November 05, 2002
How To Tell A Lie With Three Simple Words

Today's London Times has a story with this headline, also picked up by Drudge:

Attack Iran the day Iraq war ends, demands Israel

That certainly caught my attention, and I wondered whether Ariel Sharon really thinks it would be a good idea for the U.S. and its allies to send troops and aircraft across the border into Iran the day after Iraq surrenders -- or ever, for that matter. Like most supposedly bloodthirsty 'warbloggers', I certainly don't. Iran looks ripe for self-liberation with just a little help in the way of external criticism and accurate information.

Of course, I had to click on the link and read the first paragraph of the story:

ISRAEL’S Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has called on the international community to target Iran as soon as the imminent conflict with Iraq is complete.

The word "target" is a bit more ambiguous than "attack", but it still looks like an all-out military assault on Iran is planned, or at least urged. I thought I had better keep on reading. Here's the first half of the second paragraph:

In an interview with The Times, Mr Sharon insisted that Tehran — one of the “axis of evil” powers identified by President Bush — should be put under pressure “the day after” action against Baghdad ends because of its role as a “centre of world terror”.

That let all the air out of the story. It turns out that the the headline is, to put it bluntly, a lie. One of those lies that is technically true in one sense, but false on its face and therefore still a lie. The transition from "attack" to "target" to "pressure" is cleverly done, but surely too obvious to fool anyone who actually reads as far as I did. (The use of "demands" in the headline is also thoroughly dishonest.) Does the Times need readers enough to lure them in with fraudulent headlines, like the cheapest kind of bait-and-switch used car dealer? Apparently they think so.

Posted by Dr. Weevil at November 05, 2002 06:21 AM

Yes. Blair is Bush's poodle and Bush does the bidding of the all powerful Israelis. It is the Israelis who drive the U.S. war on terror. After Iraq, they will tell us to sic Iran. We do their bidding. No wait, I forgot about the oil companies. It's their bidding we do. Oh wait, the defense contractors...

Posted by: Tokyo Taro on November 6, 2002 12:45 AM