An excellent example of “do it yourself” propaganda

The following comment is an interesting example of “do it yourself propaganda.”  Skillfully done, and hence worth a look.  It is perhaps part of conservatives’ attempt to maintain cohesion after the economic and geopolitical disasters of the Bush Administration.  The Internet is flooded with material like this.

As usual with propaganda, it reads well but additional information ruins the story.  Of special interest is the author’s belligerent attitude.  Perhaps he believes it adds credibility.

This comment is by SFCMAC, posted here on the thread for “Some people just want to see the world burn” (17 January 2009).   He gives 7 pieces of evidence for Saddam’s WMD’s.

  • Two are gross overstatements, according to US government reports (#1 and 2).
  • One is of post-invasion activity (#3).
  • Three are duplicates (# 4, 5, 6).
  • One that is clearly false (#7).

As for his state of mind, see the postscript:

“PS: When it comes to the Middle East;  BURN, BABY, BURN.  Cheers, SFC MAC”

Details (title, source, date) were added to the links he provided, plus an excerpt.   My notes are inserted in italic. His reply is here (it is 1400 words long; an excerpt is here.)  There is not much to it.

@ ほんと

Don’t make you laugh? What have you done beside regurgitate anti-US bullshit on a website? I spent 30 years serving this country and protecting ingrates like you. When you’ve humped a ruck instead of Obama’s leg, then you can talk.

@ ramses — comment #31

The justification for Nagasaki, Hiroshima, and the Islamic terrorist nation-states in the Middle East are justified by all the AMERICAN LIVES they took. 9/11 didn’t hit close enough to your own back yard, did it? That’s okay, you just sit tight, enjoy your freedom to spew crap while others–people far better than you–do the heavy lifting.

@ theoworkshop (comment #29):  “If the WMD’s were indeed discovered then we all wud have known them.”

YOU ALL WOULD KNOW IF YOU HAD THE COGNITIVE SKILLS REQUIRED FOR READING. Since you didn’t bother to actually go to the link I provided, I’ll spell it out:

1)  Declassified NGIC report:  A one page summary (8 sentences) of a National Ground Intelligence Center report about “recovery of chemical munitions in iraq” — Released 21 June 2006; the date of the report is not provided. Excerpt:

“Since 2003 Coalition forces have recovered approximately 500 weapons munitions which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent which contain degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent.”

FM : 500 old shells of degraded chemicals! Not much to justify the great pre-war hype.  The definitive report on Saddam’s WMD’s was by the Iraq Survey Group released 30 September 2004 — (Wikipedia, DoD press conference transcript, full report) — who said:  “While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.”

2)  1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium: DOE Press Release, 7 July 2004; BBC story.

FM: The ISG report report states that this was purchased from Italy in May 1982 (Volume II, “Nuclear” chapter, table #1 on page 14). It sat in Iraq for the next 20 years, and there was no functioning program to use it at the time of our invasion.

3)  1,500 gallons of chemical weapons agents: “Iraqi Chemical Stash Uncovered; Post-Invasion Cache Could Have Been For Use in Weapons“, Washington Post, 14 August 2005

FM: This was a post-invasion “suspected chemical weapons factory” manufacturing “precursor agents”.  Either SFCMAC did not read carefully or is misleading us by implying this was a Saddam-era site.

4)  Chemical warheads containing cyclosarin: “Chemical munitions found by Polish soldiers were being pursued by terrorists“, AP, 2 July 2004 — Excerpt (bold emphasis added):

Dukaczewski refused to give any further details about the terrorists or the sellers of the munitions, saying only that his troops thwarted terrorists by purchasing the 17 rockets for a Soviet-era launcher and 2 mortar rounds containing the nerve agent for an undisclosed sum June 23.

FM: a duplicate of the evidence described in #1 above.

5)  Over 1,000 radioactive materials in powdered form meant for dispersal over populated areas: BBC story.

FM: Another duplicate. This is the BBC story in #2 above. It is false to claim this was “meant for dispersal over populated areas.” Not only is there no evidence of this, but the ISG report proves this material was purchased as part of Saddam’s early attempt to build nukes.

6)  Roadside bombs loaded with mustard and “conventional” saringas, assembled in binary chemical projectiles for maximum potency: “Sarin, Mustard Gas Discovered Separately in Iraq“, Fox News, 17 May 2004 — Excerpt (bold emphasis added):

The Iraqi Survey Group confirmed today that a 155-millimeter artillery round containing sarin nerve agent had been found,” Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt (search), the chief military spokesman in Iraq, told reporters in Baghdad. “The round had been rigged as an IED(improvised explosive device) which was discovered by a U.S. force convoy.”

… However, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said the results were from a field test, which can be imperfect, and said more analysis was needed. If confirmed, it would be the first finding of a banned weapon upon which the United States based its case for war.

… Two weeks ago, U.S. military units discovered mustard gas that was used as part of an IED. Tests conducted by the Iraqi Survey Group (search) — a U.S. organization searching for weapons of mass destruction — and others concluded the mustard gas was “stored improperly,” which made the gas “ineffective.”

FM: this is an repetition of the material in item #1 above.

7)  Last major stockpile from Saddam’s nuclear efforts arrives in Canada, (the one’s Joe Wilson claimed he didn’t have). Those weapons were previously unknown to U.N. inspectors. “Secret U.S. mission hauls uranium from Iraq – Last major stockpile from Saddam’s nuclear efforts arrives in Canada“, AP, 5 July 2008.

“U.N. inspectors documented and safeguarded the yellowcake, which had been stored in aging drums and containers since before the 1991 Gulf War. There was no evidence of any yellowcake dating from after 1991, the official said.”

FM:  Both aspects of this are false.  First, Iraq declared the Febuary 1981 purchase of yellowcake to the IAEA (same reference as above:  Volume II, “Nuclear” chapter, table #1 on page 14).  Their other 3 purchases were not declared (from Niger in March 1981; Brazil in September 1981 and January 1982).  Second, his comment about Joe Wilson is incorrect.  Wilson was investigating efforts to buy yellowcake circa 2002, not pre-1991 purchases of yellowcake.

Oh yeah, and his terrorist connections: He gave thousands of dollars to families of suicide bombers and in addition, Iraqi intelligence met with al Qadea operatives and provided with training camps in Northern Iraq:  “The Mother of All Connections: A special report on the new evidence of collaboration between Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and al Qaeda“, Stephen F. Hayes and Thomas Joscelyn, Weekly Standard, 18 July 2005.

FM: this article discusses a “Summary of Evidence” memo prepared in 2004 for the Combatant Status Review Tribunals of the 558 captives who remained in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The Wikipedia entry gives a summary and links to the two releases of excerpts. This is unrelated to the issue of Saddam’s WMD. Also, government reports have consistently said that there was no relationship between Saddam’s Iran and 9-11.

Saddam Hussein, as evidenced by the WMD found, his previous use, continued willingness to use them, and the documents discovered which connected him to terrorists, was a threat. The fact remains that the inspectors got absolutely nowhere with regard to full disclosure of Hussein’s WMD program.

Those are all from open source reporting.

For anyone who thinks we should agressively persue an end to the Islamofascist quest for a world Caliphate, take a moment to scan the New York City skyline. See anything missing?

PS: When it comes to the Middle East;  BURN, BABY, BURN.

Cheers, SFC MAC

Afterword

Please share your comments by posting below.  Per the FM site’s Comment Policy, please make them brief (250 words max), civil, and relevant to this post.  Or email me at fabmaximus at hotmail dot com (note the spam-protected spelling).

For information about this site see the About page, at the top of the right-side menu bar.

For more information from the FM site

To read other articles about these things, see the FM reference page on the right side menu bar.  Of esp interest these days:

  1. About Iraq & Afghanistan Wars – my articles
  2. The iraq war — other valuable articles and reports
  3. Our Goals and Benchmarks for the Expedition to Iraq
  4. NationalIntelligence Estimates – an archive

10 thoughts on “An excellent example of “do it yourself” propaganda

  1. There is a quantum difference between data/information and knowledge/wisdom.

    Whether or not Iraq/Saddam H had ‘weapons of mass destruction’ (a meaningless term in the age of the non WMD ‘Daisy cutter’ and ‘mini-nuke Bunker Busters’ et alia), has NOTHING to do with whether or not USG/Israel prosecuted long-term war and colonisation of ‘Iraq’.

    So all discussion about such data is verbiage.

    Similar to the Peak Oil and Global Warming controversies which can be summed up nicely by Four Words from the Immortal Bard: ‘Much Ado about Nothing’.

    For a provocative little article about Energy via a provocative little website about not Very Much (the links are entertaining at least): WorldnetDaily {FM note: Here is the original source: “Noble Energy Announces Significant Natural Gas Discovery at Tamar Well Offshore Israel“, press release, 17 January 2009}

    What is especially nice about this article is that nobody who (like me for 20+ years) is skeptical about the ‘fossil fuel’ theory of Oil can be accused of (the ridiculous accusation) so-called ‘anti-Semitism’.

  2. I guess it says a lot about ‘sfc’mac that she in her reply tacitly supports McVeis bombing in Oklahoma

    “McVeigh’s beef was the jack-booted methods used by Clinton and Reno at Ruby Ridge (a frame up) and Waco, which spiraled out of control thanks to the ATF idiots not simply picking up Koresh before he barracaded himself in his fortress. They could have arrested the wackjob while he drank at the local bar. Instead, they opted for a publicity stunt that ended up with 86 dead.”

    I wonder what ‘sfc’mac would be doing now had she been a he and born somewhere 20 miles northeast of Mecca. My guess is that she would be one of the people she now wants to burn, wanting to burn the person she now is.
    .
    .
    Fabius Maximus replies: Great comment; I agree. Anyone who writes “When it comes to the Middle East; BURN, BABY, BURN.” is a cousin to jihadists under the skin.

  3. By far the most amazing aspect of the whole Iraq misadventure remains the degree to which the media, the beltway pundits, most Washington D.C. pols and much of the public continue to regurgitate “facts” which are clearly and provably false.

    Example: One third of Americans appear to believe that the U.S. government perpetrated 9/11. (My neighbors keeps trying to convince me that phaser beams from an orbiting NSA satellite (!!!) collapsed the twin towers.)

    Example: In November 2003, 53% of Americans polled believed that Saddam was personally involved in the 9/11 attacks. (Presumably these are not the same 30% who believe the U.S. government was behind 9/11. Otherwise, the logic becomes dizzying…)

    Example: As late as 2006, a poll showed 50% of Americans polled believed Saddam had WMDs.

    Example: U.S. op-ed cartoons and media continue to protray all the inmates of Guantamo as ravening madmen eager to kill, maim and destroy every last American, yet the available evidence strongly suggests that many, if not most, of the Guantanamo detainees are innocent bystanders like the cab driver Dilawar who got sold by Afghan warlords to the American forces for the $50,000 bounty per “terrorist” to make a quick buck on false pretenses.

    Future historians will look back on this entire period in American history as an eruption of mass insanity almost with parallel, literally akin to the martian invasion hysteria caused by Orson Welles’ 1939 Hallowe’en “War Of the Worlds” radio broadcast, the dancing mania of the middle ages, the Seattle windshield pitting panic of the 1950s, the satanic child molestation” panic of the 1980s, and the periodic outbreaks of koro in Southeast asia and India. Future generations will stare, open-mouthed and disblieving, at the surviving U.S. newspaper and TV and radio reports from the last 10 years and they’ll ask themselves, “Were those people crazy? Was it something in the water? Was there fungus in their grain?”

    Presumably future historians will take the easy way out and attribute America’s beliefs and actions toward Iraq to ergotism, rather than the eternal folly and delusion which seems humanity’s fate.

  4. “Of special interest is the author’s belligerent attitude. Perhaps he believes it adds credibility.”

    Personally to me it makes me doubt every word written. It also makes me disinclined to enter into a discussion with the person. Belligerence, haughtines and condecension are the trademarks of a fanatic.

  5. Following up on Erasmus above, perhaps we need a new word… there is actually a ‘qualtum’ difference between wisdom and data, is there not? Or an order of magnitude, perhaps?

    In any case, that there are dead-enders playing the WMD game this long after its being debunked (in essence proving that what Saddam Hussein declared at the time, asserted to be duplicitous by for example our feckless former Secretary of State, was actually completely accurate) from all sides is unsurprising. The moral equivalent if you will of that last Japanese soldier in the jungles of the Philippines circa 1950x. The other crucial flaw in this old argument, of course, is that the UN inspectors were not kept from going places, and every time they went where Rummy and Cheney claimed there were WMD, they never found any, and the US attack was a preemptive strike to keep them from completing their mission and enable W’s Oedipal fait accompli.

    Then, of course, there is that elephant over there… the fact that Israel is now and has been for some time in violation of numerous UN resolutions, and has all sorts of weapons of mass destruction. I suppose this means our friend SFCMAC is ready to go to war yet again?

  6. I hate to say it, but the WMD trope hasn’t been discredited at all; it’s just been shifted to other states — e.g. Iran, North Korea, a possibly-failed future Pakistan. And it’s not the exclusive rhetoric of the neocons, or Republicans, but will pop up again (already has) in the speech of Democrats. It’s a vital component of the rhetoric of the WOT, which is the necessary ideological foundation of all efforts to continue the American empire.

  7. It seems that to some folk, fear of a WMD strike is a ‘trope’ that should be discredited … until terrorists get one, use it to commit mass murder, and then folk like seneca (and FM?) will be blaming the USA.

    FM quotes: ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered.

    There is the possibility that Saddam had a secret, small illegal development program, which he was able to ship to Syria just before the invasion (and which has now been destroyed in the Israeli strike against the Syria-N. Korea reactor). I’d guess (90%) that Saddam had some illegal plans he didn’t want captured, and even some material (70%), but both were less valuable than what Syria was getting from N. Korea.

    Illegal according to who? The post-91 agreement.
    On WMD, a key issue is this: who has the burden of proof? After the 1991 aggression by Iraq when they invaded Kuwait (pretty non-US destabilizing), Saddam’s Iraq was required to both disarm and document to the UN dismantling of all its WMD programs.

    How convenient that ISG judges that Iraq has destroyed its chemicals WITHOUT receiving the required (by ’91 agreement) documentation by Iraq.

    In Feb., 2003, Blix could have stated something to the effect: “Iraq has been required to disarm and document its dismantling of all programs, and to deliver this documentation the UN inspectors for verification. He has disarmed, documented this, and we have verified it.”

    But Blix didn’t say that, nor even close. Only that we haven’t found any WMDs.
    Fact: Iraq was required to document the dismantling.
    Fact: Iraq failed to provide that documentation.

    Speculation 1: Iraq didn’t provide the documentation because they actually had a secret program.
    Speculation 2: Iraq didn’t have a program, but wanted everybody to think that they did — and the plan was to never document nor prove the destruction, but also never let the inspectors find any. Thus the clever Saddam would win by seeming to let the Keystone UN cops run around the desert, while he (wink wink) ‘allowed’ them selected access.

    For me, even if speculation 2 is true, I’m glad Bush invaded and got rid of Saddam. I’m glad for Operation Iraqi Freedom. At less than 5000 deaths, versus more than 7000 military deaths under Clinton for nothing, I give Bush a B on Iraqi Freedom.

    The challenge for Bush critics is to show that Iraqi Freedom has no positive values, because then of course it’s not worth the cost. If Iraqi Freedom does have value, then the question goes to whether the benefit is worth it. If one thinks it does have some value but wasn’t worth it, the question comes up — how much was it worth?

  8. FM said “Anyone who writes “When it comes to the Middle East; BURN, BABY, BURN.” is a cousin to jihadists under the skin.”

    This hits the nail right on the head. Super-patriots in the United States of America have much more in common with the perpetrators of 9/11 than with the victims of 9/11. The name Ann Coulter comes to mind when I think of this.

  9. Tom Grey: your #7 above is clearly argued. I take issue with the ‘less than 5,000 deaths’ statement however for two reasons:

    First, the figure is almost certainly higher given that deaths in Ramstein, for example (those injured evacuated outside Iraq) don’t count as KIA; furthermore, there are multiple tens of thousands of wounded, many of them seriously which the KIA figure alone overlook.

    Second, something like 25% of the Iraqi population has been killed or displaced. This is a staggering amount. Whether or not Saddam fulfilled the legal requirements of documenting just how and when he dismantled mainly use-by-date-expired chemical weapons supplied to him by the US in the 1980’s during the war with Iran, I don’t think there is any way to justify such outrageous disproportion between offense and results especially given that the offense – if even true – was made mainly by a small sector in the ruling government of what was one of the most progressive states in the region, and the consequences were suffered by millions of innocent civilians.

    There is simply no way to justify such actions on our part. Yes, they are in keeping with the historical track record of humankind in general and therefore nothing to freak out about; but they are contrary to the image America portrays of herself both to her citizens and the world at large. That also is not unusual, but that still does not make it either good or right or, ultimately, effective.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.