Last week, Satan and his evil minions just barely managed to quench their thirst on a limited supply of human slaughter. Lucky for them, this week is a veritable bloodbath of failed peace attempts from an eclectic band of stooges including California police, suicide bombers, squatters, and pissed off factory workers.
For the eight weeks this column has been running, America has somehow managed to avoid a mention. But then this shit happened.
By now, everyone knows that 24-year-old James Holmes walked into a screening of the The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, Colarado armed with automatic rifles, handguns, and tear gas and shot at least 58 people, killing 12. As if that wasn't bad enough, police then discovered he had booby-trapped his apartment in an apparent attempt to kill anyone who dared enter. The police were able to disarm the devices.
The whole incident has again brought up the issue of gun control in the US, ie, there clearly fucking needs to be some. However, that seems unlikely, as there's been a noticeable rise in gun sales in Colorado since the incident, probably because everyone is fucking petrified that they will be shot as soon as they leave the house.
There was another incident that also brought up the issue of gun control in the States. The cops were to blame this time. On Saturday afternoon in Anaheim, California, Manuel Diaz—who was unarmed at the time and posing no threat—was chased down by police and shot in the neck and back of the head. Soon after, family and friends gathered in protest, and instead of the police explaining what happened and reassuring the family that an investigation would take place, they opened fire with rubber bullets and pepper balls and at one point released an attack dog into the crowd. This was captured on video, sparking further protests which could escalate.
In India last Wednesday, thousands of workers at a Suzuki car factory near Dehli went on a riotous rampage after one of the supervisors called a worker a naughty slang word for a member of the lower castes. The other workers demanded an investigation, but one wasn't forthcoming, so they armed themselves with metal poles and blocks of wood, stormed the factory, set fire to the front of the building, and attacked the senior managers. An HR official was beaten to death. By the next morning the violence had put 50 factory workers in the hospital. Since then, the plant has been shut down and has been hemorrhaging money (almost $500 million so far) as share prices tank. Lesson learned: When in India, watch the trash talk.
And India's not out of the woods just yet. Violent sectarian clashes have been happening there, echoing similar ethnic conflict in nearby Burma. In the eastern state of Assam, the local indigenous Bodo tribespeople and Muslim settlers have been attacking each other, and on Friday, four Bodo boys were killed by unidentified men. Bodo gangs held the Muslim community responsible and began setting fire to their villages. Tit-for-tat attacks followed, resulting in 500 villages destroyed, 60,000 people displaced, and 21 people dead. With no sign of the violence halting and local rebel groups suspected of joining in, the Indian police have imposed a curfew and have been given orders to "shoot on sight." Which is obviously going to help calm things down.
Police and demonstrators rejoined their fighting in Val Susa, Italy on Sunday, over the construction of a high-speed rail link to France. Alongside a healthy distaste for the French, protesters working under the banner of the "NO TAV" movement have cited the rail link's extravagant costs and potential to destroy the local scenery as reasons for losing their shit. The protests have been building for years and often end in violence. On Sunday, a high-ranking cop named Giuseppe Petronzi was injured when an IED exploded at a demonstration. Police have vowed to crack down harder on future demos, so it's likely that things will get worse before they get better.
Apart from Syria's entry in this column (see below), the majority of this week's World Peace Update has tended to focus on domestic issues that will unlikely affect the wider international community. Last Wednesday's bus bombing in Burgas, Bulgaria, however, could threaten to spark a much wider conflict in the Middle East. Why would a bombing in Bulgaria threaten more violence in the Middle East, you ask?
Well, the bus happened to be carrying Israeli tourists, five of whom were killed and 34 more injured. Israel blames their current nemesis, Iran. For almost a year, Israel has threatened to rain a shit ton of explosives on Iran's suspected nuclear weapons program. At the same time, Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in a series of assassinations (some claim carried out by Israel) and Iran allegedly carried out retaliatory attacks against Israeli diplomats in Georgia, India, and Thailand, via the Lebanese terrorist group, Hezbollah. Many think this attack in Bulgaria is part of that same campaign.
Is this attack the final straw for Israel, will they now make good with their threats? Well, it may have already began. Kinda.
Last week, it looked like the Syrian regime was on its last legs and the Free Syrian Army might have struck the killing blow. Unfortunately, however, the rebels weren't able to bring the conflict to a close. Nevertheless, the FSA have made significant gains and Assad's regime is certainly not out of the shit yet, as rebels took over a number of suburbs in Damascus and assasinated three of President Assad's closest advisors in a bomb attack.
This week, a number of the rebel-controlled suburbs fell back into the hands of the regime. Meanwhile, the FSA have taken control of a number of posts on the borders with Turkey and Iraq, opening up supply lines for much-needed ammunition and medical supplies. Elsewhere, the Kurdish community in northeastern Syria took up arms, forcing out the police and army from major towns and cities. Over the weekend, the FSA attacked government positions in Aleppo, and the regime, pranging out at the prospect of losing control of the country's largest city and trade hub, sent in armored reinforcements and assaulted rebel positions with fighter jets. This is the first time Assad has used his air force and such escalation should be treated as a real sign of how desperate he's getting.
The international community wasn't moved to respond to that, but they did react to the threat of chemical weapons being used against any foreign intervention. So, it's OK to murder hundreds of your own people using fighter jets, but threaten some white guys with possibly non-existent mustard gas, and that's not cool? Come on, guys.
Ending on a lighter note, this week 50 Israeli soldiers crossed into Lebanon and kidnapped 900 goats. Although fairly minor in comparison to, say, bombing the shit out of schools and hospitals in Gaza, it's still kinda a sucky thing to do and certainly isn't what the region needs: a costly and bloody livestock-rustling war.
Check back next week to see whether Lebanon retaliates or I've joined some hippy cult to try and achieve world peace through endless enemas, or something.
Follow Henry on Twitter: @Henry_Langston