In 1988, 12% of the public thought the media was biased. Today, the figure is 62%; and, paradoxically, the reported bias is almost always to the opposite political view of the person surveyed. Introducing the Hostile Media Effect
. Partisans on either side of an see the media as being biased against them, and the more educated about a situation they are, the more strongly they see bias. Unsurprisingly, news of the Middle East conflict
is one area where the effect has been frequently noted. If you want a lot more information, see this academic PDF
. [If media bias isn't your thing, Mixing Memory is full of many other interesting articles, from the cognitive science of patriotism to the science of art.]
posted by blahblahblah
on Jul 24, 2006 -
From Democracy Now!, Noam Chomsky offers an interesting look
at the ongoing crisis in the Middle East. There's really no good
that can come from the current escalation of conflict. Although the Bush Administration has remained complacent in the situation, the conflict will have direct repercussions
toward the United States. There's also the argument posed by the EU that the attacks are "disproportionate
." Inevitably this could be caused by the growing "Shiite Revolution
posted by j-urb
on Jul 15, 2006 -
Last week, the Guardian posted a three-part special report
by their Middle East correspondent (and former South African correspondent) Chris McGreal on the similarities between the current situation in Israel and the South African Apartheid regime. The report provoked many heated responses, a selection of which is reproduced here
. The Guardian responded by inviting Benjamin Pogrund, former deputy editor of the famously anti-Apartheid Rand Daily Mail in Johannesburg, author of a number of books
on South Africa and founder of Yakar, a Jerusalem center for Israeli-Palestinian dialogue to weigh in with a response
posted by ori
on Feb 13, 2006 -
after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally.
posted by EarBucket
on Feb 1, 2006 -
It's not the war in Iraq that's revolutionizing the Middle East -- it's the media.
"Surprisingly, it may be this new public sphere, rather than the war in Iraq or the Bush's administration's democracy rhetoric, that does the most to promote liberalization and reform in the Arab world. " Marc Lynch, an associate professor of political science at Williams College and the (until recently) anonymous writer behind the popular blog Abu Aardvark
, talked to Mother Jones about how the new Arab public is transforming the Middle East.
posted by storybored
on Jan 21, 2006 -
Ariel Sharon suffers major stroke.
Executive power temporarily transferred to his deputy as doctors operate to drain blood from his brain. Say what you will about Sharon's tenure, his death now would send shockwaves through the Israeli political establishment and through the region.
posted by LondonYank
on Jan 4, 2006 -
A new television series ["Beautiful Maidens"] being broadcast around the Middle East tells the story of Arabs living in residential compounds in Saudi Arabia and the militant Islamists who want to blow them up so they can collect their rewards in heaven - 72 beautiful virgins. One of the show's writers, Abdullah Bjad, is a Saudi and self-described former militant who was consulted on religious aspects of the script. He said that just before one of the 2003 attacks on a residential compound in Saudi Arabia, an attacker who was in contact with his superiors was "heard on the mobile phone counting down the seconds to the 'beautiful maidens.' His last words were: 'One second to the 'beautiful maidens.' He then blew himself up."
New Syrian TV show angers some Arabs
• But what will a woman have
when she enters paradise?
posted by jenleigh
on Oct 12, 2005 -
A Spreading Treason
The vagaries of U.S. involvement in the Middle East were surely brought home to First Lady Laura Bush on her recent trip to Israel, on a tour of Jerusalem's holiest sites. At the Wailing Wall, where she placed a note in the Western Wall – as is the custom – she faced surly throngs of protesters shouting "Free Pollard Now!" The Pollardites also showed up earlier that morning, as Mrs. Bush paid a visit to the home of Israeli President Moshe Katsav: "Pollard, the people are with you!" they chanted.
posted by mk1gti
on May 25, 2005 -
Sri Lankan Maids Pay Dearly for Perilous Jobs Overseas
The teacher held up an electric cake mixer and told the class of wide-eyed women before her to clean it properly. If it smells, "Mama," as the aspiring maids were instructed to call their female employers, "will be angry and she will hammer and beat you."
Sriyantha Walpola for The New York Times
More than a million Sri Lankans - roughly 1 in every 19 citizens - now work abroad, and nearly 600,000 are housemaids.
Sriyantha Walpola for The New York Times
Some maids being trained in Kegalla, Sri Lanka, will find brutal work conditions in the Middle East.
"This is where you go wrong," the teacher continued. "That is how Mama beats you and burns you - when you do anything wrong."
posted by kmtharakan
on May 8, 2005 -
--doing business according to Shari'a. ...Pious Muslims are not allowed to invest in industries that have ties to tobacco, alcohol, weapons, pornography or pork products. Since the law prohibits banks from charging or paying interest, Noriba and other Islamic Financial Institutions (ifis) instead make money by using a system based on the sharing of capital gains or losses.
But even with post-Sept. 11 suspicions that Islamic banks may fund terrorist organizations, demand for the services of ifis is on the rise from the towers of Bahrain to the streets of London. Indeed, they represent one of banking's hottest sectors. ...
Socially-conscious investing of a different sort?
posted by amberglow
on May 6, 2005 -
to be flown ”on both sides of the 500-kilometer long barrier that separates Israelis and Palestinians” on my birthday (but not in my honor). Inspiring, or just silly?
posted by LeLiLo
on Apr 30, 2005 -
Well, for a fact or two, The Beirut Wall Isn't Falling
, Lebanon is not Ukraine
and it is not democracy that's on the march in the Middle East
. And while remembering all those arguments made 1,500 deaths ago
--not to mention those so far uncounted but estimated at 100,000+ civilian deaths
--let it be, all the while the Iraq War compels Pentagon to rethink Big-Picture Strategy
, it is that American military intevention which makes America as a Revolutionary Force
in the Middle East, according to some. Meanwhile, Kishore Mahbubani
, author of Beyond the Age of Innocence: Rebuilding Trust between America and the World
lists Five Strategic Mistakes
the West has made which continue to destabilize the Islamic world. Along related lines, comes The Origins of
al Qaeda’s Ideology: Implications for US Strategy
Sound bites, wishful thoughts and stage managed demonstrations aside, could it be something more thoughtful might be required? Say, like, Understanding Islamism ? (Now available in new slow acting convenient Word or pdf form)
Say, Which War Is This Anyway ?
posted by y2karl
on Mar 11, 2005 -
Iraqi Indicted for Proposal to Open Talks With Israel
Bringing democracy to the Middle East--let freedom ring. "A court of Iraq's interim government has brought criminal charges against a prominent politician for attending an antiterrorism conference in Israel and publicly suggesting that Iraq should open talks with Israel.
The indictment and arrest warrant, based on a 1969 law promulgated by the Baath Party that bars Iraqis from having contacts with enemy states, are likely to anger the United States government, which has sponsored Iraq's new courts and is a close ally of Israel." So it goes...
posted by Postroad
on Oct 6, 2004 -
Women In Iran
With the slogan of "Women's Right Is Human Right", the website tries to tell the story of struggles, issues and successes of Iranian women, and in this way we would like to extend our hands to and welcome all those who believe in the social and intellectual equality of women and men.
posted by hoder
on Sep 21, 2004 -
Why al-Qaeda is winning As nihilistic as it may be, al-Qaeda, from a business point of view, is a major success: three years after September 11, it is a global brand and a global movement. The Middle East, in this scenario, is just a regional base station. This global brand does not have much to do with Islam. But it has everything to do with the globalization of anti-imperialism. And the empire, whatever its definition, has its center in Washington. Bin Laden is laughing: Bush's crusade has legitimized an obscure sect as a worldwide symbol of political revolt. How could bin Laden not vote for Bush?
posted by rdone
on Sep 13, 2004 -
"Although embattled nationalistic movements are a commonplace, no nationalistic cause is as entwined with the larger issues and fault lines of global politics as modern Zionism is. Not least, the crisis of Zionism has implications for the ability of America to achieve its policy goals in the Middle East and in its wider confrontation with Islamic militancy."
posted by Ty Webb
on May 3, 2004 -
Doomed to failure in the Middle East.
52 former senior British diplomats, probably the most experienced people on Middle East issues in Britain, sent a letter to Tony Blair, telling him he is very close to fucking up big time. Tony is trying to pass this as just «right of opinion». What next? Are we going to see foreign office people demonstrating outside Downing street?
posted by acrobat
on Apr 27, 2004 -
HR 3077 - "unprecedented federally mandated intrusion into the content and conduct of university-based area studies programmes."
"There is a great deal at stake for American higher education and academic freedom. If HR 3077 becomes law - the Senate will review the bill next - it will create a board that monitors how closely universities reflect government policy. Since the legislation assumes that any flaw lies 'with the experts, not the policy', the government could be given the power to introduce politically sympathetic voices into the academic mainstream and to reshape the boundaries of academic inquiry. Institutional resistance would presumably be punished by the withdrawal of funds, which would be extremely damaging to Middle East centres especially."
you didn't have reason to call your congressperson tomorrow? you do now. frightening.
via the excellent openbrackets.com
posted by specialk420
on Apr 16, 2004 -
Rebellion brewing in Saudi city
The tiny city of Sakaka in the remote al-Jouf province that borders Iraq may seem an unlikely setting for the beginning of a revolution against the ruling al-Saud family.
But one does not have to spend too long here to realise that this is what is happening.
posted by Postroad
on Jan 28, 2004 -
On the night of April 27th, 1805,
US Marine Lt. Presley O'Bannon
led a ragtag army of Greek, Arab and Berber mercenaries in a desperate charge
into the teeth of the fortifications of
(now Libya). The
defenders inexplicably turned and ran, leaving behind loaded cannons which,
turned around, secured victory for the US in its first land battle in the old
In recognition of his bravery, Lt. O'Bannon was given a
(no, the other
) had led O'Bannon,
six other US Marines, and the five hundred odd mercenaries across six hundred
miles of North African desert in order to replace the usurping
of Tripoli, Yusef, with the rightful heir, his pro-American older brother
Shortly after the battle, Yusef reached a peace with Col. Tobias Lear, the
American Consul to Tripoli, and hostilities between the US and Tripoli ceased. Eaton, O'Bannon, and
Hamet Karamanli, along with the Marines and most of the Greeks, departed
aboard American warships, leaving the Muslim mercenaries behind in Derna.
posted by hob
on Jan 7, 2004 -
Iran considers moving capital away from Tehran.
Tehran lies on a major seismological fault and experts have long warned that a strong earthquake in the city would be devastating. A professor of geophysics at Tehran university, has warned that if a quake of similar magnitude hit Tehran it would kill more than 700,000 people. Government buildings would be destroyed.
posted by hoder
on Jan 5, 2004 -
Breaking the ice.
"If we can help Palestinians and Israelis understand that even the greatest obstacles can be surmounted through cooperation and understanding, then perhaps we'll be able to positively influence the atmosphere for reconciliation in our part of the world. We want people to see that even enemies can find a way to do great things if they decide to take on the challenge together."
posted by johnnyboy
on Oct 23, 2003 -
community reside in Israel, Lebanon and Syria who've been rather overlooked as the middle-east situation complexifies. Discover (scroll halfway down)
an ancient culture
and it's faith
that have had to adapt
to an increasingly unstable climate. They share some similarities to the Iraqi Yezidi of this thread.
posted by moonbird
on Oct 17, 2003 -
Hatred via weblog.
The Jewish Internet Association
, a tax-exempt, non-profit California corporation, considers the Internet a battleground, where "every channel must be utilized to resist and convert others to our defense and support." A whois showed they have the same mailing address as palestinefacts.org
. However, examining their weblog
reveals an agenda that is every bit as hateful as Hamas.
From a recent entry:
"The Palestinian Arabs go through a pretense of having a government" .... "This must end. In the past the only way such murderous, bastard regimes have ended was through massive destruction of their people and lands." .... "The same process will be required to end the fraudulant "peace process" and come to the point where there can be a new start."
The JIA site links to a guide for shutting down offensive websites
. Do you think the same techniques would work against them too?
posted by insomnia_lj
on Oct 16, 2003 -