A guest post by AKUS
Quantum leap – a change in an electron’s state that appears to be discontinuous; the electron “jumps” from one energy level to another very quickly, after existing briefly in a state of superposition
Superposition – the property of a particle to occupy all of its possible quantum states simultaneously.
Cognitive dissonance – the ability of a Guardian reader to believe two completely conflicting things simultaneously. In fact, the Guardian reader is often capable of believing all possible conflicting things simultaneously even when there is no evidence for any of them. This is the preferred quantum state of the average Israel basher on the Guardian threads.
With the Guardian’s hope of creating a major international uproar out of the Wikileaks cables deflating like a child’s party balloon as the almost totally innocuous contents of the leaked material becomes increasingly apparent, the editors have had to turn to juicier fare.
As luck would have it, two Iranian nuclear scientists have been mysteriously assassinated. The Guardian saw fit to run two stories about this (so far). One was not for comment – Attack on Iranian nuclear scientists prompts hit squad claims, and lines up the usual suspects (Mossad and CIA) with a couple of possible Iranian players – one called Jundallah and the other “The People’s Mujahedin (MeK or PMOI)”.
The second, with a suitably sci-fi picture of a masked worker next to an ominous set of vats like the ones in the dairy on my former kibbutz comes to us courtesy of JulianBorger’sGlobalSecurityBlog (note the impressively missing spaces between the words). It carries the provocative header Who is killing Iran’s Nuclear Scientists? and “[raises] the question of whether there is a nuclear hit-team at work”.
Borger points out that they were both “senior figures in Iranian nuclear science.” He rather fatuously claims there are similarities between the attacks that killed these two and an attack that killed another Iranian nuclear scientist in January. The first similarity is motorcycles. In the latest case, the killers apparently rode bikes up to the scientists’ cars, stuck bombs on the sides and detonated them while fleeing. In the earlier case, a motorcycle exploded. The second similarity is that all three were nuclear scientists ….
In a stunning display of fair and balanced reporting, Borger claims, rather contradicting the first article, that “the two attacks today, … would in any case represent something of a leap in sophistication for Jundullah operations. There are also reasons to be sceptical of the role of the People’s Mujahedin (MeK or PMOI)”. On the other hand, not shy to advance his own conspiracy theory, Borger postulates that “The last possibility is that these scientists have been killed by the state either for giving away secrets, or on suspicion of contemplating defection.”.
Despite having two perfectly good Iranian possibilities, and a half way decent conspiracy theory implicating Ahmadinajad, it is but a short quantum leap for the eager readers to assume that Israel (and, in some cases, the CIA) was involved. Proof, of course, is unnecessary when leaping from one quantum state to another. As usual, the danger of the Iranian nuclear weapons program is immediately dismissed, which led to this scathing comment:
S/he was responding to gems like these, where gentle readers displayed a remarkable degree of certainty based on nothing more than an absence of evidence and pure anti-American and anti-Israeli bias:
SantaMoniker joined in, tweaking the commenters and showing how utterly biased some of the commentary was – readers like turquoise86 and Murdstone could not even conceive that some group of Iranian dissidents might not want their country to have nuclear weapons:
But the real charmer was the quantum leap made by one “kevlax”, who had no trouble proposing that “anyone with a brain knows – evidence or not – the most likely culprits are the CIA and Mossad” and, detecting an ominous connection to Avigdor Lieberman, who s/he compares to Hitler. The comment still stands hours later in defiance of the Guardian’s so-called “standards” and after being pulled up by another commenter, McLefty:
So anti-Semitism and Nazi analogies continue to liven up the debate at the Guardian … and CiFWatch still has a role to play in demonstrating how the Guardian attracts and provides an environment for these disgusting types. The CiF article demonstrates their blind refusal to accept the dangers of Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile program even in the face of overwhelming evidence from Wikileaks that the Arab states are deeply concerned about Iran, no evidence that Israel or the US was involved in the hit, and a total refusal to countenance the three Iranian options advanced in the two articles.