From outside one will always triumphantly impress theories upon the world and then fall straight into the ditch one has dug, but only from inside will one keep oneself and the world quiet and true. /FK (Contact: TBONotebooks at fastmail.fm. The Blue Octavo Notebooks welcomes mail, although we cannot guarantee a response. Your email may be posted in part on The Blue Octavo Notebooks unless otherwise requested.) Please enjoy the notebook entries, and thanks for reading.

Friday, November 28, 2003

More from the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” Department, special post-turkey you-can’t-blame-this-on-the-Tryptophane edition. So, dig: Today’s edition of Arab News includes a rather mealy-mouthed article entitled “Anti-Saudi Campaign Not Calculated to Curb Terrorism,” in which the author moans about Saudi Arabia getting a bum rap in the American media ever since 15 Saudi nationals helped highjack planes and kill thousands of people on 9/11. The article concludes that “Antagonistic remarks and fabricated allegations have no effect beyond spreading hatred, which in turn promotes terrorism.” Hokay, I’ll buy that for a petro-dollar, but let’s see if Arab News can walk the walk.

Hmmm, let’s see. Ah, but would you believe that the first entry in the letters section is entitled “Zionist Propaganda”? Of course you would, because this is Arab News we’re talking about. The letter, courtesy of a scholar named Mohiudddin, of Khamis Mushayt, includes the following commentary:

Everything seems to have changed after Sept. 11. The Zionist-controlled American press unleashed a propaganda war against the Muslims, especially against Saudi nationals.
[Dismissal of a post-9/11 lawsuit seeking billions in compensation from Saudi Arabia] indicates not only the fairness of the American judicial system but also demonstrates that truth cannot be suppressed for long.

Unfortunately, this is not case with the press, which is dominated by the Zionists.

The press does not spare any opportunity to defame Muslims. The bias of the media not only distorts the facts but also encourages countries like Israel to perpetrate atrocities on Palestinians.

Another letter, from Ed Friedemann (who seems to be a regular contributor to the letters page) moans about Ariel Sharon murdering children with US assistance.

This is all eloquent and inciteful, er, insightful, to be sure, but what happened to antagonistic remarks and fabricated allegations only spreading hatred and promoting terrorism, and all that? Such lofty sentiments, we hardly knew ye.

The final two letters are full of praise for Arab News (seriously), and the second one notes that “The paper has definitely improved, and I think its improvement signifies not only the development of journalism but of Saudi society too.”

Cool, but imagine what Arab News was like before it was improved! One wonders if this alleged improvement occurred before or after Arab News began publishing folks like, uh, David Duke and delusional rants about Saddam Hussein being a Zionist tool (see TBON’s entry for last Saturday) and the American media being, like, totally controlled by Zionists. Aw, never mind.

Next up: Egypt, a country that has received billions of dollars in aid from the US in recent years, and has even signed a peace treaty with the accursed Zionist entity, er, Israel. As Egypt is generally regarded as being one of the most moderate states in the region (despite, well, you know), it’s always interesting to see what its state-controlled media is pumping out. A good read for this purpose is Al Ahram Weekly, probably the country's best known paper, and which comes in handy when one wants to get to the bottom of who’s responsible for, say, terrorist attacks at synagogues in Turkey.

Indeed, Al Ahram’s editors have put together a Reader’s Corner in the latest issue that includes the following tidbits of trenchant commentary from various readers: “The explosions at the British Consulate and HSBC bank in Istanbul are organised by Israel and the American CIA to move Turkish public opinion to send troops to Iraq”; “Regarding 'Terror strikes Turkey'... no doubt someone like Sharon and his party would sacrifice a few lives of his people for higher political gain and sympathy for Zionists”; “Yes, Israel wants the two rivers in Iraq for its own war machine and nuclear projects”; “Perhaps the ironic twist is that the predominantly non-Semite, Ashkenazi Jews are the real anti-Semites”; “Although there is a lack of democracies in the Middle East, I would contend that the governments in place are just as legitimate…. And although these governments are different, they are still quite credible.”

Well, dang, the governments of dictators like Bashar Assad or Col. Muammar Qadhafi may look a bit funny from the outside, but, hey, they’re legit and quite credible on the inside! If any of this strikes you as a bit, well, nauseating, keep in mind that such folks are merely following the kind of example set by Egypt’s president, who has “permitted rabidly anti-Jewish and anti-American sentiments to be expressed in educational curricula and the state-run media, and has increasingly adopted inflammatory rhetoric himself.”

Ah, but let’s send this moderate country some more billions and divest from that nasty little Israel. That’ll show ‘em!

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