Monday, December 17, 2007

Iranian tanks headed for Texas!

Never throw away those baseball cards, kiddies! Hang on to 'em for a few admin- istrations and you'll be sur- prised how fresh they look.

At right, of course, is Fox News, just making sure you go to bed a little nervous tonight ("War On The Border" is there to remind you that if the Iranians don't get you, the Mexicans will). And if "On Our Doorstep?" sounds familiar, it's because that's where those Soviet tanks were going to be any second now if we didn't send lots more money real soon to the proxy guerrilla army we were hoping would throw those pesky Sandinistas out of Managua (not to mention those deadly Soviet MiG-21s that were going to do whatever the MiG-21 still did in the mid-1980s).

Fox, as usual, is bending the facts just a teeny bit (in the sort of first-week-of-propaganda-class way that's hard to tell from genuine news routines). True, three "reports" are mentioned in the seven-graf Fox story in question, but only one of them points out the purported alarm rocking the State Department (it's a proper noun, guys; you have to capitalize it, even if it's the Evil Wing of government). I'm not sure, for example, where this snippet comes from:

And on Monday Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez wrapped up a visit to the Islamic republic aimed at building a "strategic unity".

That did happen on Monday, but if -- oh, let's take a wild guess -- for some reason it's related to this AFP lede:

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Monday wrapped up a visit to the Islamic republic aimed at building a "strategic unity"

the "Monday" in question was Nov. 19. Even by Fox standards, that'd be a remarkably shameless bit of lying, so it's obviously an accident of some sort.

The core of the Fox report, though, seems to be drawn from a piece in the San Antonio Express-News, noted hotbed of sophisticated international reporting. But if the Express-News has trouble figuring out whether Hezbollah gets its mail in Lebanon or Iran (and, ahem, toning down some of the Fox-like shrillness of its reporters), at least it has the good sense not to make all the claims Fox attributes to it:

Fox: Some state department officials are concerned that Iran's presence in Nicaragua would allow Tehran to stage strikes on American interests.

Express-News: What worries state department officials, former national security officials and counterterrorism researchers is that, if attacked, Iran could stage strikes on American or allied interests from Nicaragua.

Interesting how that condition seems to play a role in stuff, unless it's Fox doing the reporting.

Time to move Glenn Garvin's fine "Everybody Had His Own Gringo: The CIA and the Contras" (Brassey's: 1992) up to the bedtime reading list for a bit. The rest of you, start looking in the attic for that 1982 Topps "Ortega Brothers: Double Trouble" card. Sounds like somebody's about to make it worth your while again.



Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Oh dear.

Evil Iranians again, attacking right and left... possibly ... and if attacked first. Damn them!

2:57 PM, December 19, 2007  

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