Tuesday, January 01, 2008

A separate reality

The Press Trust of India reports Pakistan's government has backed off from an earlier claim Benazir Bhutto died from a concussion.

In a dramatic U-turn, Pakistan government has "apologised" for claiming that former premier Benazir Bhutto died of a skull fracture after hitting the sunroof of her car during a suicide attack.

Caretaker Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz Khan has asked the media and people to "forgive and ignore" comments made by his ministry's spokesman Javed Iqbal Cheema which were slammed by her Pakistan People's Party as "lies" and led to an uproar at home and abroad.

The Interior Minister made the apology during a briefing for Pakistani newspaper editors on Monday. Punjab province on Tuesday issued a front-page advertisement in newspapers that offered a reward of Rs 1 crore for information about a gunman and a suspected suicide bomber seen in the photos and video footage of the assassination.

Truth is an infinitely malleable quantity in the Third World because corruption has put every fact up for sale. Driver's licenses, diplomas, identities, deeds of sale, sworn testimony -- all of it can be bought and sold for a fee. The ultimate consequence of a culture of corruption is the destruction of the belief in objective truth. A fact becomes an inconceivable thing. Reality itself becomes negotiable.

The idea that everything is negotiable was perfectly expressed in Mario Puzo's novel, The Godfather. When Don Corleone visits the hospital in which his lieutenant, Genco Abbandando lies dying of cancer and facing damnation, Genco asks the Godfather to "fix" things with God.

With a tortured superhuman effort, Abbandando lifted his head of his pillow, eyes unseeing, and pointed a skeletal fingre at the Don. "Godfather, Godfather," he called out blindly, "save me from death, I beg of you. My flesh is burning off my bones and I can feel the worms eating away my brain. Godfather, cure me, you have the power, dry the tears of my poor wife. In Corleone we played together as children and now will you let me die when I fear hell for my sins?"

The Don was silent. Abbandando said, "It is your daughter's wedding day, you cannot refuse me."

The Don spoke quietly, gravely to pierce through the blasphemous delirium.

"Old friend," he said, "I have no such powers. If I did I would be more merciful than God, believe me. But don't fear death and don't fear hell. I will have a mass said for your soul every night and every morning. Your wife and your children will pray for you. How can God punish you with so many pleas fr mercy?"

The skeleton face took on a cunning expression that was obscene. Abbandando said slyly, "It's been arranged them?"

How Bhutto died is not a matter of how it happened, but how it's been arranged.


Blogger Doug said...

That previous claim was like the Huckster's Negative Ad that he was too High-Minded to run.
Bless his Sweet, Arkansas Soul.
PBUPakistan, and the New F-16's they flew in on.
The sale is a top priority for President George W. Bush, who intends it to strengthen U.S. military ties to Pakistan, a key partner in the war against terrorism, Hillen said.

1/01/2008 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...


1/01/2008 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger watimebeing said...

I don't know, if the arrangement has much to do with anything, Ms. Bhutto is still dead. The notion that she was gunned down in cold blood, by a gangster whose own death was assured by a suicide bomb is potentially countered by the notion that the assassin was so haplessly inept that he could not shoot straight from even a couple of feet and the reflexive actions taken to pull Ms. Bhutto to safety led to her death was just horribly bad luck for Ms. Bhutto.

The would be assassin's actions are still culpable for Ms. Bhutto is dead none the less. As for the assassins, they cannot collect the eternal prize, and they cannot even claim the consolation prize. In my minds view of things Islamic, if they cannot hit the target, they just go to hell.

Which arrangement would you prefer, if you really had a choice?

1/01/2008 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

To be the shooter, or the bomber, that is the question.
Nevertheless, the same outcome is assured for the actors, almost simultaneously.

1/01/2008 05:50:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Just like the MSM Here:
Blame it on the Military!

"During the briefing, an editor asked why spokesman Cheema had said that a lever on the sun-roof had caused a fatal injury when the manufacturers of the car and Bhutto's husband Asif Ali Zardari had stated that there was no metallic lever that could have caused the wound.

Khan said the spokesman's comments may have been a mistake as "we are faujis (soldiers) and we are not so articulate to present our views as you journalists can". Both the interior minister and spokesman Cheema are retired army officers.

Probly had no other options than signing up, just like the inarticulate ones here.

PBUArticulate Journalists!

1/01/2008 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger watimebeing said...

PBU PDQ lest PDT get use of the commodity (ethnologue).

PMU Of course, PSH.

1/01/2008 06:15:00 AM  
Blogger felix said...

The correction to the "actual truth" is a welcome development. We should not be so cynical.

1/01/2008 06:16:00 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

It's discomforting to know only the virtual truth.

1/01/2008 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger watimebeing said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

1/01/2008 06:48:00 AM  
Blogger Charles said...

John 18:37-39 (New International Version)
New International Version (NIV)

37"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.
Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

38"What is truth?" Pilate asked. With this he went out again to the Jews and said, "I find no basis for a charge against him. 39But it is your custom for me to release to you one prisoner at the time of the Passover. Do you want me to release 'the king of the Jews'?"

1/01/2008 07:16:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The concussion claim immediately struck me as preposterous. Sure she was being shot at from all directions and was in the vicinity of a suicide bomb blast, but don’t blame us… it was her fault, she bumped her head.

Bhutto must’ve had a death wish or an unrealistic belief in the civility of her country mates or her god for that matter. She seemed to goad on her political opposition challenging them to make her a martyr. In a country like Pakistan, born of the ever struggling Muslims who cannot get along with their neighbors her wish was granted.

Are all people of this region pathological liars? Who could you ask for an unbiased opinion with this mendacious creed? Only the media benefits substantially from the clouds of misinformation in the Muslim east in that they, the media, become the sole arbiters of truth.

With ubiquitous video devices abounding in every backwater hell hole, lying and dithering is getting harder and harder to convince. Welcome to modernity Mohammad.

1/01/2008 08:13:00 AM  
Blogger watimebeing said...

According to Walid Phares in the war of Ideas Ms. Bhutto was the one most feared by the hard core islamists.

In the war of ideas, democracy brings a requirement for at least an attempt at finding the honest physical truth. In a tribal and mystic sense the notion of the actors receiving damnation is a valuable one. Which "truth" has more validity for the Pakistani and Afghani, I don't know.

1/01/2008 08:29:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

Truth is an infinitely malleable quantity in the Third World because corruption has put every fact up for sale. Driver's licenses, diplomas, identities, deeds of sale, sworn testimony -- all of it can be bought and sold for a fee. The ultimate consequence of a culture of corruption is the destruction of the belief in objective truth. A fact becomes an inconceivable thing. Reality itself becomes negotiable.

Actually, reality is not negotiable, only the perception of it is. However, once a culture embraces taqiyya, its collective soul is already up for grabs and all that follows is just window dressing. Believing that lying is a functional strategy jeapordizes the validity of every other possible conclusion that can be arrived at. There can be no basis for trust, even among fellow Muslims.

Small wonder that so many Islamic countries remain in such a primitive state. Commerce, industry and science all rely upon transparency, something that Islam cannot tolerate for even a moment. The moral inversion required to accept Islam as a worthwhile belief system voids all further connection with reality. It is not so much "a separate reality" as it is an artificial construct or simulacrum built and maintained exclusively to empower a clerical vampire elite.

1/01/2008 08:45:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Truth is a delicate thing when it is surrounded by anarchists. I have pondered how democracy in the USA can survive when we value freedom of speech so much that we allow university professors to out the “Little Eichmanns” and profess that 911 was a government conspiracy. At some point, where consensus becomes an impossibility, the war of ideas will turn kinetic and those with the strongest will to destroy their enemies will prevail. The liberal establishment has been destroying Western civilization by a thousand pin pricks because in a democracy they can rely on the civility of those with whom they disagree. It remains to be seen if such civility will hold out when the “revolution” finally takes root. I suspect that if one cannot visualize whorled peas the fascist state boogey man can take root by shear will and the laws of expectation.

1/01/2008 08:50:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...

My first summer back from the UAE I was clearing customs in Chicago O'Hare. I had purchased a carpet in Sharjah and the custom's inspector asked me where I bought it. I informed her (honestly) Dubai/Sharjah (the distinction was not yet too clear in my mind at the time). She asked for a receipt, which I did not have.

I bit my tongue, but I was going to ask her if she believed receipts from the Middle East. Shopkeepers would obligingly put down anything on a receipt I would ask them too.

I had a student who kept badgering about his exam. I told him sorry, you whiffed it and whiffed badly (obviously in simpler language). He kept it up. I eventually said "Okay I will review them and Inshallah you will pass." Obviously God was not willing and I did not bother to review his exam. I told my father of this and he was a little upset with me saying I should have reviewed the exam.

The Lonely Planet Guide advises one to never ask Yes/No question as answering no is often considered rude and people will just answer Yes. Don't ask Is that the train to Mumbai? ask instead Where does that train go?

Anyway this niggling in Pakistan all seems unreal to me. The woman is dead and her supporters instead of wondering about who killed and what members of the government were complicit (I do not believe it goes to the top) are bickering about the fine details better left for a Doctor G. episode. What an illusionist's trick.

1/01/2008 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Are all people of this region pathological liars?
Yes. Please take that into consideration the next time Tim McGirk gins up a Haditha massacre or the Taliban pull a complex ambush and get a MARSOC Company banished from Afghanistan.

Gullibility is one huge reason America does so poorly in the infowar.

7. Dealing with information is hard. The bad people don’t play by the rules and they LIE… a lot. One screw-up on our part and all the not so bad people get all upset because the bad people make a big deal about it. We need to spend a lot of time telling the not so bad people why we are different than the really bad people. Usually they don’t get it. Meanwhile the media people are busy trying to uncover the giant government conspiracy that we are supposed to be running. Also every hacker and pedophile out there is trying to screw up our computers and radios. This makes it really hard. Meanwhile the Air Force and Navy are wondering what’s wrong, since it’s not so hard for them. Once in a while, somebody on our side figures out what we should be doing. This is called Knowledge Management.

1/01/2008 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

Shame cultures lie their asses off compared to guilt cultures.

1/01/2008 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger goldwater said...

Bhutto's assassination has turned into a Rorschak test. The differing interpretations of her tragic murder say more about the interpreters than they do about the facts of the case themselves.

That said, it is entirely possible that both accounts of her death are correct. They need not be mutually exclusive.

1. Bhutto was shot multiple times, none fatal.

2. And she died from cranial trauma: just as she ducked down (or was pulled down) through the sun-roof, the concussion from the suicide-bomb threw her skull against a metal protrusion causing massive trauma to her skull.

So, why the dualistic, "Bullet-Wound-or-Sun-roof" narrative, instead of an equally probable "all-of-the-above" story-line? I take it as a facile distraction.

I think larger global media organizations are avoiding any in depth analysis of Pakistan's local politics, because to dig deeper into her poverty, ethnic divides and prevailing culture would jeopardize their other, more important trans-nationalist agenda-items.

This type of media "blind spot" was on display in MSM reportage vis the "Iraq War." Here, the media's larger goal of defeating American Republicanism (aka. "Neocons") on the world stage defeated instead the media-orgs' own ability to objectively report on the war.

Bhutto's assassination, it appears, is no different.

1/01/2008 09:34:00 AM  
Blogger Marcus Aurelius said...


Often times in discussing the Iraq war we see these false dichotomies as well.

Either the Iraq war was a completely altruistic attempt at establishing liberal governance in the middle east or it was solely based on selfish motives.

People on both sides can not bring themselves to see it was somewhere in the middle. Oil is important not just to the US but to the whole world. Liberal governance in the Middle East would be a boon to the people's of the Middle East as well as the rest of the world.

However, when partisans get into debating the old phrase give an inch and they will take a mile kicks in and no one ever gives any ground.

1/01/2008 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

See, the problem with the liars is when they say that there were bullet wounds, but none fatal, it is hard to believe. So what do they do? They bury the results of the autopsy and bury her body before it is cold. Islamic law will likely keep the corpse buried and beyond inspection.

It takes a hell of a blow to cause fatal head trauma. Oh if it is hit just right I suppose, but there is video evidence of Bhutto ducking down and short of a spike being driven deep into her frontal lobe, it really stretches the imagination beyond the elastic limit. One could reasonably expect that kind of trauma to result in a coma, but no near instant death.

I am not given to conspiracy theories in general, I tend to believe the simplest and most pedestrian of answers but this is a case where the bullsh!t alarms went off immediately.

1/01/2008 10:19:00 AM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Does "forgive and forget" mean that no one in the Paki government who made up and issued the sunroof latch canard will be fired or otherwise held accountable?

If so, I prefer hellfire and brimstone a la Christianity wherein bad guys are tarred and feathered and rode out of town on a rail ... especially bad guys who assume the rest of us are idjuts enough to believe and accept their babyish lies.

1/01/2008 10:20:00 AM  
Blogger Fat Man said...

Again, the "truth" is irrelevant, the only thing that counts is the narrative.

1/01/2008 11:16:00 AM  
Blogger Brian H said...

Fat Man;
No, not the narrative, The Narrative™ ! ;)

Coherence counts, too. You were already getting kinda loopy, and then this: "I suspect that if one cannot visualize whorled peas the fascist state boogey man can take root by shear will and the laws of expectation."
Glad you're on our side.
Or maybe not so much. :D

1/01/2008 03:49:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

I went to a typical liberal movie tonight called "Charlie Wilson's War" which sought to tag American evangelicals with the rise of the taliban--while telling about a US congressman's efforts to fund the anti soviet afghan war back in the 80's.

In contrast here's a good read called the Tribes of Terror from
The Claremont Institute by Stanley Kurtz dated December 27, 2007

Its an in depth study of the Mahsuds & the Wazirs of Waziristan and the tribal feuding which under girds the problems there. Waziristan is populated by stone cold killers. Kurtz maintains that their conscious aim is to protect their ways from the incursions of modernity--even if that means that their activities are not necessarily in their own interests. He shows how the activities of the tribes under the british raj and todays Pakis are mostly the same. He argues that the tribal ways are not no much different than the dictates of islam but the feuds are super charged by new wealth and power and the bitter jealousies that causes between closely related tribes like the Mahsuds & the Wazirs of Waziristan.

1/01/2008 06:18:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

The so-called progressives (anarchists) who on one side say visualize world peace and on the other decry “Bushitler” and Cheney’s fascist state will ultimately spawn less freedom (a move towards a police state) because democracy cannot work in a society that is incapable of rational debate.

Near 50% of all Pakistani’s approve of Osama bin Laden, near 40% approve of Musharaff prior to the latest crisis, and less than 10% approve of Bush. Yet the U.S State Department is hell bent to giving these maniacs a quick democratic fix. Maybe we can cut to the chase and give bin Laden the nukes he wants and get straight to it.

1/01/2008 06:25:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

Mark Steyn quotes Kurtz recently on NRO; “…even at the height of imperial power, the laws of British India, by treaty and tradition, only governed 100 yards either side of Waziristan’s main roads.”

Steyn goes on to speculate; “Today, it’s the tribal lands that have a 200-yard corridor through the rest of the country, exporting Islamist values through the network of madrassahs to the fierce young men in the cities. Just as the Taliban eventually seized control of Afghanistan, so they believe they’ll one day control Pakistan.”

Based on these possibilities I wouldn’t be so quick in condemning Musharaff. Democracy is great but it can’t be built on shifting sands.

1/01/2008 06:37:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

The article deals with the Wazirs and the Mahsuds 30 years ago. At that time the Wazirs were more powerful and less interested in changing their ways so the Mahsuds allied themselves to the pakis and sent their sons to the gulf where they sent back a lot of money. That brought power and bitter rivalry. The wazirs wanted the traditional ways and the Mahsuds were more willing to see advances in modernity--its not clear what that means specifically--except that even 30 years ago Waziri leaders rose and called Mahsuds apostates.

I don't know what the current situation is except that now all of waziristan has shifted out of Paki control.

However, its likely that one of the two tribes is more closely allied with al qaeda. If its the Waziris then its likely that Baituallah Mehsud is a scapegoat. If not then not.

With that in mind consider these remarks

The news has been reporting in the last few days, that the Pakistani government released intercepted communications with a Pashto speaking militant leader from the region of Waziristan. The militant leader was said to be named Baituallah Mehsud. In a book review by Stanely Kurtz's (which is the subject of this post) it is noted that there are two prominent Pashtun tribes in Waziristan: the Wazirs and the Mashuds and that a century ago the Mahsuds were part of the Wazirs, but have since split off and gained their own identity:

“The government released a transcript Friday of a purported conversation between militant leader Baitullah Mehsud and another militant.”

"It was a spectacular job. They were very brave boys who killed her," Mehsud said, according to the transcript. The government did not release an audiotape.

“Cheema described Mehsud as an al-Qaida leader who was also behind most other recent terror attacks in Pakistan, including the Karachi bomb blast in October against Bhutto that killed more than 140 people. Mehsud is thought to be the commander of pro-Taliban forces in the tribal region of South Waziristan, where al-Qaida fighters are also active.”

“In the transcript, Mehsud gives his location as Makin, a town in South Waziristan.”

On-line link to cited news release:


1/01/2008 06:45:00 PM  
Blogger Annoy Mouse said...

"Since the “conquest” of Iraq, over one million Iraqis have been slaughtered or have died from the tragic, but unavoidable consequences of invasion and occupation. BushCo have desecrated our Constitution and the almost complete fascist take-over of our media and the blatant stealing of our freedoms here at home have bypassed many Americans while they are slumbering in our dull, stupid sleep."

Cindy Sheehan

1/01/2008 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

re Charlie Wilson's War: it was a good movie, and I didn't see it as Liberal propaganda at all. The only problem I had was the discussion as to 'bouncing balls." Charlie Wilson and company had in their lifetime, only one bounce of the ball. This is not a tragedy. Apparently, the movie makers wanted to include an explicit connection between the CIA's Afghanistan effort, and 9/11... and (the actual) Charlie Wilson and Joanne Herring stopped that by threatening a law suit, which was a good thing.

The other movie about Pakistan, "A Mighty Heart" is more interesting, in my opinion. The crowds, the total anarchic shambles of the Pak cities as the hunt for Danny Pearl fumbles its way around, are a good lesson as to why 'democracy' is a word that has no meaning there.

Why is the question as to how Bhutto died even abroad? I suppose the debate feeds the conspiracy monster that kills any rational, empirical method that might be vaguely 'modern'. Like, maybe the Mossad and the CIA grabbed a helpless Bhutto and murdered her at the hospital?? Yep, that sounds right, it does. No Arab could be smart enough to pull off such a murder all by himself. All of Pakistan knows that, for a fact!!!!

1/01/2008 07:17:00 PM  
Blogger Charles said...

Apparently, the movie makers wanted to include an explicit connection between the CIA's Afghanistan effort, and 9/11... and (the actual) Charlie Wilson and Joanne Herring stopped that by threatening a law suit, which was a good thing.
instead they included an implicit connection between evangelicals evoking God in the presence of crazy muzzies and the subsequent talibanization of afghanistan. the cia guy explicitly told charlie to tell his texas friends to tone down the God talk because it would inflame the muzzies in unknown ways. But the chair of the house committee invoked God before the afghan refugees along the border anyway. The implication of the scene was that the refugees heard more than the congressman said.

The movie ends with the CIA guy saying that the crazies are gathering in Kabul and then that the USA muffed the end game for example -- by not providing money for schools.

When you look at Kurtz's piece and the distain with which the waziris looked on education--its not clear that schools would have made a difference.

Its also clear that there is no end game in that part of the world.

Maybe there is no end game anywhere.

1/01/2008 07:43:00 PM  
Blogger Doug said...

'Mouse said,
"Islamic law will likely keep the corpse buried and beyond inspection."
Indeed, for Islam Disinterment is a Grave Matter.
But then, it's ALWAYS a "Grave" Matter when you "get right down to it."

1/01/2008 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Mad Fiddler said...

Thank you, Annoymouse, for reminding us of the true nature of our predicament:

We are dying the death of a thousand pricks.

My friends tell me I seem to glory in playing the role of "that little prick of conscience" who thinks it's his job to tell people they're doing something terrible.

1/01/2008 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger NahnCee said...

Most of the time when someone goes around telling people what they've done is wrong, the people around him who are calling him a "little prick" wouldn't be thinking of themselves as friends.

And it wouldn't be a compliment.

1/01/2008 10:14:00 PM  
Blogger Neo Conservative said...

There may be another fly in the Bhutto ointment.

-- Mirpur Bhutto, Pakistan -- The head of the Bhutto tribe, a founding member of the Pakistan Peoples Party, has rejected the appointment of Benazir Bhutto's husband and son to lead the group and predicted that it will split the party.


1/01/2008 10:55:00 PM  
Blogger eggplant said...

Marcus Aurelius said...

"The Lonely Planet Guide advises one to never ask Yes/No question as answering no is often considered rude and people will just answer Yes. Don't ask Is that the train to Mumbai? ask instead Where does that train go?"

My experience with Middle Eastern culture is that people consider it polite to tell the other person what they think the other person wants to hear whether it is true or not. For example, the following is a really dumb thing to ask in the Middle East:

"I really want to go to Mumbai. I wonder if the train goes there?"

The important point is not to reveal that you want to go to Mumbai and simply ask where the train goes.

Other cultures have funny quirks as well. For example the Japanese consider it rude to say "no". In Japan if you suspect the train is NOT going to Osaka, you should ask:

Is the train not going to Osaka?

If the train really is going to Osaka then you would probably get a neutral response. Otherwise the Japanese would tell you that "Yes" the train is not going to Osaka.

Americans tend to give a straight answer and say nothing more. Australians tend to give a straight answer followed with an opinion about your question.

1/02/2008 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Cannoneer No. 4 said...
"Shame cultures lie their asses off compared to guilt cultures."

Brilliant comment! You should expand upon it. Most Westerners (certainly most Western politicians) are not even aware of this important distinction.

In a Guilt Culture, you feel guilty if you did something wrong, whether or not anybody else knows about it.

In a Shame Culture, you feel shame if you did something wrong AND SOMEBODY FINDS OUT ABOUT IT. If nobody finds out about it, no shame exists.

1/02/2008 05:11:00 AM  
Blogger PapaBear said...

re shame cultures versus guilt cultures, Dr Sanity had a nice article about it at http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2005/08/shame-arab-psyche-and-islam.html

1/02/2008 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

Speaking of Shame Cultures vs Guilt Cultures, I was always facinated that Bill Clinton appeared to be somebody who identified with a Shame Cultural orientation. Whenever he got caught in a scandal, he expressed shame at getting caught but never said he felt guilty about doing it.

Was Bill Clinton a Manchurian Candidate? Is that why the Chinese funneled money to him?

1/02/2008 01:42:00 PM  
Blogger Peter Grynch said...

papabear, thanks for the Dr. Sanity link.

The good Doctor explains:
These kind of toxic personality characteristics certainly can occur in any type of society; but appear to be more easily cultivated in shame cultures, which by their very nature are usually collectivist-oriented. Thus, it is not unusual to find the toxic combination of individual narcissistic personality traits with those behavioral attributes encouraged within a shame culture; specifically, preserving honor and avoiding shame at all costs.

For both the grandiose and shame-avoidant person, reality itself must be distorted in order to protect the self from feeling low self-esteem or shame. Blaming other individuals or groups for one's own behavior becomes second nature, and this transfer of blame to someone else is an indicator to the observer that such individuals are experiencing internal shame.

Most psychological theorists see shame as a more “primitive” emotion (since it impacts one’s basic sense of self) compared to guilt, which is developed later in the maturation of the self. Without the development of guilt there is no development of a real social conscience. Most of western culture is predominantly a "guilt"-type culture

In a typical shame culture, what other people believe has a far more powerful impact on one's behavior than even what the individual himself believes. These powerful, preening dictators, who hold complete power over people and who present themselves as little gods, are totally wrapped up in what other people think of them. Humiliation and shame are to be avoided at all costs; and this cultural imperative is only emphasized by the individual grandiosity of the near-omnipotent "great" or "dear" leaders.

This makes me wonder if releasing the pics of Saddam exitting his spider hole, looking dazed, confused, and impotent weren't actually brilliant propaganda for our side.

1/02/2008 02:01:00 PM  
Blogger davod said...

"According to Walid Phares in the war of Ideas Ms. Bhutto was the one most feared by the hard core islamists"

ids this some sort of joke. Bhutto made feals with the rat bags, just as everyone else has.

1/03/2008 04:05:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

peter grynch: This makes me wonder if releasing the pics of Saddam exitting his spider hole, looking dazed, confused, and impotent weren't actually brilliant propaganda for our side.

Evidently the people photographing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed made sure to muss up his hair and tug his shirt down to expose his near-animal furriness. All of this was done with the explicit aim of presenting him the most humiliating light possible.

This represents a rare instance of our side using some real propaganda tools. Unlike Radio Sawa, which has been dogged by such poor Arabic grammar that parents do not want their children listening to it and the station's parroting of other Middle East reportage instead of originating its own material.

At the risk of making a blanket assessment, the entire Bush administration has shown itself utterly unable to make any decent use of propaganda tools. With the ultimate bully pulpit, Bush mumbles on about how Islam is the Religion of Peace. [spit]

Far too many of his entourage also seem to be sipping at this Kool Aid as well. Right when we really need some truly well-defined language about who our real enemy is we are, instead, spoon fed worthless pap and the very worst sort of misinformation. None of this is helped by the MSM's betrayal but there is just so much more that could be done with the wealth of media resources available to our military and government.

1/03/2008 01:31:00 PM  
Blogger davod said...


It is almost as if some in th admistration did not want us to win.

1/04/2008 06:39:00 AM  
Blogger Zenster said...

davod: It is almost as if some in the admistration did not want us to win.

Sadly, in light of the Bush family's overly-close relations with the House of Saud, you may be far too close to the truth.

Please forgive me if I, once again, quote the words of Srdja Trifkovic:

Those Americans who love their land and who put their families, their neighborhoods and their nations before all others, need to stop the madness. They are normal. Those who tell them that their attachments should be global, that the Marines should patrol the banks of the Euphrates and not those of the Rio Grande, and that their lands and neighborhoods belong to whoever decides to settle in them, are sick and evil. They are jihad’s useful fools, enablers and fellow-travelers.

The elite class has every intention of continuing to “fight” the war on terrorism without naming the enemy, without revealing his beliefs, without unmasking his intentions, without offending his accomplices, without expelling his fifth columnists, and without ever daring to win. Their crime can and must be stopped. The founders of the United States overthrew the colonial government for offenses far lighter than those of which the traitor class is guilty.

[emphasis added]

1/05/2008 02:21:00 AM  

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