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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 1-Jun-2010
1-Jun-10 News -- Wide condemnation of Israel over Gaza flotilla

Web Log - June, 2010

1-Jun-10 News -- Wide condemnation of Israel over Gaza flotilla

Thailand red shirt protestors' 'Men in Black' are revealed

Humanitarian aid flotilla for Gaza becomes catastrophe for Israel and activists

The "Freedom Flotilla" of humanitarian aid from Europe finally approached Gaza on Monday morning where, as expected, it was confronted by the Israeli navy, which attempted to divert the flotilla to an Israeli port. There, the aid was to be examined for weapons, and would be shipped on to Gaza.

As well as humanitarian aid, the flotilla contained hundreds of "political activists," including a long list of world-renowned names and veteran activists, according to the Guardian.

This was always going to be a public relations setback for Israel but, as one BBC reporter said, what was going to be a public relations disaster for Israel turned into a catastrophe.

Israeli navy commandos landed on the ships that were supposed to have only unarmed, peaceful activists. However, before it all ended, at least 9 of the activists were killed, according to AFP, and more than 80 have been arrested.

Worldwide condemnation of Israel has been immediate. The major sponsor of the flotilla was Turkey, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Israelís raid was "state terrorism," according to Bloomberg.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called the raid a "massacre," according to the Telegraph. Britain's foreign secretary said, "I deplore the loss of life during the interception of the Gaza flotilla." President Obama did not condemn Israel, but "expressed deep regret at the loss of life."

The investigation

The activists claim that the Israelis landed on the boat and immediately started shooting unarmed activists. The Israelis say that they landed on the boat and they were immediately attacked by thugs with knives and clubs.

There will be an investigation to determine who's at fault.

The IDF (Israeli Defense Force) has made public a video of the commando raid, and it's posted on the Telegraph web site. It clearly shows that the Israelis were attacked by activists armed at least with clubs, and that the Israelis were fighting for their lives. Insofar as facts will make any difference to the final outcome of this event, it appears that the activists were violent first.

Readers may have surmised over the years that I don't think much of Boomer publicity stunts, since they're always loaded to the brim with phony outrage and hypocrisy. I got pretty sick of them in the 60s and 70s, and REALLY sick of them in the 80s and 90s and 00s.

So when I first read last week that a flotilla of "humanitarian aid" was leaving Europe for Gaza, it immediately seemed suspicious. And then I read that there would be hundreds of "political activists" on the flotilla, and there was little doubt in my mind that was one of the most moronic stunts I've seen in a while.

Humanitarian aid was never the purpose of the "Freedom Flotilla." As I understand it, anyone can provide humanitarian aid to the Gazans, as long as the Israelis can first inspect the materials for weapons.

The purpose of the flotilla was to provoke a naval confrontation with the Israeli navy. And now they've gotten the naval confrontation that they wanted, with the resulting casualties. So I guess that a good time was had by all.

Relations between Turkey and Israel

If this event had occurred during a generational Awakening era or Unraveling era, it would still have been moronic, but not nearly as dangerous. In those eras, there would simply have been a lot of verbal bloviation, but no real serious consequences.

But this is a generational Crisis era, when people are quick to confront. Thus, Turkey and Greece have withdrawn their ambassadors to Israel, and Turkey is promising additional reprisals, according to Bloomberg. Elsewhere I've read that Turkish activists are planning to send more flotillas to challenge the Gaza blockade.

The position of the Turks is particularly interesting. The Turks strongly condemn Israel's treament of the Gazans. But the Turks have their own problems with suicide bombers among their own Kurdish population, and the Turks treat the Kurds much more harshly than the Israelis treat the Gazans.

In 1924, Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, declared that Turkey would henceforth be a secular state. The Caliphate in Istanbul was abolished, and all kinds of Muslim symbols were discouraged or even forbidden.

Readers may recall that in the 2007 election for president, one of the issues was that Erdogan's wife always wears a headscarf, considered a sign of a hidden Islamist agenda. (See "In Turkey, May 16 election may bring Islamist President into power.")

The fact that Erdogan is Prime Minister is one example of how Turkey is turning back from it's change to secularism back to its roots as a more religious country, as it was at the time of the Ottoman empire.

The NY Times says that "Turkey, a NATO member, has long been Israelís closest friend in the Muslim world, with $3 billion in trade and strong ties between the countriesí militaries and governments."

This was perhaps true of Turkey as a secular state, but as the country has swung towards becoming a more Sunni Islamic state, there was never any real chance that Israel and Turkey would remain allies. In fact, Erdogan on Monday had to warn the Turkish people not to be carried away with emotions and take revenge on Jews living in Turkey.

What the "Freedom Flotilla" did was to substantially heighten tensions in the Mideast, and increase the probability of a major confrontation with other copycat flotillas. How will Turkey respond when another flotilla is diverted by force? A miscalculation by either side could result in war during this generational Crisis era.

One possible outcome is that Israel will be forced to lift the naval blockage of Gaza. Even some Israeli supporters are suggesting this, under the reasoning that there are already weapons being smuggled in through the tunnels under the wall separating Gaza and Egypt.

Thailand's 'Men in Black'

The recent "red shirt" protests in Bangkok, Thailand, were supposed to be completely peaceful people, involving unarmed activists, but as we've reported, the protestors also included some violent "men in black," who had weapons and used them against the police.

According to the Asia Times, these men in black were a secret group known as the "Ronin warriors," made up mostly of present and former men in the Thai military.

The Thailand story is relevant to the Gaza flotilla story because the technique was similar in both cases. In both cases, there were large groups of sympathetic, unarmed activists, but they were hiding a small core of violent armed extremists.

As I wrote recently in "The rise of left-wing violence around the world," left-wing violence is not only on the rise, but it's also receiving sympathetic and supportive treatment by the mainstream media.

This technique of using large numbers of unarmed activists as a kind of "cocoon" around a core group of violent armed extremists is a technique that left-wing groups use to get away with mayhem and murder.

Additional links

The eurozone is expected to be under a great deal of pressure this week, after Spain's debt rating was downgraded. Spain's government may collapse, and France's debt rating may be the next to fall. Guardian

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has been reluctant to talk about austerity programs for France, but France will have to carry out a number of harsh spending cuts in order to keep its top AAA credit rating. AFP

German President Horst Koehler surprised and shocked everyone by resigning on Monday. He had made a gaffe by saying that a country like Germany, which is heavily reliant on foreign trade, must know that military interventions could be necessary to uphold German interests. The Afghan war is very unpopular in Germany, and the people are very sensitive to the belief that they started WW II for economic interests. Deutsche-Welle

Russian experts have arrived in South Korea to check the findings that North Korea was the guilty party in the sinking of the South's Cheonan warship on March 26. If the Russians concur, then they'll support a resolution condemning North Korea in the U.N. Security Council. Chosun

It's called "jingle mail" when a homeowner decides to stop paying the mortgage and simply mails the keys to the bank and takes off. But more and more, homeowners who stop paying the mortgage just stay in the home as long as possible, forcing the bank the endure the legal expenses of eviction. NY Times

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 1-Jun-10 News -- Wide condemnation of Israel over Gaza flotilla thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (1-Jun-2010) Permanent Link
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