New York Times Pushes War With Iran
Once again the NYT is a leading voice for the war hawks. Of course the parallels to the Iraq disinformation campaign are clear. To fall for any of the propaganda requires a complete lack of understanding to the politics of the region. People would have to not understand that the Iraqi government that the US has been supporting is Shiite and thus allies with the current Iranian regime.
Once again the NYT is a leading voice for the war hawks. Of course the parallels to the Iraq disinformation campaign are clear. To fall for any of the propaganda requires a complete lack of understanding to the politics of the region. People would have to not understand that the Iraqi government that the US has been supporting is Shiite and thus allies with the current Iranian regime. So the allegations are either:
1) The Iranians are giving weapons to the Sunnis who are using those weapons against the Shiite Iranian allied government (ie the Iranian government is giving weapons to its enemies to attack its allies, not likely).
2) The Iranians are giving weapons to the Shiites who are using them to attack the Sunnies and thus help the US is supporting the current Iraqi government (ie the Iranians and the US are on the same side in Iraq in supporting the current Iraqi government)
Or, of course, the reality that the Iranian government isn't doing much in Iraq, or no more than any other country selling weapons into the region for profit. No matter how you slice it, the reality doesn't support a US attack on Iran.
NYT Falls for Bogus Iran Weapons Charges
Completely Implausible Numbers are Thrown Around
Repeat of Judy Miller Scandal
This NYT article depends on unnamed USG sources who alleged that 25 percent of US military deaths and woundings in Iraq in October-December of 2006 were from explosively formed penetrator bombs fashioned in Iran and given to Shiite militias:
'In the last three months of 2006, attacks using the weapons accounted for a significant portion of Americans killed and wounded in Iraq, though less than a quarter of the total, military officials say.'
This claim is one hundred percent wrong. Because 25 percent of US troops were not killed fighting Shiites in those three months. Day after day, the casualty reports specify al-Anbar Province or Diyala or Salahuddin or Babil, or Baghdad districts such as al-Dura, Ghaziliyah, Amiriyah, etc.--and the enemy fighting is clearly Sunni Arab guerrillas. And, Iran is not giving high tech weapons to Baathists and Salafi Shiite-killers...
Over all, only a fourth of US troops had been killed Baghdad (713 or 23.7 percent of about 3000) through the end of 2006. But US troops aren't fighting Shiites anyplace else-- Ninevah, Diyala, Salahuddin--these are all Sunni areas. For a fourth of US troops to be being killed or wounded by Shiite EFPs, all of the Baghdad deaths would have to be at the hands of Shiites!
The US military often does not announce exactly where in Baghdad a GI is killed and so I found it impossible to do a count of Sunni versus Shiite neighborhoods. But we know that Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was running interference for the Mahdi Army last fall, and it seems unlikely to me that very many US troops died fighting Shiites in Baghdad. The math of Gordon's article does not add up at all if this were Shiite uses of Iran-provided EFPs.
So the unnamed sources at the Pentagon are reduced to implying that Iran is giving sophisticated bombs to its sworn enemies and the very groups that are killing its Shiite Iraqi allies every day. Get real!
more: link to www.juancole.com
"People Without Names" (PWN) Using New York Times to Escalate Tensions With Iran
The front page headlines of the New York Times today (Saturday, February 10) bring back old memories:
"Deadliest Bomb in Iraq is Made By Iran, U.S. Says"
"Used Against U.S. Troops"
"Intelligence Data Points to Tehran as Supplying Roadside Weapon"
The article's main allegations come from "People Without Names" or PWN, described as "civilian and military officials from a broad range of government agencies." A "still classified American intelligence report that was prepared in 2006" is also cited.
An "American intelligence assessment "is quoted as saying that "as part of its strategy in Iraq, Iran is implementing a deliberate, calibrated policy - approved by Supreme Leader Khamenei and carried out by the Quds Force - to provide explosives support and training to select Iraqi Shia militant groups to conduct attacks against coalition targets."
While it is plausible that Iran might be providing weapons to its allies in Iraq, it is not so obvious that Iran actually has any incentive to support attacks on US troops - since Iran is allied with the Iraq's Shiite government and wants it to succeed. A careful report in the Los Angeles Times indicated that top Iranian officials are not so eager for U.S. forces to withdraw.
more: link to www.huffingtonpost.com
The NY Times returns to pre-Iraq-war "journalism"
Over the past few weeks, The Los Angeles Times has published several detailed and well-documented articles casting serious doubt on the administration's claims that Iran is fueling the Iraqi insurgency with weapons. A couple of months ago, The Washington Post published a very well-researched article reporting that extensive searches by British military brigades in Southern Iraq -- specifically in the areas where such weapons would almost certainly be transported and maintained -- have turned up nothing. It seemed as though the media was treating the war-inflaming claims of Bush officials against Iran much more skeptically, refusing to simply pass along accusations without first conducting an investigation to determine if those claims were true.
But today, The New York Times does precisely the opposite -- it has published a lengthy, prominent front-page article by Michael Gordon that does nothing, literally, but mindlessly recite administration claims about Iran's weapons-supplying activities without the slightest questioning, investigation, or presentation of ample counter-evidence. The entire article is nothing more than one accusatory claim about Iran after the next, all emanating from the mouths of anonymous military and "intelligence officials" without the slightest verified evidence, and Gordon just mindlessly repeats what he has been told in one provocative paragraph after the next.
more: link to glenngreenwald.blogspot.com
and on a lighter note:
New York Times Reveals "Reporter" Michael Gordon Actually Voice-Activated Tape Recorder
NEW YORK—New York Times Executive Editor Bill Keller today announced that the paper's longtime staff writer Michael Gordon is not an actual person, but rather a voice-activated tape recorder.
"I'm not sure why everyone didn't figure this out before now," said Keller, pointing to the fact that, in Gordon's 26-year career, all of "his" stories have consisted entirely of transcribed statements by anonymous government officials.
According to Jill Abramson, the paper's Managing Editor, Gordon was purchased for $27.95 at a Radio Shack on West 43rd Street. Describing the situation as "a prank" that had "gotten slightly out of hand," Abramson said the paper had decided to acknowledge Gordon's identity because—after the tape recorder's front page story today, "Deadliest Bomb in Iraq Is Made by Iran, U.S. Says"—there "was no place left to take the joke."
Keller described how he and Abramson "really had a good laugh" while preparing the Iran story...
"You can't deny that's funny," said Keller, adding that the lack of skepticism displayed by Gordon was "literally inhuman." Keller and Abramson asserted that the Iran article is "even more hilarious" than Gordon's 2002 stories on Iraq's purported nuclear program, written with Judith Miller.
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