Frequently dismissed as trivial or unimportant because untrue, rumors are a potent in the information war that characterizes contemporary conflicts, and they participate in significant ways in the struggle for the consent of the governed. As narrative forms, rumors are suitable to a wide range of political expression, from citizens, insurgents, and governments alike. The authors make a compelling argument for understanding rumors in these contexts as "narrative IEDs," low-cost, low-tech weapons that can successfully counter elaborate and expansive government initiatives of outreach campaigns or strategic communication efforts. Narrative Landmines - The Explosive Effects of Rumors in Syria and Insurgencies Around the World [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Apr 4, 2013 -
Golden Dawn [Wiki summary
] progress report: "One survey last week showed a near doubling in the number of people voicing "positive opinions" about Golden Dawn, up from 12% in May to 22%" as Golden Dawn have become vigilante enforcers where the police cannot [Guardian - short summary
] and provide food and clothing for the ethnic Greek poor. "Kaiti Lazarou, 55, the owner of a newspaper and cigarette kiosk in Piraeus, agreed. “I myself have gotten food and potatoes from them in Syntagma Square,” she said. "I would not be surprised if they become the government one day, and why shouldn’t they? They protect the Greeks, while Samaras and the government are out of touch with the people" [NYT - somewhat more detailed, and with useful links
]. Golden Dawn is also setting up foreign offices to collect aid [Canadian example
] to distribute in Greece, both providing benefits to ethnic Greeks and attacking immigrant stalls and community centres [example attack on a Tanzanian community centre, where the police allegedly stood by
posted by jaduncan
on Oct 2, 2012 -
"The online world of Islamic extremists, like all the other worlds of the Internet, operates on a subtly psychological level that does a brilliant job at keeping people like Abumubarak clicking and posting away -- and amassing all the rankings, scores, badges, and levels to prove it. Like virtually every other popular online social space, the social space of online jihadists has become "gamified," a term used to describe game-like attributes applied to non-game activities. It turns out that what drives online jihadists is pretty much exactly what drives Internet trolls, airline ticket consumers, and World of Warcraft players: competition
." [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Jan 14, 2012 -
Why Development Aid won't solve Radicalism
"The data revealed four findings
that undermine common wisdom about support for militancy in Pakistan...Overall, the findings suggest that arguments tying support for militancy to individuals’ socioeconomic status -- and the policy recommendations that often flow from this assumption -- require substantial revision."
posted by stroke_count
on Jul 20, 2011 -
More than 15 years again Robert Kaplan wrote in his occasionally prescient essay,
"Though Islam is spreading in West Africa, it is being hobbled by syncretization with animism: this makes new converts less apt to become anti-Western extremists...." Glossing over the omission that Islam has been in West Africa for centuries
, the recent exploding underpants incident has cemented the idea that a form of violent religious extremism
has found root in West Africa, leaving many to wonder why
. Some argue it's the inevitable result of dangerous demographics
posted by Panjandrum
on Jan 20, 2010 -
"Somalia is in the grip of famine and chaos but officials there are inspecting bras
"..[T]he extremist ideology assumes that humans are a group of wild beasts that are completely incapable of controlling their instincts". In an editorial in The Independent, Alaa Al-Aswany discusses fundamentalist gender bias.
posted by gallois
on Oct 29, 2009 -
Osama bin Laden, littérateur and new-media star
. A thought-provoking analysis of bin Laden's adept use of Koranic language and the Internet by Bruce B. Lawrence, an Islamic scholar at Duke who edited a new anthology of bin Laden's public statements called Messages to the World
. The Western media -- says the millionaire mass-murderer formerly trained as a useful ally by the CIA
via Pakistan's ISI
-- "implants fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media are doing!" Know thy enemy. [via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by digaman
on Nov 3, 2005 -
Life without Theo - one year on
. It's not that Holland's cherished troublemaker wasn't aware of the possibility - he had been threatened more than once. He just sincerely believed that no-one would harm the "village idiot
", as he liked to call himself (salon link)
. Today, the skilled polemicist who regarded it his constitutional right to insult anyone but would at the same time engage anyone in reasonable, friendly debate is remembered
in various ways
. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane
on Nov 2, 2005 -
Meet Priscilla Owen,
2-time nominee for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Senate nuclear option trigger, and "activist judge" who White House Counsel Gonzales himself criticized ...for "an unconscionable act of judicial activism" in seeking to restrict a minor's right to an abortion. ...
This PDF from People for the American Way
goes case-by-case to paint a damning picture: It focuses not only on the evidence from Justice Owen’s dissenting opinions that she is a right wing judicial activist, but also on the fact that this conclusion is established by the criticism often leveled at her by her conservative colleagues on the Court, particularly including Alberto Gonzales. Indeed, during the relatively brief time that they served together on the Court, Gonzales wrote or joined numerous opinions sharply criticizing opinions written or joined by Owen. This report also addresses Justice Owen’s failure at her confirmation hearing to dispel the serious concerns that had been raised about her record. For the reasons we discuss below, the Judiciary Committee made the correct decision in refusing to confirm Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit. It should make the same decision again.
posted by amberglow
on May 18, 2005 -
The Likudization of the World "....he has cast the United States in the very same role in which Israel casts itself, facing the very same threat. In this narrative, the U.S. is fighting a never ending battle for its very survival against utterly irrational forces that seek nothing less than its total extermination. "
posted by troutfishing
on Sep 12, 2004 -
some atrocious reporting from the usually responsible UK Guardian
Just an example of bad conclusions from little information. The sensationalist title of this story, reprinted from the Observer, is, "Anthrax attacks' 'work of neo-Nazis,'" (which seems like bad grammar to boot - why the apostrophe after "attacks"?) and then it begins, "Neo-Nazi extremists within the US are behind the deadly wave of anthrax attacks against America, according to latest briefings from the security services and Justice Department."
But if you read the actual article, here's the closest thing they have to a quote or face supporting this:
'We've been zeroing in on a number of hate groups, especially one on the West Coast,' a source at the Justice Department told The Observer yesterday. 'We've certainly not discounted the possibility that they may be involved.'
Is it just me, or is this drawing a lot out of a little, and just confusing the situation?
posted by moth
on Oct 29, 2001 -
Text of Osama's Fatwah:
"The ruling to kill the Americans and their allies--civilian and military--is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam..."
posted by semmi
on Sep 21, 2001 -