American people oppose both wars; Taliban strengthens as Pakistan and U.S. increase operations; Two-thirds of life sentences in the U.S. go to non-whites; Chinese gov’t manual teaches police to efficiently beat people; India debunking “global warming” claims; and more…
POLL: Majority of Americans oppose both wars. 63% oppose the Iraq occupation and 53% oppose the Af-Pak War (AntiWar.com).
“The war against militants will not be won by expanding the battle-space,” reads the London Guardian editorial. “We should stop pouring more oil on to this fire and start thinking of realistic outcomes. And we should be doing this now.”
“The Downward Spiral: Pakistan Consumed by Violence as Taliban Power Grows” is a great article by Susanne Koelbl and Sohail Nasir at Der Spiegel. Saeed Shah wrote today at McClatchy, “Government authorities have ordered local farmers not to grow wheat and corn, as tall crops can provide cover for insurgents, and this has dented the area’s economy still more.” I wonder how Taliban power is growing. Wouldn’t Pakistanis love the Pakistani Army collaborating with the U.S. to destroy their economy? The curious part is that some still do.
The U.S. is going to hold back on releasing their numbers of militant casualties in Afghanistan to focus on civilian tolls and only estimate “insurgent” deaths, in order to ‘communicate’ they are “to protect the people”, the LAT reports. U.S. Army Lt. Col. Rumi Nielson-Green said, “When we know what we inflict upon the enemy and report the facts without embellishment or exaggeration or spin then I believe it is the right thing to do — not because the winner is the one with the least amount of dead, but because we can be counted upon to tell the truth and the enemy cannot.” LOL.
“It’s not a legal war,” former U.S. Army Sgt. Geoff Millard said, regarding the Af-Pak War. “The war in Afghanistan has brought more evil into the world than it’s taken out.” (6:01):
Afghan farmers may be paid to grow nothing in the U.S. counter-narcotics operation (Raw Story).
Saad bin Laden (SBL), Osama bin Laden late-20’s son, is reportedly dead due to the surge in the Af-Pak region, officials say. SBL was detained in Iran for six years before returning to Pakistan and has been reportedly groomed to be the heir to al-Qa’ida leadership (LAT).
Jonathon Horowitz was interviewed by Glenn Greenwald on the brutal U.S. kidnappings and treatment of prisoners at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Listen here.
A report debunks the Obama case for ‘indefinite detention’ that the current system isn’t able to “fight terrorism” Read about it at Glenn Greenwald’s blog here.
“[I]f Iran attains nuclear weapons, it does not pose a real existential threat to other countries, Israel included,” writes Hebrew University of Jerusalem poli-sci Prof. Gabi Sheffer “Even if the Iranian threat is not completely imagined, it is completely weak and the Israeli public should understand this rather than allow itself to be dragged into supporting a destructive military operation.” (Ha’aretz).
The Prison Project study shows either 1 in 11 or 11% of inmates receive life sentences. 66% are non-white, 77% of juveniles. (AFP)
Most American Jews back a settlement freeze in Occupied Palestinian Territory (Ha’aretz).
Hamas has a “new emphasis on cultural resistance” as the political monopoly in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has not initiated fire into Israel from Gaza since the summer of last year. “We are not terrorists but resistance fighters, and we want to explain our reality to the outside world,” Osama Alisawi, the minister of culture, said during a break from the two-day conference. “We want the writers and intellectuals of the world to come and see how people are suffering on a daily basis.” (NYT)
Israel education ministry is dropping the use of “Nakba” is any school textbooks. The passage in question, which occurs in one textbook aimed at Arab children aged eight or nine, describes the 1948 war, which resulted in Israel’s creation, in the following terms: ‘The Arabs call the war the Nakba – a war of catastrophe, loss and humiliation – and the Jews call it the Independence War.'” (BBC)
Chinese government manual leaked on how police are to beat people without leaving marks. (Times)
Twelve categories of couples in Shanghai are allowed to have more than one child. Surprisingly, it isn’t the usual eugenics craziness you hear come out of China (FT). Somewhere at IPS, it was reported that well over 60% in China oppose the one-child policy, but the gov’t officials overwhelmingly love it.
The U.S. will continue to support Georgia admission into NATO, but will not continue to arm the state (RT).
The “Change” List is Iraq-occupied Kurdistan is an emerging third option for political power in the northern region with a heavy emphasis on autonomy and strong claim for the Kirkuk region (which has experienced increased violence lately). The Iraq government insists they will not allow an independent Kurdish state. (LAT)
“India rejected key scientific findings on global warming, while the European Union called for more action by developing states on greenhouse gas emissions.” (FT)
U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton is meeting with SE Asian nations to compete with China’s emerging, more rational influence in the region. “On behalf of our country and the Obama administration, I want to send a very clear message that the United States is back, that we are fully engaged and committed to our relationships in Southeast Asia,” Mrs. Clinton said. Anyone think they really care about U.S. funny-money? (CSM)
Sudan’s attempt at a coalition-type of government has agreed to grant power of the lucrative oil fields to the central government in Khartoum. (LAT)
IL Gov. Pat Quinn is open to letting counties decriminalize pot. (CPR)
‘The military industrial complex killed Kennedy,’ JFK filmmaker Oliver Stone says calling it the “shadowy forces”. Take for what you will. (HuffPo)
Read libertarian George Donnelly’s awesome exchange with government pawns in his attempt to obtain a Pennsylvania License to Carry Firearms here. It’s hilarious.