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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending June 20, 2003


  • With No Weapons of Mass Destruction
    Yet Found in Iraq, White House Justification
    for War Comes Under Fire

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Growing Number of Israeli Soldiers Refuse
    to Serve in Occupied Territory

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Progressive Groups Gather in Washington, D.C.
    to "Take Back America"

    For story textm 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 June 24, 2003.

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

With No Weapons of Mass Destruction
Yet Found in Iraq, White House Justification
for War Comes Under Fire

Interview with Reese Erlich,
journalist and author,
conducted by Scott Harris

Two months after the war against Iraq ended, tough questions are being raised in Britain and the U.S. about the credibility of evidence used by President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair to justify their war against Baghdad. The White House claimed that Saddam Hussein's government possessed or was developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons as their principal justification for war, but these weapons have yet to be found.

Officials in Washington and London continue to maintain that the deadly weapons Iraq was said to have had will eventually be found. But leaks from inside intelligence agencies raise the possibility that the U.S. and British governments may have exaggerated evidence or deliberately misled their citizens in an effort to gain support for a war that had attracted deep skepticism. The U.S. and Britain defied the United Nations charter and overwhelming international opposition to prosecute a war based on the charge that Iraq posed an imminent threat to its neighbors and the world.

Britain's Parliament has recently begun an investigation to ascertain whether the intelligence on Iraq's weapons leading up to the war was flawed or simply manipulated for political ends while the U.S. Congress has yet to decide on the scope of such a probe. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with journalist Reese Erlich, co-author of the book, "Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You." Erlich examines the serious questions now being asked about the credibility of the Bush administration's rationale for launching a pre-emptive war on the nation of Iraq.

"Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn't Tell You," is published by Context books.

Related links

Growing Number of Israeli Soldiers Refuse
to Serve in Occupied Territory

Interview with Yaniz Iczkovits,
Israeli reservist and cofounder
of "Courage to Refuse,"
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

Last week, President George Bush met with Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to promote the latest international effort to achieve peace in the Middle East, known as the "road map." But not long after President Bush left the region, an unlikely coalition of Palestinian groups launched an attack that killed four Israeli soldiers. The assault on an Israeli border outpost was carried out by members of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade. A June 10th Israeli rocket attack on a leader of Hamas, which killed 2 civilians, but not the intended target, was roundly criticized even in Washington. Thus far, Palestinian and Israeli militants have both rejected the road map for peace as retaliatory strikes escalate out of control.

While violence on the ground in Israel and Palestine threatened progress on the peace plan, the co-founder of a group called Courage to Refuse, spoke in New Haven, Connecticut. Yaniv Iczkovits is a 28-year-old paratrooper and reservist in the Israeli Defense Force. In January, 2002, he and a friend organized 51 other reserve combat soldiers and officers to sign their names to an anti-occupation statement published in the Israeli newspaper, Ha'aretz. While proclaiming their loyalty to the state of Israel, they announced, "We shall not continue to fight beyond the 1967 borders in order to dominate, expel, starve and humiliate an entire people." The number of so-called "refuseniks" has grown to 542. Many of them, including Iczkovits, have served 30-day prison sentences for their refusal to patrol the West Bank and Gaza. Iczkovits supports a two-state solution, the removal of Israeli settlements outside of Israel, and the division of Jerusalem into east and west sectors.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Iczkovits about his hopes for a comprehensive peace settlement . He also recounts his first military service in the West Bank, at the age of 18, which had a profound impact on his moral and political views of the occupation.

For more information, call the Courage to Refuse Solidarity Network at (202) 232-1100 or visit the group's website at

Related links

Progressive Groups Gather in Washington, D.C.
to "Take Back America"

Interview with Robert Borosage,
co-founder of Campaign for America's Future,
conducted by Scott Harris

Progressive activists who have been on the defensive since the 2000 presidential election, recently assembled in Washington, D.C. for the "Take Back America" conference sponsored by the Campaign for America's Future. Some 1,500 delegates came out in early June to attend issue workshops and hear speeches from Democratic party presidential candidates and well-known political figures such as Jesse Jackson, AFL-CIO president John Sweeney, NOW leader Kim Gandy, author Barbara Ehrenreich and public television's Bill Moyers.

Press accounts of the gathering emphasized what many see as a split within the Democratic party between its centrist wing represented by the Democratic Leadership Council and those on the left who attended the "Take Back America" conference. In fact, while many speakers at the conference attacked the policies of the Bush administration, criticisms were also directed at the Democratic party leadership, which many believe have been too timid in challenging the White House on its radical right positions on foreign and domestic issues.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with veteran political organizer Robert Borosage, co-founder of the Campaign for America's Future, who talks about the conference and some of the strategies he believes should be adopted to build a new progressive majority to defend human and civil rights and fight for jobs, energy independence and access to heath care.

Contact the Campaign for America's Future by calling (202) 955-5665, or visit their website at

Related links

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • The U.S. military has plans to build an execution chamber at its prison holding Afghan detainees at its Guantanamo Naval Base. ("Guantanamo Eyes Possible Execution Chamber," ABC News and Associated Press, June 10, 2003; "Military Considers Creating Death Row at Guantanamo Bay," Orlando Sentinel, June 5, 2003)
  • Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty hits massive wall of resistance in Bolivia. ("Sound of the Soul," New Internationalist, May 2003).
  • Rainforest Action Network negotiating with Citigroup to establish environmental standards for the financial service industry. ("A Green Peace," In These Times, June 9, 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 to download/'Save to Disk' depending on your connection speed. MP3 files available until June 24.

Note to our broadcast subscribers: We are now offering FTP access for faster, more reliable download. Please call Anna Manzo at (203) 268-8446 ext. 2, to register for FTP logon access. After July 14, 128- and 64-kbps MP3 files will be available only through FTP access, not through this home page.

Senior news editor: Bob Nixon
Segment producers: Melinda Tuhus
Program narration: Denise Manzari
News reader: Elaine Osowski
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 6/13/03

Bush Re-Election Issues

"The Next War: Iraq," By Michael R. Gordon, New York Times, June 13, 2003

"On Election Day 2004, How Will You Know If Your Vote Is Properly Counted?" Congressman Rush Holt's website

"Weapons of Mass Deception," by Ruth Rosen, San Francisco Chronicle, June 9, 2003

"Missing Weapons Of Mass Destruction: Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense?" by John W. Dean, FindLaw's Writ, June 6, 2003

"Shoulder to Shoulder and Stabbed in the Back," by Robin Cook, Britain's former foreign minister, Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2003

"Agent Turned Author Defies CIA," MSNBC, June 4, 2003

"Wolfowitz: 'Iraq War Was About Oil,'" Furor shines spotlight on interpretation of weapons intelligence, by George Wright, The Guardian, June 4, 2003

"Bush 'is on Brink of Catastrophe,'" by Roland Watson, The Times, May 23, 2003

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

War Crimes Prosecution

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

"No weapons in Iraq? We'll find them in Iran," By Neil Mackay, Sunday Herald, June 1, 2003

American Empire/War Profiteering in Iraq

"Public Citizen Report Exposes Contractor Bechtel as Threat to Iraqi Environment, Human Rights and Basic Services,"

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

"Back in Political Forefront: Iran-Contra Figure Plays Key Role on Mideast," by Michael Dobbs, The Washington Post, May 27, 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 Profiteering," by The Nation editors, April 24, 2003

Postwar Occupation of Iraq

"U.S. soldiers face growing resistance Attacks in central Iraq become more frequent, sophisticated, by William Booth and Daniel Williams, The Washington Post, June 9, 2003

"Ex-Army Boss: Pentagon Won't Admit Reality in Iraq," By Dave Moniz, USA Today, June 3, 2003

Civil Liberties

"Germany In 1933: The Easy Slide Into Fascism," By Bernard Weiner, The Crisis Papers, June 9, 2003

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