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Friday, September 21, 2012

First Reports

For John, BLUF:  The narrative on the 11 September rioting in Egypt and Tunesians has changed and the video is diminished.  Nothing to see; just move along.

World Affairs Journal has an article on the Arab Street/Muslim World and the recent riots, based on updated information.  As Dead Carl tells us, first reports are usually wrong.  Here is Professor Ilana Kass on this:

My all time favorite quote (hated by every intel officer world-wide) is on p. 117 [of the Howard and Paret paperback version of On War]:   "Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even more are false, and most are uncertain…. Reports turn out to be lies, exaggerations, errors, and so on.   In short, most intelligence is false and the effect of fear is to multiply lies and inaccuracies."
The fact that facts emerging today are different from those presented by the Administration is not a knock on the Administration.  However, what is important is that our national understanding be updated as new information emerges.

The source of this review of things, World Affairs Journal, is a home for Bloggers Michael Totten and Ann Marlowe, who I trust.  So, here is Michael Weiss on the situation, with some background.  The video, Innocence of Muslims, seems a bit player in this drama, and a distraction for Americans.  There are much bigger fish being fried here.

The reason for again addressing this is that if we don't have this thing by the right end, we will not be able to set the proper course for the US in the Near and Middle East.

Regards  —  Cliff

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