US Military Encirclement of Iran
Along with the rest of the western mainstream media (MSM) the quality of its reportage, now so dependent on 'embedded journalism', has taken a revolting downward lurch. A lurch made all the more disastrous since the appointment of a pimpish US government mouthpiece, Simon Tisdall, as its deputy editor.
British journalism has long been infiltrated by the intelligence services with newspapers like the Telegraph and its notorious Con Coughlin known to be MI5 stooges. Whether or not Tisdall is yet another is not certain but he certainly likes to play the cheerleader for US foreign policy on issues like the Iraq occupation and its anti-Chavism.
His latest piece of disinformation on Iraq, supplied him as the article repeatedly suggests by US "official sources", is not only full of nonsensical contradictions but the kind of blatant propaganda that could only have come straight out of Dick Cheney's Iran Policy Committee.
'Iran's secret plan for summer offensive to force US out of Iraq', begins with the hysterical allegation that, "Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say."
Note the last three words, "US officials say", which are to be found sprayed across the rest of this tripe. Any journalist who uses language such as "al-Qaida elements" without questioning the highly dubious CIA origins of the nebulous Al Qaeda is either naive in extremis or a fully fledged disinformer. Iran is a nation of Shiites who are no friends of the Sunnis. To suggest now that Iran is backing its mortal enemy takes us into a world so full of convoluted logic we could easily drown. Another classic ploy of the disinformer.
Iran expert and academic, Juan Cole, comments despairingly on his blog, "I suppose I have to link to this silly article by poor Simon Tisdall in of all places, The Guardian, whom someone is using to push a sinister agenda. Yes, its sources are looney in positing a coming offensive jointly sponsored by Iran, the Mahdi Army and al-Qaeda."
He continues, "At a time when Sunni Arab guerrillas are said to be opposing 'al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia' for its indiscriminate violence against Iraqis, including Shiites, we are now expected to believe that Shiite Iran is allying with it. And, it claims that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards are shelling the Green Zone."
"The parliament building that was hit to day by such shelling is dominated by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council and its paramilitary, the Badr Organization. Who trained Badr? The Iranian Revolutionary Guards. And they are trying to hit their own guys . . . why?"
" It really is discouraging that Tisdall didn't report instead on what crazy things the US military spokesmen in Iraq told him. US military spokesmen have been trying to push implausible articles about Shiite Iran supporting Sunni insurgents for a couple of years now, and with virtually the sole exception of the New York Times, no one in the journalistic community has taken these wild charges seriously. But The Guardian?"
Somebody should have warned Juan Cole that the Guardian is no longer the respected journal it was traditionally considered to be. But Cole's incredulity is common enough among North Americans who, it appears, haven't quite woken up to smell the Guardian's new, more bellicose brand of coffee. British readers are already more cynical:
"Not sure whether Tisdall has any intelligence links, and it doesn't matter if he has, but this looks very similar to the sort of material produced by Con Coughlin over at the Telegraph, and perhaps suggests that 'officials' and 'intelligence sources' are looking for other outlets now that Coughlin has been investigated twice for reporting spurious and unverifiable claims from the same type of sources in the past."
"This does look like a deliberately constructed story concocted through anonymous sources which provides a picture of the situation in the region that serves the purposes of the US and UK government perfectly."
"Tisdall's article blames Iran for the problems in the region and sets it up as the likely cause for any worsening of the confict in the summer, if that were even possible. This is justified solely by anonymous US government sources. The thrust of the article clearly serves the US government without any evidence."
"This is truly dreadful journalism."
Looks like a Placed Story!
"It would be laughable if it was not so malignant. That is, the absurd idea that Iran is preparing for a military "showdown" with coalition forces."
"The Guardian seems to be directly acting as an agent of US propaganda. Is this to prepare public opinion for a US attack on Iran?"
Re: war pimp Simon Tisdall serving up propaganda
"Exactly as it was intended:
“the labelling of news in some way as “official” (“Dublin Castle”, “GHQ”, etc) is the essence of the whole thing; the whole system of propaganda by news hangs on it. For by virtue of that label our news gets monopoly value, a sort of hall-mark or copyright. It is that hall-mark which gives to the news (in the eyes of the newspapers if not in the eyes of the readers) a news value so high that they cannot afford to be without it. Take away that hall-mark and you ruin the whole business.”
Re: Daily Telegraph playing the same game
"Merely repeating what unnamed US sources say, however outlandish, is what I'd expect from the Sun, not a proper newspaper. Shame on you - at this time more than ever we need journalists willing to fight the culture of spin and lies, before Brown turns into Blair Two."
WTF is going on at the Guardian?
Faced with a barrage of hostile criticism, the Guardian editors clearly panicked and put out an explanation stating that Tisdall had never been approached by US officials. Instead, it was he who had sought their views. That's all right then, so clearly this doesn't make him a stooge of US military propaganda! Further correspondence by email I had with the Guardian's Assistant Editor, Michael White, drew a series of hysterically defensive replies suggesting that the newspaper's editors are now well dug into their bunkers and suffering from severe shell shock.
Their latest PR attempt by the newspaper prompted this:
"Tisdall: please! please! give me a scoop, any scoop, I'll print anything you say, my editors assure me it will be on the front page, Cockburn over at the Independent just had a big scoop about the US trying to trap Sadr, and Fisk is an eyewitness to what's happening in Lebanon. I need something, we need something, quick. Anything you say we'll print, we won't ask for sources, we won't ask for any of those pesky anti americans to respond, you'll have the field to yourself."
"Unnamed US official: hmmm, your kneel is very convincing Tisdall, perhaps we can do business. But don't you think begging is a bit undignified for the independent fourth estate?"
"Tisdall: Oh, I was just down here looking for my integrity on the palace floor. You know, we could reprint the news from Jan 2003, change the names, dress it up with a headline and spread it over the front page and people would swallow it like honey. never underestimate the gullibility of the public."
"Unnamed US official: or the servility of journalists!"
How groveling of Mr. Tisdall!
Clearly, the purpose of this blatant piece of embedded journalism is to provide the Guardian's chattering classes with a drip-feed of US military propaganda meant to justify Bush's 'Surge Policy' and doubling of occupation troops. It is not Bush's intention or that of his London quislings, Blair and Brown, to withdraw their troops from Iraq. They plan to stay there for an awful long time to come.
And given Bush's domestic weakness it is quite possible that an outright first strike military onslaught on Iran might have been postponed. But that will not stop an ongoing build-up of US military forces in the Gulf and surrounding area which already encircles and threatens Iran. And now Bush has authorized a "CIA plan that reportedly includes a coordinated campaign of propaganda, disinformation and manipulation of Iran's currency and international financial transactions." The objective of all this fits in neatly with the neocon Blueprint whose purpose is to capture and occupy the Middle East as on oil producer solely to feed a greedy US appetite.
The greater number of guerilla attacks taking place in Iraq, it is now admitted, are being made against the Coalition occupiers and not on civilians (see GAO Report graph on p.39, Pdf). But you won't find that in the Guardian or anywhere else in the MSM. What you will find is the endless reporting of so-called terrorist attacks.
By using undercover terrorists to wreak havoc and terror, not only in Iraq but throughout the Middle East, it is the long-term intention of the Bush regime and its European quislings --the latter comprised mainly of Brits-- to balkanize the entire area into a region of warring fiefdoms entirely under their control ... a major theatre of the many resource wars we can expect capital to enact during the coming years. And the CIA can expect to further enrich itself, as it has done in Afghanistan, on the rapid increase of opium poppy cultivation in Iraq.
All of this is being actively supported by the banana republic 'journalism' of the likes of Tisdall and the Guardian. Readers are encouraged to remind the Guardian's editors that a suitable definition of Tisdall's embedded propaganda is to be found in the candid observation of Sir Christopher Meyer, ex-UK Ambassador in Washington, who reminds us that the purpose of British foreign policy is to get as far up the arse of the US and to stay there.
Condemnations of Tisdall's garbage article may be sent to
Labels: embedded journalism, guardian, informed comment, iran, juan cole, occupation of iraq, simon tisdall