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


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 16-Feb-2010
16-Feb-10 News - A note from al-Qaeda takes credit for Pune India bombings

Web Log - February, 2010

16-Feb-10 News - A note from al-Qaeda takes credit for Pune India bombings

Acrimony grows in Europe, as finance managers delay again a decision on Greece

Al-Qaeda linked group claims credit for Pune, India, killings

Al-Qaeda note claiming credit for Pune, India, killings <font size=-2>(Source: Asian Times)</font>
Al-Qaeda note claiming credit for Pune, India, killings (Source: Asian Times)

The Asian Times in Islamabad says that it's received a note from Ilyas Kashmiri, top commander of the "313 Brigade." (See "Major terrorist attack strikes Pune, India.")

The perpetrators of last week's suicide attack were not immediately known, so this note, if confirmed, would settle the issue. The 313 Brigade is an arm of al-Qaeda, and comprises top former Lashkar-e-Toiba commanders.

The article gives a rough translation of the note:

"We warned the international community to play their role in getting the Kashmiris their right of self-determination and preventing India from committing brutalities in Kashmir, especially in Badipuar, raping the women and behaving inhumanly with Muslim prisoners.

We warn the international community not to send their people to the 2010 Hockey World Cup, IPL [Indian Premier League - a cricket competition involving international players] and Commonwealth Games [to be held in Delhi later this year]. Nor should their people visit India - if they do, they will be responsible for the consequences.

We, the mujahideen of 313 Brigade, vow to continue attacks all across India until the Indian Army leaves Kashmir and gives the Kashmiris their right of self-determination. We assure the Muslims of the subcontinent that we will never forget the massacre of the Muslims in Gujarat and the demolition of Babri Masjid [a Muslim mosque destroyed by Hindu militants in 1992]. The entire Muslim community is one body and we will take revenge for all injustices and tyranny. We again warn the Indian government to compensate for all its injustices, otherwise they will see our next action.

From 313 Brigade"

To many people who haven't been following this issue, it may be startling to see this issue as related to Kashmir, a disputed region that separates northeast Pakistan from northwest India.

Indian subcontinent, showing the disputed regions of Kashmir and Jammu.
Indian subcontinent, showing the disputed regions of Kashmir and Jammu.

This region was a major site of the extremely bloody war between Hindus and Muslims after Partition in 1947, and for decades since then, it's been the source of multiple terrorist attacks and military confrontation between the two countries.

In recent years, al-Qaeda's focus has shifted to Afghanistan, largely because of the American and Nato presence there. But Kashmir has always been the emotional driver of al-Qaeda linked terrorist attacks in Pakistan and India.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, India and Pakistan are headed for a major new war, re-fighting the war between Hindus and Muslims of 1947-48. Both countries have nuclear weapons. Pakistan will be supported by China, and India will be supported by the US and Russia, so this war will quickly spiral into world war.

Acrimony grows among European nations as financial crisis worsens

Quoting Spain's El Pais newspaper, Der Spiegel is reporting that Spain's intelligence agency is looking into "speculative attacks" on Spain, taking advantage of the debt crisis in Greece.

According to unnamed sources, the National Intelligence Center (CNI) was investigating "whether investors' attacks and the aggressiveness of some Anglo-Saxon media are driven by market forces and challenges facing the Spanish economy, or whether there is something more behind this campaign."

This echoed the remark by Greek prime minister George Papandreou complaining that his country had become "a guinea pig in a battle between Europe and the international markets." (See "15-Feb-10 News - Finance Ministers meet to decide Greece's fate.")

On the other side of the coin, the European Commission is promising to investigate irregularities by Greece. It's now generally accepted that Greece has been lying about the size of its budget deficits and debt levels.

Over the weekend, the NY Times published an investigative report showing how Goldman Sachs helped Greece lie about its debt levels, creating derivative securities that could transform debts into assets.

For example, Goldman and Greece packaged future lottery receipts and future landing fees as securities that could be exchanged for cash to write down debts, and the transaction was treated as a currency trade rather than a loan, so that it could be hidden from public view. This transaction in 2001 allowed Greece to meet the minimum requirements to join the European Union.

Now, European finance ministers are going to look "in detail" as these toxic securities, and the way they were used, according to Bloomberg. That investigation is sure to lead to nasty headlines for weeks, and possibly months.

For a number of years, I've been making the point on this web site that there's going to be a new European war as part of the Clash of Civilizations world war, and that one component will almost certainly be a new war between France and Britain.

Recall, for example, the bitterly acrimonious debate between the two countries over farm subsidies in 2005. (See "Acrimonious European Union summit ends in crisis.") That crisis only ended because Britain completely backed down and gave in to France. These two countries have been having regular wars at least since 1066, and there's absolutely no reason to assume that they won't again.

As the financial crisis worsens, my expectation is that we'll begin to see the sides line up against each other. I noted one trivial thing that might (or might not) mean something. Notice that the quote above from Spain refers to "Anglo-Saxon media." The phrase "Anglo-Saxon," when used by certain people, is used as an epithet. We'll see what happens.

There's one more bit of news along these lines. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at The Telegraph reports that Germany's Bundestag has drafted an opinion deeming aid to Greece illegal. State bodies may not purchase the debt of another state, in whatever guise.

As the financial crisis worsens, expect to see a lot more of this acrimony.

European Commission postpones a decision until mid-March

The euro fell again on Monday, as Europe finance ministers meeting in Brussels again failed to come up with a solution to the financial problem in Greece.

According to Bloomberg, finance chief Jean-Claude Juncker said, "Greece will have to make sure it cuts its deficit by 4 percent of GDP for 2010. We have to check if that's possible or not." Whew! He's going to check something! What a threat!

Greece will have to submit a progress report on March 16 on reducing its deficit. The requirement is that Greece reduce its budget deficit from 13% of GDP to 9% of GDP, something that Greece's public service unions will do everything possible to prevent.

And what will happen to Greece if the report isn't satisfactory?

Well, according to the article, Juncker said if the Greek government wasn't "on track" to meet its goals in mid-March, then "additional measures would be requested." Whew! The Greeks must be quaking in their boots!

This is all desperation politics. There IS no solution to the Greece problem, and Portugal and Spain are not far behind.

As I've been saying recently, the European financial system, and hence the global financial system, is getting very close to total crisis.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this will take the form of some kind of panic. What will trigger the panic, and what form the panic will take cannot be predicted, but a generational panic is overdue, and is coming with mathematical certainty. And when it happens, things will change overnight.

"Time is running out for Dubai," as stocks continue to sink

It's quite possible that the trigger for a major new global financial crisis won't come from Europe.

Dubai's stock market fell by 3.5% on Monday, as U.K. Business Secretary Peter Mandelson said that Dubai is running out of time to solve its financial crisis, according to The Telegraph.

Britain's banks have loaned billions of pounds to Dubai's real estate developers when the real estate bubble was in full swing. Now, they stand to lose that money, and Mandelson is urging Dubai to come up with some kind of bailout plan. Dubai's neighboring Emirate, Abu Dhabi, has promised to help in the past, but there are as few details forthcoming about that bailout as there are for the EU's bailout of Greece.

Thus, Mandelson is visiting Dubai, where he said, "Time is running out. The current uncertainty and the lack of agreement cannot go on indefinitely, even for much longer. ... Therefore, [Dubai] has to tread carefully, it has to tread openly, it mustn't tread for too long and it does need to reach an agreement with its creditors that everyone can say is demonstrably fair to those who have invested their money, undertaken jobs, done well for Dubai and require Dubai to act fairly to them."

Here's your quiz for the day, Dear Reader: Which will default first -- Greece or Dubai? And once one of them defaults, how many days (or hours or minutes) will it take for the other to default?

Long-term unemployed rolls continue to grow

Calculated Risk has a chart showing the number of workers who have been unemployed for over 26 weeks:

Workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more, 1969 to present <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: Calculated Risk)</font>
Workers unemployed for 27 weeks or more, 1969 to present (Source: Calculated Risk)

Meanwhile, states are begging the government for more federal aid. CNN Money points out that states are looking at a combined budget gap of $180 billion, and since (unlike the federal government) state governments are required to balance their budgets, states will have to lay off 900,000 workers.

Scams from the web site

The web site is scamming people who come to get, well, a free credit report. A NY Times video report tells us that unless you read the fine print on the web site, that free credit report turns into a charge of $14.95 per month charged to your credit card.

I've previous described a Senate Commerce committee investigation that dozens of supposedly honest companies have tricked millions of online customers into paying billions of dollars in mysterious credit card charges. (See "How Priceline, Orbitz, FTD, 1-800-Flowers, Pizza Hut, and Continental Airlines are scamming you online.")

You are, in fact, entitled to free annual credit reports from each of the three agencies, and you can get them from a different government-sponsored web site, where you won't be scammed.

Additional Links

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Monday that Iran is turning into a "military dictatorship." In a visit to Qatar, the Washington Post quotes her as saying that Iran's Revolutionary Guard Core is taking over Iran's civilian/clerical government.

In a recent TV interview in Iraq, liberal Shia cleric Ayad Jamal Al-Din calls Iraq a "beacon of democracy," made possibly solely through US efforts. In a translation by MEMRI, he said that the U.S. had planted "the seed of democracy... in a land alien to democracy" and that it would "continue to cultivate this seed, until the tree grows and offers shade to the region in its entirety."

The NY Times warns that there's a new kind of identity theft on the increase: Thieves steal your health insurance card to get health care coverage for surgery or other treatment.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 16-Feb-10 News - A note from al-Qaeda thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (16-Feb-2010) Permanent Link
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