Monday, June 30, 2008

Mother Jones: Iran Panic? Talk About It With the Experts
Mr. Safdari,
As I just wrote you off list, you understand, this is not a debate about what the panelists personally advocate or would wish about their countries' policies to Iran. After all, none of them have policymaking power.
It is about what they think is likely to happen or not and why. That's the way I framed it.
It's important to recognize the difference.
It's not about what they think would be nice, or what would be preferable, but
what they think will happen. None of them- us have real policymaking power. Therefore, in some ways, what they would like to happen is not as relevant as the insights they can provide about what they think is likely to happen and why.
Posted by: Laura Rozen on 06/29/08 at 8:43 PM

My precise point is the way you framed the question is the problem, and the experts unquestioning participation in this framing contributes to this problem.
Let me explain it more simply:
Instead of asking "Whether Israel will bomb Iran" why not ask "Why should Israel bomb iran"?
We tend to skip right over the "why" and go straight to the "when" or "whether" question. The requirement of bombing Iran is therefore taken as already established, taken for granted, not open to discussion.
We have seen this before. It was precisely this sort of endless and mindless speculation by experts that connected Osama to Saddam in the public mind, for example.
Posted by: Cyrus Safdari on 06/29/08 at 9:48 PM
"It's not about what they think would be nice, or what would be preferable, but what they think will happen. None of them- us have real policymaking power."

So Laura Rozen defends the paradigm of journalism as sports page, because after all we can't change anything. So much for the responsibilities of citizenship in a republic.
I posted 4 comments. One made it. Cyrus Safdari made my point.
I've added Iran Affairs to my link list.

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