Generational Dynamics
Fourth Turning Forum Archive


Popular links:
Generational Dynamics Web Site
Generational Dynamics Forum
Fourth Turning Archive home page
New Fourth Turning Forum

Thread: Generational Dynamics World View - Page 12







Post#276 at 01-02-2013 11:47 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-02-2013, 11:47 PM #276
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

*** 3-Jan-13 World View -- Pakistan has measles surge as health workers are murdered

*** 3-Jan-13 World View -- Pakistan has measles surge as health workers are murdered

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • German press criticizes the 'fiscal cliff' bill as 'tiresome farce'
  • Pakistan has measles surge as health workers are murdered
  • West Bank Palestinians riot over electricity bills
  • More left wing violence, this time over gun control


****
**** German press criticizes the 'fiscal cliff' bill as 'tiresome farce'
****



President Obama winks at press conference on Tuesday (Spiegel/AP)

The German press, normally slavishly admiring of President Barack
Obama, are hailing the fiscal cliff bill as a big "victory"
for the President, because he got the tax increases and spending
increases he wanted, despite Republican opposition.

The conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine called the negotiation "a
tiresome farce that no one is interested in seeing any longer." The
left-leaning Die Tageszeitung writes:

<QUOTE>"Precious little has been gained, particularly when it
comes to implementing the platforms for which Barack Obama was
re-elected in November -- even if the Republicans don't want to
believe it. ... In Washington today, the main mission of politics
is obstruction. All sides are acting as though the only
conceivable form of politics is constantly relying on emergency
measures in a panic. ...

It will be a small political miracle if other means were used to
resolve the next stage over the next two months, the deferred
budget cuts and increase in the debt ceiling. Perhaps falling over
the cliff could have helped matters there. But politicians knew to
prevent that from happening."<END QUOTE>

The left-leaning Berliner Zeitung writes:

<QUOTE>"Sure, Obama managed to save unemployment benefits for
the long-term unemployed and avoided cuts to social and health
benefits for the time being with the fiscal cliff compromise. But
the ultimate decision over the cuts is far from being made. A year
of endless negotiations over the debt ceiling and the unresolved
budget issues awaits. The still fiscally conservative and resolute
Republicans remain pitted against the still hesitant president,
who remains hopeful of bipartisan cooperation. But even if Obama
is now finally determined to fight their obsession with spending
cuts, he'll still have to adjust to governing with less money
soon."<END QUOTE>

Other commentators have pointed out that the bill will:

  • Substantially raise taxes for every working American, through
    the payroll tax.
  • Raise $600 billion revenue in new taxes.
  • Add $4 trillion to the debt (over 10 years), thanks to increases
    in spending programs, and massive amounts of "pork" in the new
    bill.


However, there's no need for concern, since the bill won't have much
effect on the million dollar bonuses that bankers awarded themselves.

The bill is 154 pages long, and senators were given three minutes to
read it before they voted on it. Der Spiegel and CNS News

****
**** Pakistan has measles surge as health workers are murdered
****


A Pakistan charity organization, Support With Working Solution, has
suspended its operations in Pakistan after seven members of its staff,
six women and one man, were ambushed and shot dead on Tuesday after
leaving a local community center. Taliban and other al-Qaeda-linked
militant terrorist groups have been critical of the activities of such
organizations because they provide education for girls, and because
they provide polio and measles immunization vaccinations, which the
Taliban claims is a secret plot to sterilize Muslims and prevent more
Muslim children. This comes as the World Health Organization (WHO) is
reporting that Pakistan had a record high number of measles cases in
2012, and a record number of deaths from measles. Most of the
children who died from measles were from the districts affected by the
massive floods of the last three years. Pakistan Tribune and Daily Times (Pakistan)

****
**** West Bank Palestinians riot over electricity bills
****


More than 50 Palestinians were hospitalized after hundreds of angry
Palestinians demonstrated and threw stones and empty glass bottles at
Palestinian security forces, who responded by firing live bullets in
the air and throwing tear gas bombs. The riots were triggered because
the Palestinian government forgave the electricity debts of the
Palestinians living in refugee camps, but did not do the same for
Palestinians living in municipalities. "All Palestinian residents
should be treated equally and fairly — this is a social must," said
one municipality mayor. The demonstrations are spreading city by city
and village by village, and thousands of Palestinians are expected to
take part. Gulf News

****
**** More left wing violence, this time over gun control
****


As we've been reporting left-wing violence and threats of war,
especially by union thugs acting on behalf of President Obama, has
been increasing, and President Obama has silently supported it. (See
"26-Dec-12 World View -- Andrew Sullivan and the Gun Control Fantasy"
)

Now we have a new threat of violence from left-wing columnist
Donald Kaul, who retired last year, but has now returned in
order to threaten more violence against people he dislikes:

<QUOTE>"Then I would tie Mitch McConnell and John Boehner,
our esteemed Republican leaders, to the back of a Chevy pickup
truck and drag them around a parking lot until they saw the light
on gun control."<END QUOTE>

Des Moines Register

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Germany, fiscal cliff,
Pakistan, measles, Support With Working Solution,
World Health Organization, WHO,
West Bank, Palestinians, Donald Kaul, gun control,
Andrew Sullivan

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#277 at 01-03-2013 11:56 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-03-2013, 11:56 PM #277
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

4-Jan-13 World View -- Burma (Myanmar) Army warplanes strike Kachin rebels in north

*** 4-Jan-13 World View -- Burma (Myanmar) Army warplanes strike Kachin rebels in north

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Burma (Myanmar) Army warplanes strike Kachin rebels in north
  • Australians blame Chinese for shortage of baby milk formula
  • Venezuela's government vows unity as Chávez's health deteriorates
  • Bloggers reveal the pork and new spending in 'fiscal cliff' bill


****
**** Burma (Myanmar) Army warplanes strike Kachin rebels in north
****



The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Burma, in April (CNN)

Burma's army is escalating clashes with ethnic Karen rebels in
northern Kachin state by carrying out air strikes against the rebels,
after they threatened to block supply convoys to a government base.
According to the separatist Kachin Independence Organization (KIO),
the supply convoys were being blocked because the government has
imposed a blockade, preventing food from being delivered from a camp
with 40,000 refugees. (For some background, see "23-Feb-10 News - Is Burma poised for a new civil war?"
)

This escalation in northern Burma comes at a time when ethnic and
religious violence is also increasing in Rakhine state in western
Burma, between Buddhist Rakhines and Muslims Rohingyas. ( "27-Oct-12 World View -- U.N. alarmed as ethnic violence grows in western Burma (Myanmar)"
)

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, we're seeing
something very familiar. Burma's last crisis war was an extremely
bloody and genocidal civil war engulfing a number of ethnic groups in
Burma. That war ended in 1958, so the time is approaching when the
survivors of that war will all have disappeared, and a new bloody
civil war can begin. In the meantime, outbreaks of violence between
ethnic groups are on the increase, and there will be periods of
violence alternating with periods of "truce," until something finally
triggers all out war. BBC and Radio Free Asia

****
**** Australians blame Chinese for shortage of baby milk formula
****


Australian supermarkets that are supposed to hold baby formula have
become bare, as the two major suppliers of baby formula have become
unable to keep up with the demand. The demand is coming from visitors
from China, who visit Australia, buy the formula in bulk, and take it
back to China with them. China is apparently suffering a new panic
related to the 2008 scandal, where thousands of babies got sick
because milk producers added melamine, an industrial chemical used to
make plastics and fertilizer, to their milk products. (See "A generational view of China's growing melamine food disaster"
from 2008.) The melamine was
added because it gave the appearance of higher protein levels in
government tests. Unfortunately, it also caused kidney stones and
renal problems and, in some cases, death. Now there's a new surge of
concern in China, and tourists are flocking to Australia to stock up
on "safe" baby formula, leaving the Australians high and dry.
Al-Jazeera

****
**** Venezuela's government vows unity as Chavez's health deteriorates
****


The top lieutenants in the government of Venezuela's president Hugo
Chávez vowed unity and blamed the United States for "lies and
manipulation, a campaign to try to create uncertainty." According to
Vice President Nicolas Maduro, who will succeed Chávez if he dies:

<QUOTE>"We are here more united than ever. And we have sworn
before comandante Hugo Chávez, and we reaffirmed to him today in
our oath ... that we would be united with our people. ...

We know that the United States is where these manipulations are
being managed. They think that their time has come. And we have
entered a kind of crazy hour of offensive by the right, here and
internationally."<END QUOTE>

There is talk of government infighting, as questions arise whether
Chávez will be fit to take the oath of office on January 10.
Officials refused to discuss the health of Chávez, except to describe
it as "stable" but "delicate." It's thought that Chávez is seriously
ill from a respiratory infection, following a complex cancer surgery
on December 11. AFP

****
**** Bloggers reveal the pork and new spending in 'fiscal cliff' bill
****


Like the Obamacare bill, the recent 154 page "fiscal cliff" bill was
prepared by Democratic strategists in dark rooms and presented to the
Senate for a vote before anyone even had a chance to read it. The law
raises everyone's payroll tax, and brings in $600 billion in new
taxes, but adds $4 trillion to the deficit in new spending. Now that
a couple of days have passed, blogger Matt Stoller has studied the
bill to find some of the pork. Probably the most startling example is
$1.6 billion in tax free financing for the new massive headquarters
building for Goldman Sachs. As we've pointed out many times, the
Obama administration refuses to investigate and prosecute any of the
bankers responsible for the financial crisis, despite evidence of
massive fraud, because these bankers made huge campaign contributions
to President Obama. Apparently giving big campaign contributions to
Obama not only excuses you from criminal prosecution for any crimes,
leaving you free to go on and commit more crimes, but it also gets you
big subsidies from the government. Naked Capitalism

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Burma, Myanmar, Kachin state,
Kachin Independence Organization, KIO, Rakhine state,
Rohingyas, Australia, China, melamine,
Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, Nicolas Maduro,
fiscal bill, Goldman Sachs

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#278 at 01-04-2013 11:46 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-04-2013, 11:46 PM #278
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

5-Jan-13 World View -- Palestinian Authority changes name to 'State of Palestine'

*** 5-Jan-13 World View -- Palestinian Authority changes name to 'State of Palestine'

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Cuba and Venezuela grow tense over possible death of Chávez
  • Palestinian Authority changes name to 'State of Palestine'
  • Al-Jazeera buys Al Gore's Current TV to gain American audience


****
**** Cuba and Venezuela grow tense over possible death of Chavez
****



Wall mural painting of Chavez in Caracas (BBC)

Although the health of Venezuela's president Hugo Chávez is tightly
held state secret, except for the fact that he's suffereing from a
respiratory infection following his December 11 cancer surgery, more
people are growing convinced that Chávez's health is deteriorating and
that he might even be approaching death.

The opposition party in Venezuela is demanding more information, and
is accusing the government of taking orders from Cuba's government.
Opposition leader Antonio Ledezma is claiming that Chávez "is
virtually kidnapped by a foreign government" in Cuba:

<QUOTE>"Enough disrespect for Venezuelans. I feel Venezuelans
have been deceived and the good faith of President Hugo Chávez's
followers and relatives has been betrayed. ... [W]ho is giving
instructions from Cuba to the officials currently in charge of the
Venezuelan government?

They are getting (instructions) and what we want to know is who is
giving the instructions, because according to the latest report of
Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas, President Chávez is in a
critical health status."<END QUOTE>

Few people believe that Chávez will be able to return for his
inauguration next week, and that may constitutionally require a new
election for President.

Cubans are also fearful of the possible death of Chávez. Prior to the
1990s, Cuba was supported by a great deal of aid from the Soviet
Union. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Cuba suffered from an
enormous economic depression, with severe shortages of food and fuel,
and prolonged electricity blackouts. Finally, Chávez stepped in and
became the new benefactor of Cuba's socialist paradise, providing oil
at far below market rates. During the recent presidential election,
Chávez's opponent Henrique Capriles made clear that if he won then he
would end the oil subsidy to Cuba. Thus, Cubans are dreading the
death of Chávez, because it would mean a return to the economic
depression of the 1990s. El Universal (Caracas) and Reuters

****
**** Palestinian Authority changes name to 'State of Palestine'
****


Following the November 29 vote by the United Nations General Assembly
to create a non-member state of Palestine, Palestinian president
Mahmoud Abbas decreed on Thursday that the name of the Palestinian
Authority (PA) has been changed to "State of Palestine," and that this
name will appear on all stamps, signs and letterheads. Global Post

****
**** Al-Jazeera buys Al Gore's Current TV to gain American audience
****


I personally am looking forward to seeing al-Jazeera English come to
American TV. I've depended very heavily on al-Jazeera for reporting
on the Arab Spring, and their coverage is far better than any of the
Western networks (although AFP comes close). When preparing a
Generational Dynamics analysis, I need to know the attitudes and
behaviors of the people in the nations that I'm writing about, and
al-Jazeera does that very well in the Mideast. A lot of what
al-Jazeera reports is anti-American attitudes, but I need to
understand those attitudes to do generational analyses of the people
involved.

(On the other hand, even al-Jazeera didn't always have the best
reporting on the latest crisis in Egypt, and I had to turn to Cairo
news sites, such as al-Ahram and Bikya Masr for many details.)

A lot of the objection to the al-Jazeera deal, especially from people
on the right, is that its reporting is biased toward the Arab point of
view.

I really have to laugh at that criticism, because al-Jazeera is
absolutely no more biased than NBC news. Al-Jazeera will ignore
violence by Hamas, and NBC news will ignore violence by union thugs
committing violence on behalf of President Obama. You might argue
that there's a difference in degree of bias (though I would disagree
even with that), but there's certainly no difference in substance.

In fact, as I've mention a couple of times in the past, al-Jazeera's
biases are not always obvious. Al-Jazeera clearly hates Israel, but
that's what we would expect. What I've noticed is that al-Jazeera
appears to hate the Palestinian Authority (State of Palestine) even
more than they hate Israel. And they love Hamas the same as NBC News
loves Obama.

It's worth pointing out that I used to complain about the BBC as well
( "Why is BBC so blatantly anti-American?"
from 2005). The BBC news coverage was
dripping with enormous hatred for President Bush, and it showed
through all their newscasts. Now, of course, they love President
Obama, and reserve their vitriolic hatred for Grover Norquist. Still,
there's no choice but to use these biased sources, and compensate for
their biases.

The joker in all this is Al Gore. He singlehandedly generates more
carbon emissions that almost anyone else in the world, but he seems to
have a knack for turning it into money. Al Gore may be a loon, but
he's a loon that knows how to make a fortune from his lunacy.
PBS


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, Cuba,
Antonia Ledezma, Henrique Capriles, Palestinian Authority,
State of Palestine, Mahmoud Abbas,
Al-Jazeera, Current, Al Gore, AFP, Al-Ahram, Bakya Masr

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#279 at 01-05-2013 11:30 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-05-2013, 11:30 PM #279
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

6-Jan-13 World View -- South Korea refuses to extradite Yasukuni arsonist to Japan

*** 6-Jan-13 World View -- South Korea refuses to extradite Yasukuni arsonist to Japan

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Syria's Bashar al-Assad will make a major speech on Sunday
  • U.S. troops pour into Turkey to operate Patriot missile systems
  • Israel quietly puts the 'E-1' settlement plan on hold
  • South Korea refuses to extradite Yasukuni arsonist to Japan
  • Greek communities adopt local currency to enable bartering


****
**** Syria's Bashar al-Assad will make a major speech on Sunday
****



Syrian soldier (EPA)

Syria's state-run news agency, SANA, made a bare-bones announcement
that president Bashar al-Assad will deliver a major nationwide speech
to the nation on Sunday, the first in seven months. The announcement
has raised hopes that al-Assad will announce some sort of plan to
achieve peace, but it's just as likely that he'll announce plans to
conduct more slaughter. The uprising has killed more than 60,000
people since it began in March 2011, and the vast majority of those
killed have been innocent civilians, women and children who were
targeted for extermination by the al-Assad regime's forces. In his
last formal speech, given last June, al-Assad said:

<QUOTE>"If we work together. I confirm that the end to this
situation is near."<END QUOTE>

Global Post and Al-Jazeera

****
**** U.S. troops pour into Turkey to operate Patriot missile systems
****


U.S. troops have stared to arrive in Turkey to man Patriot missile
systems meant to protect the country from potential Syrian missiles,
following Nato's November 30 approval of Turkey's request for the
Patriot systems. Some 400 American troops will be airlifted into
Turkey in the next few days, and additional equipment will reach
Turkey by sea later in January. Germany and the Netherlands are also
deploying their own batteries of U.S.-built Patriot systems. When
fully deployed, there will be more than 1,000 American, German and
Dutch troops based in Turkey. AP

****
**** Israel quietly puts the 'E-1' settlement plan on hold
****


Days after the Palestinian Authority won the vote in the United
Nations General Assembly to create the State of Palestine, Israel's
prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced a series of sanctions in
response to this "attack on Zionism."
(See "3-Dec-12 World View -- Israel withholds tax revenues from the Palestinian Authority" )

One of those announcements was plans to build 3,000 new settlement
homes in the West Bank in the "E-1 area." This plan was particularly
condemned because filling that area with settlements would cut off the
West Bank from Arab neighborhoods, and would end the "peace process"
(which is dead anyway).

Now Netanyahu is being criticized by Israel's right-wing because he is
reportedly delaying plans to build the settlements. According
to Uri Ariel:

<QUOTE>"Stopping the publication of the building plans for
E-1 proves that his talk about settlement is an illusion. The day
after the elections, we will again discover the real Netanyahu,
the one who freezes building and gives in to
pressure."<END QUOTE>

However, the prime minister's office denied that the project has been
shelved. Israel National News

****
**** South Korea refuses to extradite Yasukuni arsonist to Japan
****


Japan had sought from South Korea extradition of a Chinese national
who set fire to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, which houses veterans
of WW II, including some war criminals. The South Korean
court refused the request, saying:

<QUOTE>"[Extraditing Liu to Japan would] "deny the universal
value of most of the civilized countries. ...

The Yasukuni Shrine is the property of a religious group in legal
terms but (the court) deems the shrine holds a political symbol
where the war criminals are enshrined."<END QUOTE>

So I guess South Korea believes that it's OK for anyone to burn
down any building that symbolizes an ideology that they disagree
with. Perhaps this court decision will motivate some North
Koreans to burn down some Seoul buildings, or perhaps launch
a few missiles at some South Korean homes or warships.

The 38-year-old Chinese national is now back in Shanghai. Japan Times and
The Kankyoreh (Seoul)

****
**** Greek communities adopt local currency to enable bartering
****


A number of communities in Greece, led by the central Greek port city
of Volos, are adopting a new ad-hoc local currency called the Tem
("Alternative Monetary Unit") to make it easier to barter goods and
services in the face of the growing financial crisis. Thousands of
people have joined the bartering network that uses the Tem currency.
According to one mother of five who uses the currency:

<QUOTE>"One Tem is the equivalent of one euro. My oil and
soap came to 70 Tem and with that I bought oranges, pies, napkins,
cleaning products and Christmas decorations. I've got 30 Tem left
over. For women, who are worst affected by unemployment, and don't
have kafeneia [coffeehouses] to go to like men, it's like
belonging to a hugely supportive association."<END QUOTE>

The financial crisis is linked to a deflationary spiral that makes it
hard for many people to obtain any currency (coins or bills), and this
makes it difficult for ordinary people to barter goods and services.
By introducing a new local currency, the "wheels of commerce are
oiled," and bartering becomes a lot easier. This even has the effect
of increasing employment, in the sense that people who work in this
bartering network get paid in the available Tem currency, rather than
in the unavailable euro currency. Guardian and BBC


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Turkey,
Patriot systems, Germany, Netherlands, Israel,
Benjamin Netanyahu, E-1 area, South Korea,
Japan, Yasukuni shrine

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#280 at 01-06-2013 11:58 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-06-2013, 11:58 PM #280
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

7-Jan-13 World View-Brookings Institute freaks out over 'extremism' and fiscal cliff

*** 7-Jan-13 World View -- Brookings Institute freaks out over 'extremism' and fiscal cliff

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Syria's Assad promises new violence in public speech
  • Brookings Institute freaks out over 'extremism' and fiscal cliff
  • India and Pakistan armies clash in Kashmir


****
**** Syria's Assad promises new violence in public speech
****



Bashar al-Assad on TV on Sunday

When it was announced that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad
would give a nationwide speech on Sunday, some people dared to
hope that he would announce an end to his program of massive
bloody slaughter of innocent women and children in his own
country. Unsurprisingly, nothing of the sort happened.
Here are some excerpts from his speech:

<QUOTE>"Today we meet and suffering permeates Syrian land and
there is no place for joy in any corner of the country while
security and safety are absent from its streets and alley ways.

We meet today and there are mothers who have lost their finest
children and families who have lost their providers, children who
have been orphaned and brothers divided among the martyrs, the
refugees, and the missing. ...

Terrorists holding the views of al Qaeda who call themselves
jihadists are the ones running the terrorist operations here and
we are fighting them. It is not impossible to destroy them if we
have the courage. ...

Whoever talks solely of a political solution only is turning a
blind eye to the facts and he is either ignorant or has been
fooled into selling his people and the blood of martyrs for free
and we will not allow this.

We are now in a state of war in every sense of the word. This war
targets Syria using a handful of Syrians and many
foreigners. Thus, this is a war of defending the
nation."<END QUOTE>

There have been 60,000 deaths since the war began in March, 2011, the
vast majority of them women and children. In saying that his
opponents are foreigners and terrorists, controlled by foreign powers,
he's indicating that he plans to continue massacring innocent women
and children.

Assad's speech is another embarrassment for Lakhdar Brahimi, the
United Nations envoy who replaced Kofi Annan, and who has been meeting
frequently with al-Assad in an attempt to convince him to agree to
some kind of political solution. Like Annan, Brahimi has been a total
failure. Reuters and Guardian (London)

****
**** Brookings Institute freaks out over 'extremism' and fiscal cliff
****


First, by way of introduction, let me reprise the following:

  • In 2006-2007, the Brookings Institute was dead wrong about the
    war in Iraq. (See "Brookings Institution does a full reversal on Iraq war"
    from 2009.) Not
    only was the Brookings Institute wrong, but they were disastrously
    wrong, and if President Bush had followed their advice, it might well
    have been a disaster for Iraq. Basically, Brookings Institute made up
    "facts" known only to themselves.
  • As I've written many, many times, economists have no clue about
    what's going on. They didn't predict, and can't explain, the tech
    bubble of the 1990s, the real estate bubble, the credit bubble, the
    credit crunch of 2007, the collapse of 2008, they had no idea what was
    going to happen in 2012, and they have no idea what will happen in
    2013. Alan Greenspan has said that every macroeconomic model has
    failed since 2007.


So with repeated failures by economists and by the Brookings Institute
itself, you'd think they'd develop a little humility. Instead, here
are some excerpts from an interview on CNN's Reliable Sources on
Sunday, or Thomas Mann of Brookings Institute and Norman Ornstein of
American Enterprise Institute on the subject of the fiscal cliff:

<QUOTE>Thomas Mann: "The Republican Party is very much
together like a Tea Party now. Their ideological commitments have
moved far to the Right and they really have deep skepticism of the
whole notion of facts, of evidence, of science. And they're
willing to engage in behavior that a generation ago we would have
said is just beyond the pale, that is take the country's public
credit and risk a default to get their way."

Thomas Mann: "It's just stunning what Republicans have said and
been willing to do that's simply aren't true, not in a little
fact-checking way, but in broad arguments about what America's
about, where we've come from, why we have deficit problems now,
what government spending does to jobs, and the like."

Norm Ornstein: "And, you know, part of our concern is -- again,
it's not ideological. But if voters don't have a sense of who's to
blame, in a system -- you know, it's not a parliamentary
system. If you have a party acting as a parliamentary minority,
you're going to have to find ways to hold them accountable and
it's up to the press to report the truth, not the
balance."<END QUOTE>

It's absolutely incredible. Instead of recognizing their repeated
record of failures, and saying something like, "Maybe we're wrong, but
we believe that the Republicans are making some errors," they claim
that they have the "facts," they're right about everything, and anyone
who disagrees is an extremist.

And then they say "it's not ideological!!"

How stupid do Mann and Ornstein have to be to claim they know
everything, despite repeated past failures by their colleagues? Note
that I'm not saying that they're wrong and the Republicans are right.
I'm saying that Mann and Ornstein don't have the vaguest clue what
they're talking about, and that they're simply making stuff up to
support their ideology.

But this is the way people are these days. If you disagree with them,
then you're an "extremist." If you disagree with an Obama policy, then
you're a "racist." If you're a member of the Tea Party, then you're a
"teabagger," according to CNN's David Gergen and Anderson Cooper, who
giggled as they uttered the epithet. (See "Vile 'teabagging' jokes signal the deterioration of CNN and NBC news"
)

At least Mann and Ornstein didn't threaten any Republicans with
violence. That task regularly falls to Teamsters president James
Hoffa, who said of the Tea Party

in his introduction to the next speaker president Obama, "We are ready
to march. Let’s take these sons of bitches out and give America back
to an America where we belong." And his union thugs have followed his
advice.

As far as who's right and who's wrong, I would remind readers that in
2005 I issued a challenge to anyone to find a web site, an analyst, a
journalist or a politician anywhere in the world with a better
predictive record than my web site, GenerationalDynamics.com, and no
one has produced one. I set up my web ten years ago, and I've posted
thousands of articles containing hundreds of predictions that have all
turned out to be right or are trending right. None has turned out to
be wrong. That's not because I'm particularly clever or prescient,
but because in ten years the Generational Dynamics methodology has
been proven to be valid. Unlike the ideological rantings of morons
like Mann and Ornstein. CNN

****
**** India and Pakistan armies clash in Kashmir
****


Kashmir was the epicenter of the extremely bloody 1947 war between
Hindus and Muslims that followed Partition, the partitioning of the
Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan. The "Line of Control
(LoC)" in Kashmir, separating the Indian-held territory from the
Pakistan-held territory is the site of continuing violence. The LoC
was established by the United Nations, following the Partition war, to
"settle" the Kashmir problem by partitioning the region and giving
part of it to each. The U.N. mandated that an election be held in
Kashmir within five years to decide which country they wanted to
belong to, but India has always blocked any such election, knowing
that it would lose in the majority Muslim population.

On Sunday, India and Pakistan armies clashed near the LoC.
According to a Pakistani report:

<QUOTE>"The Pakistani military said Indian troops had crossed
the Line of Control (LoC) and raided their Sawan Patra checkpost
in Kashmir. ... "Pakistan Army troops effectively responded to
the attack successfully." Two Pakistani soldiers were critically
injured in the attack, one of whom later embraced
martyrdom."<END QUOTE>

Here's the report from India:

<QUOTE>"Denying Pakistan army's allegations that Indian
soldiers crossed the Line of Control (LoC) near north Kashmir's
Uri area, the army on Sunday said Pakistan army resorted to
unprovoked mortar shelling on two-three posts in the morning.

There was a breach of ceasefire as Pakistan resorted to mortar
shelling in the morning. Our troops retaliated with small arms,"
said an army spokesman."<END QUOTE>

The clash ended with no further casualties. Dawn (Islamabad) and Hindustan Times


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Lakhdar Brahimi,
Kofi Annan, Brookings Institute, Thomas Mann,
Norman Ornstein, American Enterprise Institute,
James Hoffa, Teamsters,
India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Line of Control, LoC

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#281 at 01-07-2013 11:56 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-07-2013, 11:56 PM #281
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

8-Jan-13 World View -- China quadruples rice imports for no apparent reason

*** 8-Jan-13 World View -- China quadruples rice imports for no apparent reason

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • China quadruples rice imports for no apparent reason
  • Obamacare causes health insurance rates to surge
  • 2013 versus 1913, the year before the start of the Great War


****
**** China quadruples rice imports for no apparent reason
****



Shoppers purchase discount rice at a supermarket in Chongqing (China Daily)

United Nations agricultural experts are reporting confusion, after
figures show that China imported 2.6 million tons of rice in 2012,
substantially more than a four-fold increase over the 575,000 tons
imported in 2011. The confusion stems from the fact that there is no
obvious reason for vastly increased imports, since there has been no
rice shortage in China. The speculation is that Chinese importers are
taking advantage of low international prices, but all that means is
that China's own vast supplies of domestically grown rice are being
stockpiled. Why would China suddenly be stockpiling millions of tons
of rice for no apparent reason? Perhaps it's related to China's
aggressive military buildup and war preparations in the Pacific and in
central Asia.

Heaven knows that I'm not a paranoid person, but it was just three
days ago that I reported
that
Australians are running short of powdered milk formula because Chinese
tourists are visiting Australia, buying large quantities of the
formula in bulk, and taking it back to China. There's no apparent
reason for that, either. China Daily and Bloomberg and Wall Street Journal

****
**** Obamacare causes health insurance rates to surge
****


According to a study by the New York Times, as President Obama's first
term ends, health insurers in many states are demanding double-digit
rate increases, sometimes as high as 20-25%, because of higher medical
expenses resulting from Obamacare. President Obama promised in 2008
that Obamacare would “bring down premiums by $2,500 for the typical
family” by the end of his first term. According to Aetna, a supporter
of Obamacare, for people who are unlucky enough not to have subsidized
premiums, rates will rise 20-50% on the average, and some will see
100% increases. Young people will pay the most astronomical
increases, since they will be subsidizing the coverage of older
people. Young adults should expect to see premiums double under
Obamacare.

We are now seeing Obamacare's increasingly destructive effects on the
economy that I predicted when the law was first proposed.
(See "Obama's health plan, a proposal of economic insanity"
from 2009)


Inflation rate following the imposition of wage-price controls on August 15, 1971 (econreview.com)

At that time, I wrote a detailed analysis comparing the Obamacare
proposal to what had previously been the most disastrous economy
policy in my lifetime -- President Nixon's wage-price controls. Nixon
imposed wage-price controls on August 15, 1971, in an effort to
control inflation which, at that time, was at 4% and falling. Instead
of controlling inflation, the wage-price controls caused enormous
economic distortions that cause inflation to spiral out of control.
The controls were a disaster, and were rescinded in 1974, as inflation
rates surged to an astronomical 12% level.

Now we see an even worse disaster in the making. Obamacare is
destroying the medical industry, pushing medical prices and insurance
prices through the roof. Lobbyists are flooding into Washington to
demand special favors, whether they're acupuncturists or chiropractors
or fertility specialists or medical device manufacturers, and the
groups that have contributed the most to the Obama's campaign will get
the most favorable treatment.

President Obama lives in Camelot, where you can pass a law that snow
may never slush upon the hillside or that insurance premiums won't
grow up. And let's not forget that it was only a few months ago that
President Obama was on the Tonight Show, bragging that he was
unable to do eighth-grade math,
which is entirely believable.

Ohhhh, isn't it wonderful that all we have to do is pass a law, and we
can do anything we want. Let's pass a law to make alcohol illegal.
Oh wait, we tried that. Let's pass a law that makes women's salaries
the same as men. Oh wait, that is a law. Well, then let's pass a law
that says that men will get pregnant from now on, rather than women.
That makes as much sense as Obamacare.

Actually, there was one more economic policy in my lifetime
that's worth mentioning, and it was even worse than Obamacare.
It's Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward in China, starting
in 1958. Here's a summary:

  • 500,000,000 million peasants were taken out of their
    individual homes and put into communes, creating a massive human work
    force. The workers were organized along military lines of companies,
    battalions, and brigades. Each person's activities were rigidly
    supervised.
  • The family unit was dismantled. Communes were completely
    segregated, with children, wives and husbands all living in separate
    barracks and working in separate battalions. Communal living was
    emphasized by eating, sleeping, and working in teams. Husbands and
    wives were allowed to be alone only at certain times of the month and
    only for brief periods. (This was also a birth control
    technique.)
  • All workers took part in ideological training sessions, to provide
    for ideological training of the Chinese masses.


Like Obamacare and Nixon's wage-price controls, it was a disaster,
though worse than either of the others. The Chinese bureaucracy at
the regional levels lied about crop yields until it was too late, and
by the time the government figured out that there wasn't enough food,
many tens of thousands were forced to die of starvation. New York Times and Forbes

****
**** 2013 versus 1913, the year before the start of the Great War
****


The world of 1913, a century ago, was an exciting place where life was
good. The world was dynamic, modern, interconnected, smart -- just
like ours. Radio telegraphy was being introduced, meaning that
information would speed around the world with no need for wires. And
with life so good in an interconnected world, it was thought that war
had become impossible.

On the other hand, a historically minded person might have seen things
differently. Particular themes recur throughout history -- human
greed, the manipulation of technology, the importance of geography in
determining military outcomes, the power of belief in shaping
politics, a solid conviction that this time is different. You thought
that the debt-fueled boom of the 2000s was different from all those
other booms throughout history? Wrong. The ancient Greeks, with their
understanding of greed, self-deception, hubris, and nemesis, would
have been quite able to interpret the 2008 financial crisis without
the need for an advanced degree in financial astrophysics from Harvard
Business School. In 1913, as in previous years, an international
exhibition was held to commemorate the advances of the world toward
greater integration -- held in Belgium this time, in a city that would
quake with the sound of artillery shells within a year. In 1913,
German Kaiser Wilhelm II was viewed by some as a peacemaker. World
War I, the Great War, changed everything. To take one example of how
things might change today, a miscalculation in the South China Sea
could easily set off a chain of events not entirely dissimilar to a
shot in Sarajevo in 1914, with alliance structures, questions of
prestige, escalation, credibility, and military capability turning
what should be marginal to global affairs into a central question of
war and peace. Charles Emmerson, Foreign Policy


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, rice, Obamacare,
Aetna, Richard Nixon, wage-price controls,
Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong, World War I

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Last edited by John J. Xenakis; 01-07-2013 at 11:58 PM.







Post#282 at 01-08-2013 11:43 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-08-2013, 11:43 PM #282
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

9-Jan-13 World View -- New fighting between India and Pakistan in Kashmir

*** 9-Jan-13 World View -- New fighting between India and Pakistan in Kashmir

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • New fighting between India and Pakistan in Kashmir
  • Switzerland's Wegelin bank to close after U.S. indictment
  • Three scenarios for an accidental South China Sea war


****
**** New fighting between India and Pakistan in Kashmir
****



Indian border security post in Kashmir (Guardian)

India is blaming Pakistan for an "unprovoked attack" by Pakistani
forces crossing the Line of Control (LoC) separating the Pakistani and
Indian controlled portions of Kashmir, and killing two Indian soldiers
and wounding a third. The body of one of the dead men was found badly
mutilated and beheaded on the Indian side of the border. This
incident follows by two days the wounding of two Pakistani soldiers in
a firefight at the LoC, as we reported.
Kashmir has been mostly peaceful in the last few years,
though there were a number of conflicts at the LoC since the end of
the bloody, genocidal 1947 war between Hindus and Muslims whose
epicenter was Kashmir. However, there are large Pakistani and Indian
armies on their respective sides of the Line of Control, and new
hostilities could break out at any time. Global Post

****
**** Switzerland's Wegelin bank to close after U.S. indictment
****


Wegelin & Co, a private Swiss bank founded in 1741, will close its
doors, after pleading guilty in U.S. district court to violating
American laws, by keeping the names of American depositors secret.
The bank had no offices in the United States, and was not violating
any Swiss laws, but somehow they were guilty of violating American
laws anyway.

The Obama administration is vigorously investigating and charging
foreign banks that it believes are violating secrecy laws. Banks
under criminal investigation include Credit Suisse, UK-based HSBC
Holdings and three Israeli banks, Hapoalim, Mizrahi-Tefahot Bank Ltd
and Bank Leumi.

Long-time readers can easily guess what I'm going to say next. The
Obama administration has adamantly refused to investigate and charge
Citibank, Bank of America, and other banks that made big campaign
contributions to Obama, even though it's provable that they committed
massive fraud that created the financial crisis. (See
"Financial Crisis Inquiry hearings provide 'smoking gun' evidence of widespread criminal fraud")

Instead, they go after foreign banks that committed far lesser crimes,
but never made any contributions to the Obama campaign. It's a joke.
Reuters

****
**** Three scenarios for an accidental South China Sea war
****


With China's aggressive military buildup, and with nationalism
increasing in China and in the countries of the surrounding region,
the risk of an armed clash in the South China Sea that would involve
the United States and China is significant. There are at least three
possible scenarios:

  • A clash stemming from U.S. surveillance activities in the
    South China Sea, which the U.S. insists it has the right to do, while
    China insists that those activities violate Chinese and international
    law. China has militarily intercepted U.S. ships in the past, and a
    future confrontation might force the U.S. to respond militarily.
  • Under contract from the Philippines, a UK-based energy firm
    plans to start drilling for gas in Reed Bank this year. Reed
    Bank is clearly in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone (EEZ),
    but China has harassed and threatened Philippine surveillance
    ships in Reed Bank in the past. If there's a conflict between
    China and the Philippines, the U.S. could be drawn in because
    of a 1951 mutual defense treaty with the Philippines,
    which says:

    <QUOTE>"Each Party recognizes that an armed attack in the
    Pacific Area on either of the Parties would be dangerous to its
    own peace and safety and declares that it would act to meet the
    common dangers in accordance with its constitutional
    processes."<END QUOTE>
  • Similarly, Vietnam is pursuing drilling rights in the South China
    Sea. A military clash between Vietnam and China is less likely to
    draw in the U.S., but it's still a possibility.


Council on Foreign Relations


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Switzerland, Wegelin & Co.,
Credit Suisse, HSBC Holdings, China, South China Sea,
Philippines, Vietnam, India, Pakistan, Kashmir,
Line of Control

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#283 at 01-09-2013 11:46 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-09-2013, 11:46 PM #283
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

10-Jan-13 World View-Syria's Assad frees 2,130 prisoners in exchange for 48 Iranians

*** 10-Jan-13 World View -- Syria's Assad frees 2,130 prisoners in exchange for 48 Iranians

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi breaks neutrality and rebukes Syria's Assad
  • Tensions between China and Japan over Senkaku/Diaoyu continue to escalate
  • Hamas teaching Hebrew to young Palestinians
  • Syria's Assad frees 2,130 prisoners in exchange for 48 Iranians


****
**** U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi breaks neutrality and rebukes Syria's Assad
****



Cartoon depiction of al-Assad grinning with blood on his hands (Gulf News)

The nationwide television address given on Sunday by Syria's president
Bashar al-Assad was an extraordinary spectacle, calling for opposition
fighters to give themselves up and fling themselves on his mercy, and
was, according to some commentators, a confirmation of his
dangerous state of denial. The U.N. and Arab League envoy,
Lakhdar Brahimi, who has meticulously maintained a neutral stance up
till now, said that the speech was "more sectarian and one-sided" than
previous talks and said:

<QUOTE>"The time of reforms granted magnanimously from above
has passed. People want to have a say in how they are governed and
they want to take hold of their own future.

In Syria, in particular, I think that what people are saying is
that a family ruling for 40 years is a little bit too long.

So the change has to be real. It has to be real, and I think that
President Assad could take the lead in responding to the
aspiration of his people rather than resisting it."<END QUOTE>

This rebuke, calling for the end of the 40-year reign of the al-Assad
family, represents a new change of direction for the envoy.

Brahimi, as well as his predecessor Kofi Annan, have accomplished less
than nothing in resolving the Syrian conflict. They've made things
worse by providing a cover for al-Assad, the Russians and the Chinese
to continue his bloody slaughter, while pretending to be negotiating.
However, whether a change in direction by Brahimi means a change in
direction in Syria remains to be seen. Gulf News (Dubai) and Telegraph (London)

****
**** Tensions between China and Japan over Senkaku/Diaoyu continue to escalate
****


Japan's new government, led by Shinzo Abe, is planning to spend an
additional $54.3 billion dollars for military equipment to defend the
Senkaku/Diaoyu islands from claims by China. The money will be used
to acquire unmanned drones to detect incoming Chinese ships and
low-flying aircraft, as well as for missile interceptors and
F-15 fighter planes. Chinese surveillance ships have been entering
the waters surrounding the islands, prompting protests and confrontations
by the Chinese. According to one analyst:

<QUOTE>Now that Abe is in power – he’s known as a hardline
nationalist – and now that Xi JinPing is taking the helm of China
for the next 10 years, I think he’s looking to put his stake down
as someone who is really a strong defender of China. So I think
we’re really going to see an entrenched position on both sides and
it looks like there is a new normal of wars and increasing
[military] expenditures that are likely for the next several
years."<END QUOTE>

China is responding with plans to build 11 new drone bases along
China's coastline, and is testing eight new drone models. According
to a U.S. analyst, China "could easily match or outpace US spending on
unmanned systems." Russia Today

****
**** Hamas teaching Hebrew to young Palestinians
****


The Islamic University in Gaza City, the flagship university of Gaza's
Hamas government, is offering a one-year diploma course in Hebrew, to
produce qualified teachers to introduce Hebrew studies in Gaza high
schools, for the first time since the mid-1990s. There is no shortage
of Hebrew speakers in Gaza, especially among older generations, who
recall a more peaceful time when Palestinians could freely enter
Israel. But since the 2000 uprising, and especially since the Israeli
withdrawal in 2005, the Gaza Palestinians and Israelis have been
almost entirely isolated from one another. Arabic and Hebrew have
many similarities, since they're both Semitic tongues. According to
one instructor, "[Hebrew] is the language of our enemies. But it is
also the language of our neighbors." AP

****
**** Syria's Assad frees 2,130 prisoners in exchange for 48 Iranians
****



Syrian rebels holding kidnapped Iranians in Damascus, shown in screen grab from August (Al-Arabiya)

Syria's opposition rebels are accusing president Bashar al-Assad of
considering Syrian civilians almost worthless, and at the same time
celebrating a major victory, after al-Assad freed over 2,130
prisoners, mostly Syrian civilians, in exchange for just 48 Iranians
that have been held by the opposition rebels. The 48 Iranians had
been captured by Syrian rebels and held hostage in August, and were
accused of being Revolutionary Guards providing military help to the
al-Assad regime, which Iran has denied. Since the Syrian conflict
began early in 2011, al-Assad's regime has slaughtered 60,000 of his
own people, almost all innocent civilians, and has jailed thousands of
others. CNN


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, Bashar al-Assad,
Kofi Annan, China, Japan, Senkaku, Diaoyu, Shinzo Abe, Xi Jinping,
Gaza, Hamas, Islamic University, Iran

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#284 at 01-10-2013 11:49 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-10-2013, 11:49 PM #284
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

11-Jan-13 World View -- U.N. Security Council has emergency meeting over sudden deter

*** 11-Jan-13 World View -- U.N. Security Council has emergency meeting over sudden deterioration in Mali

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Pakistan: Hundreds of casualties in multiple suicide bombings
  • Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism is in question
  • Syria accuses U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi of 'flagrant bias'
  • Putin postpones Russia's US-adoption ban until 2014
  • U.N. Security Council has emergency meeting over sudden deterioration in Mali
  • Greece's unemployment rate hits 26.8%, surpassing Spain
  • Tourists to Greece suffer beatings during immigrant sweeps


****
**** Pakistan: Hundreds of casualties in multiple suicide bombings
****



Two suicide bombing sites on Thursday

Over 100 people were killed and hundreds were injured in a series of
suicide bombing attacks in two provinces in Pakistan on Thursday. In
Quetta, the capital of Balochistan, a massive blast occurred in a
snooker club. When rescue teams, police, and reporters were then
killed by three more bombs that exploded when they arrived at the
scene of the first blast. Hazari Shia Muslims were targeted by the
attacks. It's believed that the perpetrators are from the United
Baloch Army, a separatist terror group linked to al-Qaeda. In the
Swat Valley in northern Pakistan, another 22 people were killed and 70
injured by a suicide blast attributed to the Taliban. Daily Times (Pakistan)

****
**** Pakistan's commitment to fighting terrorism is in question
****


More Pakistanis are questioning whether the country is serious about
fighting terrorism. Shabbir Ahmad Khan, a scholar visiting the U.S.,
points out that:

<QUOTE>"For many people in the country, terrorists are
heroes. Despite over 40,000 casualties, there has hardly been any
protest or rally against terrorism. At present, the guy who helped
the Americans capture the most-wanted terrorist is behind bars
and, to this date, we are not clear whether the chief target
[Osama bin Laden] in that episode was our friend or
foe."<END QUOTE>

Khan compares the American war on terror to Pakistan's lack of
political will:

<QUOTE>"After 9/11, the US government established a new
ministry of Homeland Security to protect Americans. President
George W Bush had a single agenda: the war on terror. He
established a high-powered commission to know why and what had
happened. The Americans have shown their resilience, determination
and political will to resolve this crisis. They waged two wars
against Iraq and Afghanistan as part of their pre-emptive
action. On the other hand, despite having suffered far more deaths
and losses in this war, we moved not a single inch forward; no
special force or department was created. The Abbottabad Commission
meant to probe into the operation took more than a year in
deliberating it and yet, its findings and subsequent remedial
action is not known to the public. This is the importance and
seriousness we attach to our war against terrorism.

US taxpayers allocated trillions of dollars to fight this war. How
much money have we spent? What resources have we allocated for
this war? Look at our annual budgets of the last 10 years and see
the amount we allocated to fight terrorism. We didn’t even
properly and honestly use the billions of dollars which we got
from our allies. We spent more money equipping our military to
fight against India rather than against terrorists, as General
(retd) Pervez Musharraf once admitted in a television
interview. The military forces of over 40 nations are fighting
against terrorists thousands of miles away from their land. And we
are reluctant to fight these elements on our own soil. This begs
the question: are we serious in eradicating terrorism and do we
have a strong political will to do so?"<END QUOTE>

Express Tribune (Pakistan)

****
**** Syria accuses U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi of 'flagrant bias'
****


As we reported
, the U.N. / Arab
League envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, abandoned his neutrality in
the Syria conflict, and called for the end of the 40-year reign of the
family of president Bashar al-Assad. Syria had been using Brahimi,
and his predecessor Kofi Annan, as cover for his massacre of tens of
thousands of Syrian civilians, while pretending to negotiate.
Brahimi's turnaround meant the ruse would no longer work. Syria's
Foreign Ministry reacted harshly on Thursday:

<QUOTE>"Syria is shocked by the statements of Lakhdar
Brahimi, who has overstepped his mandate and exhibited a flagrant
bias for those parties known to be conspiring against Syria and
its people."<END QUOTE>

Saudi Gazette

****
**** Putin postpones Russia's US-adoption ban until 2014
****


A new Russian law, endorsed by President Vladimir Putin, that bans
Americans from adopting Russian orphans has been postponed for a year.
(See "20-Dec-12 World View -- Russia's Duma blocking U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans"
) The
ban on adoptions was in retaliation for American legislation called
the "Magnitsky bill," passed in response to an alleged fraudulent
scheme uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, who named
names of numerous corrupt Russian tax and law enforcement officials,
but who was then thrown into a Russian jail and left to die.
Putin supported the ban, famously saying:

<QUOTE>"There are lots of places in the world where living
standards are higher than they are here.

Are we going to send all our children there? Perhaps we should all
move there ourselves?"<END QUOTE>

However, Putin was widely criticized in Russia by opponents who
claimed that Putin was using politics to punish innocent orphans, many
of whom would suffer and die in Russian orphanages. Putin now says
that the agreement between Russia and the U.S. requires giving one
year notice before it can be terminated. Russia Today and BBC

****
**** U.N. Security Council has emergency meeting over sudden deterioration in Mali
****



Women protest government non-action in Bamako, Mali (Reuters)

The United Nations Security Council is holding emergency consultations
on Thursday evening, after Islamist militants from the al-Qaeda linked
terror group Ansar Dine have apparently taken control of the strategic
Mali town of Konna on Thursday, after fierce fighting. Ansar Dine has
already taken control of two-thirds of Mali in the north, and are
extending their control southward towards the capital city Bamako.
The Security Council has previously authorized military intervention
by neighboring African states, but any action has been effectively
postponed until fall, 2013. The sudden fall of Konna has alarmed
westerners, especially France, which call for the Security Council
meeting. The Security Council issued a statement condemning the
capture of Konna, and demanding that the militants give Konna back to
the Mali army. And if they don't, then the Security Council is
threatening to hold another meeting. Reuters

****
**** Greece's unemployment rate hits 26.8%, surpassing Spain
****


The official unemployment rate for Greece in October was 26.8%, making
it the country with the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone,
surpassing the former record holder, Spain, whose unemployment rate
was a mere 26.6% in November. Unemployment has been increasing in the
southern "Club Med" countries of the eurozone, while it's been
decreasing in Germany and other "frugal" northern countries,
reinforcing the concept that there are two eurozones, one "high speed"
and one "low speed." BBC

****
**** Tourists to Greece suffer beatings during immigrant sweeps
****


Greek police have stepped up efforts to catch illegal immigrants in
Athens in recent months, launching a new operation to check the papers
of people who look foreign. But tourists have also been picked up in
the sweeps - and at least two have been badly beaten. The head of the
Hellenic police forces says that anyone who "looks foreign" may be
stopped. UN High Commissioner for Refugees is demanding that Greece's
police end "racially motivated violent practices." BBC


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Pakistan, Quetta, Balochistan,
United Baloch Army, Swat Valley, Taliban, Shabbir Ahmad Khan,
Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, Bashar al-Assad,
Russia, Vladimir Putin,
Mali, Bamako, Konna, U.N. Security Council,
Greece, Spain, Athens

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#285 at 01-12-2013 12:22 AM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-12-2013, 12:22 AM #285
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

12-Jan-13 World View - Acting unilaterally, France sends army and air force into Mali

*** 12-Jan-13 World View -- Acting unilaterally, France sends army and air force into Mali

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • France's president Hollande announces military action in Mali
  • United States remains 'deeply concerned' about Mali situation
  • U.S. will withdraw from Afghanistan earlier than expected
  • Britain faces decision whether to remain in the European Union


****
**** France's president Hollande announces military action in Mali
****



François Hollande on French television on Friday (AFP)

The President of Mali went on national TV on Friday and declared a
national state of emergency, days after Ansar Dine Islamists took
control of the central town of Konna, as we reported
yesterday. At the same time, French and Malian
soldiers, supported by French air strikes, launched a military attack
on the Islamists, recapturing the town. France decided to take
unilateral action after becoming impatient with the U.N. Security
Council for dithering for months, allowing the Islamists to gain
control of larger and larger areas of Mali.

Although France's action was unilateral, France is insisting that its
actions are legal because they were responding to a request from the
government of Mali. France's president François Hollande also promised
that France's military action would fall within the mandate of
previous U.N. Security Council resolutions, though it's hard to see
how that could be true, since previous resolutions only authorized
troops from neighboring African streets.

The original UNSC plan was that Western forces would train the Malian
army, and restore democracy in the Malian government in Bamako, after
a coup overthrew the elected government a year ago. After that, the
government would negotiate with the Islamists who control northern
Mali. But it's now become clear that the Islamists have a shot at
taking over the entire country before that plan could be put into
effect. So the new plan is that the French army and air force will
push back the Islamists, and then they can return to the previous
plan. Reuters and CS Monitor

****
**** United States remains 'deeply concerned' about Mali situation
****


The U.S. State Department is refusing to clarify whether the U.S.
stands ready to send American forces into Mali:

<QUOTE>"Obviously we remain deeply concerned by the recent
events in Mali. We echo the international community's condemnation
of these recent aggressive acts.

I'm not going to get into hypotheticals about what France might
need or requests that haven't yet come to us."<END QUOTE>

But US military officers are closely monitoring the "evolving"
situation. AFP

****
**** U.S. will withdraw from Afghanistan earlier than expected
****


President Barack Obama announced on Friday, at a joint press
conference in Washington with Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai, that
the U.S. is accelerating its withdrawal from Afghanistan, and that
American troops will be moving to a supporting role within the next
few months, and complete the withdrawal in 2014. The Administration
plans to leave a small American force behind after the withdrawal, but
is threatening to leave no troops behind unless the Afghan government
grants American forces immunity from prosecution in Afghan courts.

Karzai said that he plans to negotiate a peace process with the
Taliban, so that the country will again become a tourist attraction.
However, some analysts believe that the rapid withdrawal of American
forces will leave allow Taliban insurgents to regain the territory
that they lost. According to Said Jawad, the former Afghan ambassador
to the U.S.:

<QUOTE>"Unfortunately we already see actually in some parts
of Afghanistan continued presence of Taliban and relatively
sustained activities of al-Qaeda in eastern Afghanistan
already."<END QUOTE>

This highlights the flaw in the "Afghanistanization" of the war, that
I've discussed many times. (For complete analysis, see
"2-Sep-12 World View -- U.S. decision on Haqqani Network will affect Pakistan relations" )

Afghanistan is on the cusp, just entering a generational Awakening
era, so a "peace process" would be a plausible plan. The problem is
that the Taliban are Islamist Pashtuns, and the Pashtuns are spread
across southern Afghanistan tinto Pakistan's northwest. Pakistan is
in a generational Crisis era, and the al-Qaeda linked Tehrik-e-Taliban
Pakistan (TTP), the Pakistan branch of the Taliban, will never agree
to a peace treaty. As Jawan points out, terrorist activities are
increasing in eastern Afghanistan, on the border with Pakistan, and
these activities are expected to increase, particularly as American
troops pull back. VOA and AAP

****
**** Britain faces decision whether to remain in the European Union
****


Britain has never been comfortable in the 27-member European Union,
and in particular has no intention of joining the 17-member eurozone,
choosing instead to retain its own currency, the pound sterling.
Although prime minister David Cameron has said that Britain should
remain part of the EU, there is a growing wing of his Conservative
Party that would prefer Britain to leave, and is demanding a
nationwide referendum on the issue. Cameron will soon be giving a
major speech to clarify his own position on the EU and the referendum,
but so far he's taken the position that he wants Britain to remain in
the EU, but only provided that the EU change several policies,
including two major ones:

  • EU immigration controls need to be changed to limit the
    possibility for "people to come and live in Britain and claim
    benefits.
  • Get rid of the EU's Working Time Directive, which Britain has
    bitterly opposed since it was first adopted in the 1980s. It forbids
    any workweek to be longer than 48 hours, and requires annual vacations
    at least 4 weeks long.


However, Cameron fears that if Britain leaves the EU, then Britain
would suffer economically because of damaged business relationships
with Europe. Spiegel


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Mali, France, François Hollande,
Ansar Dine, Konna, Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, Taliban,
Pashtuns, Pakistan, Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, TTP, Said Jawad,
Britain, European Union, David Cameron, Working Time Directive

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#286 at 01-12-2013 11:40 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-12-2013, 11:40 PM #286
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

13-Jan-13 World View-Shia families in Quetta Pakistan refuse to bury bombing victims

*** 13-Jan-13 World View -- Shia families in Quetta Pakistan refuse to bury bombing victims

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Shia families in Quetta Pakistan refuse to bury bombing victims
  • Tension grows between Egypt's al-Nour party and Muslim Brotherhood
  • Pollution spikes to 'dangerous' levels in eastern China
  • Security experts recommend disabling Java on computers


****
**** Shia families in Quetta Pakistan refuse to bury bombing victims
****



Shia protesters in Karachi on Saturday (AFP)

Shia Muslims across Pakistan are conducting a remarkable demonstration
and are lashing out at the government and the army for taking no steps
to protect Shia Muslims for sectarian attacks by Sunni Muslim
terrorists who target Shias. In Quetta, Shias are refusing to bury
the coffins of the 100+ victims of Thursday's horrific suicide bombing
that we reported two days ago,
even though the bodies are decomposing. Instead, they're using the
coffins to blockade the roads in protest, and they claim that they
blockade won't end "until we get an assurance that the Pakistan army
will take over security and administrative control in Quetta,"
according to a protest organizer.

The year 2012 was the bloodiest year ever for Shia Muslims targeted by
Sunni Muslim terrorists, and with Thursday's horrific attack it seems
likely that 2013 will be even worse. Mainstream politicians do
nothing to protect Shias from these attacks, possibly because they're
afraid of the Sunni terrorists, or because they support the Sunni
terrorists, or because they simply don't care how may Shias are
slaughtered.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Pakistan and India
are headed for a major war re-fighting the bloody 1947 war between
Hindus and Muslims that followed Partition, the partitioning of the
Indian subcontinent into Pakistan and India. For centuries, almost
since the time of Mohammed, Hindus and Shia Muslims have been allied
against Sunni Muslims in huge genocidal wars. Thus, the increasing
bloody terrorist attacks by Sunnis targeting Shias moves Pakistan
along the trend line towards that new war. Furthermore, the epicenter
of the 1947 was Kashmir, and as we've been reporting,
there have been new flare-ups of violence between
Muslims and Hindus in Kashmir across the international Line of Control
(LoC).

The al-Qaeda linked terror group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has claimed credit
for Thursday's bombing in Quetta. We've written about
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi several times in the past -- a terrorist group that
targets Shia and Sufi shrines in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and who has
been responsible for hundreds of deaths of worshipers. (See
"7-Dec-11 World View -- Afghanistan shocked by coordinated suicide attacks targeting Shias" ) In
addition. Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is connected to Jundullah, a terrorist
group that has perpetrated major attacks on Shia mosques and
Revolutionary Guard stations in southeastern Iran. Express Tribune (Pakistan)

****
**** Tension grows between Egypt's al-Nour party and Muslim Brotherhood
****


In last year's parliamentary elections in Egypt, two Islamist parties,
the more moderate Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP)
and the more religiously conservative Salafist al-Nour party together
came away with almost 75 per cent of the vote.

Although the two parties are collectively referred to as "Islamist,"
there are sharp differences between the two. The two parties
cooperated brilliantly during the elections to decisively defeat the
completely disorganized secular and liberal opposition, but now that
the FJP is firmly in control of the government, tensions are growing,
and the al-Nour party has announced that it plans to oppose the FJP in
future elections. However, the secular and liberal parties have also
learned some very hard lessons from the elections, and they're looking
for ways to leverage the favorable attitudes of Western nations
towards them into greater political power. However, the real battle
will be between the Brotherhood and the extreme Salafists, some of
whom consider the new constitution, written largely by the
Brotherhood, to be in violation of God's laws. Bloomberg and Hudson Institute

****
**** Pollution spikes to 'dangerous' levels in eastern China
****



High pollution in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Friday (china.org.cn)

Air pollution in Beijing, China, has spiked past hazardous levels, and
air smells like coal dust and car fumes, according to people
interviewed. Normal breathable air should contain no more than 100
micrograms per cubic meter of pollution particles. Official China
reports put the pollution levels to over 400. But a popular web app
provided by the U.S. Embassy in Beijing reports levels above 800.
Most of China's increasing energy needs are satisfied by burning coal,
with resulting pollution. Last year, the Chinese government demanded
that the U.S. Embassy stop publicizing air pollution readings, but
they've continued anyway.

All of eastern China is affected by the spike in pollution levels,
because the weather has turned cold, and so a lot more coal is being
burned. To make matters worse in Beijing, the streets are choked with
cars, and pollution emissions are poorly regulated. In 2008, when the
Olympics games were held in Beijing, China actually had to shut down
all traffic around Beijing, because some of the Olympics teams were
threatening not to compete because of the high pollution levels.
china.org.cn and BBC

****
**** Security experts recommend disabling Java on computers
****


Computer security experts are recommending that users disable Java on
their business and personal computers, because of a new surge of
hacker attacks that take advantage of a "zero-day vulnerability" in
Java software. Java (which is different from Javascript) is one of
the tools used by browsers to run complex visual applications, though
relatively few web sites actually use it. A "zero-day vulnerability"
is one that's been in the Java software for a long time, but was only
recently discovered by hackers, and is now being aggressively
exploited to hack people's computers. This warning applies to all
browsers that run on Windows systems, MAC systems and Linux systems.
The recommendation comes because of a surge of exploitations that were
discovered only four days ago, on Thursday. It's now expected that
the number of exploitations will grow dramatically, since over 400
million computers are subject to the vulnerability. Oracle, the
developer of Java, has not announced if or when a patch will be
available to repair the vulnerability. Information Week


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Quetta, Pakistan, Shia Muslims,
Sunni Muslims, India, Hindus, Kashmir, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi,
Jundullah, Iran, al-Qaeda, Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood,
Salafist al-Nour party, Freedom and Justice Party,
Beijing, China, pollution, Java

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#287 at 01-14-2013 12:26 AM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-14-2013, 12:26 AM #287
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

14-Jan-13 World View-France on terror alert after challenging al-Qaeda on two fronts

*** 14-Jan-13 World View -- France on terror alert after challenging al-Qaeda on two fronts

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • UN Security Council to meet Monday as France expands Mali air strikes
  • U.S. provided technical support for France's failed Somalia rescue attempt
  • France on terror alert after challenging al-Qaeda on two fronts
  • Israel reaffirms settlement plan after Palestinian protest action


****
**** UN Security Council to meet Monday as France expands Mali air strikes
****



French troops board a transport plane in Chad, bound for Mali (Reuters)

Alarmed by the recent rapid advance of the insurgents into southern
Mali, France expanded its air strikes deep into Islamist-controlled
territory in northern Mali, pounding the Islamist Ansar Dine
stronghold of Gao, forcing the insurgents to flee. France's foreign
minister Laurent Fabius said that the Islamist rebel advance to the
country's capital, Bamako, had been halted:

<QUOTE>"Stopping the terrorists -- it's done, Today we
started taking care of the terrorists' rear bases."<END QUOTE>

France has deployed more than 400 troops to Mali for training, but not
for combat. Neighboring African countries (Burkina Faso, Niger,
Senegal, Togo and Benin) have pledged an additional 800 troops. The
U.S. and Europe will provide logistical support.

France has called a meeting of the United Nations Security Council for
12 noon on Monday "to discuss the situation in Mali." Expatica France and AP

****
**** U.S. provided technical support for France's failed Somalia rescue attempt
****


U.S. troops lent "limited technical support" in France's bloody and
unsuccessful bid in Somalia on Friday to rescue a French intelligence
agent who'd been held hostage for years by al-Shabaab. The rescue
attempt was a disaster, as the agent was not rescued, and two French
soldiers were killed in a bloody gun battle. CNN

****
**** France on terror alert after challenging al-Qaeda on two fronts
****


When France's Socialist president François Hollande announced an early
withdrawal of France's troops from Afghanistan, it was thought that
Hollande would be an anti-war president. And with the worsening
French economy, Hollande's popularity was dropping sharply.

But now, all of a sudden, everyone is shocked to see Hollande launch
two separate military actions on opposite side's of Africa: One in
Mali targeting Ansar Dine, linked to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb
(AQIM), and another one in Somalia targeting al-Shabaab, linked to
Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). With uncertain
objectives for the Mali operation and a failure in the Somalia
operation, "Hollande's war" may backfire on him politically,
just as the Libya war backfired on his predecessor,
Nicolas Sarkozy.

Having attacked two wings of al-Qaeda in one day, Hollande put France
on high domestic terror alert on Saturday, fearing a retaliatory
terror attack on French soil. AQAP and AQIM issued a joint ultimatum
on Saturday threatening to being killing French hostages until the
military missions end immediately. Guardian (London) and Debka

****
**** Israel reaffirms settlement plan after Palestinian protest action
****


Palestinian activists in the West Bank adopted a new non-violent
tactic on Friday by pitching tents and creating a makeshift
Palestinian protest camp in the contested "E-1" area of the West Bank.
After Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas won United Nations General
Assembly approval to create a State of Palestine on November 29,
Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu retaliated by announcing
plans to build 3,000 new settlement homes in the E-1 region. On
Saturday, Netanyahu ordered that the protesters be removed from the
E-1 camp, and he reaffirmed plans to build settlements in the region.
A number of Western nations have condemned Netanyahu's announcement
because 3,000 settlements in this region would permanently divide the
West Bank in such a way that a two-state solution would become almost
impossible. VOA


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, U.N. Security Council, France, Mali,
Ansar Dine, Laurent Fabius, Burkina Faso, Niger,
Senegal, Togo, Benin, François Hollande, Somalia, al-Shabaab,
Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula,
AQIM, AQAP, Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, West Bank, E-1 region,
Benjamin Netanyahu

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#288 at 01-14-2013 03:36 PM by TimWalker [at joined May 2007 #posts 6,371]
---
01-14-2013, 03:36 PM #288
Join Date
May 2007
Posts
6,371

Britain's economy

A number of web sites have considered alternatives to the EU, such as NAFTA membership for Britain.







Post#289 at 01-14-2013 10:24 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
---
01-14-2013, 10:24 PM #289
Join Date
Sep 2006
Location
Moorhead, MN, USA
Posts
14,442

It's about time something is being done about the Islamist nuts in northern Mali. Their vandalizing of Timbuktu's historical landmarks is horrifying beyond belief.
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#290 at 01-14-2013 11:52 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-14-2013, 11:52 PM #290
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

15-Jan-13 World View -- Al-Qaeda rebels in Mali counterattack as France bombs

*** 15-Jan-13 World View -- Al-Qaeda rebels in Mali counterattack as France bombs

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Brazil urges quick Venezuelan election of Chávez dies
  • Al-Qaeda rebels in Mali counterattack as France bombs
  • Germany and Britain debate whether to join France in Mali
  • Germany threatens to block a bailout of Cyprus, reviving euro crisis


****
**** Brazil urges quick Venezuelan election of Chávez dies
****



Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, Chavez's anointed successor, at a rally (Reuters)

Brazil is making a major intervention in Venezuela's government by
urging the country to hold elections as quickly as possible if
president Hugo Chávez dies:

<QUOTE>"We are explicitly saying that if Chávez dies, we
would like to see elections as soon as possible. We think that's
the best way to ensure a peaceful democratic transition, which is
Brazil's main desire."<END QUOTE>

Chávez has been in Cuba since his fourth cancer surgery on December
11. After previous surgeries, Chávez was shown sitting up or chatting
with Fidel Castro. This time, there has been no public sign of Chávez
since the operation, leading to speculation that he's close to death.

Brazil is keeping the United States apprised of its efforts, and is
hoping to convince Washington to allow it to take the lead in managing
a potential leadership transition in Venezuela. Brazilian officials
said they fear that any direct U.S. intervention in Venezuelan affairs
could backfire. However, a quick election would contradict Chávez's
own stated wishes that, on his death, vice-president Nicolas Maduro
become president. The Venezuelan opposition fears that Chávez's party
will violate the constitution to stay in power if Chávez dies.
Reuters

****
**** Al-Qaeda rebels in Mali counterattack as France bombs
****


On Saturday, France's foreign minister Laurent Fabius said, "Stopping
the terrorists -- it's done." On Sunday, France announced that the
military operation would be finished in a matter of weeks. On Monday,
Islamist militants counter-attacked and gained control of the town of
Diabaly from government forces, just 220 miles from Bamako, Mali's
capital. The militants are part of a terrorist group linked to
Al-Qaeda on the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). According to an AQIM
spokesman:

<QUOTE>"France has opened the gates of hell for all the
French. She has fallen into a trap which is much more dangerous
than Iraq, Afghanistan or Somalia."<END QUOTE>

AQIM is flush with resources. They made millions of dollars
in the last few years collecting ransom payments for kidnapped
hostages. And they collected a huge bonanza of sophisticated
weapons from unprotected warehouses following the collapse
of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya.

France is continuing its bombing mission, and plans to deploy 2,500
troops, to work with a force of 3,300 West African troops to defeat
well-armed militants in an area the size of Spain. This is already an
increase over the initial announcement, because resistance has been
tougher than expected. Many analysts believe that the estimate of "a
few weeks" is too optimistic. Reuters

****
**** Germany and Britain debate whether to join France in Mali
****


Germany's government does not want to deploy German combat
troops in Mali, but they're considering offering logistical,
medical and humanitarian support. Germany was embarrassed
in 2011 because they never supported France in the military
operation in Libya, and they do not want to face that kind
of criticism again. However, caution is advised for
two reasons:

  • Once a nation offers logistical help, it could quickly be
    asked to get more involved, and Germany might be drawn into very
    lengthy conflict.
  • By assisting France, Germany would in effect be taking part in an
    attack against radical Islamists with close ties to al-Qaeda who are
    already threatening revenge attacks against Paris.


Defense chiefs in Britain are warning prime minister David Cameron
against becoming enmeshed in the Mali mission, pointing out that any
action could be drawn-out and require significantly greater resources
than have so far been deployed.Spiegel and Independent (London)

****
**** Germany threatens to block a bailout of Cyprus, reviving euro crisis
****


Cyprus needs $22.7 billion to bail out its banking system, and
Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel is demanding harsh reforms before
it can be approved. The problem is that Cyprus's banks have been
accused as vehicles for laundering billions of dollars by Russian
oligarchs who don't want to pay Russia's taxes. Thus, bailing out
Cyprus's banks would be bailing out Russia's oligarchs. Many MPs in
Germany's Bundestag are refusing to consider a bailout. Without a
bailout, the euro crisis will return in full force. Guardian (London) and Spiegel


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, Cuba,
Nicolas Maduro, Brazil, France, Mali,
Al-Qaeda on the Islamic Maghreb, AQIM,
Germany, Britain, Cyprus

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#291 at 01-15-2013 12:47 PM by The Wonkette [at Arlington, VA 1956 joined Jul 2002 #posts 9,209]
---
01-15-2013, 12:47 PM #291
Join Date
Jul 2002
Location
Arlington, VA 1956
Posts
9,209

Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
It's about time something is being done about the Islamist nuts in northern Mali. Their vandalizing of Timbuktu's historical landmarks is horrifying beyond belief.
I felt the same way about the Taliban when they destroyed ancient Buddhist carvings.

Of course, intervention doesn't always end nicely.
I want people to know that peace is possible even in this stupid day and age. Prem Rawat, June 8, 2008







Post#292 at 01-15-2013 11:39 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-15-2013, 11:39 PM #292
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

16-Jan-13 World View -- Syria: Missile strike kills 80 students taking exams

*** 16-Jan-13 World View -- Syria: Missile strike kills 80 students taking exams

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Syria: Missile strike kills 80 students taking exams at University of Aleppo
  • Report: State Dept. believes Syria used chemical weapons
  • New Kashmir clash kills Pakistani soldier


****
**** Syria: Missile strike kills 80 students taking exams at University of Aleppo
****



Aleppo: Aftermath of university bomb blast (AP)

A missile strike, presumably from warplanes sent by the regime of
Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, struck a building at University of
Aleppo where hundreds of students were taking exams, killing 82 and
injuring 150 more. In a familiar refrain, the al-Assad regime said
that the university students were killed not by warplanes but by "the
terrorists," its terms for the rebels. Over 60,000 people, almost all
civilians, have been killed in the Syrian conflict, mostly through
intentional slaughter by the al-Assad regime. BBC

****
**** Report: State Dept. believes Syria used chemical weapons
****


According to a report in Foreign Policy magazine, there is a
"compelling case' to believe that al-Assad's military forces used the
deadly poison gas Agent 15 in the city of Homs on December 23.
Activist and doctors on the ground in Homs have been circulating
evidence of the Dec. 23 incident over the past three weeks in an
attempt to convince the international community of its veracity. The
reports said that the chemical agent was delivered by a tank shell and
that the range of symptoms varied based on the victim's proximity to
the poison. However, shortly after the report appeared, the White
House issued a statement saying that the report "has not been
consistent with what we believe to be true about the Syrian chemical
weapons program." At one point, the Administration indicated that
Syrian use of chemical weapons would bring a military response, but
later seemed to back off from the threat, and now merely says that
"the regime will be held accountable." Foreign Policy and Reuters

****
**** New Kashmir clash kills Pakistani soldier
****


On Wednesday, for the third time in two weeks, there have been
military clashes between Pakistani and Indian forces across the Line
of Control (LoC) separating the two forces in Kashmir. (See "9-Jan-13 World View -- New fighting between India and Pakistan in Kashmir"
) This time, a Pakistani
soldier was killed, and a Pakistani army statement says that "Indian
troops again resorted to ceasefire violation and carried out
unprovoked firing this evening at LoC." Concern is rising that
tensions are escalating, and some act may trigger a new Kashmir war
between India and Pakistan. Dawn (Pakistan) / AFP


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, University of Aleppo,
Bashar al-Assad, chemical weapons, India,
Pakistan, Kashmir, Line of Control

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail







Post#293 at 01-16-2013 11:04 AM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
---
01-16-2013, 11:04 AM #293
Join Date
Sep 2001
Location
Meh.
Posts
12,182

Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
It's about time something is being done about the Islamist nuts in northern Mali. Their vandalizing of Timbuktu's historical landmarks is horrifying beyond belief.
Lobbing explosives at crowds of people because you are unhappy about vandalism??

With what very little respect due such a position -- Fuck.You.

Mali has uranium and gold. That’s why it also has “Al Qaeda.”
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#294 at 01-16-2013 01:02 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-16-2013, 01:02 PM #294
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Lobbing explosives at crowds of people because you are unhappy about vandalism??

With what very little respect due such a position -- Fuck.You.

Mali has uranium and gold. That’s why it also has “Al Qaeda.”

I don't believe that I've read any commentary from Putin on the Mali
action, other than to blame the Libya action.

Am I correct in assuming from your, um, energetic response that Russia
as a whole is as opposed to the Mali intervention as it is to
intervention in Syria, or are you expressing a personal opinion?







Post#295 at 01-16-2013 02:00 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
---
01-16-2013, 02:00 PM #295
Join Date
Sep 2001
Location
Meh.
Posts
12,182

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post
I don't believe that I've read any commentary from Putin on the Mali
action, other than to blame the Libya action.

Am I correct in assuming from your, um, energetic response that Russia
as a whole is as opposed to the Mali intervention as it is to
intervention in Syria, or are you expressing a personal opinion?
Infer as you want; I'm not terribly interested in how the opinions of scumbags appear to correspond or not to my own. Although along the way, it's well worth pointing out that scumbags only constitute a very small part of the makeup of "Russia as a whole", as do they of "America as a whole" and really any other grouping of the sort, besides "scumbags as a whole" (where they likely hold at least a majority share).

What I am kind of strongly opposed to, is letting people advocate killing without having to at least be confronted with the reality of what they advocate.

---
or wait - are you that guy who thinks I'm a paid agent of the secret Soviet Union in hiding? Is that what this is?
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#296 at 01-16-2013 02:27 PM by Odin [at Moorhead, MN, USA joined Sep 2006 #posts 14,442]
---
01-16-2013, 02:27 PM #296
Join Date
Sep 2006
Location
Moorhead, MN, USA
Posts
14,442

Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77 View Post
Lobbing explosives at crowds of people because you are unhappy about vandalism??

With what very little respect due such a position -- Fuck.You.

Mali has uranium and gold. That’s why it also has “Al Qaeda.”
OK, so what of fundamentalist Christians took over France and started demolishing all the old cathedrals?
To recommend thrift to the poor is both grotesque and insulting. It is like advising a man who is starving to eat less.

-Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism







Post#297 at 01-16-2013 02:40 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
01-16-2013, 02:40 PM #297
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77
> What I am kind of strongly opposed to, is letting people advocate
> killing without having to at least be confronted with the reality
> of what they advocate.
That's what I try to point out.

Quote Originally Posted by Justin '77
> or wait - are you that guy who thinks I'm a paid agent of the
> secret Soviet Union in hiding? Is that what this is?
You have GOT to be kidding. Is this a serious question? No, Justin,
I don't think you're a paid agent of the secret Soviet Union, whatever
that is, though I don't understand why that's related to my question
about Mali.

John







Post#298 at 01-16-2013 03:00 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
---
01-16-2013, 03:00 PM #298
Join Date
Sep 2001
Location
Meh.
Posts
12,182

Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
OK, so what of fundamentalist Christians took over France and started demolishing all the old cathedrals?
Umm.. that would be bad?


Are you suggesting that lobbing explosives among crowds of Europeans is somehow different from lobbing explosives among crowds of Africans? Permit me to disagree.
Last edited by Justin '77; 01-16-2013 at 03:04 PM.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#299 at 01-16-2013 03:02 PM by Justin '77 [at Meh. joined Sep 2001 #posts 12,182]
---
01-16-2013, 03:02 PM #299
Join Date
Sep 2001
Location
Meh.
Posts
12,182

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post
You have GOT to be kidding. Is this a serious question?
Sadly, no. There's a guy here who periodically makes that accusation. I'm sure you could find it in the archives. I didn't think it was you, but then you brought up Russia all of a sudden in a thread about Mali, and tied the two together via my reaction to the thread. It was worth asking, even if I was pretty sure of the answer.
No, Justin,
I don't think you're a paid agent of the secret Soviet Union, whatever
that is, though I don't understand why that's related to my question
about Mali.
You related it. See my above to your first question.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est que cela, la loi ? On peut donc être dehors. Je ne comprends pas. Quant à moi, suis-je dans la loi ? suis-je hors la loi ? Je n'en sais rien. Mourir de faim, est-ce être dans la loi ?" -- Tellmarch

"Человек не может снять с себя ответственности за свои поступки." - L. Tolstoy

"[it]
is no doubt obvious, the cult of the experts is both self-serving, for those who propound it, and fraudulent." - Noam Chomsky







Post#300 at 01-16-2013 03:48 PM by Chas'88 [at In between Pennsylvania & Pennsyltucky joined Nov 2008 #posts 9,432]
---
01-16-2013, 03:48 PM #300
Join Date
Nov 2008
Location
In between Pennsylvania & Pennsyltucky
Posts
9,432

Quote Originally Posted by Odin View Post
OK, so what of fundamentalist Christians took over France and started demolishing all the old cathedrals?
Except the comparison would be more apt if it was Christian fundamentalists took over the country and leveled the equivalent of a ruined version of New York City, or some other major obsolete trading hub. Timbuktu was not a religious spot and so I take objection to the comparison to knocking down the Old Cathedrals. It's where the Camel met the Canoe and the gold of West Africa began its journey Northeast where it would be left amongst the North African states and later have such influence as funding the European Renaissance.

~Chas'88
"There have always been people who say: "The war will be over someday." I say there's no guarantee the war will ever be over. Naturally a brief intermission is conceivable. Maybe the war needs a breather, a war can even break its neck, so to speak. But the kings and emperors, not to mention the pope, will always come to its help in adversity. ON the whole, I'd say this war has very little to worry about, it'll live to a ripe old age."
-----------------------------------------