World View: President Obama Accuses Vladimir Putin of Being a Liar
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- President Obama accuses Vladimir Putin of being a liar
- State Dept. terrorism report emphasizes Syria as 'major battleground'
- Man infected with MERS virus traveled through Chicago to Indiana
President Obama accuses Vladimir Putin of being a liar
Violence is spreading in Ukraine. It's mostly confined to a few
cities in the east, but there have been casualties in violence Friday in Odessa in southwest Ukraine. Russia's annexation of Crimea
leaves Ukraine with only one major port on the Black Sea, the port in
Odessa. If Russia also succeeds in annexing Odessa, then what's left
would be a rump nation, completely landlocked.
There's kind of an "honor among thieves and liars" creed that requires
liars to defend and support each other. Certainly President Barack
Obama has been consistently following that creed in terms of his
unending support for the claims of Russia's president Vladimir Putin,
whether the subject has been Iran, Syria, or more recently Ukraine.
So possibly the most significant Ukraine news Friday is that
President Obama called Vladimir Putin a liar. It was during a press
conference with Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, who's visiting
Obama pointed out that pro-Russian activists shot down helicopters
using sophisticated surface-to-air missiles that could only have been
obtained from Moscow, and that neutral observers from the Organization
for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have been abducted, with the conclusion that
Putin's statements lacked "honesty and credibility." Here's Obama's
And one of the biggest concerns that we’ve seen is
the Russian propaganda that has been blasted out nonstop
suggesting somehow that the Ukrainian government is responsible
for the problems in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government has
shown remarkable restraint throughout this process. The notion
that this is some spontaneous uprising in eastern Ukraine is
belied by all the evidence of well-organized, trained, armed
militias with the capacity to shoot down helicopters. Generally,
local protestors don’t possess that capacity of surface-to-air
missiles or whatever weapons were used to shoot down helicopters,
We’ve seen the attempts of OSCE monitors – who were approved not
just by Europe or the United States, but also by Russia – being
detained. And somehow Russia is suggesting that Kyiv is
responsible for that? We’ve heard Mr. Putin say, well, Kyiv has
to do a better job of reaching out to Eastern Europe – or eastern
Ukraine. You’ve seen attempts by Kyiv in a very serious way to
propose decentralization of power and to provide for local
elections, and for them to offer amnesty to those who have already
taken over these buildings. None of that has been acknowledged by
Mr. Putin or the various Russian mouthpieces that are out there.
You’ve also seen suggestions or implications that somehow
Americans are responsible for meddling inside Ukraine. I have to
say that our only interest is for Ukraine to be able to make its
own decisions. And the last thing we want is disorder and chaos
in the center of Europe. So for the German audience who perhaps is tuning into Russian TV,
I would just advise to stay focused on the facts and what’s
happened on the ground. A few weeks ago, Mr. Putin was still
denying that the Russian military was even involved in Crimea.
Then, a few weeks later, he acknowledged, yeah, I guess that was
our guys. And so there just has not been the kind of honesty and
credibility about the situation there, and a willingness to engage
seriously in resolving these diplomatic issues.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this statement is a
sign of a worldwide change in attitude toward Putin. As I always
point out, it's a basic principle of Generational Dynamics that even
in a dictatorship, major policies and events are determined by masses
of people, entire generations of people, and not by politicians.
Thus, Hitler was not the cause of WW II. What politicians say or do
is irrelevant, except insofar as their actions reflect the attitudes
of the people that they represent, and so politicians can neither
cause nor prevent the great events of history. And what we're seeing
here is a widespread change of attitude that will affect the events in
Eastern Europe during the next year, and not for the better. White House
State Dept. terrorism report emphasizes Syria as 'major battleground'
The U.S. State Dept. issued its annual "Country Reports on Terrorism,"
and emphasized the role of Syria:
Syria continued to be a major battleground for
terrorism on both sides of the conflict and remains a key area of
longer-term concern. Thousands of foreign fighters traveled to
Syria to join the fight against the Assad regime – with some
joining violent extremist groups – while Iran, Hezbollah, and
other Shia militias provided a broad range of critical support to
the regime. The Syrian conflict also empowered ISIL to expand its
cross-border operations in Syria, and dramatically increase
attacks against Iraqi civilians and government targets in 2013.
Terrorist violence in 2013 was increasingly fueled by sectarian
motives, marking a worrisome trend, particularly in Syria, but
also in Lebanon and Pakistan.
The point I've been making now for over a year is that Syria has
become an international magnet for jihadists around the world,
from places as far apart as Indonesia, Pakistan, North Africa,
France, Germany and Dagestan. The State Dept. report confirms
that thousands of these jihadists have flocked to Syria.
What's happening in Syria is perhaps the greatest disaster of our
time. Syria's Shia/Alawite president Bashar al-Assad has been
conducting "industrial strength" torture and extermination on his own
civilians, including repeated use of chemical weapons, particularly
targeting innocent Sunni women and children, has enraged Sunnis
throughout the world.
There are people who write comments to me saying that we should be
more worried about the al-Qaeda linked terrorist opposition groups,
like ISIL (mentioned above). But those comments don't even make
any sense. It's Bashar al-Assad who's CREATING these terrorist
opposition groups. As long as al-Assad is around, ISIL will
continue to grow and become stronger.
And once again we have to mention Russia's president Vladimir Putin.
Putin is a war criminal, because he's providing an unlimited supply of
heavy weapons to al-Assad for use in genocide and crimes against
humanity. And now Putin is supplying heavy weapons to thugs in
Ukraine, and lying about it. Putin is in the running for the person
responsible for triggering the greatest and bloodiest world war of all
time. U.S. State Dept.
Man infected with MERS virus traveled through Chicago to Indiana
A health care worker flying from Saudi Arabia to London, then to
Chicago, and then traveling by bus to Indiana, was the first in the
U.S. to be diagnosed with MERS-CoV (the Middle Eastern Respiratory
Syndrome coronavirus). He was tested for MERS because of his symptoms
(shortness of breath, coughing and fever) and because he had traveled
from the Mideast. Although the CDC does not believe that he infected
other people, since close contact is required, it's theoretically
possible that he did, and so the CDC is contacting travelers on
the same plane and bus trips. Recently, travelers from
the Mideast have resulted in MERS diagnoses in Greece, Malaysia,
Jordan, Egypt, and the UAE.
The main problem is that a person can be infected with MERS, and
capable of infecting others, for two weeks before that person develops
symptoms. The biggest fear is that a "superspreader" will become
infected and spread the virus widely, causing a chain reaction of
multiple cases. Chicago Tribune and WebMd
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