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Democracy Now! May 14, 2003

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Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 14, 2003
Series Title:
PRA Archive #: 
PZ0517.162a
Description: 

UN Security Council to discuss US proposal that would lift the sanctions on Iraq and give US forces full control of Iraq s oil; Apartheid Victims Are Still Suffering: Study Finds Blacks are Getting Poorer and Whites are Getting Richer, and an Activist Who Lost Both His Arms in a Government Assassination Attempt Says a $4,000 Government Reparations Payment is Not Enough

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:06 Headlines 8:06-8:07 One Minute Music Break 8:07-8:20: We ll talk to the former head of the UN Oil for Food Program, who resigned in protest of the sanctions US occupation forces in Iraq will have the authority to shoot looters on sight under a new security policy reported in today s New York Times. The new US ruler of Iraq, Paul Bremer, announced the policy at a meeting of senior staff members yesterday. It is unclear how the occupation forces will inform Iraqis of the new rules of engagement. One of the officials who attended the meeting told the Times occupation forces are: going to start shooting a few looters so that the word gets around. The security situation in Baghdad is dire. The Agence France Presse reports there are regular car-jackings, nightly gun battles and organized crime gangs are terrifying residents. Many people in Baghdad, especially women, are afraid to leave their homes and walk the streets, which are littered with piles of refuse and sewage. Many houses are still without running water or electricity. The New York Times reports imposing measures that call for the possible killing of young, unemployed or desperate Iraqis for looting appears to carry a certain level of risk because of the volatile sentiments in the streets. Paul Bremer also told officials at the meeting yesterday that ranking members of the Baath party will be banned from public service. On the same day, US occupation authorities announced the resignation of Ali Shnan, the physician appointed to lead the rebuilding of Iraq's Health Ministry. Shnan was apparently forced out after refusing to renounce the Baath Party of former president Saddam Hussein. The US head of the Health Ministry, Stephen Browning, said ranking Baathists will be permitted to take senior positions in Iraq only if they sign US-drafted statements renouncing the Baath Party. Meanwhile, Iraqi and Jordanian civilians today filed a lawsuit in Belgian court accusing US commander in Iraq Gen. Tommy Franks of war crimes. The lawsuit details around 20 incidents which occurred during the Iraq war, including three cases in which US troops are accused of firing on ambulances. The 2 Jordanian plaintiffs are the widow and the father of Tareq Ayub, a Jordanian correspondent for Arabic TV network Al-Jazeera. Ayub was killed when a US tank fired on Al-Jazeera s office in Baghdad last month. Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel today attacked the lawsuit as an "abuse" of the law. A spokesman said: "The United States is a democracy and I don't see why this lawsuit has not been introduced in that country." He said, "Belgium has no pretensions to judge the United States." Finally, United Nations Security Council members meet today for their first consultations on a controversial draft resolution co-sponsored by the US and Britain. The resolution calls for the immediate lifting of UN sanctions on Iraq. Iraqi oil revenues would be put into a new Iraqi Assistance Fund controlled by US occupation forces. The draft says "the United Nations should play a vital role in providing humanitarian relief, in supporting the reconstruction of Iraq and in helping in the formation of an Iraqi interim authority." <sum> Hans von Sponeck, former head of the UN "oil-for-food" program in Iraq. He resigned in February, 2000 in protest over the continued sanctions on Iraq. Von Sponeck joined the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in 1968 and served in Ghana and Turkey. He was UNDP Resident Representative in Botswana (1983-1984), United Nations Resident Coordinator in Pakistan (1985-1994) and then in India (1994-1997). Until his resignation, he was UN Chief Humanitarian Officer for Iraq. 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:35-8:58: Study Finds Blacks are Getting Poorer and Whites are Getting Richer, and an Activist Who Lost Both His Arms in a Government Assassination Attempt Says a $4,000 Government Reparations Payment is Not Enough Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs has told South Africa its economy must grow at almost twice its recent rate if it is to make a dent in its massive unemployment rate. But Goldman Sachs also said the government is moving in the right direction, by adopting neo-liberal trade measures and targeting inflation. Interestingly, the Goldman Sachs report comes just a day after a new survey by the University of the Western Cape concluded that blacks are getting poorer while whites are getting richer. The study found that incomes in South African black households fell nearly 20% between 1995 and 2000, while white household incomes rose by 15%. Last year, two out of three black households in Cape Town townships did not have enough food to eat. Meanwhile, South African President Thabo Mbeki recently announced that his government will pay about $4,000 each to the families of victims of apartheid. The reparations settlement will cost the South African government a total of $85 million. The Truth and Reconciliation commission had requested nearly four times that amount. Mbeki rejected a recommendation from the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to impose a wealth tax on multi-national companies and individuals who thrived during white minority rule. The government also decided not to back a series of lawsuits against multinationals such as Anglo American and De Beers filed in US courts on behalf of apartheid victim groups. We re joined right now by the well-known anti-apartheid activist, Father Michael Lapsley. In 1990, three months after the release of South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela, the ruling National Party government sent Father Lapsley a parcel containing two magazines. One of the magazines contained a bomb. When Lapsley opened it, the explosion brought down ceilings in the house, blew a hole in the floors and shattered windows. It also blew off both Father Lapsley s hands, destroyed one eye and burned him severely. Michael Lapsley joined the African National Congress in the mid-1970s, after being deported from South Africa for his activism. He served for many years as the ANC's chaplain in exile, struggling with the tension between his commitment to pacifism and his commitment to resistance against apartheid. Today Michael Lapsley is the director of the Institute for Healing of Memories. Father Lapsley founded the Institute in 1998 as a sort of parallel process to the government s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. <sum> Father Michael Lapsley, director of the Institute for Healing of Memories. Previously he worked at the Trauma Center for Victims of Violence and Torture in Cape Town, which assisted the Truth and Reconciliation Commission headed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Link: www.healingofmemories.co.za 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:42-8:58 father lapsley CONT D 8:58-8:59 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: 
May 14, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
May 14, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
Keywords: 
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Distributor: 
WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., May 14, 2003
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