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World View: Syria Threatens Saudis, Israelis with Chemical Weapons

World View: Syria Threatens Saudis, Israelis with Chemical Weapons

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Syria threatens Saudis and Israelis with chemical weapons
  • With American troops gone, al-Qaeda in Iraq launches widespread bombings
  • Dual Greece / Spain financial crises put Europe on the brink
  • Philippine president says will not back down to China’s demands

Syria threatens Saudis and Israelis with chemical weapons

Syria bragged on Monday that they had chemical and biological weapons,and that they might use them against foreign adversaries. Accordingto Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi, such weapons would onlybe used for “foreign aggression”: 

“Any stocks of WMD or any unconventional weapons thatthe Syrian Arab Republic possesses would never, would never beused against civilians or against the Syrian people during thiscrisis at any circumstances, no matter how the crisis wouldevolve, no matter how.”

In a later e-mail message, Makdissi appeared to back off slightly,using the words “if they exist”: 

“[Syria would] “never use chemical and biologicalweapons during the crisis… and that such weapons, if they exist,it is natural for them to be stored and secured.”

As far as I know, the Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime has used everypossible weapons — from handguns to helicopter gunships tomissile-armed jets — against unarmed civilians, and with al-Assad ina state of total desperation, it’s not really credible that al-Assadwould stop at using chemical or biological weapons against innocentSyrian civilians. 

Makdissi did not spell out which countries would be targeted withchemical and biological weapons, but we may assume that he meant SaudiArabia, Qatar, Israel and possibly Turkey. Reuters and al-Jazeera

With American troops gone, al-Qaeda in Iraq launches widespread bombings

At least 19 coordinated terrorist explosions and attacks in 13 citiesand more than 40 locations across Iraq on Monday killed more than 100people and injured 180. The attacks were aimed principally atmilitary targets and Shia communities, and are thought to be the workof al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), a terrorist group that has been suppressedsince the introduction of the military “surge” in 2007. However, AQIhas promised a resurgence since the American withdrawal. In an audiomessage last week, an AQI leader warned, “We are starting a new stage.The first priority in this is releasing Muslim prisoners everywhere,and chasing and eliminating judges and investigators and theirguards.” According to one analyst, the attacks have “sparked fearsthat security forces will not be able to handle what appears to manypeople to be a resurgence of al-Qaeda” in the absence of US troops,who pulled out of the country at the end of last year. Al-Jazeera and Washington Post

Dual Greece / Spain financial crises put Europe on the brink

Spain 10-Year bond yields at 7.5% on 23-Jul-2012
Spain 10-Year bond yields at 7.5% on 23-Jul-2012

European officials can’t handle more than one crisis at a time, andnow they’ve got three at once. Greece is going to need a thirdbailout package, and it’s not going to get it, as we reported yesterday. And ten-year bondyields (interest rates) for Italy rose to 6.34%. But the big shock onMonday was Spain. Last week, Spain’s Valencia region said it wasgoing to need bailout money from Madrid. That request has opened thefloodgates, and it’s now expected that 17 other heavily indebtedregions of Spain are going to make similar requests. The result isthat Spain’s 10 year bond yields surged to a crisis level 7.5%, with afull-scale bond panic clearly in progress. Officials are saying thatSpain doesn’t need a bailout and that Germany and the IMF won’t payfor another Greek bailout, but the “Kick the Can Theory” that I’veproposed predicts that both will get their bailouts, one way oranother, and the crisis will continue to get worse. Globe and Mail and Reuters

Philippine president says will not back down to China’s demands

Philippine President Benigno Aquino reacted strongly to China’sannouncement that it would establish a prefecture-level governmentcalled Sansha city in the Spratly Islands, and that a militarygarrison will be deployed there to carry on military operations. Inhis annual state of the union address, he said:

If someone entered your yard and told you he ownedit, would you agree? Would it be right to give away that which isrightfully ours?

Vietnam has also criticized the establishment of Sansha, calling itSpratly chains, which it claims as part of Danang city and Khanh Hoaprovince respectively. VOA

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