O’Hanlon Under Contract with Alhurra

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ohanlon.jpgI just wrote this piece for Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish.
The zinger — about which I’m withholding judgment but which I think should be in the public domain — is that I have just learned that “A War We Might Just Win” co-author Mike O’Hanlon is under contract with America’s Middle East propaganda network, Alhurra.
O’Hanlon’s public bio does say that he is a commentator for Alhurra — so nothing is hidden. But “under contract” and helping to produce shows, as I’m told he is helping to do, seems to be a broader form of engagement in America’s propaganda efforts, which aren’t going that well in any case.
Interesting, to say the least.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

13 comments on “O’Hanlon Under Contract with Alhurra

  1. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “If you will be completely untroubled when we have a Democratic Administration……….”
    Apparently, you don’t read my comments.

    Reply

  2. David T says:

    To John H, Pissed Off, and Carroll,
    Thanks for your responses. If you will be completely untroubled when we have a Democratic
    Administration takes a certain approach that you agree with and they are roundly criticized since one could make the case that they had a vested interest in promoting their side, then never mind.
    Its not that I agree with Mr. O’Hanlon. I am in no position to judge what he said. However I am deeply troubled by this administration’s tendency to vilify those who don’t share their views and consider that approach about as destructive as one can be. My distinction is between expressing your views and questioning the motives of others. I feel that this divisive approach (not taking it any more) plays into the very hands of those one is criticizing. Why? Because if we wish the government to take dramatic steps to operate differently — more progressively domestically to help out those who so desperately need its help — we need people to feel good about the government and positive about the political process. If you are a Republican this divisiveness is great as it adds to people’s views that the system is a mess and that the government (that they ran into the ground) is the problem. However if you have a dramatically different foreign policy this divisiveness will be a barrier to progress.
    To put it another way — if you’re goal is to hit back and win an argument, ignore what I said for it doesn’t speak to that approach at all. However if you feel that the mess you are observing can be fixed and are optimistic that the Democrats will take the White House and start fixing the problems that this administration has created, you need to have the help of everyone — not only those who are disgusted by this administration in every way shape and form, but those who don’t like this administration but are sympathetic to some of its efforts in Iraq. The more we are a country of “us” versus “them” in which anyone who says anything even remotely positive about our effort in Iraq or who favored the invasion or who favored something else that offends those who feel the need to skewer everyone involved in the Iraq venture, the less likely we will be able to deal with issues so pressing to us such as our fiscal situation, our dependence on foreign countries to subsidize our spending, our dependence on oil, and our broken health care system.
    However, once more, if you are more interested in “winning” the argument over the war, never mind.

    Reply

  3. Carroll says:

    I guess above all, the more we can steer away from personal attacks at least amongst our more natural allies (or even questioning others motives without lots and lots of data), the better off we will be in my view. Otherwise we will be promoting divisive efforts and policies as has this Administration, just from the other side of the spectrum.
    “Withholding judgment” yet posting this on your blog seems to be a bit of a contradiction. No disrespect intended. Just thought I would share another perspective.
    Posted by David T. at August 26, 2007 01:24 AM
    >>>>>>>>
    No disrespect to you either David but you are using the nice little Sunday School Mom serial killer ploy with this defense.
    Whine…can’t we all just get along
    Whine…it just a “difference” of opinions
    Whine…don’t be “divisive” like them.
    Sit, lay down, roll over, play dead, and have a doggy bone.
    I don’t think many people are interested in doing that any more.

    Reply

  4. ScottF says:

    I think the right aphorism here is: once you agree to become a whore, don’t be offended when people question your chastity.

    Reply

  5. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Just because Mr. O’Hanlon felt that significant progress was made on the military end (as you probably know”….yadayadayada…
    Hmm, it seems to me you are confusing conviction and honesty with pandering and propaganda.

    Reply

  6. JohnH says:

    David T: It is not a personal attack to uncover someone’s likely underlying motivations.
    O’Hanlon’s understanding of the Iraqi reality is well summarized by Upton Sinclair’s famous quote, “It is difficult to convince a man of something if his paycheck depends on his not understanding it.”
    Unfortunately, O’Hanlon is only one of the legions of hired pens employed by the Bush administration.

    Reply

  7. Eli Rabett says:

    First Zakaria consulting on how to sell the war, now O’Hanlon. There are rewards for holding to the party line.
    It’s not so much that the government is buying loyalty, it’s that the loyal are being paid off, which is why nonsense about how O’Hanlon could write anything he wanted, how the pay was low, has nothing to do with the case.

    Reply

  8. bob h says:

    Since O’Hanlon probably reads this blog, I would offer this challenge to him: Michael, because there is now so much public speculation that you have financial conflicts of interest that undermine the objectivity of your views on Iraq, could you please identify the sources of financing for your work, including the Iraq Index project?
    If you keep silent about this, then the conclusion that your work is corrupted by funding sources should stand.

    Reply

  9. David T. says:

    Dissappointed that you need to be nasty in referencing someone’s views that you don’t share.
    Just because Mr. O’Hanlon felt that significant progress was made on the military end (as you probably know, titles for op-ed pieces such as “A War We Might Just Win” are generally written by the publication rather than the author as I understand was the case with the NYT op-ed piece and is misleading) and expressed it doesn’t mean that if he is affiliated with the group you cite he is thus not credible (especially if this is public information). Even if he is more involved than has been fully elaborated on.
    I feel it does damage to those who wish to see a more sensible foreign policy feel the need to denounce those who express views that don’t help the cause they so believe in. I don’t blame one for what they might say about Tony Snow or Karl Rove or even Condi Rice, but how in any way was it in Mr. O’Hanlon’s interest to write the piece he did for the New York Times as he is much more closely aligned with the Democrats in spite of his sympathy for the invasion) and his associates and constituency are more likely to be sympathetic to the anti-war cause (which most of the country seems to be) than the cause of pointing to substantial progress.
    Don’t know if what he saw is representative of the true military situation and believe (as I have heard him say on a radio program) that whatever the military situation, the political situation looks pretty dismal which makes whatever progress has been made militarily (if it indeed has been made) relatively unimportant.
    I guess above all, the more we can steer away from personal attacks at least amongst our more natural allies (or even questioning others motives without lots and lots of data), the better off we will be in my view. Otherwise we will be promoting divisive efforts and policies as has this Administration, just from the other side of the spectrum.
    “Withholding judgment” yet posting this on your blog seems to be a bit of a contradiction. No disrespect intended. Just thought I would share another perspective.

    Reply

  10. Joe Klein's conscience says:

    Brigitte N.:
    It wasn’t an answer in the WaPo. It was O’Hanlon crying like a little kid because bloggers called him out on his bullsh-t.

    Reply

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