Saturday, April 01, 2006

Iraq War: What's Wrong With This Picture?

Say, here's an interesting story that tells you something about conservative Republicans:

House Candidate Draws Fire For Web Photo

AP Thursday March 30, 2006

"SAN DIEGO - A congressional candidate is under fire for a Web site photo that purported to show a peaceful Baghdad neighborhood but was actually taken in a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey…

Internet bloggers began questioning the photo earlier this week because none of the signs was in Arabic and billboards were advertising Western products…

…Kaloogian, a former state assemblyman who founded Move America Forward to support the war and is now running for Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham's House seat, took the photo down on Wednesday.”

Those "Internet" types mentioned in the story spotted some inconsistencies in Kaloogian's so-called "photo of Baghdad" and posted this on the Web:

Here’s the caption that originally accompanied the photo on GOP candidate Kaloogian’s web page:

“We took this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But, each day the news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about it – in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.”

Now what’s objectionable about that caption? (Besides the grammar, I mean.) That’s right, the tone. The conservative authors of the web page would have you believe that most of the “war in Iraq is hell” stuff you see on the news is just the work of a bunch of media troublemakers, that things really aren’t so bad in Baghdad, that you can stroll down most any street in the city in your “revealing Western clothes” and go about your day as usual, buy a Turkish ice cream cone, hail a Turkish taxi, whatever.

But we know that this is not so, so is it fair to excoriate our news media for failing to include peaceful Turkish street scenes in their news coverage of Iraq? (By the way, during the brief time I was a member of the “mainstream media” I never met any reporter, editor or publisher who was “opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.” They don’t go around “screaming and shouting” either, except about their pay.)

Anyway, pictures aren’t proof of anything, are they? I’m down in New Orleans and if I wanted to I could run a picture of the prettiest little street you ever did see, with gardens a-bloomin’ and kiddies a-playin’ and guys selling ice cream—but is that really representative of the city, these days? No sir, it is not, and I would be “telling a fib” if I put that picture up on the web to prove to you that everything is just swell down here after the hurricane and flood.

But the photo that Kaloogian presented as evidence of the good times to be had in Baghdad is nothing compared to the ones run by other Republicans. Look at these other so-called “GOP photos of Baghdad” and see if you can spot the tipoff that tells you they weren’t really taken in Iraq:

Oh, come on now. This is clearly not a photo of Baghdad. I suppose the idea that conservatives are trying to get across here is that Baghdad is so peaceful these days that everyone comes to this romantic world capital to honeymoon. But this photo is obviously faked; the Arab shepherd and his so-called "bride" are different sizes, and that's obviously the Eiffel Tower in the background; you can even see that the photographer has attempted to scratch out the word "Eiffel" in the lower left hand corner. This is an insult to our intelligence. If the GOP wants to lie to us about the war, they will have to do better than this.

Oh, please. You must be out of your mind if you expect me to believe that this photo was taken in peaceful, happy modern-day Baghdad. This is ridiculous, that's the World Trade Center in the background. The "Baghdad Loves Bush" lettering on the cake is in English, which I DON'T think a lot of Arabs speak. And look at the supposedly "Arab" children. They're not even Arabs, they look Irish or something. Where'd they get those outfits, at a costume shop? And that kid is about to cut the cake with a scimitar--no, it's not a scimitar, it's a Japanese samurai sword--this is ridiculous, it's not going to fool anyone (except maybe a Bush supporter.)

This is the worst one yet. The first tipoff that this is not Baghdad is the figure in the lower right-hand corner waving at us--that's Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is walking the streets of Baghdad? Balls! Like hell he is. And look at those signs the so-called "people of Baghdad" are carrying around. All in English! And that isn't Islamic architecture. I've never been to Disneyland, but I strongly suspect that that's where this photo was really taken. Then it was doctored up by pro-war conservatives--it's fake, fake, fake. Look at that, they even put a birkah on Tinker Bell.

What contempt these pro-war conservatives must have for our intelligence.


At 5:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thoses sneaky conservatives! What nefarious prank will they try next?

At 10:56 PM, Blogger Prendergast said...

I don't know...but when they try it, the Stillwater Tribune will be there, covering it.
Of that--you can be sure.


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