, Newburyport, MA


June 28, 2014

Anderson: I read the news today; why can’t they?

Am I the only one, fellow newspaper reader, who is tired of hearing that the presently declining America is the result of “the mainstream media” not doing its job of reporting the news? If the “low-information voter” can be blamed on the media, how does one account for those of us who know what’s going on?

I was deliberately “low-information” for the week of my vacation, watching television only to catch the weather and absolutely not checking anything on the Internet. When I returned, I perused The Salem News that Chip had considerately brought in from my front yard each day I was gone, and the ones that arrived the next week. Here is what I learned of immediate, essential interest:

1. Iraq is falling apart. The fantasy, shared by some including me, was that the part of the world where civilization began, which created Hammurabi’s code (a primitive constitution), where the statue of a dictator was pulled down and beaten with shoes, where newly liberated voters proudly displayed purple fingers, was capable of creating a nation with Western values of freedom, democracy and fantastic tourism potential; that it could overcome a tendency of government toward corruption and a radical Muslim enemy that we underestimated ourselves until we saw the fallen Towers.

I learned about the frustration of North Shore veterans watching the collapse of the country they liberated and tried to make work. Read a well-researched column by Brian Watson, addressing the above-noted delusions. Also noted the column by Seth Moulton about “Cheney’s legacy,” and admit I, too, was astonished to see Dick Cheney on television blaming Obama entirely for the present situation. Too bad candidate Moulton didn’t do what Cheney failed to do — admit that both the Bush and Obama administrations have failed, not to mention earlier administrations that helped Iraq against Iran, leading to the total absurdity of now suggesting we ask Iran to help us with Iraq. In fairness, Moulton’s deadline probably came before Obama’s bright idea to send 300 “advisers” into the country.

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