We're overdue a Mid East thread

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by dong20, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. dong20

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    "GAZA (Reuters) - As Islamist gunmen routed his last forces in Gaza, Western-backed President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the Palestinian government on Thursday and declared a state of emergency after six days of bloody faction fighting.

    But as the United States rallied support for Abbas, Hamas fighters stormed remaining strongholds of his secular Fatah group in the Gaza Strip, finally seizing the presidential compound, the last bastion of Abbas's authority in the enclave.

    The violence has ripped apart Palestinian hopes for a state."

    However, caution is necessary, it could all be faked.

    Comment is free: Making war look worse

    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/20060805BeirutPhotoshop.jpg
     
  2. SpeedoGuy

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    There are doubtless plenty of dramatic photos out there waiting to be taken. One is forced to wonder whether this photographer was just lazy or greedy or what?

    As for Gaza, I'm glad I don't live anywhere near there.
     
  3. D_Humper E Bogart

    D_Humper E Bogart New Member

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    I'm glad I love on an island far, far, FAR FAR away from it all!

    I do not trust photographs, they are so easily faked that somethingawful.com has better "work" than many real photographers. It's shocking that impact is not made through filter and technique but by a £500 product IMHO!
     
  4. Shelby

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    Thanks dong20 for this interesting, thought provoking post.:smile:
     
  5. SpeedoGuy

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    I wanted to re-visit this topic.

    I'm dismayed by the news media's penchant for so often emphasizing the sensational and dramatic instead of reality. It can create such a distorted perception of what's really happening. I see it happen in my line of work and it never fails to leave me with a very hollow feeling every time it occurs.

    I realize that market forces put newsies under pressure to sell copies, boost ratings and attract advertisers but that's just no excuse for deliberately falsifying or selectively twisting stories to meet deadlines or satisfy market demand. It still happens, though, and I can see why. Consumers are just as much to blame for creating such a market for high volume/low quality news copy that's heavy on the dramatic graphics and light on the chewy informational content.
     
  6. ClaireTalon

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    Photos real or fake aside, focus on the conflict itself. That the Gaza strip is no longer under Fatah's control is a fact, as much as it's a fact that the Palestinians are actually not capable of installing a stable administration, let alone being in charge of their own state.

    This conflict has been smoldering latently ever since. There are Palestinians who would accept the existence of two states, their own as well as Israel, for the sake of peace and stability. Others, more radical, want the whole thing at once, extinct Israel and install an Palestinian state within Israel's borders. Now as this party (Hamas) has won last year's elections, the conflict became an open one, especially since the Fatah organization failed to realize the seriousness of no longer being in control. Fights over the actual control started, and now culminated in the capture of the Gaza strip.

    So what can be done now? I don't know, but the situation of Israel has deteriorated now, being wedged between the Hisbollah forces in the North, and Hamas forces in the South, both with active support of the material and financial kind from Iran. And with this support, the lack of the same from the western states can be gotten over with. So the only way I see now is the fact that there seem to be groups in Gaza now who are not happy with the current situation, and seem to long back to the times of Israeli occupation. Probably, within coming times, those insurrectors will fight their new occupators, but that is just a thought.
     
  7. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Faked photos actually have a semi-legitimate history. One example: Frank Hurley.

    Several famous WW1 photos by Hurley were composites. Hurley was (and is) something of a demi-god to students of photography, based mainly on his plates of Shackleton's ship, the Endurance, being slowly crushed in the Antarctic pack ice. He prepared, exposed, and developed these plates out on the ice; a spectacular technical feat.

    During the war, Hurley was frustrated by the fact that what he saw often wasn't photographable. Shells wouldn't explode in the right places, soldiers couldn't stand still long enough for an exposure or they'd be shot, ruins didn't have sufficient lighting, etc. So he made up some composite photos by superposing plates, in order to simulate some of what he'd seen but couldn't actually photograph.

    Although probably honestly motivated, the practice met with general disapproval even at the time.

    Of course, even an undoctored photo can be very deceptive. I recall one recently of a masked anti-globalization protester throwing something - very dramatic, even if painfully futile. Later another uncropped photo of the same scene was published. It showed some twenty photographers clustered around this lone protester, all snapping the same pose. Somehow that version didn't have quite the same "Jack the Giant Killer" atmosphere. Another recent shot of a "spontaneous" protest - I haven't the foggiest idea what they were protesting - looked very dramatic. I think it even made the cover of Time. The uncropped version showed the activist from International A.N.S.W.E.R. (a Stalinist spinoff of the Worker's World Party) standing out in front, coaching them in how to look "spontaneous".

    The universal franchise has a cost, and that is that many people are working to deceive all of us in every possible way. The payoff is at the ballot box - the vote of someone who has been deceived counts every bit as much as that of someone who actually knows what's going on.

    Hurley on the ice - Photographs from Shackleton Endurance
    Hurley in the mud - The Heritage of the Great War / First World War 1914 - 1918
     
  8. SpeedoGuy

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    I remember as a youngster reading about Shackleton's exploits in the Southern Ocean and the dramatic photos of his ship caught in the ice. I remain as impressed by that tale of bravery and fortitude now as I did when I was 12 years old.
     
  9. dong20

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    This wasn't really about the photo, I seriously doubt it's the first, or will be the last - it's only distingishing feature is the poor quality of the faking.

    The thread was about the escalating situation in Lebanon. The fake photo element was meant to indicate that in terms of mainstream media reporting such events, things are seldom what they seem.
     
  10. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    Well that's certainly true, in Lebanon and just about everywhere else. I'm a particular fan of AP's notorious spinmeisters, and have been following their work for years. AP is almost certainly the worst of the wire services (I won't call them "news agencies") in terms of labeling propaganda "news", so it was not too surprising to see that you cited a doctored AP photo. AP purged all of that particular photographer's items after this imbroglio, I suspect so that we wouldn't find out that AP has been foisting that sort of doctored rubbish off on us for a long time.
     
  11. stretcher74

    stretcher74 New Member

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    The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them; but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths.
    What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American people?'

    Nguyễn Ngọc Loan - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
  12. SteveHd

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    I'm old enough to remember that picture. It seems I don't remember the executed's atrocities. Maybe the m/s/m didn't delve into that? It's misrepresentations like that cause me and many others to distrust the m/s/m. It's no wonder people say "it's biased".
     
  13. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    AP again, I note.

    The photo had much better distribution than the story. As always.

    The problem predates photography.

    Yellow journalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Scroll down about half way for Fredrick Remington's newspaper contribution. The incident was real; the depiction is wholly imaginary.
     
  14. SteveHd

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    AP ... it figures ... at least they're consistent spanning the decades.
     
  15. SpeedoGuy

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    Sadly, it would appear so. It seems Abbas and Fatah have been ousted not by opponents with more votes but only by fanatics with heavier weaponry.
     
  16. dong20

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    I'm not convinced they're incapable merely by dint of being Palestinian. I do think, at present they are clearly unwilling to do so. That would require that both sides move forward past the atmosphere of hatred and division that seems to override rational thought.

    Of course from here, that's easy to say.
     
  17. SteveHd

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    Many of LPSG members won't like my viewpoint: the Palestinians are accomplished losers. I'll grant that they were dealt a disaster in 1948 but they have caused most of their own problems. Their biggest mistake was walking away from the peace negotiations in 2000. Israel offered more than they'd ever offered before. The Palestinians balked and started "Intifada II". Everything went downhill, for them, since then. Electing Hamas was yet another jumbo mistake.

    What irks me is they blame Israel and "The Great Satan" for their problems. I feel bad for them but their own actions mitigate my feelings.
     
  18. dong20

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    As do I though it's not entirely without cause.

    As for Palestinian actions; without sharing their emotional context and from our comfortable position it's all too easy for us to rationalise their situation and thus see such actions as ultimately self defeating.

    I imagine that's somewhat harder to achieve 'on the ground' so to speak where I suspect hopelessness and hatred are all too pervasive.
     
  19. SteveHd

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  20. dong20

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    Though good largely in the sense that it reverses a wrong. Still, every little helps.

    "Mr Abbas has said he will rule by presidential decree until conditions are right for early elections."

    That particular statement has always made me feel uneasy, so emphasis on early. This time, whatever the result let's hope the west will have the good grace to respect it and not pout because the result didn't suit them.
     
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