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Wednesday, February 07, 2007 

Deletling dissent

I've said this many times. But when you attack someone's personality, it only points to the weakness in your argument.

Case and point.

Tony Badran's latest rant against Joshua Landis. He goes on to rail against Sami Moubayed, taking in a few other people he dislikes.

They are two of the most knowlegable writers on Syria. You may disagree with their views, but you'll struggle to dispute their insight. That's when we turn to personal attacks.

I left a comment challenging Badran's tactics against Landis, and pointing his readers in the direction of Moubayed's webpage so his readers can make up their own mind. The comment has been deleted.

Personal attacks and a lack of tolerance for dissenting views. Perhaps a few democracy activists should look a little closer to home before deleting dissent. Have a look on the sidebar of my page: "the information democracy". Feel free to post a comment, disagree with me, debate, discuss, argue. You won't find me erasing views I don't agree with.

It seems Bashar's access to a major US TV network (ABC News's week of Syria specials ... scroll down this page to find my links to the videos) has really made some people throw their toys out of the pram. Boo hoo.

UPDATE: My second comment ("Am I right in thinking you deleted my comment") has also been deleted. We run a tight dictatorship here.

UPDATE2: And again. So I've posted this: Just tell me Tony, what do you find so threatening in my opinion that you find it necessary to hide my views instead of replying to them.

How long will it take him to delete that.


I have noticed this style in his posts in the past. I'm not a fan of his, and I generally am not a fan of you either (you are never critical of the Syrian government, even to the point of willfully ignoring some of its faults), but I still read both blogs.

However, I'm not surprised. He speaks in the name of "democracy" and "freedom" but he works for the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, an organization with a far-right, imperialistic, and Islamophobic bent. Badran is a research fellow there.

Guess who is a "senior fellow" there? None other than the democracy-loving former leader of the Lebanese Forces, Walid Phares.

Guess who the kind of people that are attracted to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies are? On colleges, the FDD is known for attracting far-right wing Americans, because they always try to vilify Muslims and Arabs. Just last night, anti-Semite and Islamophobe Walid Shoebat spoke at UC Davis, hosted by the FDD chapter there.

Last fall, Khairi Abaza from the Egyptian reform party came to UC Berkeley to talk about stability and democratic reform in the Middle East, also sponsored by the FDD. Somehow, he managed to talk for 30-40 minutes about everything that has happened in the Middle East, specifically Egypt, since 1900 without ever mentioned Israel. How can anybody have a serious analysis of the Middle East while completely ignoring Israel's role in the region?

So, really, it's not surprising. Badran has to literally demonize everybody else because that's the only legitimate way to live in a world where "civilizations" (whatever those are) "clash," and where there is an imagined war between imagined things like "militant Islam" and "secular Islam." The prerequisite for such a world is the complete annihilation or suppression of those who disagree.

He's an ideologue. I'm not surprised he deleted your comments.

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About me

  • Written by sasa
  • From Damascus, Syria
  • From Damascus to London via Beirut. Based in and out of the central Damascene hamlet of Saroujah. News and feelings from the streets every day. I'm talking rubbish? Leave a comment. Welcome to the information democracy. See below for info about this site.
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