Thursday, April 05, 2007

Economical With The Realite

A weird new breed of right-wing spam has started cropping up in my inbox. Unfortunately since my work email is pretty widely dispersed I get relatively little of the "we have an OEM solution to get you to pleasure her fast" spam, and huge volumes of stuff from lazy PR firms and think-tanks with an inflated view of their own output. The latest comes from an outfit calling itself International Media Intelligence Analysis (IMIA).

It's hardly what you would call established, although it has a list of expert sources that has seemingly strong roots in academia. But what it seems to be is a pressure group angling for mad aggression against Iran. I'm fairly certain that it was sending me spam before the recent crisis over the kidnapped British sailors, but I hadn't bothered to read it for today, because the volume of author Mr. Simon Barrett's spam has increased impressively over recent days. But this hostage crisis has been his finest hour, of a rather short collection to date.

[Quick aside here. It is obviously unpleasant to watch the British sailors appearing on TV like puppets of the rather weird theocracy in Iran. But I find it hard to get too upset about their "confessions". I really do hope that there's something in the torture resistance manual that the Navy uses that says "look, providing you don't get anyone killed or divulge secret information, say whatever the nutter in the cheap suit wants you to say."]

Here's the first line from today's release:

"By committing an act of war, Iran has simultaneously made itself look peaceful and made the West look impotent."

Nothing too crazy here, although impotent is a rather strange word to describe the outcome, which included all sorts of maneuvers in the UN Security Council and a suspect-looking move on Iranian consular officials in Basra. Certainly, we didn't bomb anyone, but I'm reasonably sure that at this point Barrett isn't - quite - demanding this.

Moving on, the author delves into some "Media Analysis":

"The latest looney-tune story from the left was spun by Patrick Cockburn, an intrepid reporter for London’s Independent newspaper."

Oh dear, everything from the tone to the target suggests that we have a very cosmopolitan, slightly urbane European branch of the right-wing neo-conservative noise machine. Reminds me a bit of "Taki's Top Drawer", this arbitrary collection of right wing rants that used to appear at the front of the NY Press. Now, I'm a bit of a hairy liberal myself, so please assume I'm not an impartial observer, but I still find conservatives to be enormously entertaining and frequently affable.

They're also damn good at giving each-other's take media outlets mad props:

The announcement Wednesday by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that his government would release the 15 captured British sailors and marines came after an intense and often bitter internal debate, sources in Tehran told NewsMax.

Yes, that NewsMax. Very few props back, yet, aside from this one and this one.

Wish I could find more on this Barrett gentleman, but his name is not uncommon, and the veracity of the following bio falls down due to some strangely false notes:

Barrett is a former Advisor to the Conservatives Frontbench Spokesman for Homeland Security on issues relating to Islamic Terrorism and Iran.

Not sure why a UK political party would have a Homeland Security spokesman, since the only country to have adopted this weird, Heinlein-esque term to describe the Home Office is the US. The lack of a useful apostrophe is also troubling in a media criticism website.

Sorry, I could have just clicked unsubscribe, but the vent was irresistible.


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