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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 11-May-2012
11-May-12 World View -- China threatens Philippines with military action

Web Log - May, 2012

11-May-12 World View -- China threatens Philippines with military action

Syria suicide bombs may be linked to al-Qaeda's 'al-Nusra Battlefront'

This morning's key headlines from

Two suicide car bombs explode in Damascus Syria, killing 55

Carnage in Damascus, Syria, on Thursday (Reuters)
Carnage in Damascus, Syria, on Thursday (Reuters)

Twin suicide car bombs exploded outside a military intelligence building and killed 55 people and injuring hundreds Thursday in Damascus, the capital of Syria, in the deadliest attack against a regime target since the Syrian uprising began 14 months ago. The Bashar al-Assad regime blamed the opposition protesters for the terrorist act, although it's not clear what the protesters' motive would be, since it just makes them look bad. The opposition blames the regime, and that's actually credible, since the regime has already used bombs, tanks and missiles purchased from Russia to massacre thousands of unarmed Arab citizens, including women and children asleep in their homes. It would not be surprising if al-Assad purchased the bombs from Russia or Iran and paid the families of two young men $25,000 each in return for blowing themselves up on Thursday morning. Day Press News (Syria)

Syria suicide bombs may be linked to al-Qaeda's 'al-Nusra Battlefront'

The Damascus attack was extremely well planned and executed, designed to do the maximum amount of damage and kill as many people as possible. The shadowy terrorist group "al-Nusra Battlefront" emerged in January and has since said it was behind previous car and truck bomb attacks, including the one in March on police HQ and Airforce Intelligence. This follows a message from al-Qaeda leader Dr Ayman al-Zawahiri, the successor to Osama bin Laden, asking terrorists to support the opposition in Syria. During the Iraq war, terrorists from Syria came to Iraq to carry out jihad against Americans. The flow of terrorists may now be going in the opposite direction, into Syria. BBC

12,000 troops mass near Syria's border in 'Eager Lion 2012'

12,000 troops from 19 countries, mostly from the U.S., are undertaking a massive war game exercise called "Eager Lion 2012" in Jordan, near Syria's border, involving land, air, marine and special forces. Officials are denying that the exercises have anything to do with the crisis in Syria, and that the war games were planned three years ago. The purpose is to promote "cooperation and interoperability among participating forces, builds functional capacity, practices crisis management and enhances readiness." The military exercises will last until May 25. Media Line

U.S. special forces ready to cross into Syria

Debka, a news source based on intelligence sources not available elsewhere, tells quite a different story. According to Debka, special forces units of the U.S., France, Britain, Canada, and other Nato members stand ready at all times to cross the border into Syria if this is deemed necessary. There is also a possibility, according to Debka, that Qatar and Saudi Arabia helped bring about Thursday's Damascus bombing, and that the two countries are providing tons of hardware to Syrian rebel groups. Debka

China threatens Philippines with military action

South China Sea, with blue line added to show region claimed by China as part of its sovereign territory
South China Sea, with blue line added to show region claimed by China as part of its sovereign territory

A commentary in China's state-run media titled "Never test China's will to defend its own sovereignty" expresses contempt for Philippine people and leaders, and accuses them of "severely infringing China's sovereignty." The commentary comes out of a confrontation over an island (the Scarborough Shoal, or Huangyan Island) off the coast of Manila, and far from Chinese territory, that China is claiming as its sovereign territory. China is demanding control of vast regions of the South China Sea, including areas historically belonging to Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam, as well as to territories in central Asia, in a land grab reminiscent of Hitler's demand for "Lebensraum." In 2011, China appeared to be softening its rhetoric, calling for bilateral negotiations, but the latest incident has so infuriated the Chinese nationalists that the rhetoric has become extremely threatening. In the commentary, the Chinese use the code phrase "core interest" in the paragraph:

"China always adheres to friendly relationships with its neighbors. But territorial sovereignty is a core interest for China and there is no room for bargaining. Is there any country in the world that has not drawn clear lines to protect its territorial integrity?

China has made every preparation to respond if the Philippines government clings obstinately to its wrong course."

I suppose that whoever wrote that paragraph is too stupid to understand that it makes the case for the Philippines, since the Philippines have the right to protect their own territorial integrity. At any rate, the phrase "core interest" is used by the Chinese with Taiwan and other issues over which the country is willing to go to war.

China is now making it clear that it will use its vast military power to take control of other people's territory, if the country owning the territory does not back down. China is doing the same with countries like Taiwan, Japan and India, all of which have mutual defense treaties with the United States. Xinhua

Relations worsen between America and Pakistan

Relations between America and Pakistan have been going steadily downhill since May 2, 2011, when Navy Seals invaded Pakistan and killed Osama bin Laden, without even giving Pakistan's government or military any advance notice. Pakistan is angry and humiliated over that action, but even worse, the military is frightened of a repeat action: an invasion by American special forces to destroy Pakistan's nuclear capabilities. With America withdrawing from Afghanistan in 2014, Pakistan has no real incentive to improve relations, or to cooperate in the "war on terror." Pakistan is establishing closer relations with the Taliban and other jihadist groups, and has its own plans for Afghanistan after the Americans leave. Spiegel

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, these developments are consistent with the expectation that the approaching Clash of Civilizations World War would pit China, Pakistan and the Sunni nations against America, India, Russia, Iran and the West.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 11-May-12 World View -- China threatens Philippines with military action thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (11-May-2012) Permanent Link
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