Fareed Zakaria wrote a piece two weeks ago which basically said that while the US has been busy with the Middle East, they have forgotten that Asia is THE place for economic business. And while they settle fights between the Sunnis and Shias in the backstreets of Baghdad there is opportunity lost. Basically his point was that things are happening all over the world but the US is way too pre-occupied with the Middle East. And just like the British lost their hold over the world because they got too caught up in colonial squabbles and didn’t see the larger picture, the US is at the same risk. Thomas Friedman makes the same point, but his argument is different. He says that America’s dependence on oil is the reason it is so inextricably linked to the Middle East, and unless it changes its energy needs- and develop alternate energy- it will go down with the region. Both valid points, and here’s what is of notice. Rhetoric concerning US involvement in Iraq has been gradually changing. Even the critics of the war could not go all out and cite all the reasons the US should not be there in the first place-- because they would be attacked by the Republicans as not supporting the troops. But slowly things are changing- the army itself is letting out information that Iraq is a total mess and the civil war is not going anywhere. And suddenly, views about why the US needs to get out of Iraq are getting smart. They are no longer about Bush and his incompetence- they are about what America is missing out on because it is there, be it economic opportunities with other countries or the need to focus on alternate energy fuels.
The thing about working for the editorial department of a newspaper is you start getting attuned to editorial positions. I don’t mean this in this insidious way, but most organizations (as we are well aware of) do have opinions about certain issues. That is reflected in the editorial of the paper- for example, Delhi sealing: IE thought it was a good idea. Oil prices going down (courtesy Murli Deora and Sonia Gandhi) IE thinks the market should set the price, not politicians. Because now if the price needs to go up, it will become a political problem. Yadayadayada.
All these positions make me question mine- I’m getting very impressed with Yechury and some of the ideas from the Left. But I’m not a Lefty yet (Boss- don’t worry, you know I’m a capitalist with socialist ideals). But I think taking a stand on issues is fantastic- and I’m able to make my own analysis now because I am actually in the political hub of the country [which makes this shift to India very successful so far].
But I think its good to remember what Keynes said--- I change my opinion when the facts change. What do you do sir?