Thursday, October 01, 2015

Journalistic Shorthand


In journalistic shorthand, adapted from diplomacy, they say "Assad must go" or "Saddam must go" (Saddam, Qaddafi and Assad were all on the short list they tell us), but of course in reality that's code for a whole administration, extended families, neighborhoods, sections of town.

Were we to decree that so-and-so could no longer be Mayor of Portland, Bud Clark for example, that might affect the people of Goose Hollow.

So when we hear talk about trying to remove "Assad", lets remember we're talking about institutions and organizations, a complicated motherboard, circuitry.  One doesn't swap out a leader like a light bulb or other simple component, it's not like that.

The diplomats all say the goal is to broker a deal with various parties at the table but it sounds like WDC doesn't want Assad at the table even to begin with.  Given that NATO / EU / US has already taken out Saddam and Qaddafi, the question is when will it stop?  What was the window?

Of course there's a ton of history to go over, if TV viewers ever have the patience for it.  There's no way to learn anatomy in thirty seconds.  Wasn't it Walter Cronkite who said his biggest fear was that so many people just got their news through him?

All we're in a position to do in Portland is welcome new refugees.  That's what Willamette Week is about this issue, introducing some new families.

No one asked Cascadia if / when to commence bombing; that decision was made by quite a few self-appointed authorities and a smattering of elected ones.  Their comic book language ("Assad must go") says nothing reassuring about their grasp of the situation.   Shorthand is too short sometimes.

Lets talk about what's going on in Iraq a lot more maybe?  What's the view from Baghdad?  I'll dig into that some, but for the most part I know they'd prefer we stay out of it and just deal with the collateral damage.