New Waziristan Loya Jirga, Late Evening Pakistan update

The Nation reports on a new Loya Jirga and new accords in North Waziristan

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Senior Al Qaida Leaders Captured in Iraq

U.S. and Iraqi forces maintain the pressure on al Qaeda and the insurgency nationwide. Combined U.S. and Iraqi raids inside Baghdad led to 129 captured insurgents and the discovery of two bomb factories

Please stop by Fourth Rail for important full details, this looks like a good breakthrough in Anbar Province. From Bill Roggio:

 U.S. and Iraqi forces maintain the pressure on al Qaeda and the insurgency nationwide. Combined U.S. and Iraqi raids inside Baghdad led to 129 captured insurgents and the discovery of two bomb factories over the past 48 hours. Iraqi security forces, with the help of the Anbar Salvation Council, killed Ahmad Hadid, the leader “Islamic State in Fallujah,” and Ibrahim Keitan, Al-Qaeda’s military coordinator in Al-Anbar.

Capitalism Conquers Death

In March at TED (Thinking, Entertainment, Design), Hans Rosling gave a presentation that clearly demonstrates the great strides the world has made by adopting Capitalism over the past forty years. Please watch this in its entirety, there are things that will amaze you throughout.

Pay attention to China’s adaptation of Capitalism, and Bangladesh’s, and what inevitably followed.

(Hat tip to Pajamas Media for the pointer to this important presentation)

Before you think this is revolutionary thought I’ll point out that Science Fiction writers are generally ahead of the academic crowd when it comes to observations like this, see David Brin’s post from 2005. Also, if you want to play with the graph he’s using yourself, or track particular countries, please go to the sidebar link to “Gapminder” under the info and think-tank blogroll.

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Recent additions

In the sidebar under information and think tank resources I’ve added two links, one to TED, (Thinking, Entertainment, Design), and the other to Gapminder. Both of these present great data, and challenging thinking constructs. While some of the presentations and data are occasionally presented in the antiquated shroud of last century’s class-warfare “MarxThink”, the data itself is valid and important.

Please take a moment to hit Gapminder and view the stats on infant mortality, wealth, longevity, and especially the overall trend of wealth growth throughout the world. It might cheer you up. On the other hand, if you are of a nihilistic bent, the small exceptions to the growth will depress you, or the reason for the growth might make you angry about the countries that grew in wealth. If that’s the case then you need to step back and look in the mirror at yourself because that anger’s about you, not the trend.

Pakistan Sunday Update

Events have settled to quasi-equilibrium in Pakistan this weekend. The country still faces a constitutional crisis until the Supreme Court Chief Justice detention is resolved one way or the other. The first hearings and petitions start review Monday in Pakistan (Sunday Evening US time.) Meanwhile the sectarian violence in Parachinar area has quieted, as well as the anti-Uzbek Al Qaida war in Wana.

The back and forth over “is Pakistan doing enough against terrorism” continues, and the sniping from all quarters is beginning to tell, empowering a lot of oppostion and chatter against Musharaaf. The two largest opposition parties are partnering with the lawyers in protests, but they are not rallying large amounts of protestors, which they could do if they wanted to.

In his latest statement Musharaaf vehemently opposed the concept of joint Pakistani-ISAF forays against terrorists. In his country and in his position he must do that, before you automatically object think about it a moment. When Musharaaf says that the whole countryside would go up in arms, he’s making a true statement, buoyed by historical evidence of the same. IF you then say “well what do we care?” then ask if you care about genocide, because at some point it would get to that.

Captain Ed over at Captain’s Quarters has the right read on this.

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