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World View: U.N. Sec Council Has Emergency Meeting About Al Qaeda Takeover in Mali

World View: U.N. Sec Council Has Emergency Meeting About Al Qaeda Takeover in Mali

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Pakistan: Hundreds of casualties in multiple suicide bombings
  • Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism is in question
  • Syria accuses U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi of ‘flagrant bias’
  • Putin postpones Russia’s US-adoption ban until 2014
  • U.N. Security Council has emergency meeting over sudden deterioration in Mali
  • Greece’s unemployment rate hits 26.8%, surpassing Spain
  • Tourists to Greece suffer beatings during immigrant sweeps

Pakistan: Hundreds of casualties in multiple suicide bombings

Two suicide bombing sites on Thursday
Two suicide bombing sites on Thursday

Over 100 people were killed and hundreds were injured in a series ofsuicide bombing attacks in two provinces in Pakistan on Thursday. InQuetta, the capital of Balochistan, a massive blast occurred in asnooker club. When rescue teams, police, and reporters were thenkilled by three more bombs that exploded when they arrived at thescene of the first blast. Hazari Shia Muslims were targeted by theattacks. It’s believed that the perpetrators are from the UnitedBaloch Army, a separatist terror group linked to al-Qaeda. In theSwat Valley in northern Pakistan, another 22 people were killed and 70injured by a suicide blast attributed to the Taliban. Daily Times (Pakistan)

Pakistan’s commitment to fighting terrorism is in question

More Pakistanis are questioning whether the country is serious aboutfighting terrorism. Shabbir Ahmad Khan, a scholar visiting the U.S.,points out that:

“For many people in the country, terrorists areheroes. Despite over 40,000 casualties, there has hardly been anyprotest or rally against terrorism. At present, the guy who helpedthe Americans capture the most-wanted terrorist is behind barsand, to this date, we are not clear whether the chief target[Osama bin Laden] in that episode was our friend orfoe.”

Khan compares the American war on terror to Pakistan’s lack ofpolitical will:

“After 9/11, the US government established a newministry of Homeland Security to protect Americans. PresidentGeorge W Bush had a single agenda: the war on terror. Heestablished a high-powered commission to know why and what hadhappened. The Americans have shown their resilience, determinationand political will to resolve this crisis. They waged two warsagainst Iraq and Afghanistan as part of their pre-emptiveaction. On the other hand, despite having suffered far more deathsand losses in this war, we moved not a single inch forward; nospecial force or department was created. The Abbottabad Commissionmeant to probe into the operation took more than a year indeliberating it and yet, its findings and subsequent remedialaction is not known to the public. This is the importance andseriousness we attach to our war against terrorism.US taxpayers allocated trillions of dollars to fight this war. Howmuch money have we spent? What resources have we allocated forthis war? Look at our annual budgets of the last 10 years and seethe amount we allocated to fight terrorism. We didn’t evenproperly and honestly use the billions of dollars which we gotfrom our allies. We spent more money equipping our military tofight against India rather than against terrorists, as General(retd) Pervez Musharraf once admitted in a televisioninterview. The military forces of over 40 nations are fightingagainst terrorists thousands of miles away from their land. And weare reluctant to fight these elements on our own soil. This begsthe question: are we serious in eradicating terrorism and do wehave a strong political will to do so?”

Express Tribune (Pakistan)

Syria accuses U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi of ‘flagrant bias’

As we reported, the U.N. / ArabLeague envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, abandoned his neutrality inthe Syria conflict, and called for the end of the 40-year reign of thefamily of president Bashar al-Assad. Syria had been using Brahimi,and his predecessor Kofi Annan, as cover for his massacre of tens ofthousands of Syrian civilians, while pretending to negotiate.Brahimi’s turnaround meant the ruse would no longer work. Syria’sForeign Ministry reacted harshly on Thursday:

“Syria is shocked by the statements of LakhdarBrahimi, who has overstepped his mandate and exhibited a flagrantbias for those parties known to be conspiring against Syria andits people.”

Saudi Gazette

Putin postpones Russia’s US-adoption ban until 2014

A new Russian law, endorsed by President Vladimir Putin, that bansAmericans from adopting Russian orphans has been postponed for a year.(See “20-Dec-12 World View — Russia’s Duma blocking U.S. adoptions of Russian orphans”) Theban on adoptions was in retaliation for American legislation calledthe “Magnitsky bill,” passed in response to an alleged fraudulentscheme uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer, who namednames of numerous corrupt Russian tax and law enforcement officials,but who was then thrown into a Russian jail and left to die.Putin supported the ban, famously saying:

“There are lots of places in the world where livingstandards are higher than they are here.Are we going to send all our children there? Perhaps we should allmove there ourselves?”

However, Putin was widely criticized in Russia by opponents whoclaimed that Putin was using politics to punish innocent orphans, manyof whom would suffer and die in Russian orphanages. Putin now saysthat the agreement between Russia and the U.S. requires giving oneyear notice before it can be terminated. Russia Today and BBC

U.N. Security Council has emergency meeting over sudden deterioration in Mali

Women protest government non-action in Bamako, Mali (Reuters)
Women protest government non-action in Bamako, Mali (Reuters)

The United Nations Security Council is holding emergency consultationson Thursday evening, after Islamist militants from the al-Qaeda linkedterror group Ansar Dine have apparently taken control of the strategicMali town of Konna on Thursday, after fierce fighting. Ansar Dine hasalready taken control of two-thirds of Mali in the north, and areextending their control southward towards the capital city Bamako.The Security Council has previously authorized military interventionby neighboring African states, but any action has been effectivelypostponed until fall, 2013. The sudden fall of Konna has alarmedwesterners, especially France, which call for the Security Councilmeeting. The Security Council issued a statement condemning thecapture of Konna, and demanding that the militants give Konna back tothe Mali army. And if they don’t, then the Security Council isthreatening to hold another meeting. Reuters

Greece’s unemployment rate hits 26.8%, surpassing Spain

The official unemployment rate for Greece in October was 26.8%, makingit the country with the highest unemployment rate in the euro zone,surpassing the former record holder, Spain, whose unemployment ratewas a mere 26.6% in November. Unemployment has been increasing in thesouthern “Club Med” countries of the eurozone, while it’s beendecreasing in Germany and other “frugal” northern countries,reinforcing the concept that there are two eurozones, one “high speed”and one “low speed.” BBC

Tourists to Greece suffer beatings during immigrant sweeps

Greek police have stepped up efforts to catch illegal immigrants inAthens in recent months, launching a new operation to check the papersof people who look foreign. But tourists have also been picked up inthe sweeps – and at least two have been badly beaten. The head of theHellenic police forces says that anyone who “looks foreign” may bestopped. UN High Commissioner for Refugees is demanding that Greece’spolice end “racially motivated violent practices.” BBC

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