11 March 2015

Susan Rice quote: spoof and reality

 Every joke is only partly a joke
When I have seen this cartoon a day or two ago in a post by a friend, it was presented as a real quote. Seeing red as a result, I was already on the brink of copy/pasting the whole post, when my sense of caution (rarely experienced by this here impulsive blogger) told me to do some digging.

The digging has quite easily shown that, while the quote is used quite extensively on the intertubes, there are no major media sources anyone would refer to. Moreover, at the root of all the references I've seen hides a site called Newslo - "the first hybrid News/Satire platform on the web", as they define themselves.

When you look at the article in question, you shall immediately see two things. First of all, the incendiary quote in the cartoon above is missing the word "best", the addition making it even more incendiary:
Rice: “Netanyahu Must Understand That US Needs To Support Its Best Middle Eastern Friend – Iran”
And you shall also see two big red buttons: "Show facts" and "Hide facts". Play with these buttons and see which parts of the whole are fake. You will quickly detect that the mind-boggling quote in question is a fake. A bit awkward (in my opinion) for a good satire site, but whatever makes people happy.

So, apparently we can put the story to rest somewhere where all canards go for their final rest. And yet...

I was recently reading an article by Michael Doran of the Hudson Institute, titled Obama's Secret Iran Strategy. Its main premise is disclosed (more or less) it the lede:
The president has long been criticized for his lack of strategic vision. But what if a strategy, centered on Iran, has been in place from the start and consistently followed to this day?
I am not sure about the somewhat bombastic headline and the lede, both hinting at undue secrecy: after all, President Obama never hid his penchant for rapprochement and engagement with the Middle Eastern powers that were hitherto not in the list of US friends. Not that after six years on the job POTUS can boast about any achievements in the area, rather just the opposite: the Middle East war rarely in a shape as bad as it is now. And so is the nuclear deal with Iran, no matter how brave a face Mr Kerry still does his best to put on.

The Doran's essay, by the nature of an article that tries to dig into the mostly secret details of US/Iran relationships, is full of conjectures and educated guesses. However, it is an essay one can't discard by derision or by pinning it on the political map (yes, Doran, I guess, is not one of starry-eyed lefties). This is a serious job and should be accepted as such. And you could use your time in a much worse way by not skipping over several responses to the Doran's article by quite a few respected and knowledgeable people - who mostly support his conclusions.

I wouldn't spoil your enjoyment by quoting from the article - it is much better when read in its pristine fullness. There is only one thing I have to say that connects the article at hand with this unfortunate fake quote ascribed to Ms Rice:

Every joke is only partly a joke

So there.