Generational Dynamics: Forecasting America's Destiny Generational
 Forecasting America's Destiny ... and the World's


Web Log - November, 2005


Press reports say that Tony Blair ready to cave on EU budget

Under intense pressure from the European Union and other member states, the UK Telegraph is reporting that British Prime Minister Tony Blair is "ready to surrender EU rebate with no payback."

The rebate is related the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP or PAC), which provides agricultural subsidies to member states. The CAP was actually set up in the 1980s, when "iron lady" Margaret Thatcher was British Prime Minister, and she negotiated a "rebate" for the UK, since the UK didn't have enough agriculture to justify much of a subsidy.

Furious EU President, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker <font size=-2>(Source: BBC)</font>
Furious EU President, Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker (Source: BBC)

The issue came to a head in at an EU summit in Brussels in June, in which Blair and French President Jacques Chirac disputed the terms of the EU budget for 2007-2013. Blair offered to agree to end the EU rebate, currently about $3.5 billion per year, provided that France agreed to reduce the CAP subsidies, currently about $10 billion. Chirac demanded that Blair give up the rebate with nothing in return. The dispute between the two men turned into an extremely vitriolic confrontation. The furious EU President Jean-Claude Juncker sided with Chirac and condemned Blair and the UK, saying he felt ashamed that "certain people did not have the will to reach agreement when some poorer other countries were willing to do so."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this is the kind of result one would expect. Ten years ago, when the EU was in a "generational unraveling" period, a compromise would have been expected, and indeed similar disagreements always did end in compromise.

But today, 60 years after the end of World War II, Europe is in a "generational crisis" period, a time when leaders increasingly seek confrontation and retribution rather than compromise and containment of problems.

Thus, a compromise on the EU budget seemed unlikely.

On the French side, there was never any doubt that Chirac would never back down, and if there WERE any doubt, the doubt would have been eliminated by the the Paris riots from early November. These riots revealed that France was much deeper financial trouble than even the 12% unemployment rate would indicate.

On the UK side, there seemed to be an equally steely determination not to back down, and as late as last week, Gordon Brown, Britain's chancellor of the exchequer, made it clear that the rebate would be retained unless France yielded on the agricultural subsidies.

So it comes as quite a shock that if press reports are true then Blair is about to cave completely.

The pressure on Blair and UK has been enormous.

On Tuesday, Poland's president sharply criticized Blair, assigning him the sole blame for deepening the crisis in the EU.

Hungary's Prime Minister told Hungarian television that "What ... Blair is now proposing is unacceptable ... It is so far from Hungary's interests that let's put it simply: no."

And an open letter by the prime ministers of Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia pressed Blair for a compromise, saying that "for us the stakes are high."

And the executive European Commission warned the failure to agree on the budget would plunge the EU deeper into crisis.

This is a very interesting situation, and it will be fascinating to see how it's going to play out.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the EU is going in any direction besides compromise. When the French voters rejected the proposed EU constitution in a referendum, my analysis of the exit polls showed that the split was generational: Older voters born before the end of World War II favored adopting the Constitution, while those born after the war favored a rejection. Since the first group of voters is constantly getting smaller while the latter group is constantly getting larger, it's pretty clear that the EU Constitution will never be adopted for the foreseeable future.

This indicates that the "European Union project" is, for all practical purposes, dead. The budget impasse seemed to confirm that.

Conflict risk level for next 6-12 months as of: 30-May-2005
W. Europe 1 Arab Israeli 2
Russia Caucasus 2 Kashmir 1
China 2 North Korea 3
Financial 3 Bird flu 3
Key: 1=green 1=Low risk 2=yellow 2=Med 3=red 3=High 4=black 4=Active

Thus, a budget compromise would be quite a surprise, given the European trend, and it would have harsh repercussions for Blair in Britain.

It would be a surprise for a different reason. As we discussed earlier this week in the article on Ariel Sharon's political "earthquake" in Israel, the countries that fought in WW II are all on a kind of "cruise control," led by people born after WW II with no skills to actually DO anything except express outrage when something goes wrong. Thus, if the EU actually manages to get a budget agreement for 2007, it would be quite an achievement.

However if, surprisingly, Blair caves and the EU reaches a budget compromise, then it does not change the eventual trend, just as a heat wave in November doesn't mean that winter isn't coming to New York City.

Generational Dynamics predicts that there'll be a new west European war, just as there have been west European wars at regular intervals for a millennium or more. Generational Dynamics doesn't predict who the belligerents will be, but trends for the last few years indicate that England and France will, once again, be at war. I see no reason at this time to make any changes to that prediction. (30-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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Canada announces that bird flu findings are not pathenogenic

After many weeks of delay, Canada has finally responded to conspiracy buffs.

As we reported on October 31, Canada's Public Health Agency issued a press release saying that bird flu had been found in Canada, and that tests were ongoing to determine whether it was the H5N1 strain. According to the press release, these tests would "take up to a week."

But the results of the tests were not forthcoming, leading conspiracy buffs to wonder why Canada wasn't releasing its test results.

Finally, after three weeks, the agency issued a new press release saying that tests confirm that the type of bird flu was a "low pathogenic North American strain" that's been around for years. This form of avian flu produces only mild disease in birds, and is not transmitted to humans.

This doesn't mean that North America has escaped for all time, unfortunately. Highly pathenogenic H5N1 bird flu has spread via wild bird migrations from Vietnam throughout Asia to Russia, Europe and the Mideast, and we're just beginning to hear reports from Africa. Migratory birds, some of which carry bird flu but do not become ill, spread the virus by dropping feces that make contact with birds on the ground, which then contract the virus.

Inquisitive chicken inspects vaccination needle
Inquisitive chicken inspects vaccination needle

The situation in China is especially severe with new outbreaks reported almost every day. China has announced plans to vaccinate 14 billion (billion with a "b") birds with bird flu vaccine, though many question the feasibility of this project. China has just mobilized its 2.3 million man army to "fight bird flu."

There are also migratory bird paths that run from Asia across the Bering Straits into Alaska and then down into Canada and the United States. It's only a matter of time before the pathenogenic virus spreads to North America in the same way that's spread to other continents.

This does not change the outlook for a pandemic involving human to human transmission of the pathenogenic H5N1 virus. A human to human transmissible virus will be formed when somebody simultaneously gets the ordinary human flu and the pathogenic H5N1 bird flu at the same time. At that time, the genes from the two forms of the virus can recombine to form an H5N1 virus that can move easily from human to human.

Experts fear that a propitious time for such a result will be during the Chinese and Vietnamese new year celebrations in January and February, when many people will be travelling, and more poultry would be transported, slaughtered and consumed.

If this happens, it would lead to a bird flu pandemic in the spring, and a renewed pandemic the following winter. (29-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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Vitriolic Iraq war politics erupts in Washington

But the basics of the Iraq war haven't changed a bit.

I turned on CNN on Friday morning and heard news anchor Miles O'Brien say that the civil war had already begun. I saw Pat Buchanan on MSNBC predict "a real disaster" in Iraq a Vietnam-like defeat. Pat Buchanan was in the Nixon administration when they lost Vietnam. Now he thinks that there'll be a debate on "who lost Iraq?"

The vitriol reached a peak on Thursday when Democratic Congressman John Murtha made an anti-war speech with rhetoric straight out the Vietnam era, calling for immediate withdrawal from Iraq, followed up by a really nasty remark about people who sat behind during the Vietnam war shouldn't be sending soldiers to Iraq now. This drew an equally nasty remark from Ohio Congresswoman Jean Schmidt, quoting a Marine colonel sending "Congressman Murtha a message: that cowards cut and run, Marines never do."

This is the nature of the times, as happens during "generational crisis" periods. The nation's leaders are from the arrogant, narcissistic Boomer generation, born after WW II. They spent their youth as hippies in anti-war demonstrations in the 1960s, and now they're in trying the same thing as aging hippies in 2005. But they have no skills at accomplishing anything except political arguments, so nothing really ever gets done. So we see arguments over Karl Rove, the Iraq war, Scooter Libby, Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito, and the Iraq war again. The country is on cruise control.

Pundits are calling this a pivotal moment of change, but in fact nothing has changed. Let's list some things that haven't changed:

As I've said many times before, the Iraqi people are not in any mood for war, having lost hundreds of thousands of young men in the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s. The Iraqi people will not participate in a war unless they're forced to, although Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is doing his best to trigger one. As the world heads for a "clash of civilizations" world war, al-Zarqawi may yet bring full scale war to Iraq, but it will be from the outside, not from civil war. (21-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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George Bush lectures China on being more like Taiwan

It's incredible that President Bush told China to be more open and democratic, and should permit freedom of speech and religion, in a speech given in Japan, prior to his visit to China. He said that China should follow the example of Taiwan:

"Taiwan ... has moved from repression to democracy as it liberalized its economy. ... [E]conomic liberalization in Taiwan helped fuel its desire for individual political freedom -- because men and women who are allowed to control their own wealth will eventually insist on controlling their own lives and their own future. Like South Korea, modern Taiwan is free and democratic and prosperous. By embracing freedom at all levels, Taiwan has delivered prosperity to its people and created a free and democratic Chinese society."

If you're a regular reader of this web site, then you know that I'm not a very big fan of politicians (this has nothing to do with party affiliation), and this ridiculous statement shows why.

The Chinese must be looking at one another, shaking their heads and saying, "What planet is this guy from?"

Surely Bush must know that China can't permit freedom of speech or freedom of religion because it would send the country into total chaos. As we discussed last January, China's society is unraveling and headed for civil war, a certain war with Japan, and a certain war with America over Taiwan.

The main dynamic began in 1989 with the Tienanmen Square massacre of college students protesting against the government. This caused major social changes in both China and Taiwan.

In Taiwan, students watching the massacre were horrified by what they saw. The started the Wild Lily student rebellion, whose purpose was to advocate Taiwan's nationhood and independence from China. One of the leaders of the Wild Lily rebellion, Chen Shui-bian, has been Taiwan's president since 2000, and has announced plans to move towards independence, although he's backed off to avoid provoking China.

However, attitudes in Taiwan continue to harden, thanks to generational changes. Young people in Taiwan are increasingly confrontational with China, which is to be expected from the Generational Dynamics model.

In China, many people became followers of a spiritual movement called the Falun Gong. Older people would get together to meditate and do exercises. By 1999, millions of people had joined the movement, and many were comparing themselves to the founders of the Taiping rebellion of the 1850s and 1860s, which resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of people.

Alarmed Chinese leaders are well aware of the comparison, and they reacted by brutally crushing the Falun Gong movement, putting tens of thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of practitioners in jail. Falun Gong has become an international movement, but within China any association is illegal and punishable by years in jail.

It hasn't solved the problem, however. Regional mass riots in are increasingly common, with 74,000 occurring last year. The number of regional rebellions keeps growing, and it's only a matter of time before Chinese lose control.

So what you should imagine is terrified Chinese leaders, fearful of a regional rebellion that spirals out of control, and looking across the Straits of Taiwan to a territory whose citizens are increasingly desirous of independence, with both trends increasing because of generational changes.

Into that atmosphere comes President Bush's call for freedom of speech and religion in China. This would free the millions of followers of Falun Gong to begin demonstrating against the Beijing government, and instantly create a nationwide rebel group.

So why did Bush make this statement? Maybe it was a mistake, or maybe it was a planned provocation. Who knows? He's a politician.

As I've said before, I see one and only one person of either party in Washington who knows what's going on in the world, and that's Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld was born in 1932, and is a member of the "Silent Generation" that grew up during the Great Depression and World War II. Rumsfeld was old enough to understand that the militarization of Hitler's Germany in the mid 1930s led to the most violent war the world has known, and Rumsfeld can see the same thing happening in China's aggressive militarization today. Thus, he's been modernizing the armed forces and refocusing it on the Pacific, in preparation of a preemptive war by China.

Ominously, China has just mobilized its 2.3 million man army to "fight bird flu."

In the meantime, Bush's visit to Asia should be seen as a political dance, not having much to do with what's really going on in the world. (17-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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The bizarre November 9 bombings in Amman, Jordan

After four days, what happened is still unclear.

The bare facts are clear: Three suicide bombers walked into popular tourist hotels in Amman on Wednesday and exploded their bombs, killing 57 people, including a large wedding party with many women and children. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was immediately suspected.

Beyond that, confusion abounds:

Jordanians identified the remains of the three male suicide bombers, but al-Zarqawi bragged on his web site that there four Iraqis, two of whom were a married couple.

Saijida Mubarak Atrous
Saijida Mubarak Atrous

This was a surprise to the Jordanians, who immediately expanded their investigation to search for the woman who, it turned out, had not exploded her bomb. Jordan aired part of her confession on television:

"My name is Saijida Mubarak Atrous, born in the 70s. I am an Iraqi national. I reside in Ramadi. On November 5, I accompanied my husband to Jordan carrying a fake Iraqi passport. His was under the name of Ali Hussein Ali, and mine was Saijida Abdel Kader Latif. We waited in Iraq, and a white car picked us up. There was a driver and a passenger. We entered Jordan together. My husband is the one who organized everything. I don't know anything else. We rented an apartment. My husband wore an explosive belt and put one on me. He taught me how to use it. The targets were hotels in Jordan. We took a car, and we went on November 9 to a hotel. There was a wedding ceremony in the hotel. There were women, men and children. My husband took a corner and I took another one. My husband detonated his bomb, and I tried to detonate mine but failed. People fled running, and I left running with them."

They're still questioning the woman to find out as much as she's willing to tell about Zarqawi's operation.

Now, there are a whole bunch of problems with this whole story.

There are several things that we can tentatively conclude from this incident.

First, al-Zarqawi has been acting increasing desperate recently, even claiming credit for Hurricane Katrina. In this case, al-Zarqawi managed to kill a lot of incident Jordanians, including many women and children, but accomplished little else. It's hard to see this as much more than a maniac striking out.

Second, this incident illustrates the complexity of the Mideast situation.

Generational Dynamics predicts that there will be a new genocidal war between Arabs and Jews, replaying the genocidal crisis war of the 1940s after the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Al-Zarqawi's acts show that there may also be genocidal splits among different Muslim groups, such as between Sunnis and Shi'ites, or between Arabs and other Muslim groups. (15-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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Hong Kong fears bird flu cases may "explode" in spring

Meanwhile, people are wondering whether Canada is stonewalling.

High-level officials that manage all of Hong Kong's hospitals are planning for "an explosion of bird flu cases in the city early next year," according to a Reuters story that quotes a Chinese-language newspaper.

"Spring is the peak season for human influenza," according to the officials. "Once the human influenza virus mixes with bird flu, it will pose a big threat."

Avian Influenza (AI) outbreaks in Vietnam in 2004 and 2005 <font size=-2>(Source:</font>
Avian Influenza (AI) outbreaks in Vietnam in 2004 and 2005 (Source:

The adjoining graph, which depicts bird flu outbreaks in Vietnam for the last two years, shows that major bird flu outbreaks occur with the Tet holiday.

As we wrote about in January, 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) feared that a human-to-human bird flu pandemic might start with last season's lunar new year (Tet) celebrations, when many people would be travelling, and more poultry would be transported, slaughtered and consumed.

A pandemic didn't occur at that time, but the concern is renewed as the new Tet holiday approaches in 2006. The Chinese New Year celebrations raise similar concerns, and that will occur around the same time, on January 29, 2006.

Bird flu virus mutation is basically a numbers game. A human to human transmissible virus will be formed when somebody simultaneously gets the ordinary human flu and the pathogenic H5N1 bird flu at the same time. At that time, the genes from the two forms of the virus can recombine to form an H5N1 virus that can move easily from human to human.

It's the far greater numbers of recombination opportunities that make a pandemic much more likely this year than last year. Bird flu has been spreading so rapidly (among birds) in China, that China has mobilized its 2.3 million man army to fight bird flu. In fact, H5N1 bird flu has been dramatically changing, expanding its reach both geographically and genetically. Thus, the opportunities for recombination to form a human to human virus are exponentially greater this year than last.

Further research out of Hong Kong shows why H5N1 bird flu is more dangerous to young people than it is to older people. Influenza is generally far more dangerous to older people, because they have weakened immune systems to fight off the disease than younger people. But the stronger immune systems of younger people actually make H5N1 more dangerous to young people than to older people.

The new research, appearing in an article in Respiratory Research magazine, shows that when a human contracts H5N1 virus, the person's lungs overreact by generating a "storm" of cytokines, chemicals that are produced by the immune system. The stronger the immune system, the greater the overreaction, and the more cytokines that are produced. The result is that young and healthy victims are more likely to die, because the cytokines flood the lungs and make breathing impossible.

Finally, there's an ongoing mystery about whether H5N1 has been detected in Canada. As we reported on October 31, Canada's Public Health Agency issued a press release saying that bird flu had been found in Canada, and that tests were ongoing to determine whether it was the H5N1 strain. According to the press release, these tests would "take up to a week."

It's now been two weeks, and Canada has not announced the final results. Conspiracy buffs wonder if Canada is stonewalling; after all, a finding of H5N1 in Canada would be major international news, and would be bad for business in both Canada and America. Others say that it's simply taking longer than expected to complete the very complex tests. Canada should release its results as quickly as possible to dispel confusion.

I'd like to end this article with a word about credibility.

If I were writing for the New York Times or the Wall Street Journal, I would have automatic built-in credibility, but writing for web site means that I have to work twice as hard if I want to be credible. That's why I quote only the most reliable sources, and make it clear whether something is an established fact, a prediction from Generational Dynamics, or my own opinion. Readers of this web site can be certain that they're getting an honest, credible story.

I first started writing about bird flu over a year ago, in October, 2004, when my study of multiple sources led me to believe that a bird flu pandemic sometime soon was very likely. Nothing can be certain, of course, but the possibility of a bird flu this winter is significantly high, and the possibility that I and/or a number of my readers will not survive is also significantly high. I say that because it's my best estimate of the situation. I make no money from this web site, except to sell an occasional book, and I make no money from any of the subjects discussed, so I have nothing to gain or lose by making these statements.

But that's not all. I keep thinking about the spread of bird flu in China, and the mobilization of its 2.3 million man army to "fight bird flu."

China as a country is becoming increasing convulsive and unstable. Its bubble economy was close to bursting anyway, but now with the spread of bird flu, everything is speeding up.

The mobilization of the army is extremely significant. Bird flu has provided a convenient excuse for the mobilization, but you can be absolutely certain that the army will be performing other kinds of exercises besides practicing how to kill chickens. They'll be performing "attack Taiwan" exercises and "attack Tokyo" exercises and maybe even "attack Seoul" exercises.

Furthermore, that army will never be demobilized again -- at least not without a major war.

The situation is extremely serious and dangerous, and getting more dangerous every day. The risk of a serious international crisis this winter is significantly high.

If I'm wrong about these things, no one will be happier than I am. But I've said this a couple of times before, and I'll say it again: If you've planning to make some advance preparations for a possible crisis or emergency, such as by stocking up on 2-3 months of food (such as canned goods), then now is the time to do it. (13-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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US trade deficit hits new monthly record high

Once again, economists' hopeful predictions of a fall in the trade deficit continue to be thwarted.

Trade deficit, 2002-present. <font size=-2>(Source: WSJ)</font>
Trade deficit, 2002-present. (Source: WSJ)

Among the analysts who claim that the economy is in good shape and poised to continued growing, there are two classes: (1) The analysts who have no idea at all what's going on, and just says things are great to keep their clients happy; and (2) the ones who claim that the economy is "self-adjusting," and that things like the trade deficit will take care of themselves.

Most analysts are in the first category; those in the second category were disappointed today when the Dept. of Commerce announced that the trade deficit had a fresh monthly high in September, $66.1 billion. The analysts who believe that the economy is "self-adjusting" predicted a significantly lower deficit.

It's pretty clear from the unexpectedly high deficit that the trade deficit is not leveling off. As the graph above shows, it's not showing any sign of leveling off. It keeps fooling the experts, since every time it appears to be going lower, it takes another jump up to an even higher level, and continues its persistent growth.

Some expert analysts are saying the increase is only temporary, because it was caused by high oil prices and by hurricane Katrina. The say that these problems are only temporary, and that they'll go away soon. In fact, that's what they said last April, which was the last time I wrote about this subject. Obviously, little has changed.

Actually, the article I'm writing today is little changed from the article I wrote in April except, of course, that seven more months have passed and the problem continues to get steadily worse.

Imports and exports <font size=-2>(Source: Dept. of Commerce)</font>
Imports and exports (Source: Dept. of Commerce)

A more detailed picture is shown by examining the components in the adjacent graph, taken from the full US Dept. of Commerce report (PDF file).

The trade deficit is computed by subtracting the amount of our exports to other countries from the amount of our imports from other countries. As this graph shows, the amount of imports keeps rising, while the amount of exports has leveled off.

In fact, imports are now 63% higher than exports. That's a very big percentage. If that difference were narrowing it might still take years until exports equalled imports, but in fact the difference keeps increasing, not decreasing.

In a recent column appearing in the L.A. Times, Stephen S. Roach, the chief economist for Morgan Stanley, wrote that this trip is nearing the end of the road.

"Running at an annual rate of close to $800 billion in the first half of 2005, [the trade deficit] requires foreign funding to the tune of $3 billion per business day. To accomplish that without a sharp drop in the dollar and/or a related backup in interest rates requires extraordinary confidence on the part of foreign investors in U.S. assets."

Roach points out that the today's account deficit equals 6.4% of gross domestic product, while 1.5% was a common level in times past.

This corresponds to the astronomically high level of public debt -- higher than it's been since the 1930s Great Depression. And, as I've said many times, both I and other analysts have computed, the "true value" or book value of the stock market today to be around Dow 4500, which means that the market is overvalued by more than 110% -- at about the level as just before the 1929 stock market crash.

Roach's article is entitled, "The ambush waiting for Bernanke," referring to the Ben S. Bernanke, Bush's appointee to replace Alan Greenspan at the Fed.

According to Roach, the transition at the Fed could trigger a loss of foreign confidence in the dollar, while the account deficit continues to increase.

"In short, the U.S. is going to be asking a lot more of the foreign investor at precisely the moment the Fed is transitioning from Greenspan to Bernanke. As the maestro leaves the building, the hard-won aura of foreign confidence that surrounds him could be quick to follow. Bernanke could be faced with a dollar crisis and the related need on the part of foreign investors to seek compensation for taking currency risk. That compensation invariably spells higher interest rates — the last thing the nation's housing bubble and overly indebted consumers need."

Roach concludes, "History warns us to expect the unexpected when the nation's second-toughest job changes hands." (11-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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The Paris riots and Hurricane Katrina

After 13 days, the Paris riots are subsiding, but not after enormously embarassing France.

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin announced strict curfew laws and a strong law and order program, along with the promise of new social programs for immigrant ghettoes.

The social programs are needed because of decades of pervasive unemployment, poverty, discrimination and racism, endured by the residents of the ghettos where the rioting has been taking place. The rioters were young men, native Frenchmen, and almost all Muslims, sons of parents who immigrated to France in the 1950s and 1960s from Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia and black Africa.

The embarassment to France is that it has long been demonstrating a kind of "holier than thou" attitude, criticizing England and America and the "Anglo-Saxon model" which, according to the French, allows unemployment, poverty, discrimination and racism in the free market capitalist system. When hurricane Katrina struck, France was one of the main critics of the American system, claiming that it exposed the racial divide in America, with the implication that no such divide exists in France. It's now pretty clear that it does exist, and there's a lot of gloating going on.

For example, an analysis in Wednesday's Washington Post says,

"[The] refusal of French politicians to lift restrictions on employers, to promote entrepreneurship or to deregulate make it impossible for young people to integrate through the economy, as immigrants do in this country, despite discrimination. The only real long-term solution -- that France should join the dreaded "Anglo-Saxon" world market and open up its economy -- is precisely the one that no French politician dare speak aloud."

Remarkably, the press in other nations is also comparing America favorably to France.

According to a column in the Toronto Star,

"The Paris riots have done to France what Katrina did to America: rip open its Third World underbelly and expose its deep divisions of race and class. But unlike America — which, with its reservoir of guilt and goodwill toward its black citizens, is making a huge effort to compensate and rehabilitate the displaced of New Orleans — one suspects that France, with its anti-immigrant pathology, will continue to muddle along."

And a Muslim columnist says that Arabs and Muslims have better lives in America than in France:

"While Arab Americans and Muslims suffered a spike in hate crimes after the September 11 attacks, they do not face the same level of disenfranchisement as their French counterparts, experts say. “They’re discriminated against but they have jobs - this is the major difference from Europe,” Yvonne Haddad, a professor of Islamic history at Georgetown University in Washington told AFP."

The message from these sources is that the French social model has failed.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the choice of social model doesn't make any difference. America does have racial problems, but we've also had a civil war fought over them in the 1860s. Enough time has passed since then that the fault line has softened.

But the situation is much more recent in Europe, and so much more serious, and we've discussed this problem before on this web site. The July 7 London subway suicide bombers were the children of immigrants from Kashmir, and the Muslim population that convulsed Holland following the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Muslim extremist consists mostly of children of Muslim immigrants who arrived from Turkey and Morocco in the 1960s and 1970s as "guest workers."

The European country with the largest Muslim minority is France, with 5 million Muslims, as a result of immigration Africa during the 1950s and 1960s. It was very generous of so many European countries to offer immigration opportunities to so many Muslims -- from Africa, the Mideast and Turkey -- in the 1950s and 1960s, but no good deed goes unpunished and it's now time to pay the price.

The French riots appear to be subsiding, but their principal effect has been to further polarize the fault line between Christians and Muslims throughout Europe.

Generational Dynamics predicts that there will be a new European war, as there has been so any times in the past. As we've said in the past, a new war between England and France is all but certain, but the size of the Muslim minorities guarantees that another component will be a civil war based on this fault line. (10-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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China mobilizes its army to fight bird flu

Does this move have greater significance?

China is mobilizing its 2.3 million person army to fight bird flu.

At the very least, this move indicates the depth of China's concern over the spread of bird flu.

China has officially been downplaying the extent of bird flu in that country, and has specifically denied that humans are getting infected.

However, China has officially made four separate reports of bird flu outbreaks in birds in three weeks, resulting in the culling (killing) of over 300,000 birds. Furthermore, there have been several human deaths from pneumonia that have gone unexplained, leading to the suspicion that China is hiding a much worse situation than they've reported.

The new report that China is mobilizing its huge army, the largest army in the world, to fight bird flu is significant in more ways than one.

The obvious significance is that bird flu must be increasingly widespread if the army is required.

But the second reason is the possibility that China itself is becoming increasingly unstable. As described at length before, Generational Dynamics predicts that China is approaching a massive civil war as its bubble economy unravels, along with the rigid social structure originally set up by Mao Zedong in the 1950s and 60s. Today, there are close to 150 million migrant workers (20% of the workforce), mostly peasants who have lost their farms to corrupt land deals by CCP (Chinese Communist Party) officials, who take any jobs they can find in the cities and send money back to their families in vast poverty-stricken rural areas. Any recession or economic setback to China would provoke nationwide fury, and a bird flu epidemic would certainly be a trigger.

Conflict risk level for next 6-12 months as of: 30-May-2005
W. Europe 1 Arab Israeli 2
Russia Caucasus 2 Kashmir 1
China 2 North Korea 3
Financial 3 Bird flu 3
Key: 1=green 1=Low risk 2=yellow 2=Med 3=red 3=High 4=black 4=Active

It's possible that the mobilization of the army is related only to the bird flu, and that's bad enough. But China had 70,000 regional rebellions in 2004, and the number has been increasing in 2005, even without the bird flu. It's possible that the army is being mobilized to contain the danger of more regional rebellions, and a serious instability in China could lead to a world war. During the next few weeks and months, we'll see what effects the deployment of China's huge army has. (5-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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Some bird flu notes from all over

A Dutch politician was asked what advice he'd give to people traveling to Turkey, where H5N1 bird flu had been discovered. His response to the BBC interviewer: "We ask people traveling to Turkey to wipe their feet before they leave Turkey, so that they won't track bird flu back to Holland."

Speaking of politicians, here's an important bird flu announcement from President George Bush:

"Bush Orders Mass Bald Eagle Slaughter To Stop Spread Of Bird Flu

November 2, 2005 | Issue 41•44

WASHINGTON, DC—As experts issue increasingly dire warnings of an avian flu epidemic, President Bush signed an executive order Tuesday authorizing the mass slaughter of "all bald eagles found anywhere within our borders."

"As president, my first duty is to protect the American people, whether the threat is terrorists or deadly, fast-mutating bird viruses," said Bush, standing on the lawn of the National Mall before a specially built pyre stacked with recently killed bald eagles. "This proactive initiative will rid our nation of this potentially disease-ridden winged animal."

Bush added: "I want these birds rounded up, tied down, and their throats slit."

Executive Order 1342A, which calls for the annihilation of the bald eagle, specifies that each carcass shall be wrapped in a single American flag, doused with gasoline, and burned.


Administration critics have suggested that the president's plan is too narrow in scope, and leaves Americans susceptible to contact with a wide variety of other dangerous birds.

"What about less prominent but far more abundant fowl common to residential areas, such as bluebirds, cardinals, or geese—shouldn't they die, too?" said Democratic Party strategist Elaine Quigley, appearing on MSNBC's Hardball. "Benjamin Franklin once said that the wild turkey, not the bald eagle, should be the emblematic bird of America. Why aren't we executing those, too?"

On a more serious note, I've been told that the following passage from the Bible may be an early case of bird flu:

Of course, everyone's being hit with the bird flu these days.

Did you hear the news? Bird flu has reached Disneyland. I'm sorry to have to inform you that Donald Duck is dead. Daisy requests no flowers.

Then there's this:

"BIRD FLU - The panic is spreading! --  Better safe than sorry!"
"BIRD FLU - The panic is spreading! -- Better safe than sorry!"

(4-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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Paris riots continue for seventh night

Historically, Paris is well known for its riots and rebellions.

The French Revolution occurred in 1789. It launched the Reign of Terror, in which 200,000 ordinary people were killed using the guillotine. The word "terror" was invented at the time of the French Revolution, and at that time is was thought to be a good thing, because it meant the death by guillotine of the aristocrats, their families, their servants, their friends, friends of their friends, their children, children of their friends, and so forth.

(According to one story, the French Revolution was launched when the Queen, Marie Antoinette, was told that there was no bread for the people, and she responded, "Let them eat cake," infuriating the populace. As it turns out though, there's no proof that Marie Antoinette actually made that remark.)

The next rebellion followed about 80 years later. In 1870, Prussian (German) Chancellor Otto von Bismarck tricked France into attacking Prussia. This war was a disaster for France. German forces overran and occupied France for months -- something that was repeated 70 years later in World War II.

The Franco-Prussian War was followed a few months later in 1871 by a huge genocidal civil war in Paris known as the French Commune. After tens of thousands of French had already been killed by the Germans, 30,000 more French killed each other in the French Commune.

So civil wars and rebellions aren't new for Paris.

That's why the current riots in Paris suburbs carry a historical significance, as well as a significance in the battle between political rivals Nicolas Sarkozy and Dominique de Villepin that we described yesterday.

The riots appear to be spreading and gaining in intensity. This indicates that feelings in the Muslim communities run very deep, and that the fault lines are growing increasingly pronounced.

Each day that the riots continue, respective positions harden more and fault lines become more and more dangerous.

An editorial in the Arab News says that the initial incident "unleashed wider grievances among immigrants who feel themselves disadvantaged and ignored by the French state. Poor schooling, bad housing and a lack of jobs create alienated youths and gang cultures where violence is never far from the surface."

Positions are also hardening on the government side, where both Sarkozy and de Villepin are taking increasingly tough positions on the violence.

All this doesn't mean that the current riots are about to spiral out of control into full-scale civil war.

But it does mean that the longer it takes for Sarkozy and de Villepin to bring the situation under control, the more likely it is that a major Paris civil war will be a major component of the upcoming West European war that we've been talking about.

And it certainly means that there's no chance whatsoever of a settlement of the vitriolic budget dispute between England and France, since any reduction in subsidies to French farmers could lead to increased violence. Thus, if there was ever any doubt that the "European project" was dead, the riots guarantee it.

Generational Dynamics predicts that, after a millennium of West European crisis wars, England and France are going to be fighting a new crisis war. The current riots in French suburbs indicate that a French civil war is likely to be a component of that West European war. (3-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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France's Nicolas Sarkozy says "Let them eat cake!"

There's been violent racial rioting in Paris's Muslim ghetto suburbs every night since Thursday, and Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is being blamed.

Angry youths have been rioting, torching cars and buildings, and confronting police for the last six consecutive nights. The situation is the same as in England, Holland, and other European countries that have experienced Muslim violence -- the youths are second and third generation Moroccans, Turks and Arabs whose parents and grandparents came to France in the 1960s and 1970s, seeking a better life.

However, unemployment and poverty have been particularly harsh to Muslim minorities, and Muslims have suffered from bias and discrimination. As always happens, generational changes bring social changes. Youths with no memory of their native countries come of age and become infuriated by the discrimination.

The violence in France began on Thursday by an accident that electrocuted two Muslim teenagers at an electricity sub-station while they were apparently fleeing the police. This triggered violence by youth gangs in several suburbs.

Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is being blamed. <font size=-2>(Source: BBC)</font>
Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy is being blamed. (Source: BBC)

Interior Minister Sarkozy responded by saying he had a "zero tolerance policy" for violence. He referred to the troublemakers as "scum" and "riffraff," and vowed to "clean out" the suburbs.

Born in 1955, Sarkozy is in the arrogant, narcissistic Boomer generation, and lacks the finesse and ability to compromise of the French President Jacques Chirac, born in 1932 and in the Silent Generation. Sarkozy has been considered a rising star in French politics, and even wants to align France's policies more closely with America's. However, this incident is certain to polarize public opinion, and Sarkozy is being blamed for inflaming the situation.

Sarkozy's main political opponent is French Prime Minister Dominque de Villepin, born in 1953, also in the Boomer generation. You may recall that de Villepin is the sleazebag who screwed and double-crossed American Secretary of State Colin Powell in 2003, during the preliminaries to the Iraq war.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the growing fault lines between the French and Muslim immigrants and their children are being repeated throughout Europe, just as there was a fault line between Christians and Jews in Germany during World War II. And just as England and France have had repeated wars for at least a millennium, Generational Dynamics predicts a new West European war, and the growing fault line between the French and the English indicates that there'll be a new war between those two countries.

As we indicated in our analysis of the French rejection of the EU constitution, exit polls show clearly that the differences are generational, with younger generations increasingly opposed to an EU.

As in other cases, Generational Dynamics tells you your final destination, but now how you'll get there, so there's no way to predict the sequence of events that will lead to the next West European crisis war. On this web site, I've stated that one likely scenario is that in a Mideast war, the French will side with the Palestinians and the British and Americans will side with Israel. Other countries around the world would be forced into a war on one side or the other.

One barometer of that sequence of events is the relative success of the political opponents Nicolas Sarkozy and Dominque de Villepin. The fact that de Villepin is so anti-American would appear to make him the more likely to lead France in a war against an Anglo-American alliance, especially if he's able to serve as a peacemaker with the French Muslims. However, Sarkozy's "law and order" stance may be very popular with the French people, and Sarkozy could undoubted flip to anti-Americanism in a minute, if it suited his purpose.

So Sarkozy and de Villepin are the two men to be watching to get an idea of how things will unfold in Western Europe in the next year or two. (2-Nov-05) Permanent Link
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