Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Now all that's on the surface are bloody arms and oil fields:
My homey Chris Hayes asks an important question:
So why is it the word oil never crossed the lips of any of the reporters at today's press conference?
Reporters and editors, in my experience, don't want to appear conspiratorial. Asserting that we wouldn't care at all about the Middle East if it had no oil is, for a variety of reasons, the language of conspiracy. I would suggest that the U.S. has a fraught history with seeing itself as an empire. Empires tend to seek to maximize their control over the world's natural resources. Oil is the prime natural resource necessary to power the global economy. This is pretty basic stuff.

However, it also cuts against American self-perception as an "empire of liberty," and it also raises the unfortunate and unpalatable prospect of perennial imperial mobilization and scramble. The history of imperialism is a trail of tears for everyone. Better to have an empire and not face up to it. And here the press has an important role: describing the Middle East as a "vital region," without making explicit why that is. You can have Bush shout himself hoarse that we, say, can't allow al-Qaeda to control an oil-rich nation, and the press can dutifully report that he said it. What the press isn't very good at -- for reasons of preserving its position of influence within mainstream American self-perception -- is pointing out the implications of why America seeks to deny its adversaries control of the world's most important resources.
--Spencer Ackerman
Enough with this geopolitics nonsense, where is your review of Rocky 6?
Blogger joedokes | 1:21 PM

Man, I gotta see it first. I'm at the 7 45 show. Review TK.
Blogger spencerackerman | 1:40 PM

The US is in the Middle East for two reasons -- oil and Israel. AIPAC was one of the major cheerleaders for the invasion of Iraq, and the neocons all have lifelong histories of considering the interests of the two nations as indistinguishable.

There is nothing antisemitic about recognizing this.

Laney
Blogger Laney | 7:34 AM

"What the press isn't very good at -- for reasons of preserving its position of influence within mainstream American self-perception -- is pointing out the implications of why America seeks to deny its adversaries control of the world's most important resources."

Or even acknowledging openly that the perceived birthright of every American - owning & driving a car - is a driver (pun intended) of foreign policy decisions in the region.
Blogger kurzbein | 6:55 AM