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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:55:45)

Philippe Duhart

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  • Top Ten differences between White Terrorists and Others
    • Bravo. Political context, rather than racial, is everything though. Many of these points can be applied to Spain and the Basque conflict, where acts of violence committed by separatists are interpreted by the Spanish media and political class as symptomatic of Basque culture. There too, few in the mainstream speak out against the demonizing of Basques. Much the same occurred in Northern Ireland, where both sides identified political violence as stemming from cultural roots rather than political grievances.

      The difference in American politics is that race is the context, therefore nothing negative can be identified with "white/Christian culture" (though minority culture can be interpreted as the problem for many social ills).

  • Egypt between the Left, Muslim Fundamentalism, and the Old Regime
    • "Abou’l-Futuh is accused of trying to be all things to all people, speaking like a fundamentalist to the Salafis and like a liberal to the Coptic Christians and secularists."

      Sounds like he's acclimated rather well to democratic politics.

      As for security over economy, this really is not surprising. The Egyptian people witnessed the near collapse of the state (and witnessed, from afar, what state collapse looked like in Iraq just a few years ago), thus have an intimate understanding of the importance of security. I think we in the West, comfortable in our powerful states, take this for granted, often assuming all people (like us) put a premium on the economy or on issues of identity and religion. But, in order for those things to matter, people must believe that they won't get killed in the immediate future.

      Related to this, I find the relatively poor performance of the (unreconstructed) Muslim Brotherhood to be interesting. After all, haven't the neocons warned us and many liberal academics assured us that Egyptians (like all Muslims!) are deeply, if not fanatically, religious and that "fundamentalist" parties would be the inevitable winners in the era of Arab democracy? Again, we westerners tend to impose our own obsessive identity politics on others, neglecting the possibility that our identities only matter when stability is a fait accompli.

  • Drones, Drones Everywhere, and now we've given them to Iran
    • Drones also provide the Administration's with the imagery of "surgical" strikes in which technology is harnessed to limit the potential damage of warfare while simultaneously expanding the War on Terror. It doesn't matter if this isn't the case -- and it most certainly is not, given the amount of non-combatants killed in these strikes. What matters is that it provides this President a way to distinguish his from the previous regime ("We're smarter in our war-making") while allowing him to boast of his militarism ("Look how many terrorist I kill"). Abetted by a compliant media and a public that both doesn't care (drones kill "terrorists," after all) and takes pride in this presumed technological superiority, it's the perfect narrative devise for the "good" War on Terror.

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