This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Kerry says that he won’t be fooled by Syria’s Assad regime
- Uganda enters the war in South Sudan
- Hackers use a refrigerator for a cyberattack
Kerry says that he won’t be fooled by Syria’s Assad regime
The U.S. Secretary of State is leading yet another peace conference, thisone to be held in Geneva for Syria. The nominal aim of the conferenceis to promote peace by transitioning Syria to a new government. OnThursday, the Bashar al-Assad regime sent Kerry a letter saying thatthe peace conference would be about combating “terrorism” in Syria,not about transitioning to a new government. This could effectivelytorpedo the conference, because the opposition groups, whom Kerry hasbeen begging to attend, are interested only in seeing al-Assad out ofpower.
However, Kerry says he’s too smart to be fooled by the new al-Assadletter:
Nobody’s going to be fooled. We’re not going to befooled by this process.
They can bluster, they can protest, they can put out distortions,the bottom line is we are going to Geneva to implement Geneva I,and if Assad doesn’t do that he will invite greater response.
I believe, as we begin to get to Geneva and begin to get into thisprocess, that it will become clear that there is no politicalsolution whatsoever if Assad is not discussing a transition and ifhe thinks he’s going to be part of that future. It’s not going tohappen.
And so I’m quoting John Kerry again, and once again I have toshrug my shoulders at how ridiculous this statement is. Kerry’sclownish statements are increasingly embarrassing to the UnitedStates.
Meanwhile, the al-Assad regime is literally killing thousands ofSyrian civilians per week, with complete impunity, by usingRussian-supplied barrel bombs. A “barrel bomb” is a barrel containinghundreds of pounds of explosives designed to cause massive damage onimpact and to kill as many people as possible. Why shouldal-Assad agree to anything? He can slaughter thousands ofpeople, and no one cares.
Bashar al-Assad is the greatest genocidal monster in today’s world,comparable to Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin. It makes me vomit to thinkthat the United States is indirectly providing support for thismonster through Russia.
This is so completely f–ked up. Kerry and the Obama administrationare supporting the Russians who are providing unlimited supplies ofheavy weapons to the al-Assad regime, who is using those weapons toslaughter thousands of civilians every week. And what’s the response?A truly moronic statement by Kerry about a “greater response” that’scompletely non-existent. CNN and LA Times
Uganda enters the war in South Sudan
For the first time, Uganda is admitting that it has military forces inSouth Sudan fighting on the side of South Sudan’s president SalvaKiir and his Dinka tribe supporters, and against Riek Machar and hisNuer tribe supporters. Machar used to be Kiir’s deputy, but is nowleading a coup attempt against Kiir. Uganda previously denied thatits forces were fighting in South Sudan, saying that its forces werethere to protect and evacuate Ugandan civilians.
A long-time Generational Dynamics website reader and a prominentbusinessman living in Uganda sent me his analysis of what’sgoing on, and says that it all has to do with oil:
Just thought I’d make some brief comments /speculations on the subject. Uganda, Kenya and US (and Japanprobably too) seem to be generally aligned with Kiir and againstChina and Machar in the current phase of the conflict. Thequestion of whether the pipeline of oil will continue to flownorthward or more southwards I suspect is key.
And possibly within that alliance for the southern pipeline thereis also the possibility that after the overall political andfinancial commitments to the southern pipeline are made thatUganda finds itself at odds with elements within Kenya, sinceUganda might not want the oil to bypass having value addition inUganda by the refinery complex also being planned and invested in.
This is most likely a secondary concern at the moment since Ugandaitself has enormous amounts of oil that it will be producingwithin the next few years which could be refined locally and/orflow as crude through a feeder pipeline to the pipeline bound forthe Kenyan coast.
Wheels within wheels within wheels.
The insecurity of the neighbors has a significant impact on theeconomy here. For example, traders of Uganda’s goods to SouthSudan face large losses from increased risk factors and securitycosts. Ugandan traders are also now fleeing back into Uganda whichalso is absorbing refugees as it did during the the earlier phaseof the north vs south conflict. If S Sudan oil revenue isreduced, so too is their ability to purchase Ugandan agriculturalproducts and the manufactured goods that pass through Uganda fromKenya. On the other hand, sectors of the economy that profit fromhigher prices for goods in short supply in S Sudan or thoseentities which insure such risky trade either through financing ormilitary protection could be doing okay.”
Hackers use a refrigerator for a cyberattack
Hackers found a way to hack into the computer chips in an ordinaryrefrigerator and use them to send out spam and malicious e-mailmessages. That’s just one example of a component in a wide scaleattack last month on more than 100,000 everyday consumer gadgets,including home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers,televisions, computers, and at least one refrigerator. The attacktook place between December 23, 2013, and January 6, 2014, accordingto security firm Proofpoint. The hackers connected to these gadgets,hacked into them, and used them to mail more than 750,000 maliciouse-mail messages to businesses and individuals worldwide.
You may find it surprising to know that your refrigerator may becapable of sending e-mail messages, but that in fact is the case.What can you do to protect yourself? If you have a web-connecteddevice of any kind, then ask your kids to check all the privacysettings. In particular, make sure that you change the defaultpassword that the device comes with. Business Insider and Proofpoint press release