Friday, August 05, 2005

Governments Lie

The always excellent Juan Cole has a rundown on why you shouldn't believe the neoconservatives when they tell you that Iran is supporting the Iraq insurgency.

For what it's worth, I like Juan but I think his view of the Iraqi insurgency is pretty simplistic. However, it's hard to argue a lot of his points in this piece. His strongest point has to do with the map:

Earlier in the article it was alleged that the supposedly captured shipment came from northeastern Iran. Yet by this later paragraph, the US military intelligence guys can't tell whether it came from the west or the east, or whether it came from Iran or Hizbullah. But if you don't know whether something comes from Lebanon or Iran, then you really don't know where it came from at all, do you? Lebanon and Iran are not like each other. One speaks Persian, the other Arabic. Why, they aren't even close to one another.

There's not enough of this kind of analysis of news reports. White House PR teams tend to be very slick in terms of coordinating their messages with one another, but they tend to be much worse at coordinating their messages with any kind of fact or logic.

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