This morning's key headlines from
- China makes armed threat on al-Jazeera ship in South China Sea
- Canada said has no plans for military action in Mali
- Anti-Sunni rant given by Shia cleric
- Syrian regime massacre receives widespread condemnation
China makes armed threat on al-Jazeera ship in South China Sea
An Al-Jazeera vessel sent to the Scarborough Shoal in the South China
Sea to do a story on China's aggression in the region was threatened
with a military attack by a Chinese warship if it did not leave the
Scarborough Shoal region immediately. The al-Jazeera ship captain did
as he was ordered. The incident appeared in a segment aired on
Al-Jazeera's online televised newscast, and will appear soon in a
full-length documentary, but has not yet appeared in a story on its
According to the segment, China is sending a flotilla of 30
well-armed fishing vessels to fish in the Scarborough Shoal, which is
off the coast of the Philippines, and has historically been part of
Philippines territory. The flotilla is being sent as the meeting in
Phnom Penh of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) ends in
bitter division of China's claims to the entire South China Sea,
including many areas historically belonging to other countries. At
the ASEAN meeting, China's message was that other countries shouldn't
make trouble, but should maintain harmonious relations with China.
Apparently, when China tells you not to "make trouble," it means that
you should do exactly as demanded or they'll kill you.
Canada said has no plans for military action in Mali
France is considering sending the military to northern Mali,
where Ansar al-Dine, a wealthy, well-armed terrorist group
lined to Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) has taken control,
and can use the region as a base to launch terrorist attacks
against France. On Friday, Canada's
Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird
"Let me be clear that Canada is not contemplating a
military mission in Mali.
We support the significant international diplomatic efforts to
help restore democracy, led by the Economic Community of West
African States, and we certainly stand ready to support the
organization once its needs are identified.
We have done a significant amount of work with the Economic
Community of West African States in the past and we certainly
stand ready to support them in the future."
The United States, France and the UN Security Council have agreed to
provide logistical support for such an operation. On Friday,
U.S. President Barack Obama authorized the release of up to
$10-million for emergency relief efforts in northern Mali.
Globe and Mail (Ottawa)
Anti-Sunni rant given by Shia cleric
On June 16, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz al Saud
died. Born in 1933, he was perhaps the most ruthless of the leaders
in governing al-Saud family. In an address posted on the internet, a
Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr Baqer Al-Nimr, rejoiced in the death of
Nayef. I found his rant to be interesting because it illustrates the
vitriolic hatred between Sunnis and Shias in the Mideast. The
following are some excerpts:
"Where is [Crown Prince] Nayef's army now? Will it
protect him from the Angel of Death? Where are his intelligence
agencies? Where are his officers? Can they protect him from the
Angel of Death? He will be eaten by worms and suffer the torments
of Hell in his grave. ...
Imam Hussein said: 'No shedder of blood shall enter Paradise.'
Will Nayef enter Paradise? Some say: 'Don't talk ill of Nayef
because he's dead.' Are you stupid?
Don't you see that the Koran says: 'On that day shall the
believers rejoice'? Why shouldn't we be happy at the death of the
man who imprisoned and killed our children? This is the man who
spread fear and terror, so why shouldn't we rejoice?
"Allah be praised! May He take their lives, one after the other –
the Saud, Khalifa, and Al-Assad dynasties.
The sons of Abd Al-'Aziz will rule this land until Judgment Day –
that's what Nayef declared. Let's see how he rules it... Let him
rule it from the grave. It is a reckless, tyrannical regime.
Who is the Saud clan? They are killing our brothers in
Bahrain. If any good can become of them, let them liberate
Palestine from the Zionists, rather than [bully] half a million
Bahrainis – good defenseless people."
The [Saud clan] says that they are the 'lions of the Sunna.' You,
the lions of the Sunna? Pffff... Nonsense. They said: 'We are the
lions of the Sunna facing Iran.' Don't make me laugh. You? Facing
Iran? The day Saddam entered Kuwait, you all fled and brought the
U.S. to defend you."
Al-Nimr references Bahrain, where the Shia majority population is
being ruled ruthlessly by a small Sunni leadership, supported by Saudi
Arabia's army. The violence between Shias and Sunnis has spread into
eastern Saudi Arabia in recent weeks, and is being inflamed further by
the sectarian violence in Syria.
Syrian regime massacre receives widespread condemnation
The regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's has been trying to
blame Thursday's horrific massacre on mysterious groups of gunmen.
Over 200 people were killed in the village of Taramseh, near Homa.
However, nobody seems to be accepting al-Assad's story line. UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "I condemn, in the strongest
possible terms, the indiscriminate use of heavy artillery and shelling
of populated areas, including by firing from helicopters." Kofi
Annan, who runs around from country to country trying to sell one of
his Syria "peace plans," said that he was "shocked and appalled" by
reports of regime violence. (If I'm not mistaken, Annan always just
says he's "shocked and appalled.") US Secretary of State Hillary
Clinton said that the use of artillery, tanks and helicopters, provide
"indisputable evidence that the regime deliberately murdered innocent
civilians." None of this makes any difference, however, since
al-Assad's strategy of extermination and atrocity is fully supported
by the Russians.