Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Lying about Iran, Lying about America

The Brittanic Blog, has done an admirable job this week of providing a forum in which a diversity of views about Iran and U.S. interests in Iran could be aired. However, the majority of the pieces in this forum, support the view that military engagement with Iran is unwarranted, unneccessary and/or would have disasterous consequences. Pieces by Barbara Slavin, Steven Kinzer, Ervand Abrahamian, and three articles by Scott Ritter (Chief weapons inspector for the United Nations Special Commission in Iraq) provide very thoughtful reading.

One of the articles in the group, by Mitchell Bard, was riddled with inaccuracies -- most of which are pointed out by various commentors on the piece. In the article Bard made the claim that "Americans are not averse to using force against Iran. Though nonmilitary options are preferred by most, majorities are also starting to favor targeted strikes according to a survey by The Israel Project in September 2006." Given the current American view on Iraq, I found Bard's claim difficult to accept.

On the day the post was made (Monday 10/8/07) the reference to the Israel Project survey included a link -- one presumed -- to the research that supported Bard's contention. I followed the link, and found that the research it pointed to was NOT a survey of American public opinion. It was a survey of 500 "opinion elites," who had a minimum of a college education (and many of whom had post-graduate degrees), and who had a minimum household income of $75,000. Given that the 2006 median income in the United States was $48,201, and that more than two-thirds of American households fall below $75,000, to use this data to state anything at all about "American" opinion is at best disingenuous.

So I posted a comment to the Brittanica Blog, noting the information given above. Within twenty-four hours I received a personal (not automated) e-mail from the moderator of the Brittanica, telling me that he believed that Bard had merely given an incorrect link, and that this would be corrected and he would let me know the outcome. My comment was NOT posted to replies. Today (Wed. 10/10/07), I went back to see if either my comment had been posted or a corrected link had been posted.

What I found was that Bard had "corrected" the link by removing it altogether, and, as might be expected my comment had not appeared. I am left to conclude that Mitchell Bard does not wish for his readers to be able to check his source and discover that he does not have support for his claims about "American opinion." More lies.

I have submitted yet another comment to Brittanica Blog pointing out all this. I shall be surprised if they post this one.
[Fri. 10/12/07 -- to Brittanica Blog's credit my comment did get posted.]

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