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February 12, 2007

Fool Me Twice, Shame On (…Where Do I Start?)

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Gal.May10.2003   38273122 Iraq Weapons300  350Px-10 Jan 2004 Eod Mortar Rounds Iraq

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So the government now has proof positive Iranian weaponry is being used against American troops in Iraq , right?  So, which of these images, released yesterday, seal the Iranian case, and which were circulated in 2003 as proof positive of Iraqi WMD? 

Really, this is so sad.

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(Iranian propaganda: top row center; second row left; third row left, bottom row middle.  image via: LAT, BBC, AFP/Getty, search.com, here-now.org, CNN; gwinnettdailyonline.com; sabretechservices.com )

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  • ify

    I was hoping you would analyze these pictures on Huffpo next time. Looking women in the house for years in Afganistan. American’s bomb and life gets a slight bit better ? Iraqi’s and Afgans voting. American soliders risking their lives to save Iraqis caught in the civil war. Too pro American for you.

  • margaret

    One has to read the foreign press to achieve any balance, meaning scepticism, on these kinds of reports, and do some careful digging on the internet to refute the hysteria which Cheney & Co. are trying to stir up.
    And, frankly, some of the pictures look as if the “weapons” could have come from anywhere.

  • Neal

    RE: 3rd row image-why do the Iranians provide markings, lot numbers and dates (and supposedly serial numbers) on items they would presumeably want used in a covert and untraceable manner? Perhaps for ultimate proof we need an inspection sticker saying “Inspected and Passed by Iranian Revolutiony Guard Inspector #12″.
    Also, if these are Iranian devices, doesn’t that mean that not only are we fighting Sunnis, Saddam deadenders, Al Qaeda, we are also fighting our puppets, the government in hiding, Shiites?

  • KingElvis

    So good of the Iranians to provide lot numbers in English – Weren’t these supposed to be produced in Iran?

  • http://www.dock.net/fuming_mucker/ Darryl Pearce

    When I worked in Teheran in 1977… when I was 17 (inventory at Bell Helicopter), posters on the wall said, “English is our technical language.” And the company I work for now, very cosmopolitan, English is the technical language.
    …I think that says more about the ultimate origin of so much …technology of war.
    Time for me to go watch the movie “Wrong is Right” again. Only in America, can I understand our foreign policy and current events only through the lens of entertainment.
    …which says more about me than I hope to say.

  • curt

    It seems to me that the issue is about whether or not we escalate the geographical boundary of our current Iraq war to include Iranian territory, not whether or not Iran is supplying weapons/material to their fellow-travelers in Iraq.
    IMHO, we have to decide this issue and our response to our government (representatives, etc.) based on the merits of escalation, not on whether or not Iran is supplying stuff to Iraq. Does anyone actually doubt that they are?
    I would think that given the current “preoccupation” of our military, the general tenor of popular opinion, the attitudes of top military commanders, and the nature of realpolitik, that Iran would be shoveling as much “help” to their Shia allies as possible.
    We certainly aren’t the only people in the world to take “advantage” of these types of situations.
    The issue is whether or not we allow ourselves to turn the current catastrophe into some kind of Wagnerian curtain-crasher, no matter what the “evidence” does, or does not, suggest.

  • http://www.bugseyes.blogspot.com tardigrade

    Proof: needs to have a data mark with date and time and who shot the image and with what. It needs to come from a source that has been proven over time to give the best and most accurate information with all of the probabilities of being wrong. It also must have multiple sources of corroborating evidence (not connected to same or similar institutions). No bias!
    Action: can only take place with enough resources, evidence and time. There needs to be in place multiple scenarios with multiple courses of action. There must be a network of willing partners and if any and all of the above does not fall into place or is not ready at the same time, action will fail.

  • http://www.woodka.com donna

    Escalate the boundary?! We can’t even control the boundaries now. Why escalate them?
    No, if we get fooled again, it’s our own fault this time. We KNOW Bush and Cheney are lying, we KNOW they are nuts, and we KNOW they are wrong.
    I’m tired of our kids dying in a useless war we can’t win. I’m tired of our country going bankrupt to fight Bush’s war. I’m tired of our nation’s reputation being ruined. If we take on Iran, it gets worse, not better. My letter to the NYT went out this morning, telling them to stop promoting this propaganda – I hope yours will as well.

  • http://monoceros.furmont.net/ Ernest Tomlinson

    I’d like to know who coined “explosively formed penetrator”. Sounds scary, doesn’t it? It smells of the same alarmism behind “weapons of mass destruction”, a term so vague that it covers anything from a nuclear weapon to a culture tube of Clostridium.
    The Herald-Tribune article is full of words that seem designed to puff up the threat. The devices use “high-grade metals”, “highly machined”, the sort of thing you can say both about a fearsome weapon and a surplus Russian camera. The projectile “folds into a molten ball”–that is, it does what any mass of liquid does when it flies through the air. There’s “no evidence that this has ever been done in Iraq.” (“We’d rather not look for it.”) Blech.

  • curt trood

    donna,
    we are making the same point. The issue of whether or not Iran is sending weaponry to Iraq is moot; personally, based on a general reading of history regarding governments that hate each other, I have no doubt that they are, and I don’t really need evidence, cooked or otherwise, to convince me of it.
    Our issue is what, or should I say “what not”, to do about it. As you observed, we’re not succeeding in the war we have. To attempt to carry it into Iran will require violence on a scale not yet seen, and with a near-zero hope for anything other than a greater catastrophe, hence the “Wagnerian curtain-crasher” reference.
    I, too, am sick of the absolute waste of human life that is now going on. However, if our government keeps us in Iraq despite our objections/votes/protests, then we owe it to our troops to lessen the danger to them. I don’t believe that equates with invading/bombing/whatever the nation of Iran.
    But it might very well have implications for how we handle any belligerent Iranian presence in Iraq.
    I’m just sayin…..

  • granny

    Aren’t most of the weapons used against our soldiers from the US?
    I heard that because of corruption one could buy whatever one needed from the US weapon stockpile.

  • curt

    Ernest,
    You’re right; but I think the point is that the IEDs being used now utilize a “shape charge” technology which is much more focused and destructive of the intended target than earlier IED’s based on an unfocused HE charge.
    I’m sure the Iraqi’s could figure this out on their own, given that they are a highly educated society, but I still don’t doubt that the Iranian’s have their hand in it.
    It seems that the Iraqi’s are demonstrating a sudden ability to knock down US choppers. Maybe they have had that capability all along, or maybe they have accquired a new breed of shoulder-fired missile.
    Wonder where those are coming from…
    I still don’t think the issue is one of whether or not the Iranians or the Russians or the Syrians are “helping out” in Iraq…it is what NOT to do about it.

  • curt

    granny,
    you could certainly be right, but “shape-charge” technology is common in anti-armor munitions. I suppose it is possible that they are manufacturing stuff from their own pre-war stockpiles of conventional weaponry.
    Heck, they could be getting their stuff from just about anybody…except Costa Rica which, I don’t think, has a standing army…but given the old adage of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” i am convinced that they are getting help from just about anyone in the region who hates us…and there are several actors who come to mind.
    I think we are all agreed ( I know, I am presuming here, forgive me please) that the issue is what NOT to do about it.
    Alright, my coffee bang has diminished so it’s time to “go take on the day” as that right-wing radio harpy likes to proclaim, so…
    I wish you all a good one.

  • MonsieurGonzo

    While the American president rattles his now blunted sabre at the most accessible neighbour to Iraq, IRAN ~ equally despised and feared by Saudi Arabia (ie., 9-11/al Qaeda genesis) and Israel (ie., Palestine/Lebanon occupation infamy), Hundreds of Taliban Mass : “…crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan to reinforce guerrillas attacking a key dam, a major source of electricity and irrigation, a provincial governor said on Monday.
    YouTube : Hu’s on First

  • lima

    I don’t believe the Bushies’ claim that Iran is doing anything, really. The real question is:
    Why? What is the aim? What’s the cover for? Why are they trying so hard? Why the distraction?

  • http://monoceros.furmont.net/ Ernest Tomlinson

    Why? What is the aim? What’s the cover for? Why are they trying so hard? Why the distraction?
    Human psychology is probably enough of an answer. Even the worst liars need to do something to convince themselves and their consciences that there’s a least a tiny bit of truth in their whoppers. Call it the George Costanza Effect; George once told Jerry, “It’s not a lie if you believe it.” And I’ve done this myself, sorry to say.

  • jtfromBC

    KingElvis your on thanks for the tip, lima the questions you raise are elementary and fwiw some suggestions
    Neocon Flubs Keep On Rolling: Iran Does Not Manufacture 81MM Mortar Shells.
    “…Iran does not manufacture 81mm mortar shells. According to a report offered by the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, connected to the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the neocon Brookings Institute, the smallest mortar produced by Iran is the 107mm M-30
    Iran does not manufacture 81mm mortars—but Pakistan does.
    Compare the photo on this death merchant catalog page http://www.pof.gov.pk/products/81mmhem57.htm) with the one offered up as “evidence” against the Iranians. Minus the nosecone and fins at the bottom, it is almost a dead ringer, excuse the metaphor, see enlargement here: http://www.pof.gov.pk/products/images/LARGE/81mmhem57.jpg
    Is it possible the Pentagon neocons, in their zeal to finger the Iranians and thus kick start World War Four, as they fondly call it, are using a Pakistani mortar and attributing it to Iran? Considering the long and sordid history of collaboration between the CIA, Pentagon, and Pakistan’s nefarious ISI, this is likely the case.
    http://kurtnimmo.com/?p=765

  • http://profile.typekey.com/neoillini/ TAJ in IA

    I used to watch the ABC news until they did the story about the Iranian components that were being used in the Iraqi IEDs. That was the precise point at which I stopped watching any of the major networks’ nightly news casts because I knew it was complete BS coming stratight from the Cheney’s office. Now I watch Jim Lehrer’s show, and despite the occasional appearance from David Brooks, I find it much nicer not being lied to every night.

  • ummabdulla

    JT, if Iran doesn’t make those weapons, that’s interesting news. If they do originate in Pakistan, then there’s a good chance they come through Iran to get to Iraq. So they can say that they “come from Iran”, whether or not the government knows anything about it.
    I don’t really know, but I wouldn’t necessarily expect Iranian weapons to use Persian script and Islamic dates.

  • jtfromBC

    ummabdulla, your correct, due to the immense trade and incredible profits in the global armaments industry, standard lettering and common numbering systems are virtually universal.

  • mugatea

    The time of year is almost exactly the same as when the Iraq(Bush 43) war started.
    Sad, indeed.

  • ummabdulla

    I guess they’re taking the same things into account to determine the timing, so I guess it’s not surprising they came up with the same time of year. Plus, they want to do it while Tony Blair’s still in power, from what I’ve read.

  • lima

    I guess I’m looking for an answer that covers more than the war jingle. There are not enough troops or resources to start another war – correct? The, if that is the case, what is the real aim of these insinuations? Why the distraction? Is something more domestic and politically incriminating coming down the pipe? Libbygate?

  • http://cook.web.eschelon.com/ Geoduck

    Lima- I don’t think anyone, even Cheney, is proposing a ground invasion. The Air Force is still intact, and that’s what they’ll unleash; that’s why all the carrier groups are being sent to the region.
    As for the helicopters, I was under the impression the Iraqis are using heavy machine guns to down them, not rockets. They’ve just had a lot of time to practice and get better…

  • lima

    Geo – I understand all that. I still think that these are extremely devious people, not to be trusted. They do this kind of thing to blow smoke and hide the real issues. I smell something else. Iran is just a front, of course, but if people focus on what is in front and not behind the curtain…..

  • jtfromBC

    ummbdulla, sorry my “interesting news” about Iran not making 81 mm shells has on further investigation proven not to be true.

  • ummabdulla

    Oh – thanks for the update anyway, jt.
    I’m a little puzzled by the “hidden” and “stealth” and “Shhhh” stuff. I haven’t kept up with the news for a couple of weeks, but is this considered a secret?
    And even if the plan is for air strikes with no ground troops, Iran has made it clear that if attacked, it will attack American interests – which are all around them in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Arab Gulf countries. Then what is the U.S. going to do?

  • itwasntme

    OK, so we don’t have enough troops to invade Iran. So I guess we just bomb the hell out of…of…what exactly? The government in Tehran? Madrassas? Mosques? The places we think they are building nuclear weapons? airplanes? Hidden Jihadis?
    Just what the heck do they imagine the target will be, anyway?

  • lytom

    Target not, many Targets!
    “Bring Iraq on!” That seems to be the one that would create chaos. Read today Al Jazeera. “Iranian officials have accused Britain and the US of supporting ethnic minority rebels operating in the Islamic republic’s sensitive border areas.”
    Next, and those are false accusations to get Europe and UN Security Council on board with the BushcoUS. Just repeat the lies and they will stick, at least with the MSM.

  • stevie

    There were “Ten Reasons” to go to War with Iraq (not having to do with WMD or ‘imminent’ threat), and there are probably ten corporate/neo-con reasons for trumping up charges against Iran. Mainly to be used as a distraction from BushCo’s (soon to be) failed “Surge” — distracting blame for the failure not on the insurgents or the civil war but on an outside source (no, not the Dems or the ‘anti-war/anti-american left’ — their time will come) but on an Axis power. If they could find fake links to N. Korea all the better.
    And believe it or not, from the mindless chatter I’ve seen on rightwing sites, I know there are still neo-convicts in control of the White House who think bombing Iran is a great idea, as: it will be a ’show of force’ in the region; will show Bush to still be ‘tough’; will be a distraction; it’ll be clean and simple because Iran will “back down”; even if oil prices double because of a strike our oil company buddies (and by extension us) will make billions of dollars; it’ll show Republicans as strong, Dems as weak, etc etc.
    That’s why I believe Hillary is positioning herself correctly for the campaign, it’d be hard enough to elect a woman but impossible to elect anyone ‘weak on defense’. No ‘anti-war’ candidate will be elected. No anti-war candidate has ever been elected. And if by some remote chance Hillary were to take it, I would trust her enough not to go off half-cocked.
    This was a good one, thanks. (Won’t Get Fooled Again?)
    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3037
    http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=3037

  • http://profile.typekey.com/sodoherty/ Simon

    Someone correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t Iran have their own year system and don’t use the Western method? So that date would be very different?

  • ummabdulla

    Simon, they use a Persian calendar, but I don’t know if they would use that in weapons factories, especially since they probably get equipment from other countries and need to be compatible with their systems.
    Muslim countries also have the Islamic calendar, which is printed on the newspaper along with the Gregorian date and used to calculate religious occasions, but in practice, they use the Gregorian dates.
    Out of curiosity, I went to the Iranian president’s website; the English version says 14 February 2007, while the Farsi version says 25 Bahman 1385.

  • lytom

    Who cares?
    The weaponry of US is much more frightening!
    The scary part is, it seems, citizens of the Empire are more preoccupied and impressed with the pictures above, than with the actual dumb bombs, depth bombs, cluster bombs, incendiary bombs, mother bombs, missiles, rockets, WMD, nuclear and biological arsenals… they own and that are ready to be used on idiot’s calling!
    http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/index.html

  • http://profile.typekey.com/sodoherty/ Simon

    thanks ummabdulla . Actually I did some checking. Weapons markings are done in western calender and the code should tell what plant manufactured the round. Haven’t been able to verify if the code is an Iranian factory. I have found out that Iran does in fact manufacture these rounds.
    Of course even if the number turns out to be Iranian, I personally take it with a pinch of salt considering it is the US administration claiming it. They have a track record at best being wrong, at worst falsifying data. Bush wants a war with Iran, anything that helps that is going to be touted.

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