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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 27-Sep-2016
27-Sep-16 World View -- US, UK, UN officials accuse Syria and Russia of barbarism and war crimes

Web Log - September, 2016

27-Sep-16 World View -- US, UK, UN officials accuse Syria and Russia of barbarism and war crimes

Comparisons of Syria civil war to Sri Lanka civil war

This morning's key headlines from

Russian warplanes drop phosphorus bombs and bunker buster bombs on Aleppo

White helmet workers in Aleppo find a small child in the rubble after a bombing (CNN)
White helmet workers in Aleppo find a small child in the rubble after a bombing (CNN)

In 2015, Syria's army suffered a string of defeats, and even al-Assad admitted that his army was in danger of collapse. That was turned around when Russia fully entered the war in September of last year.

Earlier this year on March 15, Russia's president Vladimir Putin announced that most of Russia's forces in Syria would be withdrawn because "the objectives set before the Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces have on the whole been achieved."

Russia has been forced to reverse this withdrawal, as Bashar al-Assad's Syrian army appeared last month once again to be collapsing. Furthermore, Turkey has invaded Syria with "Operation Euphrates Shield," and is setting up a growing "safe zone" in Syria along Turkey's border that will not easily be displaced. Other regions of Syria are being controlled by the Kurds, by the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), and by Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front, now Jabhat Fateh al-Sham or JFS). I heard one analyst say that Al-Assad is being reduced to be ruler of "Alawite-istan," meaning that al-Assad, an Alawite, may end up being president of only a small portion of Syria along the Mediterranean Sea.

Hoping to prevent complete disaster for al-Assad, Russia is back with more force than ever, and with bigger weapons than ever -- phosphorous incendiary bombs that suffocate people by sucking up all the oxygen, cluster munitions, and huge "bunker buster" bombs that penetrate deep underground by punching holes in concrete before detonating, bringing down whole buildings.

Some reports indicate that the Russians have targeted hospitals whose operating rooms have moved to the basement for safety, but are now vulnerable to bunker buster bombs. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "Let us remember: the fighting has forced hospitals and schools to operate in basements. These bombs are not busting bunkers; they are demolishing ordinary people looking for any last refuge of safety." Foreign Policy and Daily Mail (London)

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Comparisons of Syria civil war to Sri Lanka civil war

I heard an analyst today compare the war in Syria to the Sri Lanka civil war. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, that comparison does not hold up. In fact, the situation is Syria is almost the exact opposite of the situation in Sri Lanka in 2009.

As long-time readers may recall, as the Sri Lanka civil war approached a climax in May 2009, every news organization and analyst that reported on the civil war were predicting that the civil war would continue on for months or years, because it had already gone on for 26 years.

As far as I know, every analysis in the world was wrong except the Generational Dynamics analysis. As I had been saying for months earlier, the Sri Lanka civil war was a generational crisis war, headed for an explosive climax, and when that climax was finally reached, then the war would be over once and for all. The comparison I made was to the surrender of Berlin and Tokyo that ended World War II once and for all.

In January 2008, the low-level violence turned into a full scale generational crisis war, as we reported at the time. Finally, in May 2009, the Sinhalese army trapped the Tamil Tiger militants in a U.N.-declared "safe zone" and slaughtered them, including a number of civilians, although 50,000 civilians that had been trapped there were freed. That was the end of the war.

This analyst said that al-Assad and Putin expect a similar outcome in Syria from the current flattening of Aleppo. This is close to being delusional.

The Syria war is an Awakening era war, and they following a predictable pattern that I've described many times in countries like Burundi, Thailand, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, and others. The Syria war should have fizzled in 2011 or 2012, but continued only because of the depraved violence of Bashar al-Assad, backed up force from Iran and Hezbollah, and especially by massive flattening of civilian neighborhoods by Russian bombs.

The pattern for an Awakening era war is that it runs for a while, then it stops because of some kind of peace agreement, then picks up again a few months or years later. The primary pattern of an Awakening era war is this alternation between conflict and "peace" -- where the peace is characterized by peaceful demonstrations and protests.

The bombing of Aleppo does not change that fundamental pattern. World War II ended with the fall of Berlin, and with the nuking of Japanese cities. The Sri Lanka war ended with the trapping and slaughter of the Tamil Tiger rebels. But none of that is true in Aleppo.

Consider the statistic that some 600 civilians in Aleppo were killed over the weekend. That's a lot of civilians, but that kind of slaughter isn't enough to stop the Kurds, ISIS, al-Nusra or Turkey. There are over 200,000 civilians living in Aleppo, and Russia's phosphorous incendiary bombs, cluster munitions, and "bunker buster" bombs are not going to end the war.

At times like this I become philosophical. If policy makers and politicians understood generational theory, then they wouldn't make so many stupid mistakes. But one can't expect delusional leaders like al-Assad and Putin to act rationally, unfortunately. Al Jazeera

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US, UK, UN officials accuse Syria and Russia of barbarism and war crimes

Relations between Russia and the West reached a vitriolic height at an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Sunday. In the past, Western politicians diplomatically refrained from criticizing Russia, in the hope from bringing peace to Syria. But Western officials have been made fools of so many times, and the Syrian war has been such a geopolitical disaster that Western officials no longer see the point of being diplomatic.

Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN accused Sergei Lavrov, the Russian Ambassador to the UN, of repeated lying. She added:

"What Russia is sponsoring and doing is not counterterrorism, it is barbarism. Instead of pursuing peace, Russia and Assad make war. Instead of helping get life-saving aid to civilians, Russia and Assad are bombing the humanitarian convoys, hospitals and first responders who are trying desperately to keep people alive."

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said he was "appalled" by the military escalation and that the use of bunker-busting bombs "brings the violence to new depths of barbarity."

Matthew Rycroft, Britain's ambassador to the UN, said:

"After five years of conflict, you might think that the regime has had its fill of barbarity -- that its sick bloodlust against its own people has finally run its course.

But this weekend, the regime and Russia have instead plunged to new depths and unleashed a new hell on Aleppo. This isn't Pompeii."

Sergei Lavrov said that the Western accusations were an attempt to deflect attention from last week's accidental bombing of a Syrian army unit:

"I would like to emphasize that the Americans and their Western allies, for one thing, want to distract public attention from what had happened in Deir Ezzor."

Syrian officials later said that the Deir Ezzor bombing was "intentional."

Russian spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed outrage at the charges of barbarism and war crimes directed at Russia:

"We note the overall unacceptable tone and rhetoric of the representatives of the United Kingdom and the United States, which can damage and harm our relations."

It's particularly ironic for Peskov to worry about damaging and harming Russia's relations with the West.

Guardian (London) and CNN and Russia Today

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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 27-Sep-16 World View -- US, UK, UN officials accuse Syria and Russia of barbarism and war crimes thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (27-Sep-2016) Permanent Link
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