Millennial Review – Daily Review August 2nd

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MR Daily Review 

August 2nd

1. Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan, potentially sparking a diplomatic and military crisis. 

Nancy Pelosi landed in Taiwan and shortly after Chinese diplomats aired calls that the visit undermined Chinese territorial sovereignty and could bring military action.  It’s not just diplomats giving that warning. According to the New York Times, in a call regarding the trip between Joe Biden and Xi Jinping where Xi reportedly told Biden “playing with fire will set yourself on fire.” The move is irresponsible especially at a time where the United States is essentially funding a war against Russia as China does what they can to make up U.S. sanctions. Nancy Pelosi has a long history of reaching out to Taiwan, some credit it as flowing from a very local political focus and constituencies in San Francisco that support Taiwan. Others credit it with being simply a matter of business with over 90% of all semiconductors manufactured in the country, and other important trade ties. Whatever it is China clearly was not happy and directly threatened military action, while Pelosi stated the visit is about a world order that can choose between “autocracy and democracy” clearly laying out the stakes in her mind. Any saber rattling towards and against China is a bad development and this is incredibly irresponsible to say the least.

2. U.S. drone strike kills Al Qaeda lead Ayman al-Zawwahri. 

Many gave Biden a great deal of credit for ending the war in Afghanistan. Despite that, the war on terror broadly marches on and specifically this week the United States targeted Al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawwahri with a drone strike in Afghanistan. While the United States’ ground presence in Afghanistan “ended,” the United States military still operates in the region. Not long ago the United States deployed over 500 troops to Somalia – while we discussed the deployment here, it did not receive much attention in the press. How many Americans are aware of the deployment, or that U.S. military operations in Afghanistan continue? That’s what this story should be about – the fact that the War on Terror continues, especially the particularly insidious drone program which may we remind you really took off under Obama to begin with. American military carrying out assassinations should be criticized regardless of who they target, especially when they happen months after the conflict allegedly ended.

3. Alex Jones testifies in Texas defamation case. 

Alex Jones took the stand in his Texas defamation case filed against him by Sandy Hook families for his insistence that Sandy Hook was a hoax that never happened, and subsequently they are all liars. The trial has some premium shit show moments as one would expect, such as Alex Jones selling his supplements on the stand, it also has some of the darker realities to the case, like Alex Jones telling the Sandy Hook parents in open court that their lawyers are manipulating them with doctored videos. The broader story here, Alex Jones style politics, and particularly how they mesh with mass shootings, is an ongoing one in American life. After every mass shooting right wing voices flock to their platforms, many of which sometimes subtly sometimes not so subtly, suggesting that the shooting is a false flag and an attempt to enact gun/social controls. Alex Jones pioneered that playbook and now is likely facing hundreds of millions of dollars in consequences, unless bankruptcy can save him.

4. Department of Justice sues Idaho over abortion restrictions. 

The battle over abortion rights continues as the Department of Justice challenges Idaho’s near total ban on abortion. Idaho’s trigger law is set to take effect August 25th and does not have exceptions for the life of the pregnant person or rape/incest. Specifically the lawsuit aims to challenge the failure to carve out exceptions for the life of the mother as federal health care guidelines dictate institutions that receive Medicare funds must do exactly that. These are still some of the opening moves of the Biden administration’s legal strategy, which to this point has been fairly lack luster. The conflicts with federal law raised by the ban are probably one of the more promising legal avenues to challenging draconian state abortion bans. To that end both the governor and attorney general of Idaho have declared the lawsuit government overreach and both intend to fight it.

5. Already understaffed U.S. “safe havens” for Afghan allies and refugees close, leaving tens of thousands in limbo.

In August the United States set out to resettle some 80,000 Afghan refugees, while leaving even more allies and others behind. The chaotic evacuation was the culmination of decades-long visa processing delay and failure that has left thousands of allies and others dead, abandoned and in mortal danger. That mess is only getting worse as “safe havens” or temporary locations where Afghan refugees have lived are now shutting down. While open, these safe havens were often under staffed critical support positions like psychologists, pharmacists, and teachers, making them unlivable to many while they were open. Now that they are closed tens of thousands of Afghan refugees are forced into resettlement sometimes with limited support. This failure is happening alongside continued bombing in the country and even today the United States shows its willingness to create more refugees while utterly failing to take care of those that already exist.

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