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 art
My 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.  

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