just returned from Baghdad. Links: Article on WMDs: Article on Nuclear sites: 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58: Philippines President Gloria Arroyo has called on the separatist rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front- the MILF- to renounce terrorism and commit itself to the peace process. She warned that time was running out on peace talks. She spoke during a visit to Korondal, the site of a bomb blast that killed at least 10 people over the weekend. The MILF has consistently denied the government s charge that it was behind the attack. The explosion in a busy market left a trail of carnage and destruction. Body parts were strewn across toppled vendors, a bloodied and maimed body hung off the back of a motorcycle cab and shattered glass and debris were everywhere. Peace talks between government officials and MILF leaders broke down last week following other bomb attacks in the region. The MILF, which numbers around 12,500, has been waging a 25-year war against the government with the aim of establishing an independent Islamic state in the southern third of the country. The BBC reports that if Manila officially brands the group a terrorist organization the army will be given the green light to escalate their military activities in the area. The U.S. Army recently put 1,000 more troops on the ground in Indonesia to help the government combat terrorism. Luis Francia is a Philippine author and journalist. He is the editor of the Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an American Dream, 1899-1999 . He spoke at New York University on April 23rd. Here s a little bit of what he had to say * Luis Francia, Philippine author and journalist. He is the editor of Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream, 1899-1999. This was recorded at New York University, April 23, 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
May 13, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
May 13, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., May 13, 2003
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