World View: Egypt's Morsi Shocks Iran with Statement Condemning Syria's Assad

This morning's key headlines from

  • Australia dealt a 'physical blow' by 'shocking' deaths in Afghanistan
  • Egypt's President Morsi shocks Iran with statement condemning Syria's Assad
  • Ban Ki-moon denounces Iran over calls to destroy Israel
  • Iran's Supreme Leader slams the United Nations Security Council
  • China scholars condemn inclusion of 239 English words in official Chinese dictionary

Australia dealt a 'physical blow' by 'shocking' deaths in Afghanistan

Three Australian soldiers were killed and two injured in Afghanistan on Wednesday in two separate incidents, one a helicopter crash, and the other in a firefight. These casualties followed reports of a "green on blue" attack, where a person wearing an Afghan National Army uniform fired on three Nato soldiers and killed them. Morale has taken a hit over this, according to the Chief of Defence Forces, adding, "This is a terrible day for all of us." 

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said: "I believe this is the most losses in combat since the days of the Vietnam War and the battle of Long Tan. This is news so truly shocking that it's going to feel for many Australians like a physical blow."

She added that this is the worst bloodshed for Australians in combat in decades. Sydney Morning Herald

Egypt's President Morsi shocks Iran with statement condemning Syria's Assad

Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi created some controversy last week when he accepted an invitation from Iran to come and speak at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit, being held in Tehran. Morsi's visit to Tehran is being called "historic," since it's the first such visit by an Egyptian leader since Iran's 1979 Great Islamic Revolution. 

Iran had hoped to gain sympathy from unaligned nations for the Western sanctions, and had hoped to get endorsement of its policy in Syria. Outside the meeting hall, they placed three damaged cars -- the cars that Iranian nuclear scientists were riding in when they were killed in bombings.

However, Iran received no support from Morsi, who gave a speech ruthlessly condemning the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, and calling for his ouster:

We express our solidarity with the struggle of the Syrian people against an oppressive regime that has lost legitimacy. It is not only an ethical duty but a political and strategic necessity."

The blood of the Syrian people is on our necks, and it will not stop unless there is an intervention by all of us.

In a comparison that was sure to infuriate both Iran and Syria, Morsi compared the plight of Syrians to that of the Palestinians, saying that both groups are "actively seeking freedom, dignity and human justice."

The furious Syrian delegation walked out of the conference hall in protest, calling Morsi's remarks "an interference in Syria's internal affairs." The Syrians criticized Morsi for not following the unaligned protocol, and for siding with the West.

According to one analyst that I heard on Al-Jazeera, the translator on Iran's state television stopped translating Morsi's speech into the Iranian language (Farsi/Persian) when Morsi started talking about Syria, but instead inserted something about Bahrain that Morsi never said.

The Non-Aligned Movement was formed decades ago of nations that were supposedly not aligned with either the United States or the Soviet Union. Today, with the Soviet Union gone, the "non-aligned" concept really doesn't have much meaning, and a number of the "non-aligned" nations are aligned with the West, at least some of the time.

What we saw in Iran on Thursday is something I've been describing for years as an absolutely craziness among Iran's hardline leaders. They actually hope and believe that they're going to become the leaders of the Islamic world in the same way that the Ottomans (Turkey) lead the Islamic world prior to World War I. The purpose of Iran's invitation to Morsi to come to Tehran has been described as an attempt by Iran to form an "Iran-Egypt axis" that dominates the Mideast.

The whole concept was and is insane. Iran is a Persian Shia Islam nation, while most of the Mideast countries are Arab Sunni Muslim. There is no conceivable way that Saudi Arabia was ever going to take orders, or even guidance, from Tehran. LA Times and Al Ahram (Cairo)

Ban Ki-moon denounces Iran over calls to destroy Israel

Mohamed Morsi wasn't the only person attending the Non-Aligned Movement summit to embarrass Iran. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had been widely criticized in the West for agreeing to attend the conference in Iran, but he used the opportunity to slam the Iranian regime, albeit without mentioning it by name. 

I strongly reject threats by any member state to destroy another or outrageous attempts to deny historical facts such as the Holocaust.

Claiming that Israel does not have the right to exist or describing it in racist terms is not only wrong, but undermines the very principle we all have pledged to uphold.

According to one expert on Iran, "In the history of the Islamic Republic, nobody has challenged the supreme leader's (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's) position on Israel in front of him, and in such a manner. This is likely to have long-term reverberations and consequences inside Iran's halls of power." NBC and Reuters

Iran's Supreme Leader slams the United Nations Security Council

Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei harshly criticized the United Nations Security Council at the Non-Aligned Movement summit on Friday: 

The UN Security Council has a completely unfair structure, and the US and its allies have been misusing this unfair structure to materialize their interests.

Their security in the US and Europe is important, while security of the rest of the world does not matter from their viewpoint. They impose their own rules and bullying words on the rest of the world [through the UN].

Everyone is tired of this situation in the world.

Ahlul Bayt News Agency (Qom, Iran)

China scholars condemn inclusion of 239 English words in official Chinese dictionary

A group of 120 scholars have signed a letter of complaint over the inclusion of English words in a newly revised Chinese dictionary. The scholars said that the inclusion of English words slyly opens a door for cultural immersion. According to one of the scholars: 

The dictionary is not an ordinary Chinese publication, but a bible for people to learn from and to use standard Chinese. The dictionary has taken words from English today. Will it take German and French in the future?

He raised concerns over the language fading out and called on people to pay attention to the dignity of the Chinese language.

Most of the offending words in the dictionary are actually acronyms or abbreviations, including: FBI, GDP, NBA, WTO and CPI.

Some Chinese words that have made their way into the English language include: Tychonaut (Chinese astronaut), tycoon, tai pan (business man), kowtow and typhoon. Xinhua

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