Saturday, October 14, 2006

Denial is not just a river in Egypt.....

Many moons ago, Richard Hofstadter wrote on the paranoid style in American politics. Recently we have lived through too many illustrations of his percipacity (Eli combines a large vocabulary with an inability to spell). The ability to deny facts, actually to ignore them is a hallmark of the paranoid right in the US. While the production crew at Rabett Run is mostly occupied with climate change and how scientists completely screw up their attempts to make themselves clear there is a long running controversy about civilian deaths in Iraq since the US invasion. As everyone knows there is a new survey which puts the EXCESS mortality at ~500,000/

The pros and cons of the survey method are being discussed elsewhere. Unfortunately mostly by the clueless and opinionated. However, as pointed to by Tim Lambert, Eli wants to reproduce a comment from Healing Iraq. He has taken the liberty of changing five or so words.

One problem is that the people dismissing – or in some cases, rabidly attacking – the results of this study, including governmental officials who, arguably, have an interest in doing so, have offered no other alternative or not even a counter estimate. This is called denial. When you have no hard facts to discredit a scientific study, or worse, if you are forced to resort to absurd arguments, such as “they are all lying,” or “they interviewed communists,” or “the timing to publish this study was to affect American elections,” or "I don't like the results and they don't fit into my world view, therefore they have to be false," it is better for you to just shut up. From the short time I have been here, I am realising that some Americans have a hard time accepting facts that fly against their political persuasions.
In EVERY way it IS denialism.

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