Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Zombie Lives


As of 9:00am PDT Sunday May 21st, less than 48 hours of the initial 'story' in the National Post, there are 218 Google News-cached publications alluding to the Iranian 'Badge' falsehood.

A number now lead with a denunciation of the fraud that was the central tenet of the original 'report'. Specifically, that the Iranian parliament has passed a law that forces minority groups, including Jews and Christians, to wear special identifying tags on their clothing:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - Iran's new dress code bill is aimed at encouraging designers to work on imaginative Islamic clothing, lawmakers said on Sunday, dismissing a report that the bill sought special outfits for religious minorities.

Canada's National Post on Friday reported the draft bill approved last week would force Jews, Christians and other religious minorities such as Zoroastrians to wear colour-coded clothes to distinguish them from Muslims.

A copy of the bill obtained by Reuters contained no such references. Reuters correspondents who followed the dress code session in parliament as it was broadcast on state radio heard no discussion of proscriptions for religious minorities.

However, many are being so bold as to 'ignore' the actual falsehood so that they can instead run with the 'truthier' side of the story, in which the Iranian government is trying to impose a Muslim dress code:

TEHRAN, Iran -- A draft law aimed at encouraging Islamic dress raised fears Saturday that Iran's hard-line government plans to re-impose veils and head-to-toe overcoats on women who have shirked the restrictions for years, letting hair show and wearing jeans and shapely outfits.

Now, that latter story, from the Associated Press, ran this morning in the Washington Post.

So there you have it - voodoo mission accomplished.

Because an outright falsehood has once again been blown through the woodchipper of the Whirlitzer (think Fargo) only to emerge, rearranged and reconstituted throughout the mainstream media, as 'Zombie News'*.

In other words, an untruth that will never die that can now be grafted onto a myriad of half truths by the forces of darkness to move public opinion.

Of course, this happened not long ago when many among us were convinced of Saddam Hussein's invisible hand in 9/11 during the run-up to the act of naked imperialism that was first dubbed Operation Iraqi Liberation**.

But the 'Mother of All News Zombies' actually emerged in the previous war with Saddam, Gulf War I, when we were convinced that Mr. Hussein was way, way, way worse than any other number of American-backed puppet dictators gone bad.


Because, Saddam was ripping babies from Kuwaiti incubators and tossing them on the floor to die.

So, what does that have in common with the Iranian Badge Zombie?

Well, first, it was completely false.

More recently, in the fall of 1990, members of Congress and the American public were swayed by the tearful testimony of a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl, known only as Nayirah.

In the girl's testimony before a congressional caucus, well-documented in MacArthur's book "Second Front" and elsewhere, she described how, as a volunteer in a Kuwait maternity ward, she had seen Iraqi troops storm her hospital, steal the incubators, and leave 312 babies "on the cold floor to die."


Later, it was learned that Nayirah was in fact the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to Washington and had no connection to the Kuwait hospital.

And second, both appear to have been started by voodoo-practicing agent provocateurs (ie. hacks) working for P.R. firms:

Here's the goods on the Kuwaiti Baby Zombie:

She (Nayirah) had been coached – along with the handful of others who would "corroborate" the story – by senior executives of Hill and Knowlton in Washington, the biggest global PR firm at the time, which had a contract worth more than $10 million with the Kuwaitis to make the case for war

And here, as reported yesterday by Paleo on dKos are the potential goods on the Iranian Badge Zombie:

Google the name Amir Taheri (the original source of the National Post Story) and you will find that his writings are published by National Review, the New York Post, the Jerusalem Post and the Weekly Standard. But more significant is that he has sponsored by Benador Associates, an erstwhile public relations firm whose founder, Eleana Benador has major right-wing connections.


As for Benador Associates, aside from Taheri, its clients include such prominent neo-cons such as James Woolsey, Michael Leeden, Frank Gaffney and Richard Perle.

So, forget about the lame, after-the-fact, pseudo- retraction from the National Post, because it means nothing.

Because the Zombie lives, and that's all that counts now.

Thus, instead, we must now root out the purveyors of the voodoo and expose them for what truly are - liars who will turn any truth to crap to advance their agenda. Because, using lies and half-truths to sell soda pop and laundry detergent is one thing, but when you are selling death it is quite another thing altogether.

But where to start the hunt?

Well, how about checking into the actions of that last, bolded, name on the Benador list above?

After all, there is the history to consider:

Famed Prince of Darkness Richard Perle is a political animal unique to Washington.


Together with Paul Wolfowitz, Perle is the primary intellectual architect of George W. Bush's foreign policy. Exercising his influence through his many protégés, whom he's placed in key jobs throughout the Pentagon and elsewhere, Perle's only official role is as voluntary chair of the President's Defense Policy Board. This leaves him free not only to say what he pleases but to do what he wants.

Having spent decades in and out of office, feeding journalists and seeing his "genius" promoted in return, Perle has employed his semi-oracular status to promote war with Iraq while consistently underestimating its likely costs.

Then there are the connections. In the past, Mr. Perle has been heavily involved with the creator of the National Post, Conrad Black. He is also the ghost whose story has been written by current National Post golden boy and 'Axis of Evil' tagline creator David Frum.

Of course, none of this definitively establishes Mr. Perle as the man behind the Zombie.

But the details listed above are fact, not fiction. Which is a whole mountain range worth of actual truth compared to the tiny pebbles Mr. Perle and his associates have used in the past to start wars and wreak havoc that has resulted in the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

This is serious business. And we are being played for saps if we don't stop it.


*The 'Zombie' moniker for 'undead' falsehoods that cannot be killed was first described by Atrios, and more recently by pogge for this specific story.
**Please note the acronym, O.I.L.
Update: Billmon, who is on the road, sans Crosby and Hope, in the Middle-East also sees the Zombie for what it is.

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