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Politics & Religion / Re: The War with Medical Fascism
« Last post by ccp on February 02, 2023, 02:46:18 PM »
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Politics & Religion / Re: The War with Medical Fascism
« Last post by G M on February 02, 2023, 02:23:33 PM »
" clotshot " = "Trump vaccine"

 :-D :wink:

Yes.

As the narrative shifts from “safe and effective” to “Oh my god, what did we do?” Then it will be Trump’s vaccine!
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Politics & Religion / The Economist
« Last post by Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2023, 01:21:18 PM »
The Economist this week
Highlights from the latest issue



The Economist
Sometimes news charges at you, sometimes it creeps up. Our cover story this week is about news in the creeping category. In the past two years America’s Congress has passed three bills, on infrastructure, semiconductor chips and greenery. They’re complicated and they have misleading names such as the “Inflation Reduction Act”, which isn’t really about inflation (and certainly won’t reduce it). What matters, though, is that these bills will together lead to spending of $2trn on remaking America’s economy.

The idea is that, with government action, America can reindustrialise itself, bolster national security, revive left-behind places, cheer up blue-collar workers and dramatically reduce its carbon emissions all at the same time. It is the country’s most ambitious and dirigiste industrial policy for many dec­ades. In a series of articles beginning this week The Economist will be assessing Joe Biden’s giant bet on transforming America.

The president is taking an epoch-making polit­ical gamble by acting on so many fronts. But the only way to build a majority in Congress was to bolt a Democratic desire to act on climate change on to hawkish worries about the threat from China and the need to deal with left-behind places in the American heartland. On its own, each of these concerns is valid. But the political necessity to bind them together has led America into a second-best world. The goals will sometimes conflict, the protectionism will infuriate allies and the subsidies will create inefficiencies.

A giant plan that has so many disparate objectives does not simply succeed or fail. Its full consequences may not become clear for many years. But, as our coverage will show over the coming months, it is sure to change America profoundly
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Politics & Religion / RANE: Mali
« Last post by Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2023, 11:56:04 AM »
In Mali, Jihadists and Separatists Forge a Pact to Counter the Islamic State
6 MIN READFeb 2, 2023 | 19:15 GMT




In Mali, the al-Qaeda-linked group JNIM's non-aggression pact with other armed groups highlights its political legitimacy and may lay the groundwork for negotiations with Bamako, even as security worsens around the capital. The head of Jama'at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin — the jihadist group known as JNIM that holds territory and carries out attacks in the Western Sahel — met with representatives of several armed groups operating in northeastern Mali on Jan. 26, according to a report published by Radio France International (RFI) on Jan. 30.'

 During the meetings, JNIM leader Iyad Ag Ghaly reportedly forged a non-aggression pact with groups including the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (an Islamic rigorist and ethnic Tuareg group with alleged ties to Ansar al-Din, a Tuareg separatist group); the Permanent Strategic Framework for Peace, Security and Development (a coalition of armed groups that in December 2022 abandoned the 2015 Algiers Peace Agreement that ended the 2012 Tuareg rebellion); and the Tuareg Imghad Self-Defense Group and Allies (a pro-government militia). Leaders and emissaries from these groups reportedly agreed not to target JNIM in order to better combat the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (ISGS).

Mali has endured decades of instability since its independence from France in 1960. But the current conflict began in 2012 when the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA) — a separatist movement emerging from the Tuareg ethnic group — and a coalition of militant groups rebelled against the central government. Ansar Dine (which is also an Islamic Tuareg militant group) and the Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (an al-Qaeda splinter group) supported the MNLA to establish an independent state called Azawad in northern Mali. By the end of 2012, the groups controlled nearly all of northern Mali and declared independence, but infighting and France's military intervention in 2013 ended the alliance and the Azawad's independence.

JNIM is a coalition of al Qaeda affiliated groups that emerged in 2017 out of an alliance between jihadist militant groups Ansar Dine, al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, al-Mourabitoun and Katibat Macina.

ISGS is an Islamic State affiliate that primarily operates in the Western Sahel, including in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The group emerged from a fracture within al-Mourabitoun, formerly part of al Qaeda, in 2015 — although then-Islamic State leader Abubakr al-Baghdadi recognized ISGS's pledge of allegiance in 2016. Since then, ISGS and JNIM have intermittently fought for control of the regional criminal economy and territory.

The meetings come amid a period of intense fighting between JNIM and the Islamic State in Mali's northeastern regions as both groups seek to exploit the security vacuum left by France's 2022 withdrawal. Without the added threat of French counterterrorism operations, ISGS ramped up attacks against JNIM in Menaka in October and November. In response, JNIM increased its outreach to local communities, attempting to position itself as the primary protector against the Islamic State. Since January 2023, JNIM's efforts appear to be showing signs of success. Prior to the Jan. 26 meetings in Kidal, JNIM published photos showing several high-ranking clan members in Menaka pledging allegiance to Iyad Ag Ghaly. According to RFI, the local leaders belonged to the ethnic Daoussahak community near the town of Inekar located close to the border with Niger. Notably, the Daoussahak historically comprise one of the main factions of the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad that fought alongside French forces against ISGS. Since France's withdrawal, ISGS has continued to target the ethnic group, which — as suggested by the pledges of allegiance — may be defecting from the Movement for the Salvation of Azawad to join JNIM.

In November, JNIM released a statement ''calling on all Muslims to stand up to these extremists and those who helped them.''
If the reported pact holds, it will likely bolster JNIM's position in northeastern Mali and could elevate the security threat around Bamako.
While all of the aforementioned armed groups have been battling ISGS separately in Menaka, Gao and elsewhere in Mali, the non-aggression pact will enable these groups to focus on fighting ISGS rather than each other. This will increase armed resistance to ISGS, but will also likely bolster JNIM — potentially enabling JNIM to consolidate more territory in northeastern Mali, strengthen its claim as the primary protector against ISGS aggression, and likely increase recruitment from Tuareg and Daoussahak communities living in the areas. In the short term, this will worsen security in northeastern Mali, as clashes will likely become more frequent and ISGS — responding to the increased pressure — will likely conduct more reprisal attacks against local communities perceived as being in support of JNIM and/or the other armed groups. In the medium term, and especially if the nonaggression pact weakens ISGS in Menaka and Gao, JNIM may be able to devote more manpower and resources toward its activities elsewhere in the country, especially near the capital of Bamako. Already, the group has claimed various attacks over the past year that have come increasingly close to Bamako, and is suspected of conducting a November 2022 kidnapping operation in the city itself. If JNIM manages to reduce the ISGS threat in the northeast, it may then escalate attacks near Bamako to gain political leverage.

Conflict among the signatories to the pact could cause the agreement to collapse, as the groups involved and their respective supporters occupy overlapping territories with limited resources (like water and livestock) and hold different political aspirations.

The pact also highlights JNIM's political legitimacy, strengthens its negotiating position with the central government and may lead to broader negotiations with Bamako in the medium term. Ghaly's open communication channels among various armed groups in northern and central Mali indicate JNIM's strong political networks throughout the country. JNIM has previously expressed willingness to negotiate with the junta, conditioned by the now-completed withdrawal of French forces in 2022. If JNIM exerts greater pressure on the junta through territorial gains and terrorist attacks near the capital, government leaders may be more likely to attempt negotiations with JNIM to preserve what little centralized control over the country they have left (even though negotiations would likely be very unpopular among some parts of the transitional legislature). With that said, such negotiations would be very fragile due to the fractures among the various groups involved (including the Malian military, legislature and political establishment; the various armed groups that coalesce under JNIM; and the myriad ethnic, political, social and secessionist groups of northern Mali), which could renew old disputes. For instance, the groups advocating for an autonomous Azawad state in northern Mali may view JNIM's likely encroachment on Bamako, France's retreat and the junta's apparent delay of a promised constitutional referendum as an opportunity to resuscitate the pan-Azawad movement to demand regional autonomy. Hard-line branches of JNIM, meanwhile, could oppose negotiations with the junta altogether, perhaps creating new splinters within the organization. But while there are various possible scenarios, Ghaly and JNIM will continue to command immense political power and remain pivotal to the central government's continued fight to maintain Mali's territorial integrity.
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