This week on ABC1 Andrew Denton
interviewed Helen Thomas the doyen of the White
House Press Corps.
From JFK to George W. Bush, she has
reported on the highs and lows of world politics for 57
Extracts from the interview:
HELEN THOMAS: My
dad had emigrated from Syria. It was Syria
then in the 1890s and after World War I when
the British and the French cut up the world,
cut up the Middle East that is, ah their
town, Tripoli, became a part of Lebanon.
They created Lebanon for the Christian
ANDREW DENTON: A
tricky thing to move to a country where you
don't know the customs, you don't know the
I wouldn't call it tricky. I call it the
great courage to go into the unknown, come
by steerage, few cents in your pocket, never
knowing what the future will hold, build
your your life on hope. But I must say that
education was a great goal. We were very
interested in what was going on and
determined to be American and not to be
ANDREW DENTON: What's the difference?
The difference was you were called a garlic
eater and if you weren't blonde and
blue-eyed you were not American in those
days. I mean I'm not saying we suffered the
prejudice that blacks do by any stretch of
the imagination but there was a lot of
prejudice against it. We were not dark
skinned per se but we came from the
Mediterranean area and strange and ah this
country's very Anglo.
ANDREW DENTON: The old saying that
that power corrupts absolute power corrupts
absolutely. Do you believe that's true?
Yeah. I think it can. I've seen people men
go into the Oval Office with some
trepidation. In a couple of days they think
they're President and they think that's all
powerful and people worship at their shrine
and every wish is a command, no yeah I think
ANDREW DENTON: Who have you seen most
changed by that office?
This man. I think he thinks he's President
and he's led us into a very big quagmire
ANDREW DENTON - VO:
As senior White House correspondent Helen's
line of questioning, particularly of this
current President, was always direct.
[Helen talking in clip]
ANDREW DENTON - VO:
But in 2003 her relationship with the
Presidency was fractured when an off the
record comment she made about George Bush
ended up in print. She had called him "the
worst President in American history".
ANDREW DENTON: What were the
consequences of that remark for you?
Well Ari Fleischer called me, did you say
that? I said I cannot tell a lie, I chopped
down the cherry tree, um I don't know if you
know how it worked George Washington.
ANDREW DENTON: Yes George Washington
Um he's they were very unhappy.
ANDREW DENTON: More than unhappy. You
ANDREW DENTON: The ranking White
House correspondent, front row, your name on
the chair uniquely. You were ostracised
weren't you? What happened?
Well ah at press at press conference which
was a very crucial press conference. I think
it was March 6, 2003. In two weeks we went
to war. The President came out, held a news
conference. They put me in the back row for
that and ah it was so clear he was telling
the reporters the American people were going
to war. This is two weeks before the
invasion. No-one asked why and ah he he
didn't call on me but I was ah er I was
loaded for bear you know, why? And so I
think that reporters missed a shining
moment. They said to him, "Do you pray?" and
so forth and I I mean they accepted the
illogic of it all.
ANDREW DENTON: Do you see in the new
generation coming through, do you see seeds
Who can live without hope? Of course there's
hope. I don't know about the new generation
per se but I mean there'll always be hope.
Can't go any further down in my opinion.
ANDREW DENTON: What would say to a
Why? What is it about our country that have
we have not tried to understand what why are
they doing these things. You can tell a
suicide bomber has reached the end of his
rope. I think you have to find out why.
There has been no attempt in this country of
finding out what is terrorism? What
motivates these people? Why would they give
up their lives when they we know people
cherish their their lives? Because they see
no hope and they also have felt so pushed
down. I do think that ah our lack of
curiosity of what motivates these people.
See I don't believe it's 12 virgins in in ah
heaven that baloney. I think it's it's a
deeper feeling of being absolutely the end
of the road.
ANDREW DENTON: To many people in this
country a suicide bomber represents the
darkest of dark forces.
Well it is. But wh-what's the difference
between a suicide bomber and dropping a
missile in in a house and and blowing up
everybody? Napalm and things that we've done
in Vietnam and now. I mean we what did we do
at Fallujah? We left one tree. We wiped them
out because they had fired ah rebelled and
and ah revolted and and pushed us back for a
while. Came in with a vengeance and nobody
even mentions it. It was carthage at the
ANDREW DENTON: Isn't that what's
needed for the war on terror?
I think we ought to find out what it's all
about. What is the motive of of these
terrorists so called terrorists? Who's a
terrorist? Who's a terrorist? You're an
Iraqi defending your own country, your
family, your home. Does that make you a
terrorist? Were the American Revolutionaries
ANDREW DENTON: What was it that
Churchill sa-said? "A politician is asked to
stand, ah hopes to sit and is expected to
Yes and they say the same thing about po-
diplomats sent abroad to lie for their
ANDREW DENTON: Wha...
You know they're not just lying to someone
else, they're lying to the world, they're
lying in our name and if they continue that
we have no credibility. It's more than the
boy who cried wolf, it's it's that you have
no credence at all as a country.
ANDREW DENTON: Of course ah Saddam
Hussein lied and ah Malarchi lied and ah
Tony Blair lied. Why should why should
America have standards that its rivals and
opponents refused to adhere?
Because we're better, we think, because we
have higher standards and because we don't
expect the best of them but we do expect the
best of ourselves. We have put ourselves on
a pedestal. We have a halo. We're supposed
to represent the best of mankind, mankind
striving for even higher heights. I think
most Americans feel a certain shame in the
very fact that they can hardly go anywhere
in the world and not be, you know, feeling
that they've done a wrong thing and they've
colored pages of the
translations of the meaning
of the Holy Quran ... Choose
your preferred language
and Make a Difference
Leisurely ‘Spa Day’ for the ladies, get your hair done,
maybe a pedicure or relax and enjoy a professional
massage whilst a Nanny is looking after the kids.
This is a great day for the ladies
with proceeds going to a much greater cause.
The event is an ongoing Charity
Fund Raiser, with proceeds going to the Care Education
Project through F.A.C.E Inc to help build a Masjid and
School in one of the most undeveloped countries in the
Former Australian Democrats member
of the Senate, Andrew Bartlett, on Monday takes
up a senior position with Queensland’s peak body for the
multicultural sector, the Ethnic Communities Council of
He takes up the position of Senior Policy & Advocacy
Advisor with ECCQ on Monday, July 14.
Andrew Bartlett was an Australian Democrats member of
the Australian Senate from 1997 to 2008, representing
Queensland. He was the leader of the Democrats from 2002
to 2004 and deputy leader from 2004 to 2008.
ECCQ chair, Mr Serge Voloschenko, said ECCQ was pleased
to be able to recruit someone of Mr Bartlett’s stature
to this critical role in the organisation.
“Andrew’s appointment is a coup for ECCQ as he will be
able to bring his extensive policy and process
experience to ECCQ and the multicultural sector in
Queensland at a critical time for all Queenslanders,” he
ECCQ executive manager Ian Muil said Mr Bartlett’s brief
would be wide-ranging but would include an assessment of
the impact on Queensland of the Rudd Labor Government’s
policies on immigration, citizenship, refugees,
settlement and multiculturalism.
“In Queensland we have a number of important issues on
the agenda which we need resolved with the Bligh
government sooner rather than later – issues such as
appropriate funding for interpreter services, cultural
competencies across all government’s service delivery
agencies, and the continuation, on a recurrent basis, of
two programs which have been funded for a number of
years and which form the cornerstone of the Government’s
own multicultural policies.
“These programs are the Coordinated Advocacy in the
Multicultural Sector (CAMS) program and the Local Area
Multicultural Programs (LAMP) which fund workers across
the State. It is these workers who provide the critical
link between cultural and linguistically diverse
communities and government and mainstream agencies.
“There is some concern that these programs are now under
threat. Without these programs and this crucial policy
mechanism Queensland cannot and will not be able to
maintain the envious track record established under the
Beattie Government for community harmony and productive
Something Borrowed, Something Blue
By Shakira Hussein
Most Muslim women regard
polygamy as a last, desperate resort, writes Shakira
are supposed to cry on their wedding days. Even Western
brides, marrying the man of their choice, cry on what is
supposed to be the happiest day of their life. And my
aunts told me that Pakistani brides would be considered
somewhat strange if they didn't cry. "It's not a happy
day, is it? Leaving your family and everything you know.
Of course you cry."
But this bride was different. Her wedding was taking
place in an Afghan refugee camp, in northern Pakistan.
Even though her face was coated in a heavy layer of
make-up, it was possible to see that her expression was
frozen in a rictus of fear. Her eyes were blank and
seemed not to take in any of the scene before her - the
wedding guests, the foreign visitor, the women who sang
and laughed in a vain attempt to draw her into the
celebration. It occurred to me that she might have been
given a drug of some kind to calm her down.
The mother of the bride was nowhere to be seen. And when
the other women explained why, they dropped all pretence
of celebration. "The girl's mother is in another room,
crying. The family is newly arrived from Afghanistan,
and they have nothing. They can't afford to feed
everyone, so they had to find a husband for their
daughter. She is only 16, and she is marrying an old
man. He already has a wife his own age, and just a few
months ago, he married another young woman. It is not
what anyone wants for their daughter, but what can they
do? They cannot take care of her themselves, and they
cannot find her a husband of her own age."
In peacetime, the mathematics of polygamy does not add
long wait is over! A thrill-seeking group of young
Muslim women will today be riding galloping horses in a
Carbrook field, as part of another booked out girls-only
event. When asked why they so badly wanted to go horse
riding (in the cold), almost all responded with,
‘because its a Sunnah^!’
these young women are not only craving an adrenalin
rush, but are also in quest of experiencing an activity
observed by our righteous predecessors, the Prophets
(peace be upon them) and the Companions (ra).
Horse riding, swimming and archery are three physical
activities said to be practiced and highly recommended
by the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
Speaking of archery, next Saturday the 19th
of July, insha’Allah, another adventurous group of young
Muslimahs will be trying their skills with bows and
arrows, as part of the Girls Day Camp. Other camp
activities include, kayaking and abseiling. All in a
strictly ladies-only, safe and Islamically-appropriate
space - of course.
Don’t miss out! There are still a number of places left
to join the Girls Day Camp. Transport is available. To
register or to be kept informed of upcoming adventures,
Sunnah is a practice of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).
There Deadly Superbugs in Your Pork?
Scientists have detected
antibiotic-resistant bacteria in pork, pigs and some
veterinarians. It is possible that these so-called
superbugs could infect farmworkers or even people who
Antibiotic-resistant bugs were found in more than 7
percent of over 100 swine veterinarians tested. The same
bacterial strains were found in nearly 50 percent of 300
Perhaps of greatest concern, the bacteria were also
found in 10 percent of more than 200 samples of ground
pork and pork chops collected from four Canadian
An estimated 18,650 deaths a year in the U.S. are
estimated to be caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Dr. Mercola's Comments:
If you’re still not convinced of the benefits of
avoiding pork, I advise you to keep reading.
Pork is actually good meat from a biochemical
perspective, but I believe there is more than enough
scientific evidence to justify the reservations or
outright prohibitions in many cultures against consuming
Pigs are scavenger animals and will eat just about
anything. Their appetite for less-than-wholesome foods
makes pigs a breeding ground for potentially dangerous
infections. Even cooking pork for long periods is not
enough to kill many of the retroviruses and other
parasites that many of them harbor.
was the headline to an
article in the Sun,
which informed its
readers that "a Muslim
bus driver told stunned
passengers to get off so
he could PRAY. The white
Islamic convert rolled
out his prayer mat in
the aisle and knelt on
the floor facing Mecca.
Passengers watched in
amazement as he held out
his palms towards the
sky, bowed his head and
began to chant."
story, along with the
accompanying video clip,
was widely circulated
around the right-wing
blogosphere, where it
was presented as yet
another example of the "Islamification"
of the West. The
Freethinker took it
as conclusive proof that
"the lunacy that is
Islam has now insinuated
itself into Britain's
introduced the Sun
report as a case "from
our ever-expanding You
Can't Make This Stuff Up
Except that in
predictably, it turns
out that the story was
made up. The Slough
and Windsor Observer
looking at the way
British Muslims are
represented by the media
say they have found that
most coverage is
negative in tone.
A Cardiff University
team behind the study
looked at nearly 1,000
newspaper articles from
the past eight years.
Two-thirds focused on
terrorism or cultural
differences, and much of
it used words such as
The research was
commissioned by Channel
Dr Paul Mason, a member
of the team, said the
team looked at three
They carried out a
looking at types of
stories and the way
Muslims were described
and the language used,
the photographs used
alongside the stories
and they analysed the
types of case studies
He said: "We looked at both nouns and adjectives and the
way in which British Muslims were described.
UK to tighten entry for
South Africans over terrorism fears
British intelligence is concerned at the number of
al-Qaeda terrorists, trained in Pakistan, who use South
Africa as a stopping off point to thwart tighter checks
and controls on those travelling directly between the UK
Last year the Serious Organised Crime Agency smashed a
people smuggling gang that brought more than 6,000
illegal immigrants into Britain on forged or stolen
South African passports.
Members of the gang, operating from Leicester, smuggled
people out of villages in Gujarat in India to South
Africa where they were supplied with false or stolen
The migrants, who paid the gang between £5,000 and
£8,000 each, were brought to Britain where many
registered as students or found work.
WE HAVE MOVED.... Our new office is located at Underwood
and we are keen to service our local community and
professionally meet their Accounting, Taxation and
Financial Planning needs.
Apart from our core business services we have an
association with a Professional Bookkeeper in-house to
help you get your 2008 accounts ready for the
During this month, we are offering discounts on
incorporation services; Company Setup $990, Family
Trusts $495 and Self Managed Superannuation Funds $495
includes GST, ABN and TFN registration.
Further, our Individual Tax Returns starts from $79 +
GST and we will offer 10% discount to all CCN
readers for their personal tax returns, Company &
We wish you all success in this world and the
Kareema's Keep Fit Column
Q: Dear Kareema,
you mentioned a while ago that in order to strengthen my
back muscles, the fitball is a great tool. I've been
using it for a few months now and was just wondering if
I could somehow challenge my muscles a bit more now that
A: Great to see that you've improved your muscle
strength and that you're keen to take on the next
DARE TO ENTER THE 'WEIGHTS ROOM'!!
Try a pump class. Weighted squats and dead-lifts will
work your core muscles better than other exercises. Now
that you're more confident, rather than performing many
different exercises for your back and abs, incorporate
them all into one exercise by doing 'weighted' squats
Start by doing one pump class per week concentrating on
posture and technique and then try two classes per week
(with 48 hours rest in between) for muscles to rest and
recover. Start with light weights and slowly increase
the weight as you get stronger.
University of Queensland, 323 Hawken
Drive, St. Lucia
Contact: 0421 731 797
Time: 6.45pm to 9.00pm
Sunnah Inspirations is a
non-profit organisation to cater for Muslim
social support and supplying information to
Muslims and non-Muslims. They have been
doing various activities around Australia,
and have organised Da'wah information stalls
at various universities in Brisbane. More
info can be found on their website above.
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