Blogging More in 2018

I intend to resume regular blogging on international affairs, diplomacy, media and politics at The Diplomatic Times Review in 2018.

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Will Media Wars Continue in 2018?

According to BBC media editor Amol Rajan, “… the backlash against big tech companies will intensify in the coming year. Many of those who have led the charge against, for example, Google and Facebook, are publishers with a strong commercial incentive to do so, because those two companies are taking their advertising dollars. That is not to invalidate the stories, of course,” he wrote on December 30, 2017, BBC blog. See “Media: What to look out for in 2018.”

“But if they continue then so, too, will the entrapment of this whole debate in a language and intellectual prism which is out of date,” Rajan added. “All the calls for regulation and social control of these companies are happening within a framework for media - whether legal, social, or moral - which is simply not suitable for these companies.”

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The News in 2018

I’d love to see legacy and online news sites work hard to identify and eliminate fake news in 2018.  I’d love to see practitioners of fake news end the practice. I’d love to see people who only read news that reinforce their world view expand their world outlook. Is that asking too much?

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Can Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi Unite Iraq?

Can Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi unite Iraq? The New York Times attempts to answer the question in a July 4, 2016, post headlined ISIS Bombing in Baghdad Casts Doubt on Iraqi Leader’s Ability to Unite. Anyone who has followed the War in Iraq during the past thirteen years will likely conclude that the answer is no.

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The Guardian’s view on war in Iraq…

The Guardian of London told its readers in a July 4, 2016, editorial: “We remember the Battle of the Somme as a futile and bloody disaster: around 300,000 men were killed over a period of six months. Casualties were almost evenly divided: 165,000 Germans may have died, and 145,000 English and French troops; all to shift the frontline six miles across the mud. The news of the latest car bomb in Baghdad, where at least 150 people were killed as they filled the evening streets for an Iftar meal in the middle of Ramadan, is reminder that the 13 years’ war that followed our invasion there has killed as many people – most of them civilians – as died on the allied side at the Somme.” Read it here.

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Africa’s Population Growth’s Impact on Europe

“The wave of migrants coming into Europe at the moment has a proximate cause - sectarian war and chaos in the Middle East - but it isn't a transient phenomenon. The current migration is just the beginning of a long-term trend that will almost certainly last for at least a hundred years,” according to Nils Zimmerman, a freelance business journalist for  Deutsche Welle English.

Mr. Zimmerman said the reason is that, “Over that time-period, Africa's population is set to go from 1.16 billion today - exactly twice that of the European Union - to 2.4 billion by 2050. That's five times the EU's current population of 508 million,” he opined. “By 2100, according to the UN, Africa's population could be 4.2 billion - eight times that of today's EU.”

Mr. Zimmerman also said, “The arc of Muslim countries from North Africa and the Middle East through South and Central Asia is also in the midst of a demographic explosion. According to Pew Research Center, the world's Muslim population will grow from 1.6 billion today to 2.8 billion by 2050,” he added. To read more, see “Opinion: Europe's grand challenge - Africa's future.”

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