Monday, October 17, 2005

Fisking the AP

The AP has a story that while interesting is full serious problems.

The story begins quite fine with the following

"BAGHDAD, Iraq - Iraq's election commission announced Monday that officials were investigating "unusually high" numbers of "yes" votes in about a dozen provinces during Iraq's landmark referendum on a new constitution, raising questions about irregularities in the balloting."

"The Electoral Commission made no mention of fraud, and an official with knowledge of the election process cautioned that it was too early to say whether the unusual numbers were incorrect or if they would affect the outcome."

Then comes some BS.

"But questions about the numbers raised tensions over Saturday's referendum, which has already sharply divided Iraqis. Most of the Shiite majority and the Kurds — the coalition which controls the government — support the charter, while most Sunni Arabs sharply opposed a document they fear will tear Iraq to pieces and leave them weak and out of power."

The last part of the second sentence has a problem. While Sunni's may fear that "the constitution will tear Iraqi to pieces and leave them week and out of power", it in fact can't do both. If it tears the country to pieces, it will leave the sunni's in power in the sunni triangle. Granted it won't be fun being in charge of just the sunni triangle, but the sunni's have no right to imperialize their neighbors. If on the contrary the sunni's are left weak and out of power, then the country won't have been torn to pieces. One or the other boys but not both. In the west we call this the law of non-contradictionon. A thing can't both have and not have the same property in the same respect.

The rest of the article was unobjectionable except for the following.

"Many Sunnis fear the new decentralized government outlined in the constitution will deprive them of their fair share of the country's vast oil wealth by creating virtually independent mini-states of Kurds in the north and Shiites in the south, while leaving Sunnis isolated in central and western Iraq. "

I want to know what is the sunni's "fair share" of the oil. Is this even knowable? If not why is it reportable as a fact. Now I grant the reporter is just relaying the sunni's view in both instances. But when in one case the view is self contradictory and in the other not disprovable, are these senseable claims?

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