The Weird Connection Between 'The Simpsons' And The Syrian Rebels
In the episode, entitled "New Kids on the Blecch," Bart, Milhouse, Nelson and Ralph, are tapped for a boy band, The Party Posse, whose first single, "Drop Da Bomb," turns out to be a subliminal recruitment video for the U.S. Navy. In the song's music video, the boys pilot war planes, parachuting into an unnamed Arab nation to teach the local women to wear bikinis and play tether ball.
And if you look closely, a jeep in the video clearly displays the flag now used by the Syrian opposition.
The video, the anchor says, "suggests that what is happening in Syria today was premeditated," noting that theories have been proliferating on local social networks.
"This was from 2001," the anchor adds conspiratorially, "before there was such a thing as the Syrian opposition."
Interestingly, while the flag does in fact resemble that of Syrian rebel groups, The Times of Israel points out that the same flag was used prior to 1963, when the Ba'ath party took over.
Then again, the rebels might just be "Simpsons" fans.
This wasn't the first time this episode caused controversy. After the 9/11 attacks, "Simpsons" aficionados may recall, some violent scenes were deleted from future airings because they were deemed potentially upsetting to viewers.
The Egyptian news segment was translated by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, a group that highlights programming from the Arabic world and has been accused of highlighting the most negative clips from a Western perspective. This example would surely qualify, and it has been duly picked up by right-leaning news organizations.
It's worth noting, however, that American conspiricy theorists have their own pet "Simpsons" episodes. 1997's "The City of New York Vs. Homer Simpson" is said to have predicted 9/11 itself, as well as a would-be false flag attack in 2010. The latter tragedy never happened, perhaps because canny viewers exposed the plot.
The takeaway? It's about time intelligence agencies got wise and stopped planting clues in popular television programs. We're watching...