World View: Saudi Arabia Pledges $3 Billion to Lebanon's Army
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Suicide bomber at Russia's Volgograd station sends Putin a message
- Saudi Arabia pledges $3 billion to Lebanon's army to buy weapons
Suicide bomber at Russia's Volgograd station sends Putin a message
Surveillance camera catches the explosion in Volgograd train station on Sunday
At least 16 people were killed and dozens injured on Sunday in a
noontime blast at the main railway station in Volgograd when a
suicide bomber detonated a large bomb just outside the metal detectors
that all passengers must pass through. There are conflicting reports about whether the bomber was male or female.
Ordinarily, this would have been just another terrorist bombing in
Russia of not much interest to anyone except, of course, the people
who were killed, maimed, or hospitalized and their friends and families,
or the people whose lives were destroyed in other ways.
But this bombing is international news because we're only a few weeks
away from the Winter Olympics, held in Sochi in February.
Having a successful Olympics event with plenty of international
visitors is being viewed as crucial inside Russia, as Russia's president Vladimir
Putin has been doing everything possible to convince the world
that the Olympics will be safe and has spent huge sums on security
throughout the region.
According to analysts I heard, this bombing is a message to Putin
that even if he can protect a small region around Sochi, he still
can't prevent terrorist acts in nearby cities, and these will
continue to get international headlines, drawing attention away
Who's sending that message to Putin? It's thought to be Doku Umarov.
Umarov is a veteran of the Chechnya wars fought in the 1990s and early
2000s by rebels wishing to separate Chechnya from Russia and make it
a separate state. Umarov has been on Russia's most wanted criminal
list for various terrorist attacks and assassinations. In July,
Umarov posted a video calling on jihadists around the world to use
"maximum force" to disrupt the "satanic" Olympic games in Sochi.
Umarov is the perpetrator of, among other things, the Moscow airport
bombing in January 2011.
A female bomber was responsible for a major suicide bus bombing in Volgograd in November. Volgograd used
to be called Stalingrad during World War II, and it was the site of a
major victory, the Battle of Stalingrad, by the Russian army over the
Nazis. Perhaps that's why Umarov chose Volgograd as the site of the
message he's sending to Putin. Russia Today and BBC
Saudi Arabia pledges $3 billion to Lebanon's army to buy weapons
A couple of days after the murder of moderate Sunni leader Mohammad
Shatah in the heart of downtown Beirut ("28-Dec-13 World View -- Lebanon faces new chaos after car bombing in heart of Beirut"), Saudi Arabia is pledging $3
billion for the Lebanese army. In the same announcement, France's President, François Hollande, is offering to sell to Lebanon's army any
weapons it wishes to buy.
Right now, Lebanon's army is so weak that it couldn't defend a
doghouse. The most powerful army in Lebanon belongs to the Shia
terror group Hezbollah, which is funded by Iran. Saudi
Arabia's pledge will mean that Lebanon has two powerful armies, one
Shia and one Sunni, funded respectively by two bitter enemies, Iran
and Saudi Arabia.
More and more, the sectarian conflict in Syria is spilling over into
Lebanon and the entire Mideast. Thanks to the actions of
Syria's genocidal monster, President Bashar al-Assad, and his devoted
weapons supplier Vladimir Putin, Syria has become a magnet for
jihadists from all over the world. Sectarian tensions continue to
grow each day, and a sectarian war will not be far off. Daily Star (Beirut) and AFP
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