Democracy Now! May 6, 2003

Program Title:
Democracy Now! May 6, 2003
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Hour 1: "It's clear that Islam is on the way to disappearing : the words of Israeli Tourism Minister Benny Elon, who is set to lobby Christian fundamentalists close to President Bush against the Middle East peace plan; U.S. hires Christian fundamentalists to produce news for Iraqis: the studio runs a news service dedicated to transmitting the evidence of God's presence in the world today."; United For Peace & Justice organizer Leslie Cagan speaks on the state of the anti-war movement after the invasion of Iraq Hour 2: Anti-Apartheid leader Walter Sisulu dies at the age of 90: Speaker of the South African National Assembly Frene Ginwala talks about the man who worked quietly behind the scenes as Nelson Mandela became the public face of the mass liberation movement; The Bookie of Virtue : Moral crusader and former drug czar Bill Bennett made millions lecturing people on morality and blew $8 million on high stakes gambling; Inside the secret hearings of Joseph McCarthy: Newly released documents shed light on the questioning of Aaron Copland, Langston Hughes and others

8:00-8:01 Billboard 8:01-8:10 Headlines 8:10-8:11 One Minute Music Break 8:11-8:30: Palestinian and Israeli extremists are doing everything they can to sabotage the US-backed so-called road map to peace . Palestinian gunmen last night shot dead an Israeli settler and wounded two others in the West Bank. The attack came just hours after U.S. envoy William Burns met with recently installed Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. Burns told Abbas and other senior Palestinian official they must make every effort to stop attacks on Israelis. Burns said this is necessary to ensure progress on the US-backed so-called road map to peace. Meanwhile, Israeli Tourism Minister Benny Elon has arrived in the U.S. to lobby Congress and Christian fundamentalists against the US-backed roadmap. Elon is scheduled to hold a news conference tomorrow in which he will present a plan of his own. The Israeli newspaper Ha aretz reports Elon s plan will call for the establishment of a Palestinian state but not in the Occupied Territories. He will say the Palestinians should establish their country in Jordan. Elon said in a statement: "Our stay in Judea and Samaria is not temporary." Judea and Samaria are ancient Jewish names for the occupied West Bank. Elon is planning to lobby prominent Christian fundamentalists close to President Bush. An Israeli government spokesman told the AFP these religious leaders include Christian Coalition President Roberta Combs, former presidential candidate Gary Bauer and Pat Robertson, founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, who once said that "God gave the land to the descendants of Israel. It was not given to Palestine." The Ha aretz reports Alon said: "It's clear that Islam is on the way to disappearing. What we are now seeing across the Muslim world is not a powerful surge of faith but the dying embers of Islam. How will it disappear? Very simply. Within a few years a Christian crusade against Islam will be launched, which will be the major event of this millennium. Obviously, we will be up against quite a large problem when only the two great religions of Judaism and Christianity remain, but that's still a long way off." * Daniel Ben Simon, journalist with the Israeli newspaper Ha aretz * Elaine Hagopian, professor emeritus of Sociology at Simmons College in Boston. Host on Arabic Community Television in Boston. Syrian Arab/Armenian background. * John Grebe, producer of Boston College radio show, "Sounds of Dissent" (WZBC 90.3 FM in Boston, Saturdays at noon) and author of "Rev. Pat Robertson in the Temple: Channeling the Word to the Infidels," published on Link: "Rev. Pat Robertson in the Temple: Channeling the Word to the Infidels" at: * Marty Federman, arrested at Temple Beth Shalom in Framingham, MA at a Pat Robertson event, currently a Jewish educator, co-chair of Visions for Peace with Justice in Israel/Palestine" 8:20-8:21 One Minute Music Break 8:21-8:30 CONT D 8:30-8:40: The U.S. government last week launched its Arabic language satellite TV news station for Iraq. Iraq is overwhelmingly a Muslim country. But according to independent journalist Russell Mokhiber, Iraq s newest TV station is being produced by Grace Digital Media, a studio which is controlled by fundamentalist Christians. Grace Digital Media also runs Grace News Network which claims to be QUOTE "dedicated to transmitting the evidence of God's presence in the world today." The U.S. agency the Broadcasting Board of Governors has defended the selection of Grace Digital. They say its fundamentalist Christian, pro-Israeli leadership will have nothing to do with the editorial side of the news broadcast in Iraq. * Russell Mokhiber, editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter. Link: 8:40-8:41 One Minute Music Break 8:41-8:58: Leslie Cagan spoke at American Spirit, Values & Power: Resisting Empire, Affirming Our Vision conference at CUNY this weekend. 8:58-8:59 Outro and Credits 9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:10 Headlines 9:10-9:11 One Minute Music Break 9:11-9:20: One of the leaders of the movement against apartheid in South Africa has died. Walter Sisulu passed away last night. He died two weeks before his 91st birthday. He spent a quarter of a century in prison for his organizing against the apartheid regime. Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu was born in the Eastern Cape. His mother Alice Sisulu was a black domestic worker and his father Victor Dickenson was a white assistant magistrate. The first time Walter Sisulu ever saw a train was when he rode one that took rural recruits to work at the Rose Deep Mine. Sisulu also worked as a domestic worker, paint mixer, advertising agent, and newspaper columnist. Sisulu s family was forcibly removed from their home in Doornfontein to the new Orlando township in 1934. (Hundreds of thousands of black South Africans were forcibly removed from their homes and forced into teeming townships during the apartheid era.) In 1944, Sisulu, Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo founded the African National Congress Youth League. The Youth League revolutionized the ANC, transforming it from a minor political party into a mass-based liberation movement. Sisulu was the organizing genius behind the ANC's major political protests in the 1950s, [according to the South African Broadcasting Corporation]. He eventually entered the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, or Spear of the Nation. He was arrested six times in 1962 and after going underground a year later was finally arrested in July 1963. The white apartheid regime sentenced Susulu to life in prison for plotting sabotage and revolution. He was imprisoned on Robben Island with his close friend Nelson Mandela for a quarter of a century. Walter Sisulu was released in 1989 at the age of 77 as the mass popular movement forced the apartheid regime to begin negotiating a transfer of power. He immediately resumed his organizing. He was elected deputy president of the African National Congress in 1991 and was part of the ANC team that negotiated with the ruling National Party. South Africa's first democratic election was held in April 1994. Mandela said recently, "Sisulu stands head and shoulders above all of us in South Africa You will ask what is the reason for his elevated status among us. Very simple, it is humility. It is simplicity. Because he pushed all of us forward and remained quietly in the background." Nelson Mandela said in a statement: "His absence has carved a void. A part of me is gone Together we shared ideas, forged common commitments We walked side by side through the valley of death, nursing each other's bruises, holding each other up when our steps faltered. Together we savoured the taste of freedom. * Dr. Frene Ginwala, Speaker of the South African National Assembly, Co-chair of the Global Coalition on Africa, member of the ANC National Executive. Frene Ginwala is a long-time activist for the African National Congress and for women's rights. In 1960, she left South Africa to arrange the escape of the late Oliver Tambo, the president of the ANC, and to help establish the ANC office in exile. Ginwala became Head of the Political Research Unit in the office of President Tambo and was known for her research on South Africa's nuclear program, sanctions, and the arms and oil embargo. She also lectured at universities and institutions in various countries and participated in UN, UNESCO and other international conferences. When the ANC was unbanned, Dr. Ginwala returned to South Africa after more than 30 years in exile. There she helped to found the Women's National Coalition, and became its first convener. She also served as the deputy head of the ANC Commission for the Emancipation of Women, the ANC Representative on the Science and Technology Initiative, and headed the ANC's Research Department. She was on the ANC negotiating team during the transition to a democratic South Africa. She entered Parliament in 1994 and was elected Speaker of South Africa's first democratically elected National Assembly. 9:21-9:30 Sisulu, cont d 9:30-9:45: He served as Secretary of Education and Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities under President Ronald Reagan. He was Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy under President George H.W. Bush. He is the co-chair of the National Commission on Civic Renewal and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America. And he is the author and editor of 14 books, including the best selling book The Book of Virtues . His most recent project is Americans for Victory Over Terrorism and he has recently written a new book called Why We Fight: Moral Clarity and the War on Terrorism . He is William Bennett and he plays low-stakes poker with a group of prominent conservatives, including Robert Bork, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, and Chief Justice William Rehnquist. In his famous Book of Virtues, he writes: "We should know that too much of anything, even a good thing, may prove to be our undoing...[We] need ... to set definite boundaries on our appetites." But according reports in two magazines last week, William Bennett is a high stakes gambler. He has lost more than $8 million in casinos from Atlantic City to Las Vegas. The article in the Washington Monthly is headlined: Bookie of Virtues ; the headline in Newsweek asks a question: Virtue Is as Virtue Does?". Those breaking stories generated further unflattering headlines around the world. The Ottawa Citizen reports: Anti-Drug Crusader Can t Say No to Gambling and the Guardian of London blares: Voice of morality exposed as chronic casino loser. In a statement released yesterday, William Bennett said: A number of stories in the media have reported that I have engaged in high-stakes gambling over the past decade. It is true that I have gambled large sums of money. I have also complied with all laws on reporting wins and losses. Nevertheless, I have done too much gambling, and this is not an example I wish to set. Therefore,, my gambling days are over. * Joshua Green, Editor of Washington Monthly. He wrote the article The Bookie of Virtue: William J. Bennett has made millions lecturing people on morality--and blown it on gambling. Links: * Rev. Tom Grey, Executive Director of National Coalition Against Gambling Expansion based in Rockford, Illinois Links: One-Minute Music Break 9:46-9:58: Sen. Joseph McCarthy used closed-door secret sessions to winnow out witnesses who might have challenged him in the sensational anti-communism hearings 50 years ago. Newly released transcripts indicate that of the 500 witnesses who testified in private, one-third were never called back to testify in public. Among those who testified in private were the composer Aaron Copland, poet Langston Hughes and mystery writer Dashiell Hammett. Copland fiercely defended himself saying I have not been a Communist in the past and I am not now a Communist." Hughes protested that he had not read much about Marxism "beyond the introduction of the Communist Manifesto." Hammett invoked the Fifth Amendment. McCarthy, a Wisconsin Republican, led the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in 1953 and 1954 at the height of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. His investigation into Communists in the U.S. government was widely seen as a witch-hunt and spawned the term ''McCarthyism'' to describe smear attacks. * Donald Ritchie, Associate Senate historian. He edited the hearings into the five volumes that were retrieved from stenographic notes on 9,675 pages of onion-skin typing paper and housed for more than 50 years in the National Archives. Link: Read the transcripts: tm 9:58-9:59 Outro and Credits Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
May 6, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
May 6, 2003
Item duration: 
118 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., May 6, 2003
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