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 fewcities in the east, but there have been casualties in violence Friday in Odessa in southwest Ukraine. Russia’s annexation of Crimealeaves Ukraine with only one major port on the Black Sea, the port inOdessa. If Russia also succeeds in annexing Odessa, then what’s leftwould be a rump nation, completely landlocked.
There’s kind of an “honor among thieves and liars” creed that requiresliars to defend and support each other. Certainly President BarackObama has been consistently following that creed in terms of hisunending 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 thatPresident Obama called Vladimir Putin a liar. It was during a pressconference with Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, who’s visitingWashington.
Obama pointed out that pro-Russian activists shot down helicoptersusing sophisticated surface-to-air missiles that could only have beenobtained from Moscow, and that neutral observers from the Organizationfor Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) have been abducted, with the conclusion thatPutin’s statements lacked “honesty and credibility.” Here’s Obama’sstatement:
And one of the biggest concerns that we’ve seen isthe Russian propaganda that has been blasted out nonstopsuggesting somehow that the Ukrainian government is responsiblefor the problems in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian government hasshown remarkable restraint throughout this process. The notionthat this is some spontaneous uprising in eastern Ukraine isbelied by all the evidence of well-organized, trained, armedmilitias with the capacity to shoot down helicopters. Generally,local protestors don’t possess that capacity of surface-to-airmissiles or whatever weapons were used to shoot down helicopters,tragically.
We’ve seen the attempts of OSCE monitors – who were approved notjust by Europe or the United States, but also by Russia – beingdetained. And somehow Russia is suggesting that Kyiv isresponsible for that? We’ve heard Mr. Putin say, well, Kyiv hasto do a better job of reaching out to Eastern Europe – or easternUkraine. You’ve seen attempts by Kyiv in a very serious way topropose decentralization of power and to provide for localelections, and for them to offer amnesty to those who have alreadytaken over these buildings. None of that has been acknowledged byMr. Putin or the various Russian mouthpieces that are out there.
You’ve also seen suggestions or implications that somehowAmericans are responsible for meddling inside Ukraine. I have tosay that our only interest is for Ukraine to be able to make itsown decisions. And the last thing we want is disorder and chaosin 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’shappened on the ground. A few weeks ago, Mr. Putin was stilldenying that the Russian military was even involved in Crimea.Then, a few weeks later, he acknowledged, yeah, I guess that wasour guys. And so there just has not been the kind of honesty andcredibility about the situation there, and a willingness to engageseriously in resolving these diplomatic issues.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this statement is asign of a worldwide change in attitude toward Putin. As I alwayspoint out, it’s a basic principle of Generational Dynamics that evenin a dictatorship, major policies and events are determined by massesof people, entire generations of people, and not by politicians.Thus, Hitler was not the cause of WW II. What politicians say or dois irrelevant, except insofar as their actions reflect the attitudesof the people that they represent, and so politicians can neithercause nor prevent the great events of history. And what we’re seeinghere is a widespread change of attitude that will affect the events inEastern 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 forterrorism on both sides of the conflict and remains a key area oflonger-term concern. Thousands of foreign fighters traveled toSyria to join the fight against the Assad regime – with somejoining violent extremist groups – while Iran, Hezbollah, andother Shia militias provided a broad range of critical support tothe regime. The Syrian conflict also empowered ISIL to expand itscross-border operations in Syria, and dramatically increaseattacks against Iraqi civilians and government targets in 2013.
Terrorist violence in 2013 was increasingly fueled by sectarianmotives, marking a worrisome trend, particularly in Syria, butalso in Lebanon and Pakistan.
The point I’ve been making now for over a year is that Syria hasbecome 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 confirmsthat thousands of these jihadists have flocked to Syria.
What’s happening in Syria is perhaps the greatest disaster of ourtime. Syria’s Shia/Alawite president Bashar al-Assad has beenconducting “industrial strength” torture and extermination on his owncivilians, including repeated use of chemical weapons, particularlytargeting innocent Sunni women and children, has enraged Sunnisthroughout the world.
There are people who write comments to me saying that we should bemore worried about the al-Qaeda linked terrorist opposition groups,like ISIL (mentioned above). But those comments don’t even makeany sense. It’s Bashar al-Assad who’s CREATING these terroristopposition groups. As long as al-Assad is around, ISIL willcontinue 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 ofheavy weapons to al-Assad for use in genocide and crimes againsthumanity. And now Putin is supplying heavy weapons to thugs inUkraine, and lying about it. Putin is in the running for the personresponsible for triggering the greatest and bloodiest world war of alltime. 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 toChicago, and then traveling by bus to Indiana, was the first in theU.S. to be diagnosed with MERS-CoV (the Middle Eastern RespiratorySyndrome coronavirus). He was tested for MERS because of his symptoms(shortness of breath, coughing and fever) and because he had traveledfrom the Mideast. Although the CDC does not believe that he infectedother people, since close contact is required, it’s theoreticallypossible that he did, and so the CDC is contacting travelers onthe same plane and bus trips. Recently, travelers fromthe 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, andcapable of infecting others, for two weeks before that person developssymptoms. The biggest fear is that a “superspreader” will becomeinfected and spread the virus widely, causing a chain reaction ofmultiple cases. Chicago Tribune and WebMd