The Power Of Nightmares  

Posted by Big Gav in ,

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa is getting surprisingly little coverage - Wired has a look at the growth trend in infections - The Mathematics of Ebola Trigger Stark Warnings: Act Now or Regret It.

The Ebola epidemic in Africa has continued to expand since I last wrote about it, and as of a week ago, has accounted for more than 4,200 cases and 2,200 deaths in five countries: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. That is extraordinary: Since the virus was discovered, no Ebola outbreak’s toll has risen above several hundred cases. This now truly is a type of epidemic that the world has never seen before. In light of that, several articles were published recently that are very worth reading.

You can see how that could quickly get out of hand, and in fact, that is what the researchers predict. Here is their stop-you-in-your-tracks assessment:

In a worst-case hypothetical scenario, should the outbreak continue with recent trends, the case burden could gain an additional 77,181 to 277,124 cases by the end of 2014.

While no one seems concerned enough to expend significant resources on stopping Ebola there does seem to be an increasing amount of hysteria around the spread of IS in Iraq and Syria - the media coverage of this lately reminds me of this gem from Adam Curtis a while ago - The Power Of Nightmares.

1 comments

Its like 1984. The US and "allies" have helped create IS and I suspect have done nothing much to curtail it so long as it was harming Syria, the latest "enemy". Not until a US citizen was horribly murdered. But the response is strange. They cant help Syria, and they don't want to public be seen as having to much dialogue with Iran, so once again the tactic is to use airstrikes on IS. But I'm going to guess not in areas where IS is still hurting Syria.
So given that it is known that the Suadis and Qatar and other gulf states are the funders of IS why not make do a little bit more against them? And why not just take out that oil field they are using?!

The irony will be complete when the US uses 'Al Qaida' (whatever that moniker really means anymore) to attack IS.

But as the second or third episode of TPoN showed, the Algerian military had a brilliant but brutally horrible solution to undermine radical groups. Infiltrate IS and encourage them to be so brutal that they lose support. And this is kind of that tactic proposed by Chelsea ( aka Bradly) Manning in a recent Guardian article.

At home, Abbott needs the "terror" of groups like IS, as without them, they don't have the wattage to actually think of a policy to motivate people.

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