Thursday, March 30, 2006

Juan Cole: If You Can't Do It, Just Make It Up

If you want to know just WTF is really going on in Iraq, you have to visit Juan Cole's Informed Comment.

Has any conflict since the Spanish American War been so much a fantasy of the yellow press and government hawks as the Iraq War?

The Independent has gotten hold of some of the black psy-ops "newspaper articles" peddled by the Lincoln Group to Iraqi newspapers (it paid $2000 an article to plant them, disguising them as real news). This operation is the ultimate in warfare. Instead of actually winning the war, the Pentagon substitutes itself for the journalists and paints the new Iraqi army as the eighth wonder of the world and declares we are winning.

The illusions are so circular and self-referential that when corporate media went looking for someone to comment on the Lincoln psy-ops operation, they quoted
Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute as saying it was all just fine. Turns out that Rubin is a paid consultant of . . . The Lincoln Group (and quite dishonestly didn't let the NYT know it.) So the American Enterprise Institute, which helped manufacture the fantasy of a victorious Iraq War in the first place, now has its staff help manufacture the illusion of success on the ground and then lie about it to the MSM.

Meanwhile, Michael Schwartz at explains why the media gets the Iraq War wrong. His message: It's the economy, stupid.

People who want to be in Congress should know the difference between Istanbul and Baghdad. Howard Kaloogian's website tried to prove that everything was just fine in Iraq by posting a picture of Bakirkoy in downtown Istanbul and characterizing it as a Baghdad street scene! I just remembered this issue. Kaloogian spearheaded the move to cancel a CBS mini-series about Ronald Reagan, and to keep Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 out of the theaters! He not only is creating imaginary Iraqs, he has tried to prevent us from seeing in the media other accounts of reality than his own!

Kudos to the gang at
Daily Kos for outing this fraud...(more)

Top photo (below) was posted to CA GOP candidate Howard Kaloogian's campaign website with this about it: "We took this photo of dowtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it - in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism."

The bottom photo proves it to have really been taken in Turkey, outside Istanbul.

Peaceful Iraq huh? What a perverted despicable slap in the face to the media and our armed forces who put their lives on the line every day. Stick a fork in him

Comparative picture analysis by Josh Marshall

TPM Muckraker: Some History on Kaloogian's Move America Forward

Howard Kaloogian's "Truth Tour" to Iraq in July, 2005 was sponsored by Move America Forward, a non-profit, "non-partisan" outfit that Kaloogian founded. You might have never heard of them before, but you certainly know their work. It includes:

-- Producing a series of TV ads late last year that claimed Iraq did in fact have WMDs;

-- Shuttling pro-war protestors to Crawford to counter Cindy Sheehan's "Camp Casey" as part of their "You Don't Speak for Me, Cindy" tour;

-- a campaign supporting John Bolton's contentious nomination" for UN ambassador - including financing the ad campaign in Ohio that attacked Sen. George Voinivich (R-OH) for not backing Bolton.

-- backing U.S. detention policies at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by selling 'I [Heart] Gitmo' bumper stickers."

The "Truth Tour" sent five conservative radio-talk-show hosts to U.S. military bases in Baghdad for "a week of upbeat broadcasts."
And according to the WSJ, the group grew out of the successful 2003 recall effort in California.

Hi!, I'm Howard Kaloogian, let me tell you all about my group's 'Truthiness Tour' to Iraq And this is hillarious:
Josh: Ahh, a thing of beauty. Wikipedia says there's a new noun: 'Kaloogian.' It describes "the use of a false or out-of-context image in order to advance an idea."

[Update] Aww, wikipedia deleted the the new word.


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