HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY TO OUR AMERICAN FRIENDS
Rush to Judgment Against Haditha Marines
…The press is already salivating over the prospect of the next Abu Ghraib-like public relations disaster for the U.S. in the war on terror – ballyhooing as yet unproven allegations that a group of U.S. Marines launched an “unprovoked” attack that killed 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha on November 19, 2005.
…But was the Marine response really “unprovoked” – as at least 40 press reports have claimed in recent days?
…And while that provocation may not have been enough to justify the wanton murder of innocent Iraqis, it’s far from clear at this point that all of those killed were indeed innocent. Or that any innocents who did die were killed in cold blood.
…It’s also worth remembering that the press has so far reported only one side of the story.
(Here’s a “GOOD NEWS” story for a change)
Soldier gives his Purple Heart to N.Y. teen
SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — A soldier said he gave his Purple Heart to a 13-year-old student who won a contest for writing letters to American troops out of gratitude.
“It’s important what these children do for us in sending these letters,” Staff Sgt. Phillip Trackey said after giving away the medal he received for injuries in Iraq. “The letters mean so much to us. So I thought this was a big way of giving something back to them.”
Bewitching blonde casts spell on Bill
…IT couldn’t happen again, could it? Not for the first time in American history, a president, a blonde and a birthday party are converging on New York for what may prove a politically explosive start to Senator Hillary Clinton’s long-awaited campaign for the White House. (Is it me, or does this writer still think CLinton is president?)
…When Bill Clinton, the former president, turns 60 in August, his friends are hoping to fete him with the most glamorous birthday bash of the year. Royalty and heads of state are expected to be among the guests at Madison Square Garden…
…New York gossip columnists are already in a frenzy over who might or might not be invited, but for Democrats and Republicans watching from Washington, one question towers above all: will Belinda be there?
…Belinda Stronach, a Canadian MP and heir to a billion-dollar business fortune, has emerged as Bill’s most bewitching blonde. Spokesmen for both sides have long tired of repeating that Clinton and Stronach are “just friends” who see each other only rarely. Yet Stronach’s name has a knack of popping up at awkward moments in discussions of the Clinton marriage.
CUPE Ontario supports campaign against Israel
OTTAWA — Ontario’s largest public sector union has voted to support an international campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
…Delegates to the Canadian Union of Public Employees convention in voted overwhelmingly Saturday to support the campaign until Israel recognizes the Palestinian right to self-determination.
…The global campaign started last July and has been supported by many North American churches, 20 Quebec organizations, and others.
…Under the resolution approved by delegates, CUPE Ontario will develop an education campaign about the issue, including Canada’s political and economic support for Israeli policies, similar to the campaign developed by CUPE British Columbia.
Ontario upgrades site about fight for revenue deal
TORONTO (CP) – An Ontario government website aimed at educating people about the province’s federal funding dispute with Ottawa has been re-launched with new content that critics say will only serve to further alienate fellow premiers.
…Provincial officials say the website, strongontario.ca, is meant to inform people about Premier Dalton McGuinty’s contention that the province isn’t getting a fair deal from the federal government under current federal-provincial funding arrangements.
The Toronto Sun shoots back in an editorial:
EDITORIAL: It’s not their money, it’s ours
…The first problem is that politicians — from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty — talk about these inter-government payments as if it’s their money.
…It’s our money. And almost half of it is eaten up by taxes.
…Rather, taxpayers believe — and it’s been confirmed time after time in everything from auditors’ reports to the wave of financial scandals that beset the previous Liberal administration in Ottawa — that all governments chronically waste their money. And that they almost never seek the most efficient way to deliver public services, lest it mean offending special interest groups and other hangers-on at the public trough.
…If Harper and McGuinty want to fix something, let them fix that, instead of lobbing rhetorical grenades at each other over transfer and equalization payments that no one cares about.
PM, press gallery draw battle lines on the Hill
(Watch the video by Roger Smith. Listen to the descriptive phrases he uses about Stephen Harper. I report, you decide. This story has been playing in every 15 minute news cycle on CTV Newsnet today.)
…Whether you call him a control freak leery of the press, or a leader unafraid of standing up to a pack of rabid national media hounds—Prime Minister Stephen Harper says he really doesn’t care. And, he adds, neither do “normal” people outside of that exclusive Ottawa club, the Parliamentary Press Gallery.
Read what Sheila Copps has to say:
The Beltway feud
Stephen Harper’s escalating tiff with the National Press Gallery is a fight he can’t win