john, you've summed it up with "maybe it has to do with the current political elections and climate ?".
Originally Posted by jnanian
I'd say to Dan & Frank that they should read and look what's really happening, what the political climate really is and remember the US has a long track record of backing the wrong side. Then remember the huge International fuss when Pakistan banned Youtube etc recently.
Youtube's been banned for years here, Geocities (and its successor), some Google services and many other websites (over 6,000) are also banned and it's extremely likely Facebook will be the next.
Ian, I'm also sorry to hear about this. The only upshot to this kind of vulgar and militant abuse of the land to us photographers is that we get to document it all - and it usually makes for good photos.
The other point you mention about access to information and modes of communication via the internet is more worrying to me (particularly now that I'm very thoroughly exposed to it behind the Chinese wall.) We can't take photos of the internet but at least we can continue to photograph the small parts of our world that we loved that are now going to hell. Keep on top of it - you might not be able to change anything but it's certainly worth capturing the constant changes that are happening.
If you are of the activist breed than you should get a move on to figure out what's next on the chopping block. Moving from spacious Canada to the populous China I have been able to learn first hand what 'progress' looks like - I've only been here for four months but the landscape shifts so quickly here it can be difficult to recognize some areas from one month to the next. Where I'm living (near Xizhimen in Beijing) they just keep putting up new apartment blocks and I almost got lost on my way home the other day because there was a new building where there were only a few small shops a few weeks ealier.
Thanks for sharing.
p.s. - those outfits on the guards are ridiculous
Well, for one thing the US would probably be much better liked. It seems to me that the very admirable "Can Do" attitude that defines much of post WW2 America, when applied to the US's self-appointed role as the world's policeman after Britain could no longer sustain itself in the role, has become a rather blunt instrument when applied to foreign policy. The self-belief is impressive but the implementation has proven naive and clumsy. I am reminded of one of our (short-lived) Prime Ministers who defined his strategy as "Crash Through or Crash". He crashed, politically, and it seems that wherever you look at American foreign excursions in the last 40 years the same thing has happened and is happening again today in Iraq and Afghanistan. Shock and Awe - or crash through - was just a slogan. There was no strategy behind it. Vietnam was supposed to end differently too but you can see the same sort of processes playing out again. God help the world if Iran self-detonates and America goes in to once more "liberate" yet another bunch of oppressed people who don't actually want the Western version of democracy.
Originally Posted by Dan Henderson
And I haven't even touched on the formation and continued support of Israel as a factor in the midst of all this - a country that was founded on terrorism itself, although they find it convenient to deny it today.
The story about the young woman is distressing and conflicts mightily with Western/Christian values (and that's another whole debate on its own!), but is that reason enough to wage war on another country, including killing civilians in the process? I don't think so. Who has the most blood on their hands?