Thursday, June 02, 2011

The Dog that Didn't Bark in the Night...

I've been thinking lately that the real story is that the establishment "news" media no longer seems to have much interest in news. Even the Wall Street Journal has been disappointingly devoid of either reportage or intelligent criticism, obsessed as its sadistic editors appear to be with publishing articles about torture--or lifestyle accessories. Informed debate seems to have been relegated to the last century, at least for the "chattering classes."

Take foreign policy. A reporting vacuum.

What's going on with the "Arab Spring?" Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, etc. How's it going, folks? Obama's policy working out OK? What about all those billions in aid we're promising--why? How's that going to help the US economy? Please explain.

Moving east, we have the Arab-Israeli dispute. That settled yet? Is the US going to force a Palestinian state on Israel on September 1st? How come this is scheduled for a vote, anyhow? Anyone think this might be a bad idea?

Move east a little farther--Iran v the Gulf States. Looking peachy? Or is there some trouble afoot? If so, why? Who's behind it? Oh, and why are we paying up to $5.00/gallon for gas at the pump? Isn't that hurting the "recovery?"

Speaking of the "recovery," why isn't the unemployment rate dropping? Why are President Obama's advisors "surprised?" Shouldn't he want to hire some advisors who can give proper advice?

Back to the map...further east we have Iraq--any news from there? And beyond that, Iran; ditto. And further east still, Pakistan and Afghanistan, the famous AfPak. How's it going? What's the forecast? More "surprises" in store?

BTW, if we were truly angry or surprised that Pakistan had been sheltering bin Laden, why are we mending fences instead of cutting relations? Please, explain, someone. Funny that no one in the media seems to be the slightest bit curious about what on its face is an irrational--or dishonest--policy here.

Let's not forget Russia, the biggest Eastern country, threatening the US over Syrian protests. What's that about? My onetime acquaintance Michael McFaul, a well-known academic/NGO/think-tank "democracy specialist" has been picked for Russian ambassador. Does that mean anything? I think it does, and not anything good. But what do I know? I'd like to read some intelligent critiques...but so far have seen nothing, not even on twitter.

Likewise, our relations with China seem opaque, to say the least. What's going on? What happened with the standoff over North Korea sinking that South Korean ship? Did we back down? Did they? Is China helping or hurting us?

The Japanese earthquake and nuclear meltdown have been tragic, but I haven't seen much discussion of the fact that TEPCO (rhymes with PEPCO) had General Electric reactors. What does that mean for US business in Asia? If we had bombed Japan again, would it have been worse?

And what is going on in Africa? Lots of civil strife, apparently, but over what? Is it oil? Is it a Muslim-Christian clash of civilizations? Is it the rise of China?

Likewise, no news from Latin America. What happened to that Mexican drug war? Is it over? Who won? And what is going on in Cuba? Or with Hugo Chavez? Or Brazil, Argentina, Chile? Inquiring minds want to know...

Finally, back in the good ol' USA. Is Sarah Palin running for President, or not? And if she runs, will she win? And if she wins, would it be as much a victory for women as the ascent of Jill Abramson to the top job at the New York Times?

If not, why not?

Maybe some newspaper or magazine will have some answers to some of these questions, someday. In the meantime, to try and follow what's going on in the world, I'll continue to look for news on the Drudge Report...