Democracy Now! January 4, 2002

Program Title:
Democracy Now! January 4, 2002
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Democracy NOW! in Exile SECOND HOUR NEWS HEADLINES Story: MICHAEL MOORE HAILS GEORGE W BUSH THE 'CONQUEROR OF EVILDOERS' Film-maker Michael Moore recently wrote a letter to President George W Bush about his first year as President. The letter is called "Hail George, Conqueror of Evildoers." It begins: "Dear George: Hats off to you, sir, for a job well done! The Soviets tried for ten years to do what it took you only two months to accomplish in Afghanistan. How did you do that? It's funny how a couple months ago there were all these Taliban, and now -- there aren't any! You must be some kind of super magician -- almost as good at isappearing acts as ol' Osama (or, as they say on the Fox Nuisance Channel, "Usama" -- I like their spelling better, like "We put the 'USA' in USAma!")." Guest: Michael Moore, is a film-maker and author. His movies include "Roger and Me" and "The Big One". Related link: Michael Moore Story: IS THE LEAD ACTOR OF THE MOVIE KANDAHAR A RISING STAR OR AN ASSASSIN? A state prosecutor is accusing an actor in the movie "Kandahar" of assassinating an Iranian dissident on US soil in 1980 and then fleeing to Iran. The film "Kandahar" depicts the brutality of life under the Taliban regime as an Afghan journalist living in Canada travels to Afghanistan to find her sister and save her from suicide. Along the way she meets Hassen Tantai, playing the role of an American-born doctor treating Afghan women. He wears a fake beard to satisfy strict Taliban rules, which he eventually takes off to show his full face. The film has been shown at film festivals worldwide and has won two awards at the Cannes Film Festival. President George Bush asked for a private screening. But according to a Maryland state attorney, Hassan Tantai, the doctor in the film, is actually 51-year-old Daoud Salahuddin, born David Belfield. In July 1980, Daoud Salahuddin pulled up to former Iranian diplomat Ali Akbar Tabatabai's home, shot Tabatabai three times, and fled to Iran to shelter under the regime of the late Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Tabatabai was an outspoken critic of Khomeini. He worked for the Ministry of Information under the U.S.-backed Shah before Khomeini rose to power in the 1979 Islamic revolution. In a 1995 interview with The Washington Post and ABC News in Turkey, Salahuddin admitted that he was contacted by the Iranian agents shortly after Khomeini's Islamic revolution toppled Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in 1979, and asked if he would kill Tabatabai. The film's director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, said that he never asks the people who act in his films what they've done before. Guest: Douglas Gansler, Montgomery County State Attorney. M. R. Tabatabai, brother of Ali Tabatabai, who was assassinated outside Washington, D.C. in July 1980, and President of the Iran Freedom Foundation in Bethesda, Maryland. Related links: Community Prosecution Iran Freedom Foundation Story: "AFGHAN JOURNEY": FACT AND FICTION The movie Kandahar ' who's star is accused of assassinating an Iranian dissident on U.S. soil in 1980 ' is a fictional story about an Afghan-Canadian who travels to Afghanistan in search of her suicidal sister. Well here in our studio we have the real thing. We're joined right now in person by Masuda Sultan, a young Afghan-American woman who has just returned to the U.S. after traveling to her native Kandahar. She was initially cautiously supportive U.S. intervention. But then U.S. bombs killed 19 members of her extended family. Guests: Masuda Sultan, Afghan-American woman who has returned to her birthplace in Kandahar. Tami Alpert, part of the film crew that went with Masuda to document her journey.

Date Recorded on: 
January 4, 2002
Date Broadcast on: 
January 4, 2002
Item duration: 
59 min.
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Democracy Now in Exile!; Amy Goodman, host. January 4, 2002
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