You remember Helen Thomas? She was the senior White House Correspondent who always opened Presidential press conferences and closed them by saying the magic words: “Thank you Mr. President.” Her Wikipedia entry cites her professional accomplishments:
Helen was cashiered from her position as a Hearst columnist after she answered a question by a Rabbi with a video camera who asked her to talk about Israel. She answered—honestly—that the Israelis should get the hell out of Palestine. The Rabbi’s follow up question was, “Where should they go?”
“Back where they came from,” she answered, citing Germany, Poland, and elsewhere.
Now, we all know that those countries that were so murderous and cruel to European Jews are not what they were in the 1940s. But, judging from the reaction of the media, and from Abe Foxman, head of the Anti-Defamation League, one would have thought that she was sending Israeli Jews back to the 1940s. It was a media firestorm that engulfed her, sending a message to anyone else who might stray from the official party line on Israel.
Saudi-backed Bahraini forces injured a woman who was part of a group of women trying to prevent the destruction of a religious site. In addition, two female student and four female medics have been detained. Bahrain’s Human Rights Center reports that 1,041 people have been detained since protest began, including 64 women. As part of the crackdown on anti-government protests, the Saudi-backed forces are also raiding hospitals and schools and have destroyed many mosques and holy sites.
There are two ways to make your war a Just War, with all the fringe benefits. Please read carefully.
First, convince the world that the war is just by invoking the UN Charter and getting Security Council authorization. The law involved is less straightforward than the Scholastic neo-Aristotelianism that used to justify Just Wars, so you’ll be wanting to hire some lawyers. Less intelligent presidents will put angry anti-diplomats like John Bolton on the task, but cannier ones will hire smoother jurists like Harold Koh and Samantha Power to make the case in the dulcet tones of humanitarian NGOese. This is the preferred way of making a war Just nowadays, most likely a matter of supply and demand, as there’s no shortage of secular casuists graduating from the top law schools, and the US Department of Defense has 15,000 lawyers on hand.
It is quite amazing to see the web of lies being woven now that the situation in Syria becomes critical. The official narrative, and one which a considerable chunk of the Syrian population wish desperately to believe, is that the protests are being provoked by unknown foreign elements that are trying to destabilise the country. The official media is focusing exclusively on the deaths of members of the security services, ignoring the hundreds of deaths amongst the mostly peaceful protesters that have taken to the streets across Syria. I say that many people wish desperately to believe the official narrative because many people simply don’t want to see more bloodshed and death on the streets of Syria. Many people are also afraid and don’t wish to be seen as accepting the fact that the Syrian government is now at war with its own people.