Snapshots from Benghazi

Bassam Tariq of 30 Days Ramadan points us to a series of images making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and the like today. The snapshots are ostensibly reactions to the recent violence related to a weird, anti-Islam YouTube trailer for a film produced by a mysterious character with a shady past.

The whole story behind that video and the attacks linked to it is perplexing, and the more that comes to light, the more it feels like a strange disinfo job. But I have no idea by whom, and to what end.

More images here. I don't know who shot them, and am unable to verify that they are what they appear to be as I post.

More: Boing Boing news archive for "Innocence of Muslims."



    1.  Yes, this was my initial reaction to this story. There are always those that seize upon examples of a group to condemn the whole group, because that fits their prejudices.

      To what extent this is a more orchestrated disinfo job, I don’t know enough to say.

        1. That BBC link is a much better link than the AP link, which leads to a map of the US and asks you what state you’re in. Because news like this depends on which state I live in.

          1. I need to make a sign that says “Sorry, Royaltrux, wacky creationist fundamentalism is not the behavior of all Kansans.”

    2.  Yes, how shocking that people would demonize millions who happen to share superficial affiliation with an infinitesimal minority of bad actors. It couldn’t happen here in America.

  1. Why are so many people holding the same poorly written poster? Does anyone else feel like this might be shopped?

    1. It appears to be held by one man and one boy, each of whom has been photographed more than once.  It looks to me like the guy holding it handed it off to someone else.

    2. If you’re talking about the “Pehaviour” sign, I only see two people holding it. I wouldn’t be surprised if our mystery photographer is the one in the striped shirt, and he went to the kid in the Custom shirt and said, “Hey, how about you take a couple pictures of me holding your sign.”

    3. You mean like how the It Gets Better video series is completely bogus because they all use the same slogan?  Are we really supposed to believe that they just coincidentally all came up with It Gets Better?

      Perhaps in this case, getting a sign written in English was fairly difficult, so they passed it around.

      1. Maybe … But maybe they didn’t even know what that sign in fact says. It would be really helpfull if an Arabic speaking person could translate the other banners to compare the spirit of the messages.

          1. Oh please. If my neighborhood was apologizing to Muslims for, e.g., burning Korans, and most people had signs in English and one person had a sign in Arabic that was being passed around, I would have no problem holding the Arabic sign.

            Sure, it could be an agent provocateur trying to spread disinformation by having people hold a sign that means something other than what they think it means, but… really?

  2. I’ve played Eve Online for 6 years.  Sean Smith, one of the victims of the attack, was on the Council of Stellar Management 2 years ago and he was pretty involved in alliance diplomacy in game.  It’s pretty depressing reading forum posts he was making just hours before this all happened…  Here one of the game developers is responding to him (Vile rat was his in game name):

    Then him talking about game balance changes, and his corp mate asking about him…

    Then I get to listen to some jackass talk about how the President sympathizes with the attackers.  Yeah, I’m sure he does… way to keep it classy Mr. Romney.

  3. The New Yorker’s got a pretty great piece up called What Was Really Behind the Benghazi Attack?  It argues, persuasively I think, that this was planned in advance and the video just happened to make a convenient scapegoat.

    And these far right groups that feign religious and moral outrage are being very deliberate in their progress. They have turned a blind eye to what can be argued are conservative Libyans’ more traditional concerns. They have said nothing, for example, about the widespread consumption of drugs and alcohol among Libya’s youth, about the young men who fill Tripoli’s costal cafes late into the night, descending into hopeless states of intoxication before every weekend. This is not an oversight but intentional. Infringing on the freedoms and fun of young people would provoke too much anger and, more crucially, lose the extreme right the support of their main target audience: young men. Like Benito Mussolini’s Milan fascio in nineteen-twenties Italy, Libya’s far right also knows that it cannot rule through violence and fear if it does not have the young and strong on its side.

    So instead they have focussed on easy targets: architecture, women, and, now, America, or, more abstractly, the West. They demolished landmarks, claiming them to be unreligious; demanded that women be banned from cafés; and now, because of a film almost no one has seen, they have attacked symbols of the American state. But perhaps this latest assault is their most cunning. Not only because it involved the loss of four innocent lives, but also because it is trying cynically to capitalize on legitimate grievances.

  4. The pics look genuine to me. The Arabic is accurate, for one. One of them says “No, no, no to Al Qaeda”. “Pehaviour” is a typical mistake an Arabic speaker would make, since the language only has a b-sound, leading to mixup with p (compare Japanese r and l). On a side note: It never fails to amaze me how elegantly Arabic-writing protesters calligraph their banners.

  5. Contrary to what the news may protray, it’s important to remember that the peaceful people of the world, everywhere, outnumber the violent ones by a huge margin. We shouldn’t let a very small minority make us forget that and allow ourselves to be led into violent actions/thoughts. If the violence that the media loves to highlight were indeed endorsed by the majority of Muslims, let alone the rest of the world, our economy would be the least of our worries.

  6. It is interesting but it does not really matter if its real because one thing is clear: Even with 100% of legitimacy would it not shut up our islamophobe racists.

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