Friday, March 25, 2011


Our Condolences

Watching the chaos across North Africa and the Middle East, I was surprised to read that a military jet from Qatar was shot down while bombing Libya. As host to CENTCOM, the Qatari government is deeply in bed with the United States armed forces, but direct participation may come back to haunt this Persian Gulf oil emirate. Especially if the destabilization of the region results in religiously radical regimes replacing some of the dictatorships removed by rebels and NATO.

In the months to come, as we examine the authenticity of the uprisings -- looking at such things as narrative manipulation and possible CIA involvement -- we will be challenged to consider the wisdom of exacerbating widespread social disruption in societies unprepared to implement democratic change. Part of that analysis will include the background role of oil companies and other war profiteers in determining which factions get US, EU, and UN aid.

Unlike our fiascoes in Central Asia, we don't have manufactured monsters to serve as bogeymen, so we're unlikely to see a repeat of such infamous performances as Colin Powell's con job at the UN Security Council, or the clumsily staged toppling of statues by Iraqi Pentagon extras flown in to Baghdad for photo ops, but we will undoubtedly be treated to some silly theater by Secretary Clinton and President Obama. For all the innocents inevitably betrayed, we offer our condolences in advance.


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