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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending June 6, 2003


  • Middle East Roadmap for Peace
    May Lead to a Dead End

    For story text, Click here!

  • U.N. Ends Sanctions on Iraq,
    Giving U.S./U.K. Open-Ended
    Occupation Authority

    For story text, Click here!

  • War-Weary World Seeking Alternatives
    to Cycles of Conflict and Violence

    For story text, Click here!

  • Underreported News Summary from Around the World
    For full summary, 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 June 10, 2003.

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

Middle East Roadmap for Peace
May Lead to a Dead End

Interview with Rabbi Michael Lerner,
editor of Tikkun Magazine,
conducted by Scott Harris

Although the latest plan for peace in the Middle East, known as "the Road Map," was drawn up and awaiting action for many months, the proposal wasn't given serious attention until just days before the U.S. launched its war against Iraq. Now, after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's regime, the "road map" is moving forward with an endorsement from the new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and half-hearted acceptance from the Israeli government of Ariel Sharon.

The plan, put forward by the U.S., the European Union, the U.N. and Russia, envisions the cessation of hostilities leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state within 3 years. But critics of the blueprint for peace worry about opposition to the plan from hardliners on both sides and that many of the most difficult negotiations will not begin until the final and third phase of the plan. Contentious issues such as the dismantling of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and Gaza and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their former homes are formidable obstacles which could derail the plan.

Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine, has for many years been working for a just solution to decades of Middle East violence. He co-founded a new organization called the Tikkun Community with co-chair Harvard professor Cornel West which serves as a progressive alternative to conservative Jewish lobby groups that generally back Israel's aggressive policies. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Rabbi Lerner about how he views the prospects for success of this latest Middle East peace plan.

Tikkun is sponsporing a four-day event, "Tikkun Teach-in To Congress" in Washington, D.C. June 1-4. Contact Tikkun at (510) 644-1200 or visit their Web site at

Related links

U.N. Ends Sanctions on Iraq,
Giving U.S./U.K. Open-Ended
Occupation Authority

Interview with Joy Gordon,
Fairfield University philosophy professor,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

After Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, the United Nations, led by the U.S. and Britain, imposed comprehensive economic sanctions against Iraq which devastated the nation's economy and infrastructure. Thirteen years of sanctions, which made it difficult for Baghdad to purchase medicines, fertilizer and other materials basic for health care, agriculture and sanitation, were -- by the U.N.'s own estimates -- responsible for the deaths of more than half a million Iraqi children.

But following the American-led war that overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein, the U.S., now the occupying power in Iraq, prevailed on the U.N. Security Council to end the sanctions on May 22. This occurs as the U.S. occupation of Iraq continues to confront lawlessness, slow restoration of basic services and seething anger over the delay in establishing an interim government.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Joy Gordon, professor of philosophy at Fairfield University and author of "Cool War: Economic Sanctions as Weapons of Mass Destruction," a widely circulated article published in Harper's Magazine. She discusses how the U.S. used the sanctions to cripple Iraq, and the respective roles the U.S. and U.N. will now have in establishing a new government in Baghdad and rebuilding the wartorn nation.

Joy Gordon's article, "Cool War: Economic Sanctions as Weapons of Mass Destruction," appeared in the November 2002 edition of Harper's Magazine and can be read online at

Gordon is author of the book, "A Peaceful, Silent, Deadly Remedy: The Ethics of Economic Sanctions," forthcoming from Harvard University Press.

Related links

War-Weary World Seeking Alternatives
to Cycles of Conflict and Violence

Interview with Jonathan Schell,
Nation columnist and author of
"The Unconquerable World,"
conducted by Scott Harris

While President Bush is riding high in U.S. public opinion polls after his invasion of Iraq, the success of his administration's war against terrorism is anything but certain. Recent bombings in Saudi Arabia and Morocco serve as a warning that terrorist groups such as al Qaeda continue to operate beyond the reach of cruise missiles and laser guided bombs. And most of the world -- overwhelmingly opposed to America's war on Iraq -- was not surprised to find that the weapons of mass destruction which the White House used to justify its war on Baghdad, cannot be found.

Still many citizens strongly believe that the only effective means to fight the terrorists who viciously attacked America on Sept. 11 and perceived threats from rogue states, is through war and violence. But, long time Nation magazine columnist Jonathan Schell, author of the new book, "The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence and the Will of the People," argues that history has shown us that there are viable alternatives to endless cycles of violence.

With so much uncertainty about the terrorists' next target and where the next war may be fought, a discussion of alternatives is welcome and goes beyond a mere academic exercise. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jonathan Schell, columnist and author of "The Unconquerable World," who examines the many dangers now facing the world and concludes that war is far from the only answer.

"The Unconquerable World: Power, Nonviolence and the Will of the People," is published by Metropolitan Books. Read Schell's Nation Magazine column online at

Related links

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Arms control advocates alarmed at U.S. Senate vote lifting decadelong ban on research and development of low-yield battlefield nuclear warheads of less than five kilotons. ("Rumsfeld's Dr. Strangelove," Slate, May 12, 2003)
  • Antiwar movement has much deeper roots than it had after the first Persian Gulf War, with strong ties to organized labor, women's and environmental groups. ("What's Next?" In These Times, May 19, 2003).
  • According to Amnesty International, police investigators faced with the historic 1966 Miranda ruling -- mandating that police inform arrestees of their right to remain silent and to have access to an attorney -- now rely on psychological games to force defendants to confess to crimes of violence. ("False Confessions," Amnesty Now, Winter 2002)

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 depending on your connection speed.

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

... MORE ...

Last Week's Program

Between The Lines Week Ending 5/30/03

Bush Re-Election Issues

"Congress Curious About Iraq Deals," by Edward Epstein, The San Francisco Chronicle, May 20, 2003

"Bush Should be Impeached and Tried for War Crimes," by Denise Giardina, The Charleston Gazette, May 12, 2003

"The Secrets of September 11," by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball, Newsweek Web Exclusive, April 30, 2003

War Crimes Prosecution

"Blair Faces War Crimes Suit," by BBC News, May 23, 2003

American Empire/War Profiteering in Iraq

"Imperial America and War," by John Bellamy Foster, Monthly Review, May 28, 2003

"Another Scandalous No-Bid Contract Makes Us Look Like Fools," by Pat Gerber,, May 26, 2003

"Pentagon Hands Major Iraq Deal to Scandal-Ridden WorldCom," The Star Online, May 22, 2003

"War Profiteers Shell, Bechtel, Fluor Take Record of Terror From Africa to Iraq," by Dena Montague, San Francisco Bay View, May 21, 2003

"Oil Boss Paid $1m a Year by Contract Bidder," by David Teather, The Guardian/UK, May 17, 2003

"Halliburton Deal Includes Pumping and Distributing Iraqi Oil," by Larry Margasak, CBS News/Associated Press, May 7, 2003

"Oil Firm's Work for Terrorist Sponsors Challenged: Giving Contracts to Halliburton Questioned," by David R. Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, May 1, 2003

"War Profiteering," by The Nation editors, April 24, 2003

Postwar Occupation in Iraq

"Whose Problem, Whose Solution?" The new UN resolution doesn't even try to bring the Iraqi occupation into line with international law, The Nation, May 26, 2003

"Women Fear Their Rights Will End with Hussein Era," by Laura King, Los Angeles Times, April 27, 2003

Media Monopolies

"Nation's Ethnic Media Wary Of FCC Changes" by Marcelo Ballve, Pacific News Service, May 26, 2003

Civil Liberties

"US Plans Death Camp at Guantanamo," The Courier-Mail, May 26, 2003

"Patriot Act Use Expands: Laws Invoked Against Crimes Unrelated to Terror, Report Says," by Dan Eggen, The Washington Post, May 21, 2003

"Pentagon Readies Massive Spying System," by Michael J. Sniffen, The Guardian Unlimited, May 20, 2003

Between The Lines Special Reports in RealAudio

"Opponents Organize Resistance to FCC Rules Change That Will Strengthen Media Monopolies," Interview with John Nichols, The Nation Washington correspondent, Week Ending 5/30/03

"Allegations of War Profiteering Leveled Against Halliburton and Other Companies With Close Ties to White House," Charlie Cray, corporate reform campaigner at Citizen Works, Week Ending 5/23/03

"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

Multi-Ethnic Issues Advocacy

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


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