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


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 16-Oct-07
Washington Post says that al-Qaeda in Iraq is "crippled"

Web Log - October, 2007

Washington Post says that al-Qaeda in Iraq is "crippled"

Meanwhile, Iraqi citizens' political opposition to America is growing.

According to the Washington Post article:

"The U.S. military believes it has dealt devastating and perhaps irreversible blows to al-Qaeda in Iraq in recent months, leading some generals to advocate a declaration of victory over the group, which the Bush administration has long described as the most lethal U.S. adversary in Iraq.

But as the White House and its military commanders plan the next phase of the war, other officials have cautioned against taking what they see as a premature step that could create strategic and political difficulties for the United States. Such a declaration could fuel criticism that the Iraq conflict has become a civil war in which U.S. combat forces should not be involved. At the same time, the intelligence community, and some in the military itself, worry about underestimating an enemy that has shown great resilience in the past."

There's no doubt that the American military has scored very significant achievements over al-Qaeda in Iraq since the "surge" began, but it's far from a victory, as the article continues:

"There is widespread agreement that AQI [al-Qaeda in Iraq] has suffered major blows over the past three months. Among the indicators cited is a sharp drop in suicide bombings, the group's signature attack, from more than 60 in January to around 30 a month since July. Captures and interrogations of AQI leaders over the summer had what a senior military intelligence official called a "cascade effect," leading to other killings and captures. The flow of foreign fighters through Syria into Iraq has also diminished, although officials are unsure of the reason and are concerned that the broader al-Qaeda network may be diverting new recruits to Afghanistan and elsewhere."

It certainly would be a political disaster to declare any kind of victory. The next day, al-Qaeda in Iraq would find a way to blow something up with a suicide car bomber, and the press would have a field day condemning America again.

That point was made over the weekend, as Sunday talk shows and the mainstream press have been breathlessly reporting on a speech by former General Ricardo Sanchez, who once was the commander of the American forces in Iraq. What we've been hearing all weekend is this:

"Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez has delivered one of the most damning assessments of US policy in Iraq, becoming the most senior war commander to do so. "There is no question that America is living a nightmare with no end in sight," he told reporters in Arlington, Virginia. ...

Even without naming names, Gen Sanchez's analysis of the mishandling of the occupation of Iraq, delivered on Friday, was piercing. "From a catastrophically flawed, unrealistically optimistic war plan to the administration's latest surge strategy, this administration has failed to employ and synchronise its political, economic and military power," he said."

The above has been quoted hundreds of times on television news shows, and in thousands of news articles. But it wasn't until I checked out articles by Fox News that I found out that Sanchez ALSO spoke as follows:

"In his speech to the Military Reporters and Editors Association in Washington, D.C., on Friday, Sanchez made many accusations, including blaming reporters for "unscrupulous reporting, solely focused on supporting an agenda and preconceived notions of the U.S. military."

Without naming a specific company, Sanchez said "parent media organizations" have political agendas that direct the news coverage of the war and in some cases put U.S. service members in deadly situations.

"What is clear to me is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war. My assessment is that your profession, to some, has strayed from these ethical standards and allowed external agendas to manipulate what the American public sees on TV, reads in newspapers and what they see on the Web," Sanchez said."

For some reason, reporters at BBC, CNN, NBC and other mainstream news organizations "forgot" to put that part in.

However, with the number of suiciding bombings in Iraq reduced significantly, I have noticed one big change in the mainstream news coverage. It used to be, as I complained frequently, that every mainstream newscast led every day with the same story: The latest suicide bombing in Iraq. It was perfectly obvious that al-Qaeda in Iraq was using suicide bombings as a public relations tools, and was scheduling one each day to match the news cycles. The mainstream news producers were stupidly doing the bidding for al-Qaeda by obediently covering its "press events."

Well, that doesn't seem to happen any more. I don't if it's because the number of suiciding bombings has gone down, or if it's because the mainstream news producers have gotten smarter. Since I doubt the latter, I assume that the former is true.

But if we now look at what's happening in Iraq itself, we see that the following:

Both of these precisely parallel the Generational Dynamics predictions that I've been making on this web site since 2003, and have repeated many times.

One of my first major predictions was the August 19, 2003, article on Iraq, where I wrote the following:

"Today's massive car bombing of the hotel used as United Nations headquarters in Baghdad is just the most recent of terrorist bombings in Iraq in recent days -- including two bombings of an important oil pipeline last weekend and the car bombing of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad on August 7.

Many analysts believe that this increasing level of terrorist violence is part of a guerrilla war being directed against American interests, and sponsored by a combination Saddam's Baathists and al Qaeda. The obvious intent of the terrorists is to, well, terrorize the public and generate a massive civil war against the American occupiers.

In fact, Generational Dynamics indicates that something quite different may happen.

The effect of terrorist acts on a nation often depends most on where the nation is on the generational timeline. Terrorist acts can indeed incite massive war, but usually only when the nation is in, or about to enter, a "crisis" period. (In fact, that could be the effect of another massive bombing that occurred today in Jerusalem, a region which is entering a crisis period.)

But Iraq has already had its crisis period -- during the Iran/Iraq war, the Gulf War and the subsequent internal rebellion, running from 1980 to 1991.

Today, Iraq is in an "awakening" period, and the easiest way to understand that is to compare it to America's own awakening period during the 1960s and 70s. Awakening periods are characterized by riots and demonstrations motivated by a generation gap. In other words: During an awakening period, there are a lot of college kids making a lot of noise to rebel against their parents.

That's why you're seeing massive riots and demonstrations among the Shi'ites in southern Iraq, but you're not seeing massive violence against the American occupiers. There's no "Tet offensive" and no Vietnam-like "quagmire" in the cards for the Americans.

Terrorist acts during this period can thus have the effect of backfiring against the terrorist. The young people taking part in massive demonstrations and riots sometimes take a deep breath and say, "Whoa! This is farther than we wanted to go." The result is that public opinion begins to turn against the terrorists rather than (in this case) the Americans.

That's not to say there aren't dangers, and here we'll point out two major ones:

First, the terrorist attacks may continue and get worse. Terrorism is more a political technique rather than a military technique. Al Qaeda may succeed in increasing the level of terrorist attacks in order to influence American public opinion.

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."

I can't even imagine a better analysis and prediction, given the information available to me on August 19, 2003. And I gave a full analysis in an April, 2007, article.

Now, you can go to analysts like Stratfor or Brookings or Cato or anyone else, and you will not find an analysis that comes anywhere close to what I wrote in 2003. Even today, analysts are still getting it wrong. They just don't learn, because they're too bound up in politics.

I have no politics. I'm neither Republican nor Democrat. I'm neither Liberal nor Conservative. I just use the Generational Dynamics forecasting methodology, which I began to develop in 2003 and I first described at length in 2004, and have described further many times since then.

Using this methodology, I've made predictions about the Mideast, Iraq, Iran, Darfur, Lebanon, Burma, China, and many other countries, and every one of those predictions has either come true or is trending true.

Since 2002 I've also been predicting that we're headed for a new 1930s style Great Depression. For years people scoffed at me, but few people have been scoffing in the last few months.

I'll repeat a challenge I've made before: Show me any web site, anywhere in the world, that has anything close to the predictive success of this one. I know that none exists because I've looked for one.

If you'd like to get the latest political assessment, go to Stratfor or Brookings or Cato or one of the mainstream analysts. If you want to know what's going on in the world, this is the only web site that will tell you. (16-Oct-07) Permanent Link
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