7 February 2017

The Trump Administration has stated that terrorist attacks have been underreported by the media. Speaking in Tampa, Florida, the President said:

“You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that.”

To support the claim, the Administration released a list of 78 terrorist attacks that purportedly were not reported.  The list actually does contain attacks that were extensively covered, such as the attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.  What is more interesting is that the list does not contain any attacks on the countries that experienced most of the terrorist attacks: Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria.  As the Washington Post indicates:

“In 2015, nearly three quarters of all deaths from terrorist attacks occurred in five countries — Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan and Syria, according to the State Department. The White House chose not to include any attacks from Iraq, Nigeria and Syria on its list. The two others got a single mention each — a knife attack that wounded a U.S. citizen in Pakistan in 2015, and a suicide bombing that killed 14 Nepalese security guards in Afghanistan last year.

“Similarly, between 2004 and 2013, about half of all terrorist attacks and 60 percent of fatalities from terrorist attacks took place in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, Erin Miller, of the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland, told the BBC.”

The claim seems to be an attempt to amplify fears of terrorist attacks by suggesting that they are more pervasive than is generally known.  Why the government wishes to instill fear in the population is a question only it can answer.


The Israeli Knesset has passed a law, 60-52, that retroactively legalizes the seizure of private property, largely once owned by Palestinians, for the construction of Israeli settlements.  The former owners of the land will be offered financial compensation or alternative plots of land.  Most countries in the world regard the Israeli settlements in the Occupied West Bank as illegal and this vote will likely aggravate tensions in the region.  It is highly likely, however, the the law will be found unconstitutional by the Israeli Supreme Court.  Indeed, according to National Public Radio, “Israel’s own attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, has called the law unconstitutional and said he ‘will not defend it in the Supreme Court.'”

Amnesty International has published a report on torture and summary executions in Syria, focusing on the Syrian government’s activities in the Saydnaya Military Prison (if one wishes to read the report, it needs to be downloaded–it is published in both English and Arabic).  Amnesty does not have direct access in Syria to any of the people in Syria, but conducted numerous interviews with people who have fled the country.  The interviews yield a picture of extraordinary brutality and acts that unquestionably constitute crimes against humanity.  The chances that the Syrian government will be held accountable in the near future is zero.  Nonetheless, the record is being established for justice to be served at some point in the future.




Posted February 7, 2017 by vferraro1971

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