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Binocular (camera) vision, Mosul

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — ISIS vs journo, fighter vs reporter ]
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An intriguing use of DoubleQuote thinking — from opposite sides of a conflict moment:

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These images are even more striking when seen in full:

ISIS pov:

Raineri pov:

Kudos, Daniele Raineri.

So now ISIS has its own fake news

Friday, March 10th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — propaganda and, i suppose, impropaganda ]
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Publication of the last three issues of the ISIS magazine Rumiyah have been preceded or accompanied by bogus issues, thus giving ISIS its own quota of fake news. I’m of course delighted because one can compare authentic and fake versions as visual DoubleQuotes. Here are some examples from the latest issue, #7, courtesy of Charlie Winter:

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MEMRI has graciously made its February report, Release Of Two Suspicious Fifth Issues Of ISIS’s ‘Rumiyah’ Magazine – Timeline, Characteristics, And Takeaways, openly available — here are the basic paras:

On January 6, 2017, the Islamic State (ISIS) released Issue 5 of its online magazine Rumiyah. The issue, which included, inter alia, the usual threats to the West and advice for carrying out attacks there,[1] was picked up by Western media outlets and widely reported. Much less attention, however, was given to two other purported issues of the same magazine, which were released a few hours prior to the official Islamic State release of Issue 5.

Each of the two fake issues of Issue 5 of Rumiyah appears to have a different purpose. While the first was reportedly a rogue PDF file packed with malware aimed at infecting the devices of anyone downloading or opening the file, the content of the second was surprisingly well crafted content in what appeared to be a malware-free PDF file, making the point of its release not entirely clear.

This is not the first time that a jihadi magazine or other release is comprised, especially in light of the fierce cyber warfare being waged against terrorist groups. The most prominent example of this is the 2010 operation that aimed to undermine the first release of the Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) English-language magazine Inspire. That attack resulted in the release of two modified PDF versions of the magazine, and has had a negative impact on one of the magazine’s distribution channels as well.[2] In another incident in 2013, which also targeted AQAP, a video of the group was purposely sabotaged and a segment calling for the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Yemen at the time was removed prior to its official release.[3]

Terrorist groups’ distribution chains and channels have evolved in the last decade. What was once a single download link posted on a password-protected top-tier jihadi forum, is now a widely distributed URL to jihadi content posted on the San Francisco-based Internet Archive (archive.org)[4] that goes viral on Twitter, Telegram, and elsewhere within minutes of its initial release. Jihadi response to suspicious content, on the other hand, has been relatively consistent during that same period, with overly cautious and even paranoid behavior characterizing many members of online jihadi circles. In fact, social media has in many ways made it more difficult to “trick” jihadis into consuming dubious jihadi content, since warnings about such content are now generated and disseminated faster and easier than ever before.

The graphic at the head of this post is taken from a February Heavy Terror Watch post, ISIS Alleges Someone Is Publishing Fake Islamic State Magazines

It’s all faintly hilarious / deadly serious: fake news, ISIS-style.

News from left, center and right? this site provides links

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

[ by Charles Cameron — see also post on left, center, right news maps ]
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I ran across the AllSides site recently. Their aim seems laudable:

Unlike regular news services, AllSides exposes bias and provides multiple angles on the same story so you can quickly get the full picture, not just one slant.

At the moment, their focus is on Obama and the wiretap:

WHITE HOUSE
Obama Denies Wiretap

From the Center
Trump wants congressional probe of claims on Obama, won’t comment further
President Trump called Sunday for a congressional investigation of his claims that predecessor Barack Obama had him wiretapped…
USA Today Bias: Center

From the Right
The Obama Camp’s Disingenuous Denials on FISA Surveillance of Trump
President Trump’s early Saturday morning tweeting has exploded to the forefront an uncovered scandal I’ve been talking about since…
Guest Writer – Right Bias: Lean Right

From the Left
Obama Refutes Allegation That He Wiretapped Trump Tower During Campaign
U.S. President Donald Trump accused predecessor Barack Obama on Saturday of wiretapping him during the late stages of the 2016…
Huffington Post Bias: Left

They also feature a host of topics you can explore, such as the environment — and there you can find not only relevant news, but also:

  • Think Tanks from the LEFT
  • Think Tanks from the CENTER
  • Think Tanks from the RIGHT
  • Those pages in turn will take you to:

  • The Environmental Defense Fund
  • The Council on Environmental Quality
  • Brookings Institution
  • World Wildlife Fund
  • The Cato Institute
  • The Heritage Foundation
  • Are Zenpundit readers already familiar with this site? Does it strike you as fair and balanced? Do you know of other sites that serve the same or a related purpose? Any other comments?

    News from left, center and right? two maps to guide us

    Sunday, March 5th, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — see also post on left, center, right news links ]
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    To complement a post in this series which provided links to left, center and right news sources, here are two maps to help you sort right from center from left, a response to one of them from InfoWars, and a blank map you can fill in with your own sense of what goes where — or with noughts and crosses if you prefer, or for that matter, moves in a HipBone Game on a weird Venn-diagram influenced board…

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    The first map comes from Vanessa Otero:

    InfoWars didn’t like its positioning as “garbage” on Otero’s chart, and responded in Alternate Reality: Viral Propaganda Chart Demonizes Independent Media — subtitled Chart exemplifies dying dinosaur media’s extreme liberal bias:

    Otero also offers a blank format for do it yourself mapping:

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    Pew is, at least theoretically, non-partisan, although they too presumably have an Overton window. The below may, accordingly, seem to you more accurate than Otero’s chart above — but please note, this one dates from 2014:

    What do you think?

    US and Israel, a double ouroboros

    Saturday, January 21st, 2017

    [ by Charles Cameron — Netanyahu, Trump, and their interchangeable ambassadorships? — also fake news and truth ]
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    Two versions of two serpents biting each others’ tails to form a loop

    On the left, we have a western, alchemical version of the two-serpent ourobouros, and on the right an “Infinite Wealth Sacred Buang Nak Bat Amulet” from Thailand. The accompanying text on the Billionmore Rare Thai Buddhist amulets and Talismans site reads:

    Naga is the great snake of wealth in Buddhist belief when two Naga connect into a circle, it means wealth will never end..

    That’s right, infinite wealth is yours for only $26.90.

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    In today’s New Yorker, we see the same secondary form of the ouroboros: two serpents, biting each others’ tails, to form a loop:

    In recent years, ascendant political currents in America and Israel had already begun to merge. We have now reached the point where envoys from one country to the other could almost switch places: the Israeli Ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer, who grew up in Florida, could just as easily be the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, while Donald Trump’s Ambassador-designate to Israel, David Friedman, who has intimate ties to the Israeli settler movement, would make a fine Ambassador in Washington for the pro-settler government of Benjamin Netanyahu.

    As you may know, I’m generally disinclined to support one side in a conflict when it appears to me that conflict itself is the basic conundrum we should be examining. Accordingly, it’s the form here — the two serpents, the two ambassadorships working together as an integrated system, that I’d call your attention to.

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    While we’re on the subject of twin serpents…

    Sometime back in the last century I suggested the utility of a Tarot-like pack of cards showing the great archetypal images that have populated the imaginations of so many cuotures across the globe and centuries.

    Thus both the caduceus of western medicine and the kundalini of eastern yoga show twinned serpents spiraling up a central pole – and if Linus Pauling had seen that double serpent image when he was chasing the structure of DNA, he might have spent less time on the triple and more time on the double helix, and beaten Crick and Watson to the punch.


    Left, an image of the kundalini; right, the caduceus or rod of Aesculapius — see also the two linked wikipedia pages for a flaw in this portion of my argument

    A similar case can be made for Kekule’s realization that the form of the benzene molecule was a ring, supposedly triggered by a reverie of the ouroboros or serpent biting it’s tail.


    diagram of ouroboros and benzene molecule from ChemDoodle

    It’s worth noting, however, that this appears to be an old wives’ tale, perhaps fashioned by Kekule himself, as detailed by JH Wotiz and S Rudofsky in Kekulé’s dream: Fact or fiction?” Chemistry in Britain, 20, 720–723 (1954).

    Now, are the debunking stories better stories than their respective archetypal insight stories? And what’s the truth in story, in any case? In the psyche, story and fact are both story, tiny molecular weavings of the imagination.

    And how does this tie in with “news” — fake and true?


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