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Between The Lines Archive
For The Week Ending Dec. 28, 2001


LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below. Individual interview segments and news summary will be posted soon. MP3 files available until Oct. 10, 2001.

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

    As War Winds Down, Thousands of
    Afghan Refugees Still Vulnerable to Starvation and Cold

    Interview by Scott Harris.

    In little more than two months, the U.S.-led campaign to topple the repressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan has for the most part succeeded. Intense fighting in the Tora Bora region stopped as al Qaeda fighters were driven from caves and shelters in the mountainous region. But, both the U.S. military and their anti-Taliban Afghan allies -- who laid siege to the area from the air and on the ground -- admitted they did not know the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden or other high-level al Qaeda leaders.

    According to a report compiled by professor Marc Herold of the University of New Hampshire, an estimated 3,500 Afghan civilians have thus far been killed in the U.S. bombing campaign. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees are without food, shelter and medical care as harsh winter weather creates ever more dangerous conditions. Shipments of desperately needed food and clothing have been slow in reaching refugees in camps inside Afghanistan. One reason for the delay cited by humanitarian aid groups is the lawless condition around the country, including bands of looters who attack food convoys, permitted by the lack of any U.N. peacekeeping force to maintain order.

    Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Medea Benjamin, founding director of the social justice group Global Exchange, who describes the conditions she witnessed among Afghan refugees while on a recent fact-finding mission to the region.

    Contact Global Exchange by calling 1 (800) 497-1994 or visit their web site at

    After years of advocating that the U.S. withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missle Treaty signed with the former Soviet Union in 1972 - President Bush made the pullout official on December 13th when he provided Russia with the required 6 month notice. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who had resisted U.S. pressure to jointly abrogate the treaty, called Mr. Bush's decision a mistake - but was generally positive about improving relations. China's leaders were also reported to have muted their criticism and accepted a White House invitation to high level talks over the future of arms control.

    While U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty was not unexpected, many international observers expressed concern that Bush's plan to build an anti-missle system could trigger a new global nuclear arms race. In particular there is a fear around the world that China will react by constructing more intercontinental missles setting off a build-up of nuclear weapons in neighboring India and Pakistan.

    Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Alice Slater, president of the Global Resource Action Center for the Environment, about the U.S. withdrawal from the ABM Treaty and her belief that this signals the Bush administration's intent to militarize and dominate Outer Space.

    Contact the Center by calling area code (212) 726-9161 or visit their web site at

    While much of America is focused on the U.S. war against terrorism in the Middle East and the capture of Osama bin Ladenm history was made on Sundaym December 16th, when an American ship pulled into Havana harbor. The Vessel was carrying almost 60 Million pounds of corn and medicine, purchased by the Cuban government to replenish supplies destroyed by Hurricane Michelle.

    The purchase was made possible last year when Congress passed legislation which would exempt food and medicine from the trade embargo, which made it impossible for Cuba to purchase American goods for the past 40 years.

    When the U.S. stipulated that all purchases by Cuba would be on a cash only basis, Cuban President Fidel Castro responded by saying his country would not buy one grain of rice under those conditions, but stated that the recent purchases were made due to a state of emergency.

    For years many farmers and big businesses in the U.S. have lobbied to end or ease the economic embargo. They consider this first transaction a victory despite the hard line of the Bush administration against Cuba and the continued lobbying against any future relations between the U.S. and Cuba by right-wing anti-Casto groups in New Jersey and Miami.

    Lucius Walker is with the Inter-religious Foundation for Community Organization, or IFCO, and is the founder of Pastors for Peace. He spoke with your reporter, Denise Manzari, about this first food shipment and its implications for the future.

    For more information on IFCO, Pastors for Peace call area code (212) 926-5757 or visit their web site at

    • Business-led general strike shuts down most of country in protest of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's populist program. ( "Hugo is Boss," In These Times, December 10, 2001)
    • A historic United Nations tribual convicts 10 pro-Indonesia militiamen of "committing crimes against humanity" for terror inflicted in East Timor after a 1999 independence referendum. ( "E Timor Militiamen Convicted," BBC News, December 11, 2001)
    • Veteran peace activist Philip Berrigan and 10-15 leftist dissidents in federal prisons were placed in isolation, unable to call lawyers, in the immediate aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. ( "You're in the Hole," The Progressive, December, 2001)

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

... MORE ...

Commentary on America's Crisis, from the Producer

"Respond to Terror With a Revolution of the Heart"

"Respond to Terror With a Revolution of the Heart," audio file in MP3.

Between The Lines' Special Reports on Fallout from Sept. 11 Terrorist Attacks

Special Report, Week Ending Sept. 21, 2001

Special Report, Week Ending Sept. 28, 2001

Special Report, Week Ending Oct. 5, 2001

Special Report, Week Ending Oct. 12, 2001

Special Report, Week Ending Oct. 19, 2001

Ali Abunimah, vice president of Chicago's Arab American Action Network, interview in RealAudio, Sept. 12, 2001

In-Depth News Analysis

Third World Traveler, Foreign Policy section, collection of resources on

"They can't see why they are hated: Americans cannot ignore what their government does abroad" by Seumas Milne, Guardian Unlimited, UK's Special Report on Terrorism in the U.S., Sept. 13, 2001

In-depth Reporting and Analysis of Sept. 11 Terror Attacks

The Nation magazine

Economic Globalization Resources

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

"The Fight for Everything" A series of interviews with activists and leaders of grassroots, progressive groups analyzing the goals, strategy and tactics of the global social justice movement

Multi-Ethnic Public Issues Advocacy

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

Between The Lines' 10th Anniversary CD

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