WTF is going on at the Guardian?


This is unwelcome.  See if you can spot the tell-tale signs of a bullshit story here:

US officials say....a senior US official in Baghdad warned.....The official said...the official said....the official said....US officials now say they have firm evidence...the senior official in Baghdad said...the official said....a senior administration official in Washington said....The administration official also claimed...the senior official in Baghdad said....the senior administration official said

That's the whole attribution for >95% of the article - there are 22 paragraphs (from a total 23) of unattributed US propaganda about how those nasty Iranians and Syrians are teaming up with al-Qaeda to force the weak-willed (Democratic) US out of Iraq and provoke a '"colossal humanitarian disaster" and possible regional war'.  Well, excuse me, isn't that exactly what's happening since the robust will of the (Republican) US went in in the first place?  Everything's going just swell there, eh?

Now, the Iranians are clearly interested in Iraq - it's their neighbour, they have cultural ties.  They also wouldn't work with al-Qaeda in a million years, owing to the rather obvious fact that true Sunni jihadists seem to see Shia Iran as a mortal enemy and wouldn't work with them.  It's possible, but still unlikely, that ex-Baathists (who after all invaded Iran in 1980) might see the point in burying the hatchet, but that possibility isn't discussed - to the US information machine insurgent=al Qaeda, a lie that's useful when trying to prop up support for a failed policy.  That's obvious to you and me, who've made a study of such things (or just read Juan Cole every morning), but not, it seems, to Simon Tisdall, Deputy Editor of the Guardian, who sees fit not to mention it, or indulge in any critical journalistic thinking.  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 (no, I don't believe in the 'change tack on Iraq' idea, either).

Iran won this one years ago, and helping the US in pretending they need to stay in Iraq to stop them winning it won't work, however many aircraft carriers they park off the coast.  Iran knows as well as anyone else that the US can't invade - the army's broken and all the Navy and USAF jets in theatre aren't enough to do the job - surgical airstrikes don't work any more, if they ever did.  Sabre rattling when you haven't even got a scabard, let alone a functional sabre, isn't going to impress anyone.

There is no independent

There is no independent media anymore, those days are long gone. The media today is only there to print articles that are not too embarrassing for the government, and of course anything that is not news, such as what the so called famous are up to.

 As I have said, I have been trying to get exposure for a story that has been described as "too sensitive" by one media organisation, in the European sphere. How a story that goes to the heart of what Democracy is can be "too sensitive" is beyond me. Another newspaper said "the story is too big for our newspaper" which is not bad, when that said journal covers a population of some 18 milion, but it shows that they will go to any lengths to cover up government midemeanours. If anyone knows of a Democratic media organisation please let me know?

Until one recognizes that

Until one recognizes that Iraq is just a small piece of a big picture one will forever be chasing ghosts and phantoms, which is exactly what those that create the news want you to do. The first casualty in war is the truth. We have no truth in the media ergo we must be at war.

Here are some basic facts that most people are aware of.

  1. There are not enough resources on the planet to support the economic development of all the nations.
  2. The US is going all out for 'full spectrum dominance' of the planet. (global conquest ala Adolf Hitler).
  3. The US is not a democratic country but is run by the US military, arms manufacturers, financiers and energy companies.
  4. The UK is a client state of the US.
  5. A Russia/China axis (SCO) is the only realistic counterbalance to US global domination.
  6. Replace Bush, replace Blair, nothing will change in the west. Those people are puppets just the same as those that will follow.

When Germany became unified the US promised Russia that is they accepted a reunified Germany as a full member of NATO there would be no further eastward expansion of NATO. It was a public promise. Now Poland will be hosting US missiles aimed at Russia and NATO is now on Russia's borders. US/NATO have effectively surrounded China and Russia, look at a map of the world and US bases. China and Russia will NEVER trust the US/Western alliance

People need to start getting used to the idea that we are now an unstoppable path towards global conflict and that will very likely involve the large scale use of nuclear weapons. The US will never give up it's position as number one global power. The US will never accept any threat (real or imagined) from any other nation - in 10 years China's economy will be on a par with the US. This is an unacceptable threat to US global domination.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization versus NATO is where we're all heading now unless the US gives up it's delusional dreams of being 'the greatest', 'number one', 'king of the hill' or whatever they choose to describe their arrogance against the rest of the world.

Very few journals, if any,

Very few journals, if any, are in the business of providing hard information.  The relationships with their sources are complex but in the end they come down to one common factor - and that is money.

We should not be surprised that such pretentious 'newspapers' as The Guardian see fit to publish 22 paragraphs of unattributed comment, nor that they should fail to ask even the most basic questions to verify the story.  Because 'story' it is.  In this case one has to wonder whether an interview actually took place, or is this some made up nonsense from one of the staffers.

This whole charade is designed to provide some faux controversy to sell more copies.  The Guardian has descended from being a relatively professional and objective newspaper to a semi-titilating rag, comparable with the News of the World.  Tisdall, the 'Deputy Editor' should really be put out to grass.  It's clear that he's lost the edge - if he ever had any - and has certainly lost any journalistic and investigative skill.  Why, he can't even be bothered to name his source(s).

It's time for the mainstream media to review their all too cosy associations with their sources.  Time, indeed to cut out the flab and develop some real intellectual rigour.  Historically, newspapers led and shaped opinion.  The quality and accuracy of reporting was a matter of pride.  Now it is a simple regurgitation of PR pap. 

If you want facts, don't buy The Guardian.

I wouldn't be too complacent

I wouldn't be too complacent about the us not attacking iran, a controlled air and naval demolition a la lebanon might satisfy them

seymour hersch's the coming wars suggests there have been covert operations from at least 2004, in feb this year the washington post reported this

Some senior administration officials still relish the notion of a direct confrontation. One ambassador in Washington said he was taken aback when John Hannah, Vice President Cheney’s national security adviser, said during a recent meeting that the administration considers 2007 “the year of Iran” and indicated that a U.S. attack was a real possibility. Hannah declined to be interviewed for this article.

Just because it seems insane, doesn't mean they won't try it, after all hersch's latest reports suggest they can be suprisingly pragmatic

Hersh says the U.S. has been “pumping money, a great deal of money, without congressional authority, without any congressional oversight” for covert operations in the Middle East where it wants to “stop the Shiite spread or the Shiite influence.” Hersh says these funds have ended up in the hands of “three Sunni jihadist groups” who are “connected to al Qaeda” but “want to take on Hezbollah.”

Raw story reported thisin january:

The US was already looking increasingly to rogue methodology, including support for the Iranian terrorist group MEK. Before the US invasion, MEK forces within Iraq had supported Saddam Hussein in exchange for safe harbor. Despite this, when they were captured by the US military, they were disarmed of only their major weapons and are allowed to keep their smaller arms. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld hoped to use thembombings and assassinations in Iran, although it is unclear if the bombings were in any way approved by the US military. as a special ops team in Iran, while then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and State Department officials argued against it. By 2005, the MEK would begin training with US forces in Iraq and carrying out

And there's plenty of xtra info about how busy they've been at the ever excellent global research

This whole charade is

This whole charade is designed to provide some faux controversy to sell more copies.

If only it was, its more like a mouth to mouth resucitation of justifications for an attack on iran.

Here's something obscene and

Here's something obscene and criminal. The only reason that British troops are still stationed in Iraq is so that Gordon Brown can call them home when he takes over, thereby suggesting he's opposed to Iraq. In fact he is a war enabler. This is PR - the troops have to hunker down in their bases because it's so dangerous to go on patrol. They should have been back months ago when the Generals went public. Why have they shut-up now? A deals a deal is why. Every UK soldier killed since February has died for Gordon Brown's PR, it's a fact.

Gordon Brown = war financier. He said that there wasn't £24 million to give UK fireman a pay-rise and two weeks later announced £3bn to start Iraq war. Do not trust this soulless man and his stupid plastic veneered toothed grin. The Blair Brown rift is manufactured so ytou think you are getting a change in leadership - oh, you poor poor fools!

Perhaps somebody should

Perhaps somebody should point out to the editors of the Guardian that Joseph Goebbels is considered by most historians to be a war criminal for his part in orchestrating support for Hitler's wars of aggression.  Sorry to be the one to prove Godwin's Law but these people are Nazi scum and need to be called out as such.  (Even if they do sometimes publish my letters.)

Thanks for highlighting this.  It is truly disgusting that this supposedly 'highbrow' rag just vomits out unattributed US government briefings.  For shame.

I think you expect too much

I think you expect too much of the Gardian, hasn't its prime purpose always been to prop up the Labour party and their follies?

Yep a shabby little piece

Yep a shabby little piece of 'reporting' and definitely not worthy of inclusion on the front page of the Guardian. It was less a piece of investigative reportage and more a straight piece of dictation from unknown US officials. What exactly did Simon Tisdall contribute to the piece? Disgraceful

Stopped buying the Guardian

Stopped buying the Guardian soon after it became clear that they would continue to support the invasion of Iraq. I have sampled it occasionally since, which has only served to confirm my original judgement, that the paper has abandoned most of its principles and gone down the `defanged dissent` route of the BBC. Charlie Brooker is the only decent thing in it any more, and I read his column online rather than fork out moolah for that massive wad of hamster cage lining.

Also, that Tisdall piece wouldn`t have looked out of place in the Telegraph - was the Torygraph that was the main misinfo/disinfo outlet for the intelligence services? (Oops, just added another paragraph to me file at Thames House!)

(Gaaah! - duplicated my

(Gaaah! - duplicated my posting due to idiotic captcha thingy)

Palestinians are under

Palestinians are under attack on two fronts today, in Gaza and Lebanon. What are chances that this is a concerted effort to provoke Hezbollah into action?

Israel will be back in Lebanon this summer. If Hezbollah is defeated this time Israel will attack Syria and the US will attack Iran. This is the exact same plan as last year - 'cept no one was expecting a Hezbollah victory.

This is why there are stories about an 'Iranian summer offensive', tip: If you invert everything you read or what politicians say you will be far far closer to the truth.

Bush recently gave himself total power in the event of an emergency.

London has just been practicing for a dirty bomb attack.

So, it looks like we're in for one of those war-enabling 'co-ordinated terrorist outrages' in the not too distant future.

I suspect the Lebanese

I suspect the Lebanese refugee camp thing is a staggering bit of blowback from what Sy Hersch suggested was an attempt to build up Sunni guerrillas to contain Iranian influence - with that reading it's definitely an anti-Hizbollah move, but not quite in the way suggested (remembering that Hiz is Shia and thus isn't likely to come to the rescue of Sunni 'jihadi wankers', to use the Yorkshire Ranter's phrase.

I wouldn't be too complacent about the us not attacking iran, a controlled air and naval demolition a la lebanon might satisfy them

Except that Iran is four times the size of Iraq, let alone Lebanon - the maths and logistics don't add up, even allowing the neocons the same window for operations as in Lebanon (i.e. until it becomes politically impossible to carry on).

The special forces point is well made, but there's a limit to what they can do, particularly as the Iranians will be thoroughly alarmed to their presence by now.

As for the Guardian, I don't think it's a pro-war paper (unlike the Observer), but normally it's not got glaring stand out propaganda right in the middle of the front page with no analysis - that's what took me aback (and lenin, too, who is even more cynical about the mainstream press).  That alone arises a certain suspicion about timing or purpose.

One final neat point from Juan Cole today (also worth reading for his filleting of the Guardian's 'silly article'):

The same report in al-Zaman says that US spokesmen in Baghdad admit that the US has been conducting back channel negotiations with the Sunni Arab guerrillas. One demand the guerrillas are making is that Washington must pressure Iran to cease so strongly supporting the Shiite militias with money and arms.

Which is exactly 100% the opposite of the bullshit Tisdall repeated.

Ah, slightly better -

Ah, slightly better - there's a CiF post attacking the Guardian :)

Attentive readers may have noticed that the story itself - though obviously based on a single anonymous "senior US official in Baghdad" and "a senior administration official in Washington" - was carefully drafted to include Iranian denials and the acknowledgement that even most of the US congress believe Iraq is in the grip of a civil war. No, what struck me about the story wasn't its credulous tone so much as the sense, as the great philosopher and NY Yankee backstop Yogi Berra once said, of déjà vu all over again.

Oh, they're taking a bit of

Oh, they're taking a bit of a kicking here, too.  Shame.

except that Iran is four

except that Iran is four times the size of Iraq, let alone Lebanon - the maths and logistics don't add up

What matters is if they think they add up, check out TIRANNT, GLOBAL LIGHTNING and CONPLAN 8022 for some positive thinking on the matter

remembering that Hiz is Shia

remembering that Hiz is Shia and thus isn't likely to come to the rescue of Sunni 'jihadi wankers'

Er, excuse me but the media really are effective at making people believe anything. Hezbollah full supports the (mostly Sunni) Palestinians. OK?

I don't recall there being any problems with Sunni and Shia prior to Iraq and the US/UK trained death squads - with the notable exception of the sectarian rantings of Al-CIAda.

Look at Palestine today, one side is denied food and medicine (Hamas) whilst the other is armed to the teeth (Fatah), but by your reckoning I guess they 'just don't get along'.

" the maths and logistics

" the maths and logistics don't add up"

Except when they use nukes and they have been preparing public opinion for the last 12 months. "All options are on the table" regarding Iran.

Just sit back and wait for another home grown terror outrage (like the Dirty Bomb alluded to in a previous post - knowing these wing-nuts it may even be a full-on fission job).

It'll be done by September cos that's when Bush will be given his marching orders by the GOP if he doesn't deliver on Iraq.

Hezbollah full supports the

Hezbollah full supports the (mostly Sunni) Palestinians. OK?

Yes, what they explicitly don't support is any move to Shia-murdering Sunni fanaticism, which has blessedly not made much impact on Palestine yet, although it must be a possibility given the increasingly regional nature of the blowback from Iraq.  Sorry if I didn't make that clear, but it's kind of obvious that Hezbollah aren't into sectarian violence (the avowed and sincere unity with Palestinian groups and alliance with Christian elements gives it away a bit), but that there are plenty of suspects who might want them to be forced into such a position, and thereby erode their support.  A hitherto unknown group of Sunni hardliners from the Lebanese Palestinian community, with suspiciously shiny, powerful weapons, a few months after it became obvious that the US was now shit-scared of Shia domination.  Join the dots time, guys.

As for staging an outrage to gee up support for nuking Iran - I'll believe it when I see it - personally, I think the whole neocon project is now reduced to a few blowhards sticking straws in their hair down at the White House Fuhrerbunker and waiting for the end.  As for preparing public opinion, judging by the polls, public opinion is prepared to believe that any statement by the President is fundamentally untrustworthy.

I emailed the Grauniad's

I emailed the Grauniad's Tisdall, Alan Rusbridger and Michael White about this garbage article, asking them if the US Govt paid per warmongering article or an annual retainer.

White replied: "Don't be silly."

I think we can safely assume that the Grauniad is now well & truly in the pockets of the Washington warmongers. They've had representation on the Trilateral Commission for years so most likely on Bilderberg also.

As well as enthusiastically beating the war-drums over Iran it is peddling an anti-Chávez campaign using the RCTV affair as an excuse.




Join the dots time,

Join the dots time, guys.

You're sounding like one of those awful conspiracy types, ie me

It's hardly a conspiracy

It's hardly a conspiracy theory to posit that the US government occasionally helps death squads/jihadis/terrorists, when it suits them (and given the dirty war backgrounds of a number of Administration figures, it quite possibly suits them now).  Nor that this usually result in this blowing up in their faces somewhere down the line.  Nor that this is exactly what Iran, for instance, is repeatedly accused of.

Anyway, here are some interesting comments on the situation.

Letter to the editor, just

Letter to the editor, just sent

Sir / Madam

I am writing after quite literally being stunned into a silence of despair after reading your article on Irans' Secret Plan for summer offensive. Until this unqualified 'story' you have fed us as narrated to us by unidentified 'senior' US officials was put forward by your organisation as 'News' I was of the mind that the Guardian remained a voice of independent sanity in a sea of the most abysmal failures that represent modern journalism.

One more voice I shall now hold with suspicion. One more paper trying to pull in the punters by printing any damn thing the US decides it needs the world to think as long as it scares the hell out of them. One more paper falling out of objectivity and into the mire of conjecture in the name of keeping readers.

You asked no questions, you put forward no alternatives, you did no journalism, you simply cut and pasted the faceless 'senior US official' statement.

Not good enough, not by a very long way. One factor you may wish to consider and perhaps haven't is that those of us that have a mind long ago understood that the mainstream media were dancing to the tune of commercial imperative beyond journalistic integrity. As such we who have a mind have continued to look for those publications and media outlets that actually are capable of reporting news. This is not an unsubstantial group in number, every time the BBC or Sky News or ITV or Channel 4 slip out of journalism and into the invective, the assumed emotive, and the mindless repeating of anything they are fed without question more people shift away.

I hope you see that there is a requirement for proper reporting, for balanced fact, for clear representation of truth beyond that which you are 'told', in fact everything that was utterly absent in the Iran article.

It's hardly a conspiracy

It's hardly a conspiracy theory to posit that the US government occasionally helps death squads/jihadis/terrorists, when it suits them

We're just down to preferences here, it can easily be described by those shaming but very supple seetee words.
If you asked our prime minister about such things, I'm sure he would reach for these terms, as he did before:

Oil plans by tommy

Oil plans by tommy franks2002 from the national security archives (by way of private eye of all places)

Of course it wasn't a conspiracy prime minister