Unfortunately, Alan passed away in June of 2015 and he will be sorely missed - With a career that began in the 1960s as a young journalist, Alan Caruba has been writing ever since to include several books and numerous magazine articles over the years. In addition, he has been a reviewer and charter member of The National Book Critics Circle, with membership in the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Society of Professional Journalists. He is best known and widely read these days for the commentaries he posts on his popular blog that cover a wide range of topics from politics to energy, environmentalism to education, and everything in between. He is a graduate of the University of Miami (FL), served in the U.S. Army, and resides in New Jersey. Caruba's blog, Warning Signs, has recently passed 2.3 million page views. His monthly report on new books, Bookviews.com, is ideal for anyone who loves to read, reporting on many new fiction and non-fiction titles. Information about his editorial and public relations services can be found on Caruba.com.
When I was a rookie reporter, an editor said, “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” It captures the spirit of skepticism that journalists need if they are to decipher all the things politicians and others in positions of power claim as the truth.
Journalists have to be more than stenographers taking down quotes. They need to connect the dots between what is being said and what is being done with what may or may not have occurred earlier. Do they match up? Do they make sense?
In normal times, there are always a bunch of conspiracy theories floating around, but in times such as we are living through, they multiply like mushrooms in dark, fecund places. They feed on fear.
Who are we to believe? Well, start by applying as much logic as possible. Too much of what the Obama administration has been doing lacks a logical explanation.
Who recalls that one of the reasons Americans approved the invasions of Iraq was the fact that Saddam Hussein had used poison gas to kill Kurds?
Now we are told that Bashar al-Assad, Syria’s strongman, has used poison gas to defeat the rebels trying to overthrow him, but the attack killed civilians and came in the wake of news that Assad has been steadily gaining ground over the rebels.
The war has seen the slaughter of an estimated 100,000 Syrians. Why use poison gas at this point?
The U.S. was drawn into the Vietnam War with the false assertion that forces of the north had fired on U.S. naval ships, but it later came out that the attack was minor and hardly constituted a reason to make the huge commitment that led to the long war; one that it lost. Lyndon B. Johnson got the nation into that war with what is widely acknowledged to have been, at best, an exaggeration of the incident.
...America's Islamic Threat - The President who, in 2009, said he thought it unseemly to “meddle” in the affairs of Iran when protesters against its regime were being shot dead in the streets of Tehran, announced to the world on August 15, 2013 that he was angered by the killing of civilians in the streets of Cairo as the Muslim Brotherhood was busy burning Christian churches and homes when they weren’t firing on the Egyptian military that was attempting to end its efforts to impose Sharia rule.
Egypt may be thousands of miles away but the intent of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) to destroy America and, of course, Israel is close to home as the President and his national security advisors have misled Americans as to the true intent and threat of the MB.
In the early 1960s I started my professional life as a very young reporter for a weekly newspaper. In a few months the editor left for a job with a daily and I became the editor. It was the kind of on-the-job learning curve that was not uncommon. I had never taken a single course in journalism and what I knew of journalism was largely gleaned from reading newspapers.
Among my memories of my father is the indelible image of his sitting in his favorite chair by the fireplace reading The New York Times. That’s how he learned of events and personalities in a pre-television world. In the 1950s TV had news divisions, but they were rudimentary and no competition for print. Newspapers had always played a role in the nation’s history, but they were often political platforms with a considerable bias. Not much has changed in that respect.
When you look at a map of the Middle East, one of the smallest nations is Israel. With the exception of Jordan, it is surrounded by enemies with Lebanon and Syria to the north and Egypt to the south. The Gaza strip, controlled by Hamas, has been a staging ground for rockets and the disputed West Bank, known in ancient times as Judea and Samaria, has both Israeli settlements and is home to Fatah, the other Palestinian faction.
The Israelis are famous for their internal disputes about how to deal with the Palestinians and respond to the likes of Hezbollah to the north. Secretary of State John Kerry has been expending a lot of time and energy to getting the Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table, but if he expects the former to return to their 1967 borders, he is smoking some serious dope. If he expects the Palestinians to accept Israel as a sovereign nation, he’s in for a long wait.
At present, while the Israelis enjoy prosperity the rest of their region of the world is engulfed in turmoil. The horrendous slaughter in Syria is characterized by its regime as a war with “terrorists”, primarily al Qaeda. It is likely that the Israelis are quietly hoping the regime wins its civil war, the result of the regime’s terrible agricultural policies that impoverished a large part of its population, arousing its anger.
Normally Americans celebrate the Fourth of July as the happy anniversary of the birth of the nation with the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. In 2013, our happiness is muted by fears of eroding freedoms; corrupt and incompetent governance.
The men who signed the document had struggled to reach some accommodation with England for many years until the arrogance and continuing taxation of the colonies left them no alternative than to “dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another.”
When that effort failed they fought our Revolution over the course of eight years until the king and parliament concluded they could not retain the American colonies. Rarely mentioned in the history books was the large portion of colonists, known as Tories, who did not want to sever the connection. It is worth noting that the Revolution began when British troops moved to seize American arms in Concord, Massachusetts, and were met by militias there and in Lexington.