Thursday, January 22, 2009

Funny What Isn't in the News These Days

While we get a run-down of what Michelle Obama is wearing to what dance, the problems of the world seem to be ignored by the press.

Maritime piracy remains a problem, though there are interesting developments. Spain, Japan and China are getting into the anti-piracy force. Though China has more on its mind than just fighting pirates.
Another Chinese objective is to chip away at India's maritime dominance in the Indian Ocean — a theater critical to fashioning a Sino-centric Asia. If China can assert naval power in the Indian Ocean to expand its influence over the regional waterways and states, it will emerge as the preeminent Asian power.

The geopolitical importance of the Indian Ocean today is beginning to rival that of the Pacific. Much of the global oil-export supply passes through the Indian Ocean rim region, particularly through two constricted passageways — the Strait of Hormuz between Iran and Oman, and the piracy-plagued Strait of Malacca.
India isn't taking that lying down of course.

It is also a big deal for Japan to get involved, because when the US government wrote the Japanese constitution at the end of WWII their military - the Self-defense Force - was made strictly defensive. Projecting any power abroad is a big deal for them.

Maybe you wonder why you should care about stuff halfway around the world. It is hurting trade, but mostly European trade. (It is a long way around the Cape of Good Hope, if shipping has to bypass the Suez Canal for the longer journey.) Well, it is impacting you in other ways.... even mundane stuff like the price of tuna has been impacted. More stress on Europe's economy means they are less able to buy stuff from us. (We still do send them some stuff.)

Anyway, I'm sure none of this is as important for the evening news to report as pictures of Obama's first phone call from the Oval Office.

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