December 12, 2006

Neck Deep

In a column published last night, Eric Boehlert does an excellent job of showing why David Brock's Media Matters should be regarded as the alimentary canal of punditry; on one end it's good at regurgitation, and on the other, the finalized product is consistently something better flushed.

In Michelle Malkin fiddles while Baghdad burns, Boehlert dishonestly addresses the continuing Associated Press scandal surrounding the "Burning Six" story that emerged from the Sunni enclave of Hurriyah in Baghdad on November 24.

By the next day, even more details had emerged in the AP's story along with a description of why the alleged attacks finally ended.

Synthesize the various versions of the story, and you will have a horrific story of how Shia gunmen attacked while the Iraqi police and military stood by, without interfering, as four mosques were destroyed and as many as 18 people were killed, including six Sunni men pulled from a mosque and burned alive after being doused with kerosene. Only the arrival of American military units brought an end to the carnage.

But here's the problem... there is little to no evidence that any of these events took place.

Contrary to the AP's reporting, the Ahbab al-Mustafa, Nidaa Allah, al-Muhaimin and al-Qaqaqa mosques were never blown up. There is no evidence uncovered that a single soul, much less 18, were burned in an "inferno" at the al-Muhaimin mosque. In fact, soldiers from the 6th Iraqi Army Division found al-Muhaimin completely undamaged.

There is no evidence whatsoever that six men were pulled from a mosque under attack, doused in kerosene, set on fire, and then only shot once they quit moving.

Only the Nidaa Allah suffered minor fire damage from a Molotov cocktail, and no injuries were reported. The Iraqi Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Defense were apparently unable to discover any other physical evidence of any attacks in Hurriyah as the Associated Press, and only the Associated Press, claimed. Further, U.S. soldiers never intervened in Hurriyah on November 24.

The entirety of the Associated Press’ reporting on these alleged events relies on the testimony of two named sources and a handful of anonymous sources. Of those two sources, Sunni Imad al-Hashimi recanted his story after being interviewed by the Defense Ministry, leaving just one named source upon which the Associated Press was hanging its credibility, Iraqi Police Captain Jamil Hussein.

As we now know, the Iraqi Interior Ministry has now gone on the record, declaring that they have no record of anyone by the name of Jamil Hussein employed as an Iraqi policeman, at any rank. They also disputed the records of more than a dozen other AP sources that claimed to be part of the Iraqi police for which they had no records.

Further research indicated that Jamil Hussein was often on hand to report Shia on Sunni violence, and that Hussein had been used as a source for the Associated Press and no other news outlet, 61 times since April 24.

Boehlert, of course, is unsurprisingly disinterested as to why the Associated Press runs a story claiming the destruction of four mosques, the deaths of 18 people (six of them by immolation), or the allegations that Shiite military and police units allowed the attacks to take place. He quite purposefully leaves out the fact that all of the AP's sources were anonymous, other than the one that recanted, and the other that was exposed as long-running fraud.

Like the AP, Eric Boehlert seems far more interested in protecting a narrative and attacking the messengers, than seeking to discover how the AP's reporting could have been so horribly compromised.

He attacks "warbloggers," explicitly (and falsely) stating that those citizen journalists interested in getting to the bottom of this and other questionable instance of reporting blame the press "squarely" for the state of the war, a preposterous claim he does not even attempt to prove.

Few, if any, highly-regarded bloggers hold that opinion. Bad pre-war planning and post-invasion implementation of the same are widely acknowledged for much of the problems on the ground in Iraq, as are undisputed facts that al Qaeda, Syria, and Iran have contributed to the violence.

What Boehlert would like to gloss over (as it suits his narrative and that of the organization he writes for) are the very real structural problems with the stringer-based systems of reporting in Iraq.

In Iraq, the overwhelming majority of foreign journalists never leave the relative safety of Baghdad's Green Zone. Most newsgathering done in Iraq is compiled by Iraqi journalists, which in and of itself is to be expected. Iraqis know their country, their communities their language and their politics far more intimately than any Western reporter is ever likely to achieve. From that perspective, it would make little sense to rely primarily on Borat-like foreign reporters to cover what is going on inside the country.

But even though Iraqi reporters are the logical best choice to cover Iraqi events, the Associated Press and other wire services must be cognizant of the fact that just like the fellow Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds in their fractious society, reporters and their sources will also have regional, sectarian and tribal biases.

Because of this, all news organizations, especially the largest news organizations such as the Associated Press and Reuters, have an obligation to their readers to provide a robust set of editorial checks and balances to verify that the reporters they use and the sources they quote are supported by factual evidence.

As we now know, at least the final stories of the almost certainly fictitious Captain Jamil Hussein have no supporting physical evidence. Even repeated trips to the Hurriyah neighborhood have been unable to extricate the Associated Press from this mess of their own making. There are no destroyed mosques. There are no bodies.


Characteristically dishonest in his claims, Boehlert claims that bloggers are engaging in "wide-ranging conspiracy theories and silencing skeptical voices."

The truth of the matter is precisely the opposite; we're asking for more skeptical voices, more layers of fact-checking and editorial professionalism that seemingly have disappeared once wire service reporters join what Michael Fumento and other combat journalists from all sides of the political spectrum have derided as the "Baghdad Brigade."

If the Associated Press had a working system of checks and balances to do background checks on their reporters, they might not be in the embarrassing position of having one of their Iraqi stringers in prison after he was captured in a weapons cache with a terrorist commander, coated in explosives.

If the Associated Press had a working system of checks and balances to verify their sources, they might not have been listening to a false Iraqi policeman for two years, and more than a dozen other "policemen" that the Iraqi Interior Ministry says does not work for them (NOTE: The AP still uses these same named suspect policemen as sources to this very day).

If the Associated Press had a working system of editorial fact-checking, the lack of physical evidence alone should have precluded the burning mosques/burning men claims from ever having run. Hunkered down for in the Green Zone, the isolated fortress mindset infecting the media has led to reporting where allegations, not facts, are enough reason to run a story written by men and women who have never seen the subject matter on which they report.

Pure and simple, it is "faith-based" reporting.

It is because of this kind of absentee journalism that wave after wave of combat veterans return home from Iraq and Afghanistan claiming that the media is consistently misrepresenting what is going on in Iraq. Not necessarily better or worse, but just plain wrong. It's hardly surprising. You wouldn't expect a reporter in Boise to effectively cover a bank robbery in Raleigh, so why would you expect a reporter in a Baghdad hotel to accurately reporter events in Ramadi?

The problems of reporting in Iraq are based on flawed news-gathering processes and methodologies, questionable vetting of reporters and sources, and continued poor editorial oversight. The Associated Press responds to these problems exposed by Jamilgate by promoting those involved.

Boehlert shows he is far more interested in choking down typical Media Matters talking points and excreting arrogance mixed with contempt than engaging in any honest attempt to identify and fix obvious flaws in a broken system of reporting that lead to false reporting such as that evidence in Jamilgate. Apparently, "truthiness" is close enough for his purposes.

His mentor must be proud.

Update: Michelle piles on. Apparently Boelhert got even more wrong than I realized:

He is such an idiot that he doesn't even read the link that he includes to bolster his ridiculous charge.

I am the one who called a fellow conservative blogger to task for irresponsibly reporting that anonymous Republican sources had accused a Democrat staffer in Harry Reid's office of being the source. If he had bothered to follow his own links, this clown would know that. Or maybe he did and it doesn't matter. He's got a narrative to protect.

Boehlert charges that "[W]arbloggers aren't interested in an honest, factual debate about a single instance of journalistic accountability."

Like he would know anything about honest, factual debates and journalistic accountability?

Ouch. That's gonna leave a mark.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at December 12, 2006 12:56 PM | TrackBack

Eric Boehlert is proof positive that you can't give vi-gra to leftist media apologists only makes them taller.

Pulling all the same, tired, trite, smug and pedantic tripe from the Ministry of Media's playbook...this rambling, disjointed, puerile and inane attack on the AUDACITY of questioning the heretofore miserable record for honesty and ethics emanating from the cesspool of leftist an inverted Code of's the Code of shouting, screaming and ranting for everyone else to shut up.

Eric Boehlert is to calm reflection what Michael Moore is to sartorial splendor.

For those who have little interest in watching yet another Ministry of Media parrot work himself into a fine lather over one of the branches getting caught with their hand in the ethics cookie jar, yet again....let me sum up his tantrum.

"YOU ARE A DOODY BALL!" And while "Doody-ball Diplomacy" is now the fine art of leftist debate sure won't play over here...where we actually still honor things like facts, truth and evidence.

Produce Jamil, asshelmet....then we can talk.

Posted by: cfbleachers at December 12, 2006 01:36 PM

CY, you have not met your quota of "silencing skeptical voices" for the week. If you don't pick up the slack they will take away your jackboots.

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at December 12, 2006 02:38 PM

Excellent as always, Bob. I added a teaser and link at CENTCOM says AP’s "Iraqi police source" isn’t Iraqi police -- Part 15

Posted by: Bill Faith at December 12, 2006 03:27 PM

CY doth protest too much.

Boehlert nailed you like a stuck pig and you went off into your fantasy land of "...but there was no period, so the sentence is false" nitpicking. Do you deny that all of those other murders took place concurrently? That Iraq is in utter chaos?

The reason why sane media haven't picked this up is that AP adequately sourced the story for most rational people. You notice that CENTCOM is no longer challenging the story?

And speaking of credibility, how did that Bush in a Chador story work out for you?

Posted by: Ed at December 12, 2006 03:47 PM

Ed, I have no doubt that you think Eric Boehlert struck gold, simply because he reinforces your worldview. Following him means you don't have to think particularly hard, or be an individual, or challenge conventional wisdom over discrepancies in the evidence. If it makes you feel better, some people on the right do it as well. We call such people "Senator Lott."

It isn't "nitpicking" when the AP claims four mosques were leveled—excuse me, their exact words were "blown up," I believe—and not one was. Not. One.

It isn't nit-picking when they publish a story when they say as many as 18 people were burned—six purposefully immolated—and provide zero physical evidence to support their contentions.

As a matter of fact, all the physical evidence, from intact mosques, to a lack of victims, refutes AP's story categorically.

You say that the AP "sourced the story enough for most rational people," without acknowledging the fact that the media can get away with the anonymous sources that drove this story and its follow-ups because over decades hard-working, diligent reporters have earned the public's trust... a trust today's journalists have been abusing. Many people now view reporters with more contempt than they do reporters, and with greater reason.

Central Command is no longer writing about his story for the simple reason that there is nothing else let to say that hasn't already been said.

All the physical evidence—each and every bit—supports Central Command's versions of events. Of the two named witnesses, one has reversed his story, and the other has been proven a fraud, and a fraud that the AP trusted for 61 stories. What else do you want them to say, other than to repeat the case they've already made?

As for my "Drugs are Bad" post, in which the misreading of Jpeg compression artifacts and a case of the sillies brought about by surprisingly good cough syrup led me to put up a half-serious post about an Iraqi woman looking suspiciously like the President in drag, it worked out quite well. I got 15,000 hits from Drudge in a few hours. When I got home, I got to giggle for two days as I watched your fellow travelers throw a complete hissy fit over it.

Why, for all the uproar, you would have though I put someone in blackface.

Anyone who took that story as seriously should have their heads examined.

Of course, many of them already are.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at December 12, 2006 04:30 PM

And has AP learned their lession. Aparently not, according to CNN who reported today that "Iraqi police Lt. Bilal Ali Majid told The Associated Press that most of the victims were Shiites from poor areas of Baghdad such as Sadr City." Is Lt. Majid on the list questionable police sources? YOU BET HE IS!

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at December 12, 2006 04:53 PM

And has AP learned their lession? Aparently not, according to CNN who reported today that "Iraqi police Lt. Bilal Ali Majid told The Associated Press that most of the victims were Shiites from poor areas of Baghdad such as Sadr City." Is Lt. Majid on the list questionable police sources? YOU BET HE IS!

Posted by: BohicaTwentyTwo at December 12, 2006 04:53 PM

AP adequately sourced the story for most rational people.

Where is Jamil Hussein again? I missed the AP proof that he exists.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at December 12, 2006 05:37 PM

We seem to have moved from the ridiculous to the sublime.

Let's follow the Rube Goldberesque logic of the typical leftist lemming:

1)Story comes out that 18 people are, murdered, six of whom are burned alive by dousing them in kerosene and four mosques are bombed into oblivion.

2)The AP uses a "source" that they say they have "visited many times in his office" who is an alleged police know...with like a uniform, title and office type police officer.

3)NOBODY...and I mean NOBODY...has shown a single mosque in rubble in utterly destroyed...not even a PHOTOSHOPPED version of a mosque having been so attacked.

4)NOBODY....and I mean NOBODY...has appeared in Captain Jamil Hussein's office and asked for a clarification, follow up or amendment to his original "sourcing" of these horrific "acts". NOT A SINGLE OTHER NEWS AGENCY CAN LOCATE THE MAN.

So, let me get this straight. The four mosques that were destroyed, the 18 people who were murdered, the six kerosene doused victims AND Captain Jamil Hussein CANNOT BE FOUND, IDENTIFIED, VIEWED OR VERIFIED....and that is "adequately sourcing for most sane people"????

Where are the OTHER news agencies with potentially the most horrific act of violence and inhumanity? Where are the OTHER news agencies who can back up the existence of Jamil Hussein? Where is ANYONE who backs up this story as anything other than a complete fabrication? NOWHERE.

You see, when you are in the center of drekstorm of your own attack the people who talk about the stench. That's your only recourse.

It's important to remind these paragons of false virtue, that TELLING THE TRUTH and not FABRICATING stories, not photoshopping photos, not creating Harvey the Invisible Rabbit as your important to the credibility of ALL that you present. If you are a liar, if you are a fabricator, if you have no ethics and no morals...despite all that your mindless apologists try to cover for you...YOU ARE STILL BASTARDIZING AND POLLUTING A PUBLIC TRUST.

If you can't separate out your devotion to dogma of leftist BS...then get the hell out of the business of reporting back to us the facts and evidence we need to make up our minds...because despite what you arrogant bastards aren't smarter than the rest of us and we are damn tired of you lying to us to advance your infantile leftist pap.

Posted by: cfbleachers at December 12, 2006 06:30 PM

And Ed "knows" that Iraq is in utter chaos because....the AP tells him so. Which somehow proves that the AP was correct in the mosque destruction/burning Sunni stories. errrr....yeah. That's the ticket.

Posted by: iconoclast at December 12, 2006 08:24 PM

The sad fact is that passive research, i.e. letting the story come to them is what passes for journalism today. It is no wonder why the MSM is falling on hard times.

Posted by: Mnemosyne at December 12, 2006 09:31 PM

The antique MSM is still in free fall without a chute. The impact on landing is going to hurt. Anyone got any money in any of these weasel organizations? If so you are stupid.

Posted by: Scrapiron at December 12, 2006 09:43 PM

Ed: You libs are quick to post your snarky little comments but when refuted with facts you disappear. Why don't you grow a set and respond to CY's response to you. Or are you gutless like Ms. John Kerry?

Posted by: Edward at December 12, 2006 11:23 PM

Just waiting for the next AP venture into "adequately sourced and verified" on-scene reportage. What's it gonna be, Jimmeh Carter in fright-wig doing a "dead parrot" routine, embracing David Duke in sorrow for the calumny anti-Semitic racists have suffered all these years?

Why is it that the vast majority of newsies these days seem post-mentrual, verbalescent Femyappers? The one at AP ought to buckle up her chastity belt before risking further violation.

Posted by: John Blake at December 13, 2006 12:01 AM

Im sure this is all an honest mistake

Oh- anyone catch that Boehlert character on CSPAN a few months back?

He seems real proud of himself.

Whic of course, is the problem.

Ie, its all about HIM (as opposed to, you know, the TRUTH)

Posted by: TMF at December 13, 2006 08:01 AM

Right on the money TMF. One would have to surmise that these people cannot be a stoopid as they constantly lead us to believe and the notion of absolute "Leftist Collegiate Brainwashing" seems unreasonable. Therefore the only possibility that remains is self preservation or finding a niche, making a dollar and sticking to it. I wonder how many of these dishonest (lying) pundits on both sides press their case because they have made their beds and must now "Lie" in them. All the more reason to respect someone like Horowitz.

Posted by: Dave at December 13, 2006 08:47 AM

You guys missed the real story which Capt Hussein could tell.....the 6 were actually whisked to Germany where they were burned in the dreaded gas chambers...which were unused according to the Iran President who is always in happy-happy land...and it just may be that Capt. Hussein is actually an Iranian Capt. who relays these stories to the AP so they don't actually have to have reporters in Iraq!


The above makes as much sense as the liberal idiotarians who know there is still one thing and one thing only that might support AP's story as credible......



Posted by: Duke DeLand at December 13, 2006 10:24 AM

This suedo-reporter's only purpose in publishing his dishonest and misleading screed is all contained in the first paragraph. He simply had to chide the Republicans for their loss in the election.

When are the real wordsmiths going to go to press about how the Islamist Murderers and leftist wackos all love that the Democrat retreatists are now in power?


Posted by: Michael O'Malley at December 13, 2006 11:35 AM

News organizations like AP exist because of dupes like Ed who will religiously believe anything and everything they post without question.

Posted by: docdave at December 13, 2006 11:43 AM

You and the other warbloggers, of course, bring no bias to the table whatsoever, right?

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger at December 13, 2006 02:04 PM

Avenger, no one has any doubts about my personal views or the policies I support. My biases are crystal clear.

The Associated Press, however, is another matter entirely.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at December 13, 2006 02:09 PM

...just a little molotov cocktail damage - that's all...

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger at December 13, 2006 02:13 PM

Well, it was only a matter of time before the "I know you are, but what am I" defense from the leftist apologist steaming pile.

This will be followed soon by the "Mommy, he started it" defense, followed by the "I'm rubber and you're glue..." defense.

Evidence that the Peter Pandemic has spread to plague proportions on the left.

Posted by: cfbleachers at December 13, 2006 02:27 PM

"Why is it that the vast majority of newsies these days seem post-mentrual, verbalescent Femyappers? The one at AP ought to buckle up her chastity belt before risking further violation."

How politically incorrect of you, JB. It's almost like you are saying that Carroll has a vagenda she wants to advance. I see a PC lynching in your future with my magic 8 ball.

Posted by: cfbleachers at December 13, 2006 02:32 PM

From minor fire damage to major melee in one unsubstantiated report from a witness unable to be found on planet Earth.

What's this have to do with inherent media bias? Oh, that's right, it doesn't. It has to do with VERIFIABLE FACTS and the distinct lack of them.

Thanks, Avenger, for the fine example of misdirection.

Posted by: deesine at December 13, 2006 02:55 PM

It is just so deliciously ironic that ultra-conservatives like Confederate Yankee and Michelle Malkin are declaring themselves to be the holy arbiters of truth while the rest of the world - especially the Islamofascists and the MSM - are parties with an inherent bias so strong they can't be trusted.

I wonder if Confederate Yankee - or any of the rest of you commenters - has the courage to declare Iraq to be a waste or a failure or a disaster. Of course you don't. In your eyes Iraq is only a disaster insofar as the MSM and liberal bloggers conspire to hide the "good news" from the rest of the free world.

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger at December 13, 2006 03:44 PM

Well, Liberal Avenger, Iraq may very well be a disaster but it's hard to make that determination with the quality of information coming out of the AP and Reuters.

There's a big difference between minor fire damage to one mosque and the complete destruction of four mosques.

I listen to the traffic news to decide what route to take to work. If every accident, from a fender-bender to an overturned tanker truck, were reported as a major pileup with freeway closures and life-flight helicopters it would be rather difficult to make any kind of informed decision based on that.

Posted by: Magoo at December 13, 2006 04:29 PM

You think I'm ultra-conservative? Perhaps in relation to how far left you are, but that only goes to reinforce just how far off center your views are in comparison. Other than my views on fighting Islamofascism, my views are almost dead-center, at least according to those little political quizes that people post on their blogs from time to time (Quizzes aside, I'm slightly right of center).

This also probably comes as a shock to you and every other liberal, but as the campaign is on-going, it is premature to declare it a waste, failure, or a disaster. While I suspect quitting and failure is just part of your nature, I also suspect you rely purely on the mainstream media and liberal blogs for your information about the war.

Conservative bloggers, while we read what the press has to say, also get their information from milbloggers, servicemen who have been in combat zones in Iraq, and embeds. We're simply better informed, becuase we seek information everywhere we can, and are willing to leave our echo-chamber to do so.

It is a fact, and one that the media acknowledges, that they do not typically carry the day-to-day positive developments coming out of Iraq or Afghanistan. Good news, from insurgent cells being captured, or wells being dug, or schools being built, tends to be boring. Bad news, such as a suicide bombing, is boring. "If it bleeds it leads" is a truism.

The situation on the ground in Iraq is fluid, but far from over. We simply don't know who is winning right now.

For people like myself, that means we try harder to create teh conditions for victory. For liberals such as yourself, that means quit.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at December 13, 2006 04:30 PM

Well, Avenger, sorry to throw chili sauce into your sumptuous curry-fest, but many of us don't trust the MSM because of cases just like this: where the rudiments of journalism have been left behind.

Keep your bias, fine, but give us the facts!

Oh, and the Iraq war is a disaster on many fronts, not only in the inept way some news organizations cover it. You seem unable to take off your bipolar partisan glasses for one moment and at least consider that the AP is not coming clean on this story.

Why are you so willing to believe a story where the only verifiable facts speak to the opposite and the main source can not/will not be produced? And here you are, like a giddy prospector, talking to us of irony!

Posted by: deesine at December 13, 2006 04:45 PM

"It is just so deliciously ironic that ultra-conservatives like Confederate Yankee and Michelle Malkin are declaring themselves to be the holy arbiters of truth while the rest of the world - especially the Islamofascists and the MSM - are parties with an inherent bias so strong they can't be trusted."

I'm not sure I follow the point attempted here. So let me attempt to reassemble the argument. Then again...all the kings horses and all the kings men...but, alas, I'll try.

"It is just so deliciously ironic that ultra-conservatives like Confederate Yankee and Michelle Malkin are declaring themselves to be the holy arbiters of truth ..."

What exactly is an "ultra-conservative". I haven't seemed to have met a leftist who doesn't think that EVERYONE who fails to march in lockstep with them...isn't a "warmongering, homophobic, racist, slack-jawed, mouthbreathing, inbred Jed", what...exactly....constitutes principled dissent from the leftist lemming playbook?

I can tell you right now...I fall on EVERY quiz on the subject as being a centrist...I believe I am in the MAJORITY on most of my opinions in this country (fiscally and homeland security not liberal, socially left of center)...yet, if I don't sing from the leftist hymnal, I'm lumped in with the "vast right wing" as a co-conspirator.

So, please....enlighten us...what makes CY or Michele Malkin ULTRA conservatives???

And by commenting on the DISMAL AND REPEATED failures of the leftist media to even remotely attempt to hide their lack of objectivity, to intentionally falsify reports, to forge documents, photoshop scenes, stage phony scenarios, create fake sources out of whole cloth....Michele and Bob are making themselves "holy arbiters of truth".

What a steaming pile of parrot scat. If a non-leftist blogger points out malfeasance of the leftist press...they are automatically out of bounds...because to do so is merely an attempt to elevate themselves to a level of deity reigning over the truth? This argument is absurd.

What SHOULD they do? According to leftists the only "holy arbiter" of leftist misdeeds, apparently, is the Holy See No Evil...and we await the puffs of white smoke to see whether that is Dan Rather or Howard Kurtz.

If the leftist media had an ounce of integrity, they would have policed these issues themselves instead of running interference for them.

And while you arrogant bastards keep feeding us lies, distortions, misrepresentations and misdirections... that we "need", because after all...we are too stupid to extract the "conclusions" you want us to reach, without creating "caricatures of the truth"...done for us, for our benefit,, the great unwashed who would otherwise be unable to connect your leftist bridle at the notion that some people actually would prefer the truth, so that we can make up our own minds about what we think on the great issues of the day. YOU may want a nanny state, with a nanny press and a nanny government...the MAJORITY OF US...DO NOT.

And frankly, those of us who still care about the truth, about honor, about an objective reporting of actual facts...ought to get down on our knees every day and thank the heavens that Michele, Bob, Charles, Gleen, VDH...are doing not only the work that our press OUGHT to be doing...but, also are UNDOING the lies...which is twice as difficult...especially with the Code of Silence in the leftist Ministry of Media.

The notion that leftists OWN our information and therefore can do what they want with it...while they predigest it and regurgitate it to their own little helpless, mindless little baby the largest, greatest and most grave danger to the future of our country. You DON'T own the information stream, and you are NOT casting pearls before swine, you arrogant bastards.

"I wonder if Confederate Yankee - or any of the rest of you commenters - has the courage to declare Iraq to be a waste or a failure or a disaster."

Which part? The part where people are no longer being put down woodchippers or the part where the rape rooms don't have his predatory sons defiling innocent girls?

The part where Al Qaeda is on the run and being disrupted or the part where those people were able to engage in a free democratic vote?

A waste? To whom? A failure? Based on what? Six months is a pretty short time frame to declare a democracy in its infancy a "failure". Some things are working, some are not yet there. Why are you leftists in such a rush to declare a failure...of a work in progress? Does success frighten you? Are you unwilling to work at it to give it a chance?

Disaster? Allowing Saddam to build a nuclear arsenal and to pass off weapons to terrorists to kill Americans and Israelis in the hundreds of thousands...THAT would be a disaster. I'm sorry, I simply don't miss Saddam as much as apparently the leftists do.

"Of course you don't. In your eyes Iraq is only a disaster insofar as the MSM and liberal bloggers conspire to hide the "good news" from the rest of the free world."

Well, thanks for the admission. The Ministry of Media and liberal bloggers are, politely speaking, essentially... oversaturated with excrement. We don't miss Saddam. Iraq is better off as a nation without him....long term...and for many, short term.

Al Qaeda is still on the run. Disrupting the terrorists is a good thing, not a bad thing. And if we are forced to confront the fact that Iran's leadership wants to deny the Holocaust, drive Israel into the sea, kill Americans and wage nuclear war...I would rather that we were staring at them from their front doorstep, than sitting in the Ivy Towers of the NYTimes and calling them "essential partners in our future".

Here's the sum of can't lie, misrepresent, dissemble, dummy up photos and stage phony scenes, create fake sources and expect honest people to simply sit back and swallow your pablum for the leftist mind. Try another tactic, this one is exposing itself...and we can't help but giggle at your shortcomings.

Posted by: cfbleachers at December 13, 2006 05:15 PM


The reason no one here is willing to concede Iraq is a "failure" and a "waste" is because that is simply not consistent with factual reality.

Maybe if you are George Soros, Helen Thomas, Keith Olbermann or Kofi Annan and have an agenda or narrative to spin, sure, you could call it a failure.

The rest of us here realize it is far, far, too early to deem the Iraq war a "disaster" or a "failure".

Saddam Hussein was removed from power. Tens of thousands of Iraqi and Al Qaeda terrorists, including the grandpapa of them all: Zarqawi (forget, did we?) have been killed.

Iraq has had 3 hugely successful elections that were relatively violence free.

The fact that there are still car bombings and assasinations is only a sign of "failure" in the minds of the octagenerians who watch Morely Safer and think he is a "news man". In the real world, these things are tragedies for the victims, but ultimately mere set backs for the military and propaganda tools for the enemy.

Which works very well in the arab world, and in the American left.

Posted by: TMF at December 13, 2006 05:50 PM

I suppose that we were winning in Vietnam, too...

10 years, 58000 Americans and 2 million Vietnamese were just a prelude to the inevitable American victory that was foiled by the likes of Walter Cronkite, Jane Fonda and John Kerry.

If only we had unleashed the true fury of the American military machine in Vietnam the world might very well have been a very different place today!

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger at December 13, 2006 07:37 PM

I thought that Zarqawi's death was supposed to be the end of the insurgency.

Actually, wasn't the January 2005 election supposed to be the end of the insurgency?

Before that it was the writing of the constitution, I believe.

Hmmm - the destruction of Fallujah in November of 2004 was going to "break the back of the insurgency," wasn't it?

I know that Saddam's capture, trial and conviction were supposed to put an end to in-country violence.

Uday and Qusay were bad people. I can understand the declaration that their deaths would mark the end of the insurgency.

May 2003, bulging crotch and all, Bush declared Mission Accomplished.

I can see how the AP conspiracy to spin things negatively about Iraq has really undermined the American peoples' perception of the war. It's clear that the Bush Administration has been on top of things all along and has been effectively communicating with the public regarding the war.

I couldn't possibly imagine six people being soaked in kerosene and set on fire in Baghdad... In Paris, maybe - but not Baghdad.

Thank you, oh mighty warbloggers, for keeping your skeptical eyes on the situation in Iraq and for holding the Bush Administration accountable for the things that they say and do.

You've done such a remarkable job, a full 21% of Americans today approve of George Bush's handling of the war.

Keep up the good work!

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger at December 13, 2006 08:26 PM

Walter Cronkite...a now proven liar about the TET offensive...which he intentionally lied about to the American people as an American defeat...obviously, this doesn't bother people who really don't give a damn about the truth.

Jane Fonda, who called our boys "baby killers" and inspired people to spit on our own troops and throw feces at them when they returned from doing their duty for our country...obviously this doesn't bother people who have no honor.

John Kerry, who lied about his military involvements, lied about our troops and slandered them, met secretly with the enemy to plan our own defeat, and calls our troops stupid....obviously this doesn't bother people who have no integrity.

The Cambodians who died in the bloodbath after we left, obviously this doesn't bother people who have principles of convenience.

They supported and whitewashed Castro...a brutal dictator who suppressed every form of freedom. They supported Mao who suppressed every form of freedom, they supported every Marxist/Leninist thug...while crapping on their own country....while people were placed in gulags, "reeducation camps" and they whitewashed every atrocity.

But they still point a finger at America in Viet Nam. It's high time we hose off this leftist slime. We've been slimed for 40 years by this ignorant, duplicitous hippies.

Viet Nam was about Soviet expansionism, do these lying bastards still want to deny that was a fact? Romanticizing Stalinism is like waxing poetic about acid reflux. No matter how hard you's just the wrong object about the wrong subject.

Push Socialism/Communism all you want. Glorify it. Romanticize it. Spray it with Glade and put a frilly bow on it.

Here's the end story. Socialism/Communism suck. The people who have been pushing it for 40 years and sucking up to every enemy of state during that time...have been whitewashing their atrocities...and lying about us. They call themselves Americans. They are in name only. In the black community, they would be called Uncle Toms. People who shuck and jive and bow and scrape and attempt to curry favor with those who hate you...because you want to be liked by them. ("Like me, Fidel...I think you are wonderful, I'm not like these Ugly Gringos").

Overwhelmingly white, middle class, ...these White Uncle Toms are now aging and fighting the ravages of becoming old and unhip. So they worry about eliminating wrinkles and become like Arianna Huffinpuff, the Botox Bohemians...faces stretched like bandits with nylon face stockings, it's all about image, not substance.

The Collagen Counterculture is at once vain and preoccupied with status, wanting desperately to cling onto a relevance that was based on a fraud to begin with. More shallow (and twice as pretentious) than a tumbler of Chambord...these Botox Bohemians continue to clang their one note song against the walls of our home and hearth.

"America sucks", "Down with America"..."look at how bad she is, was, will be". Their movies are predictable and uninspired, their homilies are trite and vacuous, they have nothing left...and remain a pathetic, doddering, drooling broad farce of what they once pretended to be.

I can only hope that what replaces them is newer, fresher, more mature, less self-absorbed and less likely to engage in principles of conveniences and open sedition against the only country who tolerates their vileness because to silence it would somehow be worse.

Posted by: cfbleachers at December 13, 2006 08:48 PM

I suppose that we were winning in Vietnam, too...

Hey, Liberal Avenger, tell us what you know about the Tet Offensive.

Militarily, was it a win or a loss for the North Vietnamese?

How was it reported by the press?

Now, surely you'd want steps taken to see that such a mischaracterization of America's military situation never happens again, right?

I said, "right?" !

Posted by: Lewis at December 13, 2006 08:50 PM

Well we lost 500,000 men in WWII...only 55,000 in Vietnam and a mere 2900 in Iraq-

I guess that makes WWII the biggest "disaster" and "Failure" of them all by the measure of LA and his silly, ahistorical pro-terrorist pals over at the Nation, DU and ANSWER

Posted by: TMF at December 13, 2006 08:59 PM

I couldn't possibly imagine six people being soaked in kerosene and set on fire in Baghdad... In Paris, maybe - but not Baghdad.

Let me see if I understand your reasoning here:

Who cares if the incident in question is fabricated? -- the AP is still accurately reporting the "big picture" - that Iraq is a complete mess and represents a total failure on the part of the Bush administration.

Looks like "fake but accurate" news is still the gold standard for liberals!

Posted by: Lewis at December 13, 2006 09:04 PM

Conservatives: Denying reality since 1965

Posted by: The Liberal Avenger at December 14, 2006 12:36 AM

Trolls: Dirtying the net since 1972

Posted by: deesine at December 14, 2006 12:49 AM

Whoa. Pungent, indeed.

Consider this scoop a manual trackback: Jamil Hussein spotted in Qana!

Posted by: Doug Ross at December 16, 2006 11:00 AM