Plus Ultra – Fuckwit of the Week

by craig on August 24, 2011 12:30 am in Uncategorized

An extraordinary posting on Medialens by someone calling themself Plus Ultra, in which he/she/it claims I said a number of things I absolutely did not say. Either Plus Ultra is so stupid it faces imminent extinction, or this is a case of deliberate misconstruction. But to what end?

BEGINS

Murray’s reaction to the ‘rebel’ takeover of Tripoli is deplorable. He makes several undetermined and ‘wishful’ points:

1. That there has been not as much bloodshed as he previously thought there would be
2. That the NATO bombing – which is a blatant violation of 1973 – has been justified in achieving the aim of 1.
3. There is a great deal of support for the rebels – which is as yet unproven given that no elections have been held!
4. That the west’s attempt at getting rid of ‘a bad government’ is somehow ok
5. That NATO can proceed to attack Bahrain.

His Article:

Fall of Tripoli:

“It seems that Gadaffi’s regime has collapsed very quickly at the end. It is difficult to be sure as yet, but it seems there may have been mercifully less further bloodshed than might have been feared. Thank goodness the NATO bombing campaign will now end.

It is plain that there is a great deal of support from ordinary citizens of Tripoli for the rebellion. Whether that translates into specific support for the leadership of the Transitional National Council is quite a different question. Getting rid of a bad government is difficult, but not as difficult as establishing a good one. The next few weeks will be very interesting.

The mainstream news media will move on in a few days, as it has moved on from Egypt. Not all pro-democracy demonstrators arrested under Mubarak have yet been released under the new military government there. However it is good to see anti-Israeli demonstrations are allowed. That is a major advance on the Mubarak years. NATO may yet find it equally difficult to hijack the Libyan people to their agenda.

Now of course NATO are free to move on to oust the despotic, torturing regime of Bahrain. Or not.”

Pass me the bucket…
END QUOTE

It seems extraordinary I have to ask this, but if someone can explain my article to Plus Ultra in the comments, that would be good.

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63 Comments

  1. Just someone trying to irritate you and waste your time in my opinion.

  2. Still awaiting registration approval from ML, but this is what is pending:


    Ultra – your summary here is mischievous or badly misunderstood.

    Murray’s post – which you’ve quoted – quite clearly shows the OPPOSITE of every point you’ve tried to make against it. At least those that make sense, anyway – are you familiar with that blogs’ host, or anything about him?

    You could be forgiven for some _very_ fast reading and severe misinterpreting, perhaps, if you’d been given a bad brief, even done honestly. But you come at it from the left, making Murray to be a whacked-out, far-right blood-thirtsy armchair general. Surely you’d have discovered that Murray was in fact the very opposite, before putting your name to such a ridiculous post?

    –Previous Message–
    : Murray’s reaction to the ‘rebel’ takeover of
    : Tripoli is deplorable. He makes several
    : undetermined and ‘wishful’ points:
    :
    : 1. That there has been not as much
    : bloodshed as he previously thought there
    : would be
    : 2. That the NATO bombing – which is a
    : blatant violation of 1973 – has been
    : justified in achieving the aim of 1.
    : 3. There is a great deal of support for the
    : rebels – which is as yet unproven given that
    : no elections have been held!
    : 4. That the west’s attempt at getting rid
    : of ‘a bad government’ is somehow ok
    : 5. That NATO can proceed to attack Bahrain.
    […]
    —-

  3. On a side-note, anyone interested in the most recent Wikileaks cables?

  4. Point 5, is correct, is it not? “Now of course NATO are free to move on to oust the despotic, torturing regime of Bahrain. Or not.” The “Or not” implying skepticism about motive, surely, not means.

    Point 4, well you don’t say it is not OK, do you? It would be good if you would make your position explicit.
    *
    Point 3, is correct, surely? “It is plain that there is a great deal of support from ordinary citizens of Tripoli for the rebellion”
    *
    Point 2, unwarranted.
    *
    Point 1, makes the unwarranted assumption that you were among those who feared greater bloodshed. But if you were not, then you might have enlightened readers by saying why such fears were unwarranted.
    *
    So give the author 50%, surely.

  5. Glenn:
    .
    Have you heard about all the latest Wikileaks drama? Daniel Domscheit-Berg (the guy who split from WL in order to start Openleaks) stole 3,500 files from WL before leaving and has now destroyed them. Apparently the files included the complete US no-fly list, five gigabytes of Bank of America documents and detailed information about 20 neo-Nazi groups. WL is also claiming that DDB stole the WL submission system so they were unable to receive new leaks.
    .
    For a while it seemed to be Wikileaks vs Openleaks, each group making statements condemning one another, with little verified it was hard to know which group was in the wrong or whether both were. Now Chaos Computer Club (founded in 1981, and one of the worlds most famous hacking organisations) has expelled DDB from thr group and has issued a statement harshly criticising DDB and Openleaks. CCC had 3 issues;
    .
    1 – DDB tried to co-opt CCC into giving Openleaks their seal of approval (against CCC policy). CCC called it shameless.
    2 – CCC had been mediating between DDB and Assange/WL for 11 months and has now given up after DDB was repeatedly dishonest.
    3 – CCC flatly rejects DDB’s claims that WL is insecure.
    .
    Not only has DDB betrayed WL, he has fucked all the people who took personal risks to leak the documents in the first place. That’s assuming that DDB has even deleted the files and not handed them over to other interested parties. Who would ever trust Openleaks now?
    .
    More detailed info and full interview with CCC can be found here:
    spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,780289,00.html
    theage.com.au/technology/technology-news/wiki-war-3500-unpublished-leaks-destroyed-forever-as-assange-hits-out-20110822-1j5gw.html
    wlcentral.org/node/2171

  6. Dick the Prick

    24 Aug, 2011 - 7:15 am

    Think ‘fuckwit of the week’ is a bit strong – it’s only Wednesday and there’s time yet for title contenders to step up!

  7. It may be a deliberate attempt at disinformation concerning you, Craig. Once something is on the web, it’s there, unless it’s taken down. I think perhaps you ought to consider issuing a request to them to remove their post; their post is really very inaccurate indeed, obverse the of what you wrote. This is unlikely to be a simple misunderstanding. Do you know who posted it? Are they willing to be ‘open’ about that? On the other hand, you can’t stop every operation from attempting to defame you. Maybe best not to get involved, not to feed inot their op.to post your view here, as you have done. It is a cyber-war, no question. Lies are central.

  8. Why bother reading that crap anyway.

  9. It’s plain to see that one comment of yours made an Israeli smart. And it’s very difficult to make an Israeli smart but you did it when you said “it’s good to see anti Israeli demonstrations are allowed” in respect of the Egyptian military government.No, no, no! It is not allowed for you to say this. It is against the Articles of Israeli Rule of the World. No wonder Plus Ultra is miffed. I mean, who cares what else you said? Hey Qark! You are so obvious. Your fake attempt at being reasonable doesn’t wash. I’m not buying hasbara today. Oh by the way, apparently Gaddafi was Israel’s good friend. From what I’ve read on other sites it’s a family thing but that’s just the internet, right?

  10. AXIS (OF EVIL)
    .
    > “It is plain that there is a great deal of support from ordinary citizens of Tripoli for the rebellion.” – C. Murray –
    .
    What the hell are you smoking? This was a fascist USUK Empire enterprise from the beginning. The MSM coverage has been pure propaganda. We have _no_ idea of what is going on and certainly no idea of any support for the USUK Empire proxy force.
    .
    Mahdi Nazemroaya reports from Tripoli and explains _exactly_ what was going on – a USUK Empire oil grab, complete with fake journos – CIA and MI6 – locating citizen roadblocks for NATO and having them bombed to hell at night. Very instructive. – ‘Mahdi Nazemroaya reports from Tripoli,’ August 22, 2011, Information Clearing House –
    .
    http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article28915.htm
    .
    Stephen Lendman says that polls report 85% plus support for Ghaddafi and rising with every Nato bomb dropped on the Libyans.
    .
    For a man who showed commendable disgust at, and great personal courage in exposing British and US support for torture, and their War Criminal rendering of prisoners to Uzbekistan for torture, where Muslims are boiled to death, you appear to be having an extreme case of Nelson’s telescope problem. “I see no USUK fascism.”
    .
    Well, if you put the bloody telescope to your good eye you might have some hope!
    .
    Mind you, the following makes me think I must have got it wrong. I do hope so! –
    .
    Afghanistan in one sentence, from Craig Murray – UK ambassador to Uzbekistan – “There are so many lies about Afghanistan; it’s about money; it’s about oil; it’s about drugs; it’s about the abuse of human rights; it’s about degradation; it’s about all of us paying through our taxes for wars that benefit a tiny clique.” – Craig Murray – UK/USA made use of Uzbek torture Pt2 –
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MQoG5wfx5g#t=09m56s
    .
    Tony Blair, Bush and Cheney – ‘Boiling for Britain / US’ – Muzafar Avazov –
    .
    http://jamblichus.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/boileddude.jpg
    .
    NUREMBERG MK II
    .
    Meanwhile the US (In)Justice Department is deaf, dumb and blind to the crimes of the US Neo-Con-Nazis’s of the last nine years. Crimes of US torture, murder, death squads, illegal war, crimes against humanity and crimes against the laws of war. US war criminals sleep easy in their beds. No change there, then!
    .
    “The Neo-Cons, ER, Nazis, were careerists who instituted the industrial killing of millions in an effort to please Our Dear Leader, Comrade Cheney, ER, Hitler, and win promotion.” “You cannot just order the killing of hundreds of thousands of people. No normal person would do such a thing.” –
    .
    – The original clip was utterly damning of the US Neo-Con Nazis. Naturally it was memory-holed and replaced by an entirely _newly-edited_ one!!! (Extraordinary attention to what seems to be a minor detail. Big Brother truly!) So supply your own soundtrack! Now deleted entirely, and for good reason, as per the above! –
    .
    – US Bathwater / Neocon Nazis – just like this lovely fellow? – WW2 – Heydrich –
    .
    – WW2 – Heydrich –
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jF1NXE55LBE#t=01m20s
    .
    Poor USUK Neo-Cons – Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Gates, Our Tony, Cameron, Clegg, Harper, Howard, Rudd, Gilliard, Sarkozy, Berlusconi — Terrified of their date with destiny — A long drop on a short rope. – Nuremberg Mk II. –
    .
    Mk I for comparison – Nuremberg Executions of N_zi Leaders for ‘Crimes Against Humanity’ and ‘Crimes Against the Laws of War.’ – Original –
    .
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=95d_1206462963
    .
    EUROPE
    .
    Where then is sane? Europe – A progressive land of milk and honey, where the crazy right wing is ‘Norwegian conservative guy’ @ 1.20. Excluding USUK-Neo-Con-Nazi-Quisling Breivik, naturally. From Michael Moore’s Sicko. –
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svSUCbClg8E
    .
    “Surely you can’t be serious?” you say? You _were_ awake for the last ten years we hope. In which case your mind had better be on ‘Permanent Suspicion Of Everybody. Except Yourself. And Sometimes You Wonder About Yourself.’ –
    .
    “I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.” – Airplane –
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo7qoonzTCE#t=00m08s

  11. One has to laugh at the farcical inconsistency in BBC and Sky news reporting. It seems those opportunists taking advantage of the situation in Tripoli to loot whatever they can get their dirty maulers on are not criminal looters or rioters but “rebels” and are working for the future of Libya. In the past weeks, folks doing the same in English high-streets were described somewhat differently and now being treated to summary justice in the courts.

  12. AXIS (OF USUK EVIL) – 2
    .
    Achtung Stuka! ‘Our brave boys’ over North Africa. –
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdBXApgTWz0
    .
    ‘Allies?’, OOPS, No. – ‘Axis Powers PLC – an Oil division (geddit?) of USUK Empire Murder-Illegal-War-‘n-Genocide-R’-USUK. (*) ; )
    .
    It is an outrage to suggest that the Axis powers (**) are in any way engaged in a fascist war of Aggression — the supreme war crime for which they hanged the leaders of Germany and Japan after World War 2.
    .
    No indeed.
    .
    But as the newly formed ‘Axis Powers PLC’ — tm Rarl Kove — the leaders of the US, UK, France, Italy, Canada and Australia appear to be suffering from an uncomfortable feeling around the neck.
    .
    (ER, Rope burns? Psychosomatic. Expecting a long drop on a short noose. Just a suggestion. Ed.)
    .
    Today, under new Neo-Con neo-liberal management – Proprietors Obama, Clinton, Gates, Cameron, Clegg, Harper, Gilliard, Sarkozy, and Berlusconi.
    .
    Any connection to the policies of the previous management of predecessor ‘Axis (of Evil) Inc’ is purely accidental. Previous proprietors – Cheney, Bush_the_Boy_Emperor, Rumsfeld, Gates, Our Tony, Howard, Rudd, Harper, Sarkozy and Berlusconi.
    .
    (Some names bear uncanny resemblances to their predecessors).
    .
    (*) Surely you can’t be serious? Ed.)
    .
    “I am serious and don’t call me Shirley.” – Airplane –
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qo7qoonzTCE#t=00m08s
    .
    (**) It was the fascist side — the Axis side — who started World War 2 with the supreme war crime – the crime of unprovoked Aggression against sovereign nations. For which the leaders were summarily hanged after World War 2 and a fair trial – at Nuremberg.
    .
    Just like the USUK and their Neo-Con-satraps Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld, Gates, Our Tony, Cameron, Clegg, Harper, Howard, Rudd, Gilliard, Sarkozy and Berlusconi, notwithstanding the WW2 ‘Allies’ PR bull@#$$.
    .
    Terrified of their date with destiny — A long drop on a short rope – Nuremberg Mk II? “Maybe not today and maybe not tomorrow. But soon, and for the rest of their lives.” With thanks to Rick – Casablanca –
    .
    – Where are Victor Laszlo, Rick and Capitain Renault when we need them to drown out the fascists?
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yt1vQ81jNWw
    .
    More north-African desert ‘Allies’ fairy-stories – “Look at that suprasternal notch!” – “How dare you mention my strings.” – The Toy Patient – @ 2.10 –
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0KZa9ER9Bg
    .
    The real Kristin Scott-Thomas as ‘Ein demon,’ and a cardinal with a very nasty case of skin disease. Could they add _more_ soft focus … (ER, Probably not – maxed out. And the German dubbing? Priceless. ; ) ) –
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HtJlio6Mwk

  13. Paul Johnston

    24 Aug, 2011 - 9:09 am

    @Suhayl Saadi
    “Once something is on the web, it’s there, unless it’s taken down.”
    Please please don’t every say or think that again ;-)
    Once it is on the web chances are it is ALWAYS there.
    Removing the original post will not remove peoples copies, cached versions etc.
    The nature of the web is a bit like Pandoras box, once opened it can never be shut.
    I think the Streisand effect sums it up best.
    @Craig
    If you had never mentioned this I for one would never have seen it.
    Perhaps ignoring it is the best route, how much publicity have you given them?

  14. The liberation is all false reporting…
    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26155

  15. War is capitalism with the gloves off

  16. False Media Reports – ALL of the MSM reports!
    .
    Stephen Lendman says that _all_ of the US MSM reports are outright fabrications!

    – ‘West media reports on Libya false,’ August 23, 2011 – Press TV –
    .
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/195413.html

  17. “Germany’s unforgivable crime before the second world war, was her attempt to extricate her economic power from the world’s trading system and to create her own exchange mechanism which would deny world finance its opportunity to profit.”

    Winston Churchill

    The few countries left who do not have a Rothschild controlled central bank, Iran, Korea Libya, were also the countries referred to by Bush as the “axis of evil”

  18. “FW of the Week” replied to a posting of mine on the Medialens Board (well worth signing up for the Media Alerts from the site by the way):

    : Ah, I think you might have the wrong end of
    : the stick there on a few points mate.
    :
    : The reference to Bahrain was tongue in cheek
    : for example. He has been pointing out what
    : hypocrites NATO are in previous posts.

    Agreed. I am aware of Murray’s excellent reporting on human rights issues. Perhaps several steps over the line. In any event, I did find the following to be rather less tongue-and-cheek: “It is difficult to be sure as yet, but it seems there may have been mercifully less further bloodshed than might have been feared.”

    For one thing, does anyone have an estimate of the casualties from Libya? Does anyone know just how many people have been killed, how much blood has been shed? I can’t quite see – presumably because of my own myopia – how this is in any way frivolous. Don’t get me wrong, I know that Murray is entirely against the rapacious acts of colonial agressors like the UK and the US. I know the great lengths he has gone in order to shine a spotlight on the inherent corruption of the UK government in particular (if only there were more like him!); but I do not find this statement to be jocular or even sarcastic. Again, I too am open to the charge of being myopic in this case. If you are a long follower of Murray, perhaps you are more aware of his writing style. I apologise if I have misinterpreted the original intention of the author – whatever that may have been.

    p.s. From a brief reading of Murray’s website, I’d say I agree with him on a great many things. But this comment in particular stood out.

    Perhaps my gest-o-meter ain’t up to scratch these days…

  19. @Larry Lavin

    That is why USA/UK love to destroy Iran, only thing keeping them out of Iran is that they know Iran has good defences, and Iranian no matter what kind of rubbish government they have, they will unite and fight them. But read this article regarding Iran’s economy, even truth twisting IMF had to admit Iran economically is in a better shape that the powers to be want us to believe.
    http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/08/17/u-s-sanctions-and-irans-economic-realities/

  20. Yes, about the web, you’re right, Paul. Once it’s there, it’s there forever.

  21. Dick – ‘Think ‘fuckwit of the week’ is a bit strong – it’s only Wednesday and there’s time yet for title contenders to step up!’
    .
    Lamby! :-)

  22. Paul Johnston

    24 Aug, 2011 - 2:54 pm

    @Fugazi
    You cannot be the real Fugazi as I sit here wearing a t-shirt with the word Fugazi in big letters across the top :-)
    That must be me!

  23. The response is simply that because of your stance on corruption, terrorism etc you are perceived as siding with ‘the left’, however as you have said many times you are a liberal (the non Clegg version). Part, I would say of the liberal tradition I learnt about in school but have yet to see (in action) in my lifetime. You are no socialist/marxist and that is probably what rankles them. I read the comment before I read you’re article and it is waaaaaaaaay off the mark as to your intent and is as bad as the MSM with no ability to recall anything beyond last week (like maybe reading Murder in Samarakand). With no understanding of your position they have made themselves look foolish indeed.

    This is why the left will never achieve anything and the neocon experiment/subjugation continues unabated. Who needs the ‘right’ when the ‘left’ itself does more damage with point scoring and bickering. I recall Mark Steel is no longer a Marxist for the same reasons – pathetic infighting.

    If there is ever to be any hope of clearing the miasma, left, right, liberal etc have to unite behind a common cause (freedom & democracy? ;) ). Sounds impossible/improbable but when you speak to most people, regardless of political affiliation, there are core issues we agree on: loathing bankers, politicians, general respect for each other, even to some extent in regards to wars – we support the troops (I am generalising) but not the wars themselves.

    I respect some MP’s regardless of political affiliation because of what they stand for (although the party whip does denigrate much respect I have). It’s a simple point, but if we start from what we have in common, rather than our differences, change is possible.

    Simple example from a City Broker report on the riots “We conclude that the rioting reflects a deeply flawed economic and social ethos… recklessly borrowed consumption, the breakdown both of top-end accountability and of trust in institutions, and severe failings by governments over more than two decades.”

    http://tinyurl.com/3rscfpf

    So do we focus on what divides us or…..

  24. George Field

    24 Aug, 2011 - 5:23 pm

    Found this reply to Craig on MediaLens. By the same PU.

    .

    My contention with Murray was based on what he wrote some days ago. He wrote that: “It is difficult to be sure as yet, but it seems there may have been mercifully less further bloodshed than might have been feared.” Personally I can’t quite grip the logic of this remark. To say that there ‘may have been mercifully less bloodshed’ – and correct me if I’m wrong here – is to say that NATO’s relentless campaign has been ‘more effective’ than previously thought. It is also to say that we have been spared further senseless loss of life – although we just don’t know when the NATO-rebel alliance will stop its infractions against the people of Libya. Moreover the line that begins ‘Thank goodness the NATO bombing will now end’ is surely wishful thinking? We both know that, as in Iraq and Afghanistan, this pillage of a sovereign state – which I know Murray disagrees with – might well continue for the next decade and beyond.

    .

    Murray also makes the point that “there is a great deal of support from ordinary citizens of Tripoli for the rebellion.” I honestly can’t see how we can make this statement at this point. For one thing, the rebels in the East have been bankrolled from the beginning and have been able to build a mercenary force (trained no less under the supervision of the SAS and assorted alliance warmongers). If we work on the the assumption that the images beamed to us last night are a representative picture of ‘great support’ and not merely a collected gathering of ‘rebels’ parading under the fawning sponsorship of our beloved corporate media, then I think we are being over-presumptuous. It is simply impossible to gauge at this point how well this ‘revolution’ is being supported by the average Libyan. Time will tell, but at this stage we surely must remain ambivalent about such claims? Doing the opposite gives tacit support to the rebels in the east, making their campaign somehow laudable – even though Murray mentions that the Transitional Council might not have the full consent of the people. I know now that Murray does not mean to ‘praise’ the rebels or to back NATO – my god, that would be utterly ridiculous – but I thought this comment was very much under-determined.

    .

    Presumably the following line is meant in gest: “Getting rid of a bad government is difficult, but not as difficult as establishing a good one.” On a first reading, however, without any great reading of Murray’s corpus on Libya, is seemed disconcerting. I recgonise now that this was meant in a tongue-and-cheek manner. This would be consistent given his other work on Libya. At the time – and rather hot-headed no less with the immense failure of the corporate media to report critically on what is happening in Libya – I made the ‘wrong’ assumption; for which I have apologised below.

    .

    Finally, when Murray states that “NATO are free to move on to oust the despotic, torturing regime of Bahrain”, I understand that he is talking about the double-standards of the NATO campaign, and the west more generally, to ‘protect life’ – a statement included in resolution 1973. Knowing this, I think I have gone ‘too far’. Reading the article in isolation, however, and logically proceeding from statement 1, that there may be mercifully less bloodshed, to statement 2, that there is a great deal of support from the people of Libya (not just the rebels), to statement 3, that getting rid of a bad government is difficult, to statement 4, that NATO is free to liberate Bahrain, ‘seemed’ a sincere comment. I now realise that I was mistaken in this assertion.

    .

    In sum, I stand by my criticism of Murray based on his comment about ‘mercifully lesss further bloodshed’ and on the grounds that ‘there is a deal of great support from ordinary citizens of Tripoli for the rebellion’. Having said that, points 4 and 5 of my original criticism are evident misinterpretations of his position – which should have been remedied by a deeper study of Murrays work on Libya (and this will be remedied very quickly indeed).

    .

    Anyhow, I’m rather disheartened that Murray wants to use such strong language when deflecting criticism. Making someone the weekly (ahem) ‘####wit’ seems rather crass, even desparate. But I understand that it is born out of dismay that I have misinterpreted some of his remarks. After all, he is a tireless defender of human right in one form or another; and must feel annoyed when progressive voices call him into question. Of course, I am only ‘one voice’, and an insignificant one at that; moreover, I do not speak for the many great posters on this website. In fact, if you scroll down through the comments under by own, you will see that no one has concurred with it – making my own voice even more ‘insignificant’!

    .
    _______________________

    .

    “Either Plus Ultra is so stupid it faces imminent extinction, or this is a case of deliberate misconstruction.”

    .

    Or perhaps some of what I have said merits constructive argument? Imminent extinction would surely be a form of censorship, and would stymie debate of any sort. The dismissive tone used here is rather ‘superior’ and domineering. If I am ‘stupid’ then simply pass over my remarks. Someone of Murray’s eminent calibre is easily able to do so. So why the interest? Perhaps because of the following statement: “or this is a case of deliberate misconstruction.” I must say, that is an utterly paranoid statement. Why would I wish to deliberarely miscontrue Murray’s statements? I have no reason to do so. In fact, looking at the slither of a comment he made on this issue, I’d say my own statement was, if anythhing, an honest miscontrual of some of his statements. Reading the article in isolation and coming to the conclusions above seems reasonable. Reading the article with constant emphasis to other articles written by Murray on this issue and ‘still’ reaching ‘all’ of the same conclusions, could well pass as ‘deliberate miscontruction’. I’m afraid I do not fall into this latter category.

    .

    Perhaps in future Murray will engage comments – even miscontruals – with rather less venom and with a sense of reasonableness. School-yard name-calling is hardly the stuff of ex-ambassadors.

    .

    Thanks again for flagging this issue, luke. It’s much better to have a debate about these things, that leaving them to fester in the rot of historical meanderings. Light is the best disinfectant!

    .

  25. The followers of the cult of MediaLens are all busy trying to understand your personal problems now Craig. They cannot accept that they get called fuckwits because they are fuckwitted — preferring to believe that the person that labeled them has some form of disorder or agenda (mental, personal, political etc).

    Check this link out for some illuminating history: http://dissident93.wordpress.com/medialens/

    They’re more vicious and ugly-souled than a Guardian feminist ;-)

  26. @g33kThug – let me be the first to say that I am proud to support MediaLens. I share some of the moderate concerns about their approach, and they don’t get everything right (and I’ll say the same about Monbiot, who shares with them a symbiotic ability to irritate the other). It’s been a while since I read dissident93, but from vague memory, I seemed to get the impression that they’d be happy for Leftist critics of the liberal media to shut up shop entirely. Whatever MediaLens’ failings, I am persuaded that such a move would do more harm than good, since the corporatism of our “left” media would then barely be analysed at all. Except, of course, by establishment and reactionary interests, and there’s quite enough pressure of that kind in the corporate system already.
    .
    I don’t spend much time on ML message boards, but I glanced through them yonks ago. From memory, there are a few people there who – in the vein of Amnesty members – write polite and well-considered critiques of mainstream journalism. I think that sort of thing should also be encouraged, and if takes the umbrella of MediaLens to facilitate this, so be it.
    .
    I’ve never seen the name Plus Ultra on the boards, but I like his/her reply, which seems to be temperate and considered. Hardly the approach of a Stalinist cult member!

  27. George Field

    24 Aug, 2011 - 9:57 pm

    @G33KThug

    Geez, someone has a chip on their shoulder… :)

  28. Is G33gTHUG actually Robert Shone aka Dissident 93 ?

  29. I think this is a bit of an over-reaction, Craig. I mean, really, why the bad language? Can’t you just face off criticism with some rational argument, instead? I’ve read the response by Plus Ultra and it seems both well meaning and honest. Calling someone a ‘fuckwit’ is very poor taste. Very poor taste indeed. I actually find myself agreeing with Plus Ultra’s first two points. I hope this doesn’t make me a fuckwit too… :0

  30. @ Mary

    I believe it is. Although I just used google and that was the name connected to the Dissident93 blog. I could be wrong. Are you a fan of his work?

  31. Mary: No, dissident93 has nothing to do with me.
    .
    Jon: Calling people like “Plus Ultra” a fuckwit and then moving on to something more interesting is a course of action that I’m proud to support. His later claim on the ML Board that this was a device employed by Craig to deflect criticism is comedy gold that was no doubt lost on a readership that is famous for it’s lack of humour.

  32. Just noticed this – my site stats show many hits from here.

    Medialens has built a following – people looking for a UK version of FAIR. But Medialens uses this “position” to launch long-running grudge campaigns against people it dislikes: George Monbiot, Nick Davies (and in the past, Seumas Milne, IBC, etc).

    The Medialens editors write provocative (but “polite”) rhetoric attacking, insinuating, suggesting things about their targets. Then they leave the really dirty work to their followers, who post nasty bile in emails and all over the Medialens message board (including, for example, the claim that George Monbiot is “fighting a proxy war on behalf of the military/industrial/gangster caball(sic)” – which was part of a message posted by the ML eds in January 2008 – originating from one of their froth-mouthed disciples).

    But to really get an idea of the ineptitude of the Medialens editors, see this ZNet article, which catalogues their errors and misrepresentaions – from one of their earlier smear campaigns: http://tinyurl.com/ml-errors

  33. @George Field, Most definitely not!

  34. @George Field: “I believe it is. Although I just used google and that was the name connected to the Dissident93 blog. I could be wrong.”

    Yes, you “could” be wrong. And you are. Ask the Medialens editors – they know both G33KThug and myself, since they banned us both years ago (along with several others) for unapologetically challenging their numerous, serious errors over IBC.

    Whenever someone from the left criticises Medialens, it’s blamed on me. I’m apparently omnipresent and dangerous. Medialens has even banned people because of their “strong suspicion” (their words) that it might be me (eg people who link to my site or express similar opinions to myself).

    It’s deeply paranoid. And it’s ironic given that Medialens’s own supporters mostly sound identical in their opinions (and even in their style of writing). They’re like clones, without original thoughts of their own.

  35. Well, I am open to views on ML, and in general I think banning people from a community is wrong (I might be biased, but the openness here is much better!). But I think you go too far in criticising MediaLens’ supporters as being “mostly … clones” and being “famous for [their] lack of humour” – both are sweeping generalisations that we’ll just have to disagree on.
    .
    Still, hope you’re both still writing to journalists. I would fully support more autonomous media criticism groups – ML can’t do it on their own, and of course plurality is better anyway (as I am sure you’ll agree).

  36. Jon – yes, generalisations, acknowledged as such, and not taken too seriously.
    .
    Medialens, on the other hand, uses sweeping (and empirically unsupportable) generalisations as the *premises* for its ideology. Here are two:
    .
    “professional rigour” in the Western media “does not exist”.
    .
    “mainstream academics and journalists are deeply and unconsciously biased”
    .
    Sources of Medialens generalisations:
    http://www.medialens.org/alerts/06/060125_paved_with_good.php
    http://tinyurl.com/6g95k35

  37. @ Dissident93

    Oh lord, is this the guy that believes in the irrefutable evidence from Iraq Body Count over the Lancet? Who actually places his faith in the corporate media to report on civilian deaths and then to send information about those deaths to IBC? Give it a break Shone. You sound like a broken bloody record.

    .

    As for your slur, that media lens followers are ‘like clones’, all I can say is that you incredibly mistaken. Because you see some semblance of unity on a single point – namely that the corporate media often misreports wars and the civilian casualties created by such wars – does not mean to say that everyone is of like mind. One can make a posting on medialens only to receive constructive criticism in return. There is no sacrosanct hymn-sheet from which media lens supporters sing from. They evaluate the evidence they read, cross-reference it with independent reading of their own, and form an opinion about ‘how’ an event is being reported. There may well be one or two who mindlessly parrot the opinions of the editors, but many more are concerned with exposing the inconsistencies in mainstream media reporting – without reference to such parroting.

    .

    Why you have built a career out of attacking media lens in particular is baffling, and not a little sad. Certainly an organization like media lens gets it wrong on occasion, but the mission statement behind it ‘is’ a worthy one.

    @Craig

    I too think that Plus Ultra has something to say in relation to his first two points. And I say that as someone who is a devoted follower to your work! Surely it’s worthy redressing whether Plus Ultra’s points are valid or not? I’ll leave that up to you.

  38. George Field

    25 Aug, 2011 - 5:13 pm

    @ Mary

    Sorry. Thought you were a fan. I don’t know anything about him. Judging by your reaction you’ve come across his work before?

  39. Robert, thanks.
    .
    On the first point, yes, that is a sweeping generalisation. But in practise – and in my humble opinion – it is only as flawed as the Propaganda Model is it based on, which I still think is reasonably sound. Perhaps it would be best to say “there is insufficient professional rigour amongst Western journalists” or some similar formulation; that would allow us to acknowledge the existence of truth-seeking professionalism whilst explaining how the US-UK establishments got away with their audacious lies over the invasion of Iraq, for example. (Of course, such a position depends on your interpretation over the facts of that case, but I maintain that most left/liberals in the West are unaware how blatantly they have been hoodwinked).
    .
    So I guess I don’t see the first generalisation as ultimately harmful, though I accept the wider point that it pays to be careful with words. But such is the problem with political debate of any kind: articles can be pored over at length and fault can always be found with statements in isolation.
    .
    On the second statement, I think I would be inclined to disagree. I think unconscious bias is very powerful, and goes to the heart of MediaLens’ raison d’etre. But I would credit Jeff Schmidt (author of Disciplined Minds), rather than Chomsky or MediaLens, for expounding on this in detail. You probably know of it already, but in his book Schmidt looks at how an interaction between capitalism and the education system shapes people, in the main, to conform to the prevailing orthodoxy – which may go some way in explaining people’s general aversion to social change. I don’t see this second statement as much of a generalisation, since it allows for the existence of a non-mainstream category that is less biased.
    .
    I don’t want to start a debate on the number of deaths attributable to the Iraq invasion, but did have mixed views about the interactions between ML and IBC. On the one hand, it felt like the left attacking the left, as is often the case! But on the other hand, I accept as a basic premise that even liberal journalists will baulk at horrifying mortality figures caused by “their side”, and I consider that the widespread perpetuation of IBC stats – despite their stated limitations – vindicates the existence of media analysis groups willing to tackle basic errors of group bias.
    .
    Summing up: in the same vein as my concerns about the ML/IBC spat, I wouldn’t think it would be the best use of your time to concentrate your guns entirely on ML. Do you think (subconscious biases again!) that your position on ML might in part by motivated by your ejection from their forums? Do you think you could you put that frustration aside, and start your own media analysis group having community rules that are more open?
    .
    All the above criticisms meant in the best possible way, of course :). I assume we come from the same basic premise that the mainstream media is substantially and systemically flawed, and can be (somewhat) corrected by non-corporate activism. (Relevant side note – I wonder where the Guardian’s coverage of Wikileaks has got to? ;) ).

  40. George Field

    25 Aug, 2011 - 5:20 pm

    @ImmanuelS

    .

    I don’t think Craig is interested in responding, for whatever reason. He’s more than likely busily writing away on other matters. Like you, I’d like to know where he stands on Plus Ultra’s response; but, as the Rolling Stones sing, ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want.’ :)

    .

    @Robert Shone

    What is wrong with the figures concerning Iraqi deaths gathered by the Lancet? Surely a peer-reviewed group of experts can provide a better overall analysis than that garnered by the IBC? Seems to me – as one less wise – that the IBC’s numbers are tremendously low. I know they do not account for unreported deaths, and rely on NGOs (and media outlets) to garner information. Is there something wrong with the Lancet’s sampling technique versus IBC? Would be interested in your opinion.

  41. @ImmanuelS –
    No, I’m not the guy you’re talking about. None of what you’ve said accurately represents my opinions. You should follow Noam Chomsky’s sound advice: cite what you’re criticising (as I have done above, quoting people’s actual words).
    .
    And perhaps if Plus Ultra had done that, we wouldn’t all be wasting our time with this stuff.

  42. @George Field –
    Perhaps, like ImmanuelS, you should read what I’ve written before you ask me questions about what you *imagine* I’ve written. And then cite what you’re questioning. It saves time for everyone.

  43. @ Robert Shone

    You clearly do seriously champion the IBC against the Lancet at the below address:

    http://www.zcommunications.org/media-lenss-errors-on-iraq-body-count-by-robert-shone

    And dismiss the work of Lancet’s Les Roberts here:

    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/sloppy-les-roberts/

    I’e actually found numerous articles on your site slating media lens and the ‘drones’ they presumably encourage. In fact, I’d argue that a great deal of the site is dedicated to rubbishing the attempts of medialens editors to challenge corporate gatekeepers working in the media. This ‘is’ a tremendously important job and I see little writing of your own that aims to provide a similar service.

    I also managed to come across two crass and patronising picture attached to your website. Clearly it comes easy to you to destroy the criticism of the ‘little guys’. Evidently it’s much more difficult to chase up the big fish.

    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/medialens/

    You wrote: “perhaps if Plus Ultra had done that, we wouldn’t all be wasting our time with this stuff.”

    From what I can see PU called Murray out on two important points and actually quoted substantially from his website. So this sentence is just meaningless drivel.

    What a disgruntled individual you really are.

  44. @ Robert Shone

    .

    “No, I’m not the guy you’re talking about. None of what you’ve said accurately represents my opinions. You should follow Noam Chomsky’s sound advice: cite what you’re criticising.”

    .

    I was referring to the source that you linked to yourself:

    .

    http://www.zcommunications.org/media-lenss-errors-on-iraq-body-count-by-robert-shone

    .

    You also diminish the work of Les Roberts from the Lancet here:

    .

    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/sloppy-les-roberts/

    .

    Moreover, you include three crass pictures on the ‘medialens undone’ one of which is a picture of the two editors – David Cromwell and David Edwards – in hell. How very mature! Surely the absolute apogee of genuine dissidence!

    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/medialens/

    You aim to attack a small group of well meaning individuals attempting to hold the corporate media to account. Anyone can see this from a quick glimpse of your site. Perhaps in future you’ll aim to attack the big fish; you know, those outlets which actually promote, condone and fetishize the reality of war. If you did so, you’d be providing a worthy service.

    .

    “perhaps if Plus Ultra had done that, we wouldn’t all be wasting our time with this stuff.”

    .

    In fact Plus Ultra called Murray out on two important points – which he has yet to come back on. Moreover, he quoted ‘substantially’ from Murray; and admitted any errors proceeding from his work. This is a sign of intellectual honesty, and should be praised not denigrated.

    .

    So it becomes clear that you have only turned up here because you want to put the boot into medialens. Congratulations. Your work here is done!

  45. George Field

    25 Aug, 2011 - 7:26 pm

    @ Robert Shone

    But I read the article you attached above? Does that not count?

  46. @George Field –
    The article you say you’ve read was specifically about Medialens’s errors. If you want to question my views about the Lancet study methodology, then it’d be a good idea to first familiarise yourself with what I’ve written on that topic:
    http://tinyurl.com/lancet-etc

  47. Shone: “No, I’m not the guy you’re talking about. None of what you’ve said accurately represents my opinions. You should follow Noam Chomsky’s sound advice: cite what you’re criticising.”

    .
    He (Immanuel) was referring to the source that you linked to yourself:

    .
    http://www.zcommunications.org/media-lenss-errors-on-iraq-body-count-by-robert-shone

    .
    You also diminish the work of Les Roberts from the Lancet here:

    .
    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/sloppy-les-roberts/

    .
    Moreover, you include three crass pictures on the ‘medialens undone’ one of which is a picture of the two editors – David Cromwell and David Edwards – in hell. How very mature! Surely the absolute apogee of genuine dissidence!

    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/medialens/

    You aim to attack a small group of well meaning individuals attempting to hold the corporate media to account. Anyone can see this from a quick glimpse of your site. Perhaps in future you’ll aim to attack the big fish; you know, those outlets which actually promote, condone and fetishize the reality of war. If you did so, you’d be providing a worthy service.

    .

    Shone: “perhaps if Plus Ultra had done that, we wouldn’t all be wasting our time with this stuff.”

    .
    In fact Plus Ultra called Murray out on two important points – which he has yet to come back on. Moreover, he quoted ‘substantially’ from Murray; and admitted any errors proceeding from his work. This is a sign of intellectual honesty, and should be praised not denigrated.

    .
    So it becomes clear that you have only turned up here because you want to put the boot into medialens. Congratulations. Your work here is done!

  48. George Field

    25 Aug, 2011 - 9:58 pm

    I merely asked a well-meaning question: what is wrong with the Lancet report and why does it have less credibility than the evidence produced by the IBC? I felt, given that you provided a link to your article, that you could answer this question in greater detail – that’s all. I have no idea why you are so defensive. My goodness. Lighten up!

  49. “No, I’m not the guy you’re talking about. None of what you’ve said accurately represents my opinions. You should follow Noam Chomsky’s sound advice: cite what you’re criticising.”

    He (Immanuel) was referring to the source that YOU linked to!

    You also diminished the work of Les Roberts here:

    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/sloppy-les-roberts/

    Moreover, you include three crass pictures on the ‘medialens undone’ section of your website, one of which is a picture of the two editors – David Cromwell and David Edwards – in hell. How very mature! Surely the absolute apogee of genuine dissidence

    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/medialens/

    You aim to attack a small group of well meaning individuals attempting to hold the corporate media to account. Anyone can see this from a quick glimpse of your site. Perhaps in future you’ll aim to attack the big fish; you know, those outlets which actually promote, condone and fetishize the reality of war. If you did so, you’d be providing a worthy service.

  50. Moreover, you include three crass pictures on the ‘medialens undone’ section of your website, one of which is a picture of the two editors – David Cromwell and David Edwards – in hell. How very mature! Surely the absolute apogee of genuine dissidence!

    You aim to attack a small group of well meaning individuals attempting to hold the corporate media to account. Anyone can see this from a quick glimpse of your site. Perhaps in future you’ll aim to attack the big fish; you know, those outlets which actually promote, condone and fetishize the reality of war. If you did so, you’d be providing a worthy service.

  51. @George Field –
    The link I provided addresses (in some detail) reported problems with Lancet study. I don’t make any direct comparisons between IBC and Lancet study (since they are two very different types of study). If you have any questions specifically about what I’ve written, please feel free to ask (by email if you prefer).

    @ImSoldz –
    You’re not Soldz, and there’s no picture of anyone “in hell” on my website. There is however an outstandingly hilarious album-cover showing two Christian evangelists:
    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/medialens/

  52. ML Wars II – Attack of the clones…
    But was Glenn’s membership approved?
    Did his criticism of the fuckwitted Plus Ultra make it to the Media Lens message board?

  53. @’ImmanuelS’/’Immanuel’/’iSoldz’/’ImSoldz’ – you seem to be one individual who keeps repeating more or less the same post.
    .
    Les Roberts (Lancet Iraq study author) is not some antiwar saint. He has written that the Iraq shock-and-awe bombing was “very careful”. Here’s what he wrote in full:-
    .
    “Our data suggests that the (March 2003) shock-and-awe campaign was very careful, that a lot of the targets were genuine military targets.” http://www.dailylobo.com/index.php/article/2008/01/qa_les_roberts
    .
    Les Roberts also ran for congress in the US. You’d have thought he’d use his 2006 political campaign to publicise the Lancet study findings. But he barely mentioned it. The following is the sole reference to Iraqi deaths in his withdrawal speech:
    .
    “… the lives of thousands of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians lost as a result of the preemptive and deceptive invasion of Iraq”.
    .
    Only “thousands”? Here’s another gem from Les Robert’s 2006 campaign website: “Some things have gone well in Iraq. Over the first months of occupation, the availability of water and electricity in the areas outside of Baghdad improved; foreign goods became more plentiful and inexpensive. The last round of elections was by most measures more successful than the first.”
    .
    Am I “rubbishing” your sacred cow? No, I’m simply quoting what he said. Am I “rubbishing” his work? No, I’ve written two pieces which criticise a couple of little studies that he conducted with his students – very specific criticisms of cited claims. Also, the BBC published my response to some demonstrable falsehoods of Les Roberts regarding Wikileaks Iraq War Logs.
    .
    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/les-roberts-new-study/
    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/sloppy-les-roberts/
    http://dissident93.wordpress.com/2010/10/28/bbc-les-roberts/

  54. Not unlike a roving chattering host/knot of sparrows you come here and rewarm arguments over figures of dead Iraqi civilians?

    What matters is that that war was started under false pretences, was the worst ever prepared for war, that it was conducted with the specific aim to create a chaotic dependent society, an abomination for any country that calls itself decent and law abiding.

    people on media lense have plenty of time to argue the proverbial whimsical toss, all day long.
    Now consider seeing all this latent energy applied to practical solution to this coalition currently screwing us some more, what if these so called progressive individualists would be preparing for some sort of pragmatic political alternative, research a ward or two or three, start canvassing real people and stand for local elections as Independents, would that not bring tears to your eyes? would that not be a brilliant moment?

    Never mind the debate over PR, AV, work at it for a few years and get yourself known, trying to persuade or conjoin with a political dogmatic party is utter futility. So don’t talk yourself sad and silly, together we all can make a difference.

    These fora are merely a gathering of individual minds, some glued to their keyboards in perpetual darkness for hours on end, collectively not achieving very much.
    Have we lost the ability to put up and fight for a better society? don’t discuss.
    Have we got too much salt on our butter, have we become too phlegmatic? don’t discuss.

  55. @ImSoldz – if your comment does not appear, it is best not to post again – often if you add links it gets stuck in moderation. It will get released by someone at some point. It is also a good idea (on all blogs everywhere) to select-all-copy before you submit, in case you need to resubmit for any reason. I do so as a matter of course now, everywhere I comment. The web is fickle!
    .
    @Robert, if you’re still around, I’d love to read a response from you to my earlier post. I think each of us examining our motivations is useful, and more so if we can share these things with each other. None of us is infallible.
    .
    @GeekThug – surely “clones” and “fuckwit” is not all you have to offer in terms of debate and intellectual engagement? I thought Plus Ultra’s response was excellent, and suspect Craig – who in general has my warm support – over-reacted with his initial language. Clearly P/U got some things wrong, but he/she is self-evidently not a fuckwit.

  56. Jon, it is all I’ve got to offer. I too thought Plus Ultra’s response was excellent — this bit of it anyway:
    .
    “Perhaps my gest-o-meter ain’t up to scratch these days…”
    .
    Yeah. Just like the rest of the humourless fuckwits on the MediaLens Message Board. I can see from this thread the dangers of debating anything with nasty little authoritarian groups. It doesn’t take long for the usual MO to become clear — people Googling for your affiliations, complaining about the way you express yourself, fantasising about your mental state, sock puppet attacks and relentless smearing.
    .
    I don’t support that sort of thing — no matter how worthy the mission statement of the organisation that inspires it.

  57. @g33kThug, I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree. Are *all* the people on the ML message board “fuckwits”? No. *All* of them humourless? No. *All* of them authoritarian sock-puppeteers? No.
    .
    So I say the same as I did to Robert: sweeping generalisations appear to encourage you to throw the baby out with the bathwater. There is some good that comes out of ML reader activism, even if you have been treated poorly by ML staff. Furthermore, neutral third parties cannot judge whether ML have been unfair to you, or whether your forum ejection was justified.

  58. Jon, I don’t need to agree with you on anything.
    .
    What’s your problem with generalisation? And since when did anybody need to prove that every contributor was humourless before being allowed to conclude that a specific message board was marked by it’s lack of humour?
    .
    I’m not looking for your arbitration or understanding. I dislike Media Lens because I dislike authoritarians, dislike passive aggression, dislike spin and dislike mobs.
    .
    But, more than that, I dislike laziness. The sort of intellectual and physical laziness that makes people think that they can Google and email their way to success. The laziness that sees revealing hypocrisy as the summit of achievement — because it’s the easiest option. That’s why Media Lens are so selective about their targets — the BBC or “liberal press” like The Guardian or Independent. Their methods only work when the targets have a high degree of self-imposed accountability.
    .
    Personally, I pick fights with adversaries that are a bit more formidable: the Met Police, tabloid newspapers, multinational corporations, Government departments and the law. The sort of adversaries that require hard evidence, rational argument and diligent research.
    .
    Not smears, threats and Chomsky quotes parroted by a couple of hundred emails.

  59. > Jon, I don’t need to agree with you on anything.
    .
    No, but I am within my rights to register my disagreement.
    .
    > What’s your problem with generalisation?
    .
    Err… well, it lacks nuance. I think you’re seeing things in black and white because you are hurt that you were kicked out (as I read Plus Ultra’s response piece, I am quite sure a neutral observer would not regard it variously as “authoritarian”, “spin”, “intellectually lazy” etc). As I say, since no-one who was not involved in your disagreement can judge whether you were ejected fairly, you’ll find it hard to foment an ML-supporter uprising (and that’s not your fault – just a feature of schisms in political groupings generally).
    .
    > I’m not looking for your arbitration or understanding.
    .
    I find that hard to believe. You are here, I think, because you want observers to be converted to your position. Which you are within your rights to do.
    .
    Your list of people with whom fights should be picked is quite right, but should not be an exhaustive list. But I think you are quite wrong about why the liberal media are targeted; Media Lens’ reason is that the liberal media represent a subconscious limit of Left opinion, and thus unwittingly form a propaganda mechanism that “illustrates” we have a free press. Guardian and BBC journalists are of course not immune from Establishment bias, while papers on the Right have no attenuating force that could be regarded as its opposite.
    .
    I sense that you’ve gone to the trouble of writing all sorts of negative adjectives to apply to Media Lens because, again, you want some of it to stick. But, if you think they’re wasting their time with liberal media criticism anyway, why bother attacking them with such vehemence and effort? Let them do what they do, and it’ll give you more time to go after the targets you believe are more important.

  60. George Field: “What is wrong with the figures concerning Iraqi deaths gathered by the Lancet? Surely a peer-reviewed group of experts can provide a better overall analysis than that garnered by the IBC? ”

    Short answer: The Lancet study was a fraud and is false.

    For the longer answer, and since you suggest you care about peer-reviewed experts and such, here are eight peer-reviewed papers that reject the Lancet study on a variety of grounds.

    This is the one that best lays out the evidence that the survey was a fraud:
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10242690802496898

    And here are a further seven:
    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsa0707782
    http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/article/review/review-868-p943.htm
    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10242694.2010.491678
    http://www.prio.no/Research-and-Publications/Journal-of-Peace-Research/Article-of-the-year/Article-of-the-Year-2008/
    arxiv.org/pdf/0807.4420
    http://www.warc.com/Pages/Taxonomy/Results.aspx?SubjectRef=247&Filter=All
    http://www.bepress.com/ijb/vol5/iss1/4/

    Beyond all these peer-reviewed papers, here are a few other things you should read to see what is wrong with it:

    http://www.aapor.org/Content/NavigationMenu/PressRoom/RecentPressReleases/AAPORFindsGilbertBurnhaminViolationofEthicsCode/default.htm
    http://www.aapor.org/uploads/AAPOR_Press_Releases/BurhnamDetailWebsite.pdf
    http://www.cedat.be/publication/cred-working-paper-estimating-mortality-civil-conflicts-lessons-iraq
    http://www3.nationaljournal.com/about/njweekly/stories/2008/0104nj1.htm

    Oh, and if you’re going to reach for the ORB poll as supposedly “corroborating” the Lancet survey, that estimate is a crock too:
    http://w4.ub.uni-konstanz.de/srm/article/view/2373

  61. @pspec899 – I am not necessarily doubting the thrust of your post, but witness that it is very interesting how evidence against Western interests are subject to so much more rigorous analysis than evidence that supports them.
    .
    I wonder, where do we go now for the best count, if both studies are unreliable? IBC of course is fundamentally flawed, since it relies on media reportage.
    .
    > since you suggest you care about peer-reviewed experts and such
    .
    I don’t know George, but why would you be cynical about that? It is always best to assume good faith, I think, unless good evidence is available to the contrary.

  62. Jon, here’s an answer drawn from the ICRC paper i cited above:

    “Perhaps the best that the public can be given is exactly what IBC provides – a running tally of deaths derived from knowledge about incidents. While imperfect, that knowledge, supplemented by the wealth of data of the Iraq Living Conditions Survey and Iraq Family Health Survey (which have their own limitations), provides enough information in the light of the circumstances. At a later date, additional surveys can be conducted to determine the impact and/or do demographic analysis. But for now, the Iraq Body Count’s imperfect figures combined with the date of the ILCS and IFHS may suffice.”

    IBC’s “fundamental flaws” (a.k.a. limitations) are a lot less than some have wanted to believe. If you want sources that don’t have any flaws on this question, I think you’ll be waiting a while.

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