Friday, January 28, 2011

Si monumentum requiris ...

Is this actually the funniest news story in the history of the world in space? Or does it just achieve the best balance between earnest adolescent ardor and out-and-out, knee-slapping, single-source, pound-on-the-floor, scare-the-kitties hilarity?

Let's tune in to the second most important tale from Thursday evening at the Fair 'n' Balanced Network:

The revolution may have started in Tunisia where ongoing protests forced the country's foreign minister to step down Thursday. It then spread to Egypt on Tuesday, taking aim at the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak.

And now it has migrated to Yemen, where tens of thousands of anti-government protesters demanded Thursday that another U.S. ally step down: Yemen's president, who has held power for 32 years.

But the spark for this wave of revolutions may have started during the Bush administration when Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave a seminal speech at the American University in Cairo.

It sure may! And then again,* it may not! Dr. Rice had been carrying the pseudo-realist flag for the Bush gang since mid-2000 or so, and it must have been nice to mark a break from that strange brand of double-pithed pseudo-Wilsonianism. But what sort of credit is Fox proposing to give her?

The Bush administration's argument was that if the people of the Middle East don't have political freedom then Arab youth will be pushed into mosques where they are readily recruited by Al Qaeda.

Fine as far as it goes; 25 years ago, the argument was that they would have been pushed into the arms of the Moscow-funded radicals. The rest of the world, alas, still has the bad habit of paying attention to what we do, rather than to what we say. So perhaps we should all stuff towels into our mouths until the kitties come back into the room, then mark this one down as one for the Annals of Aw-He-Really-Was-Like-Reagan-Wasn't-He?

Fox aside, we can be reasonably grateful that there are still some competent, knowledgeable journalists out there trying to make some sense of all this. Do spare a thought for them. And for the people they cover, who really do deserve more than a walk-on role in one of Roger Ailes's fantasies.

* I'm getting really tired of all the fun stuff showing up on the Daily Show before I can get around to it, but the Thursday night schtick was a very plausible whacking of the sort of big-effects cluelessness that Experts tend to peddle.

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Blogger The Ridger, FCD said...

Odd, isn't it, how all our allies in that part of the world (oh, okay, most of them) are guys who've been in power for decades? Democracy in action. And considering that Bush is on record as saying that stability is more important than elections (re: Pakistan) giving him credit for sparking popular revolt is indeed risible.

12:03 PM, January 29, 2011  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for someone (*anyone*) in any administration to get up in front of the cameras and say, "Look, we have these ideals. We also have these national interests. The people running the country have parochial policial interests. Sometimes these conflict, and our diplomats resolve that conflict by favoring the status quo."

1:07 PM, January 29, 2011  

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