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Michael Totten has the patience of a saint…

I have a lot of time of Michael Totten. That does not mean I agree with everything he says but I rate his commentary and reportage more highly than 98% of the Fourth Estate’s professional ‘experts’ from megacorporate media land.

His latest work, Hanging with the Muslim Brotherhood, is an interview with Esam El-Erian and I commend this to you, not just for its informative content but because it may have the same effect on you as it did on me… some laugh-out-loud moments just visualising what the exchange of views must have been like for the exasperated but ever polite Totten and his redoubtable colleague Armin Rosen.

Read the whole thing and perhaps even drop your mouse on his ‘donate’ link as he is worth every penny.

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7 comments to Michael Totten has the patience of a saint…

  • Kim du Toit

    Totten and the other Michael (Yon) have shown up the traditional media so much, it beggars description. The fact that neither has ever been picked up by a major news outlet says more about the majors than it does about the Michaels’ work.

    I’ve been contributing a small monthly sum to each for nearly four years now. (A LOL-aside: we canceled our subscription to Atlantic Monthly to pay for those contributions.) Everyone should, if for no other reason than neither can get life insurance (because of what they do), both have families, and yet they continue to do an exemplary job in keeping us informed of what it’s really like on the ground, Over There.

    It’s especially true for you Samizdatians: as individual citizen-journalists, Yon and Totten deserve your support to an even greater degree.

  • Musashi (Japanese warrior) said that patience is my best sword.

  • Dom

    Esam El-Erian: “This was, of course, not in the American interest, but in the interest of some people who are governing the think tanks and the media.”

    I wonder who he’s talking about?

  • J.M. Heinrichs

    Karl Rove, and Halliburton. And Dick Cheney.
    Although the two Davids (Axelrod & Plouffe) are working on their own franchise.


  • Michael Totten has the patience of a saint…

    No kidding. I lost mine about half-way through the damn thing. Here’s a snippet from another report of his – this time it concerns ordinary Arabs in Jerusalem, not religious fanatics/political opportunists like that MB character:

    “There are many different streams in the society,” he said, “but this is also true of many individuals. There are two different political lexicons among the Palestinians, and you can hear both from the same people. A person will tell you the Jews should be killed because they’re the enemies of God, they don’t have any rights here, and so on. But the next day he’ll say we’re all brothers, we’re all human beings, we have to co-exist here in the Holy Land. I hear both from the same people.”

    “What do you make of that?” I said.

    “I don’t understand it,” he said. “If they say one thing to one person and something different to somebody else, that I can understand. I don’t have an explanation for why I hear such different things from the same person. The culture does have two different lexicons, though. It has one of peace and one of struggle, one of human rights and one of…I don’t know what.”

    One afternoon Juha is awaken from his nap by kids noisily playing outside his window. “I’ll trick the little bastards”, he thinks, sticks his head out the window and yells: “Hey kids, go to the market, quick, they are giving away oranges for free!”. The kids run to their parents with the exciting news, and pretty soon the street is filled with people running towards the market. Juha wakes up again, sticks his head out the window and asks a neighbor who’s passing by what’s the matter. “Come, quick, they are giving away oranges for free!” “So why didn’t you wake me up sooner? Some neighbor you are!”, says Juha while grabbing his shoes and running into the street to catch up with the others.

    I’d blame Islam, but I realize that it is as much a symptom as a cause.

  • This section was particularly drollarious…

    MJT: Who is the enemy of the Egyptians?

    Esam El-Erian: Israelis.

    MJT: You guys have a peace treaty with Israel.

    Esam El-Erian: If they respect it, the Egyptian people will respect it, but the Israelis do not respect it.

    MJT: Israel is not attacking Egypt.

    Esam El-Erian: Israel attacks everybody.

    MJT: Israel is not attacking Egypt.

    Esam El-Erian: Why are you neglecting the attack on Gaza?

    MJT: Gaza is not Egypt.

    The Fail is strong in the Brotherhood it would seem.

    Alisa: I think I once read somewhere that ferrets have a similarly strange ability to fool other ferrets and yet be fooled by the very same trick themselves moments later.

  • Brian Swisher

    Right at the outset, Michael asked el-Erian his opinion on pre-Nasser Egypt and the guy started talking about…Saudi Arabia?

    I thought, “Ohhhh dear…”