Focused On The Now

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Freddie DeBoer makes a shrewd point:

Our news cycle moves fast, our attention span is short, and nobody cares about yesterday's news. I think anyone can imagine a situation where the rebels defeat Qaddafi and a new government is put into place, and the western world congratulates itself on a job well done, as Obama's approval ratings soar. Liberal hawks and neocons get even more entrenched in their views and self-satisfied. Meanwhile, Libyans will continue to wrestle with the consequences for decades to come.

And the results could be all kinds of bloody and terrible-- perhaps we might even call it humanitarian disaster. With Iraq, we were temporarily forced to deal with the long-term consequences because we were occupying the country. Now, even though we still have 50,000 troops there, our attention has gone elsewhere-- while the constant violence and near total political breakdown continues.

This is a very frightening turn for democracy, when long-term human consequences of our actions are so divided from long-term political consequences.

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