Not-so-smart mob

Updated Thursday, February 20th at 5:45 p.m. EST

Thomas, as we bloggers like to say, fact-checked my ass.

I stated that Iraq kicked out the arms inspectors in 1998, but in actuality the inspectors left under orders from their leader, Richard Butler. The December 18, 1998 issue of the Washington Post reports that they left because they knew that the U.S. would start another bombing campaign. Other reports state that Baghdad was being uncooperative, while Baghdad accused the inspections team of having spies among their number.

More details are available at FAIR’s (Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting) site:

Thanks for the heads-up, Thomas!

I had a conversation last week that went like this:

Her: So are you going to the anti-war protest tomorrow?

Me: I’m not sure. I still have to think about my position on it.

Her: What’s to think about?

Me: For starters, what you just said: “What’s to think about?”

Don’t get me wrong; I do believe that protests and demonstrations can be good things. I am mindful of the fact that my own native country has managed to rid itself of two corrupt leaders through demonstrations. I’ve even participated in some myself. But I made damn sure I’d thought out my position very clearly before joining and doubly so if I was going to do an interview. If you’re going to shoot off your mouth, make sure your brain isn’t loaded with blanks!

With that in mind, here’s a video called Devil’s Advocate Goes to the Protest (QuickTime required). In it, Evan Coyne Maloney goes to the New York anti-war rally and conducts interviews with results that are simultaneously hilarious and sad. Some of the questions that he asks:

  • How would you solve the problem [if war is not the answer]?
  • Why was the UN unable to disarm Iraq while conducting inspections between 1991 and 1998? (The inspectors were kicked out in 1998.)
  • How much time should the inspectors in Iraq be given? Wasn’t eight years enough?
  • Has the world community in the past lived up to its responsibility with dealing with Saddam Hussein? Would they do it now?
  • Do you think that President Bush will keep the oil fields after invading Iraq? Why did the U.S. not do that after the first Gulf War?
  • Do you believe that Saddam Hussein has chemical or biological weapons?

It’s interesting: a right-wing guy borrows a page from Michael Moore’s book to great effect.

Speaking of Moore’s technique, keep in mind that the interviewees weren’t expecting to be interviewed, the questions were chosen with care and that this, like any other video, is the product of editing. Still, I’m sure that all of them did the interview of their own free will and out of a desire to make their opinions heard.

I’m still doing a little work right now, so I’ll turn this over to the comments. Let me know what you think, and we’ll continue the conversation there.

(A big high-five to John “Lemonodor” Wiseman for telling me about this.)

Recommended reading

Thinking as a Hobby, by William “Lord of the Flies” Golding.

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