Saturday, April 30, 2005

Goddamn Lying Bastards: A Critical Reappraisal

Yesterday, I discussed an apocryphal Iranian magazine article called "Electronics to Determine Fate of Future Wars," which supposedly threatened the United States with an electromagnetic pulse attack, via aerial detonation of a nuclear weapon. I wasn't able to find the article online, and wondered whether it actually existed.

Well, it does. And thanks to the awe-inspiring munificence and sagacity of Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, I now have a copy of it.

There are a couple of interesting things about it. First and foremost, it contains no discussion of an EMP attack against the United States.

For that matter, it contains no discussion of an EMP attack against anyone.

In fact, it contains no mention of nuclear weapons whatsoever.

Yes, friends, you heard me correctly. This eight-year-old article, which a gaggle of "defense experts" is currently presenting as evidence for Iran's intention to launch an EMP attack using nuclear weapons, does not discuss the use of nuclear weapons, and does not discuss EMP attacks. Not once.

What it does talk about - in general terms fairly similar to those of Western articles on the subject - is cyberterrorism. Personally, I'd be hard pressed to see its discussion of that issue as a veiled threat, let alone an explicit one. But even if I did see it that way, it'd do little more than remind me that three of BushCo's top cybersecurity experts have resigned in two years, complaining that they had virtually no official support for their work.

In his piece on the Iranian article, Joseph Farah lifted this quote:

Even worse today when you disable a country's military high command through disruption of communications, you will, in effect, disrupt all the affairs of that country. If the world's industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronic assaults then they will disintegrate within a few years. American soldiers would not be able to find food to eat nor would they be able to fire a single shot.
Oops...did I say "Farah lifted this quote"? I'm sorry. I meant to say "Farah stitched this quote together dishonestly, with malice aforethought, like the shameless jackal he is."

In the original article, these three sentences have little or nothing to do with one another. Worse still, the final sentence is missing eight of its original words, and is completely out of context. Have a look at these sentences in their original context:
Once you confuse the enemy communication network you can also disrupt the work of the enemy command and decisionmaking center. Even worse, today when you disable a country's military high command through disruption of communications you will, in effect, disrupt all the affairs of that country.

[snip - one paragraph missing]

If the world's industrial countries fail to devise effective ways to defend themselves against dangerous electronics assaults, then they will disintegrate within a few years. What is worse, in the information technology warfare there is no longer any distinction between civilians and combatants.

[snip - three paragraphs missing]

In an analysis of the current electronics warfare situation, the American daily, The Washington Post recently wrote that if the enemy forces succeeded in infiltrating the information network of the US Army, then the whole organization would collapse. It said in such a case that the American soldiers could not find food to eat nor could they be able to fire a single shot.
Isn't it droll that the ominous quote about American soldiers turns out to have been paraphrased from an article in the WaPo? I wonder why Farah left that bit out. After all, it proves that the WaPo - like most liberal papers - takes its marching orders from Islamofascist mullahs.

Oh, and for the benefit of the good folks at Rapture Ready, the standard Christian theological term for lying is "bearing false witness." You're not supposed to do it, last time I checked.

8 comments:

Republic of Palau said...

Oh well done, way to nip the warmongers lies in the bud. sunshine is indeed the best disinfectant. Just look at tony's Blar's face today...

fred said...

I just ran across this purported Iranian risk at WorldNetDaily while mindlessly browsing while holding for IBM tech support. A google search found this: http://www.jmu.edu/iiia/news_events/Graham.pdf which gives some credence, perhaps, to the claim. It concerns me because EMP threat from Iran smacks of WMD threat used to invade Iraq. All too familiar.

Andrew said...

While you are right to point out the possible misrepresentation of the Iranian article, I think you are missing the forest for the trees. Regardless of who pointed out the susceptibility of US forces to electronic warfare, it is clear that, on some level, the Iranians are taking stock. In my opinion, whether or not they mean EMP when they use terms like "dangerous electronic assaults" and "in the information technology warfare there is no longer any distinction between civilians and combatants" is open for question and debate. Since you yourself do not link to the original article it is hard to place the snippets you provide in context. It is possible that you may be guilty of the same misuse that you admonish others for. However, despite the apparent initial misuse of the article and your out of hand dismissal you must concede that as a result a much needed discussion has begun on an important issue.

Phila said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Phila said...

Andrew, I didn't link to the complete article because the complete article is not online.

I suppose I could post it on my other, quote-oriented blog later, and link to it from here.

I don't believe it's "clear" - from this - that the Iranians are taking stock of anything. I believe it's clear that one of them wrote an article about cyberterrorism eight years ago, which was similar in tone and content to hundreds of articles written in the West.

The fact that you call the misuse of the article "apparent" is interesting. Farah's article ignores every basic tenet of responsible journalism. If he worked for a serious, conscientious news agency, it probably would've cost him his job.

As for my "out-of-hand dismissal," I make no apologies. I think the idea of Iran being able to launch an EMP attack against the USA is absurd; you're welcome to offer the slightest hard evidence to the contrary. (Saying "They're Islamic extremists who hate America" doesn't count, by the way.)

The "important issue" that needs discussion has to do with the motivation behind dishonest articles like Farah's. If you fail to understand this, then I'm not surprised that you'd find the tone of my post problematic.

Tena said...

All these erudite posts, Phila, and I'm just here to tell you that I've fallen in love with your picture at the Atriot's photo gallery.

I'm serious.

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