James McPherson's Media & Politics Blog

Observations of a patriotic progressive historian, media critic & former journalist


  • By the author of The Conservative Resurgence and the Press: The Media’s Role in the Rise of the Right and of Journalism at the End of the American Century, 1965-Present. A former journalist with a Ph.D. in journalism, history and political science, McPherson is a past president of the American Journalism Historians Association, a board member for the Northwest Alliance for Responsible Media, and a professor of communication studies at Whitworth University.

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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Arabia’

What a concept: woman to have input on women’s education in Saudi Arabia

Posted by James McPherson on February 14, 2009

Saudi King Abdullah has appointed a woman to the nation’s council of ministers for the country. Noor Al-Fayez will serve as deputy director for women’s education in Saudi Arabia, probably because there was no less-valued position on the council.

The appointment is a good sign, I suppose. Now she’ll just have to hope her husband is willing to drive her to work, so she can perform her new duties. But maybe there’s no reason for her to actually show up at the office, since as the State Department reports, under the traditional Saudi interpretation of Islamic law, men and women are not allowed to attend public events together, and are segregated in the workplace (pretty much like Democrats and Republicans in our Congress).

The United States won’t formally complain about any of that that, of course, because Saudi Arabia’s hold on the world’s largest oil reserves guarantees handholding on the part of American presidents. Despite our long series of misadventures in Iraq, the eye-gouging nation of Saudi Arabia also was the home country of 15 of the hijackers who killed 3,000 Americans on 9/11 .

Posted in History, Legal issues, Politics, Women, Written elsewhere | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Blind “love,” blind justice, and Bush’s shoe bomber

Posted by James McPherson on December 14, 2008

As far as we still have to go in this country in terms of equal rights for women and criminal justice, CNN today offers another reminder that things are worse elsewhere.

An Iranian stalker blinded his love object with acid, then “offered” to marry her after he disfigured her. The victim has now convinced an Islamic court that her attacker should face truth “eye-for-an-eye” justice, being blinded with acid himself.

Of all the troubling things about this particular case, perhaps the most disturbing is this line from the victim, recalling her thoughts when she realized that she was about to be attacked: “At that moment, I saw in my mind the face of two sisters who years ago had the same thing happen to them. I thought, ‘Oh, my God–acid.'”

The story also notes that Iran is one of only two countries in the world where “eye-gouging” is considered appropriate punishment. The other is the birthplace of most of the 9/11 World Trade Center attackers, and perhaps the world largest funder of Islamic terrorism–and our biggest ally in the region–Saudi Arabia.

After literally holding hands with the Saudis (some of whom have plenty of reasons for being upset, themselves), George W. Bush is fortunate that people (a journalist, interestingly) are throwing only shoes at him.

Thursday update: Bush obviously isn’t the only one beholden to the Saudis–CNN reports that Bill Clinton is, too, to the tune of perhaps $25 million.

Posted in History, Journalism, Legal issues, Politics, Religion, Women | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Warku-go-’round: A 20-part history of Bush’s War

Posted by James McPherson on September 28, 2008

Here is the complete 20-part series chronicling the history of George W. Bush’s Iraq War, perhaps the most astoundingly stupid presidential event in American history.

—————

Axis of evil

For sake of definition

Can’t beat the devil

—————

God’s soldiers attack

Saudi pilots slam towers

Time to hit Iraq

—————

They ripped out our heart

We must avenge them all

Chickenhawks are thrilled

_______

 Three thousand were killed

Nine-eleven is the call

We win at Wal-Mart

———

Yes, we must attack

We can’t find bin Laden’s cave

So we’ll bomb Iraq

_______

Bray it long and loud

Bush’s war will protect us

From a mushroom cloud

_______

Why attack Saddam?

Weapons of mass destruction

None there? We’ll be damned

_______

Please world wish us well

And God bless America

Killing infidels

_______

Flags throughout the land

Jingoistic fervor reigns

Don a black armband

_______

Let’s not be out-Foxed

Lapel flags in great demand

How about those Sox?

_______

Don’t count on the press

To learn what’s fact or fiction

The real truth? Just guess

_______

Soldiers bravely toil

Thousands come home draped with flags

From their war for oil

_______

 God save George the King

Chinese car magnets for troops

Who don’t mean a thing

_______

War is hell, he said

As if he had ever been

Your kids go instead

_______

Shake bittersweet Rice

From a sheltered brittle Bush

Harvest has its price

_______

Watch for terrorists

Those who’d offer civil rights

Must be communists

_______

They’ve not hit again

Three-fourths as good as Clinton

Check back in oh-ten

_______

Now the country’s broke

Try to change the rationale

Use mirrors and smoke

_______

Go to war we can

If we must we must, they say

What about Iran?

_______

Politicians’ game

Spin the bottle or the truth

Ending up the same

_______

 

 

Posted in History, Journalism, Poetry, Politics, Written elsewhere | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Warku #3 (9/11 reminder)

Posted by James McPherson on September 11, 2008

This is the third of a series related to Bush’s war, perhaps the most astoundingly stupid presidential event in American history. Also see Warku #1 and #2.

_________

Three thousand were killed

We must avenge them all

Chickenhawks are thrilled

_______

 

Posted in History, Poetry, Politics, Written elsewhere | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Warku #2

Posted by James McPherson on September 10, 2008

This is the second of a series related to Bush’s war, perhaps the most astoundingly stupid presidential event in American history. Also see Warku #1.

—————

God’s soldiers attack

Saudi pilots slam towers

Time to hit Iraq

—————

Posted in History, Politics, Written elsewhere | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Warku #1

Posted by James McPherson on September 8, 2008

This is the first of a series related to Bush’s war, perhaps the most astoundingly stupid presidential event in American history.

—————

Axis of evil

For sake of definition

Can’t beat the devil

—————

Posted in History, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »