Sometimes, well pretty often actually, it is difficult to know what to believe where press reporting is concerned. With the majority of publishers and media companies having a well pronounced political 'lean', I try and cultivate an intelligent skepticism. Well that's what I try to do, although I am the first to admit that I am not always successful. And of course it is all the more difficult when one is far removed from the scene of the action as we are here on our boat.
Nevertheless I have a great deal of respect for my visceral response, particularly where a 'story' is concerned. Conspiracy theories intrigue me and I have found, through experience, that life is very often far stranger than fiction.
Which brings me to the current furor between President Obama and BP. Don't misunderstand me, I have every sympathy with the victims, both human and ecological, of this terrible disaster but what is all this jingoistic rhetorical spewing about? I admit to having certain 'issues' about America (along with a number of other countries) but the posturing and threatening behaviour of the US President has left me open mouthed in astonishment. What is going on here? BP appear (note I say appear) to be taking the whole situation with complete admission of guilt. They are striving to contain a disaster that has occurred at the cutting edge of the technology available to them. Could they do more? Who knows, I am certainly not in a position to make that judgment.
What has sent my antennae shooting skyward is the apparently uninformed and ill judged attitude of the US President. British Petroleum? Doesn't he know that they disappeared in 1998 when they merged with the US companies Arco and Amoco? Doesn't he realise that the rig, equipment, staff are all American? Why this goading with words and threats to 'Kick some ass'? Or is this what he has to do to appeal to the American voter?
What crossed my mind is that there is something more going on here than this one issue. Then I came across this piece in today's Times. Hmm. So Cameron may be threatening to pull out of Afghanistan leaving the Americans there. What would the White House make of that? And what other posturings are going on behind the scenes?
As I say I don't know but it makes me wonder. They haven't sold me the story... yet. Politics is a filthy game