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Tony Grist

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Wrongfooted [Feb. 21st, 2011|10:47 am]
Tony Grist
For all that our journalists and politicians are always banging on about muslims, I don't remember anyone predicting the Arab revolution. Western leaders were so completely wrong-footed by it that their first reaction was to make cooing noises at the dictators- with Sarkozy going so far as to offer to help Ben Ali out by sending him some of his surplus riot police.

It was often said that the dictators were a necessary evil because they kept the mullahs down, but the uprisings- all of them- have been led by secular youth- with not a mullah in sight. It was also often said that Arabs are primitive (but noble) tribal folk who don't understand or want democracy...
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: veronikos
2011-02-21 11:13 am (UTC)
As I recall, George W. Bush thought Middle Eastern countries could understand and want democracy.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-21 12:15 pm (UTC)
I find myself wondering whether- if Bush had held back- Saddam's regime would now be in the process of being overthrown from within.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2011-02-21 12:32 pm (UTC)
Probably not. He was a fairly ruthless dictator. He had rebellions of various sorts during his tyranny, and just murdered the rebels without much ado.

My original comment was somewhat sarcastic. American "journalists" are about 95% liberal, and mercilessly mocked Bush at the time for thinking that Middle Eastern countries could adapt to democracy. Those same "journalists" are now cheerleading in Egypt. Disgusting.

That is, the lack of objectivity is disgusting. I heard one "journalist" from CNN reporting from a crowd in Egypt on the day Mubarak resigned. In a tone of exultation, she cried out that "This was an important day not only for Egypt, but for the whole world." There are so many things wrong with that combination of tone and words for a journalist that I find it hard to begin. If she had been in my news room, she'd be put on probation.

Anyway...you're a smart chap...if you ever find an old-time journalist surviving who isn't an intellectual whore, let me know. :)
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-21 01:11 pm (UTC)
I don't think Saddam ever faced the kind of popular street protest that is currently sweeping the Arab world.

Mubarak and Gaddafi are similarly ruthless- but Mubarak has already gone and there are reports this morning that Gaddafi has fled Tripoli.

I share your disdain for most journalism.
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[User Picture]From: red_girl_42
2011-02-22 12:01 am (UTC)
American "journalists" are about 95% liberal, and mercilessly mocked Bush at the time for thinking that Middle Eastern countries could adapt to democracy.

Can you show examples of journalists mocking Bush for thinking that Middle Eastern countries could adapt to democracy? I don't recall this at all, but it's not like I read every news article so I certainly could have missed something like htat.

I do recall plenty of American liberals (myself included) mocking Bush for claiming his actions in Iraq were about liberating the oppressed people of that country (and about those WMDs that never materialized). There are lots of oppressive regimes around the world that Bush didn't give a damn about or spend billions of dollars to overthrow.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2011-02-22 01:26 pm (UTC)
I respectfully decline to make your acquaintance.
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[User Picture]From: michaleen
2011-02-22 12:52 pm (UTC)
American "journalists" are about 95% liberal
Could you support that statement? Also, if you could provide the criteria by which you determine which journalist is "liberarl", I should appreciate that as well.

Thank you.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2011-02-22 01:29 pm (UTC)
I will pass. It is just opinion, and I have no desire to enter a debate.
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[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2011-02-21 12:25 pm (UTC)
Pissed myself laughing last night at the lousy speech given by Gadaffi Jnr "It is either us or another Iran". A barstool awaits him for the rest of his life "I used to be someone big in Libya..."
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-21 12:31 pm (UTC)
It was a fine demonstration of exactly why Libya doesn't want him running things...
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[User Picture]From: ron_broxted
2011-02-21 05:05 pm (UTC)
"My Daddy got me this job" How will the poor bastard fare at the Jobcentre? Answers on a postcard please.
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[User Picture]From: veronikos
2011-02-21 12:42 pm (UTC)
>> It was also often said that Arabs are primitive (but noble) tribal folk ...

Oh yeah...an addition...this is another piece of garbage largely perpetrated by "journalists", or at least, an area never investigated. In fact, the Western world is heavily indebted to the Arab culture for furthering and preserving science and mathematics. Now, everything gets bound up with Islam and religion such that we forget that, once upon a time, every other phrase was not "God willing."



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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-21 01:16 pm (UTC)
Yes indeed. When Richard Coeur de Lion faced Saladin it was Richard who was the barbarian...
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[User Picture]From: airstrip
2011-02-22 03:32 am (UTC)
Well, Ben Ali is as good a French viceroy as any, I suspect.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2011-02-22 09:21 am (UTC)
Some commentators have been talking about the Arab revolution as representing the true end of colonial rule in the Middle East. I think they have a point.
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