March 18, 2003
United Nations Update
Last night President Bush told the Iraqi President he had 48 hours to leave Iraq or face war. Nadja Middleton begins our special CountDown to war coverage in NY.
Peace Plan That Wall Street Would Love
Meanwhile an 11thhour plan to avert war has been shunned by the State Department. An African American-led, interfaith coalition of spiritual leaders who have just returned from Iraq where former District of Columbia representative Walter Fauntory met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz constructed a peace plan aimed at averting the war in Iraq which Fauntory says will give corporate America full access to dolarized Iraqi oil. He tells Deepa Fernandes that if Wall Street knew of this plan they would surely not advocate war. This segment was produced by WBAI’s Sharan Louise Harper.
Civil Disobedience Begins Nationwide
In the ultimatum heard round the world last night, President Bush made clear the US is determined to enter Iraq whether or not Hussein goes. It was a speech based on disputed claims Bush has made many times before, but today elected Democrats have remained largely silent. Some individual citizens have started what they hope will be a wave of civil disobedience nationwide. Josh Chaffin reports from Capitol Hill.
Blair Out On A Limb
The last few months have seen fraught in-fighting within the British Labour party about the war. This has culminated over the past few days in the resignations of three cabinet members. Today an emergency debate is being held in both houses of parliament seen by some as the only way for opponents of war to be heard, yet acknowledged as unlikely to change the outcome. Commentators say that if Tony Blair gives the command for war this week, it could lead to a party torn apart by what many say is the most important political decision in many years. Anastasia Kershaw has more from London.
Australia Commits Troops
And as the U.S. and British Governments abandon their lobbying of fellow UN Security Council members to support the forceful disarming of Iraq, the Australian Government, not a security council member, is prepared to go against majority public opinion and play a small, but not insignificant role in a war in Iraq. About 2000 Australian troops were pre-deployed in the Gulf in February and since then Australians have taken to the streets in large numbers opposing what they see as an undemocratic and unnecessary move by the Prime Minister John Howard. Just prior to Bush’s 48 hour ultimatum last night, the President phoned Prime Minister Howard in Australia asking him to formally commit Australian troops, which he has now done. Michael Bushell compiled this report from Sydney Australia.
Mumia Abu Jamal Commentary
“The Power of Protest”