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Posts Tagged ‘propaganda’

More Haditha charges dropped

Posted by Richard on March 29, 2008

The government has dropped all charges against yet another Marine accused of killing civilians at Haditha in 2005:

The case against Lance Cpl. Stephen Tatum, 26, of Edmond, Okla., was dropped as jury selection was about to begin for his court-martial. The government has been seeking Tatum's testimony against the squad leader, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich of Meriden, Conn. [Editor's Note: Haditha Marines still need your help! Click here now.]

In addition to two counts of involuntary manslaughter, Tatum had been charged with reckless endangerment and aggravated assault. Tatum's attorney, Jack Zimmerman, said there was no agreement with the government before the dismissal.

''Absolutely, there is no deal,'' he said.

Zimmerman said Tatum would testify if called as a witness in future trials but that he would testify as a neutral witness, not a government witness.

Four enlisted men originally faced multiple murder charges. Tatum is the third to have all charges dismissed. Two of the four officers charged with failing to investigate have also been cleared. (See also my July 2007 post about the case.)

This travesty has already gone on far too long. The "evidence" that the Marines shot unarmed civilians consisted chiefly of "eyewitness statements" by Iraqis who were clearly insurgents, probably insurgents, family of insurgents, or intimidated by insurgents, and whose stories were contradictory and not credible.

The all-day battle was documented in detail by Maj. Frank Dinsmore, an intelligence officer, with UAV video, radio transmission transcripts, and reports from everyone involved up and down the chain of command. The investigating officer at the Article 32 hearing (equivalent of a civilian grand jury proceeding) found the prosecution's case against these men without merit and Dinsmore's evidence compelling, and he recommended that all charges be dropped. The government ignored that and tried to prevent Dinsmore from testifying.

As far as I know, Rep. John Murtha still hasn't apologized for calling his fellow Marines "cold-blooded murderers." Mainstream media outlets that prominently covered news of the "atrocity" and editorialized against it have never retracted or corrected what they said (except for Time magazine, which had to retract several parts of their original story, but AFAIK never apologized for accusing these men of war crimes). And despite losing at every turn, the government persists with the case.

One of the defense attorneys estimated that legal fees for each defendant will be around half a million dollars. If you'd like to help with those, go here. I don't know how they're supposed to get their reputations and the last three years of their lives back.

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Another anti-war bomb

Posted by Richard on November 26, 2007

Four weeks ago, I noted that Hollywood's recent spate of anti-American propaganda films had been singularly unsuccessful:

The bad news is that Hollywood is relentlessly cranking out film after film intended to undermine support for the war against Islamofascism. The good news is that Americans are avoiding these propaganda pieces in droves. Most recently, Babel, The Kingdom, and Rendition have all bombed at the box office.

Add Brian De Palma's execrable Redacted to the list. In fact, put it at the top. According to a NYPost story quoted by JammieWearingFool, it may be the biggest box-office bomb ever. On its opening weekend, it took in about $25,000. No, I didn't accidentally leave off three zeros. Twenty-five thousand dollars. At what — about eight bucks a ticket? That means more people attended your average minor-league hockey game than saw this left-wing turkey.

JWF's post also has the unbelievable story of how De Palma is complaining that he's a victim. You see, his corporate overlords insisted on blurring the faces of dead American soldiers in a "collage of actual bloody bodies at the end of the film." He's been censored! Denied his opportunity to inflict gratuitous pain and suffering on the families and friends of the dead in service of his art (and politics)! Poor Brian!

De Palma is a vile POS, and a pretty sorry director, too — overrated, overblown, and completely derivative. His career should have ended years ago. I remember a great (late 70s?) Saturday Night Live parody commercial for a De Palma film called The Clams — a silly ripoff of Hitchcock's The Birds, complete with clams gathering on a jungle gym. As I recall, the money line at the end was "every couple of years, he picks the bones of a dead director and gives his wife a job."

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Examining media bias

Posted by Richard on November 14, 2007

Investor's Business Daily has created an outstanding three-part editorial series, Uncommon Knowledge, that examines different aspects of "what the media misses, misrepresents and ignores completely." Highly recommended. 

Part One looks at a recent study of media bias by the Shorenstein Center at Harvard's Kennedy School. The source may be surprising, but its findings are consistent with every similar study since forever (and with what any fair-minded observer sees as obvious):

The Harvard study – conducted with the Project for Excellence in Journalism, part of the Pew Research Center for People and the Press – examined 1,742 presidential campaign stories appearing from January through May in 48 print, online, network TV, cable and radio news outlets.

Among many findings, it determined that Democrats got more coverage than Republicans (49% of the stories vs. 31%). It also found the "tone" of the coverage was more positive for Democrats (35% to 26% for Republicans).

… Fully 59% of front-page stories about Democrats in 11 newspapers had a "clear, positive message vs. 11% that carried a negative tone."

For "top-tier" candidates, the difference was even more apparent: Barack Obama's coverage was 70% positive and 9% negative, and Hillary Clinton's was 61% positive and 13% negative.

By contrast, 40% of the stories on Republican candidates were negative and 26% positive.

On TV, evening network newscasts gave 49% of their campaign coverage to the Democrats and 28% to Republicans. As for tone, 39.5% of the Democratic coverage was positive vs. 17.1%, while 18.6% of the Republican coverage was positive and 37.2% negative.

Part Two contends that the media are determined to portray everything in a negative light, at least as long as this administration is in office. Iraq, the economy, and global warming are cited as examples. Regarding Iraq, IBD notes how coverage has changed in recent months:

The surge of 30,000 new troops that began in February and peaked in June has been followed by stunning success in Iraq.

Yet coverage of the Iraq policy debate has tailed off since midyear, when the troop buildup that was announced in January was completed. In other words, the better the news has gotten out of Iraq, the less it's been discussed in the U.S. media.

Earlier in the year, the Iraq debate was the top story week in and week out, grabbing from 11% to 15% of coverage, according to an index compiled by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and monitoring 48 mainstream news outlets.

Over the first six months, and until the surge was in place, the Iraq debate averaged 11% of the coverage. Since then, it's averaged about 7% per week – a decline of 36%. The second-half percentage would be even lower if not for a 36% spike in the coverage during the week of Sept. 9, when Gen. Petraeus delivered his long-anticipated progress report.

Part Three argues that the non-reporting of success in Iraq and the relentlessly negative portrayal of the economy have had profound effects on public opinion:

The percentage of news stories devoted to events in Iraq, moreover, has shrunk to 3%, the lowest since September and barely half the 2007 average. In only three other weeks this year has Iraq coverage been so scanty.

All this in a period when word managed to get out through other sources that:

• U.S. troop casualties have plunged to their lowest level since February 2004, as rocket, mortar and suicide bomb attacks have all hit two-year lows.

• Iraqi civilian casualties are down two-thirds from their peak in December 2006.

• Iraq's government and the U.S. military say al-Qaida has been vanquished in Baghdad, as thousands of Iraqi families return to the capital to rebuild their lives.

• Iraq's government has signed up 20,000 Iraqi Sunnis and Shiites to fight foreign terrorists.

• The U.S. has announced it will remove 3,000 troops, with more to follow in coming months, as the wind-down of the surge begins.

But so it goes with anti-war news organizations that aggressively report setbacks in Iraq but give short, if any, shrift to the positive developments.

… the question remains of how Iraq coverage – or noncoverage, in the current context – affects attitudes in the population as a whole.

In other words, how can Americans led to believe the war in Iraq is a "mess" or "mistake" or "quagmire" (to use terms repeated often in media accounts) ever see it differently if they hear or read nothing to the contrary?

The latest IBD/TIPP Poll suggests they can't. … 

Sadly, although the majority of poll respondents are still hopeful about Iraq, more people today believe the war is already lost than six months ago, despite all the positive developments cited above. Most haven't heard about those developments.

I've barely touched the surface with the above. Read the whole series . But if you only have time for one, I recommend Part Two.

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Hollywood’s war

Posted by Richard on October 31, 2007

The bad news is that Hollywood is relentlessly cranking out film after film intended to undermine support for the war against Islamofascism. The good news is that Americans are avoiding these propaganda pieces in droves. Most recently, Babel, The Kingdom, and Rendition have all bombed at the box office.

But it's not just that film-makers are making anti-war movies. They've also gone out of their way to avoid portraying the most believable and likely villains around today, Islamist terrorists, even if it meant rewriting stories like Tom Clancey's The Sum of All Fears to kowtow to the demands of CAIR (unindicted co-conspirators in a terrorism-financing operation). The film version replaced the Islamist terrorists in Clancy's novel with cartoon neo-Nazis.

Michael Fumento noted the difference between Hollywood then and now:

In 1942, Hollywood went to war. It began pumping out countless movies designed both to entertain the public and bolster its will to fight. A lot of them were cheap, hokey, or both. But even in a nation that seemingly needed little reminder of the dastardly attack on Pearl Harbor or the evils of the Nazis, they kept drilling home the message that we must persevere no matter the costs or the duration.

Well that they did. President Franklin Roosevelt lived in constant fear that the public would turn against the war. Indeed a Gallup Poll taken just five months before Germany’s collapse and long after the American public began learning of the horrors of the Holocaust, showed about one-fourth did not want to drive on to unconditional surrender.

Fast forward that reel to the post-9/11 era. Just how many Hollywood movies (not documentaries) have been made in which the bad guys are Islamist terrorists that do not specifically concern the Sept. 11 attacks? If you have to guess, guess “none.”

Read the whole thing. As Fumento observed, Hollywood seems bent on convincing us that either Islamist terrorists aren't really a threat or that they're no worse than we are.

Also, read Ed Driscoll's Hollywood Nihilism, which argues that the change in Hollywood predates 9/11 and Bush ("who's the real enemy," indeed).

It's really remarkable (and disgusting) that Tinseltown — with its well-known predilection for hedonism, its commitment to feminism, its enthusiastic embrace of alternative lifestyles, and its general "do your own thing" attitude — has consistently sided with the most barbaric, mysogynistic, intolerant, and repressive religio-political movement on the face of the earth, a movement that would, given the chance, behead or stone to death practically every last one of them. 

Driscoll be damned, I blame Bush.  

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Smearing Rush

Posted by Richard on September 28, 2007

The slanderous "General Betray Us" ad by the Soros-funded MoveOn.org backfired badly and was widely condemned, so the left went into damage-control mode. Yesterday, the Soros-funded Media Matters launched a counter-attack. According to this "media watchdog" organization, Rush Limbaugh, who criticized the MoveOn.org ad, was guilty of even worse slander:

During the September 26 broadcast of his nationally syndicated radio show, Rush Limbaugh called service members who advocate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq "phony soldiers."

The media have been quick to parrot the Media Matters claim (without any attempt to verify it or contact Limbaugh, naturally). Members of Congress have denounced Limbaugh and demanded that Republicans and the President condemn his remarks just as they did the MoveOn.org ad. 

There's only one problem with this Soros counter-attack: it's false. Rush Limbaugh didn't call soldiers who criticized the war "phony," he called soldiers who are, well, phony "phony." Phony soldiers like Jesse MacBeth, who was just sentenced to prison for lying about his military service. Who, like the Winter Soldiers promoted by Sen. John Effin' Kerry in 1971, lied about atrocities and slandered the U.S. military for political purposes.

Media Matters posted almost the whole transcript of the show segment during which Limbaugh and Mike in Olympia, WA, talked about "phony soldiers." But they omitted the relatively short portion following the line they misrepresented. Susan Duclos has the complete transcript (the public post at Rush's site will probably disappear after a few days). Here's the end of the segment (emphasis added): 

RUSH: … What's more important is all this is taking place now in the midst of the surge working, and all of these anti-war Democrats are getting even more hell-bent on pulling out of there, which means that success on the part of you and your colleagues over there is a great threat to them. It's frustrating and maddening, and why they must be kept in the minority. I want to thank you, Mike, for calling. I appreciate it very much.

Here is a Morning Update that we did recently, talking about fake soldiers. This is a story of who the left props up as heroes. They have their celebrities and one of them was Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth. Now, he was a "corporal." I say in quotes. Twenty-three years old. What made Jesse Macbeth a hero to the anti-war crowd wasn't his Purple Heart; it wasn't his being affiliated with post-traumatic stress disorder from tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. No. What made Jesse Macbeth, Army Ranger, a hero to the left was his courage, in their view, off the battlefield, without regard to consequences. He told the world the abuses he had witnessed in Iraq, American soldiers killing unarmed civilians, hundreds of men, women, even children. In one gruesome account, translated into Arabic and spread widely across the Internet, Army Ranger Jesse Macbeth describes the horrors this way: "We would burn their bodies. We would hang their bodies from the rafters in the mosque."

Now, recently, Jesse Macbeth, poster boy for the anti-war left, had his day in court. And you know what? He was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation for falsifying a Department of Veterans Affairs claim and his Army discharge record. He was in the Army. Jesse Macbeth was in the Army, folks, briefly. Forty-four days before he washed out of boot camp. Jesse Macbeth isn't an Army Ranger, never was. He isn't a corporal, never was. He never won the Purple Heart, and he was never in combat to witness the horrors he claimed to have seen. You probably haven't even heard about this. And, if you have, you haven't heard much about it. This doesn't fit the narrative and the template in the Drive-By Media and the Democrat Party as to who is a genuine war hero. Don't look for any retractions, by the way. Not from the anti-war left, the anti-military Drive-By Media, or the Arabic websites that spread Jesse Macbeth's lies about our troops, because the truth for the left is fiction that serves their purpose. They have to lie about such atrocities because they can't find any that fit the template of the way they see the US military. In other words, for the American anti-war left, the greatest inconvenience they face is the truth.
END TRANSCRIPT

Jesse MacBeth was sentenced on the 21st, and Limbaugh has talked about the case several times since. So Limbaugh didn't attack "our troops in Iraq" — he attacked frauds and liars like Jesse MacBeth and "Scott Thomas" who smear our troops, falsely painting them as depraved monsters who routinely commit atrocities and behave "in a manner reminiscent of Jenn-Jiss Kaaaahn," to quote John Effin' Kerry.

But don't expect the media to offer corrections or outraged Democrats to retract their denunciations. You can expect to hear about how "that chicken hawk Rush insulted the troops" for a long time. Hell, I'm still waiting for John Murtha to apologize for calling the Haditha Marines "cold-blooded murderers." Maybe he'll be ordered to do so when Sgt. Frank Wuterich wins his defamation suit.

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Magic bullets

Posted by Richard on August 16, 2007

The editors at The New Republic aren't the only journalist who are woefully ignorant regarding firearms ("square-backed" cartridges, indeed). From The Autonomist:

What follows is a caption from the AFP, and below that, the picture that accompanies it:

" An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her
house
[emphasis added] following an early coalition forces raid in the
predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City."

Lying Iraqi with magic bullets

The only way those bullets hit her house was if someone threw them at her house.

You see, they've never been fired. For those of you unfamiliar with firearms, only the little copper-looking tip is the actual bullet. The larger, cylindrical casing below it holds the primer and the gunpowder that propels the bullet out of the firearm.

Nice going, AFP! Proof again, that members of the MSM are often dupes for terrorist propagandists, and know very little about things military

Well, it proves they know very little about firearms. It doesn't prove they're dupes for terrorist propagandists — there are other possible explanations for the frequently recurring instances of fraudulent or staged photos. Instead of dupes, they could be willing accomplices. 

Confederate Yankee noted that the same "photojournalist," Wissam al-Okaili, published a similar "magic bullet" picture featuring what appears to be the same woman in early July. So he tracked down a few other photos by al-Okaili. IMO, they suggest that this guy's "news photos" are manipulative, stage managed, and posed — and that he lacks creativity and imagination. But check them out for yourself. I'll let Confederate Yankee have the last word: 

Time and again, al-Okaili returns to the same type of picture, and in the case of the female bullet magnet, the same people.

I'd say that that is troubling, and perhaps something AFP needs to discuss with him, as it makes his work appear to be more contrived than captured. While they're having this discussion, perhaps they can pull in AFP photo editors and explain how bullets and firearms function.

UPDATE: They're having Photoshop fun with Magic Bullet Lady at Ace of Spades

UPDATE 2: Jeff Goldstein nailed it (emphasis added)(oops, forgot the link; sorry, Jeff!):

Of note: those most likely to believe these kinds of stories are those in the West who have little experience with firearms, but a whole lot of experience decrying their evils. Which is precisely at whom propaganda pieces like this are aimed — western elites who show an infinite capacity to over-value their own intelligence.

 

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Winter Soldier update

Posted by Richard on August 15, 2007

I hope you've been keeping up with the story of Scott Beauchamp, who wrote under the pseudonym "Scott Thomas." On July 20, I wrote about his article in The New Republic, "Shock Troops," in which he painted himself and his comrades as callous, brutal, and depraved. I wasn't persuaded:

I'm no expert on military mess halls, children's skulls, or Bradley Fighting Vehicles, but the stories told by "Scott Thomas" in the New Republic article strike me as not even remotely credible. …

Since then, we've learned his true identity and that he's an aspiring novelist who admitted to joining the military for Kerryesque resumé enhancement purposes, a former Howard Dean campaign worker, and the husband of a TNR staffer. The army investigated his claims and interviewed every soldier with whom he served, and they concluded categorically that there is no basis in fact for his allegations. He recanted in writing and faces administrative discipline. And he now refuses to speak with any journalists, including his employers/abettors at TNR.

Various bloggers looked into his other TNR stories and found them just as obviously bogus as "Shock Troops." In one, he wrote of soldiers stopping to change a flat in a "river of sewage" — their vehicles have run-flat tires. In another, he claimed some "square-backed" cartridges prove that Iraqi police committed murder — in the known universe, there's no such thing as a "square-backed" cartridge.

Despite all this, TNR stands by the fraudulent articles and claims they've "fact-checked" and corroborated them. Of course, they won't name any of the "experts" they've consulted (to confirm the "plausibility" of Beauchamp's claims) or the one person who purportedly corroborates the events in "Shock Troops."

In the face of overwhelming evidence and testimony discrediting the story of how he publicly ridiculed a disfigured woman, TNR claimed their careful "fact-checking" uncovered only one "minor" error: the incident didn't happen at a forward operating base in Iraq, it happened in Kuwait before Beauchamp ever got to Iraq. Never mind that there's no evidence (beyond their anonymous source) of it happening there either. And never mind that this "minor correction" destroys the primary thesis of "Shock Troops," that the brutality of war dehumanized Beauchamp and his buddies. Apparently the flight from Germany to Kuwait dehumanized him.

Lots of bloggers have done yeoman work on this story, including Michael Goldfarb (who got the ball rolling), Confederate Yankee, Ace of Spades, and Michelle Malkin . Just run through their posts of the past couple of weeks if you want all the fascinating details. If you just want a one-stop executive summary that will bring you up to speed,  with a special emphasis on TNR's continuing fraud, read this Confederate Yankee post. And in a fascinating post last week, Michelle Malkin mirrored my recollection of the Vietnam Winter Soldier fraud and recounted other instances of Winter Soldier Syndrome.

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Son of Winter Soldier

Posted by Richard on July 20, 2007

In a Detroit hotel early in 1971, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, led by Al Hubbard and John Effin' Kerry, staged the three-day "Winter Soldier investigation." Over a hundred Vietnam vets testified that they and their fellow soldiers committed and/or witnessed a horrendous list of atrocities and barbarous acts. Later that year, John Effin' Kerry testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and repeated many of those claims. Those stories of massive war crimes played an important role in turning much of the American public — myself included — decisively against the war and against the military.

There was just one problem. Much, if not all, of the Winter Soldier testimony was bogus. Some of the "witnesses" weren't who they claimed to be. Others lied about having served in Vietnam or even in the military. At least one later filed a sworn affidavit alleging that John Effin' Kerry had pressured him into testifying falsely about American atrocities.

McQ at QandO, himself a Vietnam vet, wrote an excellent summary of The Fraud of the Winter Soldier back during the 2004 election campaign. There's a wealth of information and links at WinterSoldier.com. Why should you brush up on this bit of history? Because it's about to repeat itself. 

With a few egregious exceptions, the anti-war mantra has long been, "we support the troops, we just don't support the mission." But the anti-war left is growing increasingly frustrated. As I noted recently, opposition to the war is only about an inch deep. Many Americans are mildly displeased about the Iraq situation, but remarkably few are strongly opposed or really angry. Look at the lack of participation in the increasingly irrelevant anti-war demonstrations.

Opponents of the war must be looking for some way to rekindle the anti-war fervor of the 70s, some way to anger and sicken and disgust mainstream Americans and turn them decisively against the war. 

Well, how about repeating the John Effin' Kerry gambit? How about once again portraying American soldiers as barbaric monsters who've been dehumanized by war and by their evil superiors up the chain of command?

In any group of 160,000, there are inevitably a few nasty people who do bad things. And this enemy doesn't hesitate to fraudulently accuse our soldiers of doing bad things. But with the Haditha case falling apart, I don't doubt that some on the left are ready to rev it up a notch, and the first salvo may have been fired. A New Republic article, "Shock Troops," purported to be by an anonymous soldier in Baghdad, is that salvo.

The article is subscription-only, but Michael Goldfarb at The Weekly Standard has extensive quotes and commentary. Be sure to check out the responses from members of the military. Also, McQ at QandO does a fine job of dissecting this garbage, and he adds some useful ruminations about the military equivalent of urban legends.

I'm no expert on military mess halls, children's skulls, or Bradley Fighting Vehicles, but the stories told by "Scott Thomas" in the New Republic article strike me as not even remotely credible. This is pure BS, and it doesn't pass the smell test. I'm astonished that the editors at the New Republic didn't toss this nonsense in the circular file. I suppose it shows just how willing to believe the worst of our soldiers they are — or how willing to do anything to undermine the war effort.

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The Walter Duranty of the 21st century

Posted by Richard on July 3, 2007

I didn't have to read a movie review to know that Michael Moore's latest film, Sicko, was a steaming pile of crap just like its predecessors, full of blatant lies, distortions, and cynical manipulations of the people on both sides of the cameras. Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to read the review by MTV's Kurt Loder (!), which is a devastating critique of the film — and of socialized medicine. (HT: Ace of Spades )

Loder begins by praising Moore for bringing to light stories of people who were ill-served by the U.S. health care system. This makes the subsequent indictment of Moore all the more powerful:

Unfortunately, Moore is also a con man of a very brazen sort, and never more so than in this film. His cherry-picked facts, manipulative interviews (with lingering close-ups of distraught people breaking down in tears) and blithe assertions (how does he know 18 million people will die this year because they have no health insurance?) are so stacked that you can feel his whole argument sliding sideways as the picture unspools. …

As a proud socialist, the director appears to feel that there are few problems in life that can't be solved by government regulation (that would be the same government that's already given us the U.S. Postal Service and the Department of Motor Vehicles).

Loder contrasts Moore's glowing reports of the glories of socialized medicine in Canada, Britain, and France with the grim picture painted by the 2005 Canadian documentary, Dead Meat. He goes on to provide one of the best short summaries of the failings of socialized medicine I've seen in a while. 

Loder shows what a fool Moore is by nicely skewering Moore's fawning praise of France:

Moore's most ardent enthusiasm is reserved for the French health care system, which he portrays as the crowning glory of a Gallic lifestyle far superior to our own. The French! They work only 35 hours a week, by law. They get at least five weeks' vacation every year. Their health care is free, and they can take an unlimited number of sick days. It is here that Moore shoots himself in the foot. He introduces us to a young man who's reached the end of three months of paid sick leave and is asked by his doctor if he's finally ready to return to work. No, not yet, he says. So the doctor gives him another three months of paid leave – and the young man immediately decamps for the South of France, where we see him lounging on the sunny Riviera, chatting up babes and generally enjoying what would be for most people a very expensive vacation. Moore apparently expects us to witness this dumbfounding spectacle and ask why we can't have such a great health care system, too. I think a more common response would be, how can any country afford such economic insanity?

As Loder notes, even the French have come to realize that this madness can't go on, and soundly rejected Socialist Ségolène Royal for Nicolas Sarkozy, who made entitlement reforms and more market-friendly policies the centerpiece of his campaign.

Loder soundly critiques Moore's elaborately staged visit to a gleaming, state-of-the-art Cuban "Potemkin Village" hospital — a hospital to which no Cuban will ever be admitted. If you want to see what a real Cuban hospital looks like, Babalu Blog has some recent pictures. And lots of links to other Sicko-related stuff.

Michael Moore is a vile, contemptible creature. His glowing reports of the glories of Castro's Cuba and Saddam's Iraq make him the leading contender for the Walter Duranty Mendacity in Journalism Award, if there were one.

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Retaliation threatens cease-fire!

Posted by Richard on December 27, 2006

It was just about a month ago that Reuters redefined "cease-fire" to mean, as Tammy Bruce put it, "when Israel stops defending herself." So, for the past 30-odd days, the Paleostinians in Gaza have fired Kassam rockets at Israeli towns at an average of two a day, and the Israelis haven’t responded — and this constituted a successful on-going "cease-fire."

But now, the Israelis have said they’ll target the Kassam rocket launchers with "pinpoint" strikes — and this "threatens" the "cease-fire"! The Paleostinians may be feuding savagely amongst themselves, but they all seem to agree that the "cease-fire" can survive only as long as the Israelis refrain from hitting back:

Palestinians warned Wednesday that Israel’s decision to target Kassam cells in the Gaza Strip will lead to the total collapse of the current cease-fire.

Abu Ahmed, a spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, said his group would continue to fire rockets at Israel as long as the cease-fire is not extended to the West Bank.

"Israel is continuing to perpetrate daily massacres against our people in the West Bank," he claimed. "We have the right to respond to these attacks. In the next few days we will increase our rocket attacks on Israel."

Fatah’s armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, also threatened to resume terror attacks if Israel launches attacks on Palestinians who fire rockets at Israeli cities. "Israel’s threats will destroy the cease-fire," the group said in a statement issued in Gaza City.

PLO executive committee member Yasser Abed Rabbo, who also serves as an advisor to Abbas, warned that the Israeli decision would lead to the breakdown of the cease-fire. He described the decision to target Kassam launchers as a "breach" of the cease-fire agreement and called on the Israeli government to reconsider its decision.

At LGF, Charles Johnson noticed that the Associated Press has also adopted the Reuters definition of "cease-fire":

In the Bizarro world of the Associated Press, Palestinians can fire rockets into Israel every single day, yet the “truce” is only “derailed” when Israel decides to defend against the attacks: Israel threatens to renew attacks.

JERUSALEM – After weeks of restraint, Israel said Wednesday that it will renew attacks on rocket-launching militants in the Gaza Strip, threatening to derail an already shaky, month-old truce.

Nice phrasing; Israel “threatens to renew attacks.” The Palestinians, on the other hand, can’t “renew” their attacks because they never stopped.

But AP’s reporting is more sinister than Bizarro. Compare the AP story with the quotes of Paleostinian leaders in the JPost article above and it becomes clear that the Associated Press has adopted the Paleostinian talking points.

The next time you read an AP or Reuters news report from the Middle East, just remember that, for all intents and purposes, you’re reading an Islamofascist press release with the language toned down to suit Western sensibilities.
 

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Jamil’s world

Posted by Richard on December 1, 2006

I thought everyone who half-way keeps up with the news out of Iraq had heard about the Associated Press’s bogus "six burning Sunnis" story, but it was news to someone I know who’s reasonably well-informed, so maybe not.

People need to know that this stuff is happening, so I’ll do my little bit to spread the word: If you listen to the reports from Iraq on the evening news or read the wire service stories in your newspaper, you’re being manipulated, misled, and flat-out lied to. The evidence to back up that claim has become overwhelming.

A good place to start is with this Austin Bay column (emphasis added):

In 1980, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke wrote a story titled "Jimmy’s World," the startling tale of an 8-year-old "third-generation heroin addict" living in Washington, D.C.

Cooke’s expose’ captured several volatile issues in one tear-drenched package. "Jimmy’s World" had drugs, race, poverty, "fast money and the good life."

In 1981, Cooke won the coveted Pulitzer Prize for journalism.

Fine and dandy — except she should have won the Pulitzer for fiction.

"Jimmy’s World" was a complete crock. Little Heroin Jimmy didn’t exist. The Washington Post, its publisher, Donald Graham, and Cooke’s editor, Bob Woodward, were all duly embarrassed when Cooke’s fraud was exposed. Her Pulitzer was withdrawn.

We now move from Jimmy’s World to Capt. Jamil Hussein.

Now, if I were "writing hot" — writing for sensational effect — I would have led with the alleged Jamil’s blazing claim: that six Iraqi Sunnis were dragged from a mosque in Baghdad last week, doused with kerosene and burned to death by a Shia mob. Four mosques were also (allegedly) burned.

The Associated Press ran the dousing story on Nov. 24, and the story was repeated worldwide. (I read it online in the International Herald Tribune, a publication owned by The New York Times.)

Sensational, "headline-generating" elements absolutely jam the story: gruesome savagery, mob action, chaos in Iraq.

The AP identified "Police Captain Jamil Hussein" as its source for the story, with a second source identified as "a Sunni elder."

On Nov. 25, the press office of Multi-National Corps-Iraq (MNCI) published press release No. 20061125-09 (see mnf-iraq.com). The MNCI stated that investigation showed only one mosque had been attacked and found no evidence to support the story of the six immolated Sunnis.

The U.S.-based Website FloppingAces (floppingaces.net) has published an email from MNCI to the AP that states "no one below the level of chief is authorized to be an Iraqi police spokesperson." The email also addresses the story of the Sunnis being burned alive: "… neither we nor Baghdad Police had any reports of such an incident after investigating it and could find no one to corroborate the story. … We can tell you definitively that the primary source of this story, police Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI (Ministry of the Interior) employee." The letter is attributed to U.S. Navy Lt. Michael Dean.

I contacted CENTCOM’s Baghdad press office and received an email confirming that Hussein is not a policeman nor does he work for Iraq’s MOI.

FloppingAces noted that the AP has quoted "Jamil Hussein" in at least eight stories since April 2006.

FloppingAces has tons of stories and updates, so just go check out all the posts of the past week. Michelle Malkin has posted lots of good info and links, too. But if you just want the highlights, Gateway Pundit has your one-stop roundup, with lots of links to more details:

It is now confirmed that:

* Witness Capt. Jamil Hussein is not an Iraqi police officer!
* There were not 4 Sunni mosques torched in the attacks in the Hurriya neighborhood but only one mosque was damaged and not destroyed
* Witness Imad al-Din al-Hashemi is described as a University professor, foreign pediatrician, and a Hurriya elder depending on the article
* Witness Imad al-Din al-Hashemi says the mosque he was attending was attacked by "rocket-propelled grenades" yet there is no such damage to the mosque
* No bodies were discovered by Iraqi or Coalition investigators nor were there any pictures as evidence
* The AP later produced anonymous witnesses from the neighborhood
* The Multinational Forces Iraq and Baghdad Police did not find any reports of such an incident occurred after investigating the Hurriya neighborhood
* Multinational Forces Iraq claim that the AP source, Capt. Jamil Hussein, is not who he claims he is. He is not a Baghdad police officer or an MOI employee!
* The imam at the mosque in question where the "6 Sunni torchings" supposedly took place is accused of being a member of Saddam’s secret police by his own congregation!
* Attempts by Sunnis to smuggle arms into this mosque were foiled by Iraqi security forces back in December 2003

And that’s just the opening. Go read the rest.

If you have some time, read the original FloppingAces post — there are lots and lots of updates, including a long list from CentCom of potentially bogus news sources — mostly AP — whom they’re trying to track down.

Then check out two JunkYardBlog posts — this one first, and then this one (right above the first) — about other AP stories that cited Jamil Hussein as a source. The common thread tying them together seems to be AP Baghdad correspondent Qais al-Bashir. And Qais al-Bashir has quoted a number of suspect sources, including at least two other "Iraqi policemen" whom CentCom and the Iraqi Ministry of Interior categorically insist aren’t policemen.

Gateway Pundit posted nice roundups (here and here) of news stories quoting two of these bogus policemen, and the stories have something in common: they all describe Shi’ite atrocities committed against poor innocent Sunnis.

The next time you see an al-AP news story about violence in Iraq, remember that it was probably written by a Wahhabi Sunni propagandist quoting Baathist insurgent "witnesses."
 

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The war for public opinion

Posted by Richard on July 18, 2006

Neo-neocon made an important point yesterday about civilian deaths in Lebanon. Yes, Hezbollah has been storing rockets in civilian homes and apartments, and launching them from just outside. But Iran (which calls the shots) and Hezbollah aren’t doing this merely because they’re indifferent to civilian casualties — they’re doing it because they want civilian casualties:

Hezbollah is well aware that if, by taking out the missile launchers, Israel kills Lebanese civilians–which is every bit as much Hezbollah’s goal as the initial killing of Israeli civilians by the rockets themselves–then, as sure as day follows night, this fact will be reported heavily by the Western media (mostly without the all-important background context), flashed around the globe, and widely condemned. Civilians are not only expendable on the part of the terrorists, they are important and vital tools–stage props. …

Read, as they say, the whole thing. Then, in the context of this Hezbollah tactic, consider her earlier post about the danger of "proportionality" in war. Israel — like the U.S. in Iraq — gains nothing by fighting cautiously, half-heartedly, and timidly. The Islamofascists will make sure, via their tactics, that even a cautious and measured response results in sufficient collateral damage for their propaganda purposes. Heck, I suspect that if there weren’t enough collateral damage, they’d secretly create it.
 

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Agenda journalism

Posted by Richard on May 19, 2006

For those of you who still doubt that the mainstream media’s war reporting consists largely of agenda-driven, biased, anti-American propaganda, today’s front page of The Washington Post presented what I’d like the bailiff to tag as Exhibit #17,693. The story in question (log in with BugMeNot), by Pamela Constable of the "Washington Post Foreign Service," has the following headline and subhead:

Afghanistan Rocked As 105 Die in Violence

Toll Is Among Worst Since 2001 Invasion

If you just glanced at the paper (or one of the hundreds of other papers and web pages that picked up the WaPo story), you no doubt concluded that we’re in deep trouble in Afghanistan now, too — just like Iraq. If you began reading the story, the first paragraph confirmed the grim news conveyed by the headlines:

ASADABAD, Afghanistan, May 18 — Afghanistan has been rocked over the past two days by some of the deadliest violence since the Taliban was driven from power in late 2001. As many as 105 people were reported killed in four provinces as insurgents torched a district government compound, set off suicide bombs and clashed fiercely with Afghan and foreign troops.

If you stopped there (as many casual newspaper readers do), you probably thought that it’s all going to hell, that this incompetent administration has screwed up another country, and that maybe we should just withdraw from Afghanistan, too.

If you kept reading, however, you discovered that the overwhelming majority of the deaths were among the enemy, and that some of them were killed by U.S. air strikes:

Between 80 and 90 Taliban fighters were killed in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, according to Afghan, U.S. and NATO officials. Two sites in Kandahar were struck by U.S. warplanes, including a long-range B-1 bomber, which U.S. military officials said destroyed a compound that Taliban guerrillas were using to stage an attack.

So, "as many as" 90 of 105 were enemy combatants. That’s almost a 9-1 ratio, which means the phrase "Toll Is Among Worst" is accurate only from the perspective of the Taliban.

From the perspective of those of us who are on the side of the United States and Western Civilization, and who cheer the death, destruction, and defeat of the Islamofascists, these two days of fighting represent not a terrible toll, but a tremendous success. If we keep killing 9 of them for every Afghan and allied soldier we lose, things will go very well indeed!

Pamela Constable, Leonard Downie, Jr., Ben Bradlee, et al., are apparently cheering for the other side.
 

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Chinese water torture

Posted by Richard on May 17, 2006

Instapundit linked to a compelling, bitter, and important post at Instapunk which argued that the bloggers and new media are merely the "foam on the whitecaps stirred up by the vast currents and movements in the ocean below" — the mainstream media.

Instapunk concluded that the MSM are winning the war of ideas via something akin to Chinese water torture, repeating the same message over and over again:

It doesn’t have to be true, it doesn’t have to be fair, it doesn’t have to be consistent in its terms. All that matters is that it is repeated with uniform constancy: drip, drip, drip. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. Change the headlines, seem to change the subject. Abu Ghraib. European disdain. Tom Delay. Katrina. Deficits. Valerie Plame. Gas prices. Karl Rove. Death in Iraq. Angry mothers. NSA wiretaps. Drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, the lede is always the same. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good. George W. Bush is no good.

I think he’s onto something. As Glenn said, read the whole thing.

Glenn observed that:

It’s an interesting perspective, though it assumes a shocking degree of cynicism, partisanship and commitment on the part of Big Media.

Umm, Glenn … so, what’s your point?
 

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This isn’t journalism

Posted by Richard on May 18, 2005

If you don’t believe that the Washington press corps consists largely of biased, angry pseudo-journalists determined to destroy the Bush administration, then go right now to Powerline and read the questions that Scott McClellan was asked at today’s press conference.

These aren’t real questions — the kind real reporters ask to get real information for a real story. These are arguments, diatribes, challenges, snide remarks, and insults. 

As Scott Johnson suggested, go read "Whose side are they on?" too. All of it — there’s a nice bit of Kipling at the end.

I suspect that Glenn is right when he worries about future of press freedom. Recent polls like this one suggest the press is on shaky ground with the public. The Newsweek debacle and the increasing shrillness and hostility illustrated at today’s press conference suggest it’s going to get worse.

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