My name is Mark Tapson, I'm honored to be a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center. And I’m also honored to introduce this panel of distinguished and ridiculously accomplished speakers. You know when you hear speakers described as people who need no introduction? These are those people. But to justify myself being up here, I’m going to say a few quick words about them anyway, and we can get down to business.
Our too-brief time together is going to go like this. I’m going to get the ball rolling by throwing out a very broad question for each of the speakers to expound upon in turn, for which they will each have about seven minutes. Then we will take questions from the audience and have a lot of lively interaction that way.
When we get to the questions, please limit yourself to one question — and a question, as opposed to comments or remarks. And try to direct your question toward one speaker, although I will probably allow the other speakers to jump in as well and offer their opinions.
We have a complex, fascinating, critical topic today — Arab Spring, Muslim Winter. “Arab Spring” is a phrase that is familiar to everybody this year. It’s been so prominent in the news media throughout 2011 that I fully expect “Arab Spring” to be Time Magazine’s Person of the Year.
The mainstream media latched onto this phrase in their giddy excitement about what they saw as a flowering of freedom-loving democratic movements throughout the Arab world, for which they were eager to credit Obama’s famed Cairo speech as partial inspiration. Of course, as we’ve seen it unfold throughout the year with Islamic fundamentalists establishing political dominance, the Arab Spring is now starting to look more like “Springtime for Hitler.”
Only without the funny show tunes.
So, gentlemen of the panel — and I’ll introduce them momentarily here — gentlemen of the panel, here’s my unmanageably broad — actually, let me introduce them now, so that they don’t forget what the question is.
(Read the rest here at FrontPage Mag)