Despite the fact that in most of the country is a thousand degrees every day and I hate excessively hot weather, I love Egypt. For people who like to look at old stuff while they’re on vacation, like me, there are only a handful of countries that can rival the amazing sights that Egypt offers. Plus, every once in a while the Egyptian political and/or media establishment gifts the rest of the world with gems like “Mossad sent a trained shark to attack tourists in Sinai,” or “Egyptian authorities detain suspected spy bird.” Along those lines, we now have “‘The Simpsons’ Reveals American Plot to Start the Syrian Civil War”:
Egyptian TV network al-Tahrir stirred the Arab conspiracy theory pot this week, suggesting in a news segment that a 2001 episode of The Simpsons indicates that the U.S. might have incited the Syrian Civil War as part of a broader plot to destabilize the Arab world.
In the episode, titled New Kids on the Blecch, the always mischievous Bart Simpson, Milhouse, Nelson and Ralph are recruited to form a boy band, whose first single “Drop Da Bomb” is actually part of a subliminal recruitment campaign orchestrated by the Navy. In the video, the boys pilot war planes and drop bombs on an unnamed Arab country, where they also teach the local women to wear bikinis and play tether ball.
OK, first of all, “New Kids on the Blecch” is a mediocre effort at best. The boy band parodies are OK but too on the nose, and the navy stuff is just flat. Second of all, say whaaaaaa?
In a brief section of the video, a jeep bears the exact same flag currently used by the Syrian opposition.
Before showing the segment on air, al-Tahrir’s anchor told viewers: “The video you are about to see shows animated figures dancing, flying airplanes and dropping bombs on what must be Syria because there are other animated figures below in Arab garb and the Syrian [opposition] flag appears on one of the vehicles.”
She then alleges that the video “suggests that what is happening in Syria today was premeditated” and that U.S. likely played a role, adding, “This was from 2001, before there was such a thing as the Syrian opposition.” She then notes how such theories have been trending among local Facebook users.
Yes, a full decade before the Arab Spring, the United States government revealed its intention to set up an opposition movement in Syria and then, 10 years later, under a different presidential administration, to bomb Syria (which it hasn’t even done yet, wheels within wheels sheeple), all through a “C-minus”-level episode (seriously, it’s not very good) of an animated sitcom. Couldn’t they have at least gone with a decent episode like “They Saved Lisa’s Brain,” with Mayor Quimby as a thinly-disguised Assad metaphor?
But hey, it’s a heck of a coincidence that the Syrian opposition adopted a flag they saw on an episode of “The Simpsons,” no? Well, about that…
In fact, the Syrian opposition adopted the flag used by Syria from its independence until 1963, when the Ba’ath party under current President Bashar Assad’s father Hafez took over.