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 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 30-Jul-2010
30-Jul-10 News -- Cameron's accusations roil Pakistan

Web Log - July, 2010

30-Jul-10 News -- Cameron's accusations roil Pakistan

Wikileaks editor Julian Assange loves 'crushing bastards'

Accusation that Pakistan supports terrorism brings harsh response

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the interesting thing to watch is how events affect history, and how the effects are different during different generational eras.

British Prime Minister David Cameron's remarks have infuriated the Pakistanis. (See "29-Jul-10 News -- British PM sides with India against Pakistan.")

Cameron accused Pakistan of supporting terrorism in India and Afghanistan. And he humiliated Pakistan by making those accusations in Bangalore, in the home of Pakistan's arch-enemy, India.

On Thursday, now in New Delhi, Cameron defended his remarks as a duty to speak "clearly and plainly," according to UK Press.

He repeated his charges: "It is not acceptable, as I have said, for there to be within Pakistan the existence of terror groups that cause terrorism both within Pakistan and also outside Pakistan, in Afghanistan, in India and elsewhere in our world. What we will continue to do is work with the Pakistan government to do everything that we can to encourage them to crack down and to take on these groups that have caused so much pain and so much suffering."

However, he was a little nicer on Thursday, since he didn't say that the Pakistan government were directly supporting the terror groups.

The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement:

"Pakistan is as much a victim of terrorism as are Afghanistan, India or other countries.

Pakistan has done much more than any other country in combating terrorism. Our people and security forces have rendered innumerable sacrifices. We hope that our friends will be able to persuade India to view this issue objectively and the value of “cooperation” in counter terrorism."

In addition, the Foreign Ministry will demand from the British envoy to Pakistan a full explanation of Cameron's remarks, according to Dawn.

Spiegel quotes Pakistan's ambassador to London, Wajid Shamsul Hasan, as saying that the comments were an "immature reaction from an immature politician."

So how far will this war of words go? Will the Pakistani people, many of whom are already blaming the U.S. for motivating the Taliban's terrorist acts in Pakistan, turn further against the U.K. and the U.S.?

Recall that it was just a couple of weeks ago that India-Pakistan peace talks collapsed. (See "17-Jul-10 News -- India-Pakistan peace talks collapse in acrimony.")

The peace talks never had a chance of succeeding anyway, but Cameron's remarks may have made it certain that they won't even start again. This is something to watch for in the next few days and weeks.

Attitudes in Pakistan

Pakistan poll results <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: Pew Research)</font>
Pakistan poll results (Source: Pew Research)

On Thursday, the Pew Global Attitudes Project issued a report on public opinion in Pakistan. I've extracted two graphics of interest.

The top graphic shows that Pakistanis' attitude toward the United States and President Obama. As you can see, opinions are very low, though a major say that they'd like them to improve.

However, I was struck by the graphic on the bottom. It shows attitudes that are very, very far from Western views. I believe that it would be very hard to find someone in the West who would say that, as a rule, adulterers should be stoned (though some might wish it for their particular ex-wives or ex-husbands).

But 82% of Pakistanis, according to this poll, agree with stoning adulterers. That's amazing, since stoning anyone is a particularly bloody pursuit.

These questions show what how different the Pakistanis' world view is from the West's word view.

And if Pakistanis have such widely different views about stoning adulterers or cutting off hands, then it stands to reason that their attitudes toward the Afghan war and terrorism are also very different.

That's why Cameron's remarks, accusing Pakistanis of exporting terrorism to India and Afghanistan, will almost certainly not have the desired effect of getting the Pakistanis to control terrorism better (as if such a thing were possible). Instead, his remarks could change Pakistani public opinion in a way that cannot easily be understood in the West. This is something to watch for.

Wikileaks editor Julian Assange loves 'crushing bastards'

You have to wonder what Julian Assange hoped to accomplish by faciliting this massive leak of tens of thousands secret documents, and you have to wonder whom, exactly, he loves crushing when he says that "loved crushing bastards."

Actually you don't have to wonder for long, because from a generational point of view it's pretty obvious. Born in 1971, Assange is a Generation-Xer, and like many Generation-Xers, there's a good chance that he hates all Boomers. Those are most likely the "bastards" he's referring to.

He says that he wants to promote a debate about the Afghanistan war. It's already the most publicly debated subject these days, so how much more debate was he expecting to promote?

Actually, he was dreaming of becoming another Daniel Ellsberg, who became a hero to the left in 1971 by releasing the Vietnam war "Pentagon Papers" to the NY Times.

But 1971 was the height of the generational Awakening era, and the height of the anti-war protests by college students.

Today, we're in a generational Crisis era, and there are few anti-war protests, almost none by college students.

So instead of being viewed as a leftist hero, there's a good chance that even the left will hold Assange responsible for putting the lives of Nato soldiers, American intelligence officers, and Afghan and Pakistani informants in danger.

In the end, this may be just one more example of the nihilism, destructiveness and self-destructiveness of Generation-X.

At any rate, you can be sure that intelligence officers in al-Qaeda and the Taliban are studying the Wikileaks documents, and will take appropriate action.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 30-Jul-10 News -- Cameron's accusations roil Pakistan thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (30-Jul-2010) Permanent Link
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