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Comparing Terrorism in West with the rest of the word?

Since the beginning of 2015, the Middle East, Africa and Asia have seen nearly 50 times more deaths from terrorism than Europe and the Americas.

Thursday’s attack on Bastille Day celebrations in Nice is the third mass-casualty assault to hit France in 18 months, and the largest single attack on a Western country since November of last year, when gunmen rampaged through Paris, killing 130.

More than a month ago, a gunman stormed into a gay nightclub in Orlando and killed 49 people. The gunman, Omar Mateen, spoke with a 911 operator on the phone and pledged his loyalty to the Islamic State. The event was both a terrorist attack and the largest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The death tolls of attacks in Western countries pale in comparison to daily attacks in other parts of the world.

In a few frenzied days in late June and early July, three Islamic-State-linked attacks killed over 350 people.

On June 28, three attackers detonated their suicide vests at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport and killed 45 people. On July 1, Bangladesh suffered its worst terrorist attack in history when gunmen killed 20 hostages at a Dhaka restaurant.

On July 3, nearly 300 died in a busy Baghdad shopping district, the Karrada.

(Click to check the graphs By Lazaro Gamio and Tim Meko)

Marj Henningsen shared this link

Thanks for posting John Bernson. It’s good to be reminded of the tragedies happening outside the US and Europe that go largely unnoticed by most Americans. Also the vast majority of victims of groups like ISIS are Muslims.|By Post Graphics

In northeastern Nigeria, Islamic-State-affiliated Boko Haram has been forced out of much of the territory it once controlled, but it continues to carry out suicide bombings in the region. The group has carried out increasingly deadly campaigns in recent years, with 2015 being the deadliest.

(The news obscured the deadly massacre of the Nigerian forces against 1,000 Chiaa Nigerians)

In Syria and Iraq, the local populace bears the brunt of the Islamic State’s brutality, with suicide bombings and armed assaults a common occurrence. The group has stepped up attacks in recent months, as its territory in northern and western Iraq has diminished.

In Afghanistan, an increasingly fragmented Taliban is stepping up its operations. On June 30, two suicide bombers attacked a convoy entering Kabul and killed 30 police cadets, one of many attacks against security force convoys. Just over a week prior, a suicide bomber killed 14 Nepali and Indian security guards; both the Taliban and the Islamic State took credit for the bombing.

Outside large attacks in France and Belgium, attacks in eastern Ukraine account for most terrorism casualties in Europe, according to Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center.

In the Americas, recent Islamic-State-inspired mass shootings make up the lion’s share of the terrorism-related deaths. Aside from that, a few scattered attacks from guerrilla groups in Colombia and Peru and some scattered violence in the Caribbean caused a handful of deaths.

Notable attacks

April 2, 2015

Garissa, Kenya – Al-Shabab militants stormed dormitories at a university in eastern Kenya, killing at least 147 people. It was the worst terror attack on Kenyan soil in nearly two decades.

June 25, 2015

Kobane, Syria – Militants stormed into this Syrian Kurdish town, killing scores of people five months after the extremists were pushed out of the area with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes.

June 26, 2015

Sousse, Tunisia – A gunman killed 39 people – largely British tourists – at a beach resort north of the city of Sousse. The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, the worst of its kind in Tunisian history.

July 17, 2015

Diyala, Iraq – A suicide bomber drove a truck bomb into a market in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala as it was packed with families making preparations for the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr. At least 130 were killed in what was at that point the Islamic State’s worst single bomb attack in the country.

Aug. 6, 2015

Abha, Saudi Arabia – An affiliate of the Islamic State asserted responsibility for a suicide bombing at a mosque in the southern Saudi city of Abha that killed 15 people. Most of the dead were members of a local SWAT force who were praying when the attack happened.

Oct. 10, 2015

Ankara, Turkey – Twin bombs ripped through a peace rally in the Turkish capital, Ankara, killing about 100 people, largely Kurdish and Turkish leftist activists. Turkey blamed the Islamic State for the attack, though the group did not assert responsibility.

Nov. 12, 2015

Beirut, Lebanon – Two Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up at a crowded area in a southern suburb of Beirut, killing as many as 43 people. It was the worst terrorist attack in Lebanon since the country’s 15-year civil war, which ended in 1990.

Nov. 20, 2015

Bamako, Mali – Gunmen seized a luxury hotel, killing at least 20 people in an attack claimed by an al-Qaeda affiliate.

March 27, 2016

Lahore, Pakistan – A suicide bomber killed more than 70 people, including many children, on Easter in an amusement park in Lahore.

May 11, 2016

Baghdad – Nearly 100 people were killed in three bombings in the Iraqi capital claimed by Islamic State. The worst struck a market in the Shiite neighborhood of Sadr City, which was followed by attacks on checkpoints a few hours later.

June 28, 2016

Istanbul, Turkey – A brazen assault by three suicide bombers at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport killed more than 40 people. Turkish officials blamed Sunni extremists for the attack.

July 1, 2016

Dhaka, Bangladesh – A siege at a cafe in Dhaka leaves 23 people dead. Bangladesh, a Muslim-majority country, has dealt with Islamist extremist attacks since its independence in 1971.

July 3, 2016

Baghdad, Iraq – More than 250 people were killed in a suicide bombing at a busy Baghdad shopping street in the Islamic State’s deadliest-ever bomb attack on civilians. It was one of the worst bombings Iraq has seen since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.

July 4, 2016

Saudi Arabia – Suicide bombers with suspected links to the Islamic State attacked three locations as part of a coordinated campaign of worldwide bombings coinciding with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Four security guards died in one of the attacks, the Interior Ministry said.

Sources: IHS Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Center, Staff Reports. Additional research by Loveday Morris, Hugh Naylor and Tiffany Harness. Note: As of July 14, there were 94 attack fatalities in the West andd 663 elsewhere. In a previous version of this article, the top-level totals excluded the partial July data.

Trade myths and realities

In this bitter campaign, one area of agreement unites the major candidates: trade.

Bernie Sanders brags is opposed all recent trade agreements;

Hillary Clinton now rejects the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), President Obama’s signature trade success that she once supported; and

Donald Trump blames incompetent U.S. trade negotiators for devastating job losses to China that might be cured by a 45 percent tariff on Chinese imports.

You should take all this with a boulder of salt.

John Bernson shared this link

Factual and convincing.

The political problem is that the costs of free trade have fallen disproportionately on white non college educated males who form the bedrock base of today’s Republican Party.

Without Republican Congressional support TPP is in deep trouble.

Spread misleading rhetoric.
 Robert J. Samuelson writes a weekly column on economics. View Archive

True, a flood of Chinese imports over the past 15 years has cost hordes of U.S. jobs. In a recent paper, three respected economists — David Autor of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Dorn of the University of Zurich and Gordon Hanson of the University of California at San Diego — estimated the loss of manufacturing jobs at 985,000 from 1999 to 2011.

But this large number needs context.

Over the same period, all U.S. manufacturing jobs dropped 5.8 million; the share caused by China was a bit less than one-fifth.

When the economists added China’s impact on non-manufacturing firms, the job decline more than doubled to 2.4 million. Still, that’s less than 2 percent of total payroll employment of 131 million in 2011 and 143 million now.

A more powerful job destroyer was the Great Recession (8.7 million jobs lost over two years).

In addition, there are export jobs.

With U.S. exports about 80 percent of imports, they offset most — though not all — of trade-related job loss.

In 2014, exports supported 11.7 million jobs, says the Commerce Department: 7.1 million for goods (aircraft, medical equipment) and 4.6 million for services (software, films).

The trade debate breeds myths. Here are three.

Myth: Persistent U.S. trade deficits reflect recent free trade agreements and, says Trump, America’s clueless negotiators.

Reality: The underlying cause of U.S. trade deficits is the dollar’s special role as the world’s major international money.

The United States has had continuous annual trade deficits since 1976, (actually since the 60’s) well before the North American Free Trade Agreement (1994) and China’s joining the World Trade Organization (2001).

The explanation is that the dollar is widely used to settle trade transactions, to make cross-border investments and — for governments — to hold as international reserves.

The resulting dollar demand on foreign exchange markets raises the dollar’s value in relation to other currencies.

This makes U.S. exports more expensive and imports into the United States cheaper. In the past, Japan and China magnified the effect by keeping their currencies artificially low. Economists debate how much, if at all, this still occurs.

Myth: Americans have turned decisively against free trade policies.

Reality: Public opinion has long been muddled, both supportive and skeptical.

A 2015 Pew Research Center poll reflects the ambivalence. By 58 percent to 33 percent, respondents found free trade agreements a “good thing.”

More Americans (43 percent) than not (36 percent) feel their family finances benefit. But asked how the agreements affect U.S. wages, 46 percent said “lower” and only 11 percent said “higher” (the rest: no difference).

Myth: The large trade deficit ($540 billion in 2015) is an important cause of the U.S. economy’s slow growth.

Reality: Though the rising deficit hurts, the damage is modest. Compared with many countries, the U.S. economy is still driven mainly by domestic spending.

We’re less integrated into the global economy than most.

In 2014, we exported about 14 percent of our output (gross domestic product). By contrast, the same export-to-GDP ratio was 23 percent for China, 46 percent for Germany and 50 percent for South Korea, reports the Peterson Institute. (Countries with high exports also have high imports.) Still, slow growth abroad harms the U.S. economy by dampening demand for our exports.

An open trade policy has served the United States well.

It has advanced our strategic goals — supporting Europe’s recovery in the 1950s and 1960s, improving relations with Mexico in the 1990s — while presenting U.S. consumers with more choices and lower prices.

The constant problem is that the benefits are widely disbursed while the social costs concentrate on unemployed workers and bankrupt companies.

We have yet to cope with this, in part because it’s hard to draw a line between firms that fail from foreign competition and ones that fail from domestic competition.

A similar dilemma involves the dollar. A “strong” dollar is good for the world; it creates certainty and confidence. But a strong dollar also penalizes U.S. exporters and subsidizes U.S. importers. Satisfying both goals simultaneously is tough.

The campaign’s misleading rhetoric is dangerous if it leads the next president to start a trade war (Trump) or to repudiate the TPP (Clinton and Sanders).

It’s better to police for currency manipulation and illegal subsidies. The alternatives have more political appeal but would involve a huge self-inflicted economic wound.

Note: This article is obscuring the clauses that permit multinationals to challenge the laws of the countries, and trade complaints by multinationals are arbitrated by US mediators.

Read more from Robert Samuelson’s archive.




June 2023

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