This Week on Between The Lines

Posted May 9, 2012 for week ending May 18, 2012

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"There's a way to speed up the ending (of the Afghan war) or just sit back and let it play out. People that are concerned should be pushing for passage of Rep. Barbara Lee's legislation to get us out of there, pushing their members of Congress to sign Lee's letter to NATO urging a more rapid withdrawal. ... It could be ended in one or three years."

– Tom Hayden, former California legislator, activist and co-founder of Students for a Democratic Society, on President Obama's May 1 speech on Afghanistan


Listen to the entire program using these links, or to individual interviews via the links appearing prior to each segment description below.

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Obama Sends Mixed Messages in Speech on Future of Afghan War

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Interview with Tom Hayden, former California legislator, activist and co-founder of Students for a Democratic Society, conducted by Scott Harris

afghanistan

Marking the one-year anniversary of his order that sent a U.S. Navy Seal team into Pakistan, where they killed al Qaida leader Osama bin-Laden, President Obama traveled in secrecy to Afghanistan on May 1, where he addressed the nation about the Afghan war. In a speech televised live from a military hangar at the U.S. Bagram Air base, the president outlined his plan to end the Afghan conflict, in his words, "responsibly."  Story continues

Palestinian Prisoner Hunger Strike Marks Renewed Emphasis on Nonviolent Resistance

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Interview with Mazin Qumsiyeh, a Palestinian American activist and author of “Popular Resistance in Palestine: A History of Hope and Empowerment”, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

palestinian

Even as Israeli government leaders continue to press their case for military action against Iran, targeting their nuclear capability, they continue to ignore the issue of Palestinian rights as their occupation of the West Bank marks its 45th year. In President Barack Obama's last meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, neither man even raised the Palestinian issue. But Palestinians themselves are moving ahead with campaigns of nonviolent resistance, including prisoner hunger strikes, promotion of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign and other creative responses.  Story continues

Common Cause to IRS: Revoke Corporate Lobby Group ALEC’s Tax-Exempt, Charitable Status

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Interview with Bob Edgar, former six-term congressional representative who now serves as president and CEO of Common Cause, conducted by Scott Harris

ALEC

The American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, has come under scrutiny in recent months for its under-the-radar campaign to pass a variety of laws supported by its corporate membership in state legislatures across the U.S. One of ALEC’s signature efforts was their success in 2011 in eliminating public sector labor unions’ collective bargaining rights in Wisconsin, Ohio, Indiana and Michigan. In the aftermath of the Florida shooting death of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, ALEC’s promotion of permissive Stand Your Ground gun laws has been the subject of national media coverage.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon

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