Saturday, February 15, 2014

Today in cognitive dissonance

What are you supposed to make of the latest in Iranian maritime skulduggery, anyway: wave the flag a little harder, or buy more GOOOOLD and freeze-dried food for the survival bunker?

First up is the Fair 'n' Balanced Network's top story from Feb. 8:

A senior Iranian naval commander says his country has sent several warships to the Atlantic Ocean, close to U.S. maritime borders for the first time.

Which, if you're scoring along at home, is more or less the same AP story Fox ran on Jan. 21:

Two Iranian warships set sail Tuesday for the Atlantic Ocean on their navy's first-ever mission there, state TV reported.

"Several" is slightly sexed-up from "two," but Fox still manages to retain this graf from the AP:


Iran has regularly deployed warships to the Gulf of Aden off the eastern coast of Africa to fight piracy and protect commercial ships.

Which you'd like to think, in the abstract, is kind of a nice thing to do with your navy by way of power projection, though it doesn't explain why we're supposed to panic over a two-week-old wire story about ... well, what's the point of your Feb. 11  story there, Fair 'n' Balanced Network?

The two Iranian warships headed toward U.S. waters — one of which barely survived a 1988 run-in with an American fighter jet — are a pair of "rust buckets" Tehran is using to prove to its people it can project power around the globe, naval experts said.


If you were wondering how much freeze-dried food to lay in, the answer is something like "USA! USA! USA!" Why that answer should be substantively different from what it was three weeks earlier, when the US Navy had almost exactly the same number of carrier groups it has today, is another question -- though if you keep up generally with how Fox covers "Chinese junk" and "Russian rubbish," you might have already drawn some conclusions.

Anyway, that leaves us with some serious cognitive dissonance heading into the weekend: If the Iranians are so scary, how come they're not so scary, unless ... maybe the Washington Examiner can put it all into perspective:

Iran's surprising decision to move warships off the Atlantic coast poses a potential catastrophic threat to America from a nuclear or electromagnetic pulse attack, according to an expert who foresaw Iran's move.

Peter Pry, an expert on EMP attacks, said the ships are likely a dry run for a future attack, a maneuver meant to lull Washington into complacency while also embarrassing President Obama and his effort to convince Tehran to give up production of a nuclear bomb in return for a lifting of some economic sanctions.


Our friends on the foamy-mouthed right are sometimes deeply angry that their exclusives aren't taken seriously. One wonders if there's a deeper reason for that.

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