World Peace Update
Hey guys, what did you do this week? Frantically search Google images for a picture of your future Queen's tits? No judgement here, I didn't do that much either; I just tried to keep an eye on the Muslim world losing its shit over that awful film about the prophet Muhammed being a sex-crazed, murderous paedophile. It's been fun!
THE ENTIRE ISLAMIC WORLD
You should all know by now that last week Islamists in Egypt stormed the US Embassy in Cairo, and killed the US ambassador to Libya at the Consulate in Benghazi. The protests didn't stop there. In Khartoum, Sudan, they attacked and set fire to the German Embassy because a far-right group threatened to screen the film in Berlin. In Tunisia, Salafist protesters breached the US Embassy and set it on fire before being shot at by police, who killed three of them. In Kabul, Afghanistan, angry crowds opened fire at police and torched vehicles near a US army base, while in Sydney, Australia, a crowd of 200 Islamists rampaged across the city, taking the cops by surprise before being subdued with pepper spray and batons.
Since these protests began, over 50 demonstrators have been killed when confronting security forces and Western embassies have improved their security provisions. In the wake of the Arab Spring, this wave of anger has been seen as a step backwards, but it should be noted that the groups initiating the violence are relatively fringe compared to the millions who toppled the regimes in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Libya.
Not to be outdone by their mates in the Middle East, pissed off Chinese protesters besieged the Japanese Embassy and set fire to Toyota and Honda outlets in the latest clashes relating to the Senkaku Islands, which both Japan and China are claiming as their own.
Last month, Japanese nationalists planted flags on the islands, which at that point were privately-owned by a Japanese businessman. But then the Japanese government formally purchased the Islands, which provoked the Chinese into sending in six surveillance boats and coming out with statements like the following: "The determination and the will of the Chinese government and military to safeguard their territorial integrity are firm. We are closely monitoring the situation and reserve the right to take necessary measures."
One of the local consequences of that is that Japanese nationals in major Chinese cities have had to go into hiding. But on the world stage, that statement has prompted the Americans to announce a new joint missile system treaty with Japan, which in theory will cover any dispute over the Senkaku islands. Which begs the question, will this dick-measuring contest continue forever, or is someone going to shoot their load already?
Shifting away from embassy bashing, we head over to Venezuela where things are getting heated in the run-up to next month's election. Last Wednesday, supporters of current President and military leader for the past 13 years, Hugo Chavez, fought with those of opposition candidate Henrique Capriles in the city of Puerto Cabello. It kicked off when Chavez supporters blocked a highway near the airport where Capriles was meant to arrive and fought running battles with Capriles suppporters. Rivalries between pro and anti-government protesters are extremely embedded in the political process in Venezuela and shit like this is common during the election period.
One of the most obviously ridiculous aspects of the Innocence of Muslims protests is the fact that it's a fictional and shitty work devised by unhinged people with an agenda, yet it has managed to anger thousands. Meanwhile, the massacre of 30,000 Muslims in Syria has barely registered in most Middle Eastern countries. With all this rage over the film, the ongoing slaughter has taken a back seat in terms of mainstream news coverage, and that is the complete opposite of what the Syrian people need.
So, while the world's eyes were averted, Iran's General Mohammad Jafari finally admitted to having troops inside the country. Hey Jafari, how about telling us something we don't know next time? The Guardian says the troops consist of special forces and intelligence elements. Whether they've been involved with engaging the rebel Free Syrian Army or in the regime's numerous civilian massacres, that remains to be seen. What this essentially means, though, is that their presence in the country will only further the aims of the regime and halt any efforts to resolve the civil war.
The other day, everyone's favourite former New Labour leader joined Angelina Jolie in wading into the crisis, under the guise of his role as special envoy to the Middle East (a region he's helped decimate) for the UN, EU, US and Russia. As he said in an interview to Radio 4, "The crisis is dangerous and getting worse, and it is a threat to the Syrian people, the region and the world. I would be advocating ramping up where we are. What I'm certainly very alarmed at the prospect of is the notion that we just leave that now. The consequences of that will be very brutal and very bloody for all the people there." Which is fine and all, but also something the Syrian people and rebels won't give a shit about if they don't get a no-fly or buffer zone sometime soon.
Check back next week for more misery. I think this Muslim versus Christian thing might rumble on for a while yet.
Follow Henry on Twitter: @Henry_Langston