Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Chattering Classes

There is much “signal noise” being generated in and around the Middle East these days. More “noise” than “news”.

There is much talk about a testifying general, an investigator who’s missing “key witness” and who may be going nowhere(?), another investigation that is being “cooked”, jawjaw among lame ducks while one successor quietly readies himself, a couple of touring Lebanese officials, the future hopes of an ex-president, some tourists “going native”… Nothing of substance, really, but the papers must write up something.

And so, in spite of a few (funny) exceptions, newspapers can only report on the noise.

The Local Mess

In the Middle East, nothing worthwhile is likely to happen before the results of the elections in the United States.

Sure, there will likely be a killing or two, another invasion, or another war. But matter no more than the movement of the waves preceding the tide. We local peones hardly matter in the grand scheme of things.

We can only watch the flowing and ebbing of influences. The allure of Lebanon is likely to keep tugging at Syria; yesterday the Assad clan was in retreat, now it is advancing… The Syrians may never be allowed back in Lebanon, but they have nothing else to do

Pottery Barn

In the United States, presidential candidates vying for sound bites will try to use the public event to appear knowledgeable or bullshit their way into the 24’O Clock news. Whatever good it will do them is unclear, but the fact remains that the United States cannot leave Iraq any time soon. Whatever the electioneering;

They break it, they own it


Or they’re “owned” by it. So whatever the facts, some politicos will try to use the issue as a punching bag to mark some points against the other side. At this stage, however, it all remains useless grand standing.

The real game is not won on points.

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