Breitbart InBuSh

This online Breitbart article by Joel B. Pollak

… is pure, unadulterated, right-wing InBuSh.*


The introductory paragraph of the Breitbart article is an outright lie, intentionally misrepresenting what the president said in his Hiroshima speech.

Compare that opening paragraph …

“President Barack Obama told the world on Friday in Hiroshima that the American decision to drop nuclear bombs on Japan in 1945 arose from humanity’s worst instincts including ‘nationalist fervor or religious zeal’.”

… with what the president actually said:

“On every continent, the history of civilization is filled with war, whether driven by scarcity of grain or hunger for gold, compelled by nationalist fervor or religious zeal. Empires have risen and fallen. Peoples have been subjugated and liberated. And at each juncture, innocents have suffered, a countless toll, their names forgotten by time.”

It is clear that the president was commenting on the motivation of the people who have historically started wars, including World War II, NOT the American decision to end it by using atomic weapons.

Breitbart’s writer also misrepresented Obama’s speech when he said that the president “said nothing about the fact that Japan started the war”, despite the second paragraph of his own story, which correctly quotes part of the speech asserting that the war:

“… grew out of the same base instinct for domination or conquest that had caused conflicts among the simplest tribes, an old pattern amplified by new capabilities and without new constraints.”

Everyone except the most oblivious of people knows that the war was started by Germany and Japan, not the United States (which actually stayed out of it for more than two years before finally entering after Pearl Harbor).  The president’s reference to the cause of the war impliedly lays blame where it belongs … on Germany and Japan … and there was no need for him to overtly confront the Japanese with that moral culpability (for which Japan has, repeatedly over the years, apologized … and which has since motivated Japan to become one of our most steadfast allies).

Pollak also misrepresented the president’s speech when he said that, “Obama cast a moral equivalence between different civilizations, implying that Americans were just as bad as the Imperial Japanese, or anyone else.”

There is nothing in the president’s comments which can be fairly interpreted as implying a moral equivalency between Japanese aggression to start the war and America’s use of nuclear weapons to end the war.

Finally, Pollak committed yet another blatant misrepresentation of the president’s speech when he said that Obama “went further, casting doubt on the American effort in World War II itself”, quoting this passage from the speech:

“Nations arise telling a story that binds people together in sacrifice and cooperation, allowing for remarkable feats. But those same stories have so often been used to oppress and dehumanize those who are different.”

That comment, in context, was obviously a reference to humanity’s violent history, including the rise of xenophobic, militaristic regimes in Japan and Germany … and was NOT a reference to the American participation in World War II.

The full text of the president’s speech is here:

I am not a big fan of Barack Obama … I disagree with many of his policies, particularly those related to health care, climate change and the Second Amendment … and I think he has been a rather mediocre president (ranking right about the middle of all presidents of my lifetime), though the blame for some of his failings rightfully falls on the recalcitrant Republican congress with which he has been saddled.

Nevertheless, I think criticism of the man should be based on actual facts, not the kinds of blatant lies and/or intentional misrepresentations used by Mr. Pollak.


FLA 81

Obamas: Left Hands to Heart … Fake Photo

Complete nonsense continues to pervade the internet, including this photo, which has generated accusations of “treason” and demands for the impeachment of the President:

Obamas Left Hands to Heart

Obamas Left Hands to Heart

A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook, with the question:

“Is this for real?”

The answer to which is, NO, it’s not.  It is a patently doctored photo, as can be seen by comparison to an original photo taken close in time at the same event.  I have not been able to find the original of the exact photo which was used to create this fake, but this one is close enough to demonstrate conclusively the fakery involved:

Obamas Hands to Heart (Original)

Obamas Hands to Heart (Original)

How was it done?

There were several tricks applied to the original photo to create the fake image:

ObamasHand to Heart 1-4Obamas Hand to Heart fake 1-4

First, the original photo was flipped vertically, so as to create what is, essentially, a mirror image.  This gives the immediate impression that the President and First Lady have their left hands over their hearts, rather than their right hands.

There are a couple of dead giveaways to the “flip”:

1)  The part in the First Lady’s hair (real photo parted on left and swept across the right eyebrow;  fake parted on right and swept across the left eyebrow). 

Obamas Hand to Heart original & fake 1

2)  And, lest you’re inclined to say that she changed her hairstyle, check out the ribbon bars on the chest of the Marine at the President’s elbow.  In the original, the ribbon bars are correctly displayed on the left side of the Marine’s chest.  In the fake, they appear on the right side.  Whatever the First Lady may have done with her hair, it’s an absolute certainty that the Marine Corps has not changed its uniform regulations regarding the display of service ribbons.

Obamas Hand to Heart original & fake 2

Second, the photo was tightly cropped to eliminate the other people present at the time (probably to avoid having to reverse “fake” the arms of the other people in the photo).  Notice that the saluting arm of the Marine behind the president is eliminated entirely from the picture.

Third, there are some obvious modifications to the photo which can be seen if it is sufficiently enlarged:

3)  Rings were added to the hands of both the President and the First Lady.  The one on the President’s hand in the fake photo is a particularly obvious (and poorly done) addition.

Obamas Hand to Heart original & fake 3

4)  The jacket alignment and buttons on the President’s suit coat were (once again rather amateurishly) modified to make it look as if the buttons are on the right side of the jacket.

Obamas Hand to Heart original & fake 4

I am no particular fan of President Obama — I rank him #8 of the 12 Presidents of my lifetime, as explained in one of my earlier blog posts:

On the other hand, I believe that criticism of the man should be based on actual facts from the real world, not made up BS, much of which appears to be motivated by considerations other than presidential policies (or politics).