Assad’s Propaganda: Summer, Palmyra, and Mourinho

What do Jose Mourinho, ancient artefacts, and tourism have in common?

At first glance, not much, but on investigation we find that they all play a role in the continuous, if somewhat confused, campaign of propaganda by the Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad.

A story that emerged recently, that immediately jumped out at me as somewhat strange, was the news that Jose Mourinho – of Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan, and Real Madrid fame – had been targeted as the next manager for the Syrian football team.

Not one to shy away from controversy, Mourinho was said to be “honoured” at the approach, but ultimately rejected the job offer.

And whilst the audacious bid to land the “special one” came as a shock, in reality, we should not be too surprised when we see this move in the wider context of Assad’s propaganda machine.

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WWE: Stereotypes, Racism and International Politics

In my youth I was an avid fan of World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), or World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as it was known back then. The characters, the action, the storylines, the glitz and the glamour, the shocks and surprises, the backstabbing and betrayal, everything about it was designed to connect with an audience, and it had me hooked. It is no wonder that “Entertainment” was chosen as the new brand once the WWF title had become impossible to continue. (For those that don’t know, this was because of a dispute with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) who legally forced a name change).

It is not until you mature, or actually begin to look beneath the surface though, that you actually see the reality of what WWE does, and how it conducts its business.

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The BBC: Israel’s Guard Dog in Gaza

This piece began life as an article on the topic of Gaza, but after staring at my screen for 20 minutes, my face as blank as the Microsoft Word document in front of me, it evolved into something else.

Trawling through the internet, reading article after article about the missile strikes on UN buildings, the deliberate targeting of children playing football on the beach, and the deaths of 25 members of the same family, it has left me feeling both numb and redundant.

Continue reading “The BBC: Israel’s Guard Dog in Gaza”