Sign of the Times Middle East Style


Michael Stuart Kelly

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Alex Jones is trying to start a sign campaign, I don't know much about him but here is a picture and link.

Alex Jones is a kook. Proceed with caution . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dU5hxTVJrX4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6zxFdY2B5mw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ccX_PQtlMY

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Alex Jones is too far on the conspiracy side for my taste, but his reporting uncovers some things at times that puts his news story on Drudge squarely in the limelight.

I agree that proceed with caution is advised. I do not think he should be dismissed as a kook, though.

We disagree on Jones as kook, then. Fair enough. I do wonder what item of Jones 'reporting' could be considered credible; as for the news link on Drudge that you highlighted, it has disappeared for the moment -- zero mention of Tunisia/Yemeni news there for now. Was that link at Drudge actually from Infowars or PrisonPlanet? I followed the link as it first appeared and seem to remember something like Hindustan Times . . .

In any case, events in Tunisia have been front page news for several weeks, dominating Arab media as well. One hardly needs Drudge to fetch up a story on the fast-moving events. I suggest, if you are interested in details of the unfolding situation in Yemen and Algeria, Google News.

Here's a brief Associated Press video summary of the events in Algeria and Yemen, via Google News. A fluid situation indeed.

Edited by william.scherk
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I heard he was a conspiracy theory kind of guy, thanks for the warnings. That joker face paint is a little unsettling. I suppose I should hear him out though when I can.

On the subject I would love to see more of this especially among populations that now have our outsourced jobs (India, China e.g.)or the people here who do the 'jobs Americans won't do' and most importantly right here in this country among American citizens.

It is a start though and a wonderful thing to see.

Edited by pippi
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William,

I did mean to imply that there was one link only. There have been many more than one.

(EDIT: Oops - I meant to write "I did NOT mean to imply...")

I'm not going to waste my time monitoring Drudge to show you the very next link to Alex Jones's stuff. I have seen several so far, both to Infowars and to PrisonPlanet.

The first time I saw a link from Drudge, I was startled. But then other mainstream media started corroborating his report. I can't recall the issue right now because this was not the center of my world. It was just a curious detail. But it was a typical Jones theme--the covert world. And my antenna was tuned to see others, which I did.

Keep a watch on Drudge and I have no doubt you will see stuff from Jones pop up before too long.

Oh, wait!

There might be an easier way instead of writing an argumentative post casting doubts based on mere speculation.

Try this.

You can find all sorts of stuff, including lots of left-wing complaints.

Michael

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I'm not going to waste my time monitoring Drudge to show you the very next link to Alex Jones's stuff. I have seen several so far, both to Infowars and to PrisonPlanet.

Hey, we are not in dispute on this, Michael. I know Drudge uses Alex Jones as a source from time to time. I have no problem either with the positive reaction you had to the photo, and that the report of events in Algeria and Yemen may have caused in you. I share those feelings, brother.

Popular uprisings against sclerotic dictators in the Arab/Muslim world? All for it. I have been following the events with a mixture of hope and dread. Hope that the uprisings lead to durable democracy, and dread that the autocrats do not become desperate and unleash the iron fist, leading to death tolls far beyond the numbers from Tunisia. 200,000 dead in the Algerian civil war/repression forms a background to that dread.

The first time I saw a link from Drudge, I was startled. But then other mainstream media started corroborating his report. I can't recall the issue right now because this was not the center of my world. It was just a curious detail. But it was a typical Jones theme--the covert world. And my antenna was tuned to see others, which I did.

Jones' sites review/repost/link to other news sources, much like Drudge. I don't find any Alex Jones reporting to be credible on its own -- the paranoid spin all too often obscures whatever event was notable, in my opinion.

Keep a watch on Drudge and I have no doubt you will see stuff from Jones pop up before too long.

My point was (and sorry for not making it clear) that there was no Tunisia/Yemen/Algeria story on Drudge's link-heavy page when I looked, so I wasn't able to follow that link featured in your morning screen capture again. I wasn't implying that Drudge removed the link to avoid an Alex Jones connection. Drudge updates his page several times a day.

I did find the link in Drudge's internal archive of a previous edition. The link led to a Calcutta News Net article, "Tunisian inspired demonstrations in Yemen and Algeria violently put down."

My earlier suggestion stands: if you want to keep track of events in Tunisia, and events related to Tunisia, Drudge is a shitty source, Google News is much better.

Edited by william.scherk
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William and Michael:

My concern in the three (3) countries that you both mention, is that al-Qa'ida, or the Iranians, will be the ones that are behind these uprisings.

Adam

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William and Michael:

My concern in the three (3) countries that you both mention, is that al-Qa'ida, or the Iranians, will be the ones that are behind these uprisings.

Adam

Maybe so but why would the graffiti say Freedom?

I am impressed at how learned and/or fact filled many of you are here. I admit my slackerdom in many categories of thought.

Pippi

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William and Michael:

My concern in the three (3) countries that you both mention, is that al-Qa'ida, or the Iranians, will be the ones that are behind these uprisings.

Adam

Maybe so but why would the graffiti say Freedom?

I am impressed at how learned and/or fact filled many of you are here. I admit my slackerdom in many categories of thought.

Pippi

Precisely Pippi, why would someone write in English under Arabic writing?

I wish we had someone who could translate what was above the word Freedom.

Additionally, it could be just one person's statement. Anecdotally isolated and representing just one person's hopes.

Adam

cynic which is a humanist with experience

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William,

It occurred to me that there has been some misunderstanding.

The image I posted is not from the the articles underneath. The original image link is here, but I hosted the image (as used in my post) in case this original was removed for some reason.

Anyway, neither of those two articles are from Alex Jones. You can Google the titles and read them if you wish.

Drudge must have some connection other than decoration in mind, but, from what I can tell, the image and the articles are not directly connected.

I just thought the image was cool, so I posted it.

Michael

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It occurred to me that there has been some misunderstanding.

Yup. I will definitely cop to that. I mixed three things together: Drudge, Alex Jones, Tunisia . . . and clearly misunderstood your message in this line: Alex Jones is too far on the conspiracy side for my taste, but his reporting uncovers some things at times that puts his news story on Drudge squarely in the limelight.

I am glad that picture made your day. Here's another one. Now maybe we can figure out how the Arabic/English sign that pleases us leaves Adam and Pippi nonplussed. I'd answer Adam, but he still owes me a global warming debate.

2072555131.jpg

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William and Michael:

My concern in the three (3) countries that you both mention, is that al-Qa'ida, or the Iranians, will be the ones that are behind these uprisings.

Adam

Maybe so but why would the graffiti say Freedom?

Pippi

Because someone wrote it. On its own you really can't read much into it.

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It could be that those people holding the sign mean freedom, or it could be that they mean something else entirely. I'll believe it when I see it.

Agreed.

From long personal experience I'm pretty cynical about the Middle East and Africa, where one man's 'freedom' equals another man's repression.

Tony

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It could be that those people holding the sign mean freedom, or it could be that they mean something else entirely. I'll believe it when I see it.

Agreed.

From long personal experience I'm pretty cynical about the Middle East and Africa, where one man's 'freedom' equals another man's repression.

Tony

Yep. Sit back and watch the rise of the Islamists in Tunisia. It's a predominantly muslim country that's just had the checks on Islam taken away, much like Iraq, and Iraq is hardly moving towards freedom.

Edited by Infidel
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This makes me think about the difference between the perceptions of freedom

by oppressed peoples like the Tunisians, and libertarian individualists in the West. The LI's seem to want "freedom TO" do something - produce, create, in this case to create a free society where there are no governmental restraints on their actions. The oppressed want "freedom FROM" their tyrants. The Islamist ideologues want both. What they will create, as I'm sure they will try to, is bitter to contemplate.

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This makes me think about the difference between the perceptions of freedom

by oppressed peoples like the Tunisians, and libertarian individualists in the West.

Daunce,

You left out another group: bigots (both pro-Islam and anti-Islam).

They see events only in terms of what they hate. If the events support--or can be spinned to support--their hatred, they go for it with gusto. If the events do not support their hatred, they usually ignore the events, then if that doesn't work, they deny them, and if that doesn't work they apply as much spin as they can get away with, and if that doesn't work, they cuss at people who disagree with them (or worse).

Michael

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It could be that those people holding the sign mean freedom, or it could be that they mean something else entirely. I'll believe it when I see it.

From long personal experience I'm pretty cynical about the Middle East and Africa, where one man's 'freedom' equals another man's repression.

Yep. Sit back and watch the rise of the Islamists in Tunisia. It's a predominantly muslim country that's just had the checks on Islam taken away, much like Iraq, and Iraq is hardly moving towards freedom.

It is hard for some folks to resist cynicism about Tunisia given the history of the north African states in the Maghreb. It is not only Tony and Richard who are pessimistic about the prospects of freedom -- many analysts fear a kind of political freedom that would replace one well-organized repressive regime with another.

If one sees the Arab states as an undifferentiated mass of Muslims, as a horde, as tightly bound by religion, then an easy parallel can be made with the Islamic Revolution in Iran. For those who view Islam itself as evil, then full political freedoms signal a slippery slope to religious autocracy. For those who loathe and fear political Islam, all signs lead to doom, whether Turkish-style doom or Indonesian-style doom or Pakistani-style doom or Lebanese-style doom. And for someone who thinks in the paranoid style, Islam is poison, and will destroy Tunisia as it has destroyed every other country within its embrace.

So, put yourself in Richard Wiig's shoes, in his one-eyed paranoid mind, and imagine how he will interpret news items over the next weeks, months and years.

If the exiled leader of the formerly-banned Islamist party returns to Tunisia, Richard can imagine only one outcome, an Islamist romp and inevitable Iranian-style theocracy. If government controls over mosques and clergy are relaxed, Islamic doom. If secular parties emerge triumphant, simply a pause on the journey to Islamic doom. If women resist any return to the veil and sharia, Islamic doom. If a newly freed press makes room for Islamist voices, doom. If secular opinion seems to prevail, still doom remains just a few kilometres further down the road, lurking, menacing, ready to usher in doom.

As Richard puts it, he will "it back and watch the rise of the Islamists in Tunisia." Confirming instances will be cited and cataloqued, discomfirming instances ignored.

Fears of Islamist revival as Tunisian PM falters

How Tunisia's Once-Suppressed Islamists Are Re-Emerging

Tunisia's Islamists eye place in politics

Tunisian women fear Islamist return

Relatives of Tunisian Islamists call for prisoners' release

Tunisian Islamists Emerging

Tunisia's Islamists arise

Tunisian Islamists plan comeback after revolt

Doom. Doom. Doom doom doom doom.

Hopeful signs . . . ?

Tunisia: the alliance of progressive and moderate Islamist forces points to an optimistic outcome

Why Tunisia's Revolution Is Islamist-Free

Where Were the Tunisian Islamists?

DOOM!

20080725_public_hanging_iran.jpg

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Geez!

I was only depressed before, now I'm about to hide the razor blades away from myself.

No, don't worry, it's okay... they're triple-blade Schick cartridges. (Not to be confused with Scherk.)

Thanks for all the doom!

Tony, I don't lump you in with Richard Wiig by any means -- I have found your comments here and elsewhere (as at OO.net) quite judicious, fair and intelligent when on the subject of Islam and its threats to the West. I think cynicism or at least a watching brief is warranted if one understands history in the Maghreb and in other states in North Africa. Sudan, Chad, Nigeria, Cote D'Ivoire signal the ugly side of Islamicism, and the failure of African leaders to rise above tribe, sect and terror.

Richard has only one working eye, a cyclopean moral laser vision that seeks, finds and reflects only what confirms his prejudices, unaware of the perceptual poverty of his vision. It is as if he can see only red, and only a flat caricature of reality.

As far as I can tell from your commentary, you have two eyes and you use them both. You could probably list a hundred elements of hope, turn up a thousand items of evidence that Tunisians can achieve a working, pluralistic democracy. For poor Richard and others who are one-eyed, fanatical and given to paranoia, no evidence of this kind can be seen.

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Nah, I'm kidding, William.

I don't take everything personally. :)

Having made my pessimistic statement, though, I've realized from reading some of your links that I don't know as much about North Africa as I thought I did.

In short, any separation of mosque and state is a hopeful sign. As you say, it's not only a sectarian problem, it is tribal - and that horror I've known something about in Zaire, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Southern Africa.

Tony

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