Daily Archives: September 27, 2002

History on the Pedestal

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Moscow’s mayor sparks a passionate debate over the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, the father of the KGB. Dzerzhinsky, as one of the architects of the October Revolution was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.

The statue stood in front of the infamous Lubyanka prison as a reminder that big brother is watching. Then in 1991, thousands celebrated as “Iron Felix” was toppled, the naked pedestal left to remind that communism didn’t prevail.

But in a country now under the leadership of a KGB colonel, the debate over Dzerzhinsky is a measure of how far they have left to go.

Guests:

Svetlana Boym, Professor of Slavic Languages and comparative literature at Harvard University. Author of “The Future of Nostalgia”

Boris Kagarlitsky, senior researcher fellow at the Institute for Comparative Political Studies, Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

Fred Weir, Christian Science monitor correspondent in Moscow.

U.N. Weapons Inspectors and Iraq

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Weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Saddam Hussein says no. Iraq, he says, “is clear of all nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.”

His acquiescence to new inspections was enough to break George Bush’s momentum towards an attack, at least for a time. And Saddam Hussein continues to vow Iraq will allow inspectors to do their job. He qualifies that now, saying, they can go anywhere they want except his palaces.

Bush and Blair aren’t buying and at this moment, their diplomatic teams are scrambling to get France, Russia, and China to accept a resolution that would hold Baghdad’s feet to the fire. At issue: “unfettered access,” a 60-day deadline, and a specific threat of military action.

Guests:

Scott Ritter, former U.N. weapons inspector in Iraq, now antiwar activist

Terence Taylor, former U.N. weapons inspector, now director, International Institute for Strategic Studies-US.