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Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Two threats, two standards

There are many threats in this world which kill people, but two get the most press these days - global warming, and terrorism. But with the release of the latest National Intelligence [sic] Estimate, it's interesting to compare the standards employed in both cases. When it comes to global warming, even abundant scientific data, and the consensus of the overwhelming majority of the world's scientists, isn't enough to convince some people and to produce much in the way of real action to halt the threat. We need "absolute proof," don't you know, and even then we have to be assured that any solution can be done without affecting profits.

But when it comes to terrorism, the standards are rather different. Here's just one item, for example:

Lebanese Hezbollah, rarely considered likely to attack in the United States, now "may be more likely to consider" doing just that in response to a perceived threat from American forces to itself or its sponsor, Iran.
Really? Based on what? Based on pure speculation, that's what. Not to mention a heavy dose of political bias, trying to provide some cover for the politically desired conclusion that Hezbollah and Iran are "evildoers."

Then there's a nice dose of plain untruths added in as well:

The estimate said bin Laden's organization will "probably seek to leverage the contacts and capabilities of al-Qa'ida in Iraq, its most visible and capable affiliate and the only one known to have expressed a desire to attack the Homeland."
I'll try to suppress my gag reflex upon reading about the "homeland," excuse me, the "Homeland," and just say that I know of absolutely no evidence that al Qaeda in Iraq has ever said any such thing.

Speculation and unsupported claims like these would be laughed out of the room if they were applied to global warming. When it comes to terrorism, though, no such standards are required.

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