Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Genius of C-Span

I awoke at 7:30, miraculously, after going to bed a little after 5:00 A.M. I'm determined to stay awake and make it to sing with my friends, the wonderful folks in the choir at Honolulu's (and possibly the world's) most liberal United Church of Christ congregations (U.C.C.) To give others an idea of how "liberal" Church of the Crossooads is I tell people that our church gave sanctuary to AWOL Viet Nam veterans in the 1970s. For an up-to-date example I could relate what happened last Sunday after we had finished a hymn and Pastor McPherson pointed out from the pulpit that its author was a member of Trinity United Chruch in Chicago. Cheers broke out in the choir and applause and calls of "Amen" and even "Praise the Lord" were heard from all sides of the sanctuary.

What kept me awake between 2:00 and 5:00 AM was C-Span, as usual. There's literally nothing else among the countless "premium" cable offerings I recently signed up for that interests me at that time of day. I turned the TV on around midnite because I'd finally screwed up the courage to tackle a smelly kitchen sink full of dishes, and turned on C-Span in the living room to help keep me energized. I had the kitchen nearly cleaned around 4:00, but by that time was enthralled by a British author and journalist who seemed to know everything there is about Iraq. His name is Johnathan Steele and the book is "Why America and Britain Lost Iraq." He's an author and journalist who has spent years in the Middle East and is so erudite he knows that Winston Churchill was probably even more ignorant about Iraq than George W. Bush. The thesis of the book is the absurdity of America's and Britain's leaders actually believing in 2003 that they could successfully remove S.H. from power by invasion, shock, and awe, and proceed to occupy the country imposing their will on the Iraqi people and society, thereby soon converting the polity into a model secular, enlightened, democratic one that would become a loyal and valuable ally of the West.

Johnathan Steele further argues that of course this was never believed to any serious degree by the Neo-Cons, who do not now and never did want a short occupation. He also believes that there is a chance of avoiding an internecine bloodbath or a protracted civil war on the post-Tito post Yogoslavia scale when the U.S. begins to withdraw troops. Apparently he had a post about this on Huff Post at one time. Check C-Span or Google to find him.

As any half-way intelligent and discerning TV viewer knows, C-Span is the only real real source of fair, balanced and completely non-agenda driven information that exists (sorry PBS - it's not your mission.) True to form, C-Span's presentation just prior to its coverage of Steele's talk in a book store was another such talk by a young Marine Captain who has authored what sounds like a fascinating book. It describes the years he served in Iraq supposedly training the Iraqi military, a near hopeless task then and only slightly less so nearly three years later according to the Captain. His talk was frightening and disheartening on several levels, despite the fact that the author is clearly a model soldier and a fine young man. Unfortunately, he's perfectly comfortable with McCain's 50-100 year projection for our Iraq debacle. In any case, it was wonderful hearing the two presentations back to back. They could not have been any different, or more interesting. I must add that I resent having to sign up for Time-Warner's Premium cable TV package to get all 3 of C-Span's offerings, but after a month of having it I don't see how I could live without it.


Blogger kokuaguy said...

I've lived without C-Span for over a year now (or any television for that matter, other than what I can get on the internet.) I am happy to report that I'm doing quite well, thank you very much.
; ^)

1:04 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home