PRAY FOR THE PRESIDENT

US Marines in Iraq received literature urging them to pray for George W. Bush. A pamphlet was prepared by In Touch Ministries in Atlanta and was not intended primarily for the military (a spokesman there told the Washington Post she didn’t know who had sent the pamphlet to the Marines). Writing on “A Christian’s Duty in Time of War,” the Rev. Charles Stanley says, “In times of both peace and conflict, citizens have the duty to pray, intercede, and give thanks for their country’s leadership.” Inside, the pamphlet advises, “Your faithful prayers, fasting, and acts of service will do more to conquer the enemy than any material weapon of war.” (Tell it to the Marines.) There is a card telling “Dear President Bush” that the undersigned is praying for him, his staff and “our troops.” No doubt Bush, who at his last press conference made a point of saying how much he appreciated citizens’ prayers, will be glad to hear it. See Matt Bivens’s column on the web (www.thenation.com).

WEEKLY STANDARD DISHONESTY WATCH

Eric Alterman writes: For the third week in a row, The Weekly Standard has run the following dishonest advertisement for itself in its own pages: “Reader for reader, it may be the most influential publication in America. –The New York Times, March 11, 2003.” But “The New York Times” never said these words. I did, and the Times quoted me. The Standard is reluctant to credit the real source but likes the blurb so much it is willing, in effect, to mislead its readers. Try this: “The mass arrests of the protesters who seek only to exercise their democratic rights is part and parcel of the government’s campaign to criminalize dissent as it wages war abroad and rages the working class, blacks and immigrants at home. —The Weekly Standard, April 7, 2003.” Actually, these words are from San Francisco’s Partisan Defense Committee and are quoted in the Standard.

FOLLOW-UP: TULSA RACE RIOT

Adrian Brune writes: Veneice Sims is a 97-year-old black woman who prides herself on being a survivor of the 1921 Tulsa race riot. Asked what she would do if she was paid reparations for enduring one of the worst race riots in American history, Sims replied, “I would give it to my great-grandniece so she could go to school.” She might get the chance. On February 24, a cadre of attorneys, including Johnnie Cochran and Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree Jr., filed a 139-page lawsuit in Tulsa against the city and the state of Oklahoma to force them to pay reparations for deaths and property damage resulting from the 1921 riot [see Brune, “Tulsa’s Shame,” March 18, 2002]. Ogletree told the Boston Globe that the case is intended as the first in a series of slavery-reparations suits. “Tulsa is the appropriate place to think about the history of race and segregation,” he says. “This is one of the most important moments in the history of the black struggle in the United States and the world,” says civil rights activist Randall Robinson.

NEWS OF THE WEAK IN REVIEW

British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon defended the dropping of fifty cluster bombs in southern Iraq (“perfectly legal”). Asked if Iraqi mothers would thank him for leaving up to 800 child-attracting bomblets lying about, he said, “One day they might.”