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Total number of comments: 3 (since 2013-11-28 16:54:04)

Mark Cruse

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  • The Generals try to stop an Iran War
    • In these comments, as in the piece on Israel's Iran strategy published in last Sunday's _New York Times_ magazine, there is no mention of one of the most important actors in this crisis: China. This oversight shows the extent to which the American media continue stupidly and, one fears, willfully, to view this as a story exclusively about the U.S, Israel, and Iran. China does not want another war in central Asia and is certainly acting behind the scenes to prevent an attack on Iran, because 1) any war in central Asia risks further inflaming ethnic tensions in China and destabilizing the country; 2) as Professor Cole reminded us earlier this week, Iran is a key oil supplier for China; 3) the economic consequences for China would be catastrophic; and 4) the last thing China (or Russia, or India) wants is an increased U.S. military presence in its neighborhood. How ironic if China (once again) saves America's economy (if not its democracy) despite America's own best efforts to the contrary.

  • Time to Begin Leaving Afghanistan
    • I would like to amend one observation by Professor Cole, concerning the natural resources in Afghanistan. As an article of June 13, 2010 in the New York Times observed, there are vast mineral deposits in Afghanistan, many of the "rare earth" kind for which China is currently the largest source. It is entirely possible that a strategic decision has been made, with no public discussion, to keep our forces in Afghanistan so as to enable profitable mining for American companies and to prevent the Chinese or other countries from getting access. Perhaps the next big question for the American public is, are you willing to spend vast sums, corrupt your democracy, see your soldiers and innocents abroad killed, and anger hundreds of millions of people so that you can have cheap cellphones?

  • Olbermann Departs, as Media Consolidate Further
    • The late, great journalist David Halberstam once observed that anyone making hundreds of thousands of dollars simply cannot be an effective journalist. He was speaking in particular of the nightly news anchors for the major broadcasters, but of course this is applicable to all who work in media. I may be sympathetic to the views of Maddow et al., but even they do not get to the heart of most stories, nor do they do the investigative work democracy so desperately needs. I greatly appreciate Professor Cole's continued observations about where our information is coming from and how it is shaped - his comments on the US coverage of the Tunisian uprising have been especially helpful. As other posters have noted, staying well informed requires looking at multiple sources and, preferably, knowing a foreign language.

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