26-Jun-11 World View — Turkey and Syria Edge Closer To War As Border Tension Increases


This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

Turkey and Syria edge closer to war as border tension increases

A Syrian boy poses for the camera in front of a tent city in Turkey.  (Zaman)
A Syrian boy poses for the camera in front of a tent city in Turkey. (Zaman)

A week ago, Turkish officials gave Syria one week to start reforms and stop the violent suppression of protests, which is estimated to have killed more than 1,400 people in less than four months. Now Syrian military units are massing near Turkey’s border, apparently as a warning to Turkey not to attempt to establish a buffer zone inside Syria. Guardian

The situation between Syria and Turkey is explosive and could slide into a violent confrontation, a highly-placed Turkish source said on Saturday. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is exploring possible scenarios involving Syrian military operations on Turkish territory. The concern is that the Syrians would try to hit refugee camps in Turkey that have already taken in 12,000 Syrian civilians. Citing Iranian sources, the Lebanese Al-Akhbar newspaper reported yesterday that Iran had warned Turkey not to allow NATO forces to use Turkish territory to attack Syria, saying if Turkish territory was permitted, Iran would attack American and NATO basis in Turkey. Haaretz

Fearing “a massive influx of refugees” from Syrian, Turkey is building a giant tent city on the Syrian border. The tent city at Apaydin will be the largest of Turkey’s refugee camps, with a capacity to accommodate up to 15,000 people. the camp will offer toilets, showers, cinemas, playgrounds for children, a small mosque, a field hospital, recreation areas, and even a wedding hall. The head of the Turkish Red Crescent has said that his agency is in theory able to sustain up to 250,000 people. Daily Times (Pakistan)

Hundreds of Syrians are fleeing into Lebanon

A French newspaper is reporting that Hezbollah is using trucks to move hundreds of long-range Iranian-produced missiles from Syria to bases in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, for fear that Syria’s Assad regime may collapse, and the new Syrian government will cut off ties with Hezbollah. Hezbollah is using sophisticated means of camouflage to thwart possible Israeli attempts to bomb the truck convoys. Haaretz

Turkey and Israel are renewing strategic ties, as the Syria crisis escalates. Debka

Hundreds of Syrians fled across the border into Lebanon during the last two days. Six of those coming thre had gunshot wounds, after being shot at by Syrian security forces. However, Lebanon is not a safe for refugees as Turkey is. Syria has a lot of influence in Lebanon, and the regime can still reach people there. Al-Jazeera

Egypt withdraws application for IMF / World Bank loans

As we reported six weeks ago, Egypt imports half its wheat, but will be bankrupt by September. Earlier this month, the finance minister announced that the IMF had granted Egypt a loan of three billion dollars over 12 months to help put its economy back on track. However, Egypt has now withdrawn its loan applications to the IMF and World Bank, citing “the pressure of public opinion,” presumably after watching how Greece is being skewered. Egypt claims that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have pledged enough aid to last them a year. AFP

Osama bin Laden wanted to change al-Qaeda’s name

The papers that were captured along with Osama bin Laden in the recent raid in Pakistan indicated that bin Laden was concerned that al-Qaeda was losing popularity, especially since it was killing huge numbers of Muslims instead of the American’s he wanted to target. The organization’s full name is “Al-Qaeda al-Jihad,” or “The Base of Holy War,” but the shortened form meant “The Base,” which doesn’t make sense to many people. He wanted a name that would make it clear that he was waging a holy war against America and the West, and considered “Taifat al-Tawhed Wal-Jihad, meaning “Monotheism and Jihad Group,” or “Jama’at I’Adat al-Khilafat al-Rashida,” meaning “Restoration of the Caliphate Group.” AP

China’s Catholic Church will ordain bishops without Vatican approval

The Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association (CPCA), the state-controlled Catholic Church in China, will select and ordain bishops for 40 of the country’s 97 dioceses without Vatical approal. The selection will be based on “national conditions and pastoral and evangelizing work.” The Vatican says that ordinations can only go ahead with the pope’s blessing, but the Vatican and China have not had formal diplomatic ties since 1951. Xinhua and AFP

Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez in critical condition after operation

Hugo Chávez speaks to Fidel Castro in Cuba (AFP)
Hugo Chávez speaks to Fidel Castro in Cuba (AFP)

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in critical condition after an operation for a pelvic abscess in a Havana hospital. Chavez’s daughter, Rosina, together with his mother, Marisabel Rodriguez, left for Cuba on an air force plane. El Nuevo Herald Translation

Young generations in France losing interest in wine

It’s very unusual for anyone in the mainstream to take generations into account for anything, but a new study of wine drinking habits in France reveals significant generational changes in wine drinking that may signal the end of wine as being part of the French national identity. The over-65 World War II survivors are daily consumers of wine, and recognise the strong social and cultural heritage and enjoy sharing the wine experience with family and friends. The Boomers and Gen-Xers drink only socially with friends, rather than family, and for the young Millennial generation, wine consumption is very much the exception rather than the rule. Eurasia Review

Climate change carbon markets are easily subject to fraud and crime

Climate change advocates say that the only way to reduce emissions of global warming gases, mainly carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels, is to implement a worldwide market on synthetic securities known as “carbon credits,” and then force each government to participate in a trading scheme for these securities. However, Interpol has warned that carbon credit securities schemes are easily taken advantage of by organized crime, and that they’re subject to the same kinds of banker fraud that brought about the global financial crisis. (See my 2007 article, “UN Climate Change conference appears to be ending in farce.”) Finally carbon credit trading doesn’t even work — as has been shown by the European countries where such a scheme has been implemented, with the result that carbon emissions have only increased. Tierramérica


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