Sunday, July 21, 2013

Editorial: Helen Thomas and the importance of Iraq

helen thomas

Saturday came the news that veteran journalist Helen Thomas had died at the age of 92.  This was not her first death.  As Ava and C.I. documented in "Media: Let's Kill Helen!" (July 10, 2011), the establishment media worked to destroy her over remarks that -- to really elicit outrage -- had to be 'massaged.'  It was still being 'massaged' by media gadfly David Folkenflik on NPR Saturday.

'Massaged'?  Try 'f**king lied.'  Folkenflik lied.  Helen Thomas wasn't career assassinated once, she was destroyed over and over by so-called journalists who set aside facts and journalism to aim their guns at her.   The Falls Church News-Press was brave enough to offer her an outlet in the midst of the never-ending smears against Helen.

Few others showed the same bravery.  Helen used her bravery to question power, to call out the status quo.  Yes, she was of the left.  No, she was not MSNBC.

Helen questioned power -- whether it was Republican power or Democratic power.  She was the real deal.

She questioned war.

Barack Obama benefited greatly from the political and career assassination of Helen which meant she was no longer in the press room asking questions during White House briefings.

Doubt Helen gave equally?  In 2009, Fox News was highlighting a White House press briefing where Helen was calling out then-spokesperson Robert Gibbs on the White House's use of pre-screened questions for Barack.

In the video, she says, "That's -- That's not his point.  His point is that control from here.  We have never had that in the White House.  I'm amazed at you people who call for openess and transparency and control.  You have left open the suggestion that you are pumping the answers. It's shocking. It's really shocking."

And war was shocking to Helen.

The Iraq War was shocking and outrageous.

And if Helen were at the White House press briefings in the last month, Iraq would have been an issue.

In April, violence increased so greatly (it had been increasing for two years) that it reached 2008 levels.  This continued in May and in June.

"What have we done to Iraq?" Helen would have asked.  "What are we doing to help now?"

But no one in the White House press corps today cares about Iraq.  Most just care about fawning and sucking up (there are a few exceptions to that).

No one will question the White House on its responsibilities and obligations to Iraq.

No one will ask why Barack stepped in back in 2010, when the Iraqi people had succeeded in voting Nouri al-Maliki out as prime minister, and insisted Nouri remain prime minister?

No one will ask why Barack had the US broker The Erbil Agreement which went around the Iraqi Constitution to give Nouri a second term as prime minister after Nouri's State of Law came in second in the elections?

These questions will not be asked.  They will not be noted.

One of the most deadly and criminal enterprises of the US government (one which is ongoing -- since the so-called 'withdrawal,' Barack has sent more US forces back into Iraq) will simply fade from memory because to dwell on it, to acknowledge it, might prevent future wars of aggression and the US press is not about shining a light on the victims of the US government, it is only about helping to sell the aggressions and attacks of the US government.

Helen Thomas was a voice for the world's people, a voice for accountability, a voice for peace.  She is sorely missed and, if you doubt that, watch this week to see who asks even a passing question about Iraq.

[Those new to Helen Thomas or wanting to remember her can click here for Democracy Now!'s collection of interviews with Helen.]

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