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Helen Thomas: Media's Eldermoonbat

Updated

Scott McClellan called on Helen Thomas today. I guess he felt the need to liven up his press briefing with some moonbattiness.

This was her question:

Does the President know he's in violation of international law when he advocates preemptive war: UN Charter, Geneva, Nuremberg. We violate international law when we advocate attacking a country that did not attack us.
She was refering to President Bush's stance on the use of preemptive force. Helen seems to think we should be attacked first before we are allowed to respond.

I've got two words for you, Helen: Nuclear Iran.

Update: The White House website has the video and the transcript of Scott McClellan's press briefing.

Here's a portion of the transaction between Scott McClellan and Helen Thomas:

Q Does the President know that he's in violation of international law when he advocates preemptive war? The U.N. Charter, Geneva, Nuremberg. We violate international law when we advocate attacking a country that did not attack us.


MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, I would just disagree with your assessment. First of all, preemption is a longstanding principle of American foreign --

Q It's not a long-standing principle with us. It's your principle.

MR. McCLELLAN: Have you asked your question?

Q It's a violation of international law.

MR. McCLELLAN: First of all, let me back up, preemption is a longstanding principle of American foreign policy. It is also part --

Q It's never been.

MR. McCLELLAN: It is also part of an inherent right to self-defense. But what we seek to do is to address issues diplomatically by working with our friends and allies, and working with regional partners. That's what we're doing when it comes to the threat posed by Iran pursuing nuclear weapons. That's what we're doing when it comes to resolving the nuclear issue with North Korea. So we seek diplomatic solutions to confront threats.

And it's important what September 11th taught us --

Q The heavy emphasis of your paper today is war and preemptive war.

MR. McCLELLAN: Can I finish responding to your question, because I think it's important to answer your question. It's a good question and it's a fair question. But first of all, are we supposed to wait until a threat fully materializes and then respond? September 11th --

Q Under international law you have to be attacked first.

MR. McCLELLAN: Helen, you're not letting me respond to your question. You have the opportunity to ask your question, and I would like to be able to provide a response so that the American people can hear what our view is. This is not new in terms of our foreign policy. This has been a longstanding principle, the question that you bring up. But again, I'll put the question back to you. Are we supposed to wait until a threat fully materializes before we respond --

Q You had no threat from Iraq.

MR. McCLELLAN: September 11th taught us --

Q That was not a threat from Iraq.

MR. McCLELLAN: -- some important lessons. One important lesson it taught us was that we must confront threats before they fully materialize. That's why we are working to address the threats when it comes to nuclear issues involving Iran and North Korea. That's why we're pursuing diplomatic solutions to those efforts, by working with our friends and allies, by working with regional partners who understand the stakes involved and understand the consequences of failing to confront those threats early, before it's too late.

So Helen Thomas believes we must be attacked before we can defend ourselves because we must follow international law. Nothing is more important than international law.

Update: Expose the Left has the video.


Comments (36)

What does that mean? Your l... (Below threshold)
jp2:

What does that mean? Your link is broken.

Iran doesn't have nukes. You probably believed this bunch when they said Saddamm had WMDs too.

Gregory and Thomas are Mork... (Below threshold)

Gregory and Thomas are Mork and Mindy 'reincarnated.'
My God, watching these two was beyond painful.
Are they actually PAID to be stupid?
And who, in the name of sweet Jesus, pays them?????????????
Not really wondering anymore.....beyond pathetic.
Halle

Iran doesn't have ... (Below threshold)
Mark A. Flacy:
Iran doesn't have nukes. You probably believed this bunch when they said Saddamm had WMDs too.

Of course, the best way to prevent a country from acquiring nuclear weapons is to do nothing until they actually have them.

Yeah, too bad Saddam's generals thought that he had WMDs too.

jp2 -Well, Saddam'... (Below threshold)

jp2 -

Well, Saddam's generals believed they had WMDs, as did France, Germany, and Russia. Even the UK's 'Guardian' says they could have reconstituted things pretty fast. And that we were right to invade.

Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | We were right to invade Iraq
We no longer have to bear one major risk: a psychopathic despot overcoming a porous sanctions regime, and using oil sales to pay for resumed WMD production. The absence of WMD was a huge intelligence failure; so it is fortunate that we are no longer reliant on Saddam's word. As Professor Graham Pearson, of the Bradford University school of peace studies, has written, focusing on stockpiles is misconceived: "In an aggressor state, there is no requirement to have such stockpiles as the national strategy is not one of having an ability to retaliate in kind but rather ... to use chemical and biological weapons at a time of its choosing." Saddam did possess dual-use facilities that, according to Charles Duelfer of the Iraq Survey Group, could quickly have produced chemical and biological weapons.
That's good enough for me. (The Guardian. Wow. I wouldn't have expected it from them at all.)

On preview - Mark, I'd just as soon Iran didn't get nukes. They're way too likely to use them.

J.

Since we're the world polic... (Below threshold)
J:

Since we're the world police, which would seemingly trump the "international police", I suppose we'll just have to arrest ourselves.

Well, we didn't ask for the... (Below threshold)

Well, we didn't ask for the damn job of being the World Police - but we're stuck with it, and it's not surprising that there's people who don't like it. But who else would the world trust even a little? The UN? China? Russia?

We're stuck with the job for the foreseeable future, much as some might scream about it.

J.

I loved it when Scott told ... (Below threshold)
dem4bush:

I loved it when Scott told Gregory to read the transcript from yesterday, spit out my drink.

Helen is just painful to look at as well as listen to.

Thomas doesn't really want ... (Below threshold)

Thomas doesn't really want us to be hit before responding, it's simply that if Bush is in favor of something she is knee-jerk against it.

Ms. Thomas - please see the... (Below threshold)
Mikey:

Ms. Thomas - please see the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution, then Article I and then Article II.

Next question, you over there - with the bad rug.

What would Jack Bauer do? I... (Below threshold)
10ksnooker:

What would Jack Bauer do? I doubt he would care what moonbats think about anything.

Hmmm.Well... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

Well, we didn't ask for the damn job of being the World Police

Burka! Burka! Burka! Burka! Burka!

Burka! Burka!

Would it be impolite to ask... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

Would it be impolite to ask jp2 to stop picking up scat over at Kos and bringing it over here?

10ksnooker, I think "Jack B... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

10ksnooker, I think "Jack Bauer" would send you an autographed picture, laminated, a pair of tweezers, and a magnifying glass. (Hey, you DID ask!)

I think Jack would shoot He... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

I think Jack would shoot Helen, then tell Gregory that he doesn't have the guts to take on terrorists! I'd pay good money to see that episode!

Ed - As I said, we didn't ... (Below threshold)

Ed - As I said, we didn't ask for the job - but nobody else stuck their hand up when the shit hit the fan.

So - we've got it. And we'll do what we consider a proper job of it.

If you cut it right, you can probably get a good 50 bikinis out of one burqua. And THAT should be done as expeditiously as possible, IMHO.

J.

Been months since I dipped ... (Below threshold)
cat:

Been months since I dipped into the facist zone of Wizbang lunatics. I almost forgot how bad it is. Kim, darling, when was the last time Iran invaded anyone? Check the history - you might have to go back a LONG way. And when was the last time the United States invaded another country? And the time before that...and the time before that?

If anyone needs to do some preemptive attacking, it's us out here - and it's you who are the imminent threat.

Getting all touchy over Hel... (Below threshold)
AbuGhraibYogaInstructor:

Getting all touchy over Helen Thomas's line of questioning? Whats your alternative? -Jeff Gannon?

It should be pointed out th... (Below threshold)
Half Canadian:

It should be pointed out that Iraq failed to honor the cease-fire agreement that ended Gulf War I. That, and Iraq did fire on U.S. war planes that patroled the no-fly zone.

Given the latter, can Helen accurately say that Iraq did not attack the U.S.?

If you cut it righ... (Below threshold)
If you cut it right, you can probably get a good 50 bikinis out of one burqua. And THAT should be done as expeditiously as possible, IMHO.

That would have to be fifty fairly small bikinis. Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but if anyone is an argument for the burka, it's Helen Thomas.

Iran invaded the US Embassy... (Below threshold)
odrady:

Iran invaded the US Embassy in Tehran in 1979, took hostages, and held them for 400+ days. Embassies are soverign extensions of their countries, ergo, Iran invaded the US. This is an act of war and is a basis for retaliation.

Iran is supply weapons (IED's)to Al Qaeda in Iraq killing American soldiers. Attacking the armed forces of a country is an act of war and a basis for retaliation.

I recommend that Congress immdediately convene and make a formal Declaration of War.

I agree with you odrady. A... (Below threshold)
Robert:

I agree with you odrady. And, Iran held our citizens hostage for 444 days! Dhimmi Carter couldn't stomach an appropriate response. I am sure Bush could. I agree we should have a declaration of war against Iran and invade as soon as it is logistically possible.

The support that Iran is gi... (Below threshold)

The support that Iran is giving to insurgents in Iraq--an international bunch as much as a home grown bunch--could also be construed as an act of aggression against the sovereign nation of Iraq.

Further, substantial support for terrorists doesn't mark Iran as a peaceful, isolationist country.

Just sayin.

Odysseus -The thou... (Below threshold)

Odysseus -

The thought of Helen Thomas in a bikini... (shudder)

There are some things man was not meant to know - and how she looks in one is decidedly something we don't need to know.

J.

I've got two other words fo... (Below threshold)
John:

I've got two other words for Helen: "Shove. It."

Duh guys, the only people w... (Below threshold)

Duh guys, the only people who get to use pre-emptive force are the ones who want to attack us. See, it's not illegal for al Qaeda to use pre-emptive force, because they are not a country, so they are not bound by international law. See how simple it is? Us - screwed. They - do whatever they please. That's how people like Helen Thomas want things. Oh, and don't cha know, we should all not have handguns either - only criminals should be having guns since they don't have to follow the law, because, well, they are criminals. Same thing.

You are all cruel. I want ... (Below threshold)
bill burz:

You are all cruel. I want to have sex with Helen. That is all she really needs. Imagine the wrods of sweetness that she would have for you as she calls out Georgie, Georgie, in the throes of her passion.

"I want to have sex with He... (Below threshold)
Eneils Bailey:

"I want to have sex with Helen."

Ummm, go ahead.
Poke it in, jerk it out, repeat if necessary.

ooohhh Bill , thank,s for m... (Below threshold)
JEFF:

ooohhh Bill , thank,s for making me lose my lunch..I hope that disgusting Beezlebub never had the chance to reproduce..your sticky wicket should not enter her thicket!

bill, you don't want any of... (Below threshold)
jab:

bill, you don't want any of that stinky on your dinky!

I sent Mrs. Thomas an email... (Below threshold)
Rick13:

I sent Mrs. Thomas an email to speak my mind to her. She actually replied! I said "please".

Try living your own life; must be very dull since you choose to direct
mine-; jfk would have loved the questions and wondered why they are never
answered-helent

-----Original Message-----
From: Rick xxxx
[mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Thursday, March 16, 2006 3:41 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: JFK


JFK would be ashamed of your behavior! You have become a national
disgrace! You continue to bring down ALL of American journalism with
your outrageous comments and editorials veiled as questions to the
White House press secretary. Please retire into oblivion before you
cause yourself or this great country anymore embarrassment!

Sincerely,

Rick

Helen seems to think we ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Helen seems to think we should be attacked first before we are allowed to respond.

I think Canada is planning on attacking us. I don't have any proof or anything, you'll just have to trust me. Can we invade now?

Btw by definition a response has to be responding to something. If you do it first it's not a response.

And how has our first foray into preemptive force working out, War on Terror-wise?

Study cites seeds of terror in Iraq: War radicalized most, probes find
Occupation Made World Less Safe, Pro-War Institute Says
U.S. Figures Show Sharp Global Rise In Terrorism
And from Francis Fukuyama's recent After Neoconservatism:

In the first instance, we need to demilitarize what we have been calling the global war on terrorism and shift to other types of policy instruments. We are fighting hot counterinsurgency wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and against the international jihadist movement, wars in which we need to prevail. But "war" is the wrong metaphor for the broader struggle, since wars are fought at full intensity and have clear beginnings and endings. Meeting the jihadist challenge is more of a "long, twilight struggle" whose core is not a military campaign but a political contest for the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims around the world. As recent events in France and Denmark suggest, Europe will be a central battleground in this fight.

......

We need in the first instance to understand that promoting democracy and modernization in the Middle East is not a solution to the problem of jihadist terrorism; in all likelihood it will make the short-term problem worse, as we have seen in the case of the Palestinian election bringing Hamas to power. Radical Islamism is a byproduct of modernization itself, arising from the loss of identity that accompanies the transition to a modern, pluralist society. It is no accident that so many recent terrorists, from Sept. 11's Mohamed Atta to the murderer of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh to the London subway bombers, were radicalized in democratic Europe and intimately familiar with all of democracy's blessings. More democracy will mean more alienation, radicalization and -- yes, unfortunately -- terrorism.

But please, let's continue to invade countries the leaders of which like to talk tough, regardless of the level of threat they actually pose. It's working out so well.

Helen Thomas, and her ilk c... (Below threshold)
Ric:

Helen Thomas, and her ilk can suck wind. The United States is a sovereign nation. Defense of this great nation may require a trip to "head 'em off at the pass", per se.

"Since we're the world poli... (Below threshold)

"Since we're the world police, which would seemingly trump the "international police", I suppose we'll just have to arrest ourselves."

This is brilliant.

No, seriously. Who made this "international law" and who is planning to enforce it? Where do people think "laws" come from anyhow? Now, if we signed an agreement that we would never ever use preemptive force up until the point of repelling an ongoing attack... someone pointing a gun and declaring war can't be shot until *after* they pull the trigger... well then we've violated our *own* law. It's *still* not an international law.

So lets just arrest ourselves. :-P

Helen Thomas to United Stat... (Below threshold)

Helen Thomas to United States of America:

"Bend over and take it like a man!"

<a href="http://apnews.mywa... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Something to hope leads somewhere, unless you just like a good war.

MantisI would sugg... (Below threshold)
DavidB:

Mantis

I would suggest you broaden your viewpoint by reading materials other then the MSM. Particularly the extremely left leaning portion there of.

Try broading your search for people actually on the ground in those areas that are currently in contention, like Iraq. You may find, no you will find, that those that have the education and the desire to share with the outside world, are thankful for the opportunity. They reject the terrorism and wish for a peaceful and democratic society. They worry that the minority who are insitgating the terrorist activities will win and reduce their countries to secular prisons, like Iran.

A very good example of what can happen when we support the desires of people to be free is in the northern portion of Iraq, where the Kurds enjoy a very good economy, a secular peaceful existence, and were they do not tolerate terrorism within the confines of the areas they control. This has all come about as a result of their determination to succeed and our support.

But of course, that would be counter to your pre-conceived point of view, so would be given little to no credence.

You see, maybe like you I do worry about what the future holds and what I hear from the MSM. But, unlike you it would seem, I broaden my horizons and seek other sources of information from which to form an opinion. You may want to try it some time.




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