Corrections to the blogosphere, the consensus, and the world

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Age bin

The American intelligence community has just produced a report saying that Iran isn’t trying to get a nuclear bomb. This is embarrassing for George Bush, who said just a few days ago that it was; but it’s not nearly as embarrassing as it would have been if he’d said it after the report came out. He didn’t do that - but the Age did, publishing in today’s paper both an article by Con Coughlin talking about Iran’s malign nuclear intentions and the Iran report that totally contradicts it.

While embarrassing for the Age, that’s not Coughlin’s worst offence. He also tries to rouse feelings against “the Islamic militias that have waged a genocidal campaign against the Christian tribes that predominate in the south of the country. There are 700,000 people in refugee camps in the Darfur province…” Here Coughlin is confusing the Sudanese Civil War, which did have Christians on one side and Muslims on the other but which ended in a negotiated peace two years ago (see Jeffery Gettleman’s Age article from 1/12/07 – doesn’t the features editor ever read the news pages?) with the Darfur conflict, which is a considerable and continuing tragedy but which pits Muslim militias against Muslim villagers and Muslim rebels. Coughlin is said to be ‘an international defence and security expert’, so this appeal to anti-Muslim prejudice can’t be excused as pig ignorance. Like his idol John Bolton, Coughlin does seem to want Christians to go to war with Muslims wherever they can be found, however flimsy the pretext.
Can’t the Age find any experts who are actually, well, you know, expert?

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