Wednesday Headlines

According to John Rich in NOW Lebanon, the US has abdicated its role to set the global agenda and has grossly underestimated the degree of hatred of those in the Middle East.

On Syria, Rich argues the absence of leadership is leading toward a “methodical disintegration of any salvageable components of a state upon which reconstruction could be possible” and that while Syria may have been the center of civilization long ago, it is now “a wasteland of militias” that is slowing dying.

“Meanwhile, America has lost its hold on the cosmic clock since it changed its tactics from offense to retreat and decided to build a state in lieu of an empire. An American empire might be partial and cruel with sharp claws that could hurt regardless of whether the intent is to help or punish. However, it is the modern empire that made the resilience of modern states possible and provided fragile, troubled modern cities with the tools to survive and reproduce,” he adds.

After String Of Bombings, China Responds To Terrorism
In an attempt to turn back a growing tide of terror attacks that have left almost 100 dead, China has announced its intent to strike back against the minority Uighur separatists it blames for the violence.

According to The Japan Times, the violence has been fueled by declining economic conditions.

“Employment discrimination, experts say, along with a demographic shift that many Uighurs feel is diluting their culture, is fueling resentment that spills over into violent attacks directed at Han Chinese, China’s majority ethnic group.

“Many of the nearly 80 people wounded in the incident were likely to have been brought to Xinjiang, where Uighurs once formed the majority, by Han-controlled businesses to be construction workers or laborers,” the paper notes.

The separatists are fighting for an independent state. China must “resolutely beat the terrorists’ arrogant brazenness,” said Meng Jianzhu, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs, according to the official Xinhua News Agency.

Most of the deaths have been a result of bombings and stabbings at rail stations and other public places.

No Negotiating With Boko Haram
While some have argued the international community should attempt to negotiate with the terrorist group Boko Haram, Richard Dowden asserts that is currently not realistic. After decades of corruption and greed, many Nigerians do not trust the government or the military and, even worse, can have their loyalty bought – all of which complicate the situation. Negotiation, simply put, is not an option.

“Nigeria was proclaimed recently to have the largest economy in Africa. It also has by far the largest population, at an estimated 170 million. Most of its people live in poverty, however, because government income comes from oil, from which a few benefit but none has to work or pay taxes. State income just flows from the oil companies. Loyalty is easily rewarded and opposition can – usually – be bought off. The trouble with Boko Haram is that it can’t,” he writes.

And with President Jonathan Goodluck focused more intently on his reelection campaign – which also is causing divisions within the nation – there is little chance that Boko Haram will receive the concentrated focus needed to weaken its grip on Nigeria.

New Poll Shows Global Media Freedom On The Decline
According to a new Gallup opinion poll, a majority of those polled in 132 countries said the media in their nations have a lot of freedom, but that is the lowest percentage recorded by Gallup since 2010.


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