In George Orwell’s novel, 1984, one of the catch phrases used by the controlling Socialist party was “ignorance is strength.” While it has been years since I last reread Orwell’s novel, I have long understand that the ignorant are not strong. Strength comes from being the person with knowledge while others are ignorant and easily led. If you don’t want to be easily led by others, then learn more about how things really work.

I keep thinking that the self-appointed intelligentsia of the media can’t shock me anymore with blatant attempts at swaying the ignorant, and then they pull something jaw-dropping out of their butts. Here is the latest polished nugget of poo offered up by the media for the ill-informed to swallow along with the caption that accompanied it:

Magic bullets

An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City.(AFP/Wissam al-Okaili)

I did a spit-take when I first saw the picture above and read that she was holding “two bullets” that had “hit her house.” I showed the picture to TPK and read her the caption, and she instantly realized that the “bullets” held by that Iraqi woman had never been fired. So, our troops are reduced to throwing ammunition now?

My wife has never fired a gun, and yet TPK was quick to spot that the “bullets” held by the Iraqi woman had not been fired. So how did this mistake happen? I see only a few possibilities here:

  • Coalition forces really are reduced to throwing ammunition at the bad guys.
  • The Iraqi woman lied about where the ammunition came from.
  • Wissam al-Okaili gave the ammunition to the Iraqi woman to hold for a staged photo.
  • Wissam al-Okaili is dumber than a box of rocks about ammunition.
  • Wissam al-Okaili thinks you are dumber than a box of rocks about ammunition.

Regardless of the motivation behind the picture, it went past at least a few editors who fit the last two descriptions. And interestingly enough, that picture has been surreptitiously pulled from the Yahoo news site. Earlier on Wednesday, you could find the picture here. But not any more. To borrow another phrase from 1984, it has gone down the memory hole — except that too many people have their own copies of the picture for it to truly vanish. Thanks to the structure and power of the Internet, it is much harder for the media to make information like this photo just go away.

I was not alone at spotting this farce, and I certainly wasn’t the first to see it. Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs has a nice little list of links addressing the picture. But I believe that I may be the only one to notice something interesting about the text accompanying the picture. Below are two screenshots of the now-vanished picture taken about two hours apart from each other:

First Yahoo photo

Second Yahoo photo

The difference between the two is a little added text to the caption. Since it is cut off on the second screenshot, here’s the complete text:

An elderly Iraqi woman shows two bullets which she says hit her house following an early coalition forces raid in the predominantly Shiite Baghdad suburb of Sadr City. At least 175 people were slaughtered on Tuesday and more than 200 wounded when four suicide truck bombs targeted people from an ancient religious sect in northern Iraq, officials said. (AFP/Wissam al-Okaili) [emphasis mine - CM]

I emphasized the new text for you. What, pray tell, does that added sentence have to do with the photo? If you said, “Not a bloody thing!” you’ve taken the time to educate yourself about the country of Iraq. If you answered, “It shines a light on the American-made hell-hole that is Iraq!” then you are thinking like a liberal news reporter. To further show just how little the story of the “bullets” and the attack by murderous al-Qaeda thugs relate to each other, here is another graphic I took from the same Yahoo site showing just how close the “bullets” in Baghdad are to the bombing in Kahtaniya about 300 miles away. (Answer: not too close at all. It’s like linking a drive-by shooting in Washington D.C. with a fire in Columbus, Ohio.)

Iraq map

With the addition of that unnecessary sentence to the photo caption, I believe that the photo was staged and foisted on the public by people driven by their own agenda who believe the ignorant masses are too thick to see through them. But we are not nearly as ignorant as the intelligentsia believe we are.

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