Bryan has an excellent post on his blog Outside In where he explains his reluctant conversion due to the global and national events of 2009:
“I am, by nature, an optimist. Really, I am. But over the course of 2009, a cloud of pessimism settled over me.”
Bryan questions whether the reactionary response to the recent attempted blowing up of a plane over Detroit by a Nigerian citizen will have any positive impact:
“does anyone really think that airport security, a hypertrophied ‘intelligence community’, or wars in far off places will rid the world of people like Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, let alone the people who armed and trained him?”
I don’t always agree with Bryan, but he hit the nail on the head here. Too often the media becomes enthralled with quick fixes, whether it be cluster bombs or economic sanctions. Only on rare occasions do they do what they are supposed to do, which is inform readers, engage with arguments and discuss and theorise solutions.
It seems increasingly so that all they are concerned with is convincing, ‘leading opinion’ as it were, and more often than not they do this willingly or unbeknownst to themselves, on the behalf of elite powers.
So we can expect strings of articles about what are the best tactics to hunt down suspects in Yemen (this process has already begun), but maybe only one or possibly two articles looking at the root cause of this threat and ideas for a workable, ethical and realistic solution.
I’d suggest though that Bryan shouldn’t go down this road of pessimism / scepticism, he’ll be sure to find it the quickest way out of a part time job…ask Joe MacAnthony.