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1 wrenchwench  Tue, Oct 15, 2013 1:30:58pm
Last, but not least, my reason for posting this: Most of you guys who’ve been around LGF for a while know that I’m a stickler for using reliable sources with respectable reputations, so I feel obligated to point them out whenever I discover a new one that will enable people to get information from professionals with serious academic & practical counterterrorism credentials—as opposed to the poo-flinging howler monkeys we encounter so often who are simply shoveling propaganda & hyperbolic, bigoted talking points at us in furtherance of their various agendas—this issue is far too important to be left in their hands.

Sources are important. If they weren’t there would be nothing wrong with Fox News.

Now that anybody can have a blog, anybody can be a source. Popularity is no criterion for reliability, so we have to use something else. What it comes down to is reading everything and sorting through it all and coming to our own conclusions about who is reliable. Since we don’t have time to do that, we take the shortcut of deciding who else is reliable, and counting on their judgment.

Anyone who accepts poor sources becomes an unreliable source himself or herself.

Sticklers for good sources increase their reliability.

2 wrenchwench  Tue, Oct 15, 2013 1:34:02pm

I also like the horse stuff. The first book I learned anything about Arab culture from was The Black Stallion. Definitely not a good source about Arab culture, but the horse connection intrigued me.

3 CuriousLurker  Tue, Oct 15, 2013 2:22:13pm

re: #2 wrenchwench

I also like the horse stuff. The first book I learned anything about Arab culture from was The Black Stallion. Definitely not a good source about Arab culture, but the horse connection intrigued me.

I like the horse stuff too. I have a book of poems from Arab Andalusia that has a couple of really nice ones about horses. The Arabs were (and still are) gaga over their horses. BTW, the sura (chapter) of the Qur’an mentioned in the analysis is quite dramatic & poetic (depending on the interpreter/translator—this is from my favorite, Yusuf Ali):

In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
By the (Steeds) that run, with panting (breath),
And strike sparks of fire,
And push home the charge in the morning,
And raise the dust in clouds the while,
And penetrate forthwith into the midst (of the foe) en masse;-
Truly man is, to his Lord, ungrateful;
And to that (fact) he bears witness (by his deeds);
And violent is he in his love of wealth.
Does he not know,– when that which is in the graves is scattered abroad
And that which is (locked up) in (human) breasts is made manifest–
That their Lord had been Well-acquainted with them, (even to) that Day?

Whether you’re a believer or not, it paints quite an impressive mental picture, doesn’t it? The more I read about this, the more I see how powerful this sort of symbol-laden imagery can be and how easy it might be to manipulate people’s perceptions with it.

I was thinking earlier this afternoon how there’s a weird parallel between this and the icons (or the “fetish objects”, as TGoaFlea referred to them in his recent post) of the far-right/Tea Party—the Gadsden & Confederate flags, tri-cornered hats, guns, bibles, identification with past glory & early founders, portrayal of the opposition as pure evil and perception of one’s own group as righteous/godly & noble, etc.—it’s strikingly similar now that I think about it. The only difference is the Tea Party hasn’t taken it to the next level (terrorism/mass murder). I hope things stay that way, but the more I read, the more I fear it won’t as long as there are demagogues & religious leaders out there wiling to continue manipulating people for their own personal gain.


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