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Jan 25, 2005

Poster Boy for the West?

Since a number of interesting questions came up from yesterday's electioneering post, I was wondering what other information the newswire photos might suggest about the Iraqi vote. 

One question is whether Iyad Allawi might be getting some campaign help from the west. 

I ask because the news photos show his posters to be significantly larger, more professionally constructed and installed, and having a smoother, more "Madison Avenue" look to their design.  (Of course, this might just be because he's lived in the west, or because he has  governmental resources at his disposal.)

  Here are examples of the Allawi posters.  (Note that many haven't fared very well.) 

 Us.Yimg.Com P Rids 20050118 I R810860529

 Us.Yimg.Com P Afp 20050115 Capt.Sge.Bwq30.150105224556.Photo02.Photo.Default-384X266

 Us.Yimg.Com P Rids 20050123 I Ra431716051

Most of the other campaign posters I've seen have a more traditional look.  These designs usually depict a montage of images, sometimes mixing photos and art.  Usually, these posters also have a good deal of text, sometimes in different colors, styles and sizes.  Typically, they are just posted on a wall.

Here is a cross section from the rest of the field:

 Us.Yimg.Com P Ap 20050123 Capt.Bag10501231821.Iraq Bag105

 Us.Yimg.Com P Ap 20050124 Capt.Bag10501241356.Iraq Elections Bag105

 Us.Yimg.Com P Ap 20050124 Capt.Bag10601241350.Iraq Elections Bag106

I had a few thoughts on the Allawi posters. 

Doesn't the bluish color -- and the versions that just show his eyes, or a slice of his face  -- seem a little ominous?  (Doesn't it also seem shaded to make it look like he has a black eye?)  Perhaps the design plays on two levels:  It uses a strongman image to appeal to the hope for greater security.  At the same time, it promotes a dark side, suggesting the kind of intimidation the Iraqi people have been trained to obey. 

Could the sophistication of the design argue for the fact that Allawi -- our inside man -- has had some "Rove caliber" support?

(image 1: REUTERS/Ali Jasim ; image 2: REUTERS/Atef Hassan; image 3: AFP/Ali al-Saadi; image 4: REUTERS/Ali Jasim ; image 5: REUTERS/Atef Hassan); image 6: REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra ; image 7: REUTERS/Atef Hassanimage 8: REUTERS/Atef Hassan; image 9: AP Photo/Samir Mizban; image 10: AP Photo/Samir Mizban)


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Those giant eyes are just freaky. Very Big Brother to me.

Iraq is in trouble no matter who they "elect". This mess will continue for many years.

I ask this question away from the threads on this blog on which you have been active recently because I don't want to necessarily relate it to any specific commentary of yours.

It's a general question:

Does your world view admit the possiblity that someone who's opinion differ from yours in a leftward direction could be correct in that opinion...even if they could not amass as much supportive data for that opinion as you can for yours?


Been wondering that myself JSLC.......

AOG, If it's true that you believe that others can have correct opinions even if you don't believe those opinions to be correct, perhaps it would be better to take less harsh tones with people who express ideas with which you don't agree. Wouldn't it be more constructive to explain your opinions with less invective and ask that others do the same? Seems to me we'd all profit more from dialog rather than diatribe. Maybe you could catch more flies with the proverbial honey.


What do you mean by "the West"? Governments or private interests? I certainly would not be the least bit surprised to find out that Allawi has business contacts in the West that are supplying him with money and technical talent. And given the kind of stuff I've seen on FARK or some of the home brew spots for the lastest presidential campaign in the USA, I don't think you need Rove to achieve that level of slickness.

On the other hand, I think it would be highly improper for Allawi to be getting any government support.

Perhaps the lighting on Allawi's face is meant to suggest "emerging out of shadow", a good metaphor for this election I would think.


I'll consider that. I thought I had toned down. At work, all of this would have been considered just a bit of warm up bantering. Real discussions, technical or political, were far more vicious. I was generally considered the polite one, actually (a couple of managers specifically remarked on that to me after certain more acrimonious discussions). That's also the case for other weblogs I frequent. Just think of me as the rough kid from the bad side of the blogosphere :-)

AOG: Well...I understand what you're saying...I myself am not a stranger to vigorous debate...but...I guess when I read this comment on your own blog (Jan 20 entry), though, I tend to wonder if your behavior here is not so much an artifact of your communication style but simply you being the playground bully: "I’m also spending time hassling people at BagNewsNotes. It’s really a different world over there, filled with contra-factual histories and inconsistent worldviews that I can’t resist the target rich environment." Since this implies that all of us here who bother to comment are..well...*targets*'s hard to believe you think you might actually do anything here but shoot us down and enjoy yourself while doing it...certainly not to learn anything from any opinions we might express, since our worldviews are inconsistent and our histories contra-factual.


While I think this would be more appropriate to discuss on that post, I'll waste Michael's bandwidth anyway.

To some extent it's just the language I use. If you like, think of it as the same sort of thing an athlete would say before a game or at half time. I try to target ideas, not people. I try to avoid things like calling someone a "chimp". But I learn something every time I comment, even if it's just stuff I find while searching for supporting links. I also thought it would be good to expose myself and my ideas to people who had quite different world views. But my nature is that if I play the argument game, I play to win. It's a habit that's served me very well in the past in increasing my own understanding and that of the people I argue with.

AOG; I can point out at least half a dozen personalized and salacious comments that you've directed at me alone. I find your ability to converse with JSLC with courtesy to be utterly unlike the dialogues I've shared with you, partilcularly in light of my numerous attempts to steer you back to civility. What's up with that?

JSLC doesn't

AOG; I misrepresent your statements? What would be the point when you misrepresent them so well yourself? Rough and tumble tone? Point to any comment I've made which specifically
'misrepresents' your views?
Talk about overblown rhetoric.

And I quote:

Since you infrequently make actual arguments instead of ad hominem attacks, there's not much else to work with. In this case you at least make some assertions, despite the fact that they're almost all wrong and without providing any supporting evidence.
There are so many errors that I can only hit the high points, so here goes:
As to insurgencies leading to unconventional warfare and unconventional tactics by the USA military, all I can say is "and so?". I fail to grasp your putative point."

"Is there any outcome other than victory for the mass murdering thugs of the insurgency (the guys that were lobbing mortar rounds in to Abu Ghraib and killing the prisoners by the dozen) that you would find acceptable? Your position on this is completely opaque to me, unless you really do favor a resurgent Ba'ath regime or Iranian style theocracy."

I didn't ask what your assertion was, I asked how it was relevant to the Social Security issue.
If I may sum up, then, the "logic" goes
Bush is a hypocrite → Bush is part of an evil robber baron cabal → his plan for Social Security is bad."

Absit invidia; can't we all just get along?

Imagine the incredible hubris which must possess anyone who can be so casually dismissive of the worldviews and historical knowledge of any other group of people, brag about it on his own website and then, when challenged on it, try to fob it off as "just the language" he uses. He must think the batteries are outdated in our b*llsh*t detectors, too. Consider this, though...why would such a mental giant hang out with us obviously flawed liberal lefties? He told us: he's an argument junky. He's out looking for an easy fix...and we're giving it to him. jr, look what he's doing, man. He's a professional button pusher and he's all over yours. Oddly enough I don't think he means you to take it personally...for that he'd have to consider you (or any of us) an actual person first. I don't believe he does. We're all just words on his computer screen. Listen, there's nothing in the Big Book Of Internet Rules which sez you gotta keep engaging this guy. Tell you what, let me say this as an unelected representative of the whole subset of bagnewsnotes posters who have been set upon by our friend so he can read it once and for all: "AOG if any of us choose not to respond to you, it ain't because you've changed our mind or convinced us of something or that we find your posts so intellectually challenging we simply can't know where to begin. No. We choose not to respond because we simply don't have the time and/or energy to engage in your annoying old games anymore." Now. There. He knows. So savor this now, jr: If a bully blusters in a blog and nobody pays any attention, does he still make a noise? ;-)


JSLC; you've become the voice of reason and eloquence when my own was being silenced through apoplectic rage. A hearty thanks for riding to the rescue on my, and no doubt others, behalf. As to engaging AOG, I mentioned before that I've enjoyed 'debating' him, if you can call defending yourself and your comments against insults and personal slights a debate; and I meant it. He's not the first Uber-Right defender of President Bush I've encountered in the blogosphere, and no doubt won't be the last. I have tried to converse with him and put forth my opinions with courtesy and respect, something he clearly finds extremely difficult, and which you also pointed out to him, was obviously not his motus operandi. He's entitled to respond in any fashion he chooses, which I've also accepted, despite not understanding how it's possible for him to be right ALL THE TIME. I have no problem in continuing to engage him, or anyone else who opposes my beliefs or views. I have merely pointed out to him that my courtesy has been exemplary, while his has often been non-existent. Let me say now to all and sundry; the time for acrimonious debate is over, can we not adopt a forum of dialogue which allows for dissenting views without insulting each other? I certainly hope so, for without dialogue, nothing will advance forward. Let me also take the time to apologize to AOG if anything I have offered was taken as a personal slight by him; that was definetely not my intention, which I believe I've also mentioned more than once.

Civility costs nothing and buys everything.
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689 - 1762)

By the way, just saw on the BBC that Doug Feith has resigned as Rumsfelds' number 2 at the Pentagon; what do you make of that?

Doug Feith: isn't he the guy that Tommy Franks said (in print no less) was getting to be known around the Pentagon as the dumbest guy on the planet? Heh heh. With that kinda praise, I don't see why they don't bump him *up* the ladder instead of down. Maybe he drew short straw in the neocon cabal's lottery for Abu Ghraib scapegoat or something.



You wrote

Point to any comment I've made which specifically 'misrepresents' your views?
I already did. Click on the text you cited, it's a link to a thread where I list multiple examples of it. Here's the link again if you don't want to scroll up.

JSLC; they probably found a Spongebob mousepad in his kids' room, and you know what that means.

AOG; what the f are you talking about? You suggest that I want the insurgents to defeat the Coalition, and you accuse me of misrepresenting your views? Gimme a break.

meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

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