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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 17-May-2013
17-May-13 World View -- Obama and Turkey PM Erdogan hold bizarre press conference

Web Log - May, 2013

17-May-13 World View -- Obama and Turkey PM Erdogan hold bizarre press conference

Nigeria's president launches major war against Boko Haram terrorists

This morning's key headlines from

Obama and Turkey PM Erdogan hold bizarre press conference

Prime Minister Erdogan and President Obama on Thursday (Reuters)
Prime Minister Erdogan and President Obama on Thursday (Reuters)

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Barack Obama held a joint news conference in Washington on Thursday, and said the predictable things about Syria -- that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad must go, that Syria must be free, that we'll continue to pressure the al-Assad regime, blah, blah, blah. Erdogan has previously said that when he met with Obama he would provide proof that the al-Assad regime had used chemical weapons, and Obama has previously said that use of chemical weapons was a "red line" and a "game changer" that would trigger Western military intervention in Syria. However, Obama said the predictable things, that we're not really, really, really sure that chemical weapons were used, and that no military action was planned, blah, blah, blah.

The situation in Syria has been a major diplomatic victory for Russia's president Vladimir Putin. Putin is supporting al-Assad's ruthless massacre of innocent women and children, and is expressing open contempt for Western pleas not to supply S-300 surface to air missiles to Syria, to allow al-Assad to defend against Western air strikes against his stores of weapons that he uses in his bloody attacks on innocent civilians.

There's a big irony to the Syria situation, in that it's a kind of un-Iraq. President George Bush was blamed for military action in Iraq in 2003, and President Barack Obama decided that the "lesson learned" is that the U.S. should not get involved in foreign wars. More and more each day, it appears that if things continue to get worse and worse in Syria each day, then the West in general and the Obama administration in particular are going to be blamed. It's very hard to argue that Syria would be worse off today if the West had intervened right at the beginning, and each day that passes makes al-Assad stronger and more well-armed, thanks to Russia and Iran. So, Bush is blamed for intervening in Iraq, and Obama may well be blamed for NOT intervening in Syria. Such are the problems of the United States, the policeman of the world.

Having said that, it's worthwhile noting that things could change at any time. We've reported in the past about unconfirmed reports that the U.S., Turkey, Jordan and Israel are making preparations for military intervention in Syria. The horrific actions by violent psychopath Bashar al-Assad are causing pressure to increase on the West to do something - anything - to stop the carnage, a decision could be announced at any time. Zaman (Istanbul) and Jamestown

Nigeria's president launches major war against Boko Haram terrorists

Nigeria, showing major historic tribes.  Northern tribes (Fulani, Hausa) are generally Muslim, southern tribes (Yoruba, Igbo, Berom) are generally Christian.
Nigeria, showing major historic tribes. Northern tribes (Fulani, Hausa) are generally Muslim, southern tribes (Yoruba, Igbo, Berom) are generally Christian.

Nigeria's president Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in the northeast regions of Nigeria, and has ordered full-scale deployment of the army and air force to fight Boko Haram terrorists in the region. Prior to 2009, Boko Haram was a little known Muslim sect of ethnic Hausa people, but since that time, they've established a linking with al-Qaeda. Starting in 2010, Boko Haram began a series of terrorist attacks across the country, often bombing Christian churches. In the last year, Boko Haram has announced the intention to establish an Islamist state in Nigeria's northeast. There have been a number of major clashes between the army and Boko Haram, especially around Maiduguri in the Hausa region, where the Boko Haram fighters are indistinguishable from ordinary civilians. The result of these clashes is that hundreds of civilians were killed and their homes burned down and destroyed, with no clear idea whether it was the army or Boko Haram that did the most damage and killed the most innocent civilians. Thus, the new military action is highly controversial in Nigeria, with many fearing that it will mean that the army's heavy weapons and the air force's bombs will kill a lot of civilians, but won't do much to end the Boko Haram threat.

The rise of Boko Haram from a terrorist group to a well-armed militia is another unintended consequence of the West's military intervention in Libya in 2011. The Libyan action provided a training ground for Islamist jihadists, and also provided vast stores of heavy weapons stolen from Muammar Gaddafi's unguarded storehouses. The result has been a major al-Qaeda linked militia in northern Mali, and terrorist attacks across northern Africa, from Algeria to Egypt. Tribune (Nigeria) and PM News (Nigeria) and BBC

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 17-May-13 World View -- Obama and Turkey PM Erdogan hold bizarre press conference thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (17-May-2013) Permanent Link
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