"Never believe anything until it is officially denied," is a useful saying, advising skepticism towards whatever the government claims to be doing. This is the right mental attitude for any observer of the political scene. But for sniffing out official or journalistic mendacity, evasion and ignorance, a good guide is the use of tired and misleading words or phrases.
Suspicion of an attempt to deceive should be aroused by any sighting of the word "community", as in "international community" or "Islamic community": the phrases suggest solidarity and consensus of opinion where it does not exist. More toxic are policies pretending that there is something called "the community" that can look after people hitherto cared for by the state.
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