Whatever the motivation, the demonizing of Obama formed a part of the ugly polarizing of American politics and, perhaps, clouded the ability of most Americans to develop a more data-rich and reasoned analysis of states of affairs. “Framing” serves the passions, but it’s framing and practically by definition skewed from the surface and into the mix that sustains what we call “attitudes” — a collection of beliefs, their primacy and valence (good thing / bad thing, how much so?) that feed up to our conclusions. As we accumulate information, both beliefs and attitudes may be adjusted to suit what we also believe to be — and may prod and test ourselves — valid and reliable new data.
Putin’s Administration today represents a complete KGB revanche but with the banner of “State Capitalism” in place of “Communism” and in place of socialist equality a new ultra-nationalist and neo-imperial ambition for dominating and looting others under the cover of “protection”.
Perhaps up to this now tense time in history — see “Cold War? Cold Struggle” — the western public, by and large, has been spared the necessity of revisiting history lessons, learning about state-sponsored evil (start that with state-controlled press), and summoning the energy to apply research and critical thinking skills to a thorough evaluation of information for its integrity in the delivery of both factual data and in reasoning.
BackChannels has worked for some time now collecting, analyzing, compressing, and telegraphing observations in the region of foreign affairs. It knows it may not surprise the specialists, those hands who have embraced an appropriate enthusiasm in their teen years, picked up one or more languages, majored in a relevant field, and sallied forth for decades as policy makers and scholars. However, that community forms a lofty and healthy choir. What about those becoming involved in such events as the Syrian Conflict and Tragedy or the “Euromaidan” and the effort to produce a modern democracy in Ukraine? For that, BackChannels pieces provide numerous portals into related fields and topics.