And they come with no warning,
nature loves her little surprises.
Continual crisis!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Poking the bear with a stick

"I don’t understand why… this happened to me, when all I wanted to do was pursue my acting career." That's from a letter from a scared actress posted on Neil Gaiman's journal. It's quite a read about someone who was duped into making hate speech. And I think it's a good thing we know this, because it starts to frame the narrative of the story that has lit the muslim world afire. This isn't the only piece of evidence, but it is the conclusive nail in the coffin.

The Innocence of the Muslims was made for one purpose.

And while the end result may not be what was intended, the resulting chaos was intended. Because bringing that chaos is exactly the goal of a terrorists. And what they hope to do, is ride the crest of that chaos to achieve their other goals (which are always political, but not always easily discernible). Because not only did it take the filming, post production (filling in the green screen and over dubbing the actors) and setting up the structures of distribution and screening, all of which was done in a way to both fool most people involved and screen the people responsible, it also took the careful plantation of the seeds to foment the riots.

There's been a lot of comparison to the muslim world's response to the Danish Cartoons, but that's a false equivalency. Those cartoons were political speech (crass as they may have been and hateful in their own manner). the cartoons were published openly in a relatively large market exposure vehicle. This "movie" was intended to cause riots. It most certainly was. While else mask the people behind the movie with double and triple layer misdirections from the very onset? Because they knew that with their final product they would be targeted once the violence erupted.

So we're left with a lot of questions. For a low-budget "thriller" with the intent to insult muslims worldwide, why the deception with hiring real actors, directors, and one expects all the other people behind the camera? Even if the "producer" behind all this is an Egyptian Coptic Christian (which, again if I had to lay money, really isn't the final story either, just like the "it's all a Jewish conspiracy" line turned out to be phony), there's enough of a population in that minority to put on a fairly competent production (certainly to the level we now have with this "film"). Even if we limit it to "those who hate muslims." Why spend the money on real production with a director and paid actors? The current story is the production company is run by a Coptic Christian, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, who is known for trouble making.

So, how did this nothing film suddenly explode onto the scene Northern Africa, and why did it do so on the anniversary of 9-11. Both of which point to al Qaeda. Northern Africa has experienced a large influx of AQ actors after the Arab Spring, note some of the violence that was already happening because of "religious hard liners." And N. Africa is now AQs major recruitment centes. About the only other place that they're having much activity is Syria (AQ in the 3 Rivers has been pouring fighters over the border from Iraq). Of the literally millions of videos loaded onto youtube servers, how did this one break out of the pack when it had been posted months ago? There's anti-islam stuff uploaded every day.

That's not to say the people behind this are related to AQ, but they could also be tracking events and willing to provoke AQ and give them the casus belli to stir up trouble. In the resulting chaos created by an organization already dedicated to revolution and willing to be the front-line soldiers, who is to say someone isn't playing them for shock troops and pawns.

But I'm left asking myself, to what purpose? What would Coptic Christians (another oppressed minority in Egypt) stand to gain? Who was the actual target of the provocation (muslims, the US, AQ)? Who could win from instability and what's the next shoe to drop?

It could be a case of extreme naivety, but with the carefulness of the planning it doesn't seem like that would be the case. Although supposedly the movie was already screened and flopped. Is that one of the cards in the rouse, or going back to the naivety angle did they expect to just make money from the controversy ("there is no bad press as long as they spell your name correctly")?

There's just something about this that feels wrong. It feels manipulated and forced, but through the smoke on the field is difficult to tell who is zooming whom. Or maybe with all the other stuff going on I'm just getting distracted by shadows.

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