Facts and Other Obstacles

Sometimes it seems practically inevitable that any given tragedy will be followed with someone trying to use it to advance their own pet theories or policies. Honestly, I can't say it's always a bad idea, because learning from the past is a good way to ensure that it doesn't end up repeating itself.

But this? This is an excellent example of how not to go about doing it.

That article was posted shortly after the attack in Oslo, before any of the details had come out. Of course, that didn't stop the writer from heavily implying that the attack was a result of Islamic terrorists and using that to argue for higher defense spending.

Of course, we know now that the attack is not being traced to Islamic terrorism, but rather to Islamophobic terrorism. And even if the attack could have been traced back to Al Qaeda or similar groups, how in hell is the F-35 going to help us deal with terrorism? Higher defense spending is not going to ensure our safety against the kinds of targets that most terrorists present, at least not without some serious rethinking of American military doctrine!

But, of course, the writer there didn't have all of this information when that article was written. Surely there was a correction later on, right? Oh wait...
There are many more jihadists than blond Norwegians out to kill Americans, and we should keep our eye on the systemic and far more potent threats that stem from an ideological war with the West... There are lone-wolf domestic terrorists, and there are organized jihadists.
... Some correction. (Or, as I responded to it when I read that, "you can't be serious.") I suppose I should at least give her credit for still calling it terrorism... And I have to admire her ability to fit any set of facts to her policy advice.

The simple fact of the matter is that this is not the attack you thought it was when you made your initial post. There's no shame in that! Post a correction, admit your mistake, move on with your life. Instead, we get a strange half-correction that says "oh, well, I was wrong about it being a jihadist, but those evil jihadists are more of a threat anyway!!!1!!11!"

That's not a correction. That's evidence of someone refusing to admit to the facts. Yes, I know those pesky facts are in the way of the argument you want to make... but that doesn't change anything. This is a different kind of attack that will require a different policy to deal with. Like, perhaps, the cessation of posts that continually encourage the Islamophobia that seems to have been one of this attacker's motivations. A greater focus on tolerance, with the reminder that different religions and/or political groups are not blood enemies that need to be killed.

No, it's not higher defense spending. But this attack simply doesn't suggest that that's necessary. No matter how many times you repeat the word "jihadists."

No comments:

Post a Comment