World View: Political War in Israel over Proposed Iran Strike

This morning's key headlines from

  • China faces new humiliation in case of dissident Chen Guangcheng
  • Possible Chinese retaliation against internal dissidents
  • Proposed military strike on Iran causes open political war in Israel
  • Osama bin Laden's widows and children arrive in Saudi Arabia
  • 21 killed in north Nigeria church service attacks

China faces new humiliation in case of dissident Chen Guangcheng

The U.S. is used to being humiliated all the time, so we don't always how traumatic international humiliation is to other countries. North Korea has recently been humiliated by the spectacular failure of its long-range missile test, and now the case of Chen Guangcheng is proving to be a major humiliation to China. Chen is a blind activist who humiliated Chinese officials six years ago by exposing how authorities were forcing thousands of women to have abortions or be sterilised as part of China's one-child policy. Security officials imprisoned Chen for four years, and then kept him under house arrest for two years, torturing and starving him and his family. Last weekend, after months of planning, Chen escaped from his home by climbing over a wall, evading security officers who thought he was sick in bed, and met up other activists who drove him to Beijing. Chen then made a lengthy video accusing top Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials of authorizing the detention and torture of him and his family. It's believed that he's now in the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. That hasn't been confirmed, but U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell has arrived in Beijing, apparently to deal with the matter. Washington Post

Possible Chinese retaliation against internal dissidents

We've already been discussing possible North Korea reactions to its humiliating missile fiasco -- a new nuclear bomb test, or a military strike on South Korea. And it's worth recalling that one of the reasons for Japan's bombing of Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, was an oil embargo imposed by the U.S. in July. This doesn't mean that this new humiliation by Chen Guangchen will result in a military strike, but it does mean that some kind of retaliation will occur, which China in a highly nationalistic generational Crisis era. At the very least, we can expect the Chinese to further crack down on internal dissidents. In fact that's already happening, as all of Chen's friends and family members have been detained and quite possibly tortured by now. BBC

Proposed military strike on Iran causes open political war in Israel

My ears really perked up when I heard former Israeli intelligence chief Yuval Diskin (pictured above, left) quoted as saying the following:

I have no faith in the prime minister, nor in the defence minister. I really don't have faith in a leadership that makes decisions out of messianic feelings.

Diskin was referring to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. I know that Iran's leadership is guided by a Shia Muslim belief that the 12'th Imam or "the Hidden Imam" is coming to save mankind. (See the discussion of the fundamental theological contradiction in Iran's government in "30-Aug-10 News -- Generation gap splits Iran's government" from 2010.) So I wondered if perhaps Netanyahu and Barak were basing their own policies on the belief in the imminent coming of a Messiah to save mankind. But apparently nothing like that was intended by Diskin. By "messianic," Diskin apparently meant "ideological," and there's certainly plenty of that going around, in Washington as well as in Jerusalem. Still, it's unusual for Israel's government to so clearly display an open wound, but it shows how divisive the Iran issue has been for Israel. Reuters and Jerusalem Post

Osama bin Laden's widows and children arrive in Saudi Arabia

A year after an American SEAL team killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, his three widows and ten children have been expelled from Pakistan. They were taken to Saudi Arabia in a private plane provided by the bin Laden family, and Saudi Arabia has allowed them to enter the kingdom on humanitarian grounds. A new report indicates that bin Laden used to use "Just For Men" hair dye to keep himself young and attractive for his wives, the youngest one being 26 years younger than he was. Daily Times (Pakistan) and Daily Mail (London)

21 killed in north Nigeria church service attacks

Gunmen attacked worship services at a university campus and a church in northern Nigeria, killing at least 21 people in coordinated assaults. No one has claimed responsibility, but the attacks are similar to those committed by the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. AP


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