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World View: Hong Kong Protesters Fear More Violence by China's 'Triad' Gangs

World View: Hong Kong Protesters Fear More Violence by China's 'Triad' Gangs

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Hong Kong protesters fear more violence by China’s ‘Triad’ gangs
  • Joe Biden apologizes to Turkey’s president Erdogan for ISIS remarks

Hong Kong protesters fear more violence by China’s ‘Triad’ gangs

Bloodied student protester on Friday (AP)
Bloodied student protester on Friday (AP)

Hong Kong’s protesting students were bloodied on Friday byattacks by thugs thought to be from criminal gangs knownas “triads.” Protesters have accused the HK police of ignoringor even supporting the triad attacks on protesters, chargesthat the police vehemently deny. Some protesters aresuggesting that the Beijing government is paying triad gangsto attack the protesters.

Triads are sometimes referred to as “the Chinese Mafia.” They’refamilies of organized crime gangs involved in armed robbery,racketeering, smuggling, narcotics trafficking, prostitution, gamblingand even contract murder. Their roots go back 1000 years to Buddhist(White Lotus) secret societies that originally were political. Butover the centuries they morphed into organized crime families. Theywere given the name “Triad” by the British because of a triangularsymbol that they use. They are mainly centered in China, Hong Kongand Macao, but they’ve spread to other countries as well, includingthe United States. There are Triad members featured in the video gameGrand Theft Auto.

Protesters are responding to threats by the Hong Kong government bypromising to allow government buildings, schools and businesses toopen on Monday, while allowing peaceful protests to continue.AFP and Reuters and Triads And Organized Crime In China

Joe Biden apologizes to Turkey’s president Erdogan for ISIS remarks

The Obama administration continues to scramble to fend off scathingcriticism by Obama’s former defense secretary, Leon Panetta, whoblames administration policy for the rise of the Islamic State ofIraq and Syria (IS or ISIS or ISIL). In his book, Panettasays:

My fear, as I voiced to the President and others, was that if thecountry split apart or slid back into the violence that we’d seenin the years immediately following the U.S. invasion, it couldbecome a new haven for terrorists to plot attacks against theU.S. Iraq’s stability was not only in Iraq’s interest but also inours. I privately and publicly advocated for a residual forcethat could provide training and security for Iraq’s military.

In a speech on Thursday, U.S. President Joe Biden attempted to deflectblame from the Obama administration by pointing to every country inthe Mideast as culpable:

What happened was, and the history will record this,what my constant cry was that our biggest problem is our allies,our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. TheTurks were great friends and I have a great relationship withErdogan, which I spent a lot of time with, the Saudis, theEmiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined totake down Assad… what did they do? They poured hundreds ofmillions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons intoanyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people whowere being supplied were al-Nusra, and al-Qaeda and the extremistelements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world…

So what do we have for the first time? Now, Saudi Arabia hasstopped the funding going on … The Qataris have cut off theirsupport for the most extreme elements of the terroristorganizations. And the Turks, President Erdogan told me, he is anold friend, said you were right. We let too many peoplethrough. Now they are trying to seal their border.

This statement infuriated Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whosaid:

[Biden] will be history for me if he has indeed usedsuch expressions…

There might have been people traveling on tourist visa but no onewith arms has ever crossed the Turkish border.

So Biden spoke by phone with Erdogan on Saturday, and apologized.According to a White House statement:

“The vice president apologized for any implicationthat Turkey or other allies and partners in the region hadintentionally supplied or facilitated the growth of ISIL or otherviolent extremists in Syria.”

So does that amount to an admission that Panetta was right after all?Today’s Zaman (Ankara) and CBS News

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Hong Kong, Triads,Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL,Leon Panetta, Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Joe Biden,Saudi Arabia, Qatar
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