Friday, May 19, 2006

But it makes SUCH a great story.

[WHOA! Is it just my browser or did the National Post story suddenly vanish? You can see the results of a search here, but that first link, "Iran eyes badges for Jews," simply takes you to a blank page. That second link, though, "A colour code for Iran's 'infidels'," seems to be still active, but one has to wonder for how long.

Down the memory hole, as they say. I wonder if it's too soon to start looking for furious back-pedaling from some of these folks.]

[DOUBLE WHOA. Pogge calls bullshit on this story as well, and reports that the original story has been denied by Iran's only Jewish MP. That sounds pretty clinching, doesn't it? Time for the total lack of recriminations to begin.]

Via AmericaBlog, first we have the spectacular claim from the pages of the National Post:

Iran eyes badges for Jews

Human rights groups are raising alarms over a new law passed by the Iranian parliament that would require the country's Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges to identify them and other religious minorities as non-Muslims.

With, of course, all of the appropriate persons reveling in the martyrdom and victimhood of it all:

"This is reminiscent of the Holocaust," said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. "Iran is moving closer and closer to the ideology of the Nazis."...

"There's no reason to believe they won't pass this," said Rabbi Hier. "It will certainly pass unless there's some sort of international outcry over this."

Bernie Farber, the chief executive of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said he was "stunned" by the measure. "We thought this had gone the way of the dodo bird, but clearly in Iran everything old and bad is new again," he said. "It's state-sponsored religious discrimination."...

Mr. Behroozian said it will make life even more difficult for Iran's small pockets of Jewish, Christian and other religious minorities -- the country is overwhelmingly Shi'ite Muslim. "They have all been persecuted for a while, but these new dress rules are going to make things worse for them," he said...

"The world should not ignore this," said Rabbi Hier. "The world ignored Hitler for many years -- he was dismissed as a demagogue, they said he'd never come to power -- and we were all wrong."

Mr. Farber said Canada and other nations should take action to isolate Mr. Ahmadinejad in light of the new law, which he called "chilling," and his previous string of anti-Semitic statements.

"There are some very frightening parallels here," he said. "It's time to start considering how we're going to deal with this person."

Yes, yes, let's all feed that big, bad persecution complex, shall we? Um ... hang on, what's this?

The National Post is sending shockwaves across the country this morning with a report that Iran's Parliament has passed a law requiring mandatory Holocaust style badges to identify Jews and Christians.

But independent reporter Meir Javedanfar, an Israeli Middle East expert who was born and raised in Tehran, says the report is false.

"It's absolutely factually incorrect," he told The New 940 Montreal.

"Nowhere in the law is there any talk of Jews and Christians having to wear different colours. I've checked it with sources both inside Iran and outside."

So, if this story turns out to be true, then it's not even arguable that the Iranian government are a bunch of complete nutjobs. But if it's not true, I'm going to be really interested in how much of a retraction we see from all of these folks.

Let's stay tuned, shall we?

A LITTLE BACKTRACKING ALREADY: Credit where credit is due -- Stevie Boy is being careful to qualify his outrage (emphasis added):

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says news reports that Iran could require Jews and Christians to wear coloured labels in public might be true.

Well, sure, they might be true. On the other hand, they might be false. It might be true that Stephen Harper has sexual relations with box turtles. On the other hand ...

"And the fact that such a measure could even be contemplated is absolutely abhorrent."

Of course, such a measure might never have been contemplated in the first place. And Harper continues to mix claim and speculation:

Harper said he could not vouch for the accuracy of the report. But if true, he said it would be a throwback to one of the most odious chapters in human history.

"It boggles the mind that any regime on the face of the Earth would want to do anything that could remind people of Nazi Germany," he said.

The report is a reminder that Iran must never be allowed to gain nuclear weapons, Harper said.

Hey, here's an idea. Let's make a note of any other blogs that jump all over this story, and check back later if the story doesn't happen to pan out. Just for the entertainment value.

Three. (With some pretty lame qualification.)

TWO VERY IMPORTANT POINTS: First, let me make it painfully, excruciatingly clear that, as far as I'm concerned, it's still not clear if the original story is true or not. If it is true, then there's absolutely no argument that the rulers of Iran are a bunch of reprehensible thugs. The point is how blindingly quickly the right-wing wankersphere jumped all over this story and what they'll do as penance if it turns out to be total rubbish. We know how quickly they can accuse. Let's see if they're as good at apologizing if the need arises.

[UPDATE: Wanker-style retractions are now being collected here.]

And second, every web page that I've collected above shares the common property that, at the time I linked to it, it was repeating the Iran story with absolutely no skepticism or qualification whatsoever (with the single exception of Damian Penny, whose qualification seems particularly pathetic). This means that, if any of those pages suddenly start being a little skeptical, that skepticism was added after the original posting. Just so you know.

: By the way, all you outraged American wankers might want to be a little more restrained in your sputtering fury over this story, given that your heroes have some unseemly habits of their own:

Sherman: What will you do to win the votes of the Americans who are atheists?

[The first George] Bush: I guess I'm pretty weak in the atheist community. Faith in God is important to me.

Sherman: Surely you recognize the equal citizenship and patriotism of Americans who are atheists?

Bush: No, I don't know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.

Sherman (somewhat taken aback): Do you support as a sound constitutional principle the separation of state and church?

Bush: Yes, I support the separation of church and state. I'm just not very high on atheists.

So atheists were neither citizens nor patriots. I guess they should be grateful George didn't make them wear armbands or something.


Zorpheous said...

Jesus freaking Christ, why to do I get the very strong feeling that this story is about as reliable as the mythos about Iraq WMD being shipped to Syria? I wonder if it is from the same source to?

Any idea where the orignal source for this story is from? 10 to 1 it either US based or from Israel.

Zorpheous said...

Oh no, looks like the entire story at the National Post has gone down the memory hole, LOL I wonder why?

catnip said...

Thanks for the tip about the fact that it disappeared, CC. I've put up an updated post. I am furious about this whole affair.

Somena Woman said...

Waiting waiting waitng for the 8 cited Snogging Bories to retract, recant, explain, Update and Correct and so forth....

And the tumbleweeds blow, and the crickets chirp....

Ah well...

Anonymous said...

Add #9

To the list.

Christian Conservative said...

Hey, as soon as I saw your post here, I retracted it on my blog... hey, when someone points out an error, I have no problem withdrawing any statement I've made!

As Cynic points out, we still don't know the status of this story. I wouldn't have known about it unless you guys pointed it out. Thanks! I get the National Post at home, so I'll let you know what they say, if they back up their story, or retract it completely.

Guess it proves you that you can't trust the MSM, eh? ;-)

Somena Woman said...

See CC, I told you CHCon wasn't a bad egg.

Anonymous said...

So, what's the new "pre-emptive" talking point?

We have to invade Iran before they do something like this?

Anonymous said...

"then there's absolutely no argument that the rulers of Iran are a bunch of reprehensible thugs."

Sloppy/made up NP story aside, there is no argument, and hasn't been for decades. Iran is run by abusers and murderers, and their accomplices, and the non-murderers have lost much of the traction they gained in the '90s.

CC said...

Eric Grant:

I wasn't, in fact, taking any stand on the current reprehensibility of the leaders of Iran.

My point was that, if this story were true, that alone would be sufficient reason to be appalled.

Anonymous said...

I work for an independent TV news show that broadcasts across the United States ( INN World Report, Dish TV Channel 9415 in the U.S., also webcast at for our international audience) I AM NOT WRITING AS A REPRESENTATIVE OF INN JUST AS A HUMAN BEING.

I did a lot of research on the Iranian badge story yesterday, in the course of which I spoke with experts on Iran, all native Iranians, who monitor the country closely. The badge story is absolute bunk.

I came out with a lot more information about Iran than I went in with (obviously :-) It's not this monolithic Great Satan -- the picture I got was of a vibrant, fluid culture, and, as one expert on Iran pointed out, the government pays for non-Islamic religious schools for Jews, Christians and Zorastharans, as well as other sects. Although he did say that Ba'hais were somewhat persecuted.

These experts weren't people who loved the mullahs, or Ahmedinejad, in fact one had most of his family killed by the mullahs during the Revolution, but the Iran they told me about is not the land of abayas, dogma and endless prayer that our government and media would have us believe, it is a land in search of freedom.

By demonizing a country which Americans conveniently know nothing about, the U.S. and Israel are setting us up for World War III and basically killing the enormous movement within Iran that wants freedom from the mullahs.

This is all my opinion,again, I AM NOT speaking as a representative of INN, just as someone who spends my days, and often nights, reading foreign wire services and speaking to experts.

Hope this helps.

Strong Conservative said...

I'll retract when Dan Rather retracts the National Guard story about Bush...
That's a joke, take it easy Libs.

But would any of you lefties be that surprised if Iran did this? Why don't you jump all over the Islamofascists like you jump on conservatives? I think you may have your priorities out of wack, or at least your perceived enemies.

-jf said...

if this story does indeed turn out to be unfounded, it is not the product of a jew conspiracy, as has been alledged here.

as the extensive and paranoid dossier presented here indicates, it has traveled from pro-democracy activists in iran, to iranian dissidents in north america, to conservative activists who are sympathetic to both israel and the iranian student democracy movement. this gathering sentiment on the center-right, tirelessly advanced by ledeen, amongst others, sees western solidarity with iranian dissidents as a viable alternative to the implications of big stick diplomacy.

the implication that this possibly unfounded story is part of a jew conspiracy to nuke iran pre-emptively is both ignorant and vulgar.

some right-wing blogs may end up with some egg on their faces, but all, i'm sure, will deliver retractions and apologies if that turns out to be the case.

they can do so knowing at least that they aren't the rankest of hypocrits. those would be the screeching sissy-taunters i'm seeing here. such people compell me to bring up an incident which occurred not so long ago.

a graduate student at uc dartmouth told two professors of his that something strange had happened when he had ordered a copy of mao's little red book through the inter-library loan system. he told them of how the book was delivered to his home by dhs agents, who questioned him. these agents told him of a book watchlist. the agents also wore black suits and sunglasses. later, one professor mentioned the incident on a radio program. the story was picked up by the boston globe and another paper. it even made its way into sen. ted kennedy's statements on the floor.

it turned out to be a complete fabrication. progressives responded in either of two ways: 1) they claimed the story to be "fake but accurate," or 2)they just kept on telling it.

the worst part is that the only reason the veracity of the story was called into question by establishment journalists and leftist bloggers in the first place, is because the american library association was vocally upset by the implication that they'd cooperate with federal investigators. were it not for the stink they made, if it were only the administration's policies and the federal agents who were being libeled, the hoax incident would be a staple of every progressive senator's speech to this day.

considering this story in contrast with the iranian yellow swatch story, another difference in how the two are being handled here which jumps forth, is that the journalists involved chose to close all investigation of the dartmouth incident and protect the identity of the hoaxer. they even went on to portray this probably 24 year-old grad student as too "frightened" to withstand the abuse of further scrutiny of his deliberate, premeditated attempt to poison the national discourse with meme warfare. rather than being outraged at being used by a confidential source to advance a lie, journalistic professionals were sympathetic in this case.

i'm sure that any probing half as rigorous as what has been undertaken in the progressive bloggers on the iran story would reveal that he is a member, perhaps coordinator of, the campus "world can't wait" campaign of the "revolutionary communist party," whos members often institutionalize themselves on campuses as members of the young social democrats. now, if i was paranoid fantacist i could trace the chain of command from its racist grassroots (neonazis are a "hidden" element of the antiwar movement) to its disturbingly radical mainstream groups, to its moneyed elite of benefactors/controllers at the tip of the pyramid, such as the maccarthur foundation, who monetarily sponsors rcp initiatives like the "bush crimes commission," which is associated with a number of prominent progressive congressmembers like john conyers.

but it takes a focused paranoid rage which is more commonly found on the left for such things to emerge.

the ucdartouth story isn't uncommon, either. there is the alicia hardin story, in which a girl wrote racially threatening letters to interracial couples on campus as a ploy to frigten her parents into pulling her out of school. the story had a two-week news cycle, inflated by jesse jackson's choice to intervene against the white supremacism obviously running amok there. when it was revealed to be a hoax, there were no apologies. instead, jackson boldly declared that the *real* issue was that a climate of white supremicist hate was evident in the way that the hoax was considered believable by the people who trumpeted it.


much like the mock self-rightiousness here.

Anonymous said...

Actually one of the experts I spoke with yesterday volunteers as a translator for the Iranian woman who won the Nobel Peace Prize.

This sort of demonization of Iran and its multi-faceted culture, will lead to war. And again, I research this all day long reading the foreign and domestic (U.S.) wire services.

Yes, this badge story can be traced back to the same neo-conservatives allied with Israel who brought us the Iraq war.

Go for it Canada, take Israel off our hands, and fight that war against the imminent threat of Iran by yourselves, because otherwise there's sure to be an Iranian induced mushroom cloud over Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver -- ALL AT ONCE!!!

As an American who lost a friend in the South Tower of the World Trade Center, and has had five friends deployed and redeployed to Iraq, I invite Canadians to take Israel's wars and die in them.

And, of course, suffer the blowback, like my friend did, when the world starts to hate you for your support of a country that practices apartheid on a daily basis.

Hey, pay for Israel too -- not just the huge amount of money taken out of U.S. tax dollars, but also its war machine.

United States, many of us here, are over and out. We want our peace back. Harper should enlist first. I've already paid in blood for Israel.

Anonymous said...

The Strong Conservative shows us precisely the purpose of this lie about Iran: Ok ok the story is false blah blah blah, but it could be true. Therefore we are fully justified in treating it as though it were true. Abracadabra! a lie becomes truth. Score another one for right wing propaganda!

And christian conservative you are right, you can't trust the MSM, especially the far-right MSM such as the National Post.

-jf said...

there is a confusion of conflicting frames in the anonimous journalist's comments.

at once, he seems to portray iran as a unified people, enjoying together "a vibrant, fluid culture" in which the benevolent mullahcracy "pays for non-Islamic religious schools for Jews, Christians and Zorastharans..."

in this positive frame he encourages us to consider iran a monolith.

also presented is a cynically distorted strawman alleging that americans (read: conservatives) misuderstand iran and iranians to be a "monolithic Great Satan" against whom the u.s. and aipac/pnac/zog are "setting us up for World War III."

in this negative frame, he encourages us to consider iran a monolith.

the tension between those frames would comprise a perfectly straightforward presentation of his own competing, benevolent monolith versus the u.s./israeli axis' malign monolith.

but then he also encourages us to view iran in terms of its internal schism between a liberal and pro-democracy people and its government, who i don't doubt murdered family members of the anti-regime activist he spoke with.

in this frame, he encourages us to regard himself as being "on the right side".

this foggy confusion of frames is nessesary to float the twisted misapprehension that one can serve the interests of the supressed and disenfranchised populous of iran, by arguing protectionism of its psychopathic government against liberal western intervention.

as i posted above, his characterization of the people who may have toutched this report on its way to press is 180 degrees from what is actually so. center-right bloggers, journalists, officials are sympathetic to the iranian pro-democracy movement and oppose their theo-nationalist government's bellicosity, both within its borders and towards isreal and the west. this was potently synthesized in president bush's sotu address in which hw concluded the portion dealing with iran's eliminationist rhetoric and pursuit of nuclear weapons by specifically addressing the iranian people and saying, "Iran [is] a nation now held hostage by a small clerical elite that is isolating and repressing its people... America respects you, and we respect your country. We respect your right to choose your own future and win your own freedom. And our nation hopes one day to be the closest of friends with a free and democratic Iran."

its apparent that our annonymous journalist, unlike ledeen and other center-right supporters of iran's pro-democracy movement, clumsily stumbled into a cursory investigation of the issues involved through the narrow frame of aipac/pnac/zog conspiracism. i'm not even certain he is a journalist as he claims.

but if he is, it was certainly wise of him contribute annonymously and disclaim representation of the media outlet he is, in fact, a representative of.

-jf said...

here, by the way, is an example of that "cover-up" that jew neo-con net vampires are supposed to be engaging in.

Anonymous said...

The law, discussion and all that are public information in Iran. Anybody really interested could hire a translator and read the law for him/herself. I wonder if prime minister of Canada has a persian translator in his administration or not? Maybe his consulate in Iran speaks zooloo not persian.