Still Pissed Off About the Hawley-Smoot Tariff

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Consider the Source

While randomly surfing blogspot blogs, I came across Just Between Strangers, which had this post and link. It accuses U.S. troops of using napalm in the recent assault on Fallujah. The link is to the UK tabloid Sunday Mirror, which does not name a source (the blogger, incidentally, tips a commenter on Atrios' blog Eschaton). What do we have so far? An Atrios reader and an unsourced article in a British paper. Let's go to Yahoo! and see what else we can turn up.

The first report is from November 28, in al-Jazeera. Yes, you read that right. We are to take the word of al-Jazeera for this. Riiiiiiight.

We've also got this item on Free Internet Press, which just links the DailyMirror article.

Then there's this, which is just another reference to the al-Jazeera link.

The final relevant hit is from the Asia Times, and it is a fascinating exercise in misdirection. If read the article, tell me what exactly you think the source is. Just try. Let me know if perhaps I've missed something. What we do have is testimony from "unimpeachable source" Dr. Abd as-Salaam al-Kubaysi. What makes him unimpeachable? He is chief of the public relations department of the Sunni Association of American Scholars, he is a university professor, and he lived in Fallujah until before the invasion.

I grew up in Colorado, but if I try to tell you that I know what's going on there, and in doing so I contradict credible news reports, feel free to disbelieve me. I can tell you all about New Orleans, where I live now, but I can't tell you about Colorado just because I used to live there. Please. The good Dr. tells us that "the Americans are entrenched in Fallujah but cannot get out and on to any street or alley in more than half the city, whether that be in Jolan, Shuhada or the industrial zone, or Nazal, or in many places." But inevitably he reminds me of this guy.

Now please note that just because something is reported on al-Jazeera does not mean it isn't true. All I'm saying is that when al-Jazeera is your only source, unconfirmed by any others even three days after the fact, you might want to get a little skeptical. Consider the source.