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David Hines [userpic]

those wacky Iranians

July 7th, 2004 (05:25 pm)

This is potentially a huge story: on Monday, American and Iraqi troops captured two explosives-laden men on their way to set up a car bomb in Baghdad. The men were Iranians. That's not the huge story: there are lots of bombers in Iraq, and a lot of them are Iranian. The huge story is this: the men confessed to being Iranian intelligence officers.

If that's true, it's an act of war. That makes the story potentially extremely important. I've been trying to find anything that either corroborates or refutes it. The closest anyone's come is the AP, which reports that "there was no indication that the two men were Iranian agents," and doesn't mention the confession or the Fox report of it (even to call it erroneous). Even Fox has failed to post a follow-up, and has given the story almost no play. Everybody else is resolutely ignoring it. Meanwhile, the Iranians are apparently shooting across the border. The mullahs are playing some serious brinksmanship, and the American media isn't paying a bit of attention.

It's also the season for student unrest in Iran, though that's not going to get much play, either.


Posted by: paula (paulasj)
Posted at: July 7th, 2004 03:16 pm (UTC)

I often wonder why these stories do not get the airtime they deserve in the media. Of course, any type of scandal will get 24/7 coverage for months. What has real news become?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 8th, 2004 12:38 pm (UTC)

Scandals have simple, unchanging narratives: "there's a guy in power covering something up; let's get 'im." Plus, they tend to be domestic, so the players -- or at least the roles -- are familiar. So the UN Oil-for-Food scandal, which looks like it's on track to be the biggest white-collar crime in history, doesn't get nearly the play that Enron does.

Short answer: laziness, mainly.

Posted by: paula (paulasj)
Posted at: July 8th, 2004 12:55 pm (UTC)

Exactly. The UN's Oil For Food program should be getting so much airplay right now. I'm hard pressed to find much coverage at all. I think laziness does play a role along with ratings. But, where the UN is concerned I think it goes deeper. There has been so much press to having the UN play a role in just about everything, that I think this scandal is a slap in the face to those (press included in my opinion) who look at the UN as an answer to everything. Conspiracy theory? Maybe.

And this is the tip of the iceberg for the UN. A group was brought in to conduct surveys within the UN and the findings were deplorable with most UN employees believing that underhanded practices are commonplace.

Where is the news coverage?

Yes, domestic scandals do bring in the ratings but I do believe there is a market to those of us who care about a wide variety of issues. We just need to convince them that we are here.

Posted by: mystavash (mystavash)
Posted at: July 8th, 2004 04:44 am (UTC)

Dunno that the act of war bit matters so much in the grand scale of things. Who would go to war to with whom?

Scandals are good. Keeps people honest and on their toes.

Posted by: paula (paulasj)
Posted at: July 8th, 2004 08:18 am (UTC)

I agree but to a certain extent. I just find that the news has become more sensationalistic than it should be. But, with 24/7 news coverage you need something to fill air time.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 8th, 2004 12:34 pm (UTC)

We would, I expect. Not a full invasion, but selective bombing runs against military targets to soften the mullahs' control over their own people (most of whom are under 30, and hate their government), and wholesale destruction of their nuke project. That'd keep 'em busy enough.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: July 10th, 2004 10:44 pm (UTC)

That would only increase the support for the goverment and anyway what you suggest isn't feasible anyway.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 11th, 2004 09:00 pm (UTC)

Whether you think U.S. military action would be effective or not, you have to admit that it would be one possible course for our government to take. So the press should be reporting on it.

Posted by: i'm a pirate! arr! (badficwriter)
Posted at: July 9th, 2004 12:03 pm (UTC)

Nobody but Iran/Iraq wants to see that flare up again. I remember the horrific reports that made the Palestinian/Israeli thing seem more like a disagreement.

I wonder, in passing, if unmuzzled snarling dogs and nakedness bore any part in the Iranians' confession.

Did you comment on Fahrenheit 9/11 anywhere?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: July 11th, 2004 09:09 pm (UTC)

I don't think anybody wants a repeat of the Iran-Iraq war. War Nerd has a good column on that nightmare.

Did you comment on Fahrenheit 9/11 anywhere?


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