Yes, it will be on the final

Yes, it will be on the final

: Tim Blair’s attitudinal fisking [sorry Mr. Strunk, sorry Mr. White for that phrasing] of a Washington Post report from Iraq should be required reading in journalism schools. The Post reporter, Jackie Spinner, sets out to tell how American soldiers turned one Iraqi against America. But Blair shreds the assumption and attitude in her writing by using her own reporting to show just how absurd her view is. It is an object lesson in the bias of a single story and the need to give the public facts — including the reporter’s perspective — to let them judge for themselves.

While I was in Boston, I had the pleasure of meeting with David Fanning, exec producer of Frontline, and a few of his valued producers and editors to brainstorm about some of the wonderful things Frontline is doing and can do online for the show… and for journalism (in 1995, Fanning put complete interviews online; at Frontline World, Berkeley students are citizen journalists creating stories for the web and for the show). David told me about a segment he produced on the first show he made at WGBH, taking a single story and retelling it through a few perspectives. That’s what everyone does with the news. We need to help them do that and then compare and contrast.

That Post reporter, Spinner, did something valuable: She went into the streets of Baghdad and talked to one person and got quotes about his experience. At the Harvard confab, Jill Abramson of the NY Times and Rick Kaplan of MSNBC emphasized the value their large organizations bring to the world by supporting expensive — and dangerous — reporting in places like Iraq. I couldn’t agree more. That is all the more reason why the full extent and full value of that reporting should be made available to the readers (though only a few) who would like to dig down deeper and look through a different side of the prism — and add facts and questions and viewpoints.

Yes, this will look messy compared with the well-packaged, centralized marketplaces of news we have now. Welcome to the remix society. Tim Blair remixes Jackie Spinner: same quotes, different perspective, different stories. Thanks, Prof. Blair.

[And thanks, Glenn, for the link]

  • http://mooremarjo.blogspot.com Marj M

    I’ve had entire moderating opinions edited from stories. Left the resulting piece completely one-sided. This, from a website the NYTimes frequently uses.
    I’d certainly like to think readers would LOVE more source material from their daily newspaper reading. Maybe that’s wishful thinking… the basic journalism teaching- the inverted pyramid- lets us know most news consumers won’t stick around till the end.

  • PJ

    Of Faith and Doubt was the best of Frontline and explained the philosophical and emotional underpinning of faith and fanaticism and 9/11. I am going to view it again now that a few years have gone by.
    Five stars.
    http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=1413846

  • ProToAnti

    The Economist
    “When deadly force bumps into hearts and minds” Dec. 29:
    American marines and GIs frequently display contempt for Iraqis, civilian or official. Thus the 18-year-old Texan soldier in Mosul who, confronted by jeering schoolchildren, shot canisters of buckshot at them from his grenade-launcher.

  • Richard Aubrey

    Perhaps the writer is having a little practical joke.
    Even readers of the NYT can see this as a piece of nonsense. Unfortunately, the editors swallowed it whole and passed it along to the readers who, I think we can presume, laughed their collective asses off.
    It hardly needs fisking.

  • Spanky

    I have never seen porn that is so good that it makes me want to slap my mother.
    Could we get some of those magazines here in the US?

  • http://iraqiblogtechsupport.blogspot.com/ Tom Villars

    Tim Blair’s attitudinal fisking [sorry Mr. Strunk, sorry Mr. White for that phrasing] of a Washington Post report from Iraq should be required reading in journalism schools.

    This is the sort of thing that reinforces my opinion that ‘professional’ journalism is anything but professional. Why is such sloppy reporting tolerated by one of the supposedly top five newspapers? How can big media continue to insist they are competent in the face of the nearly continuous drivel they seem to print and broadcast?
    I’ve been pretty hard on Jeff because he continues to believe there is hope for big media. I strongly disagreed to point where I’ve probably made an ass of myself, but I do not understand why someone as smart as Jeff continues to defend the indefensible. But what is important is people like me, political junkies/activist, are the market that big media must serve if they hope to survive. I have pretty much given up reading or listening to big media except to occasionally make snarky remarks when they goof, or come to the defense of someone they have slammed such as what the reporter from the NY Times, Shara Boxer, did to Ali.
    If this trend of diminishing audience continues, and I think it is inevitable, big media is not going to survive anywhere but the niche markets of grocery store checkout lines. I personally think this is a good thing since starting over is usually the fastest way to a better solution when you have paradigm shifts of this nature. This has happened to many industries over the last century and

  • Franky

    Sometimes I think we’re all reasonable people; that reason and the presentation of facts can change one’s mind. Then I read Tim Blair’s post.
    The Washington Post article was showing the dynamic in Iraq that demonstrates why our entire mission there is bound to fail and why eventually we’ll have to leave in a less than noble retreat, with the possibility of leaving behind ill-feelings from the general population of Iraq. Insurgents and foreign terrorists launch attacks on American/British troops. Troops respond with more aggressive searchs for the attackers, alienating the local population possibly swelling the ranks of the insurgency.
    Tim Blair’s response to this unsolvable crisis? “Were all 12 guns aimed at his head?”
    So pundits who have not got closer to Iraq than a tv screen then say how wrong this story is, without once ever addressing the important aspect of the story.
    Then Jeff says this should be required reading for all journalism students – yeah, if you want our media even dumber than it already is.

  • robert neuwirth

    Imaad may not be the most reliable narrator and this certainly is not another Abu Ghraib, but regardless of what we think of the guy, the point is that he feels violated by U.S. soldiers. The soldiers did the right thing and left the scene without taking action, but the guy clearly feels wronged. Tim Blair doesn’t remix the story. He just makes fun of a flawed and humiliated fellow.

  • ajf

    Franky: Shouldn’t you be off slapping your mother around?

  • http://www.billingsnews.com David Crisp

    Count me among those who think the problem is with Blair, not Spinner. The fact that nothing particularly terrible happened to the guy, yet it was still enough to turn him against Americans, seems to have been the point of the story. Let’s face it: If foreign soldiers pushed their way into our houses, we’d probably feel much the same way as he did — perhaps without the mom beating.

  • Tim

    Franky,
    Iraqis aren’t as dumb or sensitive as you fear. American troops searching for insurgents, including raids on homes, aren’t going to alienate an entire population and result in an ever-swelling insurgency pushing us out of Iraq in defeat. It’s much more complex than that, and the majority Iraqis understand what is at stake. Lest you think I’m wrong, here’s a prediction for you and all the other pessimists thinking the Islamic militants and Ba’athists are going to regain power or that there’ll even be a civil war: turnout in the Iraqi election will far surpass turnout in the recently held U.S. election, despite the “chaos” and “lack of security.” Read up on Algeria if you want a sense of where Iraq’s very near-term future is likely to look like.

  • Tim

    So now we can add David Crisp to the list of those credulous of a completely biased press allied with the enemy.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    Shorter Tim Blair:
    “Unreasonable search and seizure? Get over it!”
    Shorter shorter Glen Reynolds:
    “If ain’t My Lai, it’s not an outrage.”
    Guess what folks? It’s the little things that add up over time. The American Revolution was precipitated by a slow but steady series of minor inconveniences and insults that turned even enthusiastically pro-British individuals such as Benjamin Franklin a full 180 degrees over the course of a decade.
    While Jeff and his friends at IraqTheModel continue to fiddle only happy tunes for the occupation echo chamber, Baghdad is smoldering with sentiments such as these. If/when in the end the city and the nation erupt into full-scale conflagration, it will be not only the outrages of Abu Ghraib and the brutality of Fallujah but every single slight endured by Iraqis since the Americans came – real or imagined – that will fuel the fire.
    And to anyone who’s going to respond to this by pointing out that the inconveniences of occupation are nothing compared to what Saddam did during his reign – you’re absolutely right, but that doesn’t matter any more. Saddam is history now, and reciting the litany of his past atrocities isn’t going to make the average Baghdadi feel better about not having water, power, or a feeling of safety and security in one’s own home.
    Of course, the hypocrisy of conservatives enthusiastically supporting a government able to invade your house at will is of course delicious in and of itself. What would Instapundit and Little Green Footballs make of an Iraqi Gordon Liddy advocating his countrymen to take “head shots” at American soldiers when they come through the door in the middle of the night? I guess that kind of freedom – the sovereignty of one’s home – is only meant for us God (not Allah)-fearing Americans.

  • richard mcenroe

    ProToAnti

  • Reggie

    Isn’t it possible that this article (which doesn’t paint such a flattering picture of the Iraqi-In-Question) is meant to show how delicate the “Hearts and Minds” battle is. It is not a piece about policy. It is a piece that can be read as a demonstration of the really really tricky position that Coalition soldiers are in trying to clean the streets of facists, while gaining some degree of confidence from the natives. Neither the troops, nor the Iraqi were presented unfairly. Mr. Blair rightly pulls apart the story to reveal a different reality. This is nothing new. Exercises in Style by Queaneau(sp?) writes the same narrative 99 different ways. Objectivity is a nideal that journalists try to attain. Ms. Spinner tries. Mr. Blair does not. His dispatch was written from the comfort of his couch, where he can make light of guns pointed at heads because he is not living with that reality. When I read the piece, I thought about how unstable Mr Imaad was, and how his allegiances just snapped. I also thought about how difficult is must be for the soldiers. I also thought about how they might not be making the most wise decisions regarding the treatment of Iraqis.
    I’d say that the fisking was unfair. Would Mr. Blair take such issue with the clip from the Economist posted above? Or is that OK because it is in the Economist?

  • AH

    Hi, Jeff, I listened to most of the Harvard Conference, including your eye-opening stats for the business model of MSM. My opinion is that the head-up-the-a** attitude of Abramson (especially) et. al means that certain entrenched ones don’t want to become radically more effective, broaden their sources to ones they can’t spin, or get a clue. Listening to her, I know why after 36 years I now read the Times only for decorating, electronics, and recipes, and surf widely for national, international, and science news. You’re ‘way too kind.
    And the Times’ argument that “bloggers don’t know the budget of our Baghdad office, so can’t criticize our coverage,” was part and parcel of the truly obnoxious MSM Mandarin-speak that I could hardly listen to. Really dumb.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    Richard,
    ProToAnti

  • richard mcenroe

    ProToAnti

  • Tim

    oodja, you moron, we are at war.
    From the Post article in question, “The neighborhood (that) is known to harbor insurgents, including some who moved to Baghdad from Fallujah after a U.S. offensive there in November. Neighbors acknowledged there were anti-American groups among them, but they said not everyone opposed the foreign troops or Iraq’s U.S.-backed interim government.”
    So our ongoing raids for insurgents in a ” neighborhood (that) is known to harbor insurgents, including some who moved to Baghdad from Fallujah” is supposed to cause us to lose the war because the alternative is what, exactly? Don’t look for the insurgents? Let them mass in one neighborhood after another for fear we might upset common Iraqi citizens and alienate them? At the risk of repeating myself oodja, you moron, we are at war.
    We aren’t looking for tax evaders or common burglers or drug-runners or even members of a crime syndicate. We’re looking for an enemy that is actively seeking to kill American soldiers, destablize the nascent Iraqi government, disrupt the oncoming elections, convince the American people (one down – they’ve got your vote) we cannot win, drive us out of Iraq and take the offense against the west in their war. If a few Iraqis are displeased by our efforts, well, that’s too bad. They can turn the insurgents over to us so we don’t have to search their houses because oodja, you moron, we are at war.

  • Franky

    I’ve noticed this “Algeria as model” has sprung up. The Algeria which went through a brutal civil war that killed tens of thousands of innocent civilians and put the country regularly near the top of human rights abusers? That Algeria? It doesn’t seem a very promising short-term future (and there’s certainly no reason to think that just becase the groups demobilized in Algeria that they’ll do the same in Iraq – unsure of this, but it seems to me that there’s more foreign backing for Iraqi armed groups than Algeria, but I’m not sure of this and am willing to stand corrected).
    I was speaking with a journalist who was in Iraq and he was telling me about this one checkpoint in Baghdad that seemed to encapsulate why this is unwinnable. This checkpoint has been hit so many times that now all troops are understandably nervous all the time. So what do they do when an Iraqi car drives towards them without slowing? They shoot the car. Now how will the families of those who died in such a tragic accident feel about the occupiers? But there is nothing else the troops can do, because of the history of attacks, but likewise we cannot quell the anger of those who lost their loved ones. Now, that checkpoint becomes a thousand different stories across all of Iraq everyday and that’s why the insurgents and terrorists have won the crucial part of any guerrilla war: they’ve driven a wedge between the armed forces and the civilian population.
    It’s like the pro-war people aren’t even bothering anymore. I think the intellectual dishonesty that lead these people not even to publicly question once the fact there are no WMDs is now showing in an absence of even thinking about what is occurring in Iraq, just linking to each other with snide comments about whether all guns or not were pointed at the man’s head.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    Tim,
    So what if “we’re at war”? You can go door to door without attempting to humiliate the people whose houses you search, especially when they turn out not to be harboring insurgents. The idea is to keep them on your side, after all…
    Even a moron can figure that one out!

  • richard mcenroe

    oodja

  • Julie

    I find it interesting that people seem to think that the battle for hearts and minds must be perfect or a total failure. I mean, seriously… I used to like the Americans but they exposed my sin so I’m going to beat up my Mother. Uh huh. Now, we can figure that this is, in fact, typical beat my mother when I’m wrong behavior and that it says something important and necessary about all Iraqi men, or we can believe that most Iraqi men are good people, who might be mad about having the house searched but don’t abuse their families or need medication afterward.
    There is also, of course, the issue of taking events as stated by someone who seems not to mind telling a reporter he’s got girly-mags under his matress at the same time he’s claiming that it was so humiliating that he beat his mother.
    And no, I don’t expect people to welcome intrusions into their homes. But since we’re talking about hearts and minds I do think it’s relevant to note that people didn’t previously have rights to privacy and if it had been the other guys, they’d have probably beat his mother for him. For hearts and minds it’s not perfection thats necessary but “better than”.
    And the insurgents are killing Iraqis left and right. Why aren’t they worried about the hearts and minds of the people?

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    Julie,
    The insurgents care plenty about the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people, which is why they’re working overtime to terrorize the living hell out of them. This is why pro-war Americans whose battle cry is “Oderint dum metuant” (let them hate us so long as they fear us) is a losing proposition over there, because at the end of the day the average Iraqi citizen will always fear the insurgency more than they fear us, while hating us all the same if not more so.
    This is why we have to work overtime to avoid incidents such as the one mentioned in this WaPo article, because while we can’t make them fear us enough to win the peace, we sure as hell can make them hate us enough to ride us out of the country on a rail. And I’m not so anti-war that I don’t understand that such an outcome now would be disastrous for all parties involved…

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    Richard,
    Just because it’s a stereotype doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Despite the fact that it had the temerity to question the wisdom of invading Iraq, the Economist isn’t exactly a bleeding heart left-wing rag. Bear in mind that our own intelligence agencies get a significant portion of their data from the Economist Intelligence Unit, so at the end of the day you can’t just toss out their observations as if you were reading a piece in the Guardian.
    Also remember that American boys and girls have been over there for almost two entire years now, with no real end in sight despite a coy hint here or there from the administration about troop reductions in the medium-term. While I’m not going so far as to say I don’t blame them for being cruder and more trigger-happy than before, I certainly understand where such a mentality is coming from. Which is why something has to change and soon, or else the occupation is going to go down the toilet real quick-like and take everyone under with it.

  • Steve in Houston

    Hasn’t it occurred to anyone that this guy is really embarrassed by having his “porn” collection found out by his mother and is, you know, making stuff up about all the humiliation he felt from American “raiders”?
    I mean … is it a given that the subject of the article is being 100% truthful in his presentation?
    Before anyone says it’s all over and we’ve lost all hearts and minds, it might be a good idea to actually find out if that’s true from more thorough and representative samples than this single strange report. Unless, of course, you’re predisposed to thinking it’s all over.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    Before anyone says it’s all over and we’ve lost all hearts and minds, it might be a good idea to actually find out if that’s true from more thorough and representative samples than this single strange report. Unless, of course, you’re predisposed to thinking it’s all over.
    Okay – how about this one from Newsweek, that pinko commie terrorist-loving magazine enjoyed weekly by over three million American Fifth Columnists who secretly want us to lose:
    Minister of State Adnan al-Janabi, an intimate of Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, tells Newsweek that he was so incensed by his treatment by American soldiers as he tried to enter the Green Zone to go to a cabinet meeting that he resigned in protest.
    We may not have lost the hearts of minds of the Iraqi people, but we sure are losing them when we behave like this even to the ministers of the supposedly “sovereign” government of Iraq.

  • ProToAnti

    Richard McEnroe:
    Dismissing the entire article because of an issue unrelated to its main point reeks of denying reality.
    On the Good Ship Jarvisland, journos on the scene are in a cabal to disparage the occupation. Armchair pontificators with little knowledge of Iraq but an agenda to promote, are trusted authorities.
    As the Jarvisland’s passengers float further from reality, the special pleading and promises of victory grow more bizarre. Those of you who haven’t purged the memory hole may recall that the capture of Fallujah supposedly broke the back of the insurgency.
    Keeping your blinders on won’t make the icebergs go away.

  • http://RuthCalvo Ruth

    Sorry, not interfering with the ongoing, but I recall a close friend who was a consultant to the South Vietnamese gov’t who concluded that the model government the U.S. was trying to set up simply couldn’t be comprehended or carried out by the South Vietnamese. And wasn’t.

  • Michael

    Spinner’s article reminded me of an episode of the Simpsons, where Bart and Lisa become reporters for a children’s TV news program. Bart quickly gains acclaim for “Bart’s People,” a collection of shallow human interest stories purporting to report news and raise important questions in a Charles Kuralt-esque voice. In fact, “Bart’s People” was merely a cliched pastiche of unanwserable questions and emotive crap. That was what Spinner’s article evoked: “Maybe the Americans were wrong to search for an weapons cache in Immad’s house; or maybe there just isn’t a place in this carzy world for a man, his porn stash and his mother.”

  • Angus Jung

    “The American Revolution was precipitated by a slow but steady series of minor inconveniences and insults that turned even enthusiastically pro-British individuals such as Benjamin Franklin a full 180 degrees over the course of a decade.”
    It’s a historical fact that Franklin was a big ol’ horndog, so I guess it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he got fed up with British troops his porno collection.
    Also, the sky is falling. Again.

  • Angus Jung

    Mocking. British tropps mocking his porno mags. Colonial Beaver was his fave, I seem to recall.

  • Angus Jung

    Troops, not tropps. Sorry, I’m just so upset over this human rights travesty… [Weeps silently with righteous indignation]

  • http://sisypheanmusings.blogspot.com/ Sisyphus
  • Franky

    It seems to me that it was about six months ago that various pro-war bloggers and commentators here took to saying that really the situation in Iraq was not that bad and that it was those pesky journalists who just wanted to dig up bad news.
    Well, we can see how right they were and how graceful they all were to those reporters who effectively called liars. Who would have ever imagined that a journalist working in Baghdad might understand the situation in Iraq better than a law professor in Tennesse or a guy sitting behind a screen in Australia?
    I’m betting this collection of bloggers and commentators are equally close to the truth on their latest theory that the occupation doesn’t really bother most Iraqis.

  • http://www.hfienberg.com/kesher/ Yehudit

    Franky and company are taking a few incidents to be the whole story. Then they claim that pro-war advocates are doing the opposite, refusing to acknowledge any incidents which put the war in a bad light.
    But that’s not what we are doing. We know the US armed forces aren’t perfect. We know many Iraqis have mixed feelings about the American occupation. But we also know about many success stories and appreciation of the US by Iraqis. So we know it’s a mixed bag, and we don’t mistake the part for the whole, as you want us to do with your examples.
    I don’t see any reason to assume the whole thing is going to hell in a handbasket, based on a few anecdotes about US soldiers who may have acted insensitively.
    I will include Abu Ghraib in that, because I have read 4-5 news stories where Iraqis were interviewed about AG, wherein they said “why are the Americans so upset about this? These are Saddam’s henchmen and if they were beaten by the Americans, they deserved it, and it certainly wasn’t one-tenth as bad as what Saddam put thousands of us through in that same place.”
    Now you can say these stories aren’t true, or don’t represent all Iraqis, or only repsresent a small minority. But I can say the same about your anecdotes, do you see? And as long as we are getting our arguments from anecdotes, it seems more prudent to allow that they all might be true, that Iraqis don’t speak with one voice any more than Americans do, and that we. just. don’t. know. yet.
    Certainly Franky’s certainty is unwarranted that this one news story tells an incontrovertable Truth about Iraq

  • ProToAnti

    “I don’t see any reason to assume the whole thing is going to hell in a handbasket, based on a few anecdotes about US soldiers who may have acted insensitively.”
    Tell that to the Iraqi girl pictured in this “anecdote”:
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6857145/site/newsweek/

  • Franky

    Yehudit,
    No one here is claiming that this one story and this story alone tells the situation in Iraq. In fact it is once again the pro-war bloggers and their supporters who are trying to frame this entire discussion around one story, so they can dismiss the story and the uncomfortable truth behind it (it worked before – focus all attention on Dan Rather’s screw-up and then the entire debate over Bush’s service is dropped). The front-runner in the elections said: “No people in the world accepts occupation and nor do we accept the continuation of American troops in Iraq.”. That statement doesn’t sound much like a mixed bag to me. Could it just be that the theme explained in that Washington Post story just might be contributing to that sentiment?
    Further you say you don’t see any reason to think things are going that badly. Forgive me for not being that impressed with your read on the situation, as I’m pretty sure you were one of those who previously said the media was hyping the violence and that we shouldn’t be worried about it – and we’ve seen how that one turned out.
    “we. just. don’t. know. yet.”
    I’m sorry, but that’s just woefully inadequate coming from someone who vocally supported getting us in to this unnecessary situation.

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    I know you think I’m full of crap, Angus, but thanks for the good belly laugh nonetheless!
    :)

  • http://oodja.blogspot.com oodja

    [W]e. just. don’t. know. yet.
    Of course if we really wanted to know, we could have put a nonbinding referendum about the occupation on the ballot for Iraqi Election Day™. Given that we all agree that deep down the average Iraqi is overjoyed at our continued presence in his/her country, but perhaps reluctant to express such a sentiment publicly for fear of retribution, you’d imagine that an anonymous ballot would be a perfect place for those silent supporters of American “liberty” to make their voices heard. After all, what would be better PR for our military campaign than a ringing endorsement from the very people we had saved?
    Oh wait, I know why – because this is a crazy-ass fantasy being desperately held on to by more or less the same demographic clinging to the hope against hope that Mister Darwin wasn’t in fact right and that we’ll find Yahweh’s fingerprints in an electron microscope or his graffiti tag spray-painted across a cosmic string out there beyond the Andromeda Galaxy.
    The last thing this Administration wants is a simple “yes/no” question about the popularity of the occupation in Iraq, because at least with only anecdotes to go by it can hold its own with the naysayers all the way up we pick up John Negroponte in a helicopter off the roof of the American Embassy in Baghdad.

  • jdm

    PtoA: boy, thanks for that picture link. That’s enough for me. Let’s get the soldiers together and ship ‘em on home, dust off and re-install Saddam, and just forget the whole thing happened – at least until the Democrats are safely back in power.
    … and that little girl? I’m sure you give a rat’s ass. As long as she serves your purposes.

  • J. Peden

    A well known political tactic involves generalizing the particular, so that the exception to the rule is possibly taken to be the rule.Such reporting itself has nearly become the rule.
    And remember the 79 year old can-lady Gore found to prove that the elderly were choosing between medicine and food, or at least having to collect cans to survive? Even she turned out to not be an example of what Gore wanted to prove. The Democrats apparently could not even find one such valid example of this alleged epidemic.
    On election night one network diverted to a report on Iraq [which seemed very odd in itself] in which the reporter who had just returned had allegedly found several soldiers who doubted the war effort in some way. The reporter did not even say she knew who they were or that she had recorded the events, making this news no more than that a little birdy whispered in her ear. Yet the finding was taken to confirm dissaffectation on the part of the military there. Pathetic and also despicable.

  • http://ancapistan.typepad.com/ tex

    In the WarBlogger Bubble
    Thanks for the material.

  • PJ

    With the world media clamoring for a quagmire since Day 1, and the coalition fighting with one hand tied behind its back by the left, I’m surprised things are going as well as they are.

  • Eileen

    My pleasure comes from the sure knowledge that even though MSM and the lefties work so determinedly Against us on every front via their skewed poll results, their treasonous news coverage and all they rest, that they will fail. Miserably. We Will succeed in our efforts in Iraq in spite of them. I will relish the silent angst suffered by those who wish otherwise – coming up shortly on election day in Iraq. Will the celebration be covered? Only for about 10 seconds. 99.9% of television and print will be devoted to tales of gloom, doom, ultimate failure (even though it looks good today) and another inevitable Viet Nam. For that is their wish. Witness their coverage of Afghanistan’s recent, fabulously successful election. Should we have been buoyed by our own hard work there? Not according to the left and THEIR MSM.
    I continue to be stunned by the efforts at self-annihilation by the left. Repeating 10,000 times that the American right is so stupid as to ‘believe’ Saddam was responsible for 9/11, and other attempts to diminish our standing in the world community only blaringly speaks of their own stupidity. Americans and the world at large are a lot more intelligent than MSM and their leftie compatriots would have us believe. When in Allah’s name will they ever begin to get it? Apparently no time soon, for they continue to drive nails into their own coffins.
    The arrogant, we’re smarter, ‘we know best’ leftist/MSM line is the one which will bring them down. No time like the present, and none too soon. We are about one straw away.
    It’s time to start over with new networks, new publications and new, balanced reporting. Sorry lefties/MSM, you’ve proven you’re not capable of the job. The lot of you are fired.

  • EverKarl

    Quite frankly, if Spinner actually got out to interview someone in Baghdad, it represents progress for the Washington Post. The MSM in Iraq have been relying on Iraqi stringers — people whose agenda they have no way of knowing. As for the Washington Post, its former Baghdad bureau chief, Rajiv Chandrasekaran, was quoted as saying that the stringers “are our eyes and ears and without them we’d be flailing around in the corridors of our hotel.” Of course, when Rajiv did travel outside the Green Zone, he filed stories that have been disputed, to put it mildly. And the WaPo is the same paper that falsely claimed that U.S. administrator L. Paul Bremer did not deliver a “farewell address” before departing Iraq.
    Of course, these are just anecdotes. I wouldn’t suggest that they show a larger picture of a media that prints unverifiable accounts of Iraqis without having any real grasp of the istuation, so long as their stories fit a pre-existing anti-war bias, all the while hiding in their offices and not even bothering to watch iraqi television. That would be unfair.

  • Franky

    It is unfortunate that reporters can’t get out more in Iraq – maybe that’s another sign of how bad things are there.
    But do you have any evidence for this: “prints unverifiable accounts of Iraqis without having any real grasp of the istuation, so long as their stories fit a pre-existing anti-war bias, all the while hiding in their offices and not even bothering to watch iraqi television.”
    I mean any evidence whatsoever? Like seriously anything to back up this ludicrous assertion?
    Washington Post also ran the story of Jumana Hanna, that was quickly picked up by Opinion Journal and other pro-war outlets to demonstrate the torture they were ending. Of course would have made more of an impact if it was true, but then why let the truth stand in the way of a good atrocity story (babies being thrown from incubators?)
    On a sidenote, it sure is funny how it’s now so obvious to everyone that there were no links between Saddam Hussien and 9/11. I seem to remember hysterical screechs about meetings in Prague. I guess I must have imagined it.

  • ProToAnti

    JDM “… and that little girl? I’m sure you give a rat’s ass. As long as she serves your purposes.”
    Yes, to remind people like you that people like her exist.
    I don’t expect you to appreciate getting your face rubbed in the ugly truth. But even on prowar blogs like this one, you can run but you can’t hide from reality.
    Parents are killed by their erstwhile saviours, six children are orphans, and all you can see is that the bad PR may help the dreaded Democrats.
    How nice that your priorities are in order.
    And your rote, nonsensical invoking of Saddam is wearing pretty thin.

  • Eileen

    “It is unfortunate that reporters can’t get out more in Iraq – maybe that’s another sign of how bad things are there.” Or maybe its just the best proof imaginable that MSM has no intention whatsoever of covering any news regarding 80% of the Iraqi population which plans to vote next week. Have we heard anything about that ‘minor’ detail from your media comrades?
    “I don’t expect you to appreciate getting your face rubbed in the ugly truth. But even on prowar blogs like this one, you can run but you can’t hide from reality.” The ugly truth is what you and yours will find when you look in your own, cracked mirrors.
    Why don’t you guys go to a mutual pity party during the election next week? Toast the good ‘ole days when your boy Saddam was the Real Man, the Real example of your brand of truth and light, the paradigm of kind and loving treatment of human beings, the man who represents your left wing, noble, oh-so-sacred causes. You’ll have plenty of company. Cry me a river, eh?
    Rubbish. ‘Hysterical, screeching’ rubbish.

  • Franky

    Yes, that’s it, Eileen, one of the most competitive professions around, where your success rate is measured by how often you beat your colleagues, decided to join together to keep you ignorant of the real situation in Iraq. That’s the level of brilliant analysis we’ve come to expect from you.
    So to recap: our pro-war friends told us 1) WMDs 2) Saddam was connected with 9/11 3) we would be greeted with roses by the Iraqis. How many catastrophic errors are we going to let them advocate before finally asking them to quieten down because the adults need to talk about what to do about Iran?

  • Tim

    Frankly,
    Now that you’ve aligned yourself with Zarqawi’s goal of defeating the U.S. and dooming Iraqi’s to permanent human bondage (

  • TomB

    2) Saddam was connected with 9/11…How many catastrophic errors are we going to let them advocate before finally asking them to quieten down because the adults need to talk about what to do about Iran?

    You tell ‘em, Franky!!!

    And it was Saddam was connected with Al Qeada. There is, of course, a difference. Your bait and switch doesn’t work around here.

  • TomB

    3) we would be greeted with roses by the Iraqis.

    You go, girl!!!
    (or are those carnations?)

  • TomB

    Just in case my first link didn’t work:
    http://www.webmutants.com/strategypage/saddam_and_the_towers.jpg
    I hate for Franky to miss this.

  • TomB

    Are they being greeted with flowers, or pelted?

  • Josh

    What I find hard to believe is that there are any people who read this story, saw that the Iraqi beat his mother while simultaniously declaring America to be evil, and decided “AMERICA IS EVIL THIS PROVES OUR *POINT* AT LAST.”
    There is no getting through to people who believe these things. All we can really do is ignore them for the moment and hope they grow up someday.

  • Franky

    So one story appears that shows why Iraqis are increasingly resentful of the occupation, but we’re supposed to ignore it because I guess it just never happened. Then one picture is found of flowers being thrown and that’s supposed to counterbalance more than 1,000 dead US soldiers. We have other people who tell you that 80% of Iraqis will participate in elections, and stutter with rage that the mainstream media doesn’t cover this, when they themselves got that piece of info from the mainstream media. Yep, that’s about the level of discourse I’ve come to expect from SOME quarters of the pro-war faction (of course we’ve also got the really dumb who accuse you of being allied with terrorists, but I know they make up the really stupid, so being a generous man I don’t tar the rest of you with their frothings).
    Yeah, keep telling yourself that there’s a connection of any substance with Al-Queda, and keep ignoring point number 1 which after all was the main reason for war. Oh, I’m sorry I forgot, it was to help the Iraqis. That coming from a Republican party that aided Hussein in one of his first imperial adventures is just jaw-dropping chutzpah. But again, it’s come to be expected.

  • Franky

    Tomb,
    My God. I just saw that painting. Does the CIA know about this? I retract everything then. I mean if some guy can paint a picture juxtaposing Hussien and 9/11, then that definitely proves that Hussien was responsible.

  • Eileen

    “We have other people who tell you that 80% of Iraqis will participate in elections, and stutter with rage that the mainstream media doesn’t cover this, when they themselves got that piece of info from the mainstream media.”
    Actually no, Franky, I didn’t learn this fact from MSM. It was pointed out by some blog commenter. An excerpt below from: http://www.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2005/1/22/105435.shtml
    “The poll, conducted in late December and early January for the International Republican Institute, went largely unreported by the American media – except for the Washington Post, which buried the news on page A-13 of its Friday edition.
    The survey mirrors the expectations of Iraqi officials, who have been predicting a successful turnout for months despite widespread skepticism in the American press.
    “I am expecting the turnout of Iraqi voters to be between 70 and 80 percent,” Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the BBC last week, in comments also ignored by the U.S. media.
    Zebari complained that while journalists are trashing Iraqi election prospects, they lauded the recent Palestinian elections, where, he noted, “turnout was 44 percent and yet they were called transparent and legitimate.”

  • Tim

    Frankly,
    There are only two positions on Iraq now – support the mission to promote a democratic form of government, or oppose it. The terrorists oppose it and you oppose it, so, regarding Iraq, you are allied with the terrorists. It’s pretty simple, even if you resent the rest of us knowing the truth.

  • Franky

    Eileen,
    I apologise for making the assumption. I had seen the specific report in the Post and other places in general background that there were hopes for high turnout. I assumed you had seen it there too, which was wrong, so I stand corrected.

  • TomB

    Talking your sniveling points one by one:
    So one story appears that shows why Iraqis are increasingly resentful of the occupation, but we’re supposed to ignore it because I guess it just never happened.
    Most likely. Unless you want to take the word of a sexually repressed, fundamentalist muslim mother-beater.
    Only in your world are the Iraqis “increasingly resentful of the occupation”.
    Then one picture is found of flowers being thrown and that’s supposed to counterbalance more than 1,000 dead US soldiers.
    Huh? What does one have to do with the other?
    You made a snarky comment about being “greeted with roses by the Iraqis”, as if it didn’t happen. I’m merely pointing out it DID, in fact, happen. And happen a lot more than you probably realize, or admit.
    We have other people who tell you that 80% of Iraqis will participate in elections, and stutter with rage that the mainstream media doesn’t cover this, when they themselves got that piece of info from the mainstream media.
    Well, I, for one, didn’t get that information from the MSM, but you are abusing a strawman here. Noone claimed the MSM didn’t cover the poll at all, they claimed the MSM buried it.
    Yep, that’s about the level of discourse I’ve come to expect from SOME quarters of the pro-war faction
    Hello Mr. Pot, meet Mr. Kettle….
    Yeah, keep telling yourself that there’s a connection of any substance with Al-Queda,
    “(C)onnection of any substance”?
    Nice backpedal.
    And I suppose you get to be the judge as to “substance”.
    As to Hussein/Al Qaeda links, there are many. The link to 9-11 (REMEMBER! A different thing entirely.) is less clear, although enough to win a lawsuit for $104 million.
    and keep ignoring point number 1 which after all was the main reason for war. Oh, I’m sorry I forgot, it was to help the Iraqis.
    Perhaps you could post warnings from Democrats, UN officials (no, Scott Ritter doesn’t count), or European leaders stating, before the war, that Iraq didn’t have WMDs.
    And perhaps you can also prove your assertion that the only reason we went into Iraq was WMDs.
    I eagerly await your evasions.

  • Franky

    I’m not going to explain once again the issue of the dynamic of living under an occupation. Just scroll up and read the quote from the front-runner for the elections to give an idea of how happy the Iraqis are to have us there. If you have any questions that aren’t addressed above I’ll be happy to answer them.
    You knew exactly what was meant when Pearl promised we would be greeted with flowers. We weren’t. We aren’t. That was one more lie/miscalculation swallowed whole by people who proably shouldn’t know any better. But tell you what, why not repeat it to your friends about Iran, and then make sure you get the one pic of an Iranian throwing flowers and have your weasel excuse for when that blows up.
    And I said of substance because guess what: there are now 60 countries with links to AL-Queda. Yes, there are 60 countries with Al-queda operating in them. Does that count as 60 links? (if you answer nothing more, please, please give me the pleasure of hearing you justify the invasion on the basis of links to Al-Queda).
    So you deny there are links to 9/11 – then why would you post that painting? Just sling enough manure and hope some sticks? or were you hoping that since such a good job was done before the war by the president of mentioning Iraq and 9/11 in the same speeches that the obvious inference would be made? Contemptible. That alone rules you out of ever being treated seriously, but I’ve started so I’ll finish…
    Scott Ritter doesn’t count? only the total zombie could see a man proved right and himself proved wrong, and still then “get to be the judge as to “substance” of the right man.
    I think pretty much everyone in the world said Saddam was no threat, save the coalition of the bought. That there wasn’t even anything, just increases your embarrassment. Well it would, if you were capable of such feeling.
    “But we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.” Dr. Rice, September 8, 2002. I think that’s pretty evident. Maybe even for you.

  • TomB

    You knew exactly what was meant when Pearl promised we would be greeted with flowers. We weren’t. We aren’t.
    We were, and we are. If not, then how do you explain that in invading a country of 25 million people we have lost just over 1000? Hell, if 25 million people were tossing tennis balls we’d lose more people.
    But tell you what, why not repeat it to your friends about Iran, and then make sure you get the one pic of an Iranian throwing flowers and have your weasel excuse for when that blows up.

    Those darn Iranians! Don’t they know how good they have it living under an islamist theocracy?!
    . Yes, there are 60 countries with Al-queda operating in them.

    So there are links to Al Qaeda or not? And what is “substantive”?
    No, we don’t have to invade every country where Al Qaeda operates (which, of course, is different from state sponsoring), since drying up a large source of their funding will make that unnecessary.
    then why would you post that painting? Just sling enough manure and hope some sticks? or were you hoping that since such a good job was done before the war by the president of mentioning Iraq and 9/11 in the same speeches that the obvious inference would be made? Contemptible.

    I see you discovered a thesarus. Congrats.
    No, I was merely pointing out the obvious, that Hussein WAS involved in 9-11. Although there isn’t enough evidence to convice sniveling whiners like you, or the MSM, or the Democrats.
    That alone rules you out of ever being treated seriously, but I’ve started so I’ll finish…

    EVER? Wow, you’re tough.
    Maybe you’ll even call me “contemptible” again.
    only the total zombie could see a man proved right and himself proved wrong, and still then “get to be the judge as to “substance” of the right man.

    Only when the “right” man gets $400,000 from the mouths of starving Iraqi children and then turns around and tries to molest american children.
    I think pretty much everyone in the world said Saddam was no threat, save the coalition of the bought. That there wasn’t even anything, just increases your embarrassment. Well it would, if you were capable of such feeling.

    “Everyone”?! That’s a lot of quotes.
    How about a few?

  • TomB

    I think pretty much everyone in the world said Saddam was no threat, save the coalition of the bought.
    Here Franky, lemme help:
    “Second, the leadership of Iraq continues to defy mandatory resolutions adopted by the Security Council under Chapter VII of the charter. I have engaged Iraq in an in-depth discussion on a range of issues, including the need for arms inspectors to return in accordance with the relevant Security Council resolutions. Efforts to obtain Iraq’s compliance with the council’s resolutions must continue. I appeal to all those who have influence with Iraq’s leaders to impress on them the vital importance of accepting the weapons inspections.”
    -Kofi Annan Sept 12, 2002
    “There’s no question that Saddam Hussein is a threat… Yes, he has chemical and biological weapons. He’s had those for a long time. But the United States right now is on a very much different defensive posture than we were before September 11th of 2001… He is, as far as we know, actively pursuing nuclear capabilities, though he doesn’t have nuclear warheads yet. If he were to acquire nuclear weapons, I think our friends in the region would face greatly increased risks as would we.”
    - Wesley Clark September 26, 2002
    “What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.”
    - Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002
    “Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”
    - Al Gore, 2002
    “I will be voting to give the president of the United States the authority to use force – if necessary – to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”
    - John F. Kerry, Oct 2002
    And, if you need yet MORE proof:
    “A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It’s a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it’s because it’s proven.”

  • Franky

    http://www.iaea.org/NewsCenter/Statements/2003/ebsp2003n006.shtml
    “There is no indication of resumed nuclear activities in those buildings that were identified through the use of satellite imagery as being reconstructed or newly erected since 1998, nor any indication of nuclear-related prohibited activities at any inspected sites.
    There is no indication that Iraq has attempted to import uranium since 1990.”
    Don’t tell me: the International Atomic Energy Agency molested children as well.
    Like a $5 an-hour lawyer, you take as evidence all comments from before such reports could be delivered, so comments made essentially without any evidence before them. As Churchill was reported to have said when asked why he changed his opinion: “When the facts change, I change my opinion. What do you do?”
    I’m smiling at the thought of you struggling to answer that question.

  • TomB

    Like a $5 an-hour lawyer, you take as evidence all comments from before such reports could be delivered, so comments made essentially without any evidence before them.
    I presented actual quotes from those outside the current administration which said Iraq was a threat. You quote, not from an “everyone”, but an IAEA report doesn’t even address the question.
    Now, let’s try again. You said “pretty much everyone in the world said” Hussein wasn’t a threat. Where is your proof?
    Face it Franky, everyone agreed that Hussein was a threat prior to invasion. That is what UN resolution 1441 was all about. If nobody thought he was a threat, why pass a resolution demanding he open up for inspections?
    I’m smiling at the thought…
    I bet you smile everytime you have a thought.
    It’s a good thing to feel special sometimes, Franky.
    Now, the proof, please.

  • Franky

    Wasn’t a threat enough to justify going to war. And it’s now been proved that it wasn’t and pretty much all of the world agreed at the time and were proved right. Who would have thought that a country run down by snactions and a hopelessly corrupt government wouldn’t have a world-class arms program? It just boggles the mind.
    It may be difficult to have such a huge screwup on your conscience, and further to know you were repeatedly warned by all around the world that you were wrong, but those of us who warned you, won’t let you rewrite history to justify your fatal mistakes.
    Even the coalition of the bought knew there was no real threat.
    “We will need to make it clear in launching the document that we do not claim that we have evidence that he is an imminent threat,” privatley wrote Jonathan Powell, one of Tony Blair’s closest advisors, in September 17 2002. Of course Blair then went out with an absurd report stating that Iraq could attack UK in 45 minutes.
    How does it feel to have been suckered by even the governments who spoonfed you your views on this?
    The IAEA report doesn’t address the question? One of the things we were told, that may have at some point been a legitimate concern, was the nuclear capability – that’s the big one. That’s the one the administration was desperate to prove, uranium, mushroom clouds, etc. etc. etc. And the report quite clearly states there was no threat. Yet you still supported the war and all of its consequences. So tell me exactly what weapons you feared? Actually, you know what don’t bother. I’ve had enough of one man’s awkward wipes of his conscience clean in an internet forum.

  • Tim

    Frankly,
    Where did al Queda teach you English?

  • Eileen

    Tim,
    I suggest you ask Faramin.
    A quote from ‘Frankly’, above: “(of course we’ve also got the really dumb who accuse you of being allied with terrorists, but I know they make up the really stupid, so being a generous man I don’t tar the rest of you with their frothings).”
    Does that sound like Faramin or what? Who else consistently calls the rest of us stupid in virtually every post? Who else has regularly been called a terrorist around here? A short while ago Frankly claimed to be a reporter in, what was it, AZ? With his grammar and syntax? God, I hope not. Moreover, I more than highly doubt it.
    And then there’s ProToAnti at not@iraq.com, a web site which doesn’t exist, and who spells savior saviour…
    The Faramin gang’s all here.
    Watch them chime in immediately with more of their ‘hysterical screechings’, and their triple team terrorist rants.
    Anyone have the software to check ‘them’ out? I stand by my instincts, logic and observations regarding the gang.

  • TomB

    Geez Franky, what a disappointment. I get up this morning ready for all your proof and all I get is “pretty much all of the world agreed at the time and were proved right”.
    You do realize that just stating that doesn’t make it so, don’t you?
    If “pretty much all of the world” said Saddam was no threat, they would have SAID it, and there would be quotes. I have provided proof that people like Al Gore, Kofi Annan, and Jacque Chirac all admitted, in LATE 2002, that Hussein was a threat. You’ve shown NOTHING.
    Now, please, some PROOF.

  • Franky

    Oh dear, time drags on, and Eileen the desperate housewife’s poison continues. First, Eileen listened to some moron here who said I had said I was Canadian, so like a particularly inarticulate parrot she repeated it as if that would rule me out of participating in any debate. I ignored her, well, because it’s Eileen. Then people asked me and I was forced to clear up that I’m not Canadian (of course being a slob in manners and thought, she never apologized for that). Now, Eileen says that I said I’m a reporter in AZ? When did I say that? Now she contends that I’m Faramin – in fact it’s a succession of different tactics to avoid tackling any of the arguments (like when she threatened to report one poster to the CIA hahahahaah) because she can’t answer one of them.
    Tomb, I’m not going to play google gopher, running after different quotes for you when you don’t even have the common courtesy to answer any of the outstanding points I’ve made – and you really should because I would hate for people to think you were evading the questions. I’ve told you why your quotes are wholly inadequate because of their timing, and yet you repeat them. I’ve demonstrated the source of the rest of the world’s confidence that Saddam was no threat, I’ve demonstrated that even those in the coalition thought he wasn’t really a threat and yet that’s still not sufficient – of course, why would evidence get in the way of your support for the great leader?

  • TomB

    Franky, all I want is a few quotes!
    And you can’t give them to me.
    Why?
    Becuase THEY DON’T EXIST!
    Face it, as I proved with my quotes, which, I repeat, were made only MONTHS before we invaded Iraq, the “entire world” said, explicitly, that Hussein was a threat.
    You keep asserting differently, but are unable to produce even ONE example of a major world leader saying Hussien wasn’t a threat.
    Your lie has been exposed.

  • Franky

    Yawn
    “Does the threat posed by the Iraqi dictator justify a war, which is sure to kill thousands of innocent children, women and men? My answer in this case was and is: No,”
    Gerhard Schroeder, March 2003
    “Well, I don

  • TomB

    LOL. So now Saddam really WAS a threat, but that didn’t justify a war.
    You continue to backpedal Franky.
    I continue to await the proof of your statement that everyone in the world said Saddam was no threat.
    But since you seem to be all over the place here let me ask you this, if France and Germany didn’t think Hussein was a threat, why did they vote FOR UN resolution 1441?

  • Eileen

    “(of course being a slob in manners and thought, she never apologized for that)…”
    Right, Franky, whoever you are. You’re clearly the princely paradigm of both, as graphically expressed here, beginning about 2/3 down the page:
    http://www.nicedoggie.net/archives/004474.html

  • TomB

    Well, as we patiently wait for Franky to google up a quote saying what a swell guy Saddam is from the under-secretary of counting goats from Uganda, here’s ANOTHER quote from the interview where he got the Chirac “Well, I don’t know” quote:
    PRESIDENT CHIRAC: I feel the same way about Saddam Hussein as George Bush or Tony Blair.
    OOOOPS!!!
    Sat in it again Franky.
    And as luck would have it, I was reading Christopher Hitchens’ evisceration of Michael Moore’s polemic Farnheit 9-11. Of whom he says:
    “Thus, in spite of the film’s loaded bias against the work of the mind, you can grasp even while watching it that Michael Moore has just said, in so many words, the one thing that no reflective or informed person can possibly believe: that Saddam Hussein was no problem.”
    That fits you well Franky, not reflective OR informed.