Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 27-Jan-06
Hamas victory throws Mideast 'peace process' into disarray and turmoil

Web Log - January, 2006

Hamas victory throws Mideast 'peace process' into disarray and turmoil

What struck me most, seeing the cheering Hamas supporters on TV yesterday, was how young they are. I swear they looked like high school students, or maybe late teens. The median age in the Gaza Strip is 15.6!!! Compare that to 29 for Israel, 36 for the U.S., and 42 for Germany. When we talk about the Palestinians, we're talking about a society of children. That's not meant to be an insult -- it's a demographic fact.

And where do children get their news from? Well, here in America we know that it's almost all from MTV and from Comedy Channel's Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Try watching the Daily Show a few times, and then try to imagine how much you'd know about the world if that's all the news you ever heard. Well, I don't know what the Arabic version of the Daily Show is, but I'm pretty sure it paints a picture of a world run by irrelevant dinosaurs and also, I'd guess, a world in which Israelis and Americans and British are the idiots who are making life miserable for everyone else.

I heard on the BBC that not a single pundit or politician predicted this kind of result. Most predicted a narrow Fatah victory, but none foresaw the huge Hamas margin, gaining some 74 seats of a total of 132 in the Palestinian Parliament. This means that the "terrorist" organization Hamas is now in charge of the Palestinian government, and the "moderate" Fatah, led by Mahmoud Abbas, is pretty much wiped out.

So what happens now? President Bush dodged that question in a Thursday morning press conference. He was asked whether "Mideast peacemaking [is] dead with Hamas' big election victory." His answer: "Peace is never dead, because people want peace [and] democracy yields peace. And the best hope for peace in the Middle East is two democracies living side-by-side."

That's the silliest damn thing. The two-state plan is dead, and democracies have wars just as often as dictatorships do. Hitler was elected by a democracy. Or, if you dislike that example because the election might have been crooked, how about our own American Civil War? That war was triggered by the democratic election of Abraham Lincoln, and it was unbelievably bloody and violent war, spawned by our own (imperfect) democracy.

In fact, the dinosaurs are full of silly remarks. My favorite yesterday was by 69-year-old Palestinian Christian Hanna Siniora: "The Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections may be a blessing in disguise. Now that they are in power, Hamas will have to take responsibility for the future. They will have to become more moderate. Now they are part of the democratic game and they will have to play by the democratic rules." That's like saying that an earthquake is a blessing in disguise because it prepares the survivors for the next earthquake.

This statement is also quite ironic, because it brings the wishful thinking crowd full circle.

That's what they used to say about former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. After he signed the Oslo peace agreement with Israel in 1995 (and won a Nobel Peace Prize along the way), he was felt to have become a newly "moderate" leader of the Palestinians.

By the early 2002, he was back to being a terrorist, and Israel refused to negotiate with him -- because he was a terrorist, a crook and a liar. The Israeli and American view was that peace would come to the Mideast as soon as Arafat was out of the way.

It was right along this time that I made the prediction that has drawn the most "You're crazy, Xenakis!" remarks of all my predictions: I said that Arafat may be a terrorist, crook and liar, but he's the person holding the Palestinians back from war. I said that the disappearance of Arafat would be part of a generational change that would bring a major conflagration to the Mideast, probably within a couple of years. And now, on Thursday, we have an election that puts a terrorist organization in charge of the Palestinians. Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu describes the situation thus: "It's like having another Tehran, Iran, but this time on our doorstep."

So here we are, 14 months after Arafat's death, and everyone else's predictions keep getting proven wrong, and mine keep getting proven right. All those people who said "You're crazy, Xenakis!" are wrong, and I turn out to be right.

And not just on this issue. Whether it's about Darfur or about the economy or about Iraq or about China, I keep getting it right where others keep getting it wrong.

This is obviously something that bothers me a lot, since I do write about it from time to time, especially on a day like this, the day after the Hamas victory. Why am I so special? I'm certainly not the least bit psychic, and I certainly can't read people's minds as, for example, my bad luck with women repeatedly demonstrates.

The fact that everyone else's predictions are as often wrong as right has been well documented. An article in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal finds that economists predictions are dismally wrong, including predictions by government agencies and the Federal Reserve. (Regular readers will know that this doesn't surprise me, given how critical I am of the Fed.) And a new book by Prof. Philip Tetlock, Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know? shows, based on 20 years of research, shows that, without exception, media analysts and pundits are wrong more often than they're right. This is true even for experts and specialists, talking in their areas of expertise. The worst offenders are those who are trying to make political cases, whether Republic or Democrat, liberal or conservative.

Obviously Prof. Tetlock hasn't seen my web site. What's so different about me? For one thing, I've developed the Generational Dynamics forecasting methodology, which tells you what your final destination is, but not how you get there, or when. In early 2003, when I was developing the theory behind the Generational Dynamics forecasting technique, I began to be very careful with words to distinguish between "long-term forecasts," which are 100% certain, and "short-term forecasts," which are probabilistic. By using long-term predictions to "advise" short-term predictions, I can even get short-term predictions to be very accurate. I've posted many, many predictions since Spring 2003 on my web site, and not a single one has been wrong. Some have come true, and others are still pending, but not one has been proven wrong. If you want to know what's going on in the world, and where the world is going, the only place that you can find out is on my web site.

Furthermore, I try to be as transparent as possible. Every time I make a prediction, I give my reasoning in detail, rather than depending on my "gut." And I've written two books that explain the forecasting methodology in detail. I estimate, based on web logs, that I have several hundred regular readers, possibly more than a thousand, since I've done some limited advertising. Of course, I have no idea who you are, except for a few dozen who have written to me over the years.

So, for example, how come my predictions about the Mideast are always right, and everyone else's are usually wrong? That's easy. I know something that they don't know: That the region is headed for a massive genocidal crisis war between Arabs and Jews, with 100% certainty. That's because, as I've explained may times, Arabs and Jews are re-fighting the genocidal war of the 1940s, especially what occurred after Palestine was partitioned and the state of Israel was created.

So, since I KNOW that for a fact, I can predict with certainty, as I did in 2003, that the Mideast Roadmap for Peace would fail, with almost 100% certainty. Every step of the way in the last three years, I've been able to make the right prediction since I know, with certainty, that the region is headed for war.

That's why everyone else gets it wrong. If they're aware of my writings at all, they usually think, "Xenakis, you're crazy." They don't know that the region is headed for war, with absolute certainty. They think there's a chance to avoid war. If they love George Bush, they advocate something like Bush's "democracy brings peace" principle. If they hate George Bush, they advocate the opposite of whatever George Bush advocates. Both sides are wrong, because both of them believe that war can be avoided. (As I mentioned above, Tetlock's research found that the worst of the pundits were the ones with political points of view.)

The Outlook

But you, dear reader, can figure out what's going to happen next in the Mideast as well as I can.

Before you read any farther, take a minute or two and see if you can figure out the outlook in the Mideast. Remember that there's something that you KNOW: that the region is headed for a massive war, with absolute certainty. So, with that knowledge, what's coming next?

Thought about it? Here's my answer for a fairly likely scenario:

Hamas has a big problem right now: Money. The European Union and the U.S. contribute about $1 billion a year to the Palestinians; that money is the only glue holding the Palestinians together, if "holding together" can be used to describe the increasing chaos enveloping the Gaza Strip.

But the EU and US are not going to keep giving money to the Palestinians if Hamas is going to get it, since Hamas is committed to the destruction of Israel.

Hamas can't very well give up its charter to destroy Israel. Remember that Palestine is society of mostly children -- because the median age is 15. We're dealing with children here, and these children have elected a government of terrorists. These children will not be happy if they think that Hamas is going back on its election promises.

So how to get the money? That's the problem. In the end, it's always about money, isn't it? How is Hamas going to get that money?

Well really, I can only guess. Hamas will have to split itself into two parts in some way. It will put forth some kind of "kinder, gentler" Hamas as the Palestinians' government at the very top; these officials may even be puppets, but the important thing is that they'll say that they want peace with Israel.

Beneath that shell government, Hamas will continue to operate in the way that the children expect, with terrorist acts, and so forth.

That's one possible scenario. Another possible scenario is that Hamas will agree with the EU and US that money should go through non-governmental organizations, to make sure that Hamas won't get it. Of course, Hamas will be in control of these NGOs, but everyone can just keep quiet about this.

The point is that, no matter what the scenario, Hamas, Israel, the EU and the US will have to find some political formula to keep giving $1 billion to the Palestinians in such a way that the politicians can claim it's not going to terrorists.

But if a political accommodation is not found, and the $1 billion is cut off, then that war between Arabs and Jews will happen quite quickly.

So, in summary, the outlook is as follows: Find a political way to keep the money flowing in, and have war in the long run; or don't find a way, and have war in the short run.

It's impossible to predict which of these two major paths will be taken, since they're chaotic events. There is only one thing that's absolutely certain: The Mideast is headed for a major genocidal war between Arabs and Jews, and probably sooner rather than later. (27-Jan-06) Permanent Link
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