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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 14-Aug-2011
14-Aug-11 World View -- Syria's Assad asks for 15 more days to slaughter civilians

Web Log - August, 2011

14-Aug-11 World View -- Syria's Assad asks for 15 more days to slaughter civilians

Desperate Swiss try to devalue the Swiss franc

This morning's key headlines from

London residents wonder why their homes and businesses were destroyed

The flaming Carpet Right building in Tottenham has become the horrible iconic picture of last week's London riots
The flaming Carpet Right building in Tottenham has become the horrible iconic picture of last week's London riots

Every explanation for last week's UK riots seems unsatisfactory, designed to conform to an ideology or a theory. "I hear social deprivation blamed, yet there are other poor areas of the country that didn't riot. Others blame atheism and the lack of morality. Yet I have never lived in a community in London where so many of my neighbours go to church. Even the simplest explanation of Conservative ministers that it is simply 'criminality' is meaningless." Guardian

I make a connection between the nihilism of the rioters, who destroyed people's lives for the enjoyment of it, with the nihilism of the Gen-X financial engineers who knowingly created some $50 trillion of fraudulent artificial securities that are still sitting in bank portfolios, waiting to implode. I realize that the rioters were young, and were not Gen-Xers, so there is still a lot to be understood from a generational point of view. Both the above article and a Reuters article of several days ago emphasize the relationship between the rioters and their parents, with some parents participating in the riots. I also make the connection to the nihilism of the July 7, 2005, London subway bombings, where young people in immigrant communities blew themselves and the subways up, motivated by "altruistic suicide," believing that their parents would be proud of them for committing these acts. The generational connection that needs to be explored is how the nihilism of the Nomad archetype (like Generation X) gets translated into a full scale crisis, perpetrated by the Nomads and their Hero archetype children. Reuters

Syria's Assad asks for 15 more days to slaughter civilians

Reports indicate that Syria's president Bashar al-Assad told Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Tuesday that, with a free hand, he would finish off the revolt in 10 to 15 days and then get down to introducing political reforms including free elections with full opposition participation. If he went back on his word, then Obama and Erdogan would talk again about a possible US-Turkish military operation in Syria. They decided to trust Assad "one last time" regardless of his broken promises in the past. So mark your calendar, folks -- the deadline is August 27. Debka

US/Saudi leaders tell Syria's Assad to stop, as his regime smashes into Latakia

The Syrian army's bloody rampage against unarmed civilians is moving on to a new city, Latakia, on the Mediterranean coast in the west. On Saturday, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and U.S. President Barack Obama joined in a toothless demand that the Syrian regime "immediately" halt its brutal crackdown on protesters. Obama and Abdullah "expressed their shared, deep concerns about the Syrian government's use of violence against its citizens. They agreed that the Syrian regime's brutal campaign of violence against the Syrian people must end immediately, and to continue close consultations about the situation in the days ahead." Arab News

Iran building a military base in Latakia, western Syria

Iran has agreed to provide $23 million to build a new military complex at Latakia airport, to handle Iranian arms shipments to Syria, to include machine guns, rockets and medium-range missiles. It will be completed by the end of next year. Iran plans to fly hundreds of tons of weapons to Latakia on freight planes which have a capacity of up to 40 tons each. Previous Iranian efforts to provide arms shipments have suffered several setbacks after Turkish officials intercepted a number of shipments destined for Syria. In return for Iranian military support, Syria has supported Tehran's attempts to develop the Islamic Shia fundamentalist Hizbollah militia into a major political force in neighboring Lebanon. Telegraph

Interim assessment of the humanitarian mission in Libya

Although Nato is nominally in charge of the Libya mission, it was really launched and is led by Europe's residual military powers, France and Britain, operating in their respective national capacities. President Nicolas Sarkozy and Prime Minister David Cameron each embarked on this intervention as a short-term political project, taking "days not weeks," only to see it turn into stalemate, and the expected political rewards turn into liabilities. The resulting perception is that Nato has been held in check by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s third-rate troops for all these months. Nato's last perceived military success was Kosovo in 1999. Along with the costly failure in Afghanistan, another failure in Libya would make Nato look irrelevant to American and West-European publics, exposing it to even more debilitating budget cuts after those it has already incurred. Jamestown (#1) and Jamestown (#2)

Libyan diplomats tried 'fire sale' in Britain prior to expulsion

In the days before the expulsion of Libya's diplomats from London several weeks ago, they attempted a a "fire sale" of properties and expensive cars worth up to $160-million in the days leading up to their expulsion, intelligence sources have disclosed. Montreal Gazette

Palestinians visit Caribbean nations to gain UN recognition

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad Malki has been making the rounds of 19 countries in Central America and the Caribbean to convince them to support the Palestinians' attempt in September to gain U.N. General Assembly recognition of a Palestinian state. Some of these countries have a population less than 45,000, but they're still sovereign U.N. member states. The Palestinians need two-thirds of the U.N. member states -- that is, at least 129 countries -- and that assumes that America won't carry out its threat to veto the resolution in the Security Council. In the case of a veto, the only option remaining would be to ask the General Assembly for nonmember state status, which they can get with only a majority of the votes of those present in the session. LA Times

Saudi-Pakistan relations at a new high

Pakistan maintains close military ties with Saudi Arabia through expertise, and extensive support and training for Saudi defense forces. Saudi Arabia has been more supportive of Pakistan on the Kashmir issue (versus India) than any other nation in the world. Saudi-Pakistan bilateral trade is above $3.3 billion per year. Arab News

Desperate Swiss try to devalue the Swiss franc

Switzerland is one of the European countries that retained its national currency, and did not join the euro currency. Now, top officials at the Swiss National Bank (SNB) are desperately trying to devalue the Swiss franc, because it's become "massively overvalued." Before the 2008 credit crisis, one euro could buy you 1.65 Swiss francs. But after last week's wild stock market gyrations, leaving France's banks in crisis, one euro could only purchase 1.08 Swiss francs. Swiss francs are becoming more valuable because investors are looking for "safe havens" where they can put their money. US Treasuries are one such safe haven, and the Swiss franc is another safe haven. The highly revalued Swiss franc has put Switzerland into dangerous territory this past month, because the tourist industry is collapsing, and the machine tool industry is heading for major layoffs. The Swiss are trying to devalue the franc by "printing money" - flooding the market with francs, but all of these measures failed during a similar crisis in 1978. Telegraph (Paragraph corrected - 14-August)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 14-Aug-11 World View -- Syria's Assad asks for 15 more days to slaughter civilians thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (14-Aug-2011) Permanent Link
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