Tuesday, April 4, 2017

They Still Don't Get It: CNN and The Message

Aliyson Camerota is just the sort of news woman I want to love: She's liberal; she's articulate and she's pissed off.

She wants us to send a message

But she's not, truth be told, bright enough.
She's very smart, I'm sure in many ways, but she is not smart enough in one way: She has not learned. She clings to concepts without examining them.
And one of the most agonizing, frustrating experiences on earth is to see someone from your team floundering miserably attacking a common enemy.

This morning she had two "experts" on the Middle East to discuss the report that the President of Syria had dropped bombs delivering poison nerve gas against his target village and then he bombed the hospital where the victims were taken.
Send this guy a message.

Ms. Camerota asked each expert to say what they had been brought on set to say: This "sends the wrong message" to "the Middle East."

Ms. Camerota then informed us that:
1. The President of Syria is a monster.
2. The Russians like him.
3. The Iranians like him.
4. The United States should stand up against him, because we are the only potential force for good in Syria and the Middle East.
5. Trump has waved off any role for the United States in opposing, undoing or dethroning the President of Syria. Qui Tacit Consentit.

Ms. Camerota apparently was not listening when Bernie Sanders said the Middle East is a quagmire within a quagmire.
Is he programed to receive?

Pray tell:  what exactly does it mean "to send a message?"
If the President of Syria hears the United States Secretary of State or the President of the United States say that anyone who uses poison gas on his people is a bad man, or should not be in power, how does that change anything?

Just, specifically, what would Ms. Camerota have the United States do about all those monsters who are not in Syria?  Like, for example, Somalia, or Libya or Afghanistan or Pakistan or Niger or anywhere Boco Haram is, or those kidnappers in the cartels of Mexico or in Guatemala or Honduras or Haiti or Bolivia? 
Send him a message? Was he listening?

This could be a summer course at the university: What is the role of a "great power" in the face of evil empires scattered across the face of planet earth? Should we mobilize a fleet of drones to drop bombs on bad guys? Should we send in the Marines? Should we institute a draft and send out our armies of the American way? Should we send some other  mothers' sons in Special Ops units to kill bad guys with our snipers?

Or should we simply invite on our TV set some guy in an authentic Middle East get up and a goatee to say that we are, in our silence, "sending the wrong message?"

I think they're trying to send a message.


  1. Mad Dog,
    I guess I'm a little confused as to your point. international relations, like most things, isn't a matter of black and white. There can be an effective response somewhere in between sending battalions of troops into Syria and taking no action at all. A reasonable response could start with loud public condemnation by the international community of Syria-and Russia if it's proven they are involved. There is global aversion and disgust at the thought of a regime using chemical weapons (oh those nasty WMD's))especially on their own people. Curious isn't it-one can kill hundreds of thousands using conventional weapons like bombs, guns, tanks etc and the world doesn't stop and take nearly as much notice as it does when 50 people are killed by chemical warfare. We've discussed before that this weird discrepancy in viewing various killing methods makes no sense-dead is dead.

    Yet this is the reality, so the US should take full advantage of it and lead the charge in condemning the attack. It should be seizing the opportunity to paint Putin as a war criminal who has approved the poisoning of children. Given his substantial ego, this type of PR-he as the bare chested baby killer-will probably not sit well with him. Public condemnation and humiliation might be enough to motivate Assad and Putin to swear off the further use of chemical weapons, so that alone would be worth the US going on a full out verbal and sanction offensive. Hmm...but why does one think the Trumpster's response will be more tepid...

    In any case, since you're so opposed to the suggestions of Ms. Camerota, just what do you propose instead-turning a blind eye?

  2. Ms. Maud,
    This may be a case of my not being sophisticated enough, or impoverished of imagination, but I can hardly imagine Mr. Putin much caring what we SAY. If we paint him as an accomplice to a war criminal, who sees that particular piece of art? CNN viewers?
    This morning he says the gas was in ISIS stores on the ground, presumably hit by bombs. That's the thing about talk--you can SAY anything.

    They are talking about this at the UN and talking about making Assad "accountable."

    Can you really imagine any of this having any effect on the behavior of this guy?

    There is no such thing as an "international community" beyond trading partners, far as I can see. Too many different interests. That is the UN. Paralyzed by babble.

    Gas attacks have a history and the injuries on TV make startling footage.
    No, the choices are stark, when it comes to criminals. Either you are willing to use force or you tolerate them, far as I can see. Trump, Bernie Sanders argue we turn a blind eye. We tried the send in the Marines option and look where that got us.

    I don't know, maybe we could send in the drones. But then maybe Assad can do the same.

    What the choices for force are, I don't know. We dropped a bomb on Khadafi's palace once. Did that get his attention? Are we afraid if we did that to Assad we'd get a suicide bomber at the White House?
    Condemning, talking phooey.
    Of course, as President Trump has said, this is all Obama's fault. Trump's default when anything goes wrong. Everything's Obama's fault. I inherited a mess. Not me.

    Mad Dog