World View: Russia Signals End of 'Reset' Policy

World View: Russia Signals End of 'Reset' Policy

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:

  • Spain’s Catalonia region demands economic independence from Spain
  • Libya’s account of killing of U.S. ambassador contradicts American account
  • Anti-American protests spread across cities in Pakistan
  • Anti-American protests quieting as Muslims debate Islam versus tolerance
  • Germany joins France in embassy closings, as new Mohammed cartoons are planned
  • Expulsion of USAID signals a more corrupt Putin and more corrupt Russia

Spain’s Catalonia region demands economic independence from Spain

Memories of 1936, when Generalissimo Francisco Franco seized power inSpain and vowed to crush Catalan nationalists as “vultures,” are beingrevived in Catalonia today, with a new nationalist movement demandingeconomic independence from Spain. Things are moving veryquickly now, with a parliamentary debate scheduled fornext week on the future of Catalonia. 

Catalonia’s President Artur Mas met with Spain’s Prime MinisterMariano Rajoy in Madrid on Thursday, but the talks apparently wentbadly. According to Mas:

The prime minister told me there is no room tonegotiate a fiscal pact with Catalonia and that his answer will be “no” in the coming weeks and months.

If the negative answer to the fiscal pact is so obvious, then wewill have to take decisions in the next days. All options areopen.

This political chaos comes at a time when Spain’s economy is goingdown the drain, and Rajoy will be forced to ask the EU for a bailout.Telegraph (London) and Reuters

Libya’s account of killing of U.S. ambassador contradicts American account

Witnesses of last week’s deadly attack on the U.S. consulate inBenghazi Libya have told CBS News that the alleged anti-Americanprotest that U.S. officials say morphed into the assault neveractually took place. These statements differ sharply with statementsby American officials to the effect that the attack that it originallystarted as a spontaneous anti-American protest against the filmWhite House press secretary Jay Carney said: 

This is a fairly volatile situation, and it is inresponse not to U.S. policy, not to, obviously, theadministration, not to the American people. It is in response to avideo – a film – that we have judged to be reprehensive anddisgusting. That in no way justifies any violent reaction toit. But this is not a case of protests directed at the UnitedStates, writ large, or at U.S. policy. This is in response to avideo that is offensive and – to Muslims.

However, witnesses’ statement indicate that the actual assault wasperpetrated by militias and possible al-Qaeda elements with assaultweapons, rather than as a spontaneous outgrowth of a protest.However, even though the assault took place on 9/11, it’s not known towhat extent the assault was pre-planned. The FBI is supposed toinvestigate, but FBI investigators have not yet gone to the destroyedconsulate. CBS News and Mediaite

Anti-American protests spread across cities in Pakistan

Some 5,000 protesters protested in front of the U.S. embassyin Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, and clashed with people.At least 50 people were injured as police fired tear gasand live rounds into the crowds. According to onestudent who was protesting: 

Our policemen are not any better than the Americansbecause they are trying to stop us. They are in the same league asthem, they are heretics like them.

They should allow us to demolish the American embassy because theyhave blasphemed against our holy Prophet. The police are alsobecoming an accomplice of blasphemers.

Large protests also occurred in other cities, including Lahore andMuzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistani-administered Kashmir, wheremore than 200 protesters set fire to an effigy of Barack Obama.

The US is spending $70,000 to buy time on Pakistan television stationsfor public relations ads in a bid to stem further protests. Al-Jazeera

Anti-American protests quieting as Muslims debate Islam versus tolerance

While few Muslims would go so far as to say that blasphemy against theprophet Mohammed is accepted, the widespread fury at the moviethe Muslim world. In fact, most of the Arab world has not seen majorprotests for much of this week. The streets around the U.S. Embassyin Cairo, where clashes raged for days, were relatively quietThursday. Widespread fury was expressed in countries from Indonesiato Morocco, but nowhere did Muslims take to the streets en masse toprotest the film. However, Friday is the weekly Islamic day ofprayer, and the largest protests typically follow midday prayers, asworshippers pour out of mosques into the street. AP

Germany joins France in embassy closings, as new Mohammed cartoons are planned

Both France and Germany have announced that they will close many oftheir embassies on Friday in anticipation of large protests, followingthe publication of cartoons mocking the prophet Mohammed in a Frenchsatire magazine. On Thursday, German satire magazine Titanicannounced that it would also publish its own Muhammad issue later thismonth, which could provoke further unrest. Spiegel

Expulsion of USAID signals a more corrupt Putin and more corrupt Russia

America’s “reset” with Russia has apparently ended, in view of theannounced immediate expulsion US Agency for International Development(USAID). Russia’s Foreign Ministry, in a statement supported bypresident Vladimir Putin, accused USAID of meddling in Russia’sinternal affairs and “attempting to influence the outcome of electionsby distributing aid grants.” The U.S. is saying that thedecision came as a surprise, but Russian officials saythat Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov informed Secretary of StateHillary Clinton of the decision on June 29. USAID has been active in Russia since 1992, and has distributed some$2.7 billion, helping human-rights groups in documenting electionfraud and human rights abuses, supporting AIDS education, treatment oftuberculosis and improvement of infrastructure programs. But thecharge of “meddling” is apparently linked to the aid money given tothe election monitoring group Golos. Golos helped expose massive voterigging by the Putin’s organization during parliamentary electionslast December. Putin’s party actually lost the election, but theelectoral fraud gave him a majority in the Duma. The exposed fraudtriggered massive anti-Putin pro-democracy demonstrations in Moscowthat Putin sees as an international conspiracy, led by the US StateDepartment. Moscow Times and Jamestown

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