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


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 14-May-2008
Sudan's Darfur war expands as Khartoum comes under attack by rebels

Web Log - May, 2008

Sudan's Darfur war expands as Khartoum comes under attack by rebels

What were they thinking? everyone's asking. But it DOES make sense.

Sudan and neighboring countries.  Sudan has three major regions: Northern Sudan, Southern Sudan, and Darfur (Western Sudan)
Sudan and neighboring countries. Sudan has three major regions: Northern Sudan, Southern Sudan, and Darfur (Western Sudan)

Last week, a long convoy of "rebels" from the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) traveled in pickup trucks from Darfur towards Sudan's capital, Khartoum. Sudan's army received some intelligence about the convoy on Thursday, but were still caught completely by surprise on Saturday, May 10, when the rebels attacked Omdurman, an élite suburb of Khartoum. In the ensuing battle, 400 rebels were killed, according to Sudanese sources, and so were 100 members of the Sudanese security forces. In addition, there were numerous deaths among civilians.

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Sudan blamed the attack on neighboring Chad, and has ended diplomatic relations with Chad. Chad denied the claim, and responded by closing its border with Sudan, and suspending economic ties.

Sudan and Chad had signed a mutual non-agression treaty on March 13, in a ceremony that brought smiles of relief from attending officials from the U.N. and other countries. Unfortunately, the treaty has turned out to be a worthless piece of paper.

The JEM attack has brought a "what were they thinking?" attitude from observers and journalists, with the the NY Times calling it a "quixotic attack."

The article quotes one analyst as asking, "What was JEM trying to do? It’s hard to imagine they thought they could capture the capital with 50 to 100 cars." Another analyst referred to the attack as "suicidal."

But from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the attacks makes plenty of sense, because it brings Khartoum and northern Sudan into play in the Darfur war. JEM would view the "Arabs" as having been sitting fat and happy in Khartoum, directing the war from afar, but not paying any consequences, and making Khartoum suffer some consequences will have a significant effect.

Generational Dynamics concerns itself with the attitudes and behaviors of large masses of people, entire generations people. Saturday's attack is panicking many people in Khartoum, and this cannot help but have a significant effect. One report says that the capitals "false sense of safety" has been burst, and quotes a resident as saying, "So if they [the Sudanese army] already knew that rebels were advancing why did they not stop them? They were willing to put our lives at risk? This could have been a blood bath."

Brief generational history of Sudan

Sudan's name in Arabic means "land of the blacks," which gives an idea of the Arab view of the nature of Sudan.

For the purposes of Generational Dynamics, it's easiest to view Sudan as three separate regions, on three separate generational timelines:

I've discussed the generational history of the Darfur war several times on this web site. It's worth reviewing because the media is totally oblivious to this history:

Aftermath of the attack on Khartoum

We cannot read the mind of the JEM leaders who took perpetrated the attack, but looking at the generational history that we've presented, it's clear that the attack was anything but "quixotic."

We've seen the concept of "regeneracy" applied in two different places: the arrest of the Darfur Africans (farmers) by the Janjaweed militia in April 2002, and the Africans' attack on the police station on February 26, 2003. The first of these two events served to cause a regeneracy of civic unity among the "Africans," while the second did the same among the "Arabs" (the Janjaweed militia).

Although not enough time has passed to be certain, it seems likely that the May 10 attack on Khartoum will serve to trigger a regeneracy of civic unity among the residents of Khartoum and Northern Sudan. If this happens, and we probably will know in a few weeks, it would be a highly significant change to the war.

Generational Dynamics examines the attitudes and behaviors of large masses of people, entire generations of people, and a regeneracy in Khartoum would have an enormous effect, probably including some of the following:

It may or may not have been the objective of the JEM leaders to bring about this kind of outcome, but since we seem to have no idea what other outcome they were intending, something like this was probably their intention.

What makes this situation particularly significant is that it changes the nature of the Darfur war itself with respect to the rest of the world.

Up until now, the Darfur war was isolated within the African continent, in particular black Africa (also called sub-Saharan Africa). The involvement of Khartoum and Northern Sudan in the Darfur war is certainly bound to be noticed by the Egyptians.

Egypt's government is being challenged by the Muslim Brotherhood, a 70-year-old radical Islamist group that spawned Hamas and Osama bin Laden. A conflict between rebels and the Sudan government in Khartoum could provoke a similar conflict within Egypt, and the two conflicts could become linked.

This is only a possibility, of course, far from a certainty. But it's the kind of thing that happens to countries in generational Crisis eras, as we approach the Clash of Civilizations world war. At any rate, after the May 10 attack, we can no longer be absolutely certain that the Darfur civil war is an isolated conflict that will never spread to the Mideast. As far as the Mideast is concerned, Darfur and Khartoum are now in play. (14-May-2008) Permanent Link
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