"Let nothing human be alien to me"- Terence

Friday, May 21, 2010

Hostages Free

Not really a "news" story anymore, but the interesting blog Third World Goes Forth nicely deconstructs coverage of the rescue of the German girls. 

It also asks why there hasn't been more made of that fact that it was a Saudi team that rescued them, inside Yemeni borders.  The truth is, I don't really know what to make of it (and no, I am not narcissistic enough to imagine that I was being asked directly.  Close, though).   I think it is ironic that after years of bickering about the border and years spent in arguments about demarcation and enforcement, the line between Saudi Arabia and Yemen is becoming increasingly vague and meaningless.  Or, rather, reverting to its historical norm, before a fairly arbitrary line was drawn.

I think as Yemen disintegrates that arbitrary line will become less and less meaningful.  It might be akin to what you see in Russia's far east- the border between Russia and China is blurring, and political designations don't stand up to historic and cultural realities.   I am not trying to paint a total Kaplan-esque scenario, here, but I do think you're going to see these lines, which have been fought over, and for which and due to which people have died, lose their importance.  History has a way of ignoring temporal matters, and making jokes out of things which seemed momentarily so important.

(Also: Third World Goes Forth is a cool site, and you should read it.  I am waiting for its analysis of Paul Kagame, who I am fascinated by.  I don't think I was ever more let down by a political figure than I have been by him.  I can't decide if he got destroyed by power, if he still truly thinks that he can save his benighted land, or if the image of him I had earlier was false, and he was always a wolf.)

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