13 December 2014   Leave a comment

One of the more curious arguments against the publication of the Senate’s report on US torture during the “Global War on Terror” was that the information would add fodder to the extremists who wish to bring harm to the US.  It is unclear why this argument received any credibility at all:  much was already known about the US use of torture.  Moreover, groups such as the Islamic State hardly believe in human rights, and have proudly displayed behavior which clearly belong in the same barbaric category of torture.  More likely is the argument that those who opposed publication were more afraid of the reaction of the American people.  Unfortunately, the American people are actually divided on the legitimacy of torture.


The climate change talks in Lima, Peru, have ended and the conference failed to reach any meaningful agreements on restraining the emissions of greenhouse gases.  According to The Guardian:

“By the time the final draft text appeared, it had been stripped of language that would have required the emissions cuts offered by countries to keep warming below the two-degree target. It was even unclear whether those targets would be subjected to a serious review.”

The failure to reach an agreement is a major setback to efforts to prevent a rise in global temperature of less than 2° C.

For the first time China has commemorated the anniversary of the Japanese massacre of over 300,000 Chinese in the city of Nanjing in 1937.   The willingness to commemorate the tragedy is an index of the extent to which China is willing to admit its weaknesses in the early 20th Century.  Chinese President Xi took the occasion to denounce the rebirth of Japanese militarism, but also suggested that the massacre was caused by a small group of individuals in Japan.



Posted December 13, 2014 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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