[lit-ideas] Re: Taliban! The Musical

  • From: Robert Paul <rpaul@xxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 22 Oct 2006 13:55:54 -0700

Irene wrote:

> So you're saying the loss of Afghanistan in 2003 was widely reported in the
> media?

No. Read what I write if you're going to reply to it.

> You're saying the media is not reporting that there is a *possible*
> civil war in Iraq, when in fact people like Galbraith think the actual date
> when the war started was August 29, 2003?  I watch, on occasion, CNN and I
> have never heard them say there's a civil war, that we have to change
> course and so on.

'The media,' as you so usefully put it, do not decide whether there is or isn't
a civil war in Iraq. The media reports what people say, and various people
(pundits, retired generals, politicians, 'commentators,' etc.) say different
things at different times. It isn't e.g. CNN's role to declare that a civil war
exists in Iraq or anywhere else. However, CNN, which you 'watch on occasion' has
been giving time to people who say that a civil war already exists there; that
Iraq is 'on the verge of' a civil war, etc., etc., for several years now.
'Civil war' isn't a natural kind, like 'banana' or 'elephant.' It's a socially
constructed notion.

> I get a lot of my news from interviews with people like
> Sarah Chayes, former correspondent for NPR who is now living in
> Afghanistan.

Well, that ought to give her plenty of insight into how things are going in
Iraq. (I was talking to Andreas about Iraq and the comedian Colbert and various
newspaper's fondness for the Administration.)

> Eric thinks I know everything and you think I intuit everything, even if I do
> it correctly.

I think that if you have any opinions on any matter of fact you must get them
from the spirit world, for on the one hand, you claim never to read, e.g., the
Times, seldom to watch or to listen to broadcast media, and on the other to
know what they say and don't say in a manner that suggests you have some occult
source. If you intuitions are correct they're correct in the way that a broken
clock is 'correct' twice a day.

Robert Paul

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