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


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 29-Jul-07
Cars banned from Baghdad as Iraq wins historic victory in soccer

Web Log - July, 2007

Cars banned from Baghdad as Iraq wins historic victory in soccer

Both the BBC and CNN International are expressing thrilled excitement on Sunday as euphoric Iraqis watch their team, made up of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds, win a final game versus Saudi Arabia in the Asia Cup football (soccer) finals in Jakarta.

Final moments of Asia Cup finals -- Iraq vs Saudi Arabia <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: CNN)</font>
Final moments of Asia Cup finals -- Iraq vs Saudi Arabia (Source: CNN)

Earlier, Iraqi officials banned all vehicles, including bicycles, from downtown Baghdad from 4 pm Sunday to 6 am Monday (local time). Iraqis were infuriated on Wednesday when suicide car bombers interrupted celebrations in Baghdad after the Iraqi semi-finals victory.

Jubilant Iraqis in Baghdad celebrate victory  <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: CNN)</font>
Jubilant Iraqis in Baghdad celebrate victory (Source: CNN)

The is a HUGE international news story, for a couple of reasons: First, soccer is extremely popular almost everywhere in the world outside the U.S.. Second, Iraq was an enormous underdog, starting the match as as a 50-1 outsider, and because it was thought that the so-called "civil war" in Iraq would make a unified Iraqi team impossible.

Iraqis themselves see this as a major double victory -- winning the Asia cup against all odds, and showing the world that Iraqis are unified.

There's little doubt that the Iraqi enthusiasm has been so infectious, it's even infected the BBC and CNN reporters who normally restrict their Iraq reporting to murders and bombing. Broadcasting a "good news" story on Iraq really goes against the grain, as when the BBC killed an Iraqi war story in April because it was "too positive."

Jubilant Iraqi soccer team pose with Asia Cup <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: CNN)</font>
Jubilant Iraqi soccer team pose with Asia Cup (Source: CNN)

Iraq was Asia's ninth-ranked team. Its previous best performance was fourth place in 1976, whilse Saudi Arabia has won four Asia Cups previous.

I've heard media commentators complain that TV news has been spending too much time on Lindsay Lohan (who drove over someone's foot) and Nicole Richie (who, like Paris Hilton, drove while intoxicated), and aren't spending enough time on Iraq, by which they mean not enough time on bombings and murders. The Iraqi victory is giving the news channels an opportunity to present some positive Iraqi coverage, if they want to use it.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Iraq is in a generational Awakening era, and a crisis civil war is impossible, as I've been writing since 2003. Iraq is very much like America in the 1960s-70s, which was America's last Awakening era.

As I wrote in my comprehensive analysis, "Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq," the spectacular suicide bombings in Iraq that always lead the BBC and CNN news are almost always perpetrated by foreign suicide bombers recruited by al-Qaeda in Iraq.

Recent news and intelligence reports provide additional details about the nature of al-Qaeda in Iraq organization. It was started by a Jordanian, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed last year. Al-Qaeda in Iraq's top leadership today comes from foreign countries: their emir in Baghdad is Syrian; the top spiritual and legal advisor is Saudi; other top leaders are Egyptian and Tunisian.

Of the countries mentioned here, all are in a generational Crisis era, except for Syria (also in an Awakening era), which supplied the Baghdad emir.

As I've written before, based on research obtained by combining Generational Dynamics research with Robert Pape's study of suicide bombers, published in the book Dying to Win, suicide bombers justify their terrorist acts as "altruistic suicide," and come overwhelmingly from countries in generational Crisis eras, and almost never from countries (like Iraq) in Awakening eras.

Thus, it's not surprising that Pape's research found that a disproportionate number of suicide bombers come from Saudi Arabia, which is extremely deep into a generational Crisis era, having had its last crisis war in the 1920s.

This research has been confirmed by a recent LA Times article that provided many details about how al-Qaeda in Iraq recruits suicide bombers from Saudi Arabia:

"Al Qaeda in Iraq and its affiliate groups number anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 individuals, the senior U.S. military officer said. Iraqis make up the majority of members, facilitating attacks, indoctrinating, fighting, but generally not blowing themselves up. Iraqis account for roughly 10% of suicide bombers, according to the U.S. military."

There are still many "death squads" in operation, resulting in the murders of many Iraqi citizens, making Baghdad particularly to be an extremely dangerous place. There is evidence that, unlike the suicide bombers, the gunmen in these death squads are mostly Iraqi citizens.

Mideast, showing Israel/Palestine, Muslim countries, and Orthodox Christian countries
Mideast, showing Israel/Palestine, Muslim countries, and Orthodox Christian countries

The article reports that Iraqi officials are increasingly suspicious that the Saudi Arabian government is explicitly or implicitly encouraging Saudi terrorists to go to Iraq:

"Others contend that Saudi Arabia is allowing fighters sympathetic to Al Qaeda to go to Iraq so they won't create havoc at home.

Iraqi Shiite lawmaker Sami Askari, an advisor to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki, accused Saudi officials of a deliberate policy to sow chaos in Baghdad.

"The fact of the matter is that Saudi Arabia has strong intelligence resources, and it would be hard to think that they are not aware of what is going on," he said.

Askari also alleged that imams at Saudi mosques call for jihad, or holy war, against Iraq's Shiites and that the government had funded groups causing unrest in Iraq's largely Shiite south. Sunni extremists regard Shiites as unbelievers.

Other Iraqi officials said that though they believed Saudi Arabia, a Sunni fundamentalist regime, had no interest in helping Shiite-ruled Iraq, it was not helping militants either. But some Iraqi Shiite leaders say the Saudi royal family sees the Baghdad government as a proxy for its regional rival, Shiite-ruled Iran, and wants to unseat it."

What all this shows is how complex Iraq's role is in the Mideast. This is in contrast to the simplistic view presented by politicians and mainstream media journalists, who really haven't bothered to learn what's going on anyway. In the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, the Iraqi people will have no desire to participate, and will do everything possible to avoid participating, as is standard among countries in generational Awakening eras. Nonetheless, Iraq may be forced into it because their country will become a theatre of war between foreign armies.

I wrote about this in an article posted on August 19, 2003, shortly after Baghdad had fallen to the coalition forces. That was the time of the first major terrorist bombings, as a suicide bomber blew up the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, just after they'd blown up an important oil pipeline and the Jordanian embassy.

Here's what I wrote at that time:

"And second, the terrorist acts may presage a larger regional war involving the Palestinian Arabs and the al Qaeda against Americans in Iraq. Iraq is in an awakening period, but the Palestine region is just about to enter a crisis period. Some analysts claim that the terrorist acts are being perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs and "Mujahadeen" being paid thousands of dollars each, funded by Saddam and Osama bin Laden, arriving from Syria and Saudi Arabia.

The really dangerous scenario is that large numbers of Palestinian and "mujahadeen" terrorists will be motivated by identity group relationships to move into Iraq as a theatre of war against the Americans. That isn't happening now, but it's one of several possible scenarios that may unfold in the Mideast region during the next few months and years."

Now, this prediction turned out to be exactly correct. No one else was making this prediction in 2003, but I was able to do so because it was the only possible outcome, based on Generational Dynamics theory. Those who claim that Generational Dynamics predictions are either "obvious" or "wrong" should understand that almost every one of the predictions that I've posted have been counter-intuitive at the time they were posted, and every one of these predictions has turned out to be correct, or trending correct. Not a single one has turned out wrong.

But what does this mean for the future of the Mideast?

As I've said many times before, my expectation, despite the partisan debates in Washington, is that American troops will remain in Iraq until the Clash of Civilization war begins, at which time they'll be withdrawn because they'll be needed elsewhere.

More and more, we're seeing that the centers of conflict are the Israeli/Palestinian region and the Pakistan/Afghanistan border. These are strongholds of al-Qaeda activity, supplemented by various African al-Qaeda groups in Egypt, Somalia and the Mahgreb (northern Africa).

Saudi Arabia has so far avoided being a major region of conflict. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics theory, the most likely reason is the large amounts of oil money flowing into the country for decades. But now we see another possible reason: That the Saudi government may have found a way to channel its terrorist youth into Iraq, if the charges of the Iraqi officials are correct. Whatever the reason, we should not expect to continue Saudi Arabia to remain conflict free, as al-Qaeda gains in strength. (As an aside, it's worth recalling that Osama bin Laden is Saudi, and the 9/11 suicide plane flyers were Saudi.)

As usual, the role of Iran remains a dangerous wildcard, for completely different reasons, as I wrote in my analysis of Iran earlier this month. Iran is also in a generational Awakening era, and the Iraqi people have no taste for war, and in fact are pro-American in many ways (though they don't like Americans being in Iraq).

However, the ruling Mullahs and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been openly inviting war by supplying weapons to Iraqi terrorists, calling for the destruction of Israel, supplying weapons to Hizbollah (Lebanese terrorists) and Hamas (Gaza terrorists), and openly promoting a weapons-grade nuclear development program. They're doing this to try to re-capture the "spirit" of the 1979 Islamic revolution, but it's an extremely dangerous policy that could trigger a major war.

But here's one more connection that I haven't seen written anywhere, but may be playing a role.

The Iraqi citizens, are infuriated by al-Qaeda's suicide bombers, who indiscriminately murder masses of innocent Iraqi men, women and children. Iraqi citizens must be well aware that the overwhelming majority of suicide bombers are from Saudi Arabia.

Thus, when Iraqis jubilantly celebrate their victory over Saudi Arabia in Sunday's game in the Asia Cup soccer finals, it's a double celebration: winning the Asia Cup, and a highly visible victory of their unified soccer team over the country that's supplying suicide bombers to al-Qaeda in Iraq.

No wonder al-Qaeda in Iraq wants to ruin any Iraqi celebration. (29-Jul-07) Permanent Link
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