MSNBC/CNN shamelessly pushes Iranian propaganda
In the moments after Iran retaliated for the killing of Soliemani by firing 15 missiles at two American bases in Iraq, MSNBC and CNN both repeated propaganda spouted by Iran’s state-run media about casualties at the bases.
“The IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] was saying that Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of this country, was in the control center coordinating these attacks,” Arouzi told MSNBC anchor Chris Matthews. “This bit I’m not sure about but Iran state media says 30 U.S. soldiers have been killed in this attack. This is not confirmed, it’s just coming from Iranian media.”
“This is drawing people from all sides into this what is potentially the beginning of a war, Chris,” Arouzi added. “I don’t know how this is going to go in the coming hours, but it’s not looking good from the rhetoric that came out from President Trump earlier today saying that he will retaliate against any retaliation from Iran. I think we can expect an attack on Iran imminently.”
CNN followed its reporting on the attack by claiming that a presidential address from the Oval Office was coming soon.
“Aides are making urgent preparations at this hour for Trump to address the nation,” CNN White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins reported, according to American Greatness, suggesting the situation was grave and required an immediate response from the president. The false report prompted a quick rebuke from White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham.
In truth, the attack harmed no one and it appears the Iranians intended to harm no one, choosing instead to “retaliate” with fireworks and bluster for home consumption rather draw themselves into a shooting war with the U.S. They even warned Iraq — who in turn warned the U.S. — that the “attack” was coming
Reuters, NYT and WaPo also spread fake news on the Iran situation
You may have heard early this week that Iraq’s parliament had passed a resolution that kicked U.S. forces out of the country. If you heard that — it was reported by several fake news outlets including The Slimes and WaPo and cheered by the many on the left — you were hearing fake news.
Kuwait Daily reporter Hussain Abdul-Hussain described in a series of tweets what really went down. In a nutshell, Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi was trying to play both sides — the U.S. and Iran — against the middle and appease them both. The parliamentary vote was conducted with barely a quorum (half of the 328 members of parliament plus 4), and the Sunni and Kurdish blocks boycotted the session in support of the U.S.
The text Iraqi Parliament voted on was not a legislation, but a non-binding resolution. In a letter Adbul-Mahdi explained that it was in Iraq’s interest to “maintain neutrality between America and Iran, and that if Iraq antagonizes America, it risks losing its international status (and implicitly oil revenue, just like Iran).”
Adbul-Hussein notes the bottom line is that the “Iraqi parliament vote was an Iranian face-saving measure. Iran is in a bind: If it retaliates without claiming its attack, it does not count as revenge for Soleimani. If Iran claims the attack, regime risks further wrath, in a country whose economy is in free fall.”
On Thursday, the day after the Iraqi vote, Reuters and WaPo published what was purported to be a report that American troops were being withdrawn from Iraq. The report was alleged to have come from a letter sent to Iraq’s Ministry of Defense.
The letter was unsigned, and people familiar with similar diplomatic missives noted the language used in the letter sounded like it had been written in one language and translated into another. Trump administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Mike Esper, denied the letter’s authenticity.
Despite the administration’s denials, both WaPo and Reuters continued to claim the letter was real until a general at central command clarified that it was a “a draft letter that got sent around for coordination purposes. But there is no US troop movement out of Iraq.”