05-17-2022  1:26 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

2022 Midterms: What to Watch as 5 States Hold Primaries

Tuesday, May 17, 2022 is the last day for voters to return ballots. Ballots that are mailed must be postmarked by election day. Ballots deposited in an official drop box must be received by 8 p.m. on election day.

No Sea Serpents, Mobsters but Tahoe Trash Divers Strike Gold

Scuba divers who spent a year cleaning up Lake Tahoe’s entire 72-mile shoreline have come away with what they hope will prove a valuable incentive

House Passes Bipartisan Update to Anti-Poverty Program Led by Bonamici, Thompson

The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program has not been updated since 1998.

Portland Unrest Drives Interest in 2 Congressional Primaries

The problems have given Republicans a megaphone and raised the stakes for Democrats as a crowded field of candidates vies to advance to November in a historically blue state

NEWS BRIEFS

2 Pleasure Boats Catch Fire on Columbia River

Two pleasure boats caught fire on the Columbia River between Vancouver and Caterpillar Island Sunday afternoon. One boat sank,...

WA Childhood Immunization Rates Decline During Pandemic

Immunization rates have decreased by 13% in 2021 when compared to pre-pandemic level ...

Attorney General Rosenblum Warns Against Price Gouging of Baby Formula

This declaration will allow the Oregon Attorney General to take action against any business, or online vendor, who upsells the price...

WA High Court: Drivers Can Get DUIs for Driving While High

A decision that upholds the state’s decade-old law regulating marijuana use behind the wheel of a car. ...

Community Basketball Game and Discussion Events Work to Reduce Gun Violence

Basketball game features Black youth and police officers playing together ...

5-term Idaho attorney general in tough GOP primary battle

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Idaho’s five-term Republican attorney general has handled his duties in the deeply conservative state for 20 years with a strategy he describes as calling legal “balls and strikes.” He's facing two challengers who see a more activist role for the office. ...

Idaho governor faces Trump-backed candidate in GOP primary

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Republican Gov. Brad Little is fighting back a primary challenge on Tuesday from his lieutenant governor, Janice McGeachin, a Donald Trump-backed candidate who twice attempted a power grab last year when Little was out of state on business. The intraparty contest...

OPINION

Can Federal Lynching Law Help Heal America?

Despite decades of senseless delays, this new law pushes America to finally acknowledge that racism often correlates to a level of violence and terror woven into the very fabric of this country. ...

The Skanner News Endorsements: May Primary 2022

Primary election day is May 17, 2022. Read The Skanner's endorsements for this important election. ...

Men’s Voices Urgently Needed to Defend Reproductive Rights

For decades, men in increasing numbers have followed women’s lead in challenging gender-based violence and promoting gender equality, so why are we stuck when it comes to abortion? ...

Burying Black Cemeteries: Off the Record

It is a tragedy when we lose a loved one. That tragedy is compounded when are unable to visit their final resting place to honor and remember them. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

New Zealand shooting survivor says violence achieved nothing

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — If the Buffalo supermarket shooter had learned anything from the massacre in New Zealand that apparently inspired him, it should have been that the violence didn't achieve any of the gunman's aims, a survivor said Tuesday. Temel Atacocugu was shot nine...

'Like every other day:' 10 lives lost on a trip to the store

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — They were caregivers and protectors and helpers, running an errand or doing a favor or finishing out a shift, when their paths crossed with a young man driven by racism and hatred and inane theories. In a flash, the ordinariness of their day was broken at Tops...

Tensions over racial justice shadow Louisville mayor's race

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — On Valentine's Day, a man appeared in the doorway of a Louisville campaign office and fired shots at mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg. He wasn't hit — a bullet grazed his sweater — but some of the tensions still lingering over this city flared once again. ...

ENTERTAINMENT

Brandi Carlile, Yola, Allison Russell lead Americana noms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Brandi Carlile, Allison Russell and Yola are the leading nominees for the 2022 Americana Honors and Awards, with each one up for album of the year, artist of the year and song of the year. The nominees were announced Monday in Nashville, Tennessee, at the...

Review: 'Team America' plumbs enduring impact of 4 generals

“Team America: Patton, MacArthur, Marshall, Eisenhower, and the World They Forged” by Robert L. O’Connell (Harper) Insightful and informative, military historian Robert L. O’Connell’s latest book carries a title that might evoke in today’s readers a group of superheroes...

Yiyun Li wins PEN/Malamud Award for short stories

NEW YORK (AP) — Author Yiyun Li has received one of the top honors for short story writers, the PEN/Malamud Award for “exceptional achievement.” Li, 49, has published the collections “Gold Boy” and “A Thousand Years of Good Prayers,” along with five novels and two...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

New US hospitals face fiscal crisis over COVID relief money

THOMASVILLE, Ala. (AP) — A whole town celebrated in 2020 when, early in the coronavirus pandemic, Thomasville...

North Korea reports another fever surge amid COVID-19 crisis

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Tuesday reported another large jump in illnesses believed to be...

Conspiracy theorists flock to bird flu, spreading falsehoods

Brad Moline, a fourth-generation Iowa turkey farmer, saw this happen before. In 2015, a virulent avian flu...

US vice president, top officials visit UAE to pay respects

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris led a high-powered American delegation to...

Iraqi merchants struggle on amid series of strong sandstorms

BAGHDAD (AP) — The thick layer of dust blanketing the sky did not deter Muhammed Ghalib from walking to work in...

Uyghur county in China has highest prison rate in the world

BEIJING (AP) — Nearly one in 25 people in a county in the Uyghur heartland of China has been sentenced to prison...

Akbar Ahmed Pakistan Link

Pakistan drone rallyIt has been more than a decade since the first US drone strike in Pakistan, and can we say that we are safer for it? In recent years, the drone campaign has expanded from Yemen to Pakistan, Somalia, eastern Turkey and the southern Philippines. Has the violence in these regions lessened and hatred of America abated?

The answer is a resounding no. The near daily attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and other areas where the war on terror is being played out, and countless lives lost — feeding into high-levels of anti-Americanism — are the clearest signals that the drone has failed.

Not only is it a fact that innocent people are killed in drone strikes — confirmed by no less an authority than President Obama himself in his recent speech at the National Defense University — but the drone is an ineffective weapon in the fight against terrorism. It creates more enemies than it eliminates and worsens the violence in the targeted regions.

US drones do not operate in a vacuum. They are being introduced into tribal societies, which are already in turmoil. Many of these societies have been locked in conflict with their central governments for decades. It was only after 9-11 that the US, in its newly minted war on terror, allied itself with central governments that were quick to ascribe the actions of the periphery to the evil machinations of al-Qaida and other Islamic terrorists. The US quickly came swooping in with its drones, exacerbating the conflict between center and periphery, and arousing the anger of the nation at large.

For every "militant" killed, there is a long line of other misguided young men ready to take his place, seeking revenge for the trauma caused to their society. For every drone strike, the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan has vowed to take revenge with a suicide bombing. A tribesman from Waziristan told me that there are not enough bombs in the region to fill the demand from willing suicide bombers.

Beyond the Tribal Areas, the drone campaign has stoked bitter resentment from the Pakistani nation as a whole, souring relations with a key ally in the region needed more than ever during the impending US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Several major candidates in the recent Pakistani elections, including the new Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif , made opposition to US drone strikes a central part of their campaigns.

Regardless of any of the perceived merits of the drones — with many supporters lauding the precision of the weapon or the ability to keep American boots off the ground — the use of the drone is a clear sign that the US is not understanding the source of the violence in these regions and therefore unable to target the underlying cause.

As a former administrator of tribal societies in both the Tribal Areas and Baluchistan in Pakistan, I found it necessary to rely upon political measures working within existing tribal structures to check violent elements within society rather than relying on force alone. Stability in these regions has traditionally been maintained through the councils of elders and traditional religious leaders acting as mediators working with the representative of the central government.

Unfortunately, these pillars of authority have been damaged or demolished in recent years amid the broader turmoil in the region. Groups like the TTP have filled that vacuum. The traditional pillars need to be reconstructed and supported in order to effectively check the men of violence.

The only means to bring peace to the region is through long-term political solutions. For anyone who understands tribal society, the use of military force, including the drone, only escalates the problem rather than solving it and represents a failure of the political administration. Simply put, the drone is an ineffective method of fighting terrorism.

Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, DC and author of "The Thistle and the Drone: How America's War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam."

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