This Week on Between The Lines

Posted Sept. 4, 2013 for week ending Sept. 13, 2013


"There are two conventions. That's the Geneva Protocol of 1925 prohibiting the use of chemical weapons in international armed conflict. ... There is also the Chemical Weapons Convention. Syria is not a party, the U.S. is. But currently, the U.S. is in material breach of the Chemical Weapons Convention. There was an absolute final deadline in the Chemical Weapons Convention that we had to destroy all of our chemical weapons by April of 2012, and we have refused to do it."

– Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, on Syria's use of chemical weapons and U.S. threat of military intervention

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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International Law Doesn't Condone Planned U.S. Intervention in Syrian Civil War

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Interview with Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law, conducted by Scott Harris


Not long after President Obama spoke to the nation about his intention to launch air strikes against Syria’s military in response to Bashar al-Assad’s regime’s alleged use of chemical weapons resulting in mass civilian casualties, the imminent attack was delayed in order to seek authorization from Congress. The abrupt change was necessitated in part by the defeat of British Prime Minister David Cameron’s effort seeking approval from Parliament to join the Americans in future military intervention in Syria.  Story continues

Essential Issues Americans Need to Know About Syria's Civil War

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Interview with Jennifer Loewenstein, associate director, Middle East Studies Program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, conducted by Scott Harris


After long, bloody and costly U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the American people are decidedly opposed to President Obama’s plan to intervene militarily in Syria’s civil war. A Washington Post-ABC News poll released on Sept. 3 found that by a margin of 59 to 36 percent, Americans oppose a U.S. attack after the Obama administration announced they had high confidence that the regime of Syrian President Basher al-Assad had used chemical weapons against his own people. Opposition to U.S. intervention in Syria was bipartisan, with Democrats and Republicans both coming out equally against the plan that is now being debated in Congress.  Story continues

Kids vs Global Warming Appeals Court Dismissal of Lawsuit Over Government Inaction on Climate Change

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Interview with Garrett Serrels, activist with the group, Kids vs Global Warming, conducted by Melinda Tuhus


In recent years, young people have been getting more involved in work to halt the warming of the planet. One 13-year-old, Alec Loorz, founded a group called “Kids vs Global Warming” in 2009, with his mother, Victoria. Through community engagement campaigns and leadership development programs, the group’s goal is to empower youth to speak up for their generation and ignite change in their worlds to value nature and future generations more than profits and power. Alec sued the federal government in 2011 over its failure to take action on climate change, based on the Public Trust Doctrine, under which the state serves as trustee of the commons on behalf of present and future generations.  Story continues

This week’s summary of under-reported news

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Compiled by Bob Nixon


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