Saturday, May 26, 2007

Middle East: Is Somebody Finally Thinking?

I've become quite fascinated by Firedoglake recently. What caught my attention was their liveblogging some months ago of the Scooter Libby trial, which was absolutely fascinating. For the first time a team of bloggers got press credentials, so they could be in the press rows of the courtroom. In the press room near the courtroom they had staff typing furiously, making rough transcripts based on the live video feed, giving minute by minute reports of the trial. It was more detailed than anything from the regular media, and it got noticed. I imagine productivity in law offices across the country dropped badly, attorneys glued to their screens, since there were torrents of comments from lawyers expounding on every detail of the trial.

Firedoglake was founded by a lawyer who's been a prosecutor, a defense attorney, and a mother. That's one tough lady. It's core team is a handful of very intelligent, experienced, and talented people, who are sometimes quite interesting characters. For example, Trex is a 60 million year old, 60 foot therapod with six-inch teeth, tiny grasping forearms, and a huge thrashing tail. He's looking for a boyfriend. Pachacutec, the Inca king, reveals that he didn't really die in the 15th century but, with the aid of certain herbs (usually smoked) he hid out in the jungle and is still around making pithy and incisive comments. He already has a boyfriend.

Of course, these may be pseudonyms, but it doesn't matter as they both write excellent political commentary. One could hardly expect less from such as these.


I was very struck by this piece today, about the insanity of the US policy in the Middle East. It strikes me as admirably non-ideological, willing to recognize the virtues and vices of all sides. It also makes clear that the US policy is completely ideological, a posture that assumes US = GOOD and THEM = BAD. This is not a realistic basis for forming wise public policy.