May 24, 2002
Arms Treaty for U.S. and Russia
President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed what they’re calling a landmark nuclear arms reduction treaty in a gilded Kremlin today. The two leaders proclaimed it would help cement vastly improved relations between the former superpower rivals. But peace activists say the treaty doesn’t actually reduce the risk of nuclear war. And they say it will make it easier for President Bush to pursue his space based missile shield. Viviene Schweitzer reports from Moscow.
U.S. Activists in Iraq
In Iraq today, 18 activists from the US begin a 6 day walk across the steaming hot Iraqi Desert. They will walk from the Jordanian border to Baghdad. The walkers call themselves the Iraq compassion coalition and they are calling on the Bush administration to halt any plans it has to attack Iraq. Meanwhile the Chicago based group Voices in the Wilderness has just announced that it is organizing more than a hundred activists to take up residence in Iraq and remain there in the event of US bombing in the country. Four U.S. warplanes shot missiles at targets in southern Iraq yesterday, and American warplanes bombed another site in Iraq on Monday. Jeremy Scahill reports from Baghdad.
Interview with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz
The United Nations announced this week that a new round of talks between the UN and Iraq is scheduled for early July in Vienna. The UN says the talks are aimed at resolving the issue of weapons inspectors reutrning to the country. The last time UN weapons inspectors were in Iraq the group was infiltrated by US intelligence operatives. It was the pullout of these inspectors that led to the massive bombing in December 1998. Today we present part two of Free Speech Radio News’ exclusive sit-down interview with the Deputy Prime Minister of Iraq, Tariq Aziz.
Sudan Still on U.S. Terrorist Blacklist
The US State Department released its Global Report on Terrorism on Tuesday saying that Sudan had taken some positive steps against terrorism, but had not made sufficient progress to be removed from the US’s blacklist of terrorist-sponsoring nations. A resolution to Sudan’s long-running civil war was often cited as one of the foreign policy goals of the Bush Administration. Yet following September 11th, some commentators have detected a greater policy of accommodation towards the Khartoum regime on the part of the US government. However, in southern Sudan, the years of conflict have left a terrible legacy of destruction and widespread human rights abuses. There remains an expectation of greater involvement and even intervention from the international community. Rupert Cook files this report.
Charles Horman Truth Project Human Rights Award
Last week, the Charles Horman Truth Project held its 2002 Human Rights Awards in New York City. Founded in 1998, the project supports research and investigations to identify and bring to justice, those responsible for atrocities committed during the Pinochet era in Chile. This years awards commemorated the 20th anniversary of the film “Missing” and actors Sissy Spacek and Jack Lemmon, and director Konstantine Costa-Gavras. The presentation also took place on what would have been the 60th birthday of Charles Horman, and American journalist killed by the CIA-backed Chilean military during a coup in 1973. Dred-Scott Keyes attended the ceremony and files this report.