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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending Aug. 16, 2002


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until Aug. 21, 2002.

This week we present Between The Lines' summary
of under-reported news stories and:

Cycle of Middle East Violence Continues
as Malnutrition Among Palestinian Children Worsens

Interview with Phyllis Bennis,
a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies,
conducted by Scott Harris

Violence between Palestinians and Israelis intensified in the week following the Sharon government's decision to bomb a crowded neighborhood in Gaza. City. When an Israeli F-16 dropped a one-ton bomb on a building, killing the military leader of Hamas and 14 others including nine children, militant Palestinian groups vowed retaliation. Days later they struck back with the bombing of a cafeteria at Hebrew Uninversity, a shooting in Jerusalem and a suicide bombing of a commuter bus resulting in more than a dozen Israelis killed and scores injured.

In response, Israel launched a rocket attack against a Gaza City metal factory that the army says was being used as a bomb-making factory. The military also imposed harsh travel restrictions in the West Bank, aggravating an already desperate situation for many Palestinian civilians as described in a recent report issued by the U.S. Agency for International Development. A survey for U.S. AID found that 22 percent of Palestinian children, between the ages of six months to five years, are malnourished while 13 percent of Palestinian children were suffering from acute malnutrition.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Phyllis Bennis a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, who discusses the deadly cycle of violence plaguing the Middle East and the causes of malnutrition among Palestinian children.

Contact the Institute for Policy Studies by calling (202) 234-9382 or visit their Web site at

Former Chief U.N. Weapons Inspector in Iraq
Believes Plan to Attack Baghdad
is Politically Driven and Fraught with Danger

Interview with Scott Ritter,
a former United Nations weapons inspector,
conducted by Scott Harris

As the White House accelerates their plan to declare war on Iraq, Congress held hearings on U.S. policy toward Baghdad, which heard testimony from a string of retired generals, government officials and military analysts who almost unanimously endorsed the Bush administration's goal of removing Saddam Hussein from power. But while the witnesses stated their support for "regime change," some expressed concern that an attack on Iraq would entail many risks and would not be easy. Underscoring this concern were press reports which quoted senior U.S. military officers who contend that Saddam Hussein poses no immediate threat and that the United States would be better served by continuing its policy of containment rather than launching an invasion of Iraq.

As the drums of war beat ever louder, Baghdad invited a congressional delegation to look for weapons in Iraq with the military experts of their choice. That offer was immediately rejected and dismissed as a "delaying tactic." Skepticism also greeted Iraq's invitation to the head of the United Nations inspection commission, Hans Blix, to resume discussions on returning international weapons inspectors to Iraq four years after they were withdrawn in advance of a U.S. bombing campaign there.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Scott Ritter, a former chief United Nations weapons inspector who served in Iraq in that capacity for 7 years. Ritter takes a critical look at recent congressional hearings on Iraq and assesses the Bush administration's contention that Baghdad's possession or development of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, poses a grave risk to the U.S. and warrants aggressive action.

For more information on the campaign to oppose a U.S. war in Iraq contact Voices in The Wilderness at (773) 784-8065 or visit their Web site at

Bush Administration March to War with Iraq
an Echo of Early Days of Vietnam Conflict

Interview with Mike Gravel,
former U.S. senator,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Mike Gravel represented Alaska for two terms in the U.S. Senate, where he was an outspoken opponent of the war in Vietnam. When the Gulf of Tonkin resolution was passed in 1964, providing a political basis for launching the war in Vietnam, only two senators voted to oppose it -- Wayne Morse of Oregon and Gravel's predecessor from Alaska, Ernest Gruening.

Since leaving the Senate in 1981, Gravel has been working on a national initiative to provide more direct political power to the American people with the goal of strengthening U.S. democracy. The former senator has been an outspoken critic of the Bush Administration's war against terrorism, and the acquiescence of most Republicans and Democrats in Congress to the administration's rush to war against Iraq.

Between the Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Gravel about the parallels he sees between the early years of the Vietnam War and where the U.S. is headed today with regard to the White House plans for war with Iraq.

Former U.S. Senator Mike Gravel's organization, the Democracy Foundation, can be reached at (703) 516-4056, or visit their Web site at

This week's summary of under-reported news
Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • A brief history of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfield's double standard on Iraq's use of chemical weapons. ("The Saddam in Rummy's Closet," Counterpunch, Aug. 2, 2002)
  • Special immigration appeals commission rules that Britain's anti-terror law is "discriminatory and unlawful." ("Court Rules Terror Suspects' Detention Unlawful," The Guardian, July 30, 2002)
  • Major multinational corporations prepare to flex their muscle at upcoming United Nations Earth Summit. ("Earth Summit for Sale," New Internationalist, July 2002)

Senior news editor/writer: Bob Nixon
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Sasha Summer Cousineau
Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus
Distribution: Anna Manzo, Harry Minot, Jeff Yates
Web editor/producer: Anna Manzo
Executive producer: Scott Harris

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 8/9/02

G8 Aid Pledge to Africa Branded Neocolonialism

Neoliberal Economic Strings Attached in G8 Aid Pledge to Africa Interview with Kevin Danaher, cofounder of Global Exchange

Stop the War March on Washington, D.C. April 20th, 2002

Between The Lines Special Report: Interviews with Rev. Billy and John Cavanagh, Institute for Policy Studies on Independent Progressive Politics Network

"Energy Standoff in Central Asia

"Bush Fuels Oil Conspiracy Theory," by Ted Rall,, Jan. 10, 2002

"Pipeline Politics: Oil, The Taliban and the Political Balance of Central Asia," World Press Review Special Report

"The New Great Game: Oil Politics in Central Asia" by Ted Rall,, October 11, 2001,

Economic Globalization Resources

ZNet's Global Economic Crisis resource site Excellent source for understanding global economics and trade issues in preparation for ongoing demonstrations about economic justice

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD


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