Saturday, July 5, 2008

Dead on the Fourth of July

Jesse Helms is dead.
He was the vilest politicians in America, which would put him high in the running for vilest pol in the entire world.
Supposedly a foe of big government, Helms was in fact nothing of the sort. From Mother Jones.
A former bank lobbyist whose fundraising machine has been fined for breaking federal campaign laws, Helms favors a big-spending, activist government--one that aids those in economic power. He voted to bail out the savings and loan industry, for example, and has seldom met a big-ticket missile system he didn't like. By contrast, he has voted to slash school lunches for impoverished children, medical care for disabled veterans, prescription drugs for the elderly, and wages for working families (see "On the record," below).

From the New York Times Obit
He fought bitterly against federal financing for AIDS research and treatment, saying the disease resulted from “unnatural” and “disgusting” homosexual behavior.

“Nothing positive happened to Sodom and Gomorrah,” he said, “and nothing positive is likely to happen to America if our people succumb to the drumbeats of support for the homosexual lifestyle.”

In his last year in the Senate, he decided to support AIDS measures in Africa, where heterosexual transmission of the disease is most common.[Italics mine]

Over the years Helms has declared homosexuality "degenerate," and homosexuals "weak, morally sick wretches." (Newsweek, 12/5/94) In a tirade highlighting his routine opposition to AIDS research funding, Helms lashed out at the Kennedy-Hatch AIDS bill in 1988: "There is not one single case of AIDS in this country that cannot be traced in origin to sodomy." (States News Service, 5/17/88)

In short, his view on AIDs was more or less genocidal.
Helm's hatred applied not merely to gays, but to blacks also. Helms was cery much a segregationist.
More recently, when a caller to CNN's Larry King Live show praised guest Jesse Helms for "everything you've done to help keep down the niggers," Helms' response was to salute the camera and say, "Well, thank you, I think." (Wilmington Star-News, 9/16/95)

From The Plank
Soon after the Senate vote on the Confederate flag insignia, Sen. Jesse Helms (R.-N.C.) ran into [African-American Illinois Senator Carol] Mosely-Braun in a Capitol elevator. Helms turned to his friend, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R.-Utah), and said, "Watch me make her cry. I'm going to make her cry. I'm going to sing 'Dixie' until she cries." He then proceeded to sing the song about "the good life" during slavery to Mosely-Braun.

Lastly, there is Helms connection to monstrous regimes all over the world.

Finally, Helms' strong if sometimes shadowy support for violent, anti-democratic forces abroad, from South Africa to El Salvador, might have given media outlets further pause in describing him as a mere conservative; few probed his ties to groups that would more accurately be described as fascist. One exception was an editorial in the Boston Globe (8/23/01): "Helms' role in supporting foreign thugs such as Roberto D'Aubuisson, the cashiered Salvadoran major who ran death squads responsible for savage political murders, did lasting harm to America's good name. In South Africa, Argentina, Mozambique, Honduras, and Nicaragua, Helms cooperated with racists and fascists who have nothing in common with the ideals of American democracy."

From Mother Jones.
Since Helms won election to the Senate, no "bums" have felt his rage as fiercely as citizens of poor nations. Over the years, the senator has proposed hundreds of measures to slash foreign aid, overthrow governments he doesn't like, and block administration policies. As the new chair of the Foreign Relations Committee, he has made it clear that his first priority is to enact deeper cuts to a foreign aid budget already slashed nearly 30 percent in the past decade.

"The fact is that the American people are sick and tired of this whole foreign aid concept anyhow," Helms said last year. "I find myself wishing that somehow we could put it on a national ballot and say: 'What do you think of this?'"

Those cuts will hit hardest in the Third World, where Helms has long been a staunch ally of right-wing military rulers like Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Raoul Cedras in Haiti, and Roberto D'Aubuisson in El Salvador. Confronted with evidence that D'Aubuisson directed death squads to murder civilians, Helms made it clear that some things are more important than human life. "All I know," he replied, "is that D'Aubuisson is a free enterprise man and deeply religious."

Helms has long maintained an extensive network of contacts in Latin America that serves as a sort of shadow State Department. "For years he had a cadre of young people who were very well-connected," says a committee staff member. "You could have set them down in any South American junta and they would have been right at home."

The problem, say those familiar with his network, is that the information it provides is one-sided. "When I bring people to his office to tell him what we've seen, we aren't even allowed in," says Gail Phares, who leads delegations to Central America through Witness for Peace. "I remember when one delegation managed to get in and told his staff what they'd seen and heard in Nicaragua about the contras killing doctors and nurses and children, their response was, 'Well, they're just Communists--they deserve to die.'"

Besides his racism, his bigotry about homosexuals, his satanic foreign aid policy, Helms there is so much more villainy Helms has been responsible for. Good-bye, wanker.
(Where not otherwise specified, the source for the quotes is Fair)

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