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Between The Lines

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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending April 25, 2003

THIS WEEK'S PROGRAM

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

  • Disorder, Protests Challenge U.S. Occupation
    of Iraq, Undermining White House Triumphalism

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Iraq War and its Aftermath Sanitized
    by Shallow Corporate Media Coverage

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Lawsuit Charges Coca-Cola with Complicity
    in Attacks on Colombian Union Activists

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Underreported News Summary from Around the World
    For full summary and audio, Click here!
LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. MP3 files available until April 22, 2003.

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

Disorder, Protests Challenge U.S. Occupation
of Iraq, Undermining White House Triumphalism

Interview with Roger Normand,
executive director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights,
conducted by Scott Harris

After several weeks of fighting for control of Iraq's largest cities, the Pentagon announced on April 14 that major combat operations were over. But while the president and his administration were jubilant at the victory of the world's most powerful military over a nation battered by 12 years of economic sanctions and a decade of constant bombing, it seemed that the occupation of Iraq would be filled with danger and uncertainty.

After Saddam Hussein's forces fled Baghdad, chaos and violence reigned in the streets of the capital city and elsewhere as the looting of government offices, banks, hospitals, museums and private homes went unchallenged by U.S. troops. But while the Pentagon made little effort to control widespread pillaging, the old regime's oil ministry was one of the few government buildings to be guarded by U.S. Marines -- a powerful symbol of why many believe the U.S. had come to Iraq. Anti-U.S. occupation protests were organized by Baghdad citizens just days after American tanks rolled into the central city.

Islamic fundamentalist Shiites, Sunni groups and Kurdish rebels are now in fierce competition with each other for spheres of influence and a role in any government body installed by former U.S. General Jay Garner, the man appointed by the Bush administration to run post-war Iraq. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Roger Normand, executive director of the Center for Economic and Social Rights, who assesses the dangers posed by the U.S. occupation of Iraq and the Pentagon's possible next target nation in the Middle East.

Contact the Center for Economic and Social Rights by calling (718) 237-9145 or visit the group's Web site at www.cesr.org.

Related links:

Iraq War and its Aftermath Sanitized
by Shallow Corporate Media Coverage

Interview with Robert Jensen,
professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin,
conducted by Scott Harris

As American and British forces consolidated their control over Iraq, U.S. corporate media continued to bring the war into our living rooms. News anchors and journalists in the field were exuberant in reporting the fall of Iraq's dictator. Stage-managed images of several dozen Iraqi citizens helping Marines to tear down a statue of Saddam Hussein and waving American flags handed to them by soldiers, were broadcast repeatedly. But some critics contend that American media has sanitized their coverage of the Iraq war and provided their audience with uncritical accounts of the White House chosen spin of the day.

American media seemed to consciously avoid much reporting on the horrifying scenes of the thousands of Iraqi civilians who flooded hospitals after being injured in the Bush administration's "shock and awe" bombing campaign, where more than 14,000 bombs were dropped on a city of 5 million. Neither did U.S. citizens see many harsh images of the hundreds of dead and rotting corpses of Iraqi civilians and soldiers killed in an illegal war condemned by a majority around the world.

Coverage of a U.S. tank attack on a Baghdad hotel packed with international journalists, killing three reporters, was also limited and downplayed. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Robert Jensen, professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and author of the book, "Writing Dissent," who takes a critical look at how the U.S. media has reported the Bush administration's war on Iraq.

For independent reporting on the Iraq War visit the No War Collective Web site at www.nowarcollective.com

Related articles:

Lawsuit Charges Coca-Cola with Complicity
in Attacks on Colombian Union Activists

Interview with Terry Collingsworth,
executive director of the International Labor Rights Fund,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Trade unionists who organize in Colombia are the target of more violent attacks than in any other nation in the world. Four thousand union members have been murdered in the past 15 years, mostly by the country's right wing paramilitary organizations.

The International Labor Rights Fund, based in Washington, D.C., filed a lawsuit against the Atlanta-based Coca Cola company, charging that it is complicit in the violence against workers at its bottling plants in Colombia.

Last week, a judge in Miami dismissed the lawsuit against Coke, but allowed the continuation of lawsuits against two bottlers in Colombia affiliated with Coca Cola that plaintiffs allege used paramilitary groups to assassinate and intimidate union leaders.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Terry Collingsworth, executive director of the International Labor Rights Fund, and an attorney who is representing seven targeted unionists and the family of one union leader who was killed inside the bottling plant where he worked. Collingsworth discusses the goals of the lawsuit, as well as what his organization and the bottlers union is up against in going after Coke.

For more information, contact the International Labor Rights Fund at (202) 347-4100 or visit their Web site at www.laborrights.org

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • American military refuses to clean up toxic debris from depleted uranium ammunition used in the recent invasion of Iraq. ("U.S. rejects Iraq Depleted Uranium Cleanup," BBC News, April 15, 2003, Web version, "A Silver Bullet's Toxic Legacy," Christian Science Monitor, Dec. 12, 2002, Web version)
  • Peace process in the disputed Indonesian province of Aceh is at a crisis point. ("Aceh peace monitors to withdraw," BBC, April 8, 2003, Web version; "Demonstrators destablise Aceh peace deal," Financial Times, April 9, 2003).
  • Denver police department database has detailed files on Denver Amnesty International activists. ("Political Profiling," Amnesty Now, Spring 2003)

DOWNLOAD this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. Note: Make sure your browser is set for streaming or download as you wish.

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

... MORE ...

Greg Palast, BBC journalist, author of NY Times bestseller "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" spoke at a sold-out event in New Haven, CT April 12!
Share his groundbreaking investigations with friends, colleagues, libraries and educational institutions. Audio CDs, videotapes and more available at www.squeakywheel.net

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 4/18/03

War on Iraq

"Privatization in Disguise," By Naomi Klein, The Nation, April 15, 2003

"Halliburton's Axis of Influence" In These Times, March 28, 2003

"Crude History Lesson" In These Times, March 27, 2003

Between The Lines Special Reports in RealAudio

Dissent is Essential when Governments Engage in Illegal Conflict and Impose Repressive Measures, philosophy professor Joy Gordon, April 4, 2003

U.S. War Violates U.N. Charter, Michael Ratner, Center for Constitutional Rights, March 28, 2003

Soldiers, Their Parents and Lawmakers Sue to Stop U.S. Attack on Iraq Without Congressional Declaration of War, Lead attorney John Bonifaz in Doe v. Bush lawsuit, March 14, 2003

Campaign to Impeach President Bush Will Require Broad Public Support, law professor Francis Boyle, March 7, 2003

White House Successor to USA Patriot Act Threatens Further Erosion of Civil Liberties, author Nancy Chang, Feb. 28, 2003

Between The Lines Special Report: Interviews Recorded at "The World Says 'No' to War" in NYC, Feb. 15, 2003 in MP3.

200,000 to 500,000 at Anti-War March, 1/18/03 in Washington, D.C.

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson's Commentaries, The Hutchinson Report
and in Audio (needs RealPlayer)


Between The Lines
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