Flying Focus Video Collective

April, 1999 Newsletter

Three Programs Focus on U.S. Policy in Iraq

As we prepare this newsletter, the United States has bombarded Iraq nearly 100 times since the severe bombing in December 1998. Meanwhile, over 4500 children die each month as a result of the U.S./U.N. sanctions.

The unthinkable nature of this dual policy that kills is the subject of three new programs from Flying Focus. Two programs feature Denis Halliday, former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, who resigned in protest over the sanctions policy, and Phyllis Bennis, a policy analyst with the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. In the first, taped at Portland's First Unitarian Church, the speakers focus on the moral imperative of the U.S. to change the way they do business in Iraq and look at the history of the situation and of the U.S. in global affairs ("Morality, History and U.S. Policy in Iraq", VB #30.13, 30 minutes).

In the other, taped at Portland State University, Halliday expands his description of the effects of sanctions and mistakes the U.S. and U.N. have made in its dealings in Iraq, while Bennis looks at U.N. resolutions and military materials supplied to Iraq by the U.S. and its allies. ("Economic Sanctions, Disarmament, and U.S. Policy in Iraq", SE #93, 80 minutes).

The third program features three speakers with first-hand knowledge of Iraq: Donna Denno, a Seattle-based pediatrician whose family is from Iraq, and Joe Zito and Dan Handelman who both traveled to Iraq with Voices in the Wilderness in 1997 and are currently facing fines of about $10,000 apiece from the U.S. Treasury. They all paint a picture of the country, and how the sanctions have devastated it, as well as offer some words of hope for people who want to change the situation. ("Dismantling U.S. Sanctions on Iraq", VB #30.7&30.8).

Former U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator Denis Halliday speaks of the devastation caused by sanctions and bombings in Iraq in VB #30.13 & SE #93.

Cyndy's Spice World

Feel like nothing can cheer you up? Maybe those three little words from that special someone would. It's "Cyndy's Spice World" (VB #30.3) from Cyndy Chan and Crispin Rosencranz. These mavericks show you a way of life endorsed by pop superstars the Spice Girls. Who says girls can't have role models? The audience will enter the minds of Spice Girls fans, answering questions about body image, abortion, disabilities, homosexuality, and bringing bubble-gum simplicity to these profound issues. The 15-minute video also includes analysis and commentary on Spice Girls videos, as well as snippets of auditions for a look-a-like contest at a Portland area mall--a must for fans and curious outsiders alike. This video won a top award ("Best Video") at Portland Community Coll