December 16, 2002

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Plotting Post-Saddam Iraq (3:56)
The London Observer reported this weekend that dozens of teams of elite American soldiers and intelligence specialists have been sent into Iraq with millions of dollars in cash to bribe tribal leaders away from Saddam Hussein. The Observer says tribal leaders command the allegiance of millions of Iraqis and have historically supported Saddam Hussein for pragmatic rather than ideological reasons. Similar tactics were used against the Taliban when teams from the CIA carrying briefcases full of money bought off key power-brokers, accelerating the hard-line Islamic regime’s collapse in the face of American bombing and the advance of local opposition troops. At the same time Iraqi opposition and exile groups backed by President Bush were meeting in London. Aaron Glantz has this report.

Harlem Peace March (3:34)
Meanwhile as the rhetoric from the White House continues, today Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said that Iraq would not be given a second chance to correct omissions in its declaration of arms capabilities to the United Nations. This as the dissent with the country against a US war on Iraq increases, this past weekend, an anti-war march began in the predominately Dominican neighborhood in upper Manhattan and ended with a rally at the Harlem State Office Building on 125th Street. Some 1000 people took part in the mile-and-a-half walk through a cold, steady rain. From NY, Dred-Scott Keyes brings us to the streets Harlem.

Muslims Brace as BJP Win in Gujarat (3:54)
Yesterday the Hindu nationalist BJP won a landslide victory in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The election is widely seen as a test of the success of the Hindu revivalist platform, which some label fascist, and is likely to change the shape of politics in India for years to come. As the BJP’s landslide victory became clear, Gujarati Muslims, who were targeted in the worst ever sectarian violence since India’s independence some ten months ago, began to leave their homes, fearing another round of violence. Binu Alex reports from Ahmedabad, about how the BJP’s hard core Hindu ideology swung Gujarat’s voters.

EU Expansion Protests (3:56)
At the European Union Summit in Denmark 10 countries were invited to join the union. The most common word used to describe the occasion is ‘historic’ especially because many of the applicant countries are east of the former Iron Curtain.  But many citizens of Europe and the newly invited countries have concerns about the future of democracy, and the formation of a Super-State Europe. Patrick Beckett has more from Copenhagen.

Refugee Special Series: US = Jail (4:02)
Detention of immigrants in the US did not begin on September 11, 2001.  After surviving terror, torture and in some cases life-threatening circumstances, many immigrants flee to the safety of other countries, and come to make up what the world knows as refugees. This week on FSRN we bring you a special five-part series highlighting the plight of refugees worldwide, and we begin today right here in the United States, long considered land of the free and protector from persecution. Yet as Sharan Louise Harper reports from WBAI in NY, arriving asylum seekers often find themselves in shackles with the promise of indefinite incarceration in INS detention.

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