World View: President Obama Blasts Russia and Iran over Syria

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Greenpeace tangles with the wrong country -- Russia
  • President Obama blasts Russia and Iran over Syria
  • Iran's president Hassan Rouhani 'snubs' Obama at United Nations

Greenpeace tangles with the wrong country -- Russia

A boat full of Greenpeace activists being sprayed by a water cannon
A boat full of Greenpeace activists being sprayed by a water cannon

Greenpeace has a history of bizarre, high publicity activist protests, everything from disrupting Iceland's whaling fleet to scaling skyscrapers, earning themselves the names "eco-terrorists." After each event, they painted themselves as innocent victims, and they always got away with it. But now they may have gone too far. Last week, activists tried to scale a Gazprom offshore oil platform in the Arctic Ocean, hoping that the big publicity stunt would embarrass the Russians. But nothing embarrasses the Russians. Russian authorities boarded the Greenpeace boat, arrested all the activists on board, and towed the boat to Murmansk port, where the activists are being questioned and charged with piracy. Ria Novosti

President Obama blasts Russia and Iran over Syria

During Tuesday's speech by President Barack Obama, he was uncharacteristically critical of Russia's and Iran's policies with respect to Syria, calling that policy a "fantasy": 

"Assad’s traditional allies have propped him up, citing principles of sovereignty to shield his regime. And on August 21st, the regime used chemical weapons in an attack that killed more than 1,000 people, including hundreds of children. ... 
The evidence is overwhelming that the Assad regime used such weapons on August 21st. U.N. inspectors gave a clear accounting that advanced rockets fired large quantities of sarin gas at civilians. These rockets were fired from a regime-controlled neighborhood, and landed in opposition neighborhoods. It’s an insult to human reason -- and to the legitimacy of this institution -- to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out this attack. ... 
Now there must be a strong Security Council resolution to verify that the Assad regime is keeping its commitments, and there must be consequences if they fail to do so. If we cannot agree even on this, then it will show that the United Nations is incapable of enforcing the most basic of international laws. On the other hand, if we succeed, it will send a powerful message that the use of chemical weapons has no place in the 21st century, and that this body means what it says. ...
Nor do I believe that America or any nation should determine who will lead Syria; that is for the Syrian people to decide. Nevertheless, a leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy to lead a badly fractured country. The notion that Syria can somehow return to a pre-war status quo is a fantasy.
It’s time for Russia and Iran to realize that insisting on Assad’s rule will lead directly to the outcome that they fear: an increasingly violent space for extremists to operate."

President Obama's substantive criticisms echo what I wrote last week in "18-Sep-13 World View -- Russia and Vladimir Putin pursue a disastrous Syria policy": Supporting the genocidal monster who leads Syria not only harms the United Nations but leads to increasing violence in the region. 

President Obama also echoed again, as he's done more than once recently, the Truman Doctrine: 

"But I also believe the world is better for it. Some may disagree, but I believe America is exceptional -- in part because we have shown a willingness through the sacrifice of blood and treasure to stand up not only for our own narrow self-interests, but for the interests of all."

The Truman Doctrine was put forth by President Harry Truman in 1947, making the U.S. the Policeman of the World. Truman's reasoning was that WW II was so expensive and cost so many lives that intervening in the Greece/Turkey crisis of the time would be only a tiny fraction and would be well worth it if it prevented a new world war. President John F. Kennedy repeated this theme in his inaugural address. White House

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani 'snubs' Obama at United Nations

According to news reports, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani declined to meet with President Obama on Tuesday at the United States, giving as a reason that it was "too complicated." A number of reporters are saying that Rouhani "snubbed" Obama, but in fact the "too complicated" description is quite believable. 

As I wrote last week in "21-Sep-13 World View -- Does Iran's 'Heroic Flexibility' signal a real policy change?", the reference by the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei to "Heroic Flexibility" is a signal that Khamenei is finally being forced to give in to the demands of the young generation that grew up after the Great Islamic Revolution and the Iran/Iraq war. 

However, this "gender gap" is just as controversial in Iran today as it was during America's Awakening era in the 1960s. In fact, Khamenei's declaration of "Heroic Flexibility" has become extremely controversial in the last few days, drawing a great deal of criticism from younger members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) who are determined for Iran to develop nuclear weapons, despite external pressures and sanctions. So a meeting between Rouhani and Obama may well have been "too complicated" for Iran's politics. 

In his United Nations speech, Rouhani said that Iran has no intention of developing nuclear weapons, a claim that few believe. He also went off the deep end in terms of fatuous nonsense by proposing a United Nations project called "The world against violence and extremism," which is laughable in view of Iran's continuing policies of violence and extremism. 

At any rate, Rouhani's speech sounded nice, but had no content whatsoever. It remains to be seen whether Iran's new "Heroic Flexibility" policy means anything. Al Monitor and Sky News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Greenpeace, Russia, Gazprom, Barack Obama, Russia, Iran, Syria, Hassan Rouhani, Heroic Flexibility, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei 

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