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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 25-May-2009
Tamil Tigers renounce violence, to join Sri Lanka political process

Web Log - May, 2009

Tamil Tigers renounce violence, to join Sri Lanka political process

New photos show "genocidal fury" at climax of civil war.

Scenes of devastation where hundreds of civilians were killed in the last weeks of the war. <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: Straits Times / AFP)</font>
Scenes of devastation where hundreds of civilians were killed in the last weeks of the war. (Source: Straits Times / AFP)

In a telephone interview with the BBC, the Tamil Tigers' head of international relations, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, said, "We have already announced that we have given up violence and agreed to enter a democratic process to achieve the rights for the Tamil (self) determination of our people."

He added that Tamils all over the world should "restrain from harmful acts to themselves or anyone else in this hour of extreme grief."

This statement follows the visit to the war zone by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon last week, and the release of new photos showing the widespread devastation in the last months and weeks of the war.

The following AP video of Ban's visit shows more of the devastation:

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This increasing willingness to join a political process and avoid violence contradicts the expectations of analysts around the world who, for weeks, were predicting that the Tamil Tigers would continue a guerrilla war after the civil war ended.

However, this renunciation of violence, at least for a decade or two, is exactly what's predicted by Generational Dynamics when a generational crisis civil war ends, and a country transitions from a generational Crisis era (fourth turning) into a generational Recovery era (first turning). During a Recovery era, war is shunned, and is only pursued -- half-heartedly -- when political leaders demand it.

Once again, as has happened many times since I set up this web site almost seven years ago, Generational Dynamics has been proven to be correct, while the analysts have been proven wrong. (See "List of major Generational Dynamics predictions.") This is not because I have any psychic capability or political skills (I have none of either), but because the Generational Dynamics methodology works consistently.

The Sri Lanka civil war began in 1983, and followed pretty much the same series of steps that every generational crisis war follows. If you understand that series of steps, then you can understand almost any war, and you have the tools to make sensible comparisons between wars. Analysts in general do not understand or wish to acknowledge generational analyses of wars, and so their predictions are almost always wrong. (See "Sri Lanka crisis civil war nears climax, as army captures Mullaittivu" for a description of this pattern in the case of the Sri Lanka war.)

For example, I've heard some pundits compare the recent Sri Lanka fighting with the situation today in Pakistan's Swat Valley. There are, of course some superficial similarities, in particular with regard to having hundreds of thousands of refugees forced from their homes.

But Pakistan is still in the early stages of its war, and that war hasn't yet crossed the line into what I call "genocidal fury" -- the willingness to sacrifice hundreds or thousands of civilian lives in order to win the war once and for all.

In World War II, the Germans and the Japanese exhibited plenty of "genocidal fury," but so did the Allies. The Allies allowed tens of thousands of young American soldiers to be shot down like fish in a barrel on the beaches of Normandy, they firebombed Dresden and Tokyo, and they used nuclear weapons on two Japanese cities. This is what ALWAYS happens at the climax of a crisis war, even by the most benevolent of belligerents.

Pictures like the one shown above of the Sri Lanka war zone show that exactly the same kind of explosive climax, with "genocidal fury," occurred at the climax of the Sri Lanka crisis civil war. There was no firebombing involved, and there were no nuclear weapons, but the effect and the devastation were the same. Genocidal fury has nothing to do with the type of weapons used; it has to do with how human beings behave at the end of a crisis war.

After the war ends, all parties recoil in horror, not only at what they suffered, but also at what they did to make the other side suffer. Apologies are rarely issued by the politicians, but it's still this sense of shame at their own actions that is one of the primary motivations for the vow, by all survivors, that "nothing like that can ever be permitted to happen again," and why the survivors then devote their entire lives to making sure that it doesn't happen again. And that's why new rounds of "genocidal fury" never occur until most or all of those survivors are gone.

These are the factors that play in the generational analysis of wars, and these are the factors that the so-called "experts" always ignore in their analyses, which is why their analyses always turn out to be worth little more than the paper they're written on.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Sri Lanka crisis civil war thread of the Generational Dynamics forum.) (25-May-2009) Permanent Link
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