Ugo La Pietra, Credenza Sbruffo, Circa Late ’80s
— Maya Angelou, RIP
Hassan Hassan: The western-backed offensive against Isis has received a cynical reaction from people in the Middle East.
As the Obama administration prepared to bomb Syria without Congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the “homeland.” A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign with no viable claim of self-defense or U.N. approval.
The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded “The Khorasan Group.” After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat – too radical even for Al Qaeda! – administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations and national security journalists tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. Seemingly out of nowhere, a new terror group was created in media lore.
The Shadow The West, by Edward Said. (1986)
Edward Said focuses on the plight of the Palestinians which can be seen as the most enduring residue of the modern encounter between the Arabs and the West. Said traces the course of European involvement with the Near East via the Crusades to Napoleon’s campaign in Egypt and the French and English entrepreneurs, adventurers and empire builders who came in his wake.
Figure allégorique de la République by Antoine-Jean Gros c. 1794.
Thomas Allen Harris’ documentary Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People will be playing at New York’s Film Forum through September 9. “The film is a cornucopia of Americana that reveals deeply disturbing truths about the history of race relations while expressing joyous, life-affirming sentiments about the ability of [African-American] artists and amateurs alike to assert their identity through the photographic lens,” Film Forum writes. “What the film strives to say is, when everything around me is telling me I am not worth anything, I can present myself and have a likeness of myself and my talents that shows I have values,” Harris told the New York Times.