Go to previous post:
Boring technical notes from all over

Go to Electrolite's front page.

Go to next post:
Blog parents

Our Admirable Sponsors

April 7, 2002

And the horse you rode in on From WAFA, the official Palestinian news agency. (English translation theirs.)
We recognize the capability of the modern technology and its precision of enabling unlimited control, but simultaneously we notice that the individuals and the small groups are developing amazing parallel capability of confronting such attempts of control, registering remarkable achievements, aren92t the 11th of September considered as a blow to the technological advance?
Murdering thousands of my neighbors: “a remarkable achievement.”

Funny, the sympathy I had for the Palestinian cause—and there was some, as recently as five minutes ago—just came to an abrupt end. [04:17 PM]

Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on And the horse you rode in on:

David Joseph Greenbaum ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 04:55 PM:

That WAFA editorial feels like it out to be a joke; from its non-idiomatic English to the over-the-top frothing rhetoric barely hidden under its incoherence. Yet it isn't - it is in earnest.

Kevin J. Maroney ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 09:54 PM:

My reaction to reading the whole piece is that it is, literally, incoherent. Parts of it stand in direct contradiction to each other--one paragraph ("The Islamic and the Arab countries should abandon an issue, they are not responsible for, we mean the attack against the World Trade Center in New York and in the Pentagon in Washington, two monuments considered symbols of the USA power.") seems to have a pretty clear meaning that the Palestinians and their allies should repudiate the 9/11 attacks, which is contradicted by the tone of the paragraph Patrick quoted. The near-Babelfish level of some of the sentences makes me wonder what they actually are saying (besides "Talk to Arafat or don't expect us to listen"). It is barely possible to read the paragraph Patrick quoted as saying "The US thinks it can control everything, but Sept. 11th proved they can't", but I literally can't tell what it's *supposed* to communicate.

David Joseph Greenbaum ::: (view all by) ::: April 07, 2002, 11:15 PM:

Despite the Babelfish quality of the piece, I think the overwhelming hostility, hagiographic grandiosity - if the writer(s)' command of English is poor, it isn't so poor as to lose the ability to usefully mark ritual formulations (the whole "'The Symbol' 'The Nations Legend' and maybe a legend in the entire world" business) - and the jargon of wheedling threat bleed through its incoherence. And that's the message. We aren't the primary audience for this screed; the primary audience for the piece is a small circle of incestuous activism in the Gaza strip, not here.

It's a problem of which a lot of activist writing falls foul - the tendency to meter out rhetoric heated by close-quarter steam. This is not measured, it is manic. It does not pursuade - it blusters, struts, threatens, and crows. Also, it is incoherent - which makes me think that it was the result of a speedy and possibly one-handed composition session.

Sue Denim ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2002, 10:33 AM:

It's hardly incoherent, except grammatically. The orientation and intentions of the writer are utterly clear.

John Farrell ::: (view all by) ::: April 08, 2002, 12:33 PM:

You read stuff like this and you see what it must have been like to be a German in the 1920s, when every day junk was issuing from 'Der Sturmer' and no one took it seriously until it was too late.aaI wonder whether the Palestinians really believe what they write. Or is it just that --new to the whole business of political opinion and having their own organs to disseminate it -- they love to speak in apocalyptic terms because it's been bred into them by the Koran and by their leaders.aaI wonder how they would react if suddenly Tony Blair and George Bush starting thinking out loud on television about, oh, whether it might be necessary at some point for the Western nations to consider nuking Mecca.aaOf course, they'd be appalled. Deep down they know that, contrary to what they love to say about us, the western powers show great restraint in the face of this hatred. Deep down, the real reason for their hatred is a combination of self-loathing, envy and resentment. aaBest,aaJohn F