White House plans 18-month long occupation of Iraq, but remains silent on humanitarian aid: a conversation with Nobel Peace Prize nominee Kathy Kelly and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill; In Venezuela, thousands of supporters of President Hugo Chavez march in a funeral procession mourning the deaths of two men shot dead during protests: we go to Caracas for an update
9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:45: The White House is preparing plans for the U.S. military to occupy Iraq for at least 18 months after the ouster of President Saddam Hussein. The military would take quick control the country s vast oil resources and conduct military trials of senior Iraqi leaders. It is the most ambitious American effort to run a country since the occupation of Japan and Germany at the end of World War II. A civilian administrator would run the country s economy and political institutions, and administer aid. Bush administration officials hope this will quell concerns that a military commander would wiled the kind of unchallenged authority that Gen. Douglas MacArthur exercised as supreme commander in Japan. All of this according to an article in today s New York Times headlined, U.S. IS COMPLETEING PLAN TO PROMOTE A DEMOCRATIC IRAQ . While the Bush administration prepares around the clock for invasion and occupation, humanitarian aid officials in Baghdad say the Bush administration does not appear to be preparing much to handle a potential humanitarian disaster. Aid officials say close to a million Iraqis will become refugees, and food distribution, electricity, water, fuel, waste disposal and public health services throughout the country will all be endangered. Iraq has already suffered under US-led U.N. economic sanctions. UNICEF program coordinator in Iraq Christopher Klein Beekman told The San Francisco Chronicle: "Iraq is already in crisis. The capacity for withstanding shortages is very light. He said, Malnourished children, pregnant women have suffered the most. And those are the ones who will suffer the most during war, that's clear." Meanwhile, the Bush administration continues to crack down on the groups that are trying to provide humanitarian aid to Iraq. In November, the US Treasury office fined on Voices in the Wilderness $30,000 for delivering medicine without a permit to Iraq in 1998. The Office of Foreign Assets Control, fined two Seattle-based activists $10,000 each earlier this year for taking part in a 1997 delegation. Voices in the Wilderness is refusing to pay the fines. Instead, they have begun raising $30,000 toward humanitarian and peacemaking efforts in Iraq as an alternative. Guest: Kathy Kelly, co-founder of Voices in the Wilderness and two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Guest: Jeremy Scahill, Democracy Now! correspondent recently returned from Iraq Links: Voices in the Wilderness: http://www.nonviolence.org/vitw/Iraq Journal: http://www.iraqjournal.org Antiwar.com: http://www.antiwar.com 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:45 IRAQ cont d 9:45-9:58: In Venezuela yesterday thousands of supporters of President Hugo Chavez marched through the streets of Caracas in a funeral procession mourning the deaths of two men who were shot dead during protests on Friday. The Venezuelan vice president and several other high-level government officials led the march. Relatives of the dead said both victims were staunch supporters of President Chavez. Oscar Gomez Aponte, 24, was a security guard at the Education Ministry. The other, Jairo Gergoriao Moran, made and sold jewelry. He had two children. Thirty days of management-led work stoppage has had a devastating impact on the Venezuelan economy, and especially on the petroleum industry. President Chavez says oil exports are recovering and have reached 1.5 million barrels a day -- about half Venezuela's normal level. Striking oil executives say production is only a fraction of normal output. Venezuela is the world's fifth largest oil exporter and a major U.S. supplier. Guest: Natalie Alsop (in Caracas), a college student from City college of San Francisco and an activist working for peace in Colombia with the International Action Center . After spending a week and a half with trade unionists in Colombia she traveled to neighboring Venezuela, where she arrived on Saturday. She plans to meet with Venezuelan indy media groups from recently-legalized pirate radio and television stations. Guest: Samuel Moncada, Historian and Director of the School of History at the Central University of Venezuela in Caracas. 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Ana Nogiera and Alex Wolfe. Mike Di Filippo is our engineer and webmaster.