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


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 19-Jul-06
Why did China agree to join a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea?

Web Log - July, 2006

Why did China agree to join a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea?

Henry Kissinger has one theory, but mine is quite different.

Much to many people's surprise, on Saturday the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to condemn North Korea for continuing to develop nuclear weapons.

The big surprise was that China voted to go along with the resolution. The Chinese had frequently said that they opposed any Security Council resolution, and indicated that they would veto any such resolution.

Even though the final resolution was watered down from what the U.S. and Europe originally wanted, this is nonetheless being considered a major victory for the U.N., and an indication that the nuclear proliferation issue is on its way to a solution.

Henry Kissinger
Henry Kissinger

One of the strongest such statements was provided by Henry Kissinger on Monday, when he was interviewed on CNN's "Lou Dobbs Tonight" program. Here's an excerpt:

" Dobbs: US policy seems to be ad hoc, disjointed, against what is a global effort on the part of the radical Islamist terrorists to take on new targets. Is that an incorrect perception?

Kissinger: I look at the events of this week, painful as they are, as a kind of a turning point. We have the UN resolution on Korea. And I think that should be a landmark on the road to bringing the Korean issue to some conclusion. We've been negotiating now for two years - now we have a unanimous United Nations resolution on the the missile issue.

The missile issue is only the tip of the iceberg. What we really have to deal with is the nuclear issue. It seems to me that the nations involved in the negotiation now have to face he choice of whether they want to demonstrate their impotence, and demonstrate that we're living in a lawless world.

The same would apply to Iran. Everyone is arguing which kind of sanctions we should have. But the fact of the matter is that six nations have said, "There should be no enrichment." If the enrichment issue is not resolved in a reasonable time, what is the conclusion the world can draw?

Dobbs: Is there, in your judgment, an intelligent, well-centered -- and by centered I mean an expression of concern about us interests -- in our geopolitical policy globally - because these events seem disjointed but they seem united, except for the case of North Korea, by radical Islamist terrorist.

Kissinger: There has never been a period in history in which so many changes have been were taking place simultaneously, and it's not easy to form an overriding geopolitical concept. I think we've done well getting the Iranian negotiation to this point, in which we've united the six countries.

We've got the Korean negotiation to that point -- this I consider a good design. Now the question is - can we go from here to the next step - which is to implement the design, and that is going to be the tough decision."

Henry Kissinger is considered by many -- myself included -- to be one of the greatest minds on geopolitical policy in the world. His greatest successes occurred during the Nixon administration. He developed the policy of "détente" with the Soviet Union, he engaged in "Shuttle Diplomacy" to resolve disputes in the Middle East between Israel and Egypt, and he used "Ping Pong Diplomacy" to open up diplomatic relations to China, by setting up a match between the American and Chinese Table Tennis teams.

His geopolitical philosophy worked during the 1970s, when much of the world was in a "generational awakening" era, a time when countries are willing to compromise. The willingness to compromise is a basic assumption of Kissinger's philosophy, as it is in the case of many other politicians. But that philosophy doesn't work at other times.

I remember well a particular time when Kissinger got something majorly wrong.

In 1990, after Saddam Hussein invaded and conquered Kuwait, there was a great debate in Congress over whether we should go to war to free Kuwait. I was particularly interested in the testimony of two people: Henry Kissinger, the Republican expert from the Nixon and Ford administrations, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Democratic expert from the Carter administration. I knew that the politicians would just have political spin positions, while Kissinger and Brzezinski would give principled opinions, so their opinions would be the most valuable.

Brzezinski said that we shouldn't invade, and Kissinger said we should. So, in retrospect, Brzezinski was wrong and Kissinger was right. Right?

Well, no. Kissinger was wrong too. Kissinger strongly urged going ahead with the invasion, but he firmly believed that Saddam would back down at the last minute, and President Bush would have to call off the invasion. Kissinger said that repeatedly before the 15-Jan-1991 invasion, and after the invasion began, Kissinger said how shocked he was that Saddam didn't back down after all.

What Kissinger didn't understand was that, having just gone through the genocidal Iran/Iraq war, Saddam and the Iraqi people were in no mood to compromise on anything that they didn't feel was in their interest.

Today, he's making the same mistake as he interprets the situation with China and North Korea. He's very pleased that China changed its mind and backed the U.N. Security Council resolution because he believes that by creating the right geopolitical design and applying it, the North Korea problem is on its way to a resolution.

But you don't have to be an expert on Generational Dynamics to see that there's no resolution in sight. Could Kissinger really believe that North Korea is going to stop building nuclear weapons because of a U.N. Security Council resolution and because China didn't veto the resolution? Actually, that might be possible in a generational awakening or unraveling period, times when the desire to compromise and contain problems is highest.

But China and North Korea are in generational crisis periods, times when compromise and containment give way to confrontation.

The attitude of the North Koreans toward Americans is very clearly shown by the following picture, snapped by an American Congressman, of a billboard appearing prominently in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 2003:

Prominent billboard in Pyongyang, North Korea, 2003.  The right-most frame shows a North Korean spearing an American with a bayonet.
Prominent billboard in Pyongyang, North Korea, 2003. The right-most frame shows a North Korean spearing an American with a bayonet.

Note on the right, the bayonet spearing an American soldier. Especially during a generational crisis period, this billboard represents a level of hatred that will not be changed by any U.N. resolution.

So why did China abruptly change directions and agree to the Security Council resolution? Here's my analysis and my guess:

So the whole U.N. Security Council resolution was not the culmination of some grand geopolitical design and strategy, leading to a great solution of the nuclear proliferation problem, as Kissinger believes.

No, it was just international geopolitical game-playing, grand theatre that means nothing in terms of where the world is going.

Furthermore, the North Korean situation is highly related to the crisis in the Mideast that's been going on for the last week or two.

According to a Time Magazine article credulously titled, "Why the U.N. North Korea Resolution Might Really Work," a State Department official wishfully says, "North Korea's two biggest customers for missiles and missile technology are Iran and Syria. Those states would also be prohibited from any kind of missile cooperation with North Korea. They'll try to get around it, but they'll be in violation of a Security Council mandate."

These are presumably the missiles that have been supplied to Hizbollah in the latter's war to "wipe Israel off the map."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, we're headed for a new "Clash of Civilizations" world war. In this war, we can see how the new "axis of evil" is forming itself: North Korea, China, Iran, Syria and Pakistan. Hizbollah will form an important part of their strategy is tying down American and Allied forces in the defense of Israel.

Unlike what Kissinger and other pundits are saying, the U.N. resolution is in no way a resolution to any problem. Instead, it's a power play by China that shows that China will be calling the shots and deciding when the "Clash of Civilizations" world war will begin. (19-Jul-06) Permanent Link
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