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Between The Lines
For The Week Ending July 25, 2003


ANNOUNCEMENTS: Our archive server is back up! Our apologies for any inconvenience.

  • Iraq War is Looking Increasingly Like a Quagmire
    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Bush Africa Tour a 'Photo-Op,'
    Not a Serious Policy Initiative

    For story text and audio, Click here!

  • Tax Credits for Poor Families
    Held Hostage by GOP

    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 July 29, 2003.

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

Iraq War is Looking Increasingly Like a Quagmire

Interview with former Calif. state Sen. Tom Hayden,
antiwar activist,
conducted by Scott Harris

As the press focuses more attention on the White House credibility gap over Iraq's missing weapons of mass destruction, public support for the war and the president has slipped considerably as measured by recent opinion polls. The Bush administration has been on the defensive since it was revealed that the President referred to a document known to be a forgery in his January State of the Union address, using it to back up his claim that Baghdad was attempting to build nuclear weapons and justify his plan for war.

But as deadly attacks on occupation forces in Iraq continue, with nearly a dozen assaults launched daily against U.S. soldiers and a growing death toll, some observers are now pointing out the dangers of what could develop into a protracted guerrilla war. Some 100 American troops have been killed, either by hostile fire or in accidents since U.S and British forces overthrew Saddam Hussein's government on April 9. Growing instability prompted Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to say that resistance to occupation may be stepped up during the next month and that more American troops might be required to control the situation.

Responding to the deepening crisis, L. Paul Bremer III, President Bush's administrator in Iraq, pushed up the timetable for establishing an interim government in Baghdad. The new Iraqi Governing Council was convened on July 13, and is comprised of 25 representatives selected by the U.S. to act as advisors while American officials retain the power to overrule the body's decisions. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with veteran antiwar activist and former California state Senator Tom Hayden, who assesses the potential for a long and costly U.S. military campaign in Iraq, often referred to as a "quagmire" during the Vietnam war era.

Visit former California state Sen. Tom Hayden's website at

Related links

Bush Africa Tour a 'Photo-Op,'
Not a Serious Policy Initiative

Interview with Bill Fletcher,
president of TransAfrica Forum,
conducted by Scott Harris

Before embarking on his recent trip to Africa, President Bush told reporters that his administration "cared deeply about the plight of the African citizen." While touring five nations on the world's poorest continent, the president condemned slavery and affirmed support for economic development and extolled his $15 billion pledge to fight AIDS and other diseases. But many Africa observers are skeptical that this new attention from the White House will make a profound difference in the lives of the African people.

It turns out that the president's original request for funds to combat the AIDS pandemic, and resources to finance development projects in Africa, have been dramatically scaled back. Congress, facing record deficits, will likely reduce these programs even further. Critics point out that Bush glaringly failed to address Africa's debt crisis, the single largest obstacle impeding progress on economic development, which is key to providing relief to a population devastated by grinding poverty. During his visit, the president focused on the U.S. war against terrorism, but said little about the five-year long conflict in the Congo, which has thus far killed more than 3 million people.

While the White House denies it, political analysts believe that the president's visit to Africa was, at least in part, an effort to repair damage with African American voters in advance of his 2004 re-election bid. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Bill Fletcher, president of TransAfrica Forum, who assesses the economic and political underpinnings of Bush's recent tour of Africa.

Call TransAfrica Forum at (202) 223-1960 or visit their Web site at:

Related links

Tax Credits for Poor Families
Held Hostage by GOP

Interview with Deborah Weinstein,
executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs,
conducted by Melinda Tuhus

President George W. Bush promised that his most recent tax cut would stimulate the economy and help low-income families. But right after he signed the legislation in May, it came to light that an increase in the child tax credit, which was part of the package, would not be going to the country's poorest families covering 12 million children whose parents earn between $10,000 and $26,000 annually. They were excluded in last-minute negotiations between the House and Senate. Most taxpayers will receive a $400-per-child check in the mail this summer as a result of the law, which raises the child tax credit from $600 to $1,000. The poorest families, who pay no federal income tax, will receive substantially less.

The Senate quickly passed a bill extending the child tax credit to these families. But the House, under GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay, is insisting the only way he will allow extension of the tax credit to these poor families is if Congress also increases the upper income eligibility limit for these credits, thus adding another $82 billion to the deficit over the next decade.

Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Deborah Weinstein, executive director of the Coalition on Human Needs in Washington, D.C., which includes about 100 national service and advocacy organizations. Weinstein talks about what the tax credit would mean to poor families, and how her group and other organizations are exerting pressure on Capitol Hill to release the funds.

Coalition on Human Needs can be reached by calling (202) 223-2532 or by visiting their website at

This week's summary
of under-reported news

Compiled by Bob Nixon

  • Christian Coalition's Pat Robinson a strong ally of Liberian President Charles Taylor, whose government aided Robinson's $8 million investment in Liberian gold mine, Freedom Gold. ("Robertson Defends Liberia's President," Washington Post, July 10, 2003)
  • President Vicente Fox and pro-business National Action Party (PAN) have lost a key mid-term congressional election. ("President Fox 'lame duck', says press," BBC Web version, July 7, 2003; "Too much help from his friends?" World Press Review, May 2003).
  • Hawaii is the 5th state to make 'morning-after' contraceptive pill directly obtainable from pharmacies. ("Missed Conception," The Nation, July 14, 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 depending on your connection speed. MP3 files available until July 22.

Note to our broadcast subscribers: We are now offering FTP access for faster, more reliable download of our broadcast quality files. Please call Anna Manzo at (203) 268-8446 ext. 2, to register for FTP logon access or send feedback to us at

Senior news editor: Bob Nixon Segment producer: Melinda Tuhus
Program narration: Arch Currie
News reader: Sasha Summer Cousineau
Distribution: Bill Cosentino, 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 7/18/03

Bush Re-Election Issues

"Tenet Says White House Official Insisted Questionable Information Be Included in Speech", The Associated Press, July 17, 2003

"U.S. May Tap Oil for Iraqi Loan," The Los Angeles Times, July 11, 2003

"White House Admits Bush Lied About Iraqi Nukes," "Capitol Hill Blue, July 8, 2003

"Congresswoman says Bush lied; Demands probe," Press release from Rep. Jan Schakowsky, July 8, 2003

"Iraq: Arabs Challenge U.S. Plan to Open Nation to Multinationals," by Emad Mekay, Interpress service, June 23, 2003

"Republican Enviros Blast Bush for Withholding Information," Environment News Service, July 2, 2003

"The Selling of the Iraq War: The First Casualty" The New Republic, June 30, 2003

"Distorted Intelligence?" Newsweek, June 23, 2003

"Ex-CIA Director Says Administration Stretched Facts on Iraq," USA TODAY, June 18, 2003

"Impeachable Offense," Seattle Weekly/, June 18, 2003

"Reason to Deceive:WMD Lies Could Be the New Watergate," The Village Voice, June 18, 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

American Empire/War Profiteering in Iraq

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

"Post-War Booty Call," Toward Freedom, Spring 2003

"Imperial America and War," Monthly Review, May 28, 2003

"Another Scandalous No-Bid Contract Makes Us Look Like Fools,", 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

"Shiites Warn the United States Against the Formation of an Illegal Iraqi Government," Le Monde, June 30, 2003

" The War That Never Ends," Time, July 7, 2003

Civil Liberties

"Lawyers Furious as US Builds Death Chambers,", Times UK Online, July 5, 2003

"Fascism Anyone?" 14 Signs of Fascism, Free Inquiry Magazine, Volume 23, No. 2

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

Between The Lines Special Reports in RealAudio

"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

Multi-Ethnic Issues Advocacy

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


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