I had a longer post planned for today, but today, and the night before, proved to be pretty hectic. How hectic? I got hit by a goddamned Porsche SUV less than a block from my home. Nothing serious, but I couldn’t help but notice how the driver sped away immediately after I was clear of her hood.
Fortune smiled upon me, however, when I ran across a hilariously bad viral Facebook meme:
Like, Wow! Man! The government’s all like: “We’ve got to kill ISIS,” but like…actually, they’re like…selling them weapons so they can make like money, and get…uh…like…OIL! Yeah, like that Iraq War, when we used to fight the Soviets with Saddam but then like, we paid Bin Laden to be our enemy, and then he did 9/11! But like…I read this one web site that said Bush did 9/11 so, like….yeah.
Alright, seriously now. How idiotic is this picture? Well first off, of all the many photos of ISIS with US weapons they could have chosen, photos which show ISIS fighters posing with everything from M16A2 rifles to American-made humvees, they chose a photo of a possible ISIS fighter holding a Soviet-made AT-3 “Sagger” (Russian name: Malyutka) anti-tank missile, or one of its international variants. Yes, that’s how badly this person fucked it up.
And what about the US weapons in ISIS’ possession? I can’t speak as to whether the 75% figure is even remotely accurate, but in any case I know how they got them, and it wasn’t because the US sold arms to ISIS. If the dipshit who came up with this had a memory spanning more than two years, he would have recalled that ISIS kicked the crap out of the Iraqi army and captured vast quantities of vehicles and arms from them. This bounty included tons of American equipment that had been in Iraqi service.
Here’s an article from this year detailing the American booty ISIS got in Iraq. Oh what’s that? You don’t trust “the government? You “question more?” Fine. Here’s RT telling you the same thing so you can stop questioning. Case closed, indefatigable seekers of truth!
You know, long before Russian propaganda and viral memes we had the notorious chain emails. I used to hate these idiotic stories that are perpetually rehashed and forwarded by conservative aunts, uncles, and grandmothers all over the US. The chain email brought us things like Marine Todd, and the rough and tough female Marine who tells off a French soldier in a mysterious alternative universe where Camp Bondsteel is in Bosnia instead of Kosovo. In those days our “Stopfake” was Snopes.com. It’s still a useful site today.
But nowadays, the stupid isn’t just lurking in your inbox. It’s all over your newsfeed. This is the double edged sword of the information age. We have more access to more information than ever before, but we also have just as much access to even more bullshit than before. Sites like Snopes and Stopfake.org can’t do the heavy lifting for us critical thinkers. The responsibility is on all of us to call out bullshit wherever we see it.
UPDATE: Here’s a useful article for debunking some of the most popular ISIS bullshit.