The point i was making is that, in the context of his article, he didn't review the history of the region at the outset. It seems that he may not have known it in advance, but, yes, i can't know that. However, if you set out to suggest that Iraq may fragment, and imply (as with the quote from his article) that it will fragment along traditional ethnic and sectarian lines, i say you owe it to your readers to provide the historical context. Whether or not he knew it in advance is a moot point in view of what the Kurdish gentleman told him. If he didn't know the history in advance, he should have researched it after what he was told, and he should have recounted that history so that readers would understand when they read the article.
Let me provide an example to which i've already alluded. At the time of war in Kosovo, when NATO forces attacked Serbia, most journalists were, seemingly, unaware of the history behind the conflict. Although it may seem ludicrous to you and i, right-wing Serbs are obsessed with Kosovo because of the crushing defeat they suffered there in the 14th century at the hands of the Turks. In the 1990s, right-wing Serbs with the dream of Greater Serbia dominated the "Yugoslavian" republic and army. (At the point, only Serbia and Montenegro were left of the former Yugoslavia.) That they were not a majority in Serbia is irrelevant. Furthermore, Tito had, in 1945, made Kosovo an independent administrative region, when Serbs had traditionally considered it a part of Serbia. For right-wing Serbs, Kosovo was a powerful historical symbol. If NATO had not intervened, they would probably still be fighting there today, or would have attempted to exterminate or drive out the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo ("ethnic cleansing"). Although most people in the west probably didn't care, knowing that history explains why the Serbs were so fanatical about holding onto Kosovo. That the historical context goes back 700 years doesn't matter to the right-wing Serbs, either, and that's not unusual. Witness Ireland and Israel for examples of disputes which go back many centuries.
My recollection is that most journalists were completely unaware of the historical context, and their "deep background" commentaires were great loads of bollocks.
Fair enough, but IMHO getting that historical preface to every item written by a journalist would get very tedious indeed.
Not that I have a solution that works for every reader, just me.
Now you're whining--i didn't say you need that kind of background for every piece. If, for example, the lead is "ISIS imposes Islamic law on Kurds," then there is no reason for that historical background. My remarks were specific to the article you linked.
Pancho, not Pablo, dear hanghead.
Pretty sure you whined first. Interesting that it's only that article that's ever made you whine about that issue.
Just poking the bear now. Polo gees.
No sweat, Boss. I usually don't rant about history when it comes to journalism, but when someone's trying to play the pundit, my radar pops up.
Islamic State seize town of Sinjar, pushing out Kurds and sending Yazidis fleeing
BAGHDAD — Al-Qaeda-inspired extremists seized control of the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar on Sunday, advancing against overstretched Kurdish forces and sending thousands of residents running for their lives.
Families described scenes of panic as gunmen entered the town around 7 a.m. after Kurdish forces withdrew. The majority of residents are Yazidis, followers of a pre-Islamic faith, and the extremists accuse them of being devil worshipers.
The retreat from Sinjar marked a second day of losses for forces from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region, who now share a 650-mile southern border with Islamic State fighters, after the Iraqi army retreated from the area in June.
As they attempt to beat back the militants, Kurdish officials have made desperate appeals for ammunition and weapons. Because of their rocky relations with the central government in Baghdad, the Kurds receive no military support from the capital, while their lack of sovereignty complicates arms purchases from abroad.
The US needs to support the Kurds in their fight against IS. They're solid in regard to any qualms we might have with arms going to the Islamists. It will strengthen the Kurds in their aim for an independent state which is against the present US policy of maintaining a unified Iraqi state, however, but the Baghdad government itself has been ineffectual in fighting IS in the non-Shiite provinces.
Yeah. It used to be whoever had the best story. Now, it seems to be whoever has the latest story.
Do you still think, Setanta, that the fanatics of the Islamic State are "mythologized by the western media" ?
Now they're mythologising themselves in the media.