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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 8-Aug-2011
8-Aug-11 World View -- Threats to Syria grow from all sides

Web Log - August, 2011

8-Aug-11 World View -- Threats to Syria grow from all sides

Desperate European Central Bank fires a bazooka

This morning's key headlines from

Syrian armored forces move on to flatten Deir Ezzor

Syrian protesters run from tear gas canisters in Homs (Reuters)
Syrian protesters run from tear gas canisters in Homs (Reuters)

Things appear to be moving quickly with respect to the situation in Syria, as threats emerge from the entire region.

Some 55 people were killed by Syria's army on Sunday across the country. Having massacred as many people as possible in Homa, the armed forces of Bashar al-Assad's regime has moved on to the city of Deir Ezzor. The technique being used in each of these cities is that tanks first surround the city to prevent anyone from fleeing and then, once the city is sealed, the tanks start flattening residential neighborhoods and the snipers kill anyone on the street, even children. UPI and Debka

Syria replies harshly to threat from Turkey

As we reported yesterday, Turkey's foreign minister Ahmed Davutoglu will visit Syria on Tuesday to hand Syria a final message that Turkey will not stand by while Syria commits these massacres on Turkey's doorstep. It's thought that this is Turkey's last warning before intervening militarily in Syria. Syria has responded harshly to the warning, saying that they would deliver an "even more decisive" message. "If Davutoglu is to deliver a decisive message to Syria, he will hear Syria's more decisive reply regarding the Turkish stance which failed to condemn the brutal killing and crimes committed by the armed terrorist groups against the civilians, military and police members until now." Zaman

Arab League breaks silence and condemns violence in Syria

Arab nations have been strangely silent during the massacre in Syria for five months, but on Sunday Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby issued a statement expressing "growing concern and strong distress over the deteriorating security conditions in Syria due to escalating violence and military operations in Hama and Deir Ezzor and other areas of Syria." Elarabys statement was one of the strongest made by an Arab leader since the start of the Syrian uprising, as most governments had stayed silent apparently fearing the power of the protests would move to other Arab states. Al-Arabiya

Saudi King Abdullah recalls the Saudi ambassador to Syria

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah issued a statement on Monday morning that he was withdrawing the Saudi ambassador from Damascus in protest of the violence. "What is happening in Syria is not acceptable for Saudi Arabia. Syria should think wisely before its too late and issue and enact reforms that are not merely promises but actual reforms." He said that Syria has two choices: "Either it chooses wisdom on its own or it will be pulled down into the depths of turmoil and loss. The events are grave and cannot be justified, and this has resulted in the loss of large numbers of lives and left many injured. This cannot be contemplated by any sane Muslim, Arab or other human being. He added that all should be aware that what's happening in Syria cannot be condoned by Islam. Arab News

Desperate European Central Bank fires a bazooka

I had thought that Washington and Brussels had finally run out of bullets in their attempt to halt the increasingly rapid deterioration of the global financial system. It turns out that they HAVE run out of bullets, so now the European Central Bank (ECB) "has decided to bring out the bazooka," according to one analyst. After having refused to do so for months, and having said that he would never do so, ECB president Jean-Claude Trichet announced on Sunday evening that the ECB would begin buying bonds from Italy and Spain, in a massive exercise in quantitative easing. In helping to bailout Greece, Ireland and Portugal, the ECB has previously purchased about 74 billion of assets from those countries. But doing the same for Spain and Italy will cost at least several billion euros, possibly more than 1 trillion. So this is truly a move of complete desperation, and one that can't succeed. Bloomberg and Reuters

It's that '1937 feeling' all over again

Analysts are comparing today's environment to 1937, when the Fed pulled back on lending and government spending fell 10%, and this was followed by a deepening of the economic slump. However, that's really wishful thinking. (See the 1932 book, "The bubble that broke the world.") Today is actually much more like 1931, and we're soon going to see the equivalent of the collapse of Austria's Credit-Anstalt bank and Germany's Danatbank in 1931. These events brought about massive unemployment, and social tension that gave rise to Communism and Naziism. Reuters

US Postal Service comes closer to bankruptcy

The U.S. Postal Service posted a $3.1 billion loss for third quarter, and will completely run out of cash by the end of September. Suggestions offered to save money are to eliminate Saturday deliveries, to close more post offices, or for Congress to allow the Postal Service to borrow more money. Bloomberg

Residents of Dubai skyscraper have to fast longer during Ramadan

The Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai, the tallest skyscraper in the world
The Burj Khalifa hotel in Dubai, the tallest skyscraper in the world

Muslims residing above the 80th floor in Dubai's Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world, during Ramadan must fast for two or three minutes longer in the evening, because the sun sets 2-3 minutes later, according to the Dubai Islamic Affairs Department in a Fatwa. Furthermore, they must begin their daily fasting two minutes earlier, since the sun rises earlier above the 80th floor. Gulf News

Workers in Dubai are not exempt from work or fasting during Ramadan

Manual laborers who work under the scorching Gulf sun are not exempt from work during the month of fasting; however breaking of the fast mid-way is acceptable depending on level of 'hardship'. Dubai People engaged in work that is of a strenuous and demanding nature do not fall under the category of those exempt from fasting, according to the latest of the Ramadan series of fatwas issued by the Dubai Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department (IACAD). The fatwa goes on to say, however, that it is permissible for such a person to break their fast during the day if forced by the tough nature of their job provided the missing day of fast is compensated for later. Al-Bawaba

Avigdor Lieberman warns that Palestinians want 'bloodshed'

Avigdor Lieberman
Avigdor Lieberman

Israel's hard right Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warns that the Palestinian Authority is preparing to attack Israel with "bloodshed on a scale we haven't seen" in September, after the UN recognizes Palestine. He announced that he is advocating that Israel sever all ties with the Palestinian Authority. Israel National News

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 8-Aug-11 World View -- Threats to Syria grow from all sides thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (8-Aug-2011) Permanent Link
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