Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Will Mark Udall Renounce Big Blue Lie Machine Smear of Ethnic Minority?

The Big Blue Lie Machine is at work again. In particular, PlagiarismNowAction, a group that has done Mark Udall's dirty work in the recent past, is at it again. Their latest smear against Republican candidate Bob Schaffer is so dishonest and truth-challenged that Rocky Mountain News editor Vincent Carroll (who a couple weeks ago exposed the inaccuracies behind a PlagiarismNow-contrived label of Schaffer) has given it a thorough smackdown:
To this point, it must be said, the portrait of Schaffer is a paint-by-numbers smear, which my column disposed of two weeks ago (April 30, "Smeared with oil"). What distinguishes Huttner's latest attack and qualifies it for a Chesterton boomerang award is its claim that Schaffer "led the company's delegation in Iraq to lobby local speculators for oil contracts."

Local speculators? Savor that contemptuous description of the Kurdistan Regional Government and, by implication, the historically oppressed minority that it represents.

Aspect Energy, for which Schaffer worked, negotiated with Kurdish leaders for the right to explore for oil in the north of Iraq. The Kurdistan Regional Government is no more a "local speculator" in Iraq than Gov. Bill Ritter is a "local warlord" in the United States.

Huttner's use of "local speculators" was no accident. The term appears twice in his letter without any hint as to whom the "speculators" might be. When I e-mailed him in wonderment, he replied, "I'm OK if you prefer to use Kurdish government."

He's OK if someone else prefers the relevant fact. Just don't expect him to volunteer it.

It is true that the Baghdad central government is not happy with the Kurds for having cut a number of oil exploration deals with small- and mid-sized foreign companies; indeed, the oil minister considers them invalid. But it is equally true that the Iraqis have yet to reach agreement on a final oil and gas law, and that a draft completed last year has been slammed by both Kurds and Sunni Arabs (for different reasons). Meanwhile, the parties continue to talk.

The activists at ProgressNowAction are free to support the Arab vision of a state oil company controlling future production in Iraq - and they are equally free to suggest that such a future would best serve American interests, although it's hardly obvious that it would. But in his zeal to discredit Schaffer, Huttner simply airbrushed the Kurds out of existence - and crossed the line between aggressive opinion and outright propaganda. [emphasis added]
The Michael Huttner wing of the Big Blue Lie Machine doesn't have enough conscience to spare an oppressed ethnic minority in its deceitful attempt to politically smear Bob Schaffer and anyone that stands in its way.

The question is whether Mark Udall will renounce this vile propaganda or continue to let PlagiarismNow work on his campaign's behalf at all costs.


alan said...

Wow, Ben. Amazing stuff.

So when the United States gives Turkey permission to bomb Kurdish rebels (you know, that "oppressed minority"), as we have done for months now over the objections of their government, does that complicate your shallow analysis?

How about when the Iraqi government we're trying to hold together over there says the biggest obstacle to a badly-needed national oil law is the existence of inside deals between regional governments and speculators (like Schaffer's)?

Vince Carroll throws bombs hoping no one will examine any deeper--just like you, Ben. Unfortunately, facts are facts. And Schaffer owes Colorado answers.

And here I was really ready to believe that you weren't silly enough to engage on that ridiculous "PlagiarismNow" crack-pipe level like your intemperate buddy "watcher," whose job seems to be confirming every stereotype about bug-eyed nonsense spewing right wing bloggers. Too bad.

Ben DeGrow said...

Another page from the Saul Alinsky playbook, Alan. Nice. Your group is the last to criticize anyone for "shallow analysis."

How can you be trusted when you conflate the Left-wing rebel terrorist group known as PKK with the entire Kurdish ethnic minority in Iraq?

The issue between the proposed Iraqi national oil law and the efforts of regional governments to propose their own deals is far more complex than you give it credit for. Are you blaming the Kurds for wanting to seek a better life for their people?

If your group really cared about nuance, Alan, you would have demonstrated some by refraining from smearing the Kurds as "local speculators." Now that's "shallow analysis."

Unless you are able to address the primary point raised in Mr. Carroll's column and in this post, I'll take the silence in your response as a confession of your group's sleazy tactics.

alan said...

Absolute rubbish, Ben.

I didn't "conflate" anything--all I said was that each time Turkey has launched military operations into northern Iraq, with the US's approval, the Kurdish government has angrily protested that action. Do you deny this?

Further, do you deny that it is American policy to encourage the finalization of a national Iraqi oil revenue distribution law? Since most analysis consider the consequences of failure in that regard to be continued civil war and a forcible breakup of the country into ethnic fiefdoms? Well, Ben? Speak carefully, now.

This is the problem with shills like yourself: you think that all of these issues are semantic games you can endlessly spin, as long as that spinning serves your overarching goal of defending Bob Schaffer no matter what he says or does. The problem is the camels you must increasingly swallow to do so.

Ben DeGrow said...

Alan, you are to be commended for your rare and special breed of hubris. Or maybe a psychiatrist would diagnose it as projection. But very few can do what you do with a straight face. As one who looks for the flimsiest of excuses to attack Bob Schaffer, regardless of the implications, you clearly are prone to see shill behavior more readily than others.

Or maybe you now are a supporter of President Bush's policy in Iraq? Nah. Didn't think so. You won't even admit the implication of what you're trying to do with your cheap sophistry.

You can try to oversimplify the issues and shift the terms of the debate to distract from your group's initial smear. The burden is on you to connect the dots and prove whatever absurd case you are trying to make vis a vis Bob Schaffer. But you don't care about the truth.

This isn't about "defending Bob Schaffer no matter what he says or does." It's not even so much about defending Bob Schaffer no matter what you insinuate he says or does, which is often the case. It's about your attempts to use the radical playbook of Saul Alinsky and avoid serious questions by throwing them back at me as personal attacks.

Thanks for acknowledging your group's sleazy tactics and filling my Friday with laughter.