Little Green Footballs

Sunday, December 31, 2006

LGF's Cognitive Dissonance

Reader LT suggested the following lines be nominated for the Charles Johnson Award for Most Idiotic News Analysis of the Year:

"I thought I was finished being surprised by the depth of our media’s corruption.
'The Sept. 11, 2001, attacks claimed 2,973 victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Opponents of President Bush have criticized him for raising the attacks as a justification for the protracted fight in Iraq.'

Yet the media feels no compunction about tying these two completely unrelated numbers together, as justification for their relentless self-loathing suicidal pacifist propaganda. They’ve really crossed a line this time."

So is Charles effectively saying the War in Iraq has nothing to do with the War on Terror? That's funny, because we were pretty certain it was precisely this link he was trying desperately to forge not so long ago...

One death is news...

While the world focused on the execution of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, at least 72 people - including 6 U.S. soldiers - were killed by the ongoing violence.

So much for a new chapter!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

LGF: Dirty, dirty Muslims

In another lame attempt to portray Muslims as filthy untermenschen spreading disease throughout the West, Charles Johnson stoops to the gutter yet again and picks up a piece from the Sun to declare "Muslims Refuse to Wash Hands at UK Hospitals".

Apparently, some Muslims are reluctant to rub themselves with a substance that has 'alcohol' written all over it.

Problem is, this is a known issue. In fact, it's an issue that is being successfully dealt with. If Charlie-boy had bothered to so much as do a google search, he would have discovered that in Saudi Arabia of all places the alcohol-based hand-wash is widely used. And it has been sanctioned by religious scholars.

Sure, you'll find a few people who are still too scared or ignorant to use it. And you'll always find an idiot (like the Sun did) who says that 'water and soap' is a perfectly adequate substitute (it isn't).

But you'll find problems like this with people from all kinds of backgrounds, religions, races and beliefs. Only Charles Johnson would be so stupid as to single out Muslims, though.

Charles Johnson for Idiot of the Year?

It looks like Charles Johnson might have another fauxtography scandal on his hands: the folks at Crooks & Liars are questioning his claims about a picture he recently posted allegedly showing John Kerry in Iraq. Read more...

(hat tip anon)

Saturday, December 23, 2006


Charles Johnson (LGF) is beating the war drum again:

What will it take for the United States to acknowledge that Iran is openly at war with us, and has been for decades?

What will it take for Charles to acknowledge that U.S. relations with Iran are much more complicated than he realizes? Perhaps he has forgotten the long-standing hostility between Iran and the Taliban 1 and the help given to the U.S. by Iran during the Afghanistan war2.


Deutsche Presse-Agentur, September 30, 2001, Sunday, BC Cycle
10:14 Central European Time
The Iranian stance and that of the daily is very clear and Teheran has right from the beginning (1996) not acknowledged the Taliban group due to its orthodox interpretation of Islam and due to the massacre of Iranian diplomats, the daily said.

Iran was on the verge of a war with the Taliban after the groups agents massacred in 1998 eleven Iranian diplomats and one reporter of the state-run news agency IRNA in the northern Afghan town of Mazare Sharif.

Iran supports ousted President Burhaneddin Rabbani who is close to the main Taliban-opposition known as the Northern Alliance which controls over ten per cent of Afghanistan.

The Independent (London)
October 5, 1996, Saturday

An Iranian cleric has accused Afghanistan's radical Islamic Taliban movement of giving Islam a bad name. "They stop girls from attending school, stop women from working . . . in the name of Islam," Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati told worshippers in Tehran. Shia Iran supported the ousted government of Burhanuddin Rabbani and is hostile to Sunni Taliban.

The Record (Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario)
September 12, 1998 Saturday Final Edition

Taliban troops were reported to be 16 kilometres from the town of Bamiyan, where some 300,000 Hazaras from neighbouring villages have taken shelter to escape being massacred. The Taliban massacred thousands of Hazaras when they captured Mazar-e-Sharif.

The Hazaras, a Mongol people, are Shia Muslims and intensely disliked by the Taliban -- who are Sunni Muslims and drawn from another ethnic group, the Pashtuns. Iranian planes have been flying supplies to the besieged Hazaras, who have been backed by Iran for four years in their resistance to the Taliban.


The Boston Globe
December 31, 2001, Monday ,THIRD EDITION

Then came Sept. 11. And, within days, President Bush made one of the most important decisions of the war on terrorism, throwing his lot with the ragtag Northern Alliance and pressuring Pakistan to desert its Taliban clients.

To help arm the alliance, the Bush administration made a previously unthinkable deal, intelligence sources said: It agreed to finance a Russian transfer of arms to the alliance fighters. At about the same time, the United States started getting valuable intelligence from a longtime adversary, Iran.

The United States was desperately short of on-the-ground intelligence in Afghanistan. So, in addition to Pakistan, the United States turned to an unlikely partner, Iran. For many years, Iran had been an archenemy of the United States, having taken American embassy workers hostage two decades ago and encouraged anti-American sentiment. But the relationship had improved slightly in recent years, and Iran had long supported the Northern Alliance.

"This was clearly a case where Iranians had an interest in Afghanistan," said Vincent Cannistraro, the CIA's former counterterrorism chief. "They hated the Taliban. We got information from the Iranians. They did it very quietly."

Global News Wire - Asia Africa Intelligence Wire
Copyright 2002 BBC Monitoring/BBC
BBC Monitoring International Reports January 28, 2002
Text of article by Mehdi Razavi published by Iranian newspaper Azad on 13 January

Over the past two decades, the Islamic Republic of Iran not only paid the heavy expenses imposed by the presence of defenceless Afghan immigrants, but also dedicated more than 3,000 martyrs in the course of fighting narcotic drugs. Moreover, Iran was in apparent and deep conflict with the Taleban from the very outset. Indeed, more than any other country, it was exposed to the reactionary enmity of the Taleban group. Perhaps, in a way, the Islamic Republic of Iran was the real enemy of the Taleban.

Following the 11 September attack, America actually carried out a parallel operation with the Islamic Republic of Iran against the Taleban.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

What's 100 dead a day compared to 1 rogue policeman?

Guys, guys, guys, are you still obsessing about Mr Hussein? No, not the Iraqi ex-dictator you seem to have forgotten about for now. That Iraqi police officer who has been speaking to the foreign media without permission, saying things you don't like.

Do you really think that, even if the guy is found out to have jihadi sympathies (or be a sergeant, not a captain), this is somehow going to change a single thing about the situation in Iraq, the quagmire YOU helped get us into?

Guys, haven't you heard there's a WAR going on? Are you going to keep jerking off to your inconsequential Hussein story or get real?


As you may have noticed, with the last post 'labels' have been introduced. We think that this is Google/Blogger's term for 'tags', so we'll be using them as such. Hopefully we'll get round to backtagging all of our old post sometime too. Any volunteers or suggestions?

Discrimination Jerusalem style

Someone sent us this link using some newfangled thing called 'Digg'. We thought we'd share it with you: 'Woman beaten on Jerusalem bus for refusing to move to rear seat'

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The real Fiasco

It's odd that warbloggers have expended an enormous amount of time and energy trying to pick apart a single source from a single, relatively brief AP dispatch, arguing that the misleading information in that article somehow calls into question all of the Iraq reporting, yet warbloggers have been relatively silent about the recent string of book-length critiques of the war. I'm thinking in particular about Thomas Ricks' excellent book Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq (Penguin Press, July 2006), which, in its first 100 pages, tells readers all they need to know about the botched war. Warbloggers either don't read books, or are so completely overwhelmed by the definitive evidence produced in a book like Fiasco, which relies heavily on sources from within the U.S. military to paint its convincing picture of Bush administration incompetence, that warbloggers simply have no choice but to turn away and focus their attention on evil AP stringers. (link)

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

All the lies that's fit to print

Move over Amir Taheri, there's a new kid on the 'making stuff up about Iran' block!

The Press Complaints Commission have launched an investigation following the submission of a report today detailing a catalogue of innaccurate and misleading stories about Iran by Daily Telegraph political editor, Con Coughlin. The report, put together by Campaign Iran, reveals that Mr Coughlin, the man who ‘broke the story’ of Iraq’s 45 minute WMD capacity, is behind sixteen articles containing unsubstantiated allegations against Iran over the past twelve months. The PCC will examine whether the stories, all based on unnamed or untraceable sources, are in breach of Clause 1 of their Code of Practice, requiring accuracy.

The veracity of Coughlin’s writing on Iran is already under investigation by the PCC following complaints about a headline article in last month’s Telegraph that claimed that Iran was “grooming Bin Laden’s successor”. The story, universally dismissed by Middle East experts, led the organisation Campaign Iran to conduct a broader analysis of the accuracy of Mr Coughlin’s stories and the journalistic methods he uses.

Analysing 44 articles by Mr Coughlin on Iran, the report finds some stark patterns in terms of his journalistic technique:

• Sources are unnamed or untraceable, often “senior Western intelligence officials” or “senior Foreign Office officials”.
• Articles are published at sensitive and delicate times where there has been a relatively positive diplomatic moves towards Iran.
• Articles contain exclusive revelations about Iran combined with eye-catchingly controversial headlines;
• The story upon which the headline is based does not usually exceed one line or at the most one paragraph. The rest of the article focuses on other, often unrelated, information.

The report also reveals that Coughlin has a history of breaking politically important stories that are later shown to be inaccurate. He is the journalist who, discovered “the fact” that Saddam Hussein could launch weapons of mass destruction in 45 minutes. He was also the journalist who, in 2003, unearthed “the link” between the 9/11 hijacker, Mohammed Ata, and the Iraqi intelligence.

Professor Abbas Edalat of Campaign Iran said today:

“The quoting of unnamed sources has always been an essential aspect of news reporting, but Coughlin is abusing the practice in order to give substance otherwise implausible political stories. These stories are repeated as fact on news outlets and websites across the world. They cannot be easily challenged because the unnamed source can never be revealed. During the build-up to the invasion of Iraq Coughlin was behind two very influential stories that helped pave the path to war. Both were later found to be completely untrue. We must be vigilant against similar inaccuracies being used to prepare the path for intervention against Iran, and we call on the PCC to take action against Coughlin and to safeguard the integrity and accuracy of our press.”

The report, ‘Conning the Nation: An Analysis of Con Coughlin’s Reportage on Iran’ has been compiled by Campaign Iran, based on research led by Dr Majid Tafreshi.

For more information visit
Contact: Professor Edalat on 0207 2292375
Press Office: 0797163005 or 07799650791

Appendix 1

Sources used by Coughlin’s for his articles published in the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph within the last one year.

10/10/2006: “The West woke up too late to the nuclear threat of rogue states” Source: none.
04/08/2006: “Teheran fund pays war compensation to Hizbollah families”
Source: “A senior security official”.
21/07/2006: “Meanwhile, Iran gets on with its bomb”
Source: none.
14/07/2006: “Israeli crisis is a smoke screen for Iran's nuclear ambitions”
Source: none.
13/07/2006: “Cat and mouse games on border that is 'our front line with Iran’” Source: An Israeli soldier.
12/06/2006: “Iran accused of hiding secret nuclear weapons site”
Source: A senior western diplomat”
11/04/2006: “The West can't let Iran have the bomb”
Source: “An official closely involved in the IAEA's negotiations with Iran”
07/04/2006: “Iran has missiles to carry nuclear warheads”
Source: “A senior US official”
07/04/2006: “UN officials find evidence of secret uranium enrichment plant”
Sources: “A diplomat closely involved in the IAEA's negotiations with Teheran” and “A senior diplomat attached to the IAEA headquarters in Vienna”.
04/04/2006: “Iran's spies watching us, says Israel”
Sources: “A senior Israeli military commander” and “an officer with Israel's northern command”.
06/03/2006: “Teheran park 'cleansed' of traces from nuclear site”
Source: “A senior western official”
11/02/2006: “Iran plant has restarted its nuclear bomb-making equipment”
Source: “A senior Western intelligence official”
30/01/2006: “Iran sets up secret team to infiltrate UN nuclear watchdog, say officials” Source: “a senior western intelligence official”
16/01/2006: “Iran could go nuclear within three years”
Sources: “A senior western intelligence officer” and “an intelligence official”
27/11/2005: “Teheran secretly trains Chechens to fight in Russia”
Source: “a senior intelligence official”
29/10/2005: “Smuggling route [from Iran] opened to supply Iraqi insurgents”
Source: “The National Council of Resistance of Iran”
What next Con? Badges for Jews? Sorry, you've been beaten to that one but I'm sure you'll make up something else.

Source: UK Indymedia

Saturday, December 09, 2006

No fly

Religious fanatics make unreasonable demands, blackmail airline. Charles Johnson yawns.

Charles Johnson is a racist, #1,243

A man is arrested for allegedly plotting an armed attack in Chicago, and Charles gives it his full attention: 2 posts and 7 updates.

A man fatally shoots 3 people and is then killed by police snipers in Chicago and Charles ignores it. Because actual, everyday mayhem and murder doesn't interest Charles Johnson. Sure, innocents suffer, communities are shaken, people are terrorized. But somehow, because even Charles can't link these stories to Israel or the War on Terror, they're not worth mentioning.

If on the other hand some nutjob mouths off about wanting to kill people, and he happens to be Muslim , Charles is all eyes, ears and frothing mouth for the story.

Some people might call it focus, we call it naked racism and stupidity.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Mark Steyn: Not doing much to improve the situation

Middle-aged men like slapping each other on the back, telling themselves how great they are, and today it's Mark Steyn's turn to get a pat from Charlie in LA.

The entirety of CJ's recommendation reads: "Steyn on the Iraq Study Group and the AP. Must-see TV: Video: Steyn slams the AP and Iraq Study Group on O’Reilly."

Anyone clicking through to watch the clip will find that Steyn doesn't in fact say anything meaningful about what journalists do in Iraq that hasn't already been screeched by one right-wing pundit or another, and as for his comments on the Iraq Study Group, he bascially admits that they are the conclusions "any semi-well informed person" would reach "plus several really bad ideas" and he somehow doesn't find the time to explain why they are "really bad".

Then he accuses journalists of being "hunkered down in the Green Zone" (a word nobody in Iraq uses) but lambasts them for reporting on the atrocities happening outside of it. Eh?!?

According to Steyn, who has probably never been to Iraq himself, "most of" the schools and hospitals in the country are open, but he conveniently fails to mention that parents aren't sending their kids to school anymore and that people are getting murdered in the hospitals.

Of course, we shouldn't expect too much from a man who, a few weeks after the invasion in 2003, wrote:

"Isolated atrocities will continue to happen in the days ahead, as dwindling numbers of the more depraved Ba'athists confront the totality of their irrelevance. But these are the death throes: the regime was decapitated two weeks ago, and what we've witnessed is the last random thrashing of the snake's body."

He then went on to praise the "genius" of Donald Rumsfeld.

Well, Mr Steyn, how about coming up with some "genius" ideas for how to get America out of this QUAGMIRE you helped push it into?

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

That Iraq Report

Has anyone noticed that Charles Johnson cannot mention the Iraq report without immediately diverting the topic to his pet hate (Palestinians)?

As we've noted before, Charles Johnson has a problem with mentioning anything to do with Iraq that might sour his readers' milk.

Charles Johnson the hypocrite #497

Ironic or what? Charles Johnson, the man who accuses the mainstream media of manipulating the news, puts blatant spin and distortion on the words of Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

We're no fans of the loony mullahs, but tell us if you spot the words "convert to Islam or die" in this article. Sure, there's room for interpretation, but it remains just that, doesn't it? Interpretation - the one thing wingnuts bloggers will lambast the media for doing, but have no qualms at all about peppering their own posts with...