I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Slow News Week

Just kidding, of course. It was anything but a slow week for news. But after facts have been reported journalists face the challenge of digging deeper, looking into the backstory, ferreting out human interest vignettes, looking for historic similarities. But this week, once the aftermath of the world's most famous crappy film snip was reported, followed up by all the tawdry details, all that remainedt was the same old same old of the US presidential election. Nothing really fresh to report. So Nick Kristof riffs on poor Mitt's bull in a china shop theme.
...Presidential candidates always have microphones in their faces, and it’s not surprising that periodically they say inane things. President Obama himself blew it a few days ago by mistakenly asserting that we didn’t consider Egypt an ally. But Obama then had the good sense to have the White House clarify that “not an ally” in that context meant “an ally.” 
If Romney had similarly explained that in denouncing Obama he was actually praising the administration, the episode might have blown over. But after a night of sleep, he doubled down and repeated his denunciation of the president. That was just reckless. 
(Romney also underscored his ignorance by referring to the “embassy” in Benghazi, Libya. Embassies are in capitals, so it was a consulate that was attacked in Benghazi.) 
Perhaps the Romney campaign should invest in a muzzle for its candidate. It might even be tax-deductible! 
Foreign policy isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Diplomacy mostly consists of managing crazies who are making unreasonable demands in impossible situations with no solutions. And those are just our allies. 
In the Middle East, the basic dynamic is that extremists on one side empower extremists on the other. Thus anti-Muslim extremists released a video that Salafi Muslim extremists then publicized to provoke grass-roots outrage that would benefit them. 
It’s too bad that Salafis weren’t as indignant about the massacre of Syrians and Sudanese as about the trailer of a movie that may not even exist. As a parody Twitter account of Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, posted: “Wow! Good thing I just bombed mosques, killed women and children and I didn’t make an anti-Muslim video! People would be after me!”
Nothing new, folks. Just keep moving. Enjoy the show.

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