Three important news stories.

This is probably one of the most important stories that has shown up in the news in the past year or so. It’s important for two reasons: (1) It’s systematically documented, and I’d be willing to give 90% or better odds that the underlying claims are factually true; and (2) the victim in this case was a German citizen. (Why is this important? Because, not to put too fine a point on it, most of America doesn’t really care if this is done to an Afghan or a Pakistani. Doing it to a West European citizen is important because it means that the people responsible feel that they can do this somewhere where it will be noticed, and without punishment or compunction. The significance – apart from the usual issues of torture, kidnapping, holding of people incommunicado, and complete suspension of any pretense of legal legitimacy – is that it was brazen.)

In other news, Mahmoud Abbas has claimed a fairly sound victory in the Palestinian elections. This is good in that he seems like (along with more or less everyone living in that area outside of Hamas and their moral kin) he is genuinely interested in solving the problems of the area and building peace. The one issue is that voter turnout was low in areas, indicating that the Hamas boycott had an impact and they’ll be able to claim that Abbas has a weak mandate, and thus continue to kill people in the streets. But hopefully he’ll be able to assert control fairly quickly, and hopefully (and I’m sincerely hopeful on this!) Sharon will realize that there’s the chance for a real negotiating partner here.

Finallly, this one was pointed out by : The Pentagon is considering a strategy which it calls the Salvador option for dealing with insurgency in Iraq. It’s good to know that things are going so well that we can safely copy a strategy which has already failed disastrously elsewhere. Much less important than the other students, but I foresee this leading to no end of trouble in coming years…

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Published in: on January 9, 2005 at 16:11  Comments (2)  
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2 Comments

  1. A similar tale to the first.

  2. A similar tale to the first.


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