19 September 2009

Living in la-la land

Flipping through radio stations yesterday, I briefly heard some rightwing rant about the great new threat appearing because Iran had opened direct flights to Venezuela. (Thank goodness terrorists aren't smart enough to hop on an indirect flight!) Then, like an auctioneer on speed, the ranter went on to connect Iran with Hezbollah with terrorism and with an imminent attack on the U.S. But then I looked at the chart on p. 25 of National Counterterrorism Center's report for 2008 and found that half of the world's attacks had been perpetrated by Sunni extremists. (While Christian extremists are mentioned, Shiite extremists don't even get their own category on  the chart!) Of course, to put the whole thing in perspective, U.S. citizens' fatalities, at 33, were a mere sliver against the nearly 16,000 fatalities suffered by non-U.S. citizens (p. 29). I'm increasingly convinced that facts simply don't matter. Anyone anywhere is free to construct any narrative about the world and rightwingers will accept it as an article of faith if it simply makes them feel better, if it allows them to pat themselves on the back for being born into the promised land and entitled race, and if it allows them to hate and vilify some weak scapegoat.

2 comments:

sanshinseon said...

Right On, Karlo -- they're dishonest to the point of incoherancy.

Comrade Kevin said...

And no matter how facile the connection, they will agree upon it, as if they're not really listening for anything other than the ability to agree.