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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending March 28, 2003


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

  • A U.S. War on Iraq Violates U.N. Charter
    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Critics Assert Mandatory Anthrax Vaccinations
    Endanger U.S. Soldiers' Health

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Senate Passage of "Partial Birth Abortion" Ban
    is Important Gain in Anti-Choice Campaign

    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 1, 2003.

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

A U.S. War on Iraq Violates U.N. Charter
'Uniting for peace' resolution may be last option to stop conflict

Interview with Michael Ratner,
president of the Center for Constitutional Rights
conducted by Scott Harris

Echoing the script of an old Western, President Bush issued an ultimatum to Saddam Hussein in a March 17th television address -- that if he and his sons do not leave Iraq within 48 hours, war would be the inevitable result. The Iraqi leader's immediate rejection of Washington's demands set the stage for a war that an overwhelming majority of the world's people and governments oppose.

President Bush's failure to win Security Council backing for a resolution authorizing war against Baghdad represented a stinging rejection of the White House argument that Saddam Hussein's regime posed an imminent threat to the U.S. and the world. United Nations' Secretary-General Kofi Annan underscored widespread hostility to the Bush position when he said on March 10th, "If the U.S. and others were to go outside the (Security) Council and take military action, it would not be in conformity with the (U.N.) Charter...the legitimacy and support for any such action will be seriously impaired."

With war all but certain, two groups, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Greenpeace called on the U.N. General Assembly to hold an emergency session and adopt the little-known "Uniting for Peace" resolution #377 to declare a U.S.-British war without Security Council authorization as illegal and a crime against peace. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, who explains the "Uniting for Peace" option and the damage that he fears will be done to the system of international law by a unilateral U.S. war on Iraq.

Contact the Center for Constitutional Rights at (212) 614-6464 or visit the group's Web site at

Critics Assert Mandatory Anthrax Vaccinations
Endanger U.S. Soldiers' Health

Interview with Redmond Handy,
retired colonel in Air Force Reserves
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

As U.S. troops once again prepare for war against Iraq, renewed concern and scrutiny are being focused on mandatory immunizations given to American soldiers. Starting with the first Persian Gulf War, hundreds of thousands of U.S. service personnel received a series of vaccination shots to protect them from anthrax. The Pentagon says the inoculation program is a "force protection measure," but critics call it a "biological loyalty test." They point out that the vaccination has never been approved for its current use of protecting troops from possible inhalation anthrax in a bio-warfare setting; as the drug is only approved for cutaneous exposure in an industrial setting.

Contrary to the information put out by the Defense Department,which asserts that the anthrax vaccination is safe, scientific studies reveal it has an extremely high rate of harmful reactions. The package insert that comes with the vaccine, produced by the company Bio-Port, lists 60 known side effects and 6 fatalities tied to the drug.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Redmond Handy, a colonel in the Air Force Reserves who retired in protest against the forced vaccination of troops. He has studied the anthrax inoculation program for the past four years and discusses its impact on human health, consequences for those who refuse to take the shots and efforts to encourage the military to adopt a voluntary participation policy.

Redmond Handy is a consultant at the National Gulf War Resource Center. Contact the Center by calling 1 (800) 882-1316, or visit the group's web site at

Senate Passage of "Partial Birth Abortion" Ban
is Important Gain in Anti-Choice Campaign

Interview with Karyn Strickler,
executive director of Fifty Plus One,
conducted by Denise Manzari

On March 13, the Senate voted to pass the deceptively named "partial birth" abortion ban. The Republican-controlled Senate passed the bill 64-33 with 16 Democrats voting in favor. Similar bills passed the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate several times before, but were vetoed by then-President Bill Clinton because they did not include an exemption to protect a pregnant woman's health.

The term "partial birth" abortion was first introduced eight years ago by the anti-choice movement and cannot be found in any medical dictionary. The language of the bill is vaguely worded, and critics charge this is intentional, so conservative judges, appointed by President Bush, can then interpret the legislation to broadly ban safe and commonly-used abortion procedures.

Washington Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell stated the abortion ban "unconstitutionally restricts women's rights, no matter where a woman is in her pregnancy."

The bill is expected to pass in the House later this year and be signed into law by President Bush, but opponents of the legislation will almost certainly try to overturn the ban by appealing to the Supreme Court.

Karyn Strickler is the founder and executive director of Fifty Plus One, a group she led in a campaign to defeat the so-called "partial birth" abortion ban in Maryland in 1998. She spoke with Between The Lines' Denise Manzari and says the ban is still not recognized for what it is: part of a carefully crafted, national strategy to ban all abortion.

Read Karyn Strickler's article "Partial Birth Abortion Bans: 'Why Does the Big Lie Continue?'" at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • World leaders gathered in Geneva on March 11 to launch the International Criminal Court, recognized by 89 nations, but shunned by the Bush administration. ("Soon It Will Be Dispensing Justice," The Economist, March 15, 2003)
  • The U.S. Army has a new mission in wartorn Colombia: to protect a 500-mile oil pipeline owned by Occidental Petroleum from guerrilla attacks ("U.S. Focus in Colombia Expands from Drugs to Oil," Christian Science Monitor, Feb. 5, 2003 (Web version)).
  • Critics charge that international aid agencies unwittingly foster hunger and disease in places like Ethiopia by supplying foreign-grown food crops that displace local farmers. ("The Vultures are Gathering," World Press Review, April 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. MP3 files available until March 25, 2003.

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

... MORE ...

Greg Palast, BBC journalist, comes to New Haven, CT Sat., April 12!
Listen to the author of NY Times' bestseller "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" and other groundbreaking investigations, speaking on "Who Profits from War On Iraq?" Reception to follow. You're invited! RSVP by April 1. Click here for more information

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 3/21/03

War With Iraq

Between The Lines Special Report: Interviews Recorded at "The World Says 'No' to War" in NYC, Feb. 15, 2003 in MP3. Bishop Desmond Tutu, Angela Davis, Leslie Cagan, Medea Benjamin, Ossie Davis and more.

"The World Says 'No' to War" National Mobilization on Feb. 15, 2003 New York City and Feb. 16, San Francisco, United for Peace & Justice

"New York City Sued Over War Protest Permit,"

200,000 to 500,000 at Anti-War March, 1/18/03 in Washington, D.C. Interviews with International A.N.S.W.E.R. organizer Brian Becker, Institute for Policy Studies' Phyllis Bennis and Vietnam War veteran, Jaime Vazquez. Organizers say 200,000 to 500,000 attended the protest

"U.S. Had Key Role in Iraq Buildup: Trade in Chemical Arms Allowed Despite Their Use on Iranians, Kurds" By Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2002, Page A01

U.S. Facing Bigger Bill For Iraq War Total Cost Could Run As High as $200 Billion, by Michael Dobbs, Washington Post, Dec. 1, 2002, Page A01

IMF/World Bank and Anti-Iraq War Protest Interviews, Teach-Ins Sept. 27-29,2002 Interviews with Mary Bull, Medea Benjamin, Ralph Nader in D.C. (in MP3 format)

"Stopping Water Privatizers at Home and Abroad," Part 1 Featuring Clemente Martinez and Rudolf Amenga-Etego on campaigns in Nicaragua and Ghana. In RealAudio.

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
and in Audio (needs RealPlayer)


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