White House reporter calls Iraq war immoral

Veteran White House reporter Helen Thomas denounced the war in Iraq as a mission to spread democracy “with the barrel of a gun” at an assembly last Monday celebrating Women’s History Month in Taper guy.

Thomas, 86, heavily criticized President George W. Bush’s decision to invade Iraq, declaring it “immoral, illegal, and unconscionable.”

Thomas was the first female White House bureau chief for United Press International and is often referred to as the “First Lady of the Press.” She expressed concern that women still don’t have the same opportunities as men.

“Women can do anything,” Thomas said. “We should not rest until we have equality in the workplace. We have to strive for a better world.”

Thomas referred to journalism as “the only institution in our society that can question the President and hold him accountable” and proudly called the First Amendment “a weapon.”

Thomas, currently a columnist for Hearst Newspapers, recalled some humorous memories from her 57 years in Washington.

With a smirk, Thomas related a comment made by President Jimmy Carter’s mother Lillian. “Miss Lillian,” as she was called, once told the press that “when I look at my children, I wish I had remained a virgin,” a comment that had the audience packed into Taper auditorium roaring with laughter.

On President Richard Nixon, Thomas joked, “He always had two roads to go, and he always took the wrong road.”

Thomas described Congress, now led by a Democratic majority, “a whole new ball game on Capitol Hill.”

“The country has long been ready for a woman, a black, a Mormon,” Thomas said on the upcoming presidential election.
“They just have to do the right thing for the country.”

She also criticized the government’s decision to grant tax cuts for the rich in a country where 48 million citizens live without health insurance.

When Thomas began her era at the White House, “the world really did have nothing to fear but fear itself,” but now, she urged, the world needs to change.

Thomas concluded her speech with a plea to “give peace a chance, and let it begin with us.”