23 April 2006
Kaloogian's "evidence" that all is peachy in Baghdad
A March 29, 2006 Newsweek Web Exclusive by Daren Briscoe, entitled "Baghdad. Istanbul. Whatâ€™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 Californiaâ€™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 sceneâ€”from Istanbul, Turkey."
An online sleuth whipped up the ins and outs of Kaloogian's deception:
Kaloogian countered with: â€œIt 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.â€� 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, â€œWe 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 itâ€”in part because many journalists are opposed to the U.S. effort to fight terrorism.â€�
"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 Web site."
The article continued:
Kaloogian's aerial view replacement shot;
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.
â€œJournalists werenâ€™t interested in our trip for nine months afterwards, and now theyâ€™re trying to find one picayunish mistake [on my Web site],â€� he complained to NEWSWEEK. â€œItâ€™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.â€� (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. â€œWe invited these talk-show hosts to go with us, it was our trip, but they were on it,â€� Kaloogian told NEWSWEEK.)
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 Baghdadâ€”or at least, Kaloogian says it is.
Who is Howard Kaloogian?
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 Credibility. 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 Genocide"
Kaloogian is a member of the Armenian National Committee of America, as reported by PanARMENIAN.Net ("ANCA Member Howard Kaloogian for U.S. Congress," 08.02.2006)
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.
Senator Chuck Poochigian,
an old hand in resolutions
The California State Assembly officially designated April 24 as â€œCalifornia Day of Remembrance for the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923,â€� 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, "Iâ€™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.â€�
"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-Karabakhâ€™s struggle for freedom and self-rule,â€� stated Vicken Sonentz-Papazian, Executive Director of ANCA-WR. â€œAs the text of the resolution clearly points out, Azerbaijanâ€™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,â€� added Sonentz-Papazian.
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 Empire.")
Kaloogian's disgustingly dishonest resolution claims "Soviet Azerbaijan conducted a systematic policy of removal of Karabakh Armenians from their historic homeland,â€� 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 manâ€™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 the story.
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.
Kaloogian's Dashnak 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.
Kaloogian 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 presidentâ€™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, â€œThe Reagans.â€� 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 â€” the "Tiffany Network" that is a shadow of its former self â€” 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 Smear Campaign?
Robert Bianco's USA TODAY review ("No shock in 'Reagans' portrayal," with the subheading "CBS did The Reagans a favor") told us:
James 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 cÃ©lÃ¨bre, 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 Mooreâ€™s â€œFahrenheit 9/11.â€� 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 Mooreâ€™s box-office hit."
His explanation; â€œI want to give Americans a reason to support our troops in the field. I want to demonstrate that weâ€™re the good guys... I want to make sure the troops didnâ€™t think the people back home are losing faith with them. Thatâ€™s why we jumped on this Michael Moore movie.â€� 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 â€œFahrenheitâ€� 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: â€œIt would be more appropriate to have this propaganda shown at Al Qaeda training camps rather than American movie theaters.â€� The unfairness of that statement was met with protests, and Chairman Howard Kaloogian offered an "apology":
â€œI 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 this film.
â€œFahrenheit 9/11 serves one purpose and one purpose only: to undermine the United Statesâ€™ 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.
â€œNow 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.â€�
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.]"
A 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 "Pro-Woman."
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:
Kaloogian 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 â€” "I don't know which ones, but they were" â€” 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 happened.)
The article also provides with yet another "Armenian Parallel":
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" products.
As a Kaloogian biography reported:
Howard 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 Californiaâ€™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 source site of this article gets revised often, as better
information comes along. For the most up-to-date version,
the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows: