World View: Reporters Witness Assad Regime Bombing of Women and Children

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Sectarian tensions grow as Shias in Lebanon kidnap Sunni Syrians
  • Sunni Arab countries urge their citizens to leave Lebanon
  • Reporters witness Assad regime bombing of women and children
  • Anniversary of Japanese surrender triggers heightened tensions with Korea
  • China protests detention of citizens by Japanese on disputed islands

Sectarian tensions grow as Shias in Lebanon kidnap Sunni Syrians

The al-Meqdad clan (Reuters)
The al-Meqdad clan (Reuters)

Sectarian tensions throughout the Mideast took a big jump on Wednesday, when the al-Meqdad clan of Lebanon, described as a Shia Muslim family with a military wing, kidnapped more than 20 people in retaliation for the kidnapping on Monday of family member Hassan al-Meqdad. A Syrian rebel group had taken credit for the kidnapping of Hassan, accusing him of being a sniper and a member of the Lebanese Shia group Hizbollah. The 20 kidnapped people were presumably Sunni and of the Free Syrian Army. There was one Turk, with the rest Syrian. Al-Jazeera and Naharnet (Lebanon)

Sunni Arab countries urge their citizens to leave Lebanon

The string of kidnappings led four Sunni Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar and Kuwait -- to urge their citizens to leave Lebanon immediately. A UAE foreign ministry official said it issued its alert after the embassy "received information about UAE nationals being targeted and because of the difficult and sensitive circumstances in Lebanon." BBC and Guardian

As I've written many times, both Syria and Lebanon are in generational Awakening eras, and so a crisis civil war in either country is impossible at this time, despite the warnings of various politicians and experts. However, much of the rest of the Mideast is in a generational Crisis era, and the real danger is that the sectarian violence in Syria will trigger a war throughout the region. Saudi Arabia is becoming increasingly nationalistic and sectarian. For all practical purposes, it has annexed Bahrain, where a Sunni minority is brutally governing a very large Shia majority, and Shia populations in eastern Saudi Arabia itself are becoming increasingly restive. As usual, Israel serves as an energizing factor, but the conflict in Syria is seems to have overtaken Israel as a factor in mobilizing riots and demonstrations. Generational Dynamics predicts that there'll be a new war in the Mideast, re-fighting the war between Jews and Arabs that following the 1948 partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel.

Reporters witness Assad regime bombing of women and children

Reporters from AP, VOA, Fox News and other media all witnessed the systematic bombing of civilian neighborhoods in the town of Azaz in Syria on Wednesday by fighter jets from the military forces of the Bashar al-Assad regime. Anti-Assad activists have been claiming that Assad's military purposely targets civilians instead of Free Syrian Army forces, and Wednesday events appeared to support that claim. The bombs targeted a poor residential neighborhood with no rebel bases. The UN Human Rights Council said Wednesday that war crimes have been committed on both sides, but that the greatest responsibility lay with the al-Assad regime. AP

Anniversary of Japanese surrender triggers heightened tensions with Korea

Wednesday was the 67th anniversary of the end of World War II, and South Korea's president Lee Myung Bak angered the Japanese by using the occasion to ask the Japanese to provide compensation to surviving South Korean "comfort women" who were captured and used for sex during the war. He also asked Emperor Akihito to apologize for Japan's treatment of Koreans during the period 1905-45, when Korea was a colony of Japan. In return, the Japanese angered the Koreans when two Japanese Cabinet ministers visited the Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo. The shrine honors Japan's war dead, including those now branded as war criminals. LA Times

China protests detention of citizens by Japanese on disputed islands

There were several new incidents related to disputed islands in the Pacific on Wednesday, including one where South Korean rock star Kim Jang-hoon swam to an island whose sovereignty is disputed between Korea and Japan. However, the event with the most potential for increased tension was the detention of five Chinese nationals on islands claimed by both China and Japan. China's Foreign Ministry has lodged a formal protest with the Japanese. Yonhap (Seoul) and Xinhua

 
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