Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Is the US safer today?

This is big news right now. It is based on a leaked US intelligence report, stating that the US is less safe today than it was before the Iraq war. Of course politicians now rush to contradict or support this claim.
I am currently teaching a course in Helsinki, and even here this is a big topic in the local newspapers, mostly in support of the arguments in the report. I was curious to see what the Web thinks about this claim, so I entered the two statements "the US is safer today" and "the US is more at risk today" into TeCFlow, a software tool that combines search with social network analysis, and did a coolhunting query. If you don't know what I mean by coolhunting, it is explained here.

Here is the picture I got


The picture shows that the statement "the US is safer today" is more central on the Web than the statement "the US is more at risk today", which is not what I would have expected, but perhaps still true? So the Web thinks we are indeed safer that we were before 9/11. The question remains, of course, if we would be even safer if the Iraq war had never been started?

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