Sunday, March 20, 2011

News Exhaustion!

As someone commented earlier today on CNN's Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz, the media is simply exhausted from the last several months of world events. This observer is no exception.
The BP oil slick, the Haiti earthquake and subsequent human disaster which continues with little progress to health of human beings, the Haitian economy, the Haitian government, or little hope in a long-term prognosis for the future, although none of us wants to lost hope completely.
The global economy is recovering, at the top of the stock exchange and Wall street banks, yet remains woefully weak in terms of numbers of employed, re-employed, or first-time employed in the U.S. and in many other countries.
The war in Afghanistan is hardly a roaring success, in terms of breaking the back of the Taliban and the forces of counter-insurgency that face the American and coalition forces every day, in spite of the happy face that General Petraeus recently put on the war while testifying to congress.
Iraq's news is hardly generating confidence in the new government, or in the depth of the security apparatus that seems buffetted every day with another explosion "killing another 3 dozen people" as "another suicide bomber detonates another bomb in a crowded area of Baghdad."
The turbulent uprising in several Middle Eastern and North African countries, starting with Tunisia, moving to Egypt, and then to Yemen, and now Bahrain where the Saudi's have actually moved in forces in support of  the ruling regime, have all generated much ink, many sound bites, millions of "tweets" on twitter and facebook, while instilling more unrest about the many potential scenarios that could emerge from the various locations, none of which is either predictable or even worth a random guess, so limited is the knowledge of each of these countries among the rest of the world.
And now, after much behind-the-scene wrangling, and after securing the support of the Arab League the UN has passed Resolution 1973, in response to the Libyan dictator's efforts to massacre his own people, especially those who, having taken a page from the book of the protesters in neighbouring countries, are demanding the overthrow of a forty-two year dictatorship. As George Will of ABC's "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" put it, the means of the No Fly resolution is incompatible with the end, of removing the Libyan dictator. And there is no open acknowledged agreement among the countries currently engaged in establishing the No-Fly zone that the end result is, indeed, to remove the Libyan dictator. So, just what is really going on? Is this another "soft sell" to avoid a tsunami of negative press about the imposition of military violence to "protect" the rebels, while camouflaging the real intent of the mission, to decapitate the regime and its leader? And, certainly there are legitimate concerns in many quarters that the Libyan dictator is more than capable, and certainly must be assumed to be more than willing to exact revenge against his enemies, who now number most allies in the west, including France, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, the U.S. and who knows how many other countries who have committed military equipment and/or forces to execute Resolution 1973. Oh, and by the way, depending on your sources, there is more than a little confusion as to whether that Resolution permits "ground forces" or foot soldiers to be able to fight the dictatorship in direct combat.
And just this evening we learn that the Arab League is now expressing disapproval of the No Fly zone strategies and tactics! Yet they knew it was not going to be a cakewalk, if they had listened to Secretary of Defence Gates, who expressed the many complications of the proposal for weeks everywhere he went, so that there would be no confusion.
And all of this, without even mentioning Japan's worst earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in their history...and the political fallout continues. Just a few moments ago(on ABC New with David Muir), we learned that the power company that operated the reactor whose life has been effectively terminated, while it has threatened the health and lives of thousands, "faked" the safety reports for at least the last eleven years, essentially misrepresenting their lack of integrity for more than a decade...and the questions will continue for decades, while the lives of those still living and still needing safe and secure shelter will continue to be under medical scrutiny and uncertainty for decades. Already, radioactive particles are being discovered (what a surprise!) in the milk and spinach in Tokyo, if not also in other centres where food shortage are already plaguing the healthy recovery of thousands, if not millions.
And yet, the Japanese people continue to inspire with their courage, their dignity and their unflappability. They are the heroes of this story, and their faces and their tears and their broken hearts and dreams will be part of our lives as long as we live.
There are so many tunnels each of them with so little light...and they converge daily, hourly in our newscasts, our news papers and laterly our minds and that however optimistic and hopeful we might have been a year ago has changed dramatically and forever after another of what the Queen might legitimately dub another "annus horribilis" a horrible year!

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