here or anywhere else....
Do nothing more until you read this article.
I'm not even going to quote from it. Except for this one, scathingly ironic line:
Treat [your] article as a minimalist work of artMy one request, though--is to venture into the comments section only if you've read it. Otherwise, there's nothing to say!
no real text here---I just wanted to post this excellent article to encourage a bit more reflection and deliberation before posting diaries/comments -- there has been far too little around here.
6:38 AM PT: Couple of Updates:
1. Don't get the idea that I wrote this! It's by Josh Sharyar, a freelance journalist/human rights activist who has written for the Guardian, ForeignPolicyMic, Al-Monitor (regional Middle Eastern coverage) and several other outlets. I believe he's originally from Afghanistan and wrote an excellent recent piece on the Syrian conflict in light of his experiences in Afghanistan--have to track it down.
2. One commenter suggested that the article brushes off anyone who isn't deeply in the know--in other words if you're not an authority, then keep quiet. I don't see it that way--for a couple reasons. First, this article really IS written for regional journalists and people who know about the area--but who might be read by a wider audience. So the people he's addressing really DO have the responsibilty to take it upon them selves to learn as much as they can--since they have influence.
Second, the general message of the piece is to not let preconceived frameworks and black/white dichotomies shape the discourse--this is too serious for that. The message is to pay attention, THEN post. You don't have to be a historian, or write a book, or have been to Syria. But make an effort.
Since this is DKos, we DO have influence, and people pay attention to what happens here. So I would argue that we do have a similar responsibility, although few of us are regional experts.