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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 25-Jul-05
Passenger train bombed in Dagestan, following Putin's visit

Web Log - July, 2005

Passenger train bombed in Dagestan, following Putin's visit

This is the 70'th terrorist attach this year in Dagestan,

After a week of bombings in Chechnya, Turkey, London, Spain, Iraq, Lebanon, a passenger train was bombed on Sunday morning at 5:30 am near Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. The train car derailed, and a crater was left in the track bed. The bomb had been set off by remote control.

Russian President Vladimir Putin made an emergency visit to Dagestan in secret last week, indicating the seriousness of the situation.

Dagestan has over 2 million inhabitants from 37 different ethnic groups. The increasing rate of terrorist attacks is being ascribed to some 2000 insurgents, masterminded by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, the same person who masterminded a series of spectacular terrorist acts last August and September, including the bombing of two airplanes in flight, a subway bombing in Moscow, and the Beslan, North Ossetia, school massacre that killed 340 people, more than half of them children.

Commentators are blaming the situation in Dagestan on the increasing level of corruption, fed by the 60% unemployment rate. According to columnist Yulia Latynina:

"Terrorism in Dagestan is the result of total corruption. The only business in Dagestan is the sale of government jobs, not the production of goods. Residents of the republic can therefore be divided into four categories: those who were given a job based on family ties; those who bought a job; the armed guards who protect people in the first two categories; and the unemployed young people with no money or prospects who are recruited by the Wahhabis and paid to kill cops."

This should not be surprising, because Russia has something in common with its huge neighbor China: Both countries' economies are unraveling rapidly, and both countries are headed for civil war. In the case of the coming major civil war in China, you can see it developing from the tens of thousands of regional rebellions each year, migrant workers, high food prices, high rust belt unemployment, addiction to a bubble economy, unraveling of Mao's social structure and secessionist provinces.

In the case of Russia it can be seen by the exponentially growing level of corruption, as reported last week by last week's widely publicized research report by the thinktank The Indem Foundation.

Indem surveyed 1,000 business people and 3,000 private systems and found that the size of an average bribe paid by companies has gone up 13-fold from $10,000 to $136,000 in four years, mostly to health, fire and safety inspectors, tax police and law enforcement agencies. Indem calculated that the volume of bribes extracted by various Russian fiscal inspections, police and licensing authorities had reached $316bn (260bn, 180bn), or 10 times the figure four years ago. The report highlighted the failure of the government to tackle corruption despite Mr Putin's promise to make it a priority.


Troubled areas in Caucasus region - including Dagestan, North Ossetia and Chechnya
Troubled areas in Caucasus region - including Dagestan, North Ossetia and Chechnya

Last year, after the Beslan school massacre, I considered the Caucasus region to be the most dangerous region of the world, because it was farthest into a generational crisis period, and because the Beslan massacre seemed likely to make things spin out of control. Since then, Putin has been bending over backwards to reduce tension, and the region has simmered more quietly.

But the quiet simmering cannot last forever. What's happening in Dagestan is what's been happening in London, Egypt, Pakistan, and elsewhere: Older generation Muslims do not wish to risk a major war, and so are willing to compromise on many issues, and suffer poverty, bigotry and humiliation. But the younger Muslim generations have no such fear of war, and are increasingly impatient their parents' hesitation. The radical younger Muslims have discovered that suicide bombings get huge amounts of publicity, and it's the best way for the perpetrators to become heroes to their friends. As the younger generations swell in size, while the older generations retired and die, the use of suicide bombings is expected to continue to grow. (25-Jul-05) Permanent Link
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