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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 19-Aug-2010
19-Aug-10 News -- France orders expulsion of Gypsies

Web Log - August, 2010

19-Aug-10 News -- France orders expulsion of Gypsies

The Mosque at Ground Zero

France's president Sarkozy orders expulsion of up to 15,000 Gypsies


Gypsy populations in Europe <font face=Arial size=-2>(Source: WSJ)</font>
Gypsy populations in Europe (Source: WSJ)

The Roma -- also known as Gypsies or by the politically correct euphemism "travelling people" -- are a semi-nomadic ethnic group that have been persecuted for centuries. The was even a Nazi holocaust of Romas. Today, there are some 350,000 Gypsies in Europe, mostly in eastern Europe. (Roma people are not Romanians except, of course, when they live in Romania.)

There are some 15,000 Gypsies living in France, many living in unathorized refugee camps or abandoned buildings. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has ordered a crackdown on Roma living in some 300 unauthorized campsites, according to Radio France Internationale.

By the end of the month, 700 Roma will be returned to their countries of origin, usually Bulgaria or Romania, and more will be expelled in the months to follow.

The expulsion of the Gypsies is part of a larger law and order plan by Sarkozy, according to WSJ (Access). Other measures proposed by Sarkozy and his political party are to strip French citizenship from people of foreign origin who were convicted of trying to kill police or other public officials, and to imprison the parents of delinquent children.

The law and order drive is popular with the French people, but the expulsion of the Gypsies is causing widespread human rights criticism, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP). Romania's foreign minister expressed the view that the economic crisis was causing "xenophobic reactions" in France.

France's Green Euro-MP party called Sarkozy's policy "state racism," according to AFP, and a Le Monde editorial says that the policy activates "racist impulses."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, xenophobia is a characteristic of generational Crisis eras, resulting in political conflicts in mild cases, and in full scale wars in the worst scenarios.

The Mosque at Ground Zero

We see a similar dispute of this kind going on in the U.S. with respect to the proposal to build a mosque next door to the Ground Zero site where the World Trade Center was brought down by Islamist terrorists on 9/11/2001. This has resulted in a drama of almost comic proportions, with a lot of politicians saying things and making fools of themselves. The NY Daily News reports that Nancy Pelosi, who is arguably the nation's politicizer-in-chief, is accusing her opponents of politicizing the issue, and is calling for an investigation of the finances of those who oppose the mosque, as if the families of 9/11 victims need to be paid to oppose the mosque.

On the one hand, you have a great deal of xenophobia, as well as a lot of people who are genuinely offended by the idea of a mosque at Ground Zero. On the other hand, you have the loony left that couldn't care less about the mosque, but see it as an opportunity to humiliate the United States.

Outside of those who sympathize with the victims of 9/11, no one actually believes the strongly held opinions they claim to have. This is shown by the fact that no one cares about the Greek Orthodox church that used to stand near Ground Zero, according to Fox News, but no one is applying the same principles to the Greek Orthodox Church that they're apply to the mosque.

Muslims themselves have a much more sensible view of the dispute. Memri quotes Al-Arabiya director Al-Sharq Al-Awsat as saying that, "The majority of Muslims do not want or need a mosque near ground zero," and adds:

"Because the idea of a mosque right next to a site of destruction is not at all an intelligent one. The last thing Muslims want today is to build a religious center that provokes others, or a symbolic mosque that people will visit as a [kind of] museum next to a cemetery.

"What the citizens of the U.S. fail to understand is that the battle against the 9/11 terrorists is not their battle. It is a Muslim battle one whose flames are still raging in more than 20 Muslim countries... I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a monument or a place of worship that tomorrow may become a source of pride for the terrorists and their Muslim followers, nor do they want a mosque that will become a shrine for the haters of Islam... This has already started to happen: [the Islamophobes] are claiming that a mosque is being built over the corpses of 3,000 U.S. citizens who were buried alive by people chanting 'Allah akbar' the same call that will be heard from the mosque..."

Additional links

Japan and India are close to signing a nuclear cooperation agreement, where the Japanese will build nuclear reactors in India. This corresponds to the agreement that China has to build nuclear reactors in Pakistan. As I've said in the past, I expect Pakistan to be allied with China, and Japan and India to be allied with the U.S. in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war. South Asia Analysis Group

Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan used to be a favored and glamorous vacation spot for Pakistanis and rich Europeans alike. But first there was the devastating earthquake of 2005; then there was the invasion of the Taliban, and their reign of terror; and now the astonishingly vast floods have made the region a disaster zone. Spiegel

No heavy rains are forecast for Pakistan this week, but even without more rain, the floods will last at least until the end of the month. RFI

The unemployment rate is as high as 70% in some parts of Greece, as the country's draconian austerity measures reduce the country's budget deficit, at enormous social cost. As shops and businesses shut down, Greece appears to be in a death spiral, with no end in sight. "Things are starting to simmer here," says an unemployed shipbuilder. "And at some point they're going to explode." Spiegel

After years of debate over whether low-fat diets were better or worse than low-carbohydrate (Atkins) diets, the question has been resolved: They're both equally effective, or ineffective, depending on your point of view, but neither is better than the other. NY Times

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 19-Aug-10 News -- France orders expulsion of Gypsies thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (19-Aug-2010) Permanent Link
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