A good move for the Belmont Club

I'm delighted to see that one of the most astute bloggers in the sphere -- Richard Fernandez of Belmont Club fame -- is now the author of a Pajamas Media Xpress Blog. In his first post, he looks at disappearing coverage of the Iraq War (I like the Cheshire Cat analogy), including a tantalizing glimpse at the political context:

The Asia Times argues that with Bush left with only six more months in the White House "and given domestic opposition in Iraq to the deal, Iraqi leaders appear to want to pressure the US to make as many concessions as possible. " On the other hand Iraqis dare not push George W. Bush too hard. If Maliki cannot nail down a long-term security agreement with the Bush Administration, he will be vulnerable to abandonment by Barack Obama, something he could hardly look forward to. But ironically, Obama's hostility to Iraq may push Maliki into getting what he can while he can from George Bush, rather than waiting to face the Man of Change.

Although Iraq has been steadily vanishing from the American front pages like the Cheshire Cat, it may reappear again, on another branch, when we least expect it to, as Iran and Syria must fear.

Read it all.

Especially if you're curious about the disappearing Iraq War coverage.

This whole topic makes me want to ask a theoretical question. Suppose -- just suppose -- that the U.S. were to win a war. Does things have to be reported in order to be said to have happened?

What I'd like to know is if the U.S. won a war, and it wasn't reported, would we have really won?

Might the answer depend on who writes history?

Or does it depend on who defines history?

posted by Eric on 06.24.08 at 08:29 AM










Comments

Queen Marie of Romania, beloved in her day for personally attending to battlefield soldiers during WWI and the only decent ruler Romania has ever had, was erased from the Romanian history books starting in WWII. Because she had a son (and now a grandson) still techically heir to the throne, Gheorghe Dej and Nicolae Ceausescu did not want any rumor of competition to be in the minds of the citizenry. My sons had reached their teen years going to Romanian schools and had never heard of her.

I would like to tell you that all is well now, and that Marie has resumed her deserved place of honor, but that is only partly true. She is being mentioned in the schoolbooks, but in a country where every faction has had numerous criminals, people resist going into any historical depth. No one lifts up even innocent-looking rocks for fear what they will find. When trying to do genealogical research on my adopted sons I was usually greeted with disbelief, then suspicion. Why would anyone want to know? It is the past. Forget it. It doesn't exist. The younger people who are more forward thinking, wanting to prosper and be happy, have little interest in recent history. What will come of all this in 50 years?

Bringing it back to America and a war... Much of history is always hidden - suppressed, ignored, misinterpreted. One of the great advantages of freedom of speech is that people can at least try to get the information out about what did happen compared to the comfortable summaries. A war would be an awfully large thing to hide, won or lost. Doctors would ask where veterans got their wounds. Accountants would have records of where money went. Immigrants would remind us of what they saw. I think a war could be reinterpreted but not covered. Even reinterpretation has its limits. The explanation of what happened in Vietnam, regardless of how one felt about it, was generally agreed on in 1998, with dissenting voices regarded as cranks. Slowly, the analysis of what actually happened is changing, in the direction of truth in this instance.

Assistant Village Idiot   ·  June 24, 2008 9:48 AM

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