Sunday, February 10, 2008

Campaign tidbit:
The whole world is watching, mostly

In front of a Tokyo electronics store, Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2008. (AP Photo/Katsumi Kasahara)

As I've discussed here, much of the world feels it has to watch this long spectacle. While listening to BBC radio, I hear interest, some bafflement, and occasional wild misunderstandings of our idiosyncratic process. The net provides lots of opportunities to see how others see us. Here are a few.
  • Watching America tracks print media in English all over the world. As I write, the lead headline is from Ahram in Egypt: "Special Interests Determine U.S. Presidential Elections".
  • If your preferred news fodder comes from blogs, Global Voices has teamed with Reuters to offer Voices without Votes. Just now, a South African blog is discussing a prediction by author Doris Lessing that Obama "would certainly not last long, a black man in the position of president. They would murder him". Article is here.
  • Al Jazeera reprints a blog post by Raed Jarrar concluding the whole show is just a farce.

    ... all the "frontrunners" or "mainstream" and "electable" candidates from the two ruling parties have exactly the same interventionist foreign policy and different versions of horrible domestic policies.

    They fight over different tactics of the same strategy. Some of them want to stay in Iraq to "kill the bad guys", and others want to stay there to "save Iraqis from themselves".

    There is not even minor discussion about restoring the US's deteriorating individual freedoms."

  • On the Al-Jazeera site itself, you can take part in their poll on U.S. presidential hopefuls. On the unreliable evidence of this self-selected sample, it looks like more Republican than Democratic supporters are tracking Al Jazeera. Curious.

As a corrective to all the obsessing here and elsewhere about the U.S. campaign, it was great to get an email this morning from a friend who has retreated somewhere that really does enable her to escape the big show.

I enjoy the fact that, here in Zanzibar, the US is so far off center stage that it only merits an occasional article or two in the local newspapers--mostly about Iraq plus some human interest stories of the "would you believe" variety.

We can be counted on to provide lots of that "would you believe" stuff.


Anonymous said...

faiza left that project

janinsanfran said...

Thank you anonymous. I have edited the post and the blog to remove the reference to faiza.

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