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Monday, March 12, 2012

  • Afghan Massacre: Peace Groups Call for U.S. Withdrawal After Army Sergeant Kills 16 Afghan Civilians


    We go to Kabul to speak with an Afghan peace activist about the shooting spree by a U.S. Army sergeant in Afghanistan, which killed 16 Afghan civilians, nine of them children. Calls for a more rapid withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan have escalated after the U.S. soldier reportedly walked more than a mile from his base, breaking into three separate houses to attack families as they slept. Villagers say he then gathered 11 bodies and set them on fire, including the bodies of four girls younger than six. The attack comes as the United States and Afghanistan are negotiating the Strategic Partnership Agreement, the framework for U.S. involvement in Afghanistan after foreign combat troops leave at the end of 2014. "We feel that, surely, governments need to resolve this conflict through diplomacy and move away from the failed military strategy that has resulted in all that we are witnessing today," says the Kabul-based peace activist who goes by the name "Hakim." He is the coordinator for Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers. [includes rush transcript]

  • Kathy Kelly on Afghan Humanitarian Crisis, Civilian Casualties and Drone Warfare


    The anger provoked by the U.S. soldier’s attack on 16 Afghan civilians comes amidst outrage over civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes and a growing humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. Hundreds of Afghan children die daily from hunger even as the United States spends some $2 billion a month on maintaining its occupation. We speak with Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence, who has just returned from Afghanistan to stand trial for her role in a protest at a U.S. base over the use of drones. "When is the United States going to understand the rage and the antagonism felt by civilians who have borne year after year after year of attacks — unprovoked and uncaused attacks against civilians — as the United States has used its occupation to try to dictate the future of people in Afghanistan?" Kelly asks. [includes rush transcript]

  • Contamination Fears Linger for Japanese Children, Workers One Year After Fukushima Meltdown


    We go to Japan to speak with Aileen Mioko Smith, executive director of the Kyoto-based group Green Action, as Japan marks the first anniversary of the massive earthquake and tsunami that left approximately 20,000 dead or missing and triggered a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. About 326,000 Japanese residents remain homeless, including 80,000 evacuated from the vicinity of the Fukushima facility. Residents evacuated from the zone set up in a 12-mile radius around the nuclear plant are especially struggling to rebuild their lives. We also speak with Saburo Kitajima, a contract laborer and union organizer from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. "The workers at the Fukushima plant are currently working under extreme circumstances," Kitajima says. "In spite of being exposed to radiation, the levels of wages run to about $100 a day." [includes rush transcript]

  • Nuclear Engineer Arnie Gundersen: Fukushima Meltdown Could Result in 1 Million Cases of Cancer


    The Obama administration is backing an expansion of nuclear power plants, but have the lessons of Fukushima been learned? We speak to former nuclear industry executive Arne Gundersen on the fallout from Fukushima, the design failures of the Mark I nuclear reactor used at Fukushima and many U.S. power plants, the economics of nuclear energy and the battle over nuclear power in his home state of Vermont. Gundersen is a former nuclear industry senior vice president who has coordinated projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the country. He is the chief engineer at Fairewinds Associates and co-wrote the new Greenpeace report, "Lessons from Fukushima." [includes rush transcript]