Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Simply Stupid

From the same hour of CNN's "This Week at War," Christiane Amanpur on whether Iran is interfering in Iraq:

JOHN ROBERTS: Christiane Amanpour, is there any doubt at this point that Iran is actively involved in Iraq and is shipping weapons to Shiite militias, insurgents, other extremists?

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Well, if you took it from the perspective of the Iranian officials here, yes, there is very much doubt. In fact they deny it outright. That's what the Iranian officials say. And when I pressed them on the fact that U.S. officials are saying that they have evidence of shipment of weapons and training et cetera to Iraq, they say we must see that evidence. That is not our policy.

On the other hand, some analysts here are saying that, yes, Iran and the United States are at odds and do have a struggle over various issues such as Iraq and also of course over the nuclear issue. There is a great fear here in Iran of war from the United States. Everybody has been asking me about it since I arrived here in the last few days. And what these analysts are saying is that perhaps some Iranians are suggesting that it might be better to try to keep America occupied inside Iraq than sort of fight that battle away from Iranian territory, rather than inside Iranian territory.

Forget the second paragraph, which only admits that Iran would have cause to harass (re: kill) American forces in Iraq given that we are at odds over "the nuclear issue," and that war would come "from the United States." Whereas in the first paragraph Amanpour accepts unquestioningly the mullahocracy's emphatic denial (despite a long history of sponsoring terrorism abroad), every counter-statement in the second paragraph is extremely conditional: "Analysts are saying . . . perhaps some Iranians are suggesting . . . it might be better to . . . sort of fight."

Strong stuff, Christiane! That a way to present balance to the assertions!

This reminds me of the great Kids in the Hall sketch in which a judge releases every defendant who pleads "not guilty:"

[Scene opens in a courtroom. Bruce sits at the prosecutor's table. Mark and Kevin sit at the defense table, and Dave is on the bench.]

Dave: The charge is murder. How does the defense plead?

Mark: [standing] Your honor, the defense would like to plead not guilty.

Dave: Fine, then the court finds in favor of the defense. Your client's free to go. [He raps his gavel.]

Bruce: What?

Kevin: [jumping up] Yes! Yes! Yes! Honey, we didn't need the alibi! [He runs toward a woman in the courtroom audience.] I have to be fast! My murder weapon! [He runs over to the prosecutor's table and grabs a gun, then heads out of the courtroom.] Where's the men's room?

Bruce: Your honor, may I approach the bench, please?

Dave: Yes, you may.

Bruce: [stepping up to the bench] Your honor, uh, did it ever occur to you that the defendant might have been lying?

Dave: Well, Mr. District Attorney, no. No, that never occurred to me.

Bruce: But we have seven eyewitnesses, his prints were all over the murder weapon, his shirt was soaked with the victim's a matter of fa--

Dave: [interrupting] Well, maybe I'm just not as cynical as you are. If that young man says he's not guilty, I'm afraid that's good enough for me. Now, we have a very busy schedule; I suggest we move along. Call the next case, please!