"evidence" that all is peachy in Baghdad
A March 29, 2006 Newsweek Web Exclusive by Daren Briscoe,
entitled "Baghdad. Istanbul. What’s the Difference? The blogosphere nails a
California Republican for his view of Iraq," reports on how online sleuths
exposed the methods of Howard Kaloogian, a Republican candidate in California’s 50th
Congressional District. An arch-conservative, Kaloogian travelled to the Middle East in
mid-2005 with a group of conservative talk show hosts in what was labeled "the Truth
tour." The idea was to show Americans that events in Iraq weren't as gloomy as the
media was making it out to be.
The photo, as the Newsweek article reported, was
"evidence that journalists are distorting how bad conditions are in Iraq. The photo
purported to show a placid street scene in downtown Baghdad, including a hand-holding
couple in Western dress and shoppers out for a stroll on a cobblestone street in an
unmarred business district.
As it turns out, the photo is a genuine street scene—from Istanbul, Turkey."
An online sleuth whipped up the ins and outs of Kaloogian's deception
Kaloogian countered with: “It appears like this is one of the photos from
Istanbul... We turned over literally hundreds of photos to our Webmaster, and
apparently he chose one from the Istanbul layover.” Pretty feeble. Nobody bought
the fact that such "critical evidence" was nothing more than a simple
error. (The Newsweek site offered a PDF view
of the site, with the transgression in place.)
The photo in question, after all, made the big point with its caption, “We took
this photo of downtown Baghdad while we were in Iraq. Iraq (including Baghdad) is
much more calm and stable than what many people believe it to be. But each day the
news media finds any violence occurring in the country and screams and shouts about
it—in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight
"The photo had been on the site for several months without drawing scrutiny,
but on Mar. 28 bloggers on Daily Kos and other sites questioned its
authenticity," Newsweek explained. "The question set loose a legion of
online sleuths, who set about translating the street signs, comparing the colors of
Iraqi and Turkish taxis and finding photographs from other sources depicting the
same intersection in Istanbul. As they gathered evidence, the topic began pinging
around the blogosphere. By midday, it was a front-page item on the Huffington Post
The article continued:
Kaloogian's aerial view
thoughtcrimes.org claimed the above picture was
"taken a year ago which doesn't show that some of the
buildings in the picture no longer exist."
Kaloogian is no stranger to controversy. He
was one of the architects of the successful recall drive against former California
governor Gray Davis. But he seemed annoyed at the sudden onslaught of attention.
“Journalists weren’t interested in our
trip for nine months afterwards, and now they’re trying to find one picayunish
mistake [on my Web site],” he complained to NEWSWEEK. “It’s one itty-bitty
picture. The Associated Press gave us a Mark Twain Award for a broadcast we did from
Iraq, and nothing was written about that at all.” (Kaloogian is not named on the
Web site of the Associated Press Television and Radio Association of
California-Nevada as a Mark Twain Award winner, although several radio talk-show
hosts who accompanied Kaloogian on the Iraq trip are named. “We invited these
talk-show hosts to go with us, it was our trip, but they were on it,” Kaloogian
By Wednesday, Kaloogian had replaced the photo from his campaign Web site, which was
inaccessible due to heavy traffic Wednesday afternoon. The new photo is an aerial
view of Baghdad—or at least, Kaloogian says it is.
|Who is Howard
Kaloogian grew up in the Armenian-friendly state of Michigan, home
of Dennis Papazian's University of Michigan-Dearborn housed Armenian Research Center. (The
university that acts as a springboard for the happy careers of genocide advocates, such as
Taner Akcam, Fatma Muge Gocek, Elif Shafak and Hilmar Kaiser.) The divorced lawyer got
into politics, and was a member of the Assembly during 1994-2000, representing portions of
northern San Diego County.
In 2003, Kaloogian became the chairman of the "Recall Gray Davis Committee,"
dedicated to the ousting of California's governor, Gray Davis, and was also the founder
and co-chairman of "Move America Forward," a controversial conservative
political action group. A hero of Kaloogian's is President Ronald Reagan, and Kaloogian
served as Chairman of the "Defend Reagan Project," which campaigned in 2003 for
CBS to drop a docudrama about Ronald Reagan, The Reagans. The campaign was
successful, as CBS did not show the mini-series, but handed it off to Showtime.
Kaloogian lost the Republican primary with 11% of the vote, placing him 3rd out of 11
candidates, when he ran for the U.S. Senate from California in 2004.
The fake photo claim heads the list of other charges against
Kaloogian's Kredibility. He has been known to claim endorsements that were never made. For
example, the California Pro-Life Council forced Kaloogian's website to remove a falsely
made "endorsement" in February 2006. Similarly, in the following month,
Kaloogian recruited State Senator Tom McClintock to endorse Kaloogian with the two-year
old quote "Howard Kaloogian has distinguished himself as one of the most
principled, courageous and steadfast conservative leaders in California."
McClinctock set the record straight with, "It has come to my attention that a
campaign mailing on behalf of Howard Kaloogian includes a picture and quote from me that
suggests that I have endorsed his candidacy for U. S. Congress. I have not."
State Senator Bill Morrow is also challenging an implied endorsement by him of Kaloogian
on the same mailer and webpage; ironically, the senator is running against Kaloogian.
Kaloogian and the "Armenian
Kaloogian is a member of the Armenian National Committee of America, as reported by
PanARMENIAN.Net ("ANCA Member Howard Kaloogian for U.S. Congress,"
Armenian Assembly of America's site reported on Kaloogian's Armenian activism [as
early as Mar. 25, 1998], when the California Assemblyman addressed a crowd brought
together by Armenian and Jewish organizations. "Our people have similar
histories and have suffered a great deal at the hands of others," Kaloogian
is quoted as having said, oblivious to how victims of a real genocide, those of the
Holocaust, would be turning in their graves; the Jews certainly have suffered in the
hands of others, and among those others were the murderous hands of Armenians.
In W.W.I Hakkari, for example, three hundred Ottoman Jews were literally cut to
pieces, according to an internal Ottoman document never meant to be publicized; all
in a quest for the Armenians to gain an ethnically pure state. European-Armenians' cooperation with the Fuehrer in World
War II is also a matter of historical record.
The California State Assembly officially
designated April 24 as “California Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of
1915-1923,” as reported by the Armenian National Committee (ANC)-Western Region.
"The Resolution introduced by Assemblymember Scott Wildman, along with
Assemblymen Howard Kaloogian, Chuck Poochigian and Lou Papan brought out strong
bi-partisan support for remembering the victims of the Armenian Genocide,
perpetrated by Ottoman Turkish officials."
Wildman prostituted, "I’m proud to sponsor this resolution on behalf of
the tens of thousand of Armenians in my district, and the millions more around the
world who have overcome the trauma of their history to become leaders in business,
agriculture, academia, government, and the arts.”
"The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region applauds Assemblymen
Wildman, Poochigian, Kaloogian and Papan, for raising awareness of both the Armenian
Genocide issue and Nagorno-Karabakh’s struggle for freedom and self-rule,”
stated Vicken Sonentz-Papazian, Executive Director of ANCA-WR. “As the text of the
resolution clearly points out, Azerbaijan’s genocidal policies toward the
inhabitants of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh threatens the very existence of the
Armenians who, for centuries, have occupied this historic Armenian Homeland,”
These people truly have no shame, when one examines the text of the Resolution.
Armenia was the aggressor in the Karabakh conflict, based not only by the press reports of the period and
four ignored U.N. resolutions demanding that Armenia withdraw, but also by the end
result: many innocent Azeris were massacred and wounded, perhaps a million were
exiled from their homes and are still languishing in refugee camps, and at least 15%
of Azeri territory was taken away.
Kaloogian's and the others' Resolution No. 51 states "The Armenian Genocide
of 1915-1923" (Vahakn Dadrian:
"[I]n 1916 ... the genocide had all but run its course." In
addition, the Ottoman Empire was practically a non-entity by the early 1920s, Young
Turk leaders having fled in 1918; the empire was overthrown in 1922. Note the
supreme dishonesty: after 1918, who could have been in charge of a genocidal
policy... what was left of a puppet Ottoman administration under Allied occupation,
or the ragtag forces of Ataturk, facing monumental challenges with the saving of the
nation?) "was the first genocide of the 20th Century" (even if it
were a real genocide, which genuine historians would dispute, systematic
extermination campaigns in Albania , South West Africa [mid-1900s], and the
Philippines [early 1900s], among others, including Turks from the Balkan Wars,
preceded it) "in which 1.5 million men, women, and children lost their lives
of [sic] the hands of the Turkish Ottoman Empire." (The real
mortality was up to 600,000, most dying from famine and disease, the same
causes that claimed the bulk of the 2.5 million other Ottoman lives. Because an
Armenian died did not make him or her a "genocide victim." For example:
Richard Hovannisian has written some 150,000 died of starvation and disease, while
accompanying the Russian retreats, out of range of Turkish swords. These are numbers
said to have died "of [sic] the hands of the Turkish Ottoman
Kaloogian's disgustingly dishonest resolution claims "Soviet Azerbaijan
conducted a systematic policy of removal of Karabakh Armenians from their historic
homeland,” without adding Armenians were first encouraged to emigrate into
the region by Tsarist Russia after conquest of the territory in 1828. This was
not a "historic homeland." The original inhabitants were Caucasian
Albanians, among other ancient tribes. Secondly, we are not told the Armenians
"fired the first shot," as they nearly always have done, when the Armenians
expelled 4.000 Azeris from Kafan, Masis and Goris in 1987.
The resolution these highly dishonorable parties prepared goes on to tell us that "Armenians
in Azerbaijan fell victim to the Sumgait Pogroms in 1988 resulting in 72 deaths,"
neglecting to mention the Sumgait events occurred after the 4,000 Azeris were
expelled to Sumgait, three months prior. Similarly, we're told of "the
Baku anti-Armenian riots in 1990 resulting in 68 Armenian deaths, and the mass
deportations of 350,000 Armenians from Azerbaijan," without the vital
information that these were all reactions to the Armenians' criminal
actions. Can the reader imagine referring to Armenian deportations without
reference to the much greater number of Azeris who were thrown out? And how many of
those "350,000" Armenians did not move out willingly, eager to take
advantage of the land the Armenians had stolen? Poor, poor, innocent Armenians...
always the victims.
The resolution then attempts to educate us by singling out "these instances
of man’s inhumanity to man," that happen to exclusively concern the
wealthy and influential Californian Armenians who have so many immoral politicians
in their pockets, by nobly providing "the American public with a greater
understanding of its heritage." What gall! The way to a "greater
understanding" does not lie in presenting one falsified, propagandistic side of
But here is the coup de grace:
Whereas, Armenians in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh remain at risk of yet
another genocide until the time a peaceful resolution to Nagorno-Karabakh conflict
is reached the guarantees the freedom and security for these people while supporting
their right to self-determination...
Yes, ladies and gentlemen: with the Karabakh events, it was the Armenians who acted
"genocidally." Yet, because the Armenians claim the trademark to
the genocide word, the world must always be led into believing genocides are around
the corner for the poor, innocent Armenians.
Kaloogian bears a considerable hand in the drafting of this highly dishonest and
unethical resolution. He is your typically deceptive activist Armenian who uses the
usual the "end justifies the means" Dashnak techniques to pull the wool
over people's eyes, in a magnificently arrogant manner. Combine with the fact that
he is an arch-conservative, whose camp has been known to use the same damn-the-truth
dirty tricks, along with the fact that he is an attorney (not to paint all lawyers
with the same stroke, as there certainly are some who keep in mind the law
represents an honorable profession; yet there is a reason why lawyers have gained
the reputation they have, as for too many, lying comes too easily), offers him
deadly tools in the Art of Deceit.
Principles at Work
You've seen enough examples of the times Kaloogian
has been caught with his ways of deception. He calls his trip the "Truth
Tour," supplies evidence that is anything but truthful (and then goes on to
blame an unnamed webmaster, as if Kaloogian had no awareness of this misleading
"itty-bitty" photograph in the several months it was up before the blog
world exposed it. Since Kaloogian was physically present in both Baghdad and
Istanbul, very aware of what the streets looked like in each city, imagine his
trying to tell us that in the months this photo had been up that he had never paid a
visit to his own web site, and not noticing this prominently displayed image), and
falsely uses endorsements he had never received.
poses with his hero, President Ronald Reagan
I remember when the Reagan movie was forced
out, and it's intriguing that Kaloogian was behind that. (As related above, it was
Kaloogian's "Defend Reagan Committee" that was instrumental in getting CBS
to cancel the miniseries on the former president’s family. A Kaloogian biography
has written: "He led hundreds of thousands of Reagan supporters across
America to fight against the smear campaign waged against Reagan by CBS, Viacom and
Showtime with their anti-Reagan production, “The Reagans.” So many Reagan
supporters flooded the offices of CBS and their sponsors with complaints that the
movie was cancelled on network television.")
This is a typical Armenian activist trick; a visit to the ANCA site will demonstrate
that there are mailing/faxing campaigns for the obsessed faithful, sometimes
regarding even the most minute issues. At the time of this writing, Armenian
pressure forced the University of Southern California to cancel a presentation with
two Turkish ex-ambassadors, with only one day's notice... significantly right after
having received a protest letter by Kaloogian's organization, ANCA. The Public
Broadcasting System was up to its old ways
in planning to air an Armenian Genocide propaganda film (scheduled for April 17,
2006), but they also prepared a 25 minute panel discussion with Peter Balakian and
Taner Akcam on one side, and Justin McCarthy and a Turkish professor on the other.
PBS gave the option to air this discussion to each affiliate, along with the PBS
position that PBS accepts and acknowledges this genocide. Naturally, few affiliates
accepted the airing of the discussion, and those that had accepted were bombarded by
Armenian protests and demonstrations, along with help from kowtowing
ethnic-pandering politicians (always eager for the Armenian loot). One major
affiliate, the one in New York City (WNET), reversed its decision to air the
discussion, as a result. (While making sure to add the paltry excuse that the debate
didn't add anything, implying a propaganda show entitled "The Armenian
Genocide" must have been perfectly balanced.) Naturally, all of these
organizations give other explanations as a cover, but they are only fooling those
who are removed from the politics of these Armenian games.
So when Kaloogian similarly got his conservative groups together to hit CBS with the
same strategy, a terrorized CBS — the "Tiffany Network" that is a shadow
of its former self — decided to take the safe route. I remember when I heard about
this development a very bitter taste formed in my mouth. Especially since the Reagan
film did not appear to be especially critical of Ronald Reagan... but a fair
biographical account. Because the film's admiration quotient was not 100%, Kaloogian
would have none of it; he dishonestly labeled it a "smear campaign,"
and went on with his own successful "Armenian-Slash-Neoconservative" smear
attack. That is, a film that took the middle road became "anti-Reagan," in
Kaloogian's view. (He probably did not even see the unaired film, as he didn't see
the next film we'll be discussing.) Just like when Kaloogian's Armenian camp brands
anyone not 100% in line with their propaganda to be a traitor, or a lackey of the
Turkish government. In the same way that the Reagan film attempted to treat its
subject fairly, whenever there were Westerners who refused to accept the "All
Turks are Monsters" ideology... and treated the Turks with fairness... they
suddenly became "pro-Turks" (famous example: Admiral Mark Bristol), and their characters were in
line to be besmirched.
Was "The Reagans" a
Robert Bianco's USA TODAY review ("No shock in 'Reagans'
portrayal," with the subheading "CBS did The Reagans a favor")
Brolin as Reagan
"By caving in to conservative pressure and dumping this
suddenly controversial biography onto Showtime, CBS turned The Reagans into a
cultural cause célèbre, something it might never have achieved on its own. Neither
a deification or a demonization of President Reagan, The Reagans is exactly the
film CBS says it was promised: An impeccably produced movie..." The reviewer
summed up: "On balance, the movie seems reasonably fair." A very insightful review
by scoopy.com's Johnny Web concluded: "Contrary to the official
conservative line, I ended up thinking of the Reagans as real people, and liking
them far more than I did before I watched the film."
Howard Kaloogian, chairman of the Sacramento-based Move America Forward, also targeted
Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.” As an article in the July 1st, 2004 Sacramento
Bee related, without bothering to watch the whole film (in order to deny "Moore any
ticket proceeds from his pocket"; he must have forgotten his genocide industry frowns
upon deniers), Kaloogian "personally launch[ed] a full-on campaign denouncing
Moore’s box-office hit."
His explanation; “I want to give Americans a reason to support our troops in the
field. I want to demonstrate that we’re the good guys... I want to make sure the troops
didn’t think the people back home are losing faith with them. That’s why we jumped on
this Michael Moore movie.” Waving the flag and citing God (as conservatives often do
with the latter) are age-old ways of drumming mindless support among the masses. The
perfect instruments to guarantee a public of yes-men, discouraging what is a genuine
American value, Freedom of Speech.
Is it any wonder why the Armenians are as monolithic a people as possible? The Armenians
who don't believe in the genocide are afraid to speak up publicly, knowing the Dashnak-style
punishment that awaits those who step out of their norm. (Today, that mainly boils down to
destructive ad hominem smear attacks, but physical threats can never be discounted among
fanatics.) That is the kind of censorship Kaloogian supports, by devoting his energies to
try and boycott points of view he does not like.
The article reports:
"[W]hile the group may not have discouraged many “Fahrenheit” filmgoers, its
efforts to get theaters to boycott the movie generated national coverage, putting the
month-old Move America Forward on the media map."
Another article reported that Kaloogian and company jumped on Hezbollah's endorsement of
Michael Moore's Film. Move America Forward's Vice Chair, Melanie Morgan (a conservative
San Francisco radio talk show host), salivated: “It would be more appropriate to have
this propaganda shown at Al Qaeda training camps rather than American movie theaters.”
The unfairness of that statement was met with protests, and Chairman Howard Kaloogian
offered an "apology":
“I regret that we limited our comments solely to the terrorist organization Al Qaeda
and failed to mention that other terrorist groups, like Hezbollah, would also rally behind
“Fahrenheit 9/11 serves one purpose and one purpose only: to undermine the United States’
war against terrorism. This is precisely why Move America Forward has asked Americans to
register their dissatisfaction with movie theaters that choose to show this film.
“Now is the time for Americans to stand united behind the men and women fighting in Iraq
and Afghanistan to preserve our safety and national security, not promote the agenda of
radical terrorist organizations like Hezbollah.”
Is it a mere coincidence that the above eerily shadows Attorney
General John Ashcroft's pronouncement right after 9/11 that those who don't get directly
in line with the Bush Administration's proposed freedom-curtailing laws are supporting
terrorists?* It's the old Dashnak "You are either with us or against us" idea of
intimidation... a terroristic idea in itself.
*As excerpted from the book,
"Terrorism and War," Howard Zinn, 2002: "Attorney General John Ashcroft has
said about people who oppose his repressive policies - Senate Judiciary Committee on
December 6, 2001:
'[T]o those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is
this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our
resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies, and pause to America's friends.'
[That's almost straight out of the constitutional definition of treason, which is
punishable by death.]"
Gabrielle Reilly "Interview With Honorable Howard Kaloogian"... where
Kaloogian's name is preceded with the word "honorable" in every instance (if
one repeats a contention often enough, maybe people will believe it. Sure worked with
the "Armenian Genocide") quoted Kaloogian as having said:
"I am pro-woman and pro-life."
Sorry; can't have it both ways. Once one begins to interfere with a woman's right to
make such an intimate decision, there is no way that can be called
The San Francisco Chronicle ran an article on
the Truth Tour, "Conservative talkers taking radio shows on road to Iraq,"
Joe Garofoli, July 7, 2005:
poses with Iraqi Lt. General Abdul Qader Jassim
But if they're only in country for a week,
they're unlikely to uncover any "truth" that the military doesn't want
them to see, said John McManus, who runs the Bay Area media watchdog organization,
GradeTheNews.org. Embedded reporters who spend weeks with a unit develop sources
that can help them paint a more nuanced picture of what's going on, he said.
"If they're calling this a 'Truth Tour,' then that implies that they're going
as journalists," McManus said. "But their methodology of finding the truth
sounds suspect. People tend to see what they're looking for. And if they're all
conservatives, then their viewpoint is going to skew toward that."
This is another "Armenian Parallel." Their genocide clubs only admit those
who have agreed there was an Armenian genocide, discouraging honest debate. That is
no way to find real truth.
With the Truth Tour, it was claimed that some
from the other side were asked to join:
Morgan said liberal talk-show host Alan Colmes had been asked to join them, but a
Fox News spokeswoman said he had declined. Morgan said unspecified Air America hosts
had been asked as well — "I don't know which ones, but they were" —
but a network spokeswoman said nobody at the network said they had been contacted.
(Sounds like the "Baghdad-Istanbul" photo flap, where just because
Kaloogian and company claim something happened does not always mean it really
The article also provides with yet another
Liberals concede they probably couldn't pull
together a left-wing version of the Truth Tour. "Conservatives have been
working on their media machine for 35 years," said Hazen of Alternet, the
progressive San Francisco-based Internet news source. "I don't even know if we
have 20 talk-show hosts."
There you have it: the well-financed juggernaut of the genocide industry on one
hand, and the handful of lone, disorganized contra-genocide forces where it is
"every man for himself." A tug-of-war between two very mismatched foes.
"Howard Kaloogian is claiming that he led the recall effort.
THAT IS A BALD FACED LIE."
So blares the headline of howardisaliar.com, which goes
on to inform us: "He may claim the title of Chairman of the Recall Gray Davis
Committee but what did he preside over as chairman? His committee did not spend a dime
collecting signatures. They spent money on campaign mailers so they could raise more
money to pay themselves. Rescue California, the leader in Recall fundraising, spending
and signature collection used their funds to pay for signature gathering and mailers
to raise funds for lawyers and more signature collection. While both committees spent
money on miscellaneous campaign activities, a quick inspection of the campaign finance
records shows that Howard presided over a slush fund, not a campaign to recall
a governor." One of the facts presented is: "Howard
Kaloogian's only involvement in the recall was running a website and collecting
money." (We are offered a government source
confirming that "Rescue California" spent nearly one million dollars in the
"collecting signatures" part of the effort to boot Davis, while Kaloogian's
"Recall Gray Davis Committee" spent $0.00.)
The site runs a store where one can get nifty "Howard is a Liar"
As a Kaloogian biography reported:
Kaloogian at a rally
Assemblyman Kaloogian made history as Chairman of
the Recall Gray Davis Committee, an effort which ousted Democrat Governor Gray Davis from
office. Kaloogian set up the Recall Gray Davis Committee and its website,
www.RecallGrayDavis.com, even fighting off members of his own party who were too timid to
act. Davis became the first statewide elected official recalled in California’s history.
This is another episode that left a bitter taste in my mouth. How interesting that
Kaloogian is revealed to be behind these bitter tastes.
Mayor Willie Brown on a PBS program echoed my sentiments as to the reasons why:
JIM LEHRER: Is that it? Why, you think this was a terrible mistake to do the recall in
the first place?
MAYOR WILLIE BROWN: I think when you run for election you should be elected to a term. You
should only be subject to losing your job in between the term and next opportunity to be
elected for doing something equal to impeachment. It should not be the simple capricious
desire by somebody to do something political and use recall as a tool. Recall in
California is in that category. I think that could be terribly disrupting to the entire
system. I think it could cause politicians never do anything except what the focus groups
and the opinion polls says whether it's right or wrong and that's not why we should be
elected to public office.
And here we have yet another Armenian parallel.
Certainly it's no fun to get stuck with a bad politician at the helm of your government.
And Gov. Gray Davis appears to have left a lot to be desired. Yet, the danger is, those
with the wealth and power could easily force out a leader they don't agree with, with
their unscrupulous smear attacks. They could force their own man or woman in simply by
getting the "majority opinion" on their side through massive propaganda
campaigns, and tear at the very fiber of the integrity of the system. That is exactly what
the pro-Armenians have done with the "Armenian Genocide." They have managed to
hijack real history because of their bullying tactics, their wealth, and their
capitalization of the general public's ignorance and anti-Turkish prejudice.
The Creationism of the Armenian Genocide