March 13, 2007

The 'Surge' In Propaganda

An astonishing piece of nonsense from Robert Kagan in the Washington Post today:
Some observers are reporting the shift. Iraqi bloggers Mohammed and Omar Fadhil, widely respected for their straight talk, say that "early signs are encouraging." The first impact of the "surge," they write, was psychological. Both friends and foes in Iraq had been convinced, in no small part by the American media, that the United States was preparing to pull out. When the opposite occurred, this alone shifted the dynamic.

As the Fadhils report, "Commanders and lieutenants of various militant groups abandoned their positions in Baghdad and in some cases fled the country." The most prominent leader to go into hiding has been Moqtada al-Sadr. His Mahdi Army has been instructed to avoid clashes with American and Iraqi forces, even as coalition forces begin to establish themselves in the once off-limits Sadr City.

Before the arrival of Gen. David Petraeus, the Army's leading counterinsurgency strategist, U.S. forces tended to raid insurgent and terrorist strongholds and then pull back and hand over the areas to Iraqi forces, who failed to hold them. The Fadhils report, "One difference between this and earlier -- failed -- attempts to secure Baghdad is the willingness of the Iraqi and U.S. governments to commit enough resources for enough time to make it work."
That's right, folks. Bush's "surge" is working because two bloggers in Iraq, Omar and Mohammed Fadhil, say it is!

Thanks to Winter Patriot for the heads up on this one. You can read his post here, including backlinks to old Bushout posts on these charlatan Iraqi bloggers. There is also more on Kagan's nonsense from Matt Yglesias, Glenn Greenwald and Eric Martin.

I have posted a letter to Salon and alerted several top bloggers to this story, which is long overdue for some close scrutiny.
I recommend you take a good look at the Iraqi bloggers whose opinions Kagan is quoting.

"Good news from Iraq" stories by these same bloggers - the Fadhil brothers, from the aptly named "Iraq The Model" blog - were previously recommended to US reporters by none other than Paul Wolfowitz way back in 2004. In fact, two of the Fadhil brothers even went to the White House to meet with Bush and Wolfowitz in October that year. The third brother, Ali Fadhil, stayed in Iraq, angrily proclaiming that he and his brothers were being used by certain people for propaganda purposes. He quit the blog, making accustions against the staff of a US "charity" named Spirit Of America (SoA). He said he and his brothers were offered $300,000 "that we could use to do what we want". When he raised the issue with the CEO of SoA (Jim Hake, who also attended the White House meeting), he was offered "any position I wanted and any salary I would find suitable". All this at a time when Bremer's CPA was "losing" millions of dolalrs in cash every week.

It seems likely that the SoA charity (now rebranded a "civilian troop-support group") is either a PR front for the neocons or an opportunistic cash-grabbing scam. Supporters include former US Ambassador Mark Palmer, once a speech-writer for Henry Kissinger and now member of the Committee on the Present Danger and Vice Chairman of Freedom House and the Council for a Community of Democracies. Last reports were that Palmer was working with Hake on a new media company, SignalOne, with a focus on Middle East youth.
The neocon edifice is built on a fragile foundation of nonsense like this: one swift kick and the whole thing will crumble.

As regular readers know, I have been closely watching the Fadhil brothers and Jim Hake for a long time. And in return, it seems, a few people have been watching me. More crazy conspiracy shit here.

Another odd thing is how the boys at Iraq The Model never even mention it when their blog is quoted in esteemed journals like WaPo. One would think they'd be crowing as loud as they can. Why the silence?

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