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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 6-Mar-2014
6-Mar-14 World View -- Russia prepares invasion, and Arab states have major split

Web Log - March, 2014

6-Mar-14 World View -- Russia prepares invasion, and Arab states have major split

China refers to the U.S. ambassador as a 'banana'

This morning's key headlines from

Russia's Lavrov blatantly lies as Russia prepares for Ukraine invasion

A member of the Ukrainian Navy stands guard on top of the Ukrainian navy command ship Slavutych in Sevastopol.  Russian ships are blockading the Ukrainian ships.
A member of the Ukrainian Navy stands guard on top of the Ukrainian navy command ship Slavutych in Sevastopol. Russian ships are blockading the Ukrainian ships.

On Wednesday, Russia continued to mobilize its troops on Crimea, apparently preparing for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

Absurdly, Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Lavrov continued to insist that there were no Russian troops in Crimea. He said that they were all ethnic Russian militias over which he has no control. If Lavrov can sit there and make such a ridiculous lie, then assume that everything else he and Putin say is a lie. Falsus in unum, falsus in omnibus.

If you believe in actions rather than words, then Russia is preparing for an invasion of Ukraine.

The rest of the day Wednesday was spent in fatuous diplomatic posturings on all sides. So nothing has changed since yesterday, and a major conflict could still break out at any time, and appears to be inevitable. Telegraph (London)

Gulf Arab states have major split over Egypt and Iran

Since it was formed in 1981, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) alliance has always hid its internal differences from the public, so Wednesday's very public split qualifies as a significant event. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar on Wednesday after a stormy GCC meeting on Tuesday. Two other GCC members, Kuwait and Oman, took no position on the split, and may try to mediate.

The three countries issued a joint statement saying that the split occurred because Qatar allegedly refused to honor a security agreement that all GCC members approved last year on November 23 not to back "anyone threatening the security and stability of the GCC whether as groups or individuals - via direct security work or through political influence, and not to support hostile media." In particular, Qatar has refused to implement three specific provisions:

Qatar declined to withdraw its own ambassadors from the three countries, and defended its relationships with the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran:

"The move taken by the brothers in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain has nothing to do with the interests of the Gulf peoples, their security and stability.

Qatar is very keen on maintaining brotherly links between the people of Qatar and all other Gulf peoples."

A Qatari official said that the split is really about Egyptian politics, targeting Egyptian general Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who headed the coup that ousted Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government from the presidency last year:

"It is unfortunate that some of them [GCC countries] are trying to force Qatar to take certain policies which have nothing to do with the Gulf, nothing to do with Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates or Bahrain.

The whole issue is really about Sisi. These countries, they are supporting a coup d’état where thousands of Egyptians are being killed in front of the whole world. And they want Qatar to support such a policy. But we will never support any regime which kills its own people.

I am sure in the days after that wisdom will come and these countries will realize that trying to impose the philosophy of my way or the highway will not work with Qatar."

Qatari officials are particularly infuriated because three al-Jazeera reporters in Egypt have been jailed for over two months, on charges of having reported news in a way favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood. Gulf News (Dubai) and Al-Jazeera (Doha) and AFP

China refers to the U.S. ambassador as a 'banana'

A Chinese state media editorial has called Gary Locke, who is finishing up his tenure as U.S. ambassador to China, a "banana," and a "guide dog" that had stirred an "evil wind."

In China, the epithet "banana" is an ethnic slur. It's related to the American ethnic slur "Oreo," used by a black to refer to someone who is black on the outside and white on the inside, meaning "not black enough." Similarly, "banana" means yellow on the outside but white on the inside, meaning not Chinese enough. (Apparently, "coconut" is similarly used by Hispanics.)

Locke is of Chinese descent, but apparently he's more loyal to America and American values than to China and Chinese values. Hence, he's a "banana." To put it very simply: "America makes Chinese Americans, but China does not -- and does not particularly want to -- make American Chinese." CNN

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 6-Mar-14 World View -- Russia prepares invasion, and Arab states have major split thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (6-Mar-2014) Permanent Link
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