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الاثنين، 20 يوليو، 2015

Tall tales from the press?

Tall tales from the press?

The Common Ills
The media works hard to create drama.  Without it, who'll read, watch, stream or listen?

They need drama.

Which is why they're always so eager to assist a government in selling war or fear or both.

You can see that with regards to the Islamic State right now.

Zeina Karam and Bram Janssen (AP) offer this tale:

The children had all been shown videos of beheadings and told by their trainers with the Islamic State group that they would perform one someday. First, they had to practice technique. The more than 120 boys were each given a doll and a sword and told, cut off its head.

A 14-year-old who was among the boys, all abducted from Iraq's Yazidi religious minority, said he couldn't cut it right. He chopped once, twice, three times.

Is is true?

Well children never lie, right?

I mean Lillian Hellman did a very successful play about how children always tell the truth, remember?

The Children's Hour.

Oh, wait.  That's not about children telling the truth.

It's about them spreading gossip.

The Yazidis have gone to the well one time to many in the last ten or so months where there have been truth issues to put it mildly.  (The 'peaceful' group also terrorized a Sunni village -- which did include mass murders carried out by the Yazidis.)

So a 14-year-old would be suspect anyway.

A Yazidi one even more so.

(The Yazidis got in bed with a US neocon p.r. firm to sell their needs and to sell war -- this was after the Mount Sinjar operation.)

Now let's consider the child's story.

Boys are being taught to chop heads off dolls.

This needs to be taught?

Though some boys play with dolls (and many with 'action figures'), getting a boy to rip or chop the head off a doll isn't something that generally requires a great deal of inducement.

He also had trouble, the child says, slicing off the head.

No doubt because he's opposed to all violence against dolls, right?

It's a pleasing story -- it certainly pleases the White House -- it just can't be verified, can it?

And it really doesn't make a lot of sense, does it.

Reminds me of the 'Iraqi girl' who, ahead of the first Gulf War told the tale (lie) of babies being tossed out of incubators.

CNN, you may remember, pimped that lie like crazy back in the day.  They were not alone.

Today, Samira Said and Tim Lister (CNN) offer a tale of chemical weapons and how IS is using them in Iraq and Syria.  Now the reporters don't know this.  They only know that two groups claim this happened.  But if claims couldn't be presented as fact, CNN would have to broadcast dead air most of the day, wouldn't it?

From the article:

The two U.K.-based groups -- Conflict Armament Research (CAR) and Sahan Research -- sent teams to investigate allegations that ISIS used chemical munitions on three occasions last month. Two of the incidents occurred in Hasakah province in northern Syria, where ISIS is locked in battle with the Kurdish YPG group. The third involved a 120 mm mortar that landed near Kurdish positions at the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq but failed to explode.
CAR is not a "UK-based group" -- it defines itself as "a corporation."  It also gets funding from the European Union.  Sahan Research?  When a Kenyan think-tank feels the need to run with a Canadian mouth piece, I question it.  There are not Kenyans qualified to work at a think-tank?

Neither group is a human rights group.  Neither group is a disinterested party.

The conclusions they reach are in line with what they've been insisting for several years now so did research produce their results or did cherry picking?

I have no idea.

I do have common sense.

Let's review that CNN paragraph one more time.

The two U.K.-based groups -- Conflict Armament Research (CAR) and Sahan Research -- sent teams to investigate allegations that ISIS used chemical munitions on three occasions last month. Two of the incidents occurred in Hasakah province in northern Syria, where ISIS is locked in battle with the Kurdish YPG group. The third involved a 120 mm mortar that landed near Kurdish positions at the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq but failed to explode.

We don't do a "Syrian snapshot" five times a week.  We do an "Iraq snapshot" five times a week.

So let's focus on the Iraq aspect.

The two U.K.-based groups -- Conflict Armament Research (CAR) and Sahan Research -- sent teams to investigate allegations that ISIS used chemical munitions on three occasions last month. [. . .] The third involved a 120 mm mortar that landed near Kurdish positions at the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq but failed to explode.

For over a year now, the Islamic State has held Mosul.

I'm confused as to why they'd land a mortar near the Mosul Dam.

To attack the Kurds, didn't you read!

Yes, I did.

I also know that a chemical attack is not a tiny pin spot.

It is chemical.

It is carried via the air.

Why would you use it near the Mosul Dam when you occupy Mosul and a wind could very well carry the chemicals into Mosul?

Maybe you would.

If you're really stupid.

But, presumably, if you were using chemical weapons, you'd have some form of training in them -- at least enough not to kill yourself while deploying them.

The Islamic State is a terrorist group.

For the press (and the White House), that just isn't enough.

A lot of claims -- claims which cannot be verified -- are being presented by the press as facts.

The press is supposed to be skeptical.

But I guess when your selling fear and further war, you're juggling too much to also hold on to your ethics and training.

Kat's "Kat's Korner: Rickie's working the groove" and "Kat's Korner: Wilco's Star Wars shreds the sonic l..." went up yesterday.  New content at Third:
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