Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I heart Helen Thomas

I woke up to this exchange this morning and it made me smile:

"BUSH: Helen, after that brilliant performance at the Gridiron, I am...

QUESTION: You're going to be sorry.

(LAUGHTER)

BUSH: Well, then, let me take it back.

QUESTION: I'd like to ask you, Mr. President -- your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime.
Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, your Cabinet officers, former Cabinet officers, intelligence people and so forth -- but what's your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil, the quest for oil. It hasn't been Israel or anything else. What was it?

BUSH: I think your premise, in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- that I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect.

QUESTION: And...

BUSH: Hold on for a second, please. Excuse me. Excuse me.
No president wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true."

Of course his answer goes on ad nauseum and it's the same bullshit he always spouts, but I want to shift the attention from our President's idiocy for a moment and focus on Helen Thomas. She ROCKS. This woman has been around since JFK. She's one of the country's most respected journalists.
Nevertheless, this administration has moved her to the back row for press conferences.

I found this on Wikipedia:

"In July 2005 Thomas was quoted in the newspaper The Hill saying "The day I say Dick Cheney is going to run for president, I'll kill myself. All we need is one more liar." ...

In a November 2002 talk at MIT, Thomas revealed: "I censored myself for 50 years when I was a reporter. Now I wake up and ask myself, 'Who do I hate today?'" Two months later, the answer to that question revealed itself in an off-the-record comment to a reporter from the Torrance, California Daily Breeze following the Society of Professional Journalists annual awards banquet. "This is the worst President ever. He is the worst President in all of American history." The Breeze ran the quote."

Helen has let loose a bit in recent years, which only bolsters her credibility. I admire her tenacity, her eloquence and her wit. I can't wait until once again she's able to ask probing questions of great presidents from the front row.

Thank you, Helen Thomas.

15 Comments:

At 5:14 PM, Anonymous Steph said...

I saw that exchange this morning too and thought, "Finally! Someone who is calling him on on his bullshit!" And then he rambled on with the same broken-record crap he's been spoon-feeding the public forever. And then he kept *shhshing* her. What the hell is that?! What an ass.

Yes, Helen rocks.

 
At 8:03 PM, Blogger Sodium Pentothal said...

I always find it interesting to read the different accounts of an event. Conservatives see Bush beating down Helen, liberals see it the other way around. I think the truth of the matter can be found in the substance and reaction of the dialogue. Helen thinks we invaded for oil... and it really helped bring gas down to $2.50 a gallon. When it was over she didn't respond, just politely said "thank you". No followup, no argument. In other words - she got put in her place. Her one chance and she blew it. Poor old lady should have retired 40 years ago when she turned 90.

SP
http://100mgsp.blogspot.com

 
At 9:38 AM, Blogger Noisette said...

Hmmm. Interesting take. Normally the press corps isn't given the chance to follow up, so she no doubt thought she wouldn't be the exception. Seriously, though- did you BUY the President's answer to that question? The same old regurgitated bullshit? Why do you think he went to war? Do you, like him, wave away the evidence, both anecdotal and completely solid, that shows that Bush and camp were trying to find a way to attack Iraq even before 9/11?
Just wondering.

 
At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I woke up to the "exchange" as well, if you can call it that. Bush didn't answer Thomas' question. I mean, she asked him why he really invaded Iraq and he started talking about Afghanistan and the UN resolutions. I actually got great satisfaction in seeing him shush her. And I think she made her point by being shushed. It drives home the point that he won't answer questions that take him off message. I actually don't think that Thomas blew her opportunity. Quite the contrary, I think she should've blown it if she chose to throw him a softball question.

 
At 8:16 PM, Blogger Sodium Pentothal said...

Not starting our scheduled debate, but a few things:

1) Thomas tried to interrupt him with followups and arguments throughout his response. Finally she shut up and let him talk. When he was finished she didn't have anything left to say.

2)There is nothing to "buy" with regard to the reasons for invasion. Many, including UN inspectors, think Saddam shipped WMDs out of the country before the war. But even if there were no weapons, he still had the intention to make them when people stopped looking at him, and he disobeyed UN resolutions. If he had granted full disclosure to inspectors, we wouldn't be there right now.

As for trying to find a reason to go into Iraq... the USA had been looking for that for a long time. Bush just finished what his dad started, and what Clinton pledged to do but never had the courage to actually get done.

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Noisette said...

From infoplease: Countries with nuclear capabilities:

Acknowledged: Britain, China, France, India, Pakistan, Russia, United States
Unacknowledged: Israel
Seeking: North Korea,1 Iran2

From "Foreign Policy in Focus," Countries that are currently in violation of UN Security Council Resolutions:
Resolution 252 (1968) Israel
Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind measures that change the legal status of Jerusalem, including the expropriation of land and properties thereon.

262 (1968) Israel
Calls upon Israel to pay compensation to Lebanon for destruction of airliners at Beirut International Airport.

267 (1969) Israel
Urgently calls upon Israel to rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem.

271 (1969) Israel
Reiterates calls to rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem and calls on Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying powers.

298 (1971) Israel
Reiterates demand that Israel rescind measures seeking to change the legal status of occupied East Jerusalem.

353 (1974) Turkey
Calls on nations to respect the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Cyprus and for the withdrawal without delay of foreign troops from Cyprus.

354 (1974) Turkey
Reiterates provisions of UNSC resolution 353.

360 (1974) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus "without delay."

364 (1974) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus.

367 (1975) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus.

370 (1975) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus.

377 (1979) Morocco
Calls on countries to respect the right of self-determination for Western Sahara.

379 (1979) Morocco
Calls for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Western Sahara.

380 (1979) Morocco
Reiterates the need for compliance with previous resolutions.

391 (1976) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus.

401 (1976) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus.

414 (1977) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus.

422 (1977) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus.

440 (1978) Turkey
Reaffirms the need for compliance with prior resolutions regarding Cyprus.

446 (1979) Israel
Calls upon Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying powers, to rescind previous measures that violate these relevant provisions, and "in particular, not to transport parts of its civilian population into the occupied Arab territories."

452 (1979) Israel
Calls on the government of Israel to cease, on an urgent basis, the establishment, construction, and planning of settlements in the Arab territories, occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem.

465 (1980) Israel
Reiterates previous resolutions on Israel's settlements policy.

471 (1980) Israel
Demands prosecution of those involved in assassination attempts of West Bank leaders and compensation for damages; reiterates demands to abide by Fourth Geneva Convention.

484 (1980) Israel
Reiterates request that Israel abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention.

487 (1981) Israel
Calls upon Israel to place its nuclear facilities under the safeguard of the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency.

497 (1981) Israel
Demands that Israel rescind its decision to impose its domestic laws in the occupied Syrian Golan region.

541 (1983) Turkey
Reiterates the need for compliance with prior resolutions and demands that the declaration of an independent Turkish Cypriot state be withdrawn.

550 (1984) Turkey
Reiterates UNSC resolution 541 and insists that member states may "not to facilitate or in any way assist" the secessionist entity.

573 (1985) Israel
Calls on Israel to pay compensation for human and material losses from its attack against Tunisia and to refrain from all such attacks or threats of attacks against other nations.

592 (1986) Israel
Insists Israel abide by the Fourth Geneva Conventions in East Jerusalem and other occupied territories.

605 (1987) Israel
"Calls once more upon Israel, the occupying Power, to abide immediately and scrupulously by the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War, and to desist forthwith from its policies and practices that are in violations of the provisions of the Convention."

607 (1986) Israel
Reiterates calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and to cease its practice of deportations from occupied Arab territories.

608 (1988) Israel
Reiterates call for Israel to cease its deportations.

636 (1989) Israel
Reiterates call for Israel to cease its deportations.

641 (1989) Israel
Reiterates previous resolutions calling on Israel to desist in its deportations.

658 (1990) Morocco
Calls upon Morocco to "cooperate fully" with the Secretary General of the United Nations and the chairman of the Organization of African Unity "in their efforts aimed at an early settlement of the question of Western Sahara."

672 (1990) Israel
Reiterates calls for Israel to abide by provisions of the Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Arab territories.

673 (1990) Israel
Insists that Israel come into compliance with resolution 672.

681 (1990) Israel
Reiterates call on Israel to abide by Fourth Geneva Convention in the occupied Arab territories.

690 (1991) Morocco
Calls upon both parties to cooperate fully with the Secretary General in implementing a referendum on the fate of the territory.

694 (1991) Israel
Reiterates that Israel "must refrain from deporting any Palestinian civilian from the occupied territories and ensure the safe and immediate return of all those deported."

716 (1991) Turkey
Reaffirms previous resolutions on Cyprus.

725 (1991) Morocco
"Calls upon the two parties to cooperate fully in the settlement plan."

726 (1992) Israel
Reiterates calls on Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention and to cease its practice of deportations from occupied Arab territories.

799 (1992) Israel
"Reaffirms applicability of Fourth Geneva Convention…to all Palestinian territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem, and affirms that deportation of civilians constitutes a contravention of its obligations under the Convention."

809 (1992) Morocco
Reiterates call to cooperate with the peace settlement plan, particularly regarding voter eligibility for referendum.

822 (1993) Armenia
Calls for Armenia to implement the "immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces from the Kelbadjar district and other recently occupied areas of Azerbaijan."

853 (1993) Armenia
Demands "complete and unconditional withdrawal of the occupying forces" from Azerbaijani territory.

874 (1993) Armenia
Reiterates calls for withdrawal of occupation forces.

884 (1993) Armenia
Calls on Armenia to use its influence to force compliance by Armenian militias to previous resolutions and to withdraw its remaining occupation forces.

904 (1994) Israel
Calls upon Israel, as the occupying power, "to take and implement measures, inter alia, confiscation of arms, with the aim of preventing illegal acts of violence by settlers."

973 (1995) Morocco
Reiterates the need for cooperation with United Nations and expediting referendum on the fate of Western Sahara.

995 (1995) Morocco
Calls for "genuine cooperation" with UN efforts to move forward with a referendum.

1002 (1995) Morocco
Reiteration of call for "genuine cooperation" with UN efforts.

1009 (1995) Croatia
Demands that Croatia "respect fully the rights of the local Serb population to remain, leave, or return in safety."

1017 (1995) Morocco
Reiterates the call for "genuine cooperation" with UN efforts and to cease "procrastinating actions which could further delay the referendum."

1033 (1995) Morocco
Reiterates call for "genuine cooperation" with UN efforts.

1044 (1996) Sudan
Calls upon Sudan to extradite to Ethiopia for prosecution three suspects in an assassination attempt of visiting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and to cease its support for sanctuary and offering of sanctuary to terrorists.

1054 (1996) Sudan
Demands that Sudan come into compliance with UNSC resolution 1044.

1056 (1996) Morocco
Calls for the release of political prisoners from occupied Western Sahara.

1070 (1996) Sudan
Reiterates demands to comply with 1044 and 1054.

1073 (1996) Israel
"Calls on the safety and security of Palestinian civilians to be ensured."

1079 (1996) Croatia
Reaffirms right of return for Serbian refugees to Croatia.

1092 (1996) Turkey/Cyprus
Calls for a reduction of foreign troops in Cyprus as the first step toward a total withdrawal troops as well as a reduction in military spending.

1117 (1997) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates call for a reduction of foreign troops in Cyprus as the first step toward a total withdrawal troops and reduction in military spending.

1120 (1997) Croatia
Reaffirms right of return for Serbian refugees to Croatia and calls on Croatia to change certain policies that obstruct this right, and to treat its citizens equally regardless of ethnic origin.

1145 (1997) Croatia
Reiterates Croatian responsibility in supporting the political and economic rights of its people regardless of ethnic origin.

1172 (1998) India, Pakistan
Calls upon India and Pakistan to cease their development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

1178 (1998) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates call for a substantial reduction of foreign troops and reduction in military spending.

1185 (1998) Morocco
Calls for the lifting of restrictions of movement by aircraft of UN peacekeeping force.

1215 (1998) Morocco
Urges Morocco to promptly sign a "status of forces agreement."

1217 (1998) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates call for a substantial reduction of foreign troops and reduction in military spending.

1251 (1999) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates call for a substantial reduction of foreign troops and reduction in military spending.

1264 (1999) Indonesia
Calls on Indonesia to provide safe return for refugees and punish those for acts of violence during and after the referendum campaign.

1272 (1999) Indonesia
Stresses the need for Indonesia to provide for the safe return for refugees and maintain the civilian and humanitarian character of refugee camps.

1283 (1999) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates UNSC resolution 1251.

1303 (2000) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates UNSC resolutions 1283 and 1251.

1319 (2000) Indonesia
Insists that Indonesia "take immediate additional steps, in fulfillment of its responsibilities, to disarm and disband the militia immediately, restore law and order in the affected areas of West Timor, ensure safety and security in the refugee camps and for humanitarian workers, and prevent incursions into East Timor." Stresses that those guilty of attacks on international personnel be brought to justice and reiterates the need to provide safe return for refugees who wish to repatriate and provide resettlement for those wishing to stay in Indonesia.

1322 (2000) Israel
Calls upon Israel to scrupulously abide by the Fourth Geneva Convention regarding the responsibilities of occupying power.

1331 (2000) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates UNSC resolution 1251 and subsequent resolutions.

1338 (2001) Indonesia
Calls for Indonesian cooperation with the UN and other international agencies in the fulfillment of UNSC resolution 1319.

1359 (2001) Morocco
Calls on the parties to "abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law to release without further delay all those held since the start of the conflict."

1384 (2001) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates 1251 and all relevant resolutions on Cyprus.

1402 (2002) Israel
Calls for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian cities.

1403 (2002) Israel
Demands that Israel go through with "the implementation of its resolution 1402, without delay."

1405 (2002) Israel
Calls for UN inspectors to investigate civilian deaths during an Israeli assault on the Jenin refugee camp.

1416 (2002) Turkey/Cyprus
Reiterates UNSC resolution 1251 and all relevant resolutions on Cyprus.

1435 (2002) Israel
Calls on Israel to withdraw to positions of September 2000 and end its military activities in and around Ramallah, including the destruction of security and civilian infrastructure.

 
At 8:26 PM, Blogger Noisette said...

So, to sum up: Israel has unacknowledged nuclear capabilities, and is in violation of, by my count, 32 UN Security Council Resolutions. Should we attack Israel?

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger Sodium Pentothal said...

Why would we attack Israel? They are our ally and do not want us dead. Are you saying that Israel is just as likely to produce and give chemical and biological weapons to terrorists? They are fighting their own war on terror every single day against the same type of enemy. The idea that we have to treat all nations equally is absurd. Our interests come first, period.

Anyway lets save this for the debate. I'll contact you via e-mail to discuss rules and such.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger Sodium Pentothal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 8:58 AM, Blogger Sodium Pentothal said...

Well, I don't see your e-mail address so just contact me here: adean81@gmail.com

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger Noisette said...

"Our interests come first." THAT makes sense. Just say that we went into Iraq to protect our interests- ie- oil and influence in that region- and leave the humanitarian bullshit and UN Resolution nonsense behind. That was my point. Israel may not be our enemy, but we are permanent members of the security council- which means we voted those resolutions against them. And yet, of course, we would never attack them. Also- they may well be in violation of the anti-proliferation treaty. Again, we aren't going to go to war over that.
The irony of all this, as you have pointed out (whether you meant to or not), is that going to war in Iraq 1) made our oil connections in that region more tenuous, 2) hurt our influence and standing even more in that region, and 3) made Iraq a haven for terrorists, which it wasn't before. Oops.

No email, dude. This debate takes place in the blogosphere or it doesn't take place at all. Sorry.

 
At 6:47 PM, Blogger Sodium Pentothal said...

No email, dude. This debate takes place in the blogosphere or it doesn't take place at all. Sorry.

You missed the entire point. The debate will take place on the front page of our respective blogs. I don't want to have this in the comments section. Plus it may generate some extra traffic. Again, e-mail me so we can set up a format and rules.

 
At 9:18 PM, Blogger Noisette said...

Ok. I'm closing 2 deals and moving apartments over the next few days, but I'll email you next week.

 
At 10:27 PM, Blogger Sodium Pentothal said...

Alright, sounds good. Looking forward to it.

SP
http://100mgsp.blogspot.com

 
At 10:55 PM, Blogger Clementine Gallot said...

ahhhh yeah she's great

 

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