Thursday, 14 November 2013

Hyperbole, Spin, And Outright Lies

What is it with the Middle East, and Arabs in particular, that makes them describe every event that affects them with hyperbole? Earlier in the year, the Turkish Prime Minister was using crazy terms such as 'hooligans', 'foreign (read Israeli) plots' and 'terrorists' to describe opponents to his high handed regime. Now we have the late terrorist leader Yasser Arafat's widow reacting to the faint possibility that he had been poisoned by radioactive Polonium-210 by describing it as "the crime of the century".

The actual report that she uses to support this outlandish claim states that 'the results moderately support the proposition that the death was the consequence of poisoning with polonium 210.'

He actually died following brain haemorrhage. But that's not good enough for his followers who must conjure a conspiracy out of every vulture flying over their heads. Of course, the Polonium, if it was being used as a poison had to be administered by someone close to him ...... ah well, best skip past that 'fact' as inconvenient, so perhaps not unexpectedly Palestinian officials have already said that there is only one suspect, Israel, and called for a new international inquiry into Arafat's death.

Yasser Arafat - The Usual Conspiracies Abound.

Why? What's so important about Arafat? Nothing, and as for Polonium, well while Polonium-210 is a highly radioactive substance, it is also found naturally in low doses in food, and in the human body, but like everything else is dangerous in very high dosages - it was used to murder Alexander Litvinenko, but in much higher quantities than was found in Arafat's remains ....and Arafat died of a stroke following a brain haemorrhage.

And they wonder why many of us consider them to deserve little support or sympathy. As the Israelis said 'more soap opera than science'.

Triva: Talking of science and facts, the last mechanical rover on the Moon, the 840kg (1,900lb) Soviet vehicle known as 'Lunokhod-2', was kept warm by polonium-210 .... and not a lot of people know that!


  1. 'the results moderately support the proposition ....'. The key word in that sentence that fell on fallow ground in Palestine was 'moderately', which in science reports means "'doesn't really'. But because you are paying us for this report, we won't actually say 'doesn't support'".

    1. Yep, but now is "a fact" in the Arab world.


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