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


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 26-Nov-06
Jordan's King Abdullah warns of explosions in Palestine and Lebanon

Web Log - November, 2006

Jordan's King Abdullah warns of explosions in Palestine and Lebanon

Abdullah repeatedly chided the ABC News interviewer Stephanopolous, who remained completely oblivious to what Abdullah was saying.

Regular readers of this web site know that I'm frequently critical of Washington journalists, analysts and politicians, but this was the most sickening display of the sheer stupidity of a bunch of airheads that I've seen in a while. ABC News should be so ashamed of this show that they should never speak of it again.

The first guest on Sunday's This Week With George Stephanopoulos was King Abdullah II of Jordan. I'm going to quote extensively from what he said, because it's something that Americans need to hear and understand.

No matter what the subject, journalists and politicians today immediately bring it back to Washington politics, as if there were nothing in the world that wasn't controlled by Washington politics. The biggest political issue today continues to be the so-called Iraqi "civil war." In fact, there was a lot of talk today about "civil wars." I'll come back to this subject later.

So Stephanopolous began by asking, "Is there a civil war in Iraq right now?" Abdullah immediately began to try to get Stephanopolous to understand that there were other things going on in the world, but to no avail.

Abdullah: "George, the problem we're tackling here is we're juggling the strong potential of three civil wars -- whether it's the Palestinians, Lebanon or Iraq. I hope that my discussions at least with the President will provide whatever we can do for the iraqi people, but at the same time we want to concentrate ourselves on the core issues, which we believe are the Palestinians and the Palestinian peace process, because that is a must today, as well as the tremendous concern we've had over the past several days over what's happening in Lebanon. We can possibly imagine going into 2007 and having 3 civil wars on our hands. And therefore it's that we take a strong step forward as part of the international community and make sure we avert the Middle East from a tremendous crisis that I fear and I see could possibly happen in 2007."

George Stephanopolous scrunches up his face as King Abdullah doesn't tell him what he wants to hear. <font size=-2>(Source: ABC News)</font>
George Stephanopolous scrunches up his face as King Abdullah doesn't tell him what he wants to hear. (Source: ABC News)

Three civil wars! Stephanopolous was almost dumbfounded. He sure wasn't expecting that. But he simply pulled it back to Washington politics, this time by implying that all three civil wars are the fault of the Bush administration for advocating democracy in the Mideast.

"That is a frightening prospect, the prospect of 3 civil wars," said Stephanopolous. "All 3 of those societies, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority have had elections over the last couple of years, and now we're seeing the prospect of civil war. Did the United States push too fast, too hard for democracy?"

Once again, Abdullah tried to pry Stephanopolous' mind loose from its one ideological track, and once again to no avail.

Abdullah: "The issue is not whether you're pushing one agenda or another. The issue is that we have not been able to deal with the core problem of the Middle East. Now I know that people will say that there are several core problems in the Middle East. Obviously the closest to American minds because of your commitments of soldiers is Iraq. But for the majority of those of us living in this part of the world, it has always been the Israeli/Palestinian and the Israeli/Arab problem, and I fear that if we don't use the next couple of months to really push the process forward, I don't believe that there will be anything to talk about. In other words, there will not be enough of a circumstance to be able to create a two-state solution, in other words, Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and harmony. If we don't solve the Israeli/Palestinian problem, then how can we solve the Israeli/Arab problem. And I don't believe that beyond 2007, if we don't get the process going, there will be anything of a Palestine to talk about, and therefore, do we resign this entire region to another decade or two of violence, which none of us can afford."

King Abdullah knows that he has to be patient when talking to narcissistic Americans who believe that they're the center of the universe, and he tried to be diplomatic by saying that it's understandable that Americans think that Iraq is the only problem in the world, since American soldiers are there.

But he was trying to explain to somewhat dim-witted Stephanopolous that there are much more important problems in the world than Iraq.

Stephanopolous then asked one of the stupidest questions I've heard on TV lately: "But help me out here - doesn't the situation in Iraq have a logic of its own with the Sunnis and the Shiites killing each other in an uncontrolled manner. What does have to do with what's going on in Palestine?"

Is it really possible that Stephanopolous is so clueless that he thinks that the Palestine and Iraq situations have nothing to do with each other? Actually he is -- and I've commented on this before during the election run-up.

I can just imagine what went through King Abdullah's head -- how can Americans be so stupid? He tries once again to tell Stephanopolous what the situation is.

King Abdullah smiles as he explains to the airhead Stephanopolous what's going on in the Mideast. <font size=-2>(Source: ABC News)</font>
King Abdullah smiles as he explains to the airhead Stephanopolous what's going on in the Mideast. (Source: ABC News)

Abdullah: "Well, the thing is that as we look at the 3 potential flash points .... Before, I believe, the Lebanese war this summer, I would have put Iraq in the number 1 position. After the Lebanese war, the Palestinian scenario was in the number one position, followed very closely in the last several weeks, I would say that the Lebanese problem and the Palestinian ones are neck in neck. They're all extremely important, solving all three of them are going to be critical, but the priority today and the critical one is the Israeli/Palestinian one because it resonates beyond the borders of Iraq, beyond the borders of the Arab and the Muslim world. You know, you've been with this issue for many years, it is still the emotional core issue for our part of the world. The problem sometimes when we discuss this with an American public, they say, no, this is just an excuse because there are other problems in the Middle East. But the emotional impact that the Israeli/Palestinian problem has on the ground can be translated to the insecurity and frustrations throughout the Middle East and the Arab world. For me that is the priority. When it comes to things exploding out of control, I would put today, as we stand, Palestine and probably a close tie with Lebanon. Iraq funnily enough, although as concerned as I am of Iraq and the major problems that that might bring to us, is in third position. Obviously this is all relative."

Stephanopolous still has no idea what Abdullah is talking about. He changes the subject: "One of the ideas of dealing with all three of these issues is an international conference that would include Jordan, would include Saudi Arabia, would include Egypt, would include the United States, but also Syria and Iran. Do you think it would be useful to include Syria and Iran in that kind of a conference right now, and what kind of leverage does the US have over them."

Once again, King Abdullah tried to be diplomatic, but bring Stephanopolous back to the subject:

Abdullah: "Well, look, we always believe that dialog is a way of reaching out to each other. As we continue to push each other into corners, then the only alternative is to have more of a violent reaction than common sense leading the way. I do believe that there are feelers going to different countries to see if we can come together on the issue of Iraq.

But I believe that America has to look at it in the total picture. It's not just one issue by itself. I keep saying, Palestine is the core, it is linked to what is going on in Iraq, it is linked to what's going on in Lebanon, it is linked to the issues we find ourselves with the Syrians. So if you want to do comprehensive, then comprehensive means bringing all the parties of the region together."

Stephanopolous never did understand what Abdullah was talking about.

Conflict risk level for next 6-12 months as of: 9-Feb-2006
W. Europe 1 Arab Israeli 3
Russia Caucasus 2 Kashmir 2
China 2 North Korea 2
Financial 3 Bird flu 3
Key: 1=green 1=Low risk 2=yellow 2=Med 3=red 3=High 4=black 4=Active

I've been saying repeatedly on this web site for years that we're headed for a "clash of civilizations" world war, and that this war will be driven mainly by the regions in the adjoining table. Every year on May 15, the Palestinians commemorate Al Naqba - Catastrophe Day - the anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel on May 15, 1948.

I just can't get over how our supposedly knowledgeable journalists and politicians don't have a clue about any of this. In their minds, the entire problem in the Mideast began with the Iraqi ground war 3 years ago. They neglect that the fault line between Jews and Palestinians has existed in virulent form since 1948, and in a less virulent form, with only occasional violence, for centuries.

But people like Stephanopolous are so deeply sunk in the sewer of ideology that they can't think of anything else. They think that every event in the world turns on political events in Washington.

Following the interview with Abdullah, Stephanopolous interviewed two Senators, Democrat Dick Durban (Ill) and Republican Sam Brownback (Kan). I've gotten to the point where I find that most politicians are such morons that I can't even stand listening to them, but I forced myself this time to see if they would even mention the Palestinian problem.

They didn't disappoint me. They didn't say a single thing that wasn't supremely stupid. They made totally meaningless statements about Iraq, until the interview thankfully ended.

Probably the highlight of the interview was when Sen. Brownback raised his voice and said in stirring tones, "Clearly things have to be different and things have to move in a different direction!!"

Such is the pathetic nature of the people who are running our country in Washington.

The Israel/Palestine situation came up only once during the rest of the show, at the beginning of the pundit panel.

George Stephanopolous smirks as he summarizes what King Abdullah said. <font size=-2>(Source: ABC News)</font>
George Stephanopolous smirks as he summarizes what King Abdullah said. (Source: ABC News)

And wait till you read this.

Stephanopolous had a smirk on his face, as if to show how much smarter he is than the King, and he said this to pundit George Will: "You heard King Abdullah - he says we're now facing the potential of 3 civil wars in the region, and he says the only way to deal with it -- all 3 wars -- is to deal with all 3 wars at the same time -- a comprehensive solution - I knew you would not like that."

George Will rolled his eyes and responded, "When you have three problems you can't solve, you say let's solve them all at once with a comprehensive solution. There's no commonality here. The King would have us believe that if, somehow, we waved a wand and there were peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, that the Shias and the Sunnis would stop killing one another in Iraq? I don't think so. The Shia and Sunni traditions go back to the death of Mohammed - that's 1374 years ago."

I guess George Will thinks that King Abdullah doesn't know the history of the Shiites and Sunnis. You have to laugh, it's so pathetic.

Of course Abdullah didn't say anything like that. What he did say was that the Palestinian problem was the core problem, and far more important than the Iraq problem. He said it five times. But both Stephanopolous and Will ignored him. It's incredible.

And then -- get this -- Stephanopolous said, "His point was that that might help the American image."

Can you believe this? Abdullah wasn't talking about the American image. He was talking about a brewing catastrophe among the Israelis, Palestinians, and Lebanese.

I'm sorry, I just can't get over this. I can understand ordinary citizens not understanding the details of the Mideast (though it would be nice if they did), but these people are all supposed to be experts. It's pathetic and frightening that all our lives are in the hands of people like these.

The Three Civil Wars

Abdullah said that there might be three civil wars by 2007 -- in Palestine, in Lebanon, and in Iraq.

A civil war among the Palestinians, between the Fatah and Hamas groups, is a real possibility. The Palestinians and Israelis are in a generational crisis era, and they're headed for a major genocidal war, one way or another.

But the other two civil wars will not happen, because both Lebanon and Iraq are in generational Awakening eras.

Lebanon's government is in a state of chaos, thanks to the assassination of Pierre Gemayel earlier this week, following threats by Hizbollah to take over the government, and this is on top of recovering from the summer war with Israel.

It's possible that Hizbollah will execute some kind of political coup that will give them control of the Lebanese government, but if it happens, it will be political rather than war. The Lebanese are still traumatized by what they did to each other in the 1980s civil war, and will not do anything like it again.

The so-called Iraq "civil war" is receiving plenty of pundit attention these days. Actually, they almost can't talk about anything else.

CNN has really gone over to the dark side. Their reporters speak contemptuously of anyone who doesn't call it a civil war now, and Michael Ware, their Tehran reporter, spends 10-15 minutes on air every day doing everything possible to emphasize the gore. He's no longer reporting facts; he's reporting a point of view. People always talk about Fox News being on the right politically, and that's true, but CNN has gone waaaaay over to the left, and is in danger of losing all credibility.

But the fact is that there's no civil war in Iraq, and there won't be.

The talk picked up this week when five car bombs exploded in Sadr City, killing 150-200 people. Car bombs and terrorist acts are no more signs of civil war than was the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center that killed 3000 people. For Iraq to be in a civil war, you'd need to see large masses of Sunnis and Shiites murdering each other, not a series of well-planned terrorist attacks, no matter how gory.

Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr <font size=-2>(Source: SumariaTV)</font>
Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr (Source: SumariaTV)

Mainstream media news sources constantly play up the violence and gore in order to reach ideological conclusions about civil war. That's why it's instructive to read what Moqtada al-Sadr himself said in a press conference following the car bombings. The following article is from an Iraqi source, and it just reports what al-Sadr said, without festooning it with all the ideological crap that Western media uses:

"Cleric Muqtada Sadr pleaded Muslim Scholars Association Secretary General, Hareth Dari to encircle the crisis and issue a Fatwa banning the affiliation to Al Qaeda organization and killing Shiites. He strongly slammed Sadr City attacks reiterating his call for US forces to withdraw from Iraq so the country would be reunited. Moreover, Cleric Saleh Haydari, Al-Khallani Mosque Imam, accused some groups of providing shelters to armed squads infiltrating from other countries of breaching Mecca paper. He underlined the call of Sistani to restrain anger and pleaded the government to enhance the terrorism fighting law and provide security and stability in the country.

"Meanwhile Sadr Bloc threatened to suspend its membership with the Iraqi parliament if Iraqi President Nuri Al Maliki met with US President Bush in Jordan. After holding US forces responsible for Sadr City incidents, Sadr Bloc called Coalition forces to withdraw from the country and urged politicians to stop violence fomenting statements."

Notice what al-Sadr DIDN'T say: He didn't say that his people should go out and kill all the Sunnis. That's what he would say if there were a real civil war.

Instead, he ascribed the terrorist act not to Sunnis but to al-Qaeda, the same group that was responsible for our 9/11 attacks. And as we said, last week's attacks were no more civil war than the 9/11 attacks were.

Al-Sadr also called for the withdrawal of American troops and threatened political retaliation against Iraqi President Nuri Al Maliki. This is exactly the kind of political and social upheaval that takes place during an Awakening era.

If you haven't read my 2004 article comparing Iraq's current Awakening era to 1960s America, in a while, then take another look at it. It's true that the huge number of murders taking place in Iraq today is horrible, but it's not a civil war.

Henry Kissinger

Henry Kissinger, on an increasingly crowded CNN screen <font size=-2>(Source: CNN)</font>
Henry Kissinger, on an increasingly crowded CNN screen (Source: CNN)

Getting back to the Palestine issue, I only heard one pundit on any of the Sunday talk shows mention it, and that was Henry Kissinger on CNN. Wolf Blitzer asked the same question that Abdullah was asked -- namely whether it was America's push for democracy that caused the trouble in the Mideast. He also asked whether we should now admit our mistake and withdraw. Here are excerpts of his answer:

"I've been arguing that imposing a democracy is beyond our capacity in many parts of the world. On the other hand, standing for democracy is inevitable. The purpose in going in Iraq was related to our perception of the war on terror and on the danger of a Jihadist movement throughout the region.

Undoubtedly mistakes have been made, but the issue we're facing now, is whether if we withdraw under conditions in which the radicals can say they drove the Russians out of Afghanistan, they drove the Americans out of Iraq, and there is no vestige of an American position left. This is bound to have serious consequences, not only throughout the region, but wherever there are significant Islamic minorities that have radical cells implanted in them, including in countries like India, and some of the European countries.

So I believe that any change in policy, which on the whole I favor, has to be done in a measured way and related to a strategic concept, and not simply say that we made a mistake a few years ago, which I also don't agree with in such absolute terms, and therefore we're simply going to get out. We have to create a framework for the next phase, in which America remains relevant. ...

I, as you know, have always questioned whether it is possible to develop democracy at the same time scale as it was necessary to deal with the strategic issues in the region, but I don't believe that the commitment to democracy is the cause of the difficulties - the cause of the difficulties say in Lebanon is the creation by Iran of a paramiltary organization - they've called the Hezbollah, which is better armed, better trained than the Lebanese government. Therefore, it's not the aspiration to democracy, but the rejection of democracy by a significant group that wants to establish itself by force."

So, all in all, the Sunday news shows were very discouraging, because only Jordan's King Abdullah and Henry Kissinger said anything that wasn't completely idiotic.

P.S.: Just one more thing. I keep hearing statements that the "Iraq war has now gone on longer than World War II." Once again, our politicians, journalists and pundits can't be faulted for not being stupid enough. The Iraq war has been going on a lot longer than that. It began in 1991, after Iraq invaded Kuwait. This 16-year war has undergone several phases. First, Iraq was ejected from Kuwait. Then there were several years of overflights to protect the Kurds and Sunnis from Saddam. The latest phase began in earnest in December, 1998, when Saddam expelled the U.N. weapons inspectors. The Clinton/Gore administration immediately began furiously bombing Iraq, and that bombing continued on almost a daily basis, into the next administration. The war escalated again in 2003, with the ground war in the Bush/Cheney Administration. (26-Nov-06) Permanent Link
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