June 23, 2007

SockPuppet Strikes Out Again

Glenn Wilson McEllensburg has suddenly become a terrorism expert, and can't wait to get a conspiracy off his chest:

Josh Marshall publishes an e-mail from a reader who identifies what is one of the most astonishing instances of mindless, pro-government "reporting" yet:
It's a curious thing that, over the past 10 - 12 days, the news from Iraq refers to the combatants there as "al-Qaida" fighters. When did that happen?

Until a few days ago, the combatants in Iraq were "insurgents" or they were referred to as "Sunni" or "Shia'a" fighters in the Iraq Civil War. Suddenly, without evidence, without proof, without any semblance of fact, the US military command is referring to these combatants as "al-Qaida".

Welcome to the latest in Iraq propaganda.

That the Bush administration, and specifically its military commanders, decided to begin using the term "Al Qaeda" to designate "anyone and everyeone we fight against or kill in Iraq" is obvious. All of a sudden, every time one of the top military commanders describes our latest operations or quantifies how many we killed, the enemy is referred to, almost exclusively now, as "Al Qaeda."

Actually, that isn't obvious, Glenn. What is obvious is your own industrial-strength ignorance, which apparently seems to be quite contagious among the more irrational actors of the far left.

The reason that we've been reading more over the past few days about attacks directed against al Qaeda—more than Sunni insurgents, more than Shia militiamen—is that elements of al Qaeda have been specifically targeted by U.S. and Iraqi forces in Operation Arrowhead Ripper in Diyala Province, in Operation Commando Eagle southwest of Baghdad, Operation Marne Torch southeast of Baghdad, and in other operations throughout the country.

If Glen Greenwald or Josh Marshall weren't above a Sullivaneque "floating of a theory" by a conspiracy-minded reader (to excuse their own inherent distrust of our military, of course), they might have bothered to recognize, or God forbid, research a few key facts.

The first of those facts is that we are in offensive operations surrounding and targeting al Qaeda cells specifically, often with information provided by their former allies in the Sunni insurgency.

Second, the military is consistently releasing stories about contacts with both Sunni insurgents and Shia militiamen, and our military is calling them such as they contact them.

Let's got back "10-12 days" and see what Multi-National Force-Iraq has been saying in their press releases. According to Greenwald, the enemy the military talks about is "almost exclusively now" al Qaeda.

And yet, when we go back 12 days to Monday, June 11, we find that in MNF-I's three combat-related press releases, only one addresses al Qaeda. The following day, U.S. forces raided an insurgent weapons cache, came under attack from an insurgent VBIED, and engaged "enemy fire" coming from a mosque, without ever specifying who that was.

On Wednesday, June 13, MNF-I published 17 press releases. Of those a Grand total of four mentioned al Qaeda. Five others mentioned Sunni insurgents, five more couldn't specify the attacker, and one wrote about Iranian-affiliated Shia militias.

I invite Greenwald, Marshall, and others who seem to like this meme to do their own digging through MNF-I's archive of press releases, where they'll find more days very similar to this.

As the offensive operations cited above--part of an overall operation called Phantom Thunder--are specifically targeting al Qaeda cells, we will be reading about those terrorists that our soldiers are directly targeting. But as accounts from Saturday show that we are still encountering Shia militias and Sunni insurgents even today, the theory being aired by Greenwald and his conspiracy-minded followers is shown—with only passing research—to be complete and utter bunk.

Update: Undaunted by the facts, Greenwald attempts to shore up his flimsy argument by citing other liberal conspiracy theorists and letters to, forcing yet another debunking of his claims.

Reality. He should check into it sometime.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at June 23, 2007 03:11 PM

Their neatly crafted fantasy is crashing on the hard rocks of reality.

When the 1920's are working with us now to zap'em, its pretty clear that there IS indeed a distinct AQ presence...much to the despair of the leftists.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at June 23, 2007 03:21 PM

What's so funny is that the *news* this "reader" gets, especially the *news* from Iraq, is from the *News Media*, and when these organizations report who we're fighting against they often substitute their personally preferred terms over whatever the Government might use, unless it is a quote. such as UPI's "guerillas".

You're right on target with your capsuling of MNF press releases, CY, though I don't think you emphasize enough the fact that in the southern belts and in many of the Baghdad district, the MNF identifies Madhi not Al Qaeda.

Don't bother scanning the actual *news* that "reader" or his meme trumpeters get, let them do it if they really think they can support their drivel. They can't. A flip to using Al Qaeda hasn't happened. Just look at typical *news* weasel Richard Oppel's brief story in his own words in the NYT today. Not a mention of Al Qaeda.

The left has no grasp on reality.

Posted by: Dusty at June 23, 2007 05:30 PM

Greenwald has become increasingly desperate of late trying to turn light into gloom with respect to Iraq. It's clear that he either doesn't read much on the subject or wilfully ignores material which is out there relating to our operations against Mookie's Militias and the Sunnis. He's turned into a stenographer for Tehran with respect to Iran's involvement in Iraq. He views anything said by anyone from Iran as fact, while anything said from the U.S. as unconfirmed, third-hand supposition.

He can't write anything these days without beclowing himself. What would a patriot do? If Glenn Greenwald still considers himself a patriot he should recognize that he's gone over the edge and hang it up for a while.

Posted by: daleyrocks at June 23, 2007 07:25 PM

Greenwald and his ilk have basically become modern day Lord Haw Haw's pimping for the enemy.

Not only gone over the edge, but gone over to the other side. This is basically "terminal stage" BDS.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at June 23, 2007 08:55 PM

GG should avoid cameras for a few days, or at least until the imprint of your keyboard on his face fades away.

Posted by: ErkW at June 24, 2007 01:52 AM

Gotta admire a thorough debunking! Fortunately, on a day to day basis, all it usually takes is actually following Greenwald's own links.

Posted by: JM Hanes at June 24, 2007 03:48 AM

CY - a good example of why systematic observation is better than casually noticing something unusual and building a theory around it.

The example could be translated into terms the lefties might understand: you are walking down the street. 19 ethnic minority people pass you by peacefully so you don't really notice them. The 20th mugs you. You notice him. You draw the conclusion that ethnic minorities are "almost exclusively" violent criminals. That's Greenwald's logic here.

Posted by: PB at June 24, 2007 07:44 AM

Speaking of Josh Marshall, he ran a contest a while back looking for examples where the administration actually called into question their opponents patriotism.

I never did see a follow up. Probably because being accused of questioning somebody's patriotism by one side in the debate is not the same thing as actually doing it.

Posted by: moptop at June 24, 2007 07:48 AM

I agree with whatever Glenn Greenwald says.

Posted by: Ima Pseudonym at June 24, 2007 08:58 AM

Greenwald and his ilk have now gone from denying ANY kind of connection between Al Qaeda and other Islamists, to denying any connection between Al Qaeda and itself.

Posted by: CK MacLeod at June 24, 2007 09:46 AM

The conspiracy line of thought only works if you first believe Al Queda to be a creation of the Bush Administration to focus the country's ire upon post-911 (to justify occupying Iraq for its oil, instead of occupying ANWR for its oil I guess).

Posted by: Neo at June 24, 2007 10:28 AM

Neo: Everyone knows Rove masterminded 911 to perk up moronic Bush's tanking poll numbers, Bush lied us into war to clinch his 2004 re-election.

Posted by: ic at June 24, 2007 11:16 AM

LOTS of truth here the comments are better than the post

The left has no grasp on reality.


He views anything said by anyone from Iran as fact, while anything said from the U.S. as unconfirmed, third-hand supposition.


Not only gone over the edge, but gone over to the other side. This is basically "terminal stage" BDS.

YES!!! he hates W so much hes pulling for the ENEMY

dont know for sure but rumor is that he lives in brazil with an arab BOYFRIEND


Posted by: Karl at June 24, 2007 11:42 AM

It’s relatively straight forward, when the Iraqi insurgents were fighting alongside Al Qaeda they weren’t sharing information about the nature of the insurgency with the newspapers. The media outlets had two sources for their information, military sources and Iraqi news stringers. After the WMD flap the media thought it could disregard military sources as biased and unreliable. The Iraqi news stringers were almost always Sunni and often had ties to Saddam’s old information ministry. The role of Al Qaeda was downplayed as minor foreign segment of the insurgency that didn’t have a leadership role and didn’t have real ties to the real Al Qaeda anyway.

A lot of the local insurgents have flipped sides or are now in Jordan waiting it out. They are now available to the press and they are talking. The accounts that they are telling are consistent with each other and with what military intelligence sources have been saying all along. The talking heads and institutional sources back in the US can say what they want, but they are uniformly contradicted by local Iraqis on the ground. The Reporters on the ground for the major newspapers are now calling them Al Qaeda.

Al Qaeda always had a central role in the insurgency ever since Fallujah in 2004. When Fallujah flared the Sunni tribes of Anbar joined up in a loose coalition under the Al Qaeda banner. There has been a progression over the last years of how Al Qaeda has largely taken over much of the insurgency. If you want to know what Al Qaeda has been doing in Anbar province go ask people in Anbar. Likewise, we will get to hear all about what’s been going down in Diyala province once reporters can interview the people there.

Posted by: Neo-andertal at June 24, 2007 12:35 PM

Come on!

If we just give them Czechoslavkia, they'll be satisfied! We can achieve peace in our time, we just have to be flexible.

Posted by: Dirk DIggler at June 24, 2007 04:03 PM

I note he's posted some updates in obvious defense of his thesis. And yet these are some darned shallow defenses. The hazard of such a tack is that one gains a reputation for freighting gossamer implications with the weight of full-blown alarums. It's just ridiculous.

Posted by: rasqual at June 24, 2007 10:16 PM

Wait a sec. Who's Glenn Greenwald again? Some sort of self-stroking sock puppet?!?!!? And we depend on him, why?

Oh yeah, that self-referential partner, or whatever. Oh, Glenn Greenwald, he's a *wealth* of *hot* *spurting* *liquid* knowledge about Iraq. Ummm, good.

Cough. A-hem.

Posted by: Patrick Carroll at June 24, 2007 11:38 PM

It was easier to get Iraqi insurgents to join in the fight against al-Qaeda than democrats.

Posted by: Bacchus at June 25, 2007 10:34 AM

GG writes smart stuff, you are a moron. This is strongly supported by your random spittle specked flailings and the weirdo writing of inadvertantly self-disclosing me-tooer freaks like Patrick Carroll. Seriously Patty wtf is up with that post, it's more content free than this one. Just had to release some hot sticky tension. If GG wasn't gay and hadn't made that one slip wtf would you have to say about him? Hard to see the merits of your arguments sunk so deep in to the morass of your hate.

Keep it up though your support and the support of your shut-in readers has done wonders for the GOP and the fictional GWOT.

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