World View: Syria Moves Its Stockpiles of Chemical Weapons for 'Unknown Reasons'

World View: Syria Moves Its Stockpiles of Chemical Weapons for 'Unknown Reasons'

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Golden Dawn killing in Greece stirs huge protests
  • Syria moves its stockpiles of chemical weapons for ‘unknown reasons’
  • Senator John McCain responds to Putin in
  • Spam: The luxury food of South Korea

Golden Dawn killing in Greece stirs huge protests

The Golden Dawn logo is designed to be similar to Nazi logo
The Golden Dawn logo is designed to be similar to Nazi logo

As we reported yesterday,thousands of people in cities across Greece have been clashing withpolice after a self-identified member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawnparty killed a left-wing rapper. The killing has stirred up a sharppolitical split between the left and the right in Greece, and the split may become violent.

According to Greece’s prime minister Antonis Samaras: 

The government is determined not to allow the Nazidescendants to poison our social life, commit murders, terrorizeand undermine the foundations of the country that gave birth todemocracy. 

Democracy is much stronger than its enemies realize. … Violenceis a downhill slide that destroys any chance of Greece achievingwhat it deserves, in other words growth, prospects and prosperity. 

This is not the time for internal disputes or tension. We all knowthat our country is at an exceptionally crucial moment and thatour people are suffering the biggest sacrifices to conquer thecrisis and succeed in its financial rebirth. Any politicaldisagreements should be solved with a democratic dialogue, notwith incendiary arguments nor with violence anywhere it may comefrom and, what is more, not with blood which divides us andexposes us abroad.

Initial suggestions that the Golden Dawn party be banned have beenrejected. However, the government plans to bring more than 30criminal cases involving Golden Dawn MPs and members. Greek Reporter and Kathimerini

Syria moves its stockpiles of chemical weapons for ‘unknown reasons’

Starting on September 14, the exact day that Syria signed on to theRussian-American agreement that Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles be destroyed, the Syrian regime began moving around its chemicalweapon stockpiles. U.S. satellites observed truck convoys moving inand out of storage sites starting on that day. The official explanation is that the regime is consolidating its stockpiles so thatthey can be more easily classified and tabulated. However,U.S. intelligence officials are skeptical, believing that it’s morelikely that they’re moving the stockpiles around to conceal them. 

According to the agreement that Syria signed, they are required toprovide a full written accounting of all their chemical weaponsstockpiles by Saturday. Last Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerrysaid, “We agreed that Syria must submit within a week — not in 30days, but in one week — a comprehensive listing,” and that theU.S. would allow “no games, no room for avoidance, or anything lessthan full compliance.” Syria’s government is now indicatingthat the deadline will not be met. It’s not known whether the listingwill EVER be provided. CNN and LA Times

Senator John McCain responds to Putin in

As we reported last week, the NYTimes published an absurd op-ed by Russia’s president Vladimir Putin.An angry Senator John McCain promised to get a response publishedin a Russian publication, and it appeared on Thursday: 

Senator John McCain: Russians deserve better thanPutinI believe the Russian people, no less than Americans, are endowedby our Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and thepursuit of happiness. … 

President Putin and his associates do not believe in thesevalues. They don’t respect your dignity or accept your authorityover them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rigyour elections. They control your media. They harass, threaten,and banish organizations that defend your right toself-governance. To perpetuate their power they foster rampantcorruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and evenassassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption. 

They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexualorientation they condemn. They throw the members of a punk rockband in jail for the crime of being provocative and vulgar and forhaving the audacity to protest President Putin’s rule. … 

How has he strengthened Russia’s international stature? By allyingRussia with some of the world’s most offensive and threateningtyrannies. By supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens ofthousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking theUnited Nations from even condemning its atrocities. By refusing toconsider the massacre of innocents, the plight of millions ofrefugees, the growing prospect of a conflagration that engulfsother countries in its flames an appropriate subject for theworld’s attention. He is not enhancing Russia’s globalreputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend totyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nationsthat seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperousworld.”

Prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Pravda newspaper was thecountry’s official news publication, though it contained no newsexcept Communist party opinions and press releases. After the SovietUnion collapsed, Pravda remained an organ of the Russian government,but a web site,, sprang up to be an actual source of news.It’s the latter that published McCain’s op-ed, and it’s not verylikely that many Russians have seen it. and

Spam: The luxury food of South Korea

A premium South Korean Spam hamper, ready to be given as a gift
A premium South Korean Spam hamper, ready to be given as a gift

Spam, the pre-cooked pork meat in a can that the U.S. Army used tofeed its soldiers in World War II, has become a popular luxury food inSouth Korea since it was introduced by American soldiers during theKorean War. Asia is celebrating the annual lunary thanksgivingholiday this week, and in Korea, it’s usual to give and receivepackaged cans of Spam — Classic Spam, Mild Spam, Bacon Spam, GarlicSpam, etc. According to one restaurant owner: 

Spam has a premium image in Korea. It’s probably themost desirable gift one could receive, and to help create thehigh-class image, we use famous actors in our commercials. Anyonewho gets a Spam gift-set also gets a warm feeling in theirheart.

Premium Spam gift sets can run as high as $75. BBC

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Greece, Golden Dawn, Antonis Samaras,Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Russia, John Kerry,John McCain,, Vladimir Putin,South Korea, Spam 

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