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A Challenge.

To the person/s posting op-ed articles from the Dar al hayat and IRNA news agencies...
Dar al hayat -  http://english.daralhayat.com

&

IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) -  http://www.irna.com


... please post an article or op-ed piece written by a staff reporter from BOTH of these news agencies dated (i.e. written) BEFORE 1.01.03, and provide a link to the specific story, and a link to their news archives.

(In fact, I would invite anybody to take a close look at these websites, to surf them from one link to another. Have any comments? Then post them here.)


Now, to be forthcoming and honest about where I'm coming from, I am suspicious that these quote "news agencies" are not all that they appear. I am mindful of the fact that $100 million was budgeted by the U.S. government in order to "communicate better" with the Arab world. Perhaps these "news agencies" are some of the latest projects? An honest answer of yes would be the simplest thing to do, but that's up to the person posting these articles and op-ed pieces to decide.

I will ouline what is suspicious to ME about these news agencies after this gets a few comments from other people.

you mean like this? 22.Apr.2003 17:29

weren't born again pagan yesterday

Someone posted this a few messages back

"Recalling Moments From The Fall Of Northern Iraqi Cities"
 link to english.daralhayat.com

Quote: "But apart from military and security locations, there is no trace of the American bombing in Kirkuk...

The expression on the faces of the workers in the Northern Oil Company which is headquartered in Kirkuk reflected disbelief of the damage to the oil installations."

As well as "If Iraq Became a Cause..." from the same site.

We must be quite honored that their authors post them here personally, but they do seem strangely sterlized, in my humble opinion -- and that is not yet counting the curious unparalleled smartness of this bombing which leaves no trace "apart from military and security locations". Is there not even one huge new crater in the wrong place to lament, not even one displaced Kirkuk shopkeeper to qualify as human interest?

Reuters, Apr 9: "Both Kirkuk and Mosul, Iraq's third largest city 100 miles to the northwest, have been pounded by U.S. warplanes."

Rueters, Apr 8: "U.S. warplanes bombed Iraqi positions on Tuesday in the northern oil hub of Kirkuk in one of the heaviest attacks in the area of the 20-day-old war but U.S. ground forces reported slow progress."

AFP, Mar. 24: "The northern oil capital of Kirkuk has also been rocked by 24 hours of almost non-stop bombardment, Kurdish sources said."

I would be, to say the least, slightly confused... and I do apologize if I happen to be confused. Perhaps someone should show me pictures?

The second site also has a very strange tone, at present there is an article on top about a student group expressing anti-UN sentiment for the UN's "silence" on US actions, at the same time it criticizes the UN for being "weak" in their actions. I understand this to a large degree, I've prayed a great deal lately that somehow the UN would stop Bush- but what were they going to do, really? Bomb Washington?- and in the end it seems as if it boils down to anti-UN sentiment... anti-American sentiment re-routed into anti-UN sentiment... That is a little troubling, and just the other day Chalabi was making what are some pretty unwarranted (but even more sanitized, as far as the US's involvement is concerned) anti-UN remarks to the UK media.

Is there no suddenly no sentiment left in Iraq that shows disquiet at the transition from one leader who wipes his nose on the UN, to another, or that the Bush administration has brazenly done the same? So the UN is ultimately responsible for this, one way or another, and even for actions of the Bush admin. now? Is that really how Iraqis see things?

How convenient that must be for the Bush admin. that they suffer no direct criticisms, neither for raining bombs upon Iraq, nor even if their refusal to involve the UN in inspections keeps sanctions in place.

"UN Very Bad. All their fault. US Not That Bad." -- ?? -- I mean, come on... Even Newt Gingrich is blasting the admin. and we didn't even bomb him.

Where are the articles about tens of thousands of Iraqi people protesting the very thought of a US puppet government in Iraq? We've had them here.

It guess it would seem almost as if the Bush admin. couldn't be more fortunate if they were writing this stuff themselves.

But I certainly do not wish to offend anyone, and I apologize again if I'm confused (or ignorant, or paranoid). That is quite possible. That's my duty as an American is to be confused as to what goes on the world, I'm sure...

thank you for your comments... 22.Apr.2003 18:09

this thing here

... "weren't born again pagan yesterday".

the specific stories you pointed out are some of the evidence i want to use. and your comment about the "wierd tone" is right on.

try this. on the dar al hayat website, enter dates, as if you were searching for articles on a specific day, in this format - year/month/day - 2003/03/14 - into their search/archive. see if you can find any article earlier than 2003/03/04 in their entire news archive! i think this points out the very day the website started operating.

what's wierder? go to the IRNA website. try to find the link that talks about the "history" of IRNA. anyways, this "history" proclaims that IRNA is the official news agency of iran.

next, do the same same search for dates as you did on the dar al hayat website. oh wait! you can't! why? because there is no searchable news archive on the IRNA site, THE OFFICIAL NEWS AGENCY OF IRAN. hmmm...

please, don't be shy. if anyone else notices something a little strange about these sites, then post your comments.

Global Publishing Group 22.Apr.2003 19:24

Global Publishing Group

Who We Are

Global Publishing Group was established in late 1993, with a focus on providing both technology and high performance web services for the Middle Eastern Market. Prior to the establishment of the company, we were highly active on Usenet and the then educational based Internet. We observed how Usenet had brought together globally scattered members of an ethnic community, and by Mid 1993 we decided to act rather than talk about the possibilities. It is good to know our past so that you can decided who you want to work with in the future. Below you will find some our history, projects we have worked on, and client success stories.
President Khatami's visit to UN

Our most recent work was Internet support for President Khatami's visit to UN. For this project GPG provide 3 dedicated servers and bandwidth to support live streaming broadcast of president Khatami's speech to Iranian expatriates at the UN. In addition, we developed secure chat and message processing system for the Internet based question and answer session with the president. We will be again providing the same service for President Khatami's visit to the UN in September of 2000.

Technology For Hamshahri

Fundamental to our vision was support for native languages such as Persian and Arabic. We could not wait for companies such newly formed Netscape and software giant Microsoft to finally get around supporting the Middle Eastern market at the leading edge of technology.

In Mid 1993 we took the source of XMosaic 2.71, the only browser of its time, and localized it for Persian and Arabic support, resulting in Pmosaic. It was the second localized web browser after, Netscape's release of Japanese Navigator. The browser was released on all Unix platforms, December 1993.

However technology was only one aspect of the solution. We also developed partnership with leading content providers who could deploy the technology. The first Persian content on web was Az-Iroon ("From Iran"), published by Saeed Vahid, published in ISIRI-3342 character set, and viewable with Pmosaic. Shortly there after we began our cooperation with Neda Rayaneh Institute and were able to bring the firstly Persian daily to the Net in 1994, Hamshahri. As more PC's and Mac's users gained access to the net, we added adobe Acrobat PDF to list of supported formats for Hamshahri.

With the coming of Java in 1995, we provided the award winning HotTea Applet, a completely platform independent viewer for Persian and Arabic text. Users from any Java enabled browser could read the Hamshahri Newspaper. Finally as PC users dominated the Internet, and browsers supported new features, we provided the Persian font approach for viewing Hamshahri which how the paper is published today. As if this date Hamshahri is read by over 100,000 individuals (computer sites) each month.

Arabian On Line

In 1994 we also began our relationship with Arabian Media Concepts to bring Byte Middle East, Addustour, Arabia Online and over 200 other Middle Eastern sites to the web. AMC is now a leading Arabic content provider on the Internet, and has its own dedicated servers. Arabia OnLine recently receive funding from the Silki La Silki Telecom of Saudi Arabia to become a portal site for the Middle Eastern market.

Neda Rayaneh Institute

An early client since the inception of GPG, Neda Rayaneh has grown to be the leading ISP in Iran. Though cooperation we have been able to bring the world the Likes of Hamshahri, Film magazine, Cinema, Jombori-Eslami, Weekly Press Digest, Iran Sports, and a host other interesting sites.

The Iranian

In 1995 Jahanshah Javid (The editor of the Iranian) contacted us. He had a vistion of creating a new unique Iranian magazine, however finance and distributing was a major issue. We suggested Internet publishing. Mr Javid asked if it would be as successful, knowing the Internet community, we advised that good content will be rewarded accordingly. That was five years ago. Today The Iranian is a house hold name in the global Persian community.

Netiran

In 1995 we began hosting Netiran, which was the first archive of news and press articles from Iran in English. This site is full of information, data, and holds a large news archive from IRNA, Tehran Times and Iran News. It also has daily press reports from Iran.

IRNA

In 1996 we signed up IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency), again by offering access to our high performance network and dedicated servers for speed and security. As part of the solution we provide both static, and live Internet Radio and TV broadcasts directly from Tehran. We have dynamically scaled bandwidth to 10 Megabits/sec (8 X T-1) for IRNA during peak events, including coverage of national sporting events. We also distribute for IRNA Iran, Iran Javan, Iran Varzeshi, Iran Daily, and Arabic Al-vefagh. Close to 100,000 readers, along with other news and press organizations, governments, embassies, military sites, Warships in the Persian Gulf monitor IRNA site for official news.

None Profit Organizations

If you are now wondering what our political affiliations are, We have none. We are a private business venture providing high performance web hosting services. Other than from a technical perspective, we are not associated or involved in any way with the content that is served from our machines. Of the many sites we host or have hosted, are Iranian Human Rights Working Group, Society of Iranian Professionals, Nehzate Azadi, Iranian Trade, and Ebecina Cultural & Educational Foundation, Science and Arts foundation and Democracy Network of Iran.

PDF based newspapers

In 1996 we advised Al Hayat and Ettelaat daily newspapers, both London based, to employ our high performance site mirroring services in order to better serve global markets. Both news papers publish in PDF format, which produces exact replica's of actual newspaper pages. However PDF format with embedded fonts is bandwidth intensive. Upon switching to GPG's Network, the traffic increased to 5 Gigabytes/Month. Due to increased performance, today their visitors have grown 10 fold to 50 Gigabytes of traffic per month.

Some more information 22.Apr.2003 21:07

Under Construction

Well, here's what a quick bit of work with Sam Spade and Google turn up about the bases of these two sites:

WHOIS results for irna.com:

Registrant:
IRNA NY (IRNA2-DOM)
675 Third Ave. Suite 3005
null
US

Domain Name: IRNA.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Hosseini, Anoosh (AH136)  anoosh@GPG.COM
Global Publishing Group
PO BOX 2877
San Ramon, CA 94583
US
925-735-8606 x

Google shows Anoosh Hosseini as having a considerable Web presence. He appears to be a California-based computer geek active in publishing (president of a company named Global Publishing Group) and in developing software for producing Web pages in Persian and Arabic. Some of his work can be seen at these two URLs:

www.gpg.com/pmosaic/icemco96.pdf
 http://gpg.com/pmosaic/docs/help-about.html

WHOIS results for daralhayat.com:

Organization:
Makshaff Services Limited
Systems Administrator
P.O. Box 69428
Riyadh, 11547
SA
Phone: +966-1-465-9422
Fax..: +966-1-4627004
Email:  Systems_Administrator@Makshaff.com

Registrar Name....: Register.com
Registrar Whois...: whois.register.com
Registrar Homepage:  http://www.register.com

Domain Name: DARALHAYAT.COM

Created on..............: Thu, Jun 21, 2001
Expires on..............: Sat, Jun 21, 2003
Record last updated on..: Thu, Dec 06, 2001

Administrative Contact:
Makshaff Services Limited
Systems Administrator
P.O. Box 69428
Riyadh, 11547
SA
Phone: +966-1-465-9422
Fax..: +966-1-4627004
Email:  Systems_Administrator@Makshaff.com

Technical Contact:
Makshaff Services Limited
Systems Administrator
P.O. Box 69428
Riyadh, 11547
SA
Phone: +966-1-465-9422
Fax..: +966-1-4627004
Email:  Systems_Administrator@Makshaff.com

Finding info on Makshaff Services was a bit more difficult. One business directory described the company thus:

"Makshaff Group
Makshaff services is a holding company for a range of organizations including leading communications and publicity companies such as Tihama, TMI, Lippinhook, and Margulies. It also owns publications such as Al HAYAT and AL WASAT newspapers."

An on-line resume belonging to someone who had done work in Saudia Arabia involving Makshaff Services gave some indication that the company was connected with the Saudi royal family. I found confirmation of this in the paper

"National Security and the Internet
in the Persian Gulf Region
by
Grey E. Burkhart"

published at  http://www.georgetown.edu/research/arabtech/pgi98-9.html

which said "Makshaff being a conglomerate owned by Prince Khalid bin Sultan, the Defense Minister"

More on Khalid bin Sultan:  http://www.miraserve.com/arabia/a5h3.htm

So in one case we have a news agency owned by a Saudi prince of somewhat dubious history (although one thing that's not in doubt is his continuing ambition to break- or buy- into the news business).

In the other the agency is the work of an America-based computer guy.

Neither case inspires confidence in the op-eds from these sources being reliably grounded in Arab or Persian public opinion.

thanks for the comments... 23.Apr.2003 11:54

this thing here

if anyone else has any comments, please post them.


now, i would like to briefly outline what raised my suspicions regarding these websites. this is simply my own suspicion. in order of importance:

- The timing of the op-ed articles from these news agency websites.

- The tone and slant of the op-ed articles, as well as other articles, featured on these news agency websites.

- The sketchy and dubious histories of these news agencies, as presented on their own websites, IRNA's in particular.

- The lack of a searchable news archive on IRNA's website, and a news archive which only appears to go back to March 4, 2003 on Dar al hayat's website.

- The odd, bare bone, flimsy, almost "clip art" style stories as posted in some the cultural, and social setions.

- The IRNA news agencie's total lack of a posted address anywhere, as well as it's total lack of e-mail's or phone #'s for any of it's staff or editors. Plus, as the comments of "under construction" show, IRNA appears to be run out of buildings in New York and California.

- In a wider context, the fact that the U.S. Government under the Bush Administration has invested some $100 million in various television, radio, and communication/propaganda projects in the middle east.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

1. "The timing of the op-ed articles from these news agency websites."

I cannot recall seeing ANY articles or op-ed pieces from these so-called news agencies BEFORE the war in Iraq began. In my reccolection, the first articles I can recall seeing from IRNA and Dar al hayat began appearing on the Portland and D.C. IMC sites right after the staged pulling down of Saddam's statue in Baghdad.

- - - - - - - - - - -

2. "The tone and slant of the op-ed articles, as well as other articles, featured on these news agency websites."

What jumped out at me IMMEDIATELY was the tone of these op-ed pieces. Suddenly, ss if from out of nowhere, American friendly articles written by the Arab press appeared.

What fascinated me was, where was this positive, american friendly tone from the Arab press BEFORE the war in Iraq? That seems to me to be the perfect time to introduce op-ed pieces written by supposedly Arab authors who have a friendly tone towards American Foriegn policy.

As well as the strange and convenient timing of these, the tone itself was remarkable. Here are some examples:

- - -

From Dar al hayat -

- The "Don't follow the Arab League" example...

>Whether the Arab League was right or not, it came out as a failure. Some people believe it fell by its own fault, so they decided to destroy it. Their logic is that in order to develop, one has to destroy first, and that there is no possible or successful development without first deforming the image, erasing the memory and exposing the prevailing backwardness, chaos and demagogy, which had become the characteristics of the Arab League.<

 link to english.daralhayat.com

In this op-ed, the Arab League is attacked as being backward. Here we see an attempt to create divisions between Iraqi's and other Arab nations of the Arab League.

So who does this position help? It helps America. This kind of propaganda is trying to exort the any Arab who reads it to dustance themsleves from the Arab League, and to trust the U.S. authority in Iraq.

Would an Arab op-ed writer, living in the Middle East (according to the Dar al hayat website, Beirut to be precise) write such an article, full of these kinds of divide and conquer types of exortations?


- The "Strange Exortations and Demands" example...

>If the choice were between the United Nations and the United States in Iraq, the answer is all too obvious. Most probably, only a small minority of Iraqis would prefer the U.S. Everyone agrees on the need to get the Americans out, especially since the U.S. announced its intention to establish military bases in Iraq. The question is: when and how?

This leads us to the need to constitute an Iraqi interim government. The faster we take this step, the faster the Americans will go. This is the Iraqis' responsibility. It is their responsibility to prove they will build a successful state and a society. Only then will they cut the road to the Americans.<

>Thus, we shouldn't be excited and proud of getting America out for the sake of sects, tribes, civil conflict and the destruction of what is left of education, institutions and... logic. We should be excited and proud to get America out for the sake of an Iraqi nationalist plan that would be modern and developed. This is the responsibility of the Iraqis today.<

 link to english.daralhayat.com

This is just an obvious piece of blatant propaganda. It exorts Iraqi's to c'mon c'mon hurry up and get your country in order, or else the American's will never leave.

The second paragraph is a really interesting piece of propaganda. It essentially exhorts that Iraqi's shouldn't come together because for tribal and religious reasons, but instead should come together to make Iraq a modern and developed nation.

So who does this position help? America, obviously. Why is it propaganda? Because it's telling Iraqi's in an underhanded way NOT to splinter up into various groups and tribes and religions, but rather to stay united so that Iraq can "develope". It almost threatens that if they don't stay together, then American will never leave. This is just blatant psyops propaganda.

Would an Arab op-ed writer, living in the Middle East (according to the Dar al hayat website, Beirut to be precise) write such an article, full of these kinds of exhortations and demands?


- The "Warning, don't turn Iraq into a cause like Palestine is" example...

>Palestine was lost when it became a 'cause.' Its destiny is no longer in the hands of its citizens. Instead, it became a subject of compromise in Arab and international political bazaars. Today's developments indicate that Iraq will turn into another such 'cause' and is on the fastest way to loss.

There are many 'experts' on the Iraqi issue who give orders and instructions to Iraqis as well as advice and sermons, without being or being known as ascetic or pious.<

>The Iraqis are emerging from darkness towards freedom; in the process, they will have to make sure they don't go blind, and fall into traps which they could be pushed into by 'benefactors' - for those who oppose Saddam's regime are used to revenge killings, and press those who are members of former regime to fill in a pretended inequity in national and confessional proportionality.<

>There is a difference between support and tutelage. Iraqis are not minors and they have a cultural history that dates back to thousands of years, all of which will allow them to find a way out of the past decades, without turning into... a 'cause.'<

 link to english.daralhayat.com

In this blatant piece, we read that Iraqi's should not allow the occupation of Iraq to turn into an Arab "cause", because if they do, they will destroy themselves and lose, just as the Palestinians "lost" when their plight became a "cause".

Who does this help? The U.S. Gov. obviously. Why is it propaganda? Because it demands that Iraqi's and other Arabs don't make a big "cause" and and "issue" out of what happens in Iraq. It warns them, it threatens them in an underhanded, psyops kind of way, that to turn Iraq into an issue will create problems.

Would an Arab op-ed writer, living in the Middle East (according to the Dar al hayat website, Beirut to be precise) write such an article, full of these kinds of threatening demands?


- The "What the fuck is this doing on a Arab News agency website" example...

>A first exhibit of Frederic Remington's colorful paintings picturing the Old West at night is opening at the National Gallery of Art, put together in a single show nearly a century after his death.

Remington was an Easterner whose pictures and sculptures of cowboys, Indians and cavalrymen in the late 1800s helped form an image of the frontier for filmmakers and ordinary Americans.<

>The exhibit, called "The Color of the Night," opens Sunday and will be on view in the gallery's East Building through July 13. Admission is free.<

 http://english.daralhayat.com/culture/13-04-2003/20030411-AP_AP428470.txt/story.html

HA! This is hilarious! What the fuck is an piece about the famous American painter Frederic Remington doing on an Arab news agency website that is based in Beirut? And even more crazy, WHAT National Gallery East Building are we talking about? The one in Beirut, or the one in Washington D.C.? HA! Anybody in Beirut want to spend alot of money on plane tickets and hotel expenses just to travel to Washingotn D.C. to see a painter (no that he's bad painter. i think hes good but...)?! This is just bizarre...

(Also, about the Dar al hayat website... you have to download .pdf's to get Arabic and Persian translations. Huh?...)

- - -

From IRNA -

>Iran's Karroubi hopes Saddam fall will serve a lesson

Tehran, April 22, IRNA -- Iran's Parliament Speaker here Tuesday hoped that the fall of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would serve a lesson to "rogue states who are intoxicated with power".

"How good it would be if the story of Saddam and his pressures on the (Iraqi) people served a lesson to rogue powers who are intoxicated with their force," he said during an open session of the parliament.<

>The Islamic Republic was among the staunchest opponents of US-led invasion of Iraq which imposed a destructive war between 1980 and 1988 on Iran.

Tehran, however, took a position of 'active neutrality' and reiterated that it would not back one side or the other in the war. However, Iran was obviously glad to see the back of Saddam Hussein whose enmity towards the Islamic Republic was well-known.<

 http://www.irna.com/en/politic/030422220658.epo.shtml

So who is the fall fo Saddam a lesson to? Government's like Iran's? No why would a memeber of the Iranian government warn his own nation to do as America wishes?

And what's this splitting of the Ismaic Republic and the government in Tehran? It's hard to tell at the end of this peice what is the actual position of the natin of Iran.

- - - - - - - - - - -

3. "The sketchy and dubious histories of these news agencies, as presented on their own websites, IRNA's in particular."

Below is the history of IRNA as copied from their website...

>'The Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) was established in 1934 by the Foreign Ministry of Iran as the country's official national news outlet. For the next six years it operated under the Iranian Foreign Ministry working to disseminate national and international news. Pars Agency, as it was then known, published a bulletin twice a day in French and in Persian which it circulated among government officials, international news agencies in Tehran and the local press.

In May 1940, the General Tablighat Department was founded and the agency then became an affiliate of the department organizationally.

Agence France Press (AFP) was the first international news agency whose reports Pars Agency used. Gradually, the Iranian news agency expanded its sources of news stories to include those of Reuters, the Associated Press (AP) and the United Press International (UPI). An agreement with the Anatolia News Agency of Turkey further expanded the agency's news outlets to countries worldwide. The link-up also enabled it to provide classified bulletins to a limited number of high-ranking public officials.

It was in 1954 that Pars Agency made a significant move forward. It recruited better-educated people thereby improving its professional services while continuing to avail of dispatches of international newsagencies. It also went on air with radio broadcasts of international news which it translated into Persian and offered to subscribers
locally.

Expanding further in news coverage, it operated under the supervision of various state offices and ministries such as the Ministry of Culture, Ministry of Post, Telegraph and Telephones, Office of the Prime Minister and the Labor Ministry until 1947. In 1957, the General Department of Tablighat fell under the supervision of the Publications Department of Tehran Radio as an independent department.

In 1963 the Information Ministry was created and activities of Pars Agency was brought under this ministry. Its name was changed to `Pars News Agency,' or PANA, which then began operating 'round the clock.

In July 1975 a bill was passed by the country's legislature which established the Ministry of Information and Tourism and changed the status of Pars News Agency to a joint public stock with capital assetsof about 300 million rials. It then became an affiliate of the new ministry. Its Articles of Association in 23 paragraphs and notes were adopted by the then National Consultative Assembly of Iran.

After the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in February 1979 the revolution's council, in June 1979, decided to rename the Ministry of Information and Tourism to the National Guidance Ministry (or Ministry of National Guidance). This was followed in December, 1981 bya bill passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly (Majlis) changing the name of the country's official news agency from Pars News Agency to Islamic Republic News Agency.'<

 http://www.irna.com/en/about/history.shtml

So IRNA has quite a long history in Iranian society. In fact, IRNA is the "official" news agency of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Hmm, that's funny, because according to the comments of "under construction", IRNA is operating from New York and California:

>Well, here's what a quick bit of work with Sam Spade and Google turn up about the bases of these two sites:

WHOIS results for irna.com:

Registrant:
IRNA NY (IRNA2-DOM)
675 Third Ave. Suite 3005
null
US

Domain Name: IRNA.COM

Administrative Contact, Technical Contact:
Hosseini, Anoosh (AH136)  anoosh@GPG.COM
Global Publishing Group
PO BOX 2877
San Ramon, CA 94583
US
925-735-8606 x

Google shows Anoosh Hosseini as having a considerable Web presence. He appears to be a California-based computer geek active in publishing (president of a company named Global Publishing Group) and in developing software for producing Web pages in Persian and Arabic. Some of his work can be seen at these two URLs:

www.gpg.com/pmosaic/icemco96.pdf
 http://gpg.com/pmosaic/docs/help-about.html<

So, the "official" news agency of Iran is operating out of Claifornia and New York. That seems strange to me. Perhaps IRNA is run by Iranian Americans who fled Iran after the Islamic Revolution in 1979? Even so, to state that IRNA is the offical news agency of Iran, given the fact that it is an American project, is total bullshit.

Let's look at what being the "official" news agency of Iran means in terms of purpose and mission:

>'The professional activities of the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) are based on and aimed at securing the Islamic Republic of Iran's national interests. Efforts of management and professional personnel of IRNA are thus focused on achieving higher ground each day n fulfillment of its stated goal.

The organization functions as the "mother source of information dissemination" within the country, feeding its authorities, nationals and various publications with various types of news, bulletins, research works, opinion polls and stories of general interest through its various telex lines. It also provides link-up channels for online foreign dispatches and photographs around the clock. IRNA's external services include those rendered to leading international news agencies in accordance with contracts signed with them, active membership in international news clubs, up-to-date news stories on the country supplied internationally through its International News Line, and an active presence in the Internet through its Persian, English and Arabic websites. For its services, IRNA is aided by a huge professional core of executive and administrative staff who work inside and outside the country in its various local, regional and overseas branches. It also takes full advantage of stringers around the globe and has an organizational set-up that allows all its facilities to be used inside or outside the country on contractual arrangement. In order to effectively carry out its responsibilities it has set up the following guidelines:
1. Mass production and dissemination of news and informative
material taking into account its main objective of promoting the interests and objectives of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
2. Promotion of the Islamic culture as far as possible and
encountering the cultural onslaught of enemies of the Islamic Revolution.
3. Expansion of activities conducive to the acquisition and
dissemination of more news items inside and outside the country.
4. Dissemination of news stories of the Islamic world in general.
5. Providing news items to Iranian newspapers and periodicals.
6. Laying the ground for a wholesome competition with major
international news agencies and corporations.
7. Providing news through as vast a network as possible.
8. Expansion of its news dissemination network as far and wide as is possible.
9. Expansion and strengthening of professional level bilateral and multilateral cooperation with various countries' news agencies and active cooperation in the formation and strengthening of joint regional and international networks.
10. Providing news dissemination and news research assistance outside its organizational boundaries when its professional assistance is sought and when they prove to be in the country's geopolitical and national interests.'<

 http://www.irna.com/en/about/guide.shtml

Perhaps I am confused, but how does the IRNA story which I pointed out earlier entitled, "Iran's Karroubi hopes Saddam fall will serve a lesson", promote the national interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran? It's quoting an Iranian government official as saying that the invasion of Iraq will serve a lesson to rogue states. such as Iran.

>2. Promotion of the Islamic culture as far as possible and
encountering the cultural onslaught of enemies of the Islamic Revolution.<

This is crazy. Look through the IRNA newswire. Try to find one story promoting anything Islamic.

I think that this is a dubious history. Sort of like the salesman who says his company has been together for "generations" and started on a small farm with a poor family. Sure it has...

- - - - - - - - - - -

4. "The lack of a searchable news archive on IRNA's website, and a news archive which only appears to go back to March 4, 2003 on Dar al hayat's website."

For comparison, CNN has archives with stories dating back to 1996.

There is no archive at IRNA, the offical news agency of Iran, and Dar al hayat's archive only goes back to early March, 2003.

Perhaps it's a technical and business matter. The servers cannot archive material for more than 1 month, and perhaps it's too expensive?

Anyways, I think what's interesting here is how the archive goes back to about the time these articles and op-ed's started getting posted to the IMC newswire. In other words, Dar al hayat may have started operating on March 4, 2003. Perhaps IRNA did as well. This coincides with events surrounding Iraq. Certainly, the op-ed pieces by Dar al hayat would make for excellent post-war propaganda directed at the Middle East, coming at a perfect time to try and control the political debate after the war and the possible beginning of America's occupation of Iraq.

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5. "The odd, bare bone, flimsy, almost "clip art" style stories as posted in some the cultural, and social setions."

Check out these two links in the cultural section of the Dar al hayat website:

 http://english.daralhayat.com/culture/13-04-2003/20030411-AP_AP428470.txt/story.html

 http://english.daralhayat.com/culture/13-04-2003/20030411-AP_AP428293.txt/story.html

These stories seem totally bogus to me. They're fucking clip-art stories. And they don't have anything to do with ARAB CULTURE. Anybody could have written them to pad out a fake "culture" section.

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6. "The IRNA news agencie's total lack of a posted address anywhere, as well as it's total lack of e-mail's or phone #'s for any of it's staff or editors. Plus, as the comments of "under construction" show, IRNA appears to be run out of buildings in New York and California."

There's no there there. Perhaps it's because the "official" news agency of Iran is strangely run out of California and New York.

Plus, the IRNA website talks about it's IRNA News College. But then it offers no information at all about where it is located. Los Angeles? Tehran?

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7. "In a wider context, the fact that the U.S. Government under the Bush Administration has invested some $100 million in various television, radio, and communication/propaganda projects in the middle east."

One of many such stories:

 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/media/jan-june02/public_2-18.html

Perhaps these websites, along with the efforts described above, and Radio Sawa, are all part of the same campaign to "reach out" to the Middle East.

Given the propaganda nature of Dar al hayat, their dubious histories, the lack of any kind of archive going back more than 2 months, I think it's wise to consider these news agencies as part of this propaganda campaign. They are fakes, in other words. And any suspicion is warranted.

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Perhaps I come accross as a little TOO concerned, almost paranoid, but to live in this world today and not to investigate and follow up on suspicions, to not have a working bullshit detector, especially regarding the media, is I think totally foolish. Who want's to be a sucker in today's world?

I try to be a reasonable person. Perhaps my suspicions and concerns are unwarranted, and I am totally off base. If they are, I do not mean to offend anyone involved.