Friday, June 02, 2006

Tools of Oppression?

While taking a look at a recent article by Rami Khoury, Iraq Pundit offers this summary of the state of Arab journalism:
You want to know one of the major reasons that the Arab world is so far behind everybody else politically? Because the region's journalists, like so many other professionals there, long ago let themselves be co-opted by backward regimes. There are certainly independent-minded liberal Arab journalists, and my hat's off to their courage and integrity. But by and large, Arab journalism has been a tool of oppression, of maintaining the status quo. Co-opted writers have spent whole careers spewing out whatever baloney has been useful to a given regime, or writing in support of the region's discredited and dead-end politics. What the Arab media lacks in nationalistic self-pity, it makes up for in paranoid conspiracy mongering.
Ouch!

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Salam Pax continues to work on his video projects. In his latest blog entry, he talks about the sense of fear that has taken hold of most Baghdadis. He did locate, however, one area where people went about their daily business without fear of suicide-bombers, the Shia district of Kadhimiya:
I saw the future of Iraq, or at least Baghdad. Inside the barricade and past the checkpoint was a piece of the old Baghdad. Shops full of people, all relaxed and smiling. Everybody wants to talk and tell me how their lives are and I even got invited to have tea and accepted the invitation without thinking that this man saw my camera and he is just delaying me until the kidnappers arrive.

You know what was different? Kadhimiya is set up these days like a fortress. Entrances are tightly controlled, no unknown cars get in and they basically had their own secret police there; when I lingered too long with my camera in front of the shrine I was quickly called inside and a security guard demanded IDs and wanted to look through the film, I thanked heavens again for the NUJ card.

So people I give you the future of Baghdad. Districts will become tightly controlled fortresses that are ethnically/religiously homogeneous. Outsiders are only let in after being inspected and checked. I really want to go back to Kadhimiya but only after I get my fake Shia ID.
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After another one of his extended operational pauses (heh heh), Zeyad returns with a two-fisted, sarcastic blog entry on the direction that the homegrown fundamentalists seem to be taking the country:
Why don’t they just blow up the city and erect tents instead? It would make life much easier. We could go to school or work riding on camels. We could sit at the mosque all day, stroking and scratching our filthy beards and waiving flies away, while our women recline in their harems.

In short, they are trying to take us back to the 7th century, so we can experience the simple life of the prophet and his pious companions. We should abandon everything and anything that was not available at the time of the prophet in order to be true Muslims.

Yet the followers of this simplistic, backwards ideology have no problem with using hi-tech explosives, IEDs, machine guns and RPGs. According to their sick creed, it is not against Islam to detonate a car bomb at a bustling market or to shoot a kid twice in the head because he had gel on his hair. No, that is okay in Islam.
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UPDATE: Michelle Malkin chronicles yet another case of journalistic malfeasance from the MSM:

UK TIMES SMEARS OUR MARINES (UPDATED WITH RESPONSE).

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ANOTHER UPDATE: Ambassador Fayrouz has just posted an interview she had done with a blogger from Bahrain: Interviewing Bahraini Blogger E.S.
Q: American invasion of Iraq isn't popular in the Middle East. To be more specific, it damaged its image in the Middle East. What could America do to repair its image from a Middle Easterner's point of view?

A: It will be very hard for that to happen. Anything good America does at this point will be most likely dismissed as a conspiracy by many. If they help us through things such as education, people will think America is trying to enforce their political ideologies and values upon us, and if they don't help through things such as aid or health care when needed, America is going to be criticized for not getting involved.

It may help if America goes back to being an isolationalist instead of having their presidential administration become too involved in our domestic affairs, this is precisely what gives people reason to believe that America is to blame for our misfortunes.

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