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DEMOCRACY NOW!
Say it Aloud

Teil I
Hallo und herzlich willkommen zur 33. Sendung.......
Heute hören Sie eine Sendung, die von DEMOCRACY NOW!, einer alternativen New Yorker Radiostation produziert wurde. Das Leitmotiv in diesem Konzert der Stimmen prominenter – meist farbiger – Sprecherinnen und Sprecher sind Krieg und Rassendiskriminierung.

Eine Delegation des Munich American Peace Committee besuchte kürzlich die Redaktions- und Senderäume der berühmten unabhängigen Radiostation „Democracy Now“, die sich unweit von Ground Zero im ehemaligen Feuerwehrhaus in Lower Manhattan befinden. Die bekannte Journalistin, Amy Goodman, über die wir bereits ausführlich am 8. Nov. 2004 berichtet haben, leitet den Sender, der sich mit Radio Pacifica zusammengeschlossen hat und für die ständig wachsende Zahl unabhängiger US amerikanischer Radiostationen zum Vorbild geworden ist. In den letzten zwei Jahren haben bereits mehr als 200 Radio- und Fernsehstationen Democracy Now! Programme übernommen. Diese plötzliche Popularität unabhängiger Medien war eine Reaktion auf die Propagandakampagne für Präsident Bushs fabrizierte Kriegsgründe und die damit einher gehende Unterdrückung der Informations- und Meinungsfreiheit bei den „eingebetteten“ Mainstream Medien.

Amy Goodman, die Ikone der alternativen Medienwelt, schickt ihre Kriegsberichte und Friedensbotschaften meistens aus dem bescheidenen Feuerwehr-Studio in den Äther, wo sie von Hunderttausenden empfangen werden.
Die Website von Democracy Now! wird täglich 50 000 mal angeklickt. Amy Goodman hat bereits viele journalistische Ehrungen erfahren, im Moment wird sie inoffiziell als nächste Pulitzer Preisträgerin gehandelt.

Die unabhängigen Medien haben das Schweigen gebrochen, das seit dem 11. September über der verzagten amerikanischen Medienlandschaft lag. Amy Goodman und Democracy Now! sorgen dafür, dass der Krieg im Irak nicht allmählich in Vergessenheit gerät.

Als die Delegation des Munich American Peace Committee Democracy Now! besuchte, überreichte ihnen Amy Goodman die CD „SAY IT LOUD“ mit Songs für den Frieden. Die Produzenten von Pacifica genehmigten MAPC, diese Lieder in unserer Sendung bei Radio LORA zu spielen. Sie, liebe Hörerinnen und Hörer nehmen also gerade an der Erstauffühung im Alten Europa teil!

Es handelt sich um eine Mischung aus Sprache und Musik, mit politischen, sozialkritischen und kulturellen - vorwiegend amerikanischer - Themen. Die verwendeten rhythmisch verfremdeten und sehr ergreifenden Texte sind Auszüge aus berühmten Reden von Vertretern des „anderen Amerika“, von Helden der Minderheiten und bekannten Revolutionären.

Das Programm heute ist in drei Kapitel gegliedert. Vor jedem Text- und Musikblock stellen wir Ihnen kurz die Sprecher vor.

Teil II

Politiker
Track 1
Maxine Waters: „ ich möchte, dass alle meine Töchter so sind wie ich.“
Maxine Waters, eine schwarze Kongress-Abgeordnete aus Kalifornien, die Fidel Castro unterstützt, protestiert gegen den Krieg im Irak und gegen die Kriegsausgaben: „Wir können uns den Frieden nicht herbeibomben“.

Dennis Kucinich - Nationalhymne
Der Demokrat aus Ohio, war mit 31 Bürgermeister von Cleveland in Ohio und bewarb sich 2004 um die demokratische Präsidentschaftskandidatur
„Kein Krieg, zu keiner Zeit, nirgendwo.....“lautet sein Credo.

Amerikanische Helden
Track 2
Muhammad Ali, alias Cassius Clay, „Pfeif auf das Geld....“
Der dreimalige Boxweltmeister in Schwergewicht behauptet von sich, dass er der erste Schwarze sei, der sich von allem Geld, das er von Weißen erhielt, getrennt habe. Während des Vietnamkrieges war er Kriegsdienstverweigerer. Aus Protest gegen Rassendiskriminierungen warf er seine Goldmedaille in einen Fluss und ging für seine pazifistischen Ideale ins Gefängnis.

Track 3
Michael Moore: „Bin Bush“
Dokumentarfilmer und Schriftsteller.“Worum geht es?“ fragt er und antwortet: „habt keine Angst, widersprecht, widersprecht, widersprecht“.

Schriftsteller
Track 4
Gore Vidal „Vater hat immer recht.“
Der Autor zahlreicher kritischer Bücher untersuchte auch den Fall des Bombenlegers Timothy MacVeigh. Vidal zählte nicht weniger als 40 kalte oder heiße illegale Kriege, die der liberale, patriarchalische Staat USA in den letzten 100 Jahren geführt hat.

Track 5
Tariq Ali meint: „Die Probleme sind nicht neu – sie haben eine Geschichte“. Die Behauptung „ wer nicht für uns ist, ist gegen uns“ ist in seinen Augen lediglich ein Scheinargument.

Teil III

Schwarze Aktivistinnen
Track 6
Angela Davis, „Afrodiva“.   Die Professorin an der Universität von California erinnert uns an unsere Verantwortung für das Erbe unserer Mütter und Großmütter.

Track 7
Die Wahlhelferin Fannie Lou Hamer aus Mississippi erzählt in „Living in America“ ihre Geschichte.

Religiöser Führer
Track 8
Thich Nha Hahh „Das Geschenk“
Der buddhistische Mönch aus Vietnam gehört der Bewegung des aktiven Buddhismus an, bei der traditionelle meditative Praktiken durch Aktionen von gewaltfreiem zivilen Ungehorsam ergänzt werden.

Journalist
Track 9
Greg Palast „Das Schweigen der Medien-Lämmer“
Noam Chomsky nennt diesen linken investigativen BBC-Journalisten „einen, der alle rechten Leute ärgert“ Er wurde bekannt durch seine Berichte über den Wahlbetrug in Florida und die Verbindungen der Bush-Familie mit Bin Laden.

Track 10
Nochmals : Muhammad Ali „Damn some money“

Jurist
Track 11
Für den Rechtsanwalt Stephen Rohde
hat der Patriot Act unsere Bürgerrechte mit Füßen getreten.
Text von Pfarrer Martin Niemöller über das Schweigen im Angesicht des Bösen. „und als sie kamen, um mich zu holen ....“ und Maxine Waters

Revolutionär
Track 12
Huey Newton, der Gründer von den Black Panthers
fordert eine Welt mit mehr Freiheit und Einfluss für die Afroamerikaner und Respekt für die Toten von Oakland.

Ärztin und Friedensaktivistin
Track 13
Dr. Helen Caldicott erklärt uns, welche Gefahren für die menschliche Gesundheit Atomwaffen, atomare Kriege und Atomenergie darstellen.

Sie starben für ihre Sache
Track 14
Che Guevara – marxistischer Revolutionäre und kubanischer Guerilla Kämpfer
John Coltrane – avantgardistischer Jazz Saxophonist
1890 fand in Wounded Knee das letzte große Massaker an amerikanischen Ureinwohnern durch weiße Soldaten statt.
George Jackson – enthüllte die unmenschlichen Lebensbedingungen in amerikanischen Gefängnissen. Er starb mit 29 Jahren auf der Flucht aus dem Gefängnis von San Quentin.
Mumia Abu Jamal – spricht aus der Todeszelle. Am 17. August soll er wegen eines angeblichen Polizistenmordes hingerichtet werden. Das wäre das erste politische Todesurteil seit der Hinrichtung der Spione Rosenberg im Jahre 1953.

Schwarze Intellektuelle
Track 15
Malcom X – muslimischer Regierungskritiker
James Baldwin –Schriftsteller
Adriene Rich – Feminismus heißt Verläßlichkeit

Noch Track 15
Langston Hughes – Schriftsteller
Alice Walker - Autorin des Romans „Die Farbe Lila“
Angela Davis – die Professorin fordert mehr politische als wirtschaftliche Macht

Track 16
H Rap Brown
Fannie Lou Hammer
Elijah Muhammad
Bayard Rustin
Rosa Parks
Paul Robeson – Sänger, der seine Kunst als Waffe einsetzte
Jean Betrand Aristide - Präsident von Haiti, der 2004 wegen eines von den US unterstützen Staatsstreiches fliehen mußte.

Landarbeiter. Gewerkschaftsführer und Wanderarbeiter
Track 17
Cesar Chavez – Anführer der armen Landbesitzer will den Gifteinsatz bei der Weinlese stoppen.
Dolores Huerta – weiß, dass Plantagenbesitzer ihre Arbeiter, die sie zu Millionären machen, hassen und mißhandeln.
Sprecher der Landarbeitergewerkschaft
Stimme aus dem Chicano Moratorium


Wir danken Amy Goodman von Democracy Now! für die Erlaubnis, diese CD zu verwenden. Falls Ihnen die Sendung gefallen hat, können Sie auf der Homepage des Munich American Peace Committee unter mapc-web.de mehr über Democracy Now! und Amy Goodman erfahren.





DEMOCRACY NOW!

Say it Aloud

PART I

Today you will hear a program produced at the alternatve radio station called DEMOCRACY NOW! in New York City with a colorful sound collage made up of   prominent (and mostly people of color) voices speaking on themes of  war and racial injustice. 

A delegation from the Munich American Peace Committee  visited the offices of  the famous independent radio station called “Democracy Now!” headed by well known journalist  Amy Goodman on whom we broadcast a program last-----   Located at a former fire house  in New York City  in lower Manhatten not far from  Ground Zero and former site of  the twin towers, Democracy Now! which is linked with  Radio  Pacifica , serves as  a model  for an  ever increasing number of independent radio stations that are  being established in the United States. Within the last two years Democracy Now! has recruited more than 200 radio and television stations. This sudden popularity for alternative radio stations arose  when president  George W. Bush began  his campaign concoting a  bogus war, quashing dissent  and
“embedding “  the mainstream media, hence  creating  the  news crisis which sent an information- starved – public  to demand access to objective information.
The current  climate of disinformation, censorship and restriction imposed on the  mainstream / corporate media has had a tremendous impact   giving rise to the rapid increase and establishment of new stations that are independent..

Amy Goodmann , considered the darling of the alternative media world, broadcasts from the a modest location, namely from a firehouse studio
from which she sends her war and peace reports into the media ether
hundreds of thosands of listeners tune in
Democracy Now! The website logs  50,000 visits a day
SHE  has received many JOURNALISTIC HONORS and it is rumored that she is a candidate for the  PULITZER prize, the most prodigenous award in jounalism.
 
The independent media has broken the silence that has hung over the American media landscape since Sept. 11, daring to do what the corporate networks are afraid to do. Goodmann does not let the issue on war in Iraq go from the foreground to the background – she explains,  “we do drumbeat coverage”, which means interviewing certain people regularly “without losing touch with the themes  that should not easily slip from our minds”.
 
At  the “Democracy Now!” station,  Amy Goodman presented our delegation from Munich  with  a  CD called ‘”SAY IT LOUD”. NEW SONGS FOR PEACE. Produced by Pacifica with permission to broadcast it for the Munich American Program at LORA today. It is the first time to be heard in “old Europe” .
The style is  an audio collage set against background of music. The themes span  political , racist, historical, social , and cultural subjects. The setting  is foremost the USA. The audio material is excerpted from famous speeches by heroes of the “other America”, heroes of the  minorities, and of the revolutionaries,  well known for  their impact our country. It is set in rhythmic patterns, repetitions of words and instruments the  re-iteration  achieving a highly  emotional effect.

Das Programm heute ist in 3 Kapitel gegliedert. Vor jedem Block of texts and songs,  you will hear a short description identifying the  speaker

PART II
 
Track 1          5:60 min
Music /  M. Waters /  D.Kucinich 

 
POLITICIANS:
Maxime Waters, “I want All of my Daughters to be Like Maxime Water”
Maxime Waters is a black US Congress woman from California, a Castro supporter. In this speech she rallies against supporting the Irak war and the war budget, saying “ We can’t bomb our way to peace”.

Dennis Kucinich -  National Anthem
Democrat  from Ohio, elected Mayor of Cleveland Ohio at age 31. He ran for the Democratic   presidential nomination  in 2004  against George W Bush.   “We did not authorize…” war at anytime, anywhere…”

Track 2            2:45 min.
AMERICAN HEROES:

Muhammed Ali (alias Cassius Clay)”Damn Some Money”  The 3 time world heavy weight boxing champion. He claims to be the first black man who gave up all the white man’s money he ever earned and never compromised. He took a stand. During the war in Vietnam he had the status of consciencious objector.  He threw his  gold medal into a river because of racial injustice.. Jailed for pacifist ideals

Track 3        9:25min
-Michael Moore, “Bin Bush”docmentary filmmaker and author. He  asks,  “what is it all about” Interspersed  with statements by George W. Bush. He says, “there’s nothing more patriotic than dissent. Don’t be afraid, dissent, dissent, dissent…”

WRITERS:   

Track 4   2:45 min
“Father Knows Best” Gore Vidal
Examined the case of Timothy MacVeigh among many other  books about U.S. politics
The patriarchial state and the state of diversity (liberal state) U.S.  have faught 40 cold and hot illegal wars in the last century

Track 5    5:15 min
“The Problems have a History” – Tariq Ali rejects argument “If you aren’t with us, you are against us – it’s a bogus argument.

PART III

BLACK WOMEN ACTIVISTS:   
Track 6        4:47 min
“Afrodiva” – Angela Davis,  Professor at University of California . We have the responsibility to research the contibution of mothers and grandmothers in our to fulfill the legacy of their contributions


Track 7        7:09 min
“Living in America” – Fannie Lou Hamer- A voter registration helper from Mississippi tells her story

RELIGIOUS LEADER:

Track 8         3:47 min
“The Gift” – Thich Nha  Hanh – Buddist Monk from Vietnam. He champions the movement called engaged Buddism  which intertwines traditional meditation practice with active non violent civil disobedience

Track 9        5:45 min
JOURNALIST:
“Silence of the Media Lambs” -Greg Palast
progressive investigative  journalist for BBC who “upsets all the right people”, as Noam Chomsky says. Best known for reports on the theft of the election in Florida and the connections between the Bush family and the Bin Ladens.

Track 10    4:45 min.
Muhammed Ali 1 min. longer than  Track 3 of “DAMN THE MONEY”


Track 11        3:60 min
JURIST

Stephen Rohde  - Attorney at Law
Our civil liberties have been torn asunder by the Patriot Act
Text about silence in the face of evil based on Martin Niemoller “Then They Came for Me”
and Maxine Waters  (partial repeat track 2)

Track 12        3:55 min
REVOLUTIONIST
Huey Newton -  founder of the Black Panther Movement –
calls for transformation of society for the freedom of the Afro American -Power to the Peole
– killed in 1989 on street in Oakland Ca

PHYSICIAN ANS PEACE ACTIVIST
Track 13        1:21 min
Dr. Helen Caldicott
educator on the medical hazards of nuclear weapons, nuclear war, nuclear power

Track 14        3:35min
MARTYERS FOR THEIR CAUSES
Che Guevara – Marxist revolutionary and Cuban guerilla leader
John Coltrane – avant garde jazz  saxophonist
Wounded KNEE last great massacre of native Americans by white soldiers in 1890
Geroge Jackson – self educated in prison exposed inhumane conditions suffered by  millions of men and women incarcerated in prisons in America. Died at age 29 during escape from San Quetin Prison
Mumia Abu Jamal - his voice from  death row he is scheduled for execution on August 17 for his ALLEDGED murder of a policman. Will be 1st political execution since the Rosenberg execution for espionage in 1953.

Track 15        4:35 min
BLACK INTELECTUALS
Malcome X – Muslim oppnent of the US government and its imoerial policies
James Baldwin- black author
Adriene Rich -  feminism is accountability
(cont) Track 15

Langston Hughes – black writer
Alice Walker – the Color Purple is her most famous book
Angela Davis- Afro American university professor examines class antagonism. Her people want political power more than economic power

Track 16        5:12 min
H Rap Brown
Fannie Lou Hammer
Elijah MUHAMMAD
Bayard Rustin
Rosa Parks
Paul Robeson – singer - his art is his weapon. says he never compromises
Jean-Bertrand ARISTIDE president of Haiti. Had to flee from Haiti in 2004 because of an US backed coup against him.

Track 17        3:24 min
LANDWORKERS
UNIONISTS and  MIGRANT WORKERS

CESAR Chavez – leader of  poor landowners. called for ban on toxins used in the grape harvest.
Dolores Huerta – plantation owners hate their workers and treat them badly but they made them millionares.
Speaker for the United Farm Workers Union
Voice from the Chicano Moratorium

We thank Amy Goodman from Democracy Now! for giving us the permission to use this CD.

AMY GOODMAN
author of the book, „The Exception to the Rulers“ an award winning journalis who exposes the lies, corruption and crimes of the power elite – an elite that is bolstered by lage media conglomerates. Her goal is „to go where the silence is, to give voice to the silenced majority“. Goodman often quotes Margaret Mead in her talks in the USA „Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.“ This book informs  and empowers people to act on that principle.
For years Amy goodman has confronted the Washington establishment and ist corporate cronies while giving voice to the voiceless. She is host to the national radio and TV show „Democracy Now“ which began in 1996. It is now the largest public media collaboration in North America. Democracy Now is not just a show, it is a movement.
Here is the last chapter from Goodman’s book called „Free the Media“

We need to free the media – and we are
Media should not be a tool only of the powerful. The media can be a platform for the most important debates of our day: war and peace, freedom and tyranny. The debate must be wide ranging-not just a narrow discussion between Democrats and Republicans embedded in the establishment. We need to break open the box, tear down the boundaries that currently define acceptable discussion. We need a democratic media.
    A democratic media gives us hope. It chronicles the movements and organizations that are making history today. When  people hear their neighbors given a voice, see their struggles in what they watch and read, spirits are lifted. People feel like they can mke a difference.
    Social change does not spring forth from the minds of generals or presidents-in fact, change is often blocked by the powerful. Change starts with ordinary people working in their communities. And that’s were media should start as well. The role of the media isn’t to agree with any person or group-or with the government or the powerful. But the media does have a responsibilitay to include all voices in the discourse. Then let the people decide. This is a new kind of power politics. Instead of backroom deals, it’s open air rallies, public, transparent, and full of lively debate. That is what democracy looks like.
    It’s what Seattle looked like in 1999. The occasion was the first inisterial conference in the US of the World Trade organization (WTO)
The who?
Exactly. People had barely heard of this powerful institution. it’s an unelected secretive body,  established in Geneva in 1995 with strong support from Pres. Bill Clinton that has the power to overrule local laws in the name of free trade. In closed-door meetings, nameless trade bureaucrats from 146 countries and multinational corporations were now saying, in effect, you can pass your laws in your democratically elected legislatures to protect workers or the environment. We’ll just overturn them at the WTO.
    Ordinary people were not supposed to know about this. It was all supposed to fly under the radar. The WTO was barely mentioned in the US press. The corporate media – whose parent companies had everythng to gain from secret trade deals-decided on our behalf that we just wouldn’t understand. It was much too complicated for an eight-second sound bite.
    But to the dismay of the powerful, tens of thousands of people from around the world did understand. They descended on Seattle to show this shadow corporate government how people feel when their democracy-and their jobs, environment, and right to participate-is stolen from them.
    They were religious people, trade unionists, doctors and nurses, environmentalists, students, and steelworkers in a global uprising against corporate power.
    As all this was about to unfold, activists confronted a dilemma:What media would cover their action?Protesters knew that the corporate media would belittle or misrepresent them-or completely ignore them.
    A new kind of media rose up in response. People came together with pens and pencils, tape recorders and video camera. An independent media center (IMC) was established in the heart of downtwoon Seattle, with powerful computers that would feed the rold with reports from radio, video and print reporting teams  set up in the streets. Rather than allow this uprising against corporate power to be viewed through a corporate lens, they were determined to get as close to the story as possible. They would become the media.
    Tens of thousands of marchers were tear gassed and shot with rubber bullets and pepper spray. The mayor of Seattle declared martial law for the first time since WWII. The city established „no protest zones“.
    As the onslaught unfolded in the sstreets-and the networks in NY and Atlanta scrambled to buy plane tickets and book hotel rooms from which to cover it-this new independent media movement swung into action. When one person carrying a video camera would be tear gassed and arrested, they would hand that video camera on to the next perso. My colleagues and I from Democracy Now! spent many long hours in the streets, with journalists from the IMC, being gassed and harassed by police dressed in black futuristic body armor as we attempted to report what was happening to the world.
    While the networks were quoting the police saying that they weren’t using rubber bullets, independent media reporters wer uploading minute by minute images as we all picked up the bullets off the street by the handful. While the networks caricatured protesters, showing an endless loop of a single smashed store window, the IMC reporters were interviewing the mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons who had come together to protest against the threat that the WTO posed to their communities. In the IMC dispatches, these people had real names, real jobs, and real concerns. Other stations wrote „they will not devote coverage to irresponsible or illegal activites“ or their vote „against giving protest groups the publicity they want.“
    If this policy had been applied in the fifties, we might never have heard the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his like.
    People are hungry for unfiltered, real time coverage from real people’s perspectives. So hungry that during the „Battle of Seattle“ there were more hits on the brand new website indymedia.org than on cnn.com.
    Even some in the mainstream media were forced to acknowledge that they had been scooped. „The fact of the matter,“ wrote The Christian Science Monitor,“ is that people who really wanted to learn about the WTO and why it upsets so many people, were far better served by these small independent sites than they were by the traditional media, particularly television“. „While independent media provided edgy, fresh, dramatic video of the events, „noted the Monitor, „traditional media countered with „repeated footage of a couple of incidents and interviews with establishment talking heads that the network and cable news  operations favored.“
The article ended with a bold prediction: „It wouldn’t be surprising for one or two of these independent media centers to develop into a major media source, especially if they continue to function on the sort of „open source“ reporting model seen in Seattle.
    „After all, the open-source movement is reshaping the business world. Who says it couldn’t happen to us in the media as well.“
   
A People’s Media
Corporations have been gaining unprecedented power through globalization. Of the hundred largest economies right now, more than half of them are not countries-they are corporations. The whole concept of the nation-state is being called into seriou question. What the 2.
corporations fear most is that grassroots activists and independent jounalists will utilize the same model that companies have used to grab poser: globalization. Grassroots globalization.
    It’s already happening. Inspired in part by Seattle, a media democracy groundswell has grown up to challenge the concentration of media ownership that freezes out independent voices. IMSs are cropping up all the time, all over the world. Today, there are more than a hundred IMC’s across the globe. People are educating one another, learning to use the Internet to fill the vast voids left by the corporate media. This media and democracy movement is a budding revolution. It is a bold, new grassroots medi for a new millennium of resistance.
    Democray Now! has now become the largest public media collaboration in the US. We use all means of getting to people: broadcasting on hundreds of radio and television stations, audio and video streaming on the Internet, satellite TV, and broadcasting internationally on shortwave radio. Democray Now! goes to communities and informs people that they have access to public channels. By doing this Democracy Now! does what IMC in Seattle did: show the mainstream media there’s a market for real people’s news. Every community can mocel their own human right, grass roots news shows to bring together the local and the global. It’ all part of a continuum. They have just as much responsibility to represent the full diversity of views in the US and not just beat the drums of war or provide cover for the powerful and their governments and corporations.
Hope and Victories
    Never doubt for a moment that a small group of committed, thoughtful people can make a diffence. Indee, it’s the only thing that ever has.“ Margaret mead said tis more than half a century ago. In the troubled times in which we now live – when corporate power sometimes seems invincible, the silence in the mainstream media seems deafening, and true democracy  seems like a far-off dream – where do we look for hope?
    Try death row in Illinois. In Jan. 2003, Governor George Ryan, a conservative Republican who co-chaired the 2000 Busch presidential campaign in Illinois, commuted the sentences of 163 death row inmates and pardoned 4 more. „Because the Illinois death penalty system is arbitarary and capricious-and therefore immoral-I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death,“ declared this rock ribbed conservative.
    Ryan did not take this brave and controversial action on a whim. It grew out of years of lonely and thankless grassroots activisim against the death penalty. It happened becase mothers of men on death row never gave up the struggle to exonerate their sons. It happened becasuse Northwestern University students, led by an impassioned professor named Dave Protess, began investigating the cases of men on death row, sometimes reacking down the actual murderers. And it happended because a pair of crusading investigative reporters at an influential mainstream paper, the Chicago Tribune, painstakingly exposed the racist and fraudulent bases of one case after another.
    Together, the mothers, the activists, the students, and the reporters completely changed the way the death penalty was viewed in Illinois – even by the governor. It was a powerful confirmation of what was being said by people at the Illinois Coalition Against the Death Penalty. „The only way that the death penalty can survive is if no one tells the truth about it.“
    The same could be said of Henry Kissinger. While many in the US still see Nixon and Ford’s former secretary of state as an elder statesman, the rest of the world sees him as a war criminal, responsible for the deaths and suffering of millions in Chile, Vietnam, Laos, Argentina, East Timor and Cambodia to name a few. When he want to travel internationally, Kissinger now checks with the State Department to see if he’ll be safe. He fears he could meet the same fate as his old crony, Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet, who was arrested on war crimes charges during a medical visit to England.
    Even in the US, Kissinger has begun to feel  the heat-thanks in large part to reporters such a Seymour Hersh who has doggedly chronicled the abuses of the old war criminal for thirty years. When Pres. George W. Bush named the former secretary of state to head a commission investigating the 9/11 attacks, there was a public outcry. At long last, Kissinger’s sordid human rights record came back to haunt him, and he was forced to resign from the commission in disgrace. Kissinger’s lifelong contempt for human rights was finally coming back to dog him.
We can find hope in many other places. In East Timor for example where a new nation has been founded, and in Tulia Texas where wrongly convicted African American citizens who were freed and pardoned in 2003.
    What does America represent in this world? People around the world see the US in two ways.
    The sword...The US provides so many of the weapons that repressive regimes use to kill their own people. In East Timor, as in Guatemala, Nigeria, El Salvador, Iran, Irak, and Chile to name a few immoral policies of successive US administrations have tragically placed this nation on the wrong side of justice.

...And the shield. They know we have the power to stop attacks instead of mounting them, and to fight injustice, brutality, and tyranny. During the massacre in East Timor, they saw that shield bloodied.
    Today, millions of people around the world tremble at the might of the greatest superpower on earth. But the true power of this country does not lie in ist military, government, or corporations. It lies with individual people struggling every day to better their communities. We muct build a trickle-up media that reflects the true character of this country and ist people. A democratic media serving a democratic society. We have to make a decision every day;whether to prepresent the sword or the shield.

Amy Goodman and David Goodman
The Exception to the Rulers
Hyperion, NY
2004