"THE ABANDONMENT BEGINS: After never sending enough troops to provide order for a peaceful democratic transition in Iraq, the Bush administration is now cutting Iraq's reconstruction funds to zero in the future. Once again: a memory check. Do I recall being told that a critical element in winning over Iraqis would be a massive Marshall-Plan-type effort to rebuild the economy? Was I then reassured that America's military strategy would be primarily to protect infrastructure and to rebuild the shattered energy and electricity grid? Last week saw a major oil refinery succumb to insurgent sabotage. And up to a quarter of all reconstruction funds have been soaked up by security. Now the funding will end altogether. And people wonder why the Bush administration has a trust issue with the American public."I don't agree with Andrew Sullivan on several things, but I couldn't put this one any better because the upcoming US elections augur political developments of a familiar color. Of course, even Bloggers in the Archipelago know there is a massive intellectual and propaganda engagement ongoing in the U.S. political blogosphere over issues relating to Iraq, the War on Terror, national security, and President George W. Bush. These include the recent partliamentary elections in Iraq and the subsequent electoral protests and troubles, the US domestic wiretapping issue and its many sideshows. Now comes Reconstruction in Iraq and the long term prospects for continuing US engagement there in the economic, political and military arenas of that newly emergent and highly unstable democracy. MEMEORANDUM seems to have the most timely and consistent coverage of the War of the Memes between the Left Liberal and Right Conservative Blogospheres that will continue to inform (and enliven) the debates in the months to come.
THE DAILY DISH OF ANDREW SULLIVAN was one of the first weblogs I ever read with any consistency after I first became aware of the existence of "webloggers" and the "Blogosphere" (a term invented by the guy who write The Daily Pundit). As the World Wide Web's netizens know, when treated like a Brain, the Blogosphere comes with a Left and a Right Half, whose ideological characteristics are often revealed and obscured by a vigorous and sometimes cheerless name-calling and mutual derision. No love is lost between the "Lefty Moonbats" and the "Right Wingnuts." But of course the colorful language and cyber theatricalities obscure the deadly serious nature of the discourse and its consequences for Democratic Iraq and the whole world. American public opinion matters greatly to every one in the world because that public opinion sways the U.S. Government into or out of certain actions that affect everyone. The Main Stream Media have come to recognize the potency of blogger power, as the New York Times, the Washington Post and even, the Philippine Daily Inquirer start to "get it" and begin to work with the bloggers to expand audience participation and interactivity in Media. Public Opinion is entering an era of wired global reach. In America, where Bloggerdom leads that public opinion is of abiding interest to Philippine Commentary so I shall next present a MAPPING SURVEY of that very interesting and highly active US Blogosphere that is transforming the meaning of Journalism in the 21st Century.