Helen Thomas and the Political Cleansing of America

by James Abourezk

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 Thomas (born August 4, 1920) is an American author and former news service reporter, member of the White House Press Corps and opinion columnist.[1] She worked for the United Press International (UPI) for 57 years, first as a correspondent, and later as White House bureau chief. She was a columnist for Hearst Newspapers from 2000 to 2010, writing on national affairs and the White House. She covered every President of the United States from the last years of the Eisenhower administration until the second year of the Obama administration. She was the first female officer of the National Press Club, the first female member and president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, and the first female member of the Gridiron Club. She has written six books; her latest, with co-author Craig Crawford, is Listen Up, Mr. President: Everything You Always Wanted Your President to Know and Do (2009).”

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.

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Bahrain Detaining Over 1,000 Pro-Democracy Activists‎

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.

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Easter Blood

On Friday the saviour died for our sins

That we might live.

Dumuzi, on the blood river’s brink

Takes the plunge.

Israa Yunis, seven years old, takes the plunge

And the little boys of Dara’a whose skulls they smashed

The brave men of Jableh, the warm women of Bayda

The intellectuals, the street kids, the people of truth

Walk into the waves.

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Want to make your war a “Just War”? A quick how-to, with help from WikiLeaks.

War is hell, war is pain and sorrow–unless of course it’s a Just War which is noble, heroic, every true Christian’s blessed jihad, and if you can swing it, fully authorized by the UN Security Council.  Even if Just Wars both ancient (say, the Albigensian crusade) and modern (the starvation of thousands of Iraqis by UN Security Council-authorized sanctions) have been unspeakably nasty, Just Wars are still at least Just, so what’s not to like?

cluster-bombs.jpg
These cluster bombs are just.

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.

The second way to make your war a Just War is to get the Pope to declare it so, or at least not denounce it as an unjust war.  This may sound self-consciously retro, but new WikiLeaks disclosures reveal that it has never truly gone out of style.  The story Continue reading “Want to make your war a “Just War”? A quick how-to, with help from WikiLeaks.”

Web of Lies

by Maysaloon

banner reads: My Sect Is Freedom

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.

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