8-Feb-12 World View – U.S. Begins 'Scoping Exercise' For Military Action In Syria

8-Feb-12 World View – U.S. Begins 'Scoping Exercise' For Military Action In Syria

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Gulf Arab states expel Syria’s ambassadors as Russia visits Damascus
  • Turkey calls U.N. Syria veto a ‘fiasco’, and plans new initiative
  • U.S. begins ‘scoping exercise’ for military action in Syria
  • Greece misses another deadline for bailout deal
  • Greece’s government faces growing strikes from militant unions
  • Violent left-wing protests increase in America
  • Suicide rate rising rapidly in Ireland as recession grips

Gulf Arab states expel Syria’s ambassadors as Russia visits Damascus

The fallout from Russia’s and China’s veto of the U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria continues, as the regime’s escalated warfare on its own unarmed citizens continues. Arab states in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are recalling their ambassadors from Syria. They include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait. The US closed its embassy in Syria on Monday, and several European countries have recalled their ambassadors. Russia has been stung by the international backlash against the veto. Mainstream news analysts expressed optimism over the visit by Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who visited Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday. But nothing came of the meeting, as can be seen from Lavrov’s statement: “The President of Syria has assured that he is fully committed to the goal of putting an end to the violence.” Nothing new. BBC

Turkey calls U.N. Syria veto a ‘fiasco’, and plans new initiative

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the veto by China and Russia of a U.N. resolution on Syria a “fiasco” that gave a “green light” to Syria’s government to continue military attacks on its own people:

“We are going to start a new initiative with those countries that stand by the people, not the Syrian government. We are preparing this. The process that occurred at the United Nations in relation to Syria is a fiasco for the civilized world. The UN Security Council has once again held captive the conscience of the international community. Possessing the power to veto is a great responsibility. Using this power gives a green light for the persecution to continue.”

Erdogan didn’t give any details of the “new initiative.” But it’s worth noting that Erdogan has hinted at taking action many times in the last year, but has never actually done so. Zaman (Ankara)


U.S. begins ‘scoping exercise’ for military action in Syria

The Pentagon and U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities in order to prepare options in the event that President Obama calls for military action in Syria. One of the officials called the effort a “scoping exercise” to see what capabilities are available given other U.S. military commitments in the region. Though no decisions have been made, options include everything from humanitarian relief to support for opposition groups, to outright military strikes. Also on Tuesday, U.S. Sen. John McCain said that the United States “should start considering all options, including arming the opposition. The bloodletting has got to stop.” CNN

Greece misses another deadline for bailout deal

Police try to disperse anti-austerity protesters in Athens on Tuesday (Reuters)

Police try to disperse anti-austerity protesters in Athens on Tuesday (Reuters)

Greece’s interim minister Lucas Papademos postponed crucial talks with his coalition’s party leaders for a second day, raising new questions as to whether a deal can be reached at all. The talks were to have taken place on Monday, then on Tuesday, and are now postponed to Wednesday. One of the stumbling blocks that emerged on Tuesday were the new demands by EU officials for cuts to basic pensions, which start at 360 euros per month. Former prime minister George Papandreou and his aides agreed that further cuts to basic state pensions should be rejected. Kathimerini

Greece’s government faces growing strikes from militant unions

Workers in Greece are staging a 24-hour strike to protest new austerity measures, including the layoffs 15,000 civil service employees this year, reduced pension, and a reduced minimum wage. The strikes are firmly backed by the European Trade Union Confederation, which issued this statement:

“The new austerity package being discussed to avoid a default by Greece is unacceptable. Greek workers and citizens have been pushed to the limit. Successive austerity plans have plunged the country ever deeper into crisis. The new measures being considered are simply not defensible: reduction in the minimum wage, cuts in supplementary pensions and immediate job cuts in the public service. Labor law is being flouted and men and women are being crushed in the process. We warn all those who are putting pressure on Greece or justifying such pressure: workers cannot take any more.”

Strikes are expected to grow, along with the austerity measures. Irish Times

Violent left-wing protests increase in America

Left-wing protests continue to increase in Europe and America, as the financial crisis deepens. A violent protest by “Occupy Wall Street” protesters in Oakland, Calif., last week resulted in over 400 arrests when they tried to seize the long-vacant Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, entered the Oakland YMCA and broke into Oakland City Hall, where they vandalized the ground floor. Statements posted on the Occupy Oakland website urged those opposed to violence or vandalism to either steer clear or avoid interfering with those willing to engage in mayhem:

“If you identify as peaceful and are likely to interfere with the actions of your fellow protesters in any way (including telling them to stop performing a particular action, grappling, assaulting or holding them for arrest), you may not want to attend this march,” one statement read. “It is a militant action. It attracts anti-capitalists, anti-fascists and other comrades of a revolutionary bent. It is not a march intended for people who are not fully comfortable with diversity of tactics.”

San Francisco Chronicle

Suicide rate rising rapidly in Ireland as recession grips

With the recession continuing to worsen, suicide help lines in Ireland are being swamped with tens of thousands of pleas for help, as the suicide rate increases to over three per day, with men more likely to die by suicide than women, and males aged 15-24 the highest risk category. The situation is so bad that police are watching known suicide spots like the quays in Dublin, Cork, Limerick and Waterford and the sea cliffs in Clare. The suicide rate is expected to increase dramatically throughout Europe and America as the financial crisis deepens and people, especially older people, face homelessness, bankruptcy and soup lines. As a result, some people are calling for legalization of suicide kits and doctor-assisted suicide. Irish Central


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