Article on Price of Tomatoes Beats Out Obama-Sarkozy-Cameron Libya OpEd

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obama sarkozy cameron.jpg
The Libya op-ed appearing today in three lead papers: The Times (of London); the New York Times (which includes the subsidiary International Herald Tribune) , and Le Figaro, written by British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and US President Barack Obama got treated a bit differently depending where it appeared.
First of all, only in Le Figaro did the article by the three heads of state get blaring prominence on the paper’s homepage. It was the big, main item in the French case — and in Le Figaro, Sarkozy got top billing, followed by Obama, and then Cameron.
In the British case of The Times, the lead article on the paper’s homepage is not the oped but rather a piece reporting that the Tories are offering strong counsel to David Cameron to seek a broader mandate on Libya given what he said in the op-ed. The op-ed itself was buried in the piece, but there was a modest link to it.
organic_tomatoes.jpgIn contrast to the Americans and French, however, the British make anyone wanting to read the important article have to subscribe. (This should have been freely accessed — note to Joint French-American-British oped PR team.)
The Brits interestingly don’t take top billing for their guy on the piece as the French did. They give top billing to Barack Obama — then Cameron, followed by Sarkozy.
And then there is the New York Times in which Obama got top billing, followed by Cameron and then Sarkozy.
The article titled “Libya’s Pathway to Peace” did not appear at all on the front page of the New York Times website, and was fairly well buried even on the “opinion page” of the site.
Interestingly, while the article was the 2nd most linked article by bloggers — the joint oped did very poorly in terms of the number of times readers emailed it out. It didn’t even make the top 25 most emailed articles.
Indeed, a story on “the price of tomatoes” beat out the Obama-Cameron-Sarkozy piece as the 25th most emailed item.
— Steve Clemons

Comments

26 comments on “Article on Price of Tomatoes Beats Out Obama-Sarkozy-Cameron Libya OpEd

  1. Andy says:

    Food issues will be one of the major issues of this century. The cost of all food commodities will increase as maximum efficiencies in industrial food production have been largely achieved.
    As food shortage frequencies increase due to climate change and unstable weather effects on agricultural production, and as populations increase, supply-demand means food prices will inevitably increase. Futures markets will amplify these price increases. Rapidly changing food costs will contribute to societal and political instability.
    Do remember that the entire democracy movement in N. Africa and the Middle East was started by a fruit vendor in Tunisia. In the United States, bar coding and antitheft tagging of produce will be commonplace in the near future.
    These thefts are more than a product of the Great Recession. They are the first consequence of how we have dealt with our food supply and a harbinger of more to come if we do not address the future of food availability.

    Reply

  2. Don Bacon says:

    There is nothing in the NATO Charter that authorizes its foreign military activities.
    Article 1
    The Parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
    Article 5
    The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence . . .
    And there were no NATO deliberations on this Libya War, which most of NATO is avoiding.

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  3. Don Bacon says:

    The purpose of R2P is to to help States fulfill their responsibility to protect its populations from mass atrocities and ethnic cleansing.
    This was in response to the atrocities in Rwanda. It had nothing to do with putting down insurgencies.
    The UNSC resolution was intended to prevent an imaginative massacre in Libya. The resolution had the support of only three major nations, US, UK and France so it is a farce to say that the UN supported the action.
    The proof of this is the UNSC inaction in other major insurgencies in countries that don’t have the quantity of petroleum that Libya has.
    It is agreed that the President does NOT have broad powers under the Constitution to use force i.e. start a war. And we currently see why the Founding Fathers made this crystal clear, not only in the constitution but in the Federalist Papers. Because there was no debate in the Congress, and an agreement to pay for this wrongful illegal action the U.S. is in another quagmire, one the Pentagon actually didn’t want! Fancy that!
    Finally I arrive at the quote of one Joe Biden on atrocities, a behavior not unknown in the U.S. government — now I know this was an elaborate spoof. The joke’s on me.

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  4. DonS says:

    “Perhaps I should have said

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  5. Paul Norheim says:

    Robert A. Enholm said:
    “… in 2005 at a World Summit the nations of the world, including the U.S., voted to adopt the principle of the

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  6. Robert A. Enholm says:

    I said in my earlier post that

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  7. DakotabornKansan says:

    Rotten Tomatoes

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  8. DakotabornKansan says:

    Robert A. Enholm places our President where kings have always stood.
    He says,

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  9. Don Bacon says:

    RAE, you made that stuff up.
    Where in the Constitution does it state “The President does have broad powers under the Constitution
    to use force?”
    Why is bombing a country “not like a war?”
    The R2P calls for a series of steps prior to initiating war. Other countries have had internal strife w/o being bombed by NATO — but they don’t have all that oil.
    The United Nations was established to promote and maintain peaceful relations between nations; it has international responsibilities not infra-national ones.
    UN Security Council resolutions are binding only when they are invoked under Chapter VII of the Charter.
    CHAPTER VII: PACIFIC SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES.
    The chapter includes nineteen articles, starting with Article 33. The first nine articles detail peaceful procedures to be taken to settle disputes between states, and then:
    Article 42

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  10. DonS says:

    Robert A. Enholm says, in his defense of UN (or is it NATO, or is it France, UK, and US; whatever) “It is in the national security interest of the United States to foster the development of international laws and norms that forbid the resort to violence as a means of settling political disputes. Failed states cost the U.S. in many ways: illegal drug and arms trafficking (including nuclear materials), refugee flows, human trafficking, human rights abuses, pandemics and terrorism.”
    With other legalistic points he raises are standard boilerplate — and who can’t gin up boilerplate to justify any desired outcome — the part I quote above is a real howler. Who can, with a straight face, type anything vaguely about “resort to violence as a means of settling political disputes” and link that phrase with the United States.
    As states the cost of failed states, also becoming government cant for we’ll intervene wherever we want, seems like the cost of preventing failed states has trumped any valid arguments for intervention. Afghanistan being the prime example.
    And that’s as if the intervention in Lybia is really about preventing failed states; or is it protecting civilians; or is it letting Sarkozy and Cameron swagger (and pay them back for going along in Afghan.); or is it to protect the largest oil reserves in Africa? Of course those same laudable principles don’t seem to apply in Bahrain or Yemen.
    And finally, of course preventing failed states in other parts of the world must be done, while simultaneously courting failure in the US must always be disregarded when it comes to military options. I don’t even know why I bother addressing these hackneyed arguments, except I can’t imagine anyone making them seriously. If it’s just an academic exercise, fine, but they’re embarrassingly transparent, cynical and shallow.
    The US, the greater champion of alternatives to “resorting to violence”. Feh.

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  11. questions says:

    On the backloading of spending cuts, the front loading of “agreement”, the political cover for the GOP to support raising the debt ceiling:
    http://blogs.berkeley.edu/2011/04/15/president-obamas-real-proposal-and-why-its-risky/
    (h/t Thoma)
    “But there

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  12. DakotabornKansan says:

    The Price of Tomatoes and Free Lunches
    ABC News reports that

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  13. questions says:

    Bradley Manning:
    http://westernfrontonline.net/news/13331-manning-peer-sheds-light-on-wikileaks-former-military-intel-analyst-shares-his-thoughts-on-the-motive-of-alleged-leaks
    And as long as I’m here,
    https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/%28S%28izykws45ytcvbza3nlfdcffa%29%29/20075_displayArticle.aspx
    The link to prisonlegalnews I referred to on a thread further down.
    We’re not really nice to anyone in our “care” at this point.

    Reply

  14. questions says:

    From the post above:
    “Failed
    states cost the U.S. in many ways: illegal drug and arms
    trafficking (including nuclear materials), refugee flows, human
    trafficking, human rights abuses, pandemics and terrorism.”
    This point is deeply significant.
    The solution we are pursuing to the problems in Libya and the greater MENA region may not really be good solutions.
    Pouring water over the Fukushima reactors is not a great solution.
    But the status quo ante is not, in either case, without problems as well. And it is this point that we need to focus on more than we do.
    Stopping the War in _______ sounds good because war is bad.
    But, the absence of war can sometimes be worse than the war itself. The absence of war costs money and lives, blood and treasure, uncertainty and arms races. We don’t have a clean way through.
    None of this means that the Libyan intervention is necessarily a great idea. Much depends on very site-specific information I have no access to, and I don’t even know if the US gov’t has access to. Much depends on the unfolding of events, as we are sadly stuck in linear temporality.
    Just as the arguments against nuclear power MUST take into account the depredations of fossil fuels, so must the argument against the intervention in Libya, (the war against Libya, the attempt to depose our favorite thug)– so must this argument take into account the costs of the end of the Arab spring, the preservation of a thug, the immediacy of his attacks on his own people, and any moves towards strengthening thugocracies in the region.
    Preventive actions are always uncertain, often seem irrational, and can never really be justified as we never really know if we’re preventing what we say we’re preventing.
    In the MENA region, then, we’re at war with countries, with narratives, with the very possibility of knowing if what we’re doing is right.
    Our best hope is our analysts. Our best hope is that the one or two or three people who quit the Japan builder of Fukushima over design issues — that they don’t quit the CIA, that they have voiced whatever their concerns are, and that therefore the design of the Libya intervention is far better managed than was the design of Fukushima.
    I’m not holding my breath on this. Because we often don’t listen to the right voices.

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  15. Robert A. Enholm says:

    This is not the place to engage in a detailed legal analysis but let
    me rise to defend the U.N. action in Libya and the role of the
    United States in supporting it.
    1. The President does have broad powers under the Constitution
    to use force.
    2. The intervention in Libya is not like a war; it is more akin to a
    police action.
    3. All of the nations of the world adopted the “responsibility to
    protect” in 2005, including the U.S. That doctrine, heavily
    caveated to protect national sovereignty, calls for the U.N.
    Security Council to intervene to prevent a government from
    committing systematic atrocities against its own people.
    4. The Libyan government had attacked its own people and was
    at the gates of Benghazi threatening to go “door to door” without
    mercy when the U.N. Security Council voted to intervene.
    5. The intervention is supported by regional organizations and a
    majority of the Security Council and was not vetoed by any of the
    Security Council permanent members.
    6. The purpose of the intervention, as emphasized by the
    Obama/Cameron/Sarkozy piece, is the protection of civilians.
    7. It is also true that the Libyan government, by its behavior, has
    lost its legitimacy to rule.
    8. And, finally, it is for the Libyan people to choose their new
    leaders.
    Reasonable minds can differ, but there is nothing outrageous in
    this. Moreover, the United Nations should move to deploy
    peacekeepers in Libya to quell the violence, step up the
    humanitarian aid for the displaced Libyan people, and sponsor
    elections in the country.
    It is in the national security interest of the United States to foster
    the development of international laws and norms that forbid the
    resort to violence as a means of settling political disputes. Failed
    states cost the U.S. in many ways: illegal drug and arms
    trafficking (including nuclear materials), refugee flows, human
    trafficking, human rights abuses, pandemics and terrorism.
    Moreover, international action supported by the Security Council
    allows for the costs and burdens of intervention to be shared
    and for the intervention to have international legitimacy
    (increasing its likelihood of success).
    Finally, the action in Libya has protected the popular uprisings in
    the neighboring states of Tunisia and Egypt and sets a precedent
    for leaders of other countries who may otherwise have been
    tempted to think that they could attack their own people with
    impunity.
    All in all, I’d give Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy (and others ) a
    thumbs up.

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  16. NeuteredAntagonist says:

    Speaking about misplaced priorites…..
    Nuclear Inspectors

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  17. Don Bacon says:

    questions, would you please take that off topic rubbish elsewhere?

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  18. Don Bacon says:

    These geniuses do have an end game in mind, right? After Gaddafi, who until recently was a strong U.S. ally?
    SecDef Gates, Apr 1:

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  19. questions says:

    Just started on Nicholas Shaxson’s Treasure Islands: Uncovering the Damage of Offshore Banking and Tax Havens.
    It has vaguely something to do with the price of tomatoes (or more, what happens to the profits from bananas), and certainly a lot to do with what a country is anymore as compared to a pile of capital.
    The offshore money industry is of a piece with many other race to the bottom style game theoretic messes we’ve created for ourselves.
    Here’s another foodie one to go with the tomatoes:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/04/15/967423/-Drug-resistant-staph-in-1-4-of-US-meat
    And there’s the takeover of Benton Harbor Michigan by the gov of Michigan.
    So what we see here is that it’s in an individual’s own interest to: offshore money and pay no taxes, to use huge amounts of antibiotics on a single meat farm to make more meat more cheaply and get more money the better to offshore in the Cayman Islands or Bermuda or wherever. It’s also in any individual governor’s interest to be a petty tyrant.
    BUT, when we all do this stuff, we have basically destroyed anything worth preserving.
    Resistant bacteria in our food is a direct result of the overuse of antibiotics in animal feed which is a direct result of a lack of regulation and a presence of too much competition and too much selfish foolishness.
    Money movements function as a way to preserve individual profit-taking while destroying governmental functioning; the slow destruction of the customer base is a direct result of the movement of money.
    A democratically elected governor, by fiat, kicks out the democratically elected government of a city in that state. What does this do to the notion of “democratically elected” and therefore what does it do to the governor himself?
    Kant has good answers for all of these! Game theory has good answers for all of these! Socrates has good descriptions! Politics, policy, and history and psychology and economics can all contribute, too!
    But in the end, it’s pretty simple.
    We’re eating our children, and this time, with a healthy dose of resistant staph!
    Someone has to stop us before we’re unstoppable. Really. And for all the Republicans who “positioned” on that Ryan budget vote, remember, you forestalled a Tea Party primary challenge for now. That’s good, you had to do it. But you also changed the discourse in the country for the worse, and you know it.
    You did exactly what the overusing-of-antibiotics farmer does. You did exactly what the offshoring-of-money corporate CEO does. You did what the gov of Michigan did.
    You undermined the legitimacy of your own position by making an exception for yourself of the general rule that you know society needs to live by. You were, perhaps, and act utilitarian in a rule utilitarian world. Or you were simply bad.
    We can’t have NO tax collection. We can’t have NO working antibiotics left. We can’t have democracy by tyrannical fiat.
    We cannot put ourselves first and sacrifice all else in order to “position” for the next election. We will of course continue to do precisely this, but we will regret it eventually.
    Maybe most regrets will come from widespread staph infections with no health care at all to stop them. That could be an ugly future!

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  20. Dan Kervick says:

    That photo could be captioned “The Last Waltz of Neoliberalism.” Those three guys are at the end of an era; but they don’t know it yet.

    Reply

  21. Don Bacon says:

    The OLC opinion was issued April 1, 15 days after UNSC Res 1973, March 17 which initiated hostilities.
    As one blogger commented:
    Pretty remarkable, isn

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  22. Don Bacon says:

    re: OLC
    1. The president has no such constitutional power. The constitution merely states that: “The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States.” That’s it. He’s the top military officer, nothing more.
    2. The UNSC has no authority under the UN Charter to initiate military action against a member state due to an internal conflict, so the “responsibility to preserve the Council

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  23. DakotabornKansan says:

    The price of tomatoes and the cost of empty words

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  24. ... says:

    the oligarchs have the general public right where they want them…

    Reply

  25. Don Bacon says:

    These three stalwart representatives of the world’s leading colonial powers forget to mention one important fact attendant to their illegal war activities: Libya has the largest proven oil reserves in Africa according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

    Reply

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