Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Odds & Ends

You might remember that Wesley Clark ran for the Democratic nomination for President in 2004. Now the retired General has written an editorial on the Iraq war that ran in the New York Times today. Clark's article offers not only a critique of our foreign policy, but an examination of the gains our war has afforded Iran as well as his proposal for the withdrawal of troops from the region.

It seems to me that a significant problem in all the rhetoric about Iraq is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground between the gun toting "stay the course" mindset and the "bring the troops home NOW" proponents. I am against the war. I was one of the people who (for a number of reasons) protested it from the beginning. but that doesn't change the ugly truth. We have caused significant instability in the he region, and there must be some medium between long-term occupation and cutting bait absolving ourselves of all responsiblity for what our foreign policy has wrought. I don't know the answer any better than anyone else. I do, however, think Clark offers some interesting ideas, and have to respect that he takes into account the perspectives of those Arab neighbors within the Gulf region.

Speaking of current events, I was recently sucked into watching a talk by Jeff Cohen, founder of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting) on cable access (or possibly C-Span). Normally, I don't watch either too much, but my housemate was watching the program. On the heels of learning that the U.S. ranks 13 in an world audit of press freedom, Cohen managed to catch my ear as I walked by the t.v.

As it turned out, I ended up listening to the remainder of his lecture, which was largely on the bias of mainstream media and the need for independent voices to offer alternatives to corporate controlled media outlets like FOX, CNN & MSNBC. One project attempting to offer an alternative voice is independent World Television. IWT sounds like a fairly new endeavor, but the concept is an interesting one. I'll be curious to see how it grows.

So, this is it for today, because I have to go watch C-SPAN's coverage of Condoleezza Rice at a press conference with her German counterpart, Angela Merkel.


Jen said...

thanks for the links. There was a surprising number of WOOING references in Gen. Clark's op-ed piece (I know, I know, he was quoting).
One of the most difficult things for me to understand during this whole nightmare has been why didn't the administration see this coming? I mean, it seemed VERY obvious when they charged into Iraq that it was not going to be all "cake-walk"s and flower garlands and parades in the street. The whole war (and I know this is not news to anyone likely to be reading this) has been a flimflam job from the start. For them to be surprised that their "plan" isn't working - it seems so disingenuous. But maybe they're just that zealous and don't really believe what's happening? That prospect is even scarier. It just makes me wonder, with Bush's approval ratings the lowest they've ever been and Cheney unspooling in front of our eyes, how they ever won the last election. They're' just as stupid and intractable as they've ever been. BAH!

Martina said...

Oh, don't even get me started. I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the idea that these people are actually serving a SECOND term. Even over a year after the last election, it makes my head feel like it's going to spontaneously combust.