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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 20-Sep-2013
20-Sep-13 World View -- Syria moves its stockpiles of chemical weapons for 'unknown reasons'

Web Log - September, 2013

20-Sep-13 World View -- Syria moves its stockpiles of chemical weapons for 'unknown reasons'

Spam: The luxury food of South Korea

This morning's key headlines from

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 Greeks in cities across Greece have been clashing with police after a self-identified member of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party killed a left-wing rapper. The killing has stirred up a sharp political split between the left and the right in Greece, and the political split may become violent.

According to Greece's prime minister Antonis Samaras:

"The government is determined not to allow the Nazi descendants to poison our social life, commit murders, terrorize and undermine the foundations of the country that gave birth to democracy.

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

This is not the time for internal disputes or tension. We all know that our country is at an exceptionally crucial moment and that our people are suffering the biggest sacrifices to conquer the crisis and succeed in its financial rebirth. Any political disagreements should be solved with a democratic dialogue, not with incendiary arguments nor with violence anywhere it may come from and, what is more, not with blood which divides us and exposes us abroad."

Initial suggestions that the Golden Dawn party be banned have been rejected. However, the government plans to bring more than 30 criminal 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 the Russian-American agreement that Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles will be destroyed, the Syrian regime began moving around its chemical weapons stockpiles. U.S. satellites observed truck convoys moving in and out of storage sites, starting on that day. The Pollyannaish explanation is that the regime is consolidating its stockpiles so that they can be more easily be classified and tabulated. However, U.S. intelligence officials are skeptical, believing that it's more likely that they're moving the stockpiles around to conceal them.

According to the agreement that Syria signed, they are required to provide a full written accounting of all their chemical weapons stockpiles by Saturday. Last Saturday, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "We agreed that Syria must submit within a week not in 30 days, but in one week a comprehensive listing," and that the U.S. would allow "no games, no room for avoidance, or anything less than full compliance." Well, Syria's government is now indicating that the deadline will not be met. It's not known whether the listing will EVER be provided. CNN and LA Times

Senator John McCain responds to Putin in

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

"Senator John McCain: Russians deserve better than Putin

I believe the Russian people, no less than Americans, are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ...

President Putin and his associates do not believe in these values. They don't respect your dignity or accept your authority over them. They punish dissent and imprison opponents. They rig your elections. They control your media. They harass, threaten, and banish organizations that defend your right to self-governance. To perpetuate their power they foster rampant corruption in your courts and your economy and terrorize and even assassinate journalists who try to expose their corruption.

They write laws to codify bigotry against people whose sexual orientation they condemn. They throw the members of a punk rock band in jail for the crime of being provocative and vulgar and for having the audacity to protest President Putin's rule. ...

How has he strengthened Russia's international stature? By allying Russia with some of the world's most offensive and threatening tyrannies. By supporting a Syrian regime that is murdering tens of thousands of its own people to remain in power and by blocking the United Nations from even condemning its atrocities. By refusing to consider the massacre of innocents, the plight of millions of refugees, the growing prospect of a conflagration that engulfs other countries in its flames an appropriate subject for the world's attention. He is not enhancing Russia's global reputation. He is destroying it. He has made her a friend to tyrants and an enemy to the oppressed, and untrusted by nations that seek to build a safer, more peaceful and prosperous world."

Prior to the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Pravda newspaper was the country's official news publication, though it contained no news except Communist party opinions and press releases. After the Soviet Union 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 very likely 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 to feed its soldiers in World War II, has become a popular luxury food in South Korea, since it was introduced by American soldiers during the Korean War. Asia is celebrating the annual lunar thanksgiving holiday this week, and in Korea, it's usual to give and receive packaged cans of Spam -- Classic Spam, Mild Spam, Bacon Spam, Garlic Spam, etc. According to one restaurant owner:

"Spam has a premium image in Korea. It's probably the most desirable gift one could receive, and to help create the high-class image, we use famous actors in our commercials. Anyone who gets a Spam gift-set also gets a warm feeling in their heart."

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

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 20-Sep-13 World View -- Syria moves its stockpiles of chemical weapons for 'unknown reasons' thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (20-Sep-2013) Permanent Link
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