May 1, 2006


The new Muslim TV: media-savvy, modern, and moderate (Ursula Lindsey, 5/02/06, The Christian Science Monitor)

Mr. Abu Haiba, the station's Cairo bureau manager, says the station espouses the values of tolerance, peace, and progress, while being critical of some modern developments. Abu Haiba rails against cellphones and fast food, and says people should "be honest, be punctual, not raise their voices." [...]

These entrepreneurs target the upper middle class, and focus on personal enlightenment rather than political engagement. They're socially conservative and opposed to what they see as the decadence of much of Western culture. But they want to benefit from Western science, education, and progress, and they condemn violence and extremism.

Compare the number of folks hiding in western Pakistan with the remnants of al Qaeda with the numbers watching this sort of media and turning out for elections and you get a sense of how comprehensively the extremists are losing. Of course, it'll be fun to listen to the Right deny the evidence of the market.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 1, 2006 7:47 PM

It's not a question of whether the people want it, but whether the repressive regimes will permit it. It is a true shame that we are not backing channels like this and beaming them in to Iran.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 1, 2006 10:42 PM

Thank you for your thoughts AOG. I think if the people want it, the regime can't stop it. Remember the Soviet Coup at the end. It failed because the Russians were done. Maybe when robot warriors become a reality, regimes will be able to be repressive without the people's backing, but we are not there yet.

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 2, 2006 12:31 AM

Mr. Mitchell;

I would reply, "North Korea".

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 2, 2006 11:39 AM

You could have replied 'Soviet Union' until it fell....

Posted by: Robert Mitchell Jr. at May 2, 2006 1:59 PM

The USSR collapsed because the leadership lost the will to be sufficiently brutal. History shows that a regime can remain suppress domestic opposition indefinitely, if it is repressive enough (no need for robots). Change comes from either outside intervention or the collapse of the ruling class.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at May 2, 2006 2:35 PM

No, it doesn't. It shows that level of repression can't last very long without collapsing the system.

Posted by: oj at May 2, 2006 2:42 PM