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

 |  HOME  |  WEB LOG  |  COMMENT  |  FORUM  | 
 |  DOWNLOADS  |  FOURTH TURNING ARCHIVE  |  ABOUT  | 

Web Log - January, 2017

Summary

31-Jan-17 World View -- US will upgrade Philippines military bases, despite Duterte's threats

Philippines war on drugs in chaos after murder of S. Korean businessman

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Philippines war on drugs in chaos after murder of S. Korean businessman


Rodrigo Duterte
Rodrigo Duterte

The "war on drugs" launched by Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte has been extremely popular, even as it's resulted in the deaths of more than 7,000 people at the hands of the police in extrajudicial killings. Duterte had vowed to eradicate the country's drug problem by March of this year, but now says that it will continue until his term ends in 2022.

Those same police had further abused their power by kidnapping Jee Ick-joo, a South Korean businessman, apparently to collect a ransom. The kidnapping was botched, and the victim was killed by strangulation inside the grounds of the national police headquarters, Camp Crame. Some suspects in the murder are still at large, and Duterte has given them 48 hours to turn themselves in, or have a dead-or-alive bounty on their heads of 5 million pesos ($100,000).

The murder has infuriated the South Korean public, and has embarrassed Duterte to the extent that he's begin forced to suspend his war on drugs in order to conduct a war on "corrupt police." He will disband all the anti-drug units in the police. In a press conference on Sunday, Duterte said,

"You policemen are the most corrupt. You are corrupt to the core. It's in your system. Cleanse your ranks. Review their cases. Give me a list of who the scalawags are."

Instead, he plans to create a "narco police" command under the existing Philippine Drugs Enforcement Agency that will target police involved in the drugs trade.

Philippines National Police Chief Gen. Ronald dela Rosa said on Monday, "We will cleanse our ranks. . .then maybe after that, we can resume our war on drugs. Rogue cops, beware! We no longer have a war on drugs; we now have a war on scalawags."

Human Rights Watch is dismissing the new policy as a stunt and a "cynical PR gesture." Foreign Policy and Sydney Morning Herald

US will upgrade Philippines military bases, despite Duterte's threats

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte was infuriated when President Barack Obama criticized the violations of human rights in the "war on drugs" when he took office in June. In response, Duterte called Obama "the son of a whore," and threatened to scrap the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) that had been signed in 2014, a move that was opposed by Duterte's own ministers.

The EDCA agreement allows the expansion of rotational deployment of U.S. ships, aircraft and troops at five bases in the Philippines as well as the storage of equipment for humanitarian and maritime security operations at the five locations.

At a news conference on Monday, Duterte said:

"Now, here is my worry: The United States is building depots. They are unloading arms in Palawan, in Cagayan de Oro, and in Pampanga. I am serving notice to the Armed Forces of the United States: Do not do it. I will not allow it."

However, Philippines military spokesman Brigadier-General Restituto Padilla said, "There was no confirmed incident of this nature." He said that only rubber boats, generator sets and materials for building shelters would be stored in Philippine facilities.

Duterte's disgust with the United States has been matched by his fawning over China and Russia. He's asked China to supply two to three fast boats, two drones, sniper rifles and a robot for bomb disposal, in a $14 million arms donation. Russia has offered hardware such as ships, submarines, planes and helicopter.

As I've written many times, it's a core principle of generational theory that even in a dictatorship, major policies and events are determined by masses of people, entire generations of people, and not by politicians.

The relevance to Duterte is that the United States is overwhelmingly viewed favorably by the people of the Philippines, while the people of China and Russia are viewed far less favorably. In particularly, there is an enormous mutual hostility between the Chinese and Filipino people. Generational Dynamics predicts that in the approaching Clash of Civilizations world war, China, Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries will be on one side, and the US, Russia, India and Iran will be on the other side. The popularity of the United States among the Filipino people means that Duterte's dalliance with China will be short-lived, and that the Philippines will side with the United States against China in the approaching war. Manila Times and Reuters and The Diplomat

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 31-Jan-17 World View -- US will upgrade Philippines military bases, despite Duterte's threats thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (31-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

30-Jan-17 World View -- Ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Rohingyas threatens regional stability

Trying to keep up in a world in a state of hysteria

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Trying to keep up in a world in a state of hysteria

This weekend, the mainstream media is in total hysteria, with reporters screaming like babbling idiots, almost unable form a complete sentence without saying something that's incredibly fatuous or stupid.

As always, in my daily Generational Dynamics World View articles, I try to report what's really going on in the world, which is what the tens of thousands of my readers count on. While reporters are screaming obsessively at each other about the executive order, there are really significant things going on in the Mideast, Africa and Asia that are far more important to our future than one political story.

Unfortunately, I'm only one person, who has limited time beyond the exigencies of having to earn a living, at a time when the number of real international crises keep growing, even if the mainstream press ignores them for the cotton candy of political partisanship. But I hope that you'll bear with me, Dear Reader, and I'll continue to do my best to apply the Generational Dynamics methodology and to inform you of the really important events in the world.

Leading Muslim government advisor in Myanmar (Burma) is assassinated


A Rohingya woman and child in a refugee camp in Bangladesh (Reuters)
A Rohingya woman and child in a refugee camp in Bangladesh (Reuters)

Ko Ni, a legal adviser to Myanmar's (Burma's) government was shot to death by a gunshot to the head as he walked out of the arrival gate at Rangoon's airport, after returning from a flight overseas. Ko Ni was a Muslim who was ethnically Burmese. He was the most prominent Muslim member of the government. He was also an advocate for human rights as regards Muslims, and ran a law firm that aided Muslims. No motive for the assassination is yet known, but it's believed that motive is related to this Muslim human rights connection.

Ko Ni was particularly an adviser to Aung San Suu Kyi, the de facto head of Burma's government, after her party, the National League for Democracy (NLD) won the elections in November 2015. Suu Kyi won a Nobel Peace prize years ago when she was under house arrest, and her ascension to power gave hope not only to citizens of Burma but also to the international community who were hoping for stability in the country.

However, Suu Kyi's refusal or inability to stop the rapes, beatings, torture and slaughter of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State by the army has caused Suu Kyi's reputation to plummet, and the assassination of Ko Ni will only further complicate the situation. Myanmar Times and Independent (Ireland) and International Business Times

Related Articles

Ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Rohingyas threatens regional stability

The ethnic cleansing and violence by Myanmar's (Burma's) mostly Buddhist army targeting Muslim Rohingyas has been worsening in recent months. Myanmar has essentially admitted guilt by refusing to permit international journalists or investigators into the region, as stories beatings, rape and torture continue to leak out, and as satellite pictures show entire villages burned down by the army.

Concerns are growing that the ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Rohingya population is threatening the stability of the entire region.

Since October 9 of last year, after nine Myanmar border police were killed in an attack blamed on Rohingya militants, some 65,000 Rohingyas fled across the Myanmar border to Bangladesh to escape the violence by Myanmar's army. The total number of Rohingyas in Bangladesh is estimated to be around 400,000, mostly living in filthy refugee camps.

Bangladesh is under international human rights pressure to allow more Rohingyas to enter Bangladesh, but they place a heavy burden on Bangladesh's resources. As one journalist wrote, "in the conditions which prevail today, morality suggests that Rohingya fleeing persecution in their country be let into Bangladesh. At the same time, a sense of reality points to the terrible burden that could be put on Bangladesh’s resources if they are allowed entry, with hardly any guarantee that they will soon, or ever, go back home."

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak called an emergency meeting of the 57 countries in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation two weeks ago in Kuala Lumpur. Najib said at the conference:

"The killing must stop. The violation of women and girls must stop. The persecution of your fellow men and women, simply on the grounds that they are Muslim, must stop."

Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, and it's for that reason that Najib chose to interfere in the internal affairs of Myanmar, something that would otherwise be unthinkable among the southeast Asian countries.

The fear is that with the swelling population of Rohingyas that have fled to Bangladesh and other countries, they present an easy target for recruitment by the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), which is trying to get a foothold in the region, or by other jihadist groups.

It's feared that unless Myanmar ends the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas, the result will be terror attacks and instability throughout the region. Institute of South Asian Studies and Reuters (20-Jan) and Indian Express (9-Dec)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 30-Jan-17 World View -- Ethnic cleansing of Myanmar's Rohingyas threatens regional stability thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (30-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

29-Jan-17 World View -- Protests grow over Trump's executive order to restrict immigration

Iran promises retaliation against Americans

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Protests grow over Trump's executive order to restrict immigration


Protests at San Francisco International Airport on Friday (Getty)
Protests at San Francisco International Airport on Friday (Getty)

President Donald Trump on Friday fulfilled some of his campaign promises by signing an executive order to limit immigration. In brief, the terms of the executive order are:

Those opposing the executive order made the following points:

There have been growing anti-American government protests, particularly at international airports around the world, where chaos is at a maximum since no one is sure who's going to be admitted to the US. Late on Saturday, a federal judge issued an order blocking the federal government from deporting people detained at the airports because of the executive order.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, America is joining a worldwide trend that I've been writing about for years. In this generational Crisis era, nationalism and xenophobia have been increasing in countries around the world, and the same is true in America. Those who blame Trump for this have it backwards. As regular readers know, it's a core principle of generational theory that even in a dictatorship, major policies and events are determined by masses of people, entire generations of people, and not by politicians. The growth of nationalism and xenophobia around the world is not caused by Trump or by any politician; it's driven by the current generations of people, now that the survivors of World War II are gone. CNN - Full text of executive order and Saudi Gazette and CNN

Related Articles

Iran promises retaliation against Americans

A statement by Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs promises retaliation against American nationals for the effects of Trumps executive order on Iranian nationals. According to the statement:

"The decision of the Government of the United States to impose restrictions on the travel of Muslims to the United States – though temporarily for three months – is a clear insult to the Islamic world, and especially the great nation of Iran; and despite claims of being made to combat terrorism and protecting the people of the United States, it will be recorded in history as a great gift to extremists and their supporters. ...

The decision of the Government of the United States to target the people of Iran and clearly insult all sections of this great nation has put on clear display the baselessness of the U.S. claims of friendship with the Iranian people while only having issues with the Government of Iran. It also shows the rancor and enmity of some in the US government and influential circles both within the United States and abroad towards all Iranians around the world: The Iranian nation who, benefiting from an ancient and rich civilization and religious beliefs founded on humanitarian values, has always promoted the message of constructive engagement, not only resisted domination but also the temptations to dominate others, and fought extremism and violence; a resilient nation which has stood firm in the face of extremist terrorists and which was among the first victims of organized terrorism; a great people which has had no presence in any extremist terrorist operation, but instead in all societies in which it has traveled or resided as scientists, students, entrepreneurs, tourists or immigrants, has been known as one of the most law abiding, cultured, educated and successful communities, thus representing its Iranian and Islamic culture and civilization in the most dignified and peace-loving manner.

To ensure respect for the dignity of all members of the great Iranian nation at home and abroad, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran will engage in a careful assessment of the short and medium-term impact of the decision of the U.S. Government on Iranian nationals, and will take proportionate legal, consular and political action and while respecting the American people and differentiating between them and the hostile policies of the U.S. Government – will take reciprocal measures in order to safeguard the rights of its citizens until the time of the removal of the insulting restrictions of the Government of the United States against Iranian nationals."

This is the usual delusional stuff you hear from Iran. They say that Iranians are "a great people which has had no presence in any extremist terrorist operation," but they ignore their massive funding of terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah and Hamas, and their own sponsored terrorism in countries like Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, Iran is a terrorist country to its own people -- peaceful student protests are met with murder, torture and jailings of innocent civilians.

The most delusional of the Iranians are the old geezers left over from the Great Islamic Revolution of 1979, still dreaming of the erotic days of the revolution when they could torture or rape or kill anyone they want with impunity, and see nothing wrong with the same thing today. This includes the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei. On Friday, another old geezer Iranian cleric Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Movahedi Kermani said that "those individuals who defend their lives, honor, and country are not terrorists." To these people, an innocent girl peacefully holding up a protest sign in Tehran's "Freedom Square" is an enemy that the security police can torture, rape or kill because doing so defends the country's honor.

One thing that really infuriates hardline Iranian officials is any equivalencing of Sunni jihadist terror to Iranian terror. We saw this particularly a year ago when Saudi Arabia executed 47 people on charges of terrorism. 46 of them were Sunni jihadists, and the 47th was Mohammad Baqir Nimr al-Nimr, a Shia terrorist from Iran. In response, there were widespread riots in Iran, including burning down the Saudi embassy in Tehran.

There is one additional significant quote from the Foreign Ministry statement:

"The decision of the Government of the United States incorporates certain requests that are illegal, illogical and contrary to international law. Considering the absence of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States, those requests are not applicable to and cannot be accommodated by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

It's possible that these "certain requests" refer to the need for countries to provide "adequate information" for its citizens to be issued visas to enter the US, as stated in Trump's executive order. If that is what is being referred to, then it's possible that Iran will refuse to provide "adequate information," and the ban on Iranian's entering the US could become permanent. Obviously that situation will not be sustainable, and one side or the other will have to back down. Tasnim News (Tehran) and Pro Publica and Tasnim News (Tehran) and Fars News (Tehran - trans)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 29-Jan-17 World View -- Protests grow over Trump's executive order to restrict immigration thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (29-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

28-Jan-17 World View -- Furious Turkey threatens migrant deal over Greece's failure to extradite

Desperate EU officials still try to shut down Mediterranean migration route

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Furious Turkey threatens migrant deal over Greece's failure to extradite


Turkish soldiers after landing in Greece on July 17 of last year (Reuters)
Turkish soldiers after landing in Greece on July 17 of last year (Reuters)

Greece's Supreme Court on Thursday blocked the extradition of eight Turkish military officers sought by Ankara over the failed coup of July 15 of last year.

On July 16, the day after the coup attempt, a Turkish military helicopter landed unexpectedly in the Greek town of Alexandroupoli, close to the Turkish border. Eight Turkish soldiers emerged from the helicopter, asking for political asylum.

Turkey said that the eight soldiers were traitors, and demanded their extradition.

It's been six months since then, and the asylum request is still pending. However, on Friday, Greece's Supreme Court ruled against extraditing them back to Turkey. The court said that there was on evidence that they were involved in the coup attempt, and that they were unlikely to get a fair trial in Turkey. The soldiers claim that they would be killed if they returned to Turkey.

Turkey, on the other hand, claims that they provided documents and other evidence that proves that the eight soldiers were involved, and that Greece's refusal to extradite is a violation of international law.

Turkish officials are furious:

"We will carry out a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of this decision - which we believe has been taken with a political motive - on our bilateral ties, co-operation in the fight against terrorism and on other bilateral and regional issues. ...

There is a migration deal we signed, including a readmission deal with Greece, and we are evaluating what we can do, including the cancellation of the readmission deal with Greece."

The readmission deal is one part of the EU-Turkey migrant deal signed last year. Turkey agreed with the EU to take back all migrants and refugees who cross to Greece illegally. In return, Turkey would receive financial aid, visa-free travel for all Turkish citizens in Europe, and an acceleration of negotiations for Turkey to join the EU. Turkey and Greece also have an agreement on the readmission to Turkey of illegal migrants.

The EU-Turkey deal has been extremely successful, in that it's reduced the flow of migrants from Syria and Iraq into the EU from a torrent into a trickle. The EU so far has refused to grant visa-free travel to Turkish citizens, or to accelerate negotiations for Turkey to join the EU.

Turkey has sometimes threated the "nuclear option" of cancelling the entire deal. However, on this occasion, the threat appears to be far less substantial -- just canceling the portion of the deal that permits Greece to send refugees back to Turkey for readmission.

The EU is trying to play a balancing act with Turkey. The EU desperately needs the migrant deal, since another influx of hundreds of thousands of migrants would threaten the cohesion of the EU itself. On the other hand, Turkish authorities have fired or jailed hundreds of thousands of people since July, accusing them of supporting the coup, while not supplying any evidence. These arrests have particularly targeted journalists, teachers and police officers. These massive firings and jailings have caused astonishment among EU officials, raising human rights concerns to the point where visa-free travel and EU membership are strongly rejected by many EU officials. Hurriyet (Ankara) and Greek Reporter and BBC (19-Jul-2016)

Related Articles

Desperate EU officials still try to shut down Mediterranean migration route

Even if the EU-Turkey migrant deal remains intact, there could still be hundreds of thousands of migrants traveling from Libya to Italy by crossing the Mediterranean. The technique used by human smugglers is to pack 40 migrants in a rubber dinghy that's supposed to hold no more than 10 people, and send them out to sea off the coast of Libya. They're told to call the Italian coast guard once they're in international waters and ask to be saved.

Because of the instability in Libya, it's clear that there's no hope of an EU-Libya deal as effective as the EU-Turkey deal.

Instead, EU officials are moving ahead with a plan to establish refugee camps in Africa. When migrants are picked up from dinghies in the Mediterranean, they'll be taken to these African refugee camps rather than to Europe.

According to Germany's Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, "The people taken up by the smugglers need to be saved and brought to a safe place. But then from this safe place outside Europe, we would bring into Europe only those who require protection." RFE/RL and Russia Today and Reuters

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 28-Jan-17 World View -- Furious Turkey threatens migrant deal over Greece's failure to extradite thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (28-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

27-Jan-17 World View -- China places missiles on Russia's border -- to gain respect and attack America

Centuries-old Russia-China border dispute could lead to another war

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

China places missiles on Russia's border -- to gain respect and attack America


Battery of Chinese DF-41 missiles
Battery of Chinese DF-41 missiles

China has deployed a brigade of Dongfeng-41 nuclear ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) systems near the Amur River, which separates China from Russia's Far East. China's Global Times describes the deployment, and also gives some insight into the what China's leadership thinks:

"Before Trump took power, his team showed a tough stance toward China, and in turn, Beijing will ready itself for pressures imposed by the new US government. It is logical that Beijing attaches particular importance to the Dongfeng-41 as a strategic deterrence tool. With China's rise, China's strategic risks are growing. China bears the heavy task of safeguarding national security. Nuclear deterrence is the foundation of China's national security, which must be consolidated with the rising strategic risks.

The US has the world's most powerful military strength, including the most advanced and powerful nuclear arsenal. But Trump has called for a nuclear arms build-up many times. Even Washington feels that its naval forces and nuclear strength are lacking, so how can China be content with its current nuclear strength when it is viewed by the US as its biggest potential opponent?

China's nuclear capability should be so strong that no country would dare launch a military showdown with China under any circumstance, and such that China can strike back against those militarily provoking it. A military clash with the US is the last thing China wants, but China's nuclear arsenal must be able to deter the US.

The US has not paid enough respect to China's military. Senior US officials of the Asia-Pacific command frequently show their intention to flex their muscles with arrogance. The Trump team also took a flippant attitude toward China's core interests after Trump's election win. Enhancing communication and mutual understanding is not enough. China must procure a level of strategic military strength that will force the US to respect it."

China has had missiles deployed on Russia's borders for decades, but the deployment of the new DF-41 missiles is causing anxiety in Russia, who fear that the new missiles are meant for Russian targets. Russia's state media have been full of articles to reassure the public. Russian military expert Konstantin Sivkov says that the missiles could not possibly be targeting Russia:

"China has deployed inter-continental ballistic missiles near Russia with the aim to be able to reach targets in the US, Canada and Europe.

This is an inter-continental class missile with an effective range of 10,000 to 12000 kms. The missile's dead zone is no less than three thousand kms. A large territory of Russia, practically the entire Far East and West Siberia are not within the missile's reach.

If that were the purpose, the missiles should have been stationed deep inside mainland China or on its southern border."

The last statement is somewhat ironic, since apparently two additional brigades of DF-41 missiles have been deployed, and those brigades are deep inside mainland China, and presumably could strike much of Russia. Even the brigade on Russia's northeastern border could still strike Moscow, which is in the west.

Each DF-41 ICBM can carry ten independently targetable warheads, with a maximum speed close to 20,000 mph. By deploying an ICBM brigade on the Amur River, the missiles could attack the US by going over the North Pole, and could hit any target in the US, while remaining out of range of the defensive Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system that the US is deploying in South Korea. The nominal purpose of the THAAD system, according to the US, is to protect the US from a North Korean missile launch. However, everyone believes, undoubtedly correctly, that the bigger purpose of the THAAD system is as a first line of defense to a Chinese missile attack on the United States, but the THAAD system could not defend against China's new missile deployment. Global Times (Beijing) and Sputnik News (Moscow) and Daily Mail (London) and Russia Today and Japan Times

Related Articles

Centuries-old Russia-China border dispute could lead to another war

The Amur River that forms part of the border between China and Russia's Far East has been the site of wars between the two people for centuries.

The first conflict began in 1628 when the Russians invaded a territory inhabited by a Mongol-related ethnic group. The Russians and the Mongols had already fought many long, bitter wars following the conquests of Genghis Khan in the 1200s, but that wasn't the motivation for this invasion. The motivation for the 1628 invasion was fur, gold and silver.

The most recent war in this region occurred in the 1960s, and is known as the Damansky Incident. On March 2, 1969, border units of the Soviet Union and China clashed on Damansky Island, gaining control of the island.

Militarily, the Damansky Incident was a small operation, but symbolically and politically it's been extremely important. The fighting generated worldwide concern, over fears that China and Russia would escalate the fight into nuclear war. The United States sided with China in the clash, causing China to have much more favorable relations with the US. In fact, this incident is thought to be the trigger that led to President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger successfully developing diplomatic relations with China in 1971.

As regular readers know, Generational Dynamics predicts that in the approaching Clash of Civilizations world war, Russia and the United States will be allied against China. I've given many reasons for this, but the tensions along the Amur River provide another one.

Russia's Far East is a vast sparsely populated region. Across the Amur River is heavily populated northeast China. By some estimates, there are about 5 million illegal Chinese immigrants living in Russia's Far East, with the number increasing by a million or so each year. The 1969 border war is well remembered by both sides, so the new DF-41 missile deployment is stoking strong nationalistic feelings on both sides.

Since 2012 China has increased spending on infrastructure along the Amur River border region, to make it easier for Chinese businesses to operate. This supports the rapid growth of Chinese trade in the thinly populated Far East and confirms Russian fears that Chinese businesses and Chinese migrants will take over Russia's Far East before long.

In 2014, Russia held the massive Vostok military exercises in the Far East, explaining that the military drills were necessary to prepare for war with the United States. And yet, the assets deployed during this exercise were more consistent with preparing for a defense of the Far East, a region that America would be unlikely to invade if it wanted to invade Russia at all. The only state actor that against which such a defense is needed is China. And so it appears that Russia and China claim that they're each preparing for war with the United States, but in reality they're preparing for war with each other. Russia Behind the Headlines (2-Sep-2015) and American University and Strategy Page and The Diplomat

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 27-Jan-17 World View -- China places missiles on Russia's border -- to gain respect and attack America thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (27-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

26-Jan-17 World View -- Dow surges past 20,000, further expanding dangerous Wall Street bubble

China desperately imposes controls on capital outflows

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Dow surges past 20,000, further expanding dangerous Wall Street bubble


S&P 500 Price/Earnings ratio at 24.71 on Jan 20, indicating a huge and growing stock market bubble (WSJ)
S&P 500 Price/Earnings ratio at 24.71 on Jan 20, indicating a huge and growing stock market bubble (WSJ)

President Donald Trump and the "Trump effect" are being given credit for pushing the Dow Jones Industrial Average past 20,000 on Wednesday, for the first time in history. The credit is being given to Trump because of the excitement generated by his election victory and his divisive moves in the direction of rolling back regulations that have hampered businesses and job creation.

The operative word is "excitement." There's little or nothing of real economic fundamentals that justify this continually growing stock market bubble. Central banks around the world have been printing money and pumping it into the banking system. Investors borrow that money and use it to buy stocks and sell them to each other, pushing up stock prices and stock market indexes.

Furthermore, this was going on in the Barack Obama administration as well as the Trump administration. Stock market bubbles have no connection to politicians, either conservative or liberal.

According to Friday's Wall Street Journal, the S&P 500 Price/Earnings index (stock valuations index) on Friday morning (Jan 20) was at an astronomically high 24.71. This is far above the historical average of 14, indicating that the stock market bubble is still growing, and could burst at any time. Generational Dynamics predicts that the P/E ratio will fall to the 5-6 range or lower, which is where it was as recently as 1982, resulting in a Dow Jones Industrial Average of 3000 or lower.

There's a lot of Schadenfreude going around about the election night New York Times blog entry by Paul Krugman, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics because of his hatred of President George Bush. After Donald Trump's election victory, Krugman wrote:

"It really does now look like President Donald J. Trump, and markets are plunging. When might we expect them to recover?

Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty. The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.

Still, I guess people want an answer: If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.

Under any circumstances, putting an irresponsible, ignorant man who takes his advice from all the wrong people in charge of the nation with the world’s most important economy would be very bad news. What makes it especially bad right now, however, is the fundamentally fragile state much of the world is still in, eight years after the great financial crisis."

What this goes to show is what an idiot Krugman is, but not because he's wrong about "fundamentally fragile state" of the world. He's actually right about that, and that's consistent with the Generational Dynamics view of the world.

And that's particularly ironic, because Krugman is agreeing the thrust of Trump's inauguration speech, which linked America today to the economic hardships of the 1930s.

What makes Krugman a total idiot is that he thinks that he can time the market. You'd think that the Nobel prize winner in economics would know that he can't write a column late at night predicting stock prices the next day and expect to get them right. But then again, Krugman didn't get his Nobel prize in economics because he's a good economist. The loons in Sweden gave it to him because they hated Bush and they wanted to give it to someone else who hated Bush as much as they did. So Krugman and the loons in Sweden deserve each other.

An economist would /should know that you can't predict the timing of a stock market panic and crash. I always like to point out that even today, 87 years after the stock market panic of October 1929, nobody knows why it happened at exactly that time, and not three months earlier or five months later, and what triggered the 1929 panic. It's still a mystery.

A P/E ratio of 24.71 is astronomically high. And since stock prices have surged since Friday morning, the P/E ratio after Wednesday's close is probably now above 25.

We can't predict exactly when a stock market panic will occur, or what will trigger it, but we can predict with 100% mathematical certainty that a panic and crash will occur, and by the Law of Mean Reversion, the Dow Jones Industrial Average will fall from its current level of 20,000 to a low below 3,000, wiping out millions of people's savings. CNBC and Bloomberg and NY Times (9-Nov-2016)

Related Articles

China desperately imposes controls on capital outflows

With the world's economies interlocked, the trigger for a Wall Street panic and crash needn't necessarily come from the United States. A financial panic in any major world economy could create a chain reaction that would affect all world economies.

In China, there's already a panic of sorts going on, as wealthy Chinese have been converting their fortunes from China's yuan currency into dollars or other foreign currencies, and then using those dollars to purchase assets outside China. In that way, Chinese investors protect themselves from a currency or stock market crash within China.

This has resulted in huge outflows of China's yuan currency, as much as $1.3 trillion in the last four months of 2016. As more and more investors sell their yuan currency, the yuan weakens and its exchange rate becomes less and less favorable against the dollar. The value of the yuan lost 7% against the dollar in 2016. In the last few months, the yuan fell at its fastest rate since 1994.

Chinese investors, seeing the yuan weaken, then become anxious and convert more yuan into dollars in order to preserve value. This can create a vicious cycle that leads to a full-scale currency panic that would affect China's entire economy.

As a result, China at the beginning of January issued regulations designed to clamp down on currency outflows. Chinese investors will be strictly limited in the amount of money that they can convert to dollars, and even then they must sign a pledge that the funds "will not be used for overseas purchases of property, securities, life insurance or any other insurance of an investment nature."

China's government says that these are not really capital controls, but are meant to prevent investment in terrorist activities abroad.

However, these new regulations are having a chilling effect on international investors considering investments in China. A person is not going to be willing to send dollars into China to invest in a business if they're concerned that they'll lose all their money because Chinese regulators won't let them take it out of China later.

China's new capital outflow limitations are a move of desperation that will not work forever. China Daily (5-Jan) and Radio Free Asia and Business Insider and Reuters

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 26-Jan-17 World View -- Dow surges past 20,000, further expanding dangerous Wall Street bubble thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (26-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

25-Jan-17 World View -- Russia, Iran, Turkey sign farcical Syria peace agreement

Syria peace conference sees a return to 'proximity talks'

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Russia, Iran, Turkey sign farcical Syria peace agreement


Politicians shake hands and congratulate each other at Tuesday's conclusion of the Syria peace negotiations (AP)
Politicians shake hands and congratulate each other at Tuesday's conclusion of the Syria peace negotiations (AP)

What's wrong with this picture: There's a civil war in Syria between the Shia/Alawites versus the Sunnis. On Tuesday, Russia, Iran and Turkey signed a peace agreement.

The thing that's wrong with this picture is that nobody from Syria signed the agreement. It was an agreement among outsiders, and did not include any parties who are nominally the opponents in Syria's civil war.

The peace talks were held in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. Syrian civil war peace talks in the past were held in Geneva, so having these talks in Astana gives that "this time it's different" feeling to the meeting.

Another reason it's different is that the United States was not invited to the peace talks, largely because Iran opposed having the US present. However, the US was permitted to have an observer, and sent George Krol, the U.S. ambassador to Kazakhstan. The US issued a statement saying that it welcomed any "actions that sustainably de-escalate violence and reduce suffering in Syria."

However the main reason, according to analysts, that this time it's different is that Russia is making it clear that it's willing to enforce a peace in Syria, so that it will get the credit for bringing about peace.

In fact, Russia is so eager to enforce a peace that on Tuesday, for apparently the first time ever, Russia publicly bashed Syria's president Bashar al-Assad for breaching the ceasefire and lying about it.

This has to do with a region called Wadi Barada in the suburbs of Damascus, that's under the control of anti-Assad rebels. Al-Assad's forces, aided by Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah forces, have been breaching the ceasefire, attacking the anti-Assad rebels around Wadi Barada. Al-Assad claimed that it was al-Qaeda forces that were attacking the rebels, but the Russians called him out, essentially calling him a liar.

Readers may recall that in 2015, al-Assad's army was close to complete collapse, and was only saved by massive Russian intervention. This was confirmed on Tuesday by Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, who said that al-Assad and Damascus itself were only three weeks away from falling, which was prevented only because the Russian air force came and saved him.

So the Russians have hallucinatory belief that they're going to enforce a ceasefire across Syria, including al-Assad's army, the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front, recently renamed Jabhat Fateh al-Sham or JFS), and any of the numerous anti-Assad rebel groups in Syria. Russia is going to enforce a ceasefire among all those groups, Syria will return to "normal," and Russia will get all the credit for bringing peace to the land. It's hard not to laugh. Washington Post and Guardian (London)

Syria peace conference sees a return to 'proximity talks'

It's almost hard to believe, but we're seeing "proximity talks" again.

In Astana, the al-Assad representatives were supposed to meet face to face with the anti-Assad rebel representatives. On Monday, they all sat around a nice oval table, so they could negotiate. So then the lead rebel negotiator, Mohammed Alloush, called the Syrian government a "bloody, oppressive regime" that forced Syrians to choose between "the terrorism of Bashar and the terrorism of ISIS," implying that al-Assad is worse terrorist than ISIS. Syria's lead negotiator, Bashar Jaafari, responded by calling Alloush the head of the "armed terrorist groups’ delegation." So that was the end of the face to face talks between the al-Assad and rebel representatives. After that, they were put into separate rooms, and the farcical "proximity talks" started.

I described how this works in the context of the January 2014 peace negotiations. Instead of talking to each other, a mediator carries messages back and forth between the two sides, in the hopes of reaching an agreement that way.

So you have people saying that the Astana talks are a "breakthrough" because the two sides are finally talking to each other, but in fact they aren't talking to each other. AP and The Diplomat and ARA News (Syria)

Related Articles

The aftermath of the destruction of Aleppo

Let's review. Last year, al-Assad's military, supported by overwhelming destructive force provided by Russia and Iran, was going to destroy the city of Aleppo. That was going to end the war because it would demoralize the opposition groups and jihadists so they would lose interesting in fighting, and would go home.

At the time, Bashar al-Assad called it "history in the making":

"[The liberation of Aleppo was] history in the making and worthy of more than the word congratulations.

History is being written in these moments. Every Syrian citizen is taking part in the writing. It started not today, but years ago when the crisis and the war on Syria began.

I think that after the liberation of Aleppo we’ll talk about the situation as ... before the liberation of Aleppo and after the liberation of Aleppo."

Well, nobody is talking about the destruction of Aleppo as "history in the making" any more. It was pure fantasy by al-Assad. Al-Assad destroyed Aleppo, but nobody seems to have gone home. There's a ceasefire in effect, but how long before it falls apart?

I've been writing about this war for years. Syria is in a generational Awakening era, and this war should have fizzled within a year. But Bashar al-Assad's goal is extermination of Syria's Sunnis, as I've been describing for years.

It's worth remembering how we got here. The civil war in Syria was caused by al-Assad when he unleashed his army and air force against peaceful protesters in 2011. Up to that point, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were friendly with al-Assad. Things really turned around in August 2011, when al-Assad launched a massive military assault on a large, peaceful Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia, filled with tens of thousands of women and children Palestinians.

Al-Assad's unprovoked attack on this refugee camp, and the slaughter of thousands of Palestinian women and children, drew young jihadists from around the world to Syria to fight al-Assad, resulting in the formation of the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh). Sunnis in Syria itself turned against al-Assad, forming either "moderate" rebel militias or joining the jihadist Al-Nusra Front. Al-Assad is responsible for displacing millions of Syrians, including over a million that have flowed into Europe as refugees.

So let's suppose that the Astana peace negotiations "succeed" in some sense, and the ceasefire continues for a while. What's going to happen when Syrians begin peacefully protesting again? Is al-Assad going to ignore it this time? How long will Russia's military be willing to continue spending blood and money to enforce the ceasefire?

A ceasefire cannot work unless both sides want it to work. In this case, neither side wants it to work. What has always been clear to me is that al-Assad started this war and is the driving force behind continuing the war. As long as al-Assad is in power, the war will continue. ARA News (Syria) and LA Times

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 25-Jan-17 World View -- Russia, Iran, Turkey sign farcical Syria peace agreement thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (25-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

24-Jan-17 World View -- Russia will build major naval base in Tartus Syria

Trump may permit US military cooperation with Russia in Syria

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Trump may permit US military cooperation with Russia in Syria


Port of Tartus, Syria, to become a major Russian naval base (Reuters)
Port of Tartus, Syria, to become a major Russian naval base (Reuters)

The prize for bizarre story of the day on Monday had to do with whether the US and Russian militaries were cooperating in Syria to fight the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

According to Russian reports, US military intelligence was providing the Russia military with coordinates that Russian warplanes could use to strike ISIS targets.

However, soon after the Russian claims were made, American officials were calling them Russian disinformation, and an American military spokesman called the Russian statement "rubbish."

Next, President Trump's press secretary said that the US is willing to "work with any country that shares our interest in defeating ISIS," including Russia.

The problem is that the Russians really don't care much about ISIS, as their only interest is to keep Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in power, while Trump's only interest is in keeping his campaign pledge to destroy ISIS.

So it's an interesting development that the door has been left open for the US and Russia to cooperate militarily in Syria.

However, it is true that Russia and Turkey have been coordinating air strikes against ISIS targets.

As readers are aware, Generational Dynamics predicts that the US, Iran and Russia will be allies in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, and Turkey will not be an ally. AP and Russia Today and International Business Times

Related Articles

Russia will build major naval base in Tartus Syria

For the first time in decades, Russia is coming back as a major military naval power in the Mideast, now that Russia and Syria have signed a long-term agreement to build a large naval base in Tartus, Syria, on the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, the agreement allows Russia to expand its Hmeymim airbase in Latakia in Syria.

According to the agreement, Russia can station up to 11 warships, including nuclear-powered warships, at Tartus. The facility will be completely controlled by Russia. It is immune from "search, requisition, arrest or executory measures" by Syrian officials.

According to Andrey Krasov, head of the State Duma's Defense Committee, the only purpose of the naval base is to fight terrorism:

"Russia needs this base to be present in this region. Unlike NATO, the Russian Federation is the guarantor of security in the world. In Syria, we fight against international terrorism not only by words, but also by deeds. Both Russian Aerospace Defense Forces and Russian Navy’s ship groups demonstrate their professionalism, high qualifications in supporting the Syrian Armed Forces in the fight against terrorism. We are doing everything possible in order for long-suffering Syria to be cleansed from this plague international terrorism.

When in the 1990s we did not hold any drills and closed our bases one by one in Cam Ranh (Vietnam), in Cuba no one cared about this, everybody was clapping their hands. And now, when we rose from our knees, when we started to actively train our forces - and we are doing this on our own territory - our defense-industrial companies produce the most modern weapons, and no other army in the world has such equipment and such weapons - this worries someone. We are worried, however, that NATO is approaching our borders. We do not get closer to anybody, but by these actions, we are returning the positions lost earlier, we are returning our presence in this region."

However, Krasov was contradicted by Igor Korotchenko, a Russian military expert, who says that the base will actually have a much larger purpose than just fighting terrorism: "It will make it possible for Russia to keep control of the entire Mediterranean region, i.e. the Middle East, North Africa and NATO’s southern borders. In terms of military strategy, it gives big possibilities for control over the most important geopolitical processes in the region. ... The mere fact of the presence of Russian warships and submarines, especially those armed with Kalibr cruise missiles, will make it possible to keep control of the entire region and repel any threats." Deutsche Welle and Tass and Straits Times and Tass

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 24-Jan-17 World View -- Russia will build major naval base in Tartus Syria thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (24-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

23-Jan-17 World View -- Explosive Israeli policy decisions reportedly put on hold at Trump's request

Israel prepares for the Palestinian 'Oslo Generation'

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Explosive Israeli policy decisions reportedly put on hold at Trump's request


Israeli Arabs in the Oslo Generation (Reuters)
Israeli Arabs in the Oslo Generation (Reuters)

Two potentially explosive policy decisions related to Israel and the Mideast have been put on hold, reflecting the recognition by both the American and Israeli administrations of the need for caution:

Internationally, the pressure on Israel is in a bit of a lull right now. The knife and car attacks and other attacks by young Palestinians on Israelis that were surging in 2015 have subsided, while the tensions over the so-called "peace process" have subsided because the international focus is on the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.

So the delay in implementing these two explosive policy decisions is welcome because it continues this relative lull for a while longer.

Decisions like these should not be implemented without two things:

NBC News and AP

Israel prepares for the Palestinian 'Oslo Generation'

As long-time readers are aware, Generational Dynamics predicts a full-scale Mideast war, pitting Jews against Arabs, Sunnis against Shias, and various ethnic groups against each other. There is no guarantee that Israel will survive this war.

Politicians often get confused about who's in charge, and believe that they control events. As I've written many times, it's a core principle of generational theory that, even in a dictatorship, major decisions are made by masses of people, by generations of people, and that politicians are irrelevant except insofar as they're implementing the wishes of the masses of people. In the case of the Palestinians, the average age is less than 20 years old, meaning that major events will be determined not by the 80 year old politicians, but by the masses of teens and 20-somethings.

This is the "Oslo generation" that I've described in the past. These kids were all born after the 1993 Oslo accords that were supposed to bring peace to the Mideast, but are perceived as accomplishing nothing. These kids feel angry and frustrated, they do not trust their leaders, and they are willing to do what they can to "get things done."

Nationalist feelings are extremely high at the present time among both the Palestinians and Israelis. This is exactly the kind of climate that leads to both sides setting red lines and taking harsh steps that lead to tit-for-tat reprisals and revenge. That's why the best policy now is the cautious policy, one that is least likely to result in retaliation and revenge, and to use the time available to prepare for the inevitable war that cannot be prevented. Arab News

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 23-Jan-17 World View -- Explosive Israeli policy decisions reportedly put on hold at Trump's request thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (23-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

22-Jan-17 World View -- India begins deploying its 'Cold Start' military strategy against Pakistan

Russia and India declare their love for each other

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

India begins deploying its 'Cold Start' military strategy against Pakistan


Indian Army T-90S tanks on parade
Indian Army T-90S tanks on parade

Reports indicate that India is preparing to deploy 460 high-tech battle tanks along its border with Pakistan, in order to implement its "Cold Start" military strategy.

The Cold Start strategy has been discussed for years, although India has wavered between denying it and acknowledging it at different times.

The Cold Start strategy would be used when India wants to perform lightning "Blitzkrieg" military operation with conventional (non-nuclear) on Pakistani soil for whatever reason -- such as to retaliate for a jihadist terror attack.

In its current configuration, could not mount such an attack in less than a few weeks, giving Pakistan time to a nuclear counterattack, which would force India to back down in most cases.

In the Cold Start scenario, India's army would be prepared to launch an invasive attack almost immediately. The objective would be to meet the military objective within a week, before Pakistan would have time to launch nuclear retaliatory strikes.

Despite years of discussion and denial, the Cold Start strategy hasn't been implemented because it's too expensive. It requires such things as high-tech armor including tanks, attack helicopters, and multiple rocket launchers with a 100 km range, and they have to be on alert at all times. It also requires sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities that India does not currently have. India already maintains a sizable tank force along the Pakistan border, but with decades-old technology.

The reported purchase of hundreds of high-tech Russian tanks suggests that India is finally moving ahead with its Cold Start strategy. Relations between India and Pakistan deteriorated significantly during 2016 because of repeated violence during anti-India protests in India-controlled Kashmir. India blamed the violence on Pakistan, while Pakistan denied responsibility. Russia Today and The Diplomat

Unintended consequence: Cold Start strategy may trigger nuclear war

The objective of the Cold Start strategy is to be able to complete attain a military objective quickly with a "Blitzkrieg" attack using conventional weapons, without risking a nuclear war.

However, some India analysts are saying that the strategy may have the unintended consequence of making a nuclear war more likely.

According to defense analyst Nitin Mehta:

"The Cold Start doctrine essentially will prepare for the next wars, which will emerge on short notice, will be of short duration, and will be fought at high tempo and intensity. The doctrine would mean combined operations by air, land and sea forces, which will require greater coordination headed by a senior military official."

Gurmeet Kanwal, also a retired Indian Army brigadier and defense analyst, said:

"Indian political and military leaders and strategic analysts believe that there is clear strategic space for a conventional conflict below the nuclear threshold because nuclear weapons are not weapons of war fighting. They are convinced that for Pakistan, it would be suicidal to launch a nuclear strike against India or Indian forces, as it would invite massive retaliation."

Both of these analysts advise caution because of the assumptions being made in the context of a very high risk and very costly strategy. The strategy is based on the questionable assumption that a rapid military action by massive armored attacks will deter Pakistan from launching nuclear counter strikes in retaliation.

In fact, Pakistan's Defense Minister Khawaj Asif completely rejects those assumptions:

"We will destroy India if it dares to impose war on us. Pakistan's army is fully prepared to answer any misadventure of India. We have not made atomic devices to display in a showcase. If a such a situation arises we will use it (nuclear weapons) and eliminate India."

China Topix and Defense News

Related Articles

Russia and India declare their love for each other

India's prime minister last week said in a speech:

"Russia is an abiding friend. President Putin and I have held long conversations on the challenges that confront the world today. Our trusted and strategic partnership, especially in the field of defense has deepened."

At a meeting in October of last year, Sergei Chemezov, CEO of Russia's Rostec State Corporation and a close aide to Russia's president Vladimir Putin, said that Russia will always stand by India:

"We are ready not just to deliver the most serious weapons, and the most important weapons, but continue to give our state of art technology.

Russia is a friend, an ally [of India] and not a business partner. Russia stood by India during its darkest hours. Next year will mark 70 years of our relationship. It has been a long time. In the not so recent past, when India was under sanctions, we were pretty much the only partner for India.

Russia has been a partner not only in every day military supplies but also in the most sensitive and most important supplies, including a nuclear submarine which was rented to India for you to use."

China and Pakistan also have a deep love relationship. As I've reported in the past, China and Pakistan describe their relationship as "all-weather friends," "deeper than the deepest ocean," "sweeter than honey" and "dearer than eyesight."

As I've been writing for many years, Generational Dynamics predicts that the world is headed for a Clash of Civilizations world war, where China's allies will include Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries, and America's allies will include India, Russia and Iran. Russia and India Report and India Today (23-Oct-2016)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 22-Jan-17 World View -- India begins deploying its 'Cold Start' military strategy against Pakistan thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (22-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

21-Jan-17 World View -- President Trump's inauguration speech links today's America to the 1930s

The Gambia's leader steps down, after his army chief deserts him

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

President Trump's inauguration speech links today's America to the 1930s


Friday's inauguration in Washington
Friday's inauguration in Washington

After the end of World War II, world leaders decided that the root causes of the war were nationalism and xenophobia in the 1930s, as I've been writing about for years, as well as American isolationism.

President Donald J. Trump's inauguration speech combined strong nationalism and isolationism with just a tiny smidgen of xenophobia, much less of the latter than we've heard from him in the past. It seemed to me that he struck the right balance, but even so, his speech was a return to the mood of the 1930s.

His appeal to nationalism and isolationism was at its strongest when he firmly declared that "it's going to be only America first, America first." All of these themes can be identified from the following excerpts:

"We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first, America first.

Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families. We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. ...

We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first. We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow."

The invocation of nationalism and isolationism was not the only link in Trump's speech to 1930s America. His description of today's America could have come right out of a history book describing the Great Depression:

"At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction, that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public.

But for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists: mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities; rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation; an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge; and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential.

This American carnage stops right here and stops right now."

MSNBC's Chris Matthews made the truly idiotic statement that Trump's inauguration speech was "Hitlerian." Actually, it was much more "Rooseveltian," because it describes a national mood today that's very similar to the national mood in the 1930s -- not Germany's mood, but America's mood.

Perhaps, in drafting this speech, Trump was influenced by his chief strategist Steve Bannon, who is very knowledgeable about Generational Dynamics and about history in general. But however it came about, Trump's view of America today is remarkably similar to the Generational Dynamics view of America that I've been writing about for years. And Generational Dynamics predicts that the world his headed for a Clash of Civilizations world war, pitting China and its allies against America and its allies. This is what America and the Trump administration should be preparing for. Washington Post and The Hill

Related Articles

The Gambia's leader steps down, after his army chief deserts him

There was a lot of talk on Friday comparing the United States to the Gambia. America has had orderly transitions of power every four years since 1792, even during the American Civil War -- a remarkable feat possibly unparalleled by any other country in history.

By contrast, in many countries in Africa, when a leader comes to power, he refuses to step down, and directs violence and torture to any opposition figures who object. I've written extensively about this in Zimbabwe and Burundi for example, as well as in Syria (not an African country).

The Gambia was on exactly the same path, when the dictator Yahya Jammeh, who took power in a 1994 coup, refused to step down after losing the December election for president to businessman Adama Barrow. Jammeh's mandate ended on January 19, and troops from several of The Gambia's neighbors in the ECOWAS confederation (Economic Community of West African States) sent troops into The Gambia and threatened to force Jammeh to step down.

What's remarkable about this situation is the unanimity of international opinion. In any similar situation, some countries would side with Jammeh and others would side with his opponent. But in this case, every country that made any statement at all sided against Jammeh.

On Friday, the leaders of Mauritania and Guinea flew into The Gambia's capital city Banjul to convince Jammeh to leave without bloodshed. According to reports, Jammeh refused to give up power until late Friday evening, when his army leader General Ousman Badjie defected, and joined the calls for Jammeh to step down.

Late reports indicate that he's agreed, but it's not known what the terms are or where he would be going.

Meanwhile, on Friday, President Obama left office and President Trump entered that office. No threatening troops from any foreign country were required for that change to occur. Vanguard (Nigeria) and BBC

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 21-Jan-17 World View -- President Trump's inauguration speech links today's America to the 1930s thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (21-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

20-Jan-17 World View -- Senegal's troops enter The Gambia to force the ruler to step down

Why you have to say 'The Gambia', rather than just 'Gambia'

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Senegal's troops enter The Gambia to force the ruler to step down


Supporters of president-elect Adama Barrow celebrate his inauguration at Gambia's embassy in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday (Reuters)
Supporters of president-elect Adama Barrow celebrate his inauguration at Gambia's embassy in Dakar, Senegal on Thursday (Reuters)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), with Senegal in the lead, sent a military force into The Gambia on Thursday to begin traveling to the capital city Banjul, in order to force the long-time dictator Yahya Jammeh to step down, having lost the last election in December. Nigeria has sent aircraft and troops to Senegal, and deployed a warship. Jammeh has been dictator since a 1994 coup, but with his election loss, his mandate ends on Thursday, January 19. If Jammeh steps down without bloodshed, then he will be permitted to go into exile in the country of his choice.

On the same day, the winner of December's election, Adama Barrow, was sworn in as president at Gambia's embassy in Dakar, the capital city of Senegal. That makes Barrow the legitimate leader of The Gambia, with the international authority to approve the ECOWAS military force. The United Nations Security Council immediately approved the ECOWAS military action.

Analysts are mixed in their assessments of whether the military action will succeed. Jammeh is becoming increasingly isolated, in that many people in his government have resigned, and some army soldiers have indicated that they will not defend Jammeh. However, there are still some soldiers that are loyal to Jammeh, and a battle with Senegalese soldiers could go either way.

As of this writing on Thursday evening ET (Friday morning in The Gambia), ECOWAS announced that it was halting its military operation in order to permit weekend negotiations for a mediated settlement. ECOWAS will send a team led by Guinea's president, Alpha Conde, and including the presidents of Liberia and Mauritania to Banjul on Friday. Reuters and BBC and AP

Related Articles

Why you have to say 'The Gambia', rather than just 'Gambia'

There are two reasons why "The Gambia" has "The" in front of its name:

Other geographic locations that demand the definite article are The Bahamas and The Hague.

And let's not forget the immortal words of Ogden Nash who, in 1931, said "The Bronx? No thonx." Later in life, as an "older and wiser man," he apologized and wrote, "The Bronx? God bless them." Africa News and NAIJ (Nigeria) and Blogden Nash

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 20-Jan-17 World View -- Senegal's troops enter The Gambia to force the ruler to step down thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (20-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

19-Jan-17 World View -- European anger and British self-delusion follow Brexit plan speech

Brexit becomes more real after Theresa May's speech

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Brexit becomes more real after Theresa May's speech


Theresa May
Theresa May

Britain's prime minister Theresa May gave a speech on Tuesday outlining her plans for how Britain will leave the European Union, following the Brexit referendum of June 23 of last year.

The speech did not provide much hard information that wasn't already known, but the speech was important nonetheless because it made the Brexit concept a lot more real.

Some of the major parts of the plan are as follows:

Although May laid out her Brexit plans for the first time, she didn't really provide any details beyond what was already known. For example, she wants to allow travel between Ireland and Northern Ireland. How is that possible, if Ireland is in the EU, while Northern Ireland is not? UK Government - speech transcript and Telegraph (London)

European anger versus British self-delusion

The combination of two of the items, trade and immigration, are the most explosive. They're also the one causing the most fury in the EU, and the ones about which the UK is most self-delusional.

Today, as part of the EU, the UK freely trades with the EU countries, with goods flowing freely in both directions. That's one of the EU's "four freedoms": freedom of movement for people, goods, capital and services.

Mrs. May and a number of other UK leaders seem to believe that the EU will be so anxious to continue trade relations with the UK, they'll be willing to agree to a trade agreement that would be as good as the one if the UK were still part of the EU Single Market, but without all the obligations of EU membership, such as freedom of movement for people.

This attitude infuriates many EU leaders. That's not surprising because they've been furious with Britain ever the results of the June 23 Brexit referendum were announced, particularly because the Brexit referendum has stirred anti-immigration sentiment across the EU, and given rise to populist anti-EU politicians.

May addressed this sentiment in her speech as follows:

"So I believe the framework I have outlined today is in Britain’s interests. It is in Europe’s interests. And it is in the interests of the wider world.

But I must be clear. Britain wants to remain a good friend and neighbor to Europe. Yet I know there are some voices calling for a punitive deal that punishes Britain and discourages other countries from taking the same path.

That would be an act of calamitous self-harm for the countries of Europe. And it would not be the act of a friend. Britain would not – indeed we could not – accept such an approach. And while I am confident that this scenario need never arise – while I am sure a positive agreement can be reached – I am equally clear that no deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain."

Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of EU member nation Malta, said that "European rules and institutions cannot be compromised," and added:

"We want a fair deal for the UK but that deal necessarily needs to be inferior to membership. This should not come as a surprise to anyone — indeed thinking it can be otherwise would be a detachment from reality."

So you have anger on one side, and "detachment from reality" on the other side.

May has not yet "invoked Article 50," which would launch two years of negotiations between Britain and the EU over the terms of the separation. She has promised to do that by the end of March, but there's also a pending court case, to be decided in next week, where a decision might take away May's power to invoke Article 50 without a vote from the Parliament. and Reuters and The Sun (London)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 19-Jan-17 World View -- European anger and British self-delusion follow Brexit plan speech thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (19-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

18-Jan-17 World View -- The Gambia's leader, refusing to step down, declares state of emergency

Burundi's leader, refusing to step down, withdraws peacekeeping troops fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

The Gambia's leader, refusing to step down, declares state of emergency


 Supporters of incumbent President Yahya Jammeh sit at a campaign rally prior to the 1-Dec-2016 election that Jammeh lost to businessman Adama Barrow (Getty)
Supporters of incumbent President Yahya Jammeh sit at a campaign rally prior to the 1-Dec-2016 election that Jammeh lost to businessman Adama Barrow (Getty)

Britain is withdrawing almost 1,000 tourists from The Gambia, after president Yahya Jammeh declared a state of emergency two days before Jammeh's term in office ends. Like many other African leaders, Jammeh is refusing to step down when his term in office officially ends on January 19.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has been mediating in the crisis hoping to convince Jammeh to step down peacefully on Thursday, something that now appears will not happen. There has been an implied threat that Senegal and other ECOWAS countries will send in a military force. Meanwhile, thousands of Gambians are fleeing the country or sending their children abroad, fearing a possible war. However, it's not clear what the mission of such a military force would be, as some and perhaps most of The Gambian army is remaining loyal to Jammeh. Independent (London) and Guardian (London) and The Point (The Gambia)

Related Articles

Burundi's leader, refusing to step down, withdraws peacekeeping troops fighting al-Shabaab in Somalia

Burundi's president Pierre Nkurunziza is withdrawing his troops from the African Union peacekeeping force, over a pay dispute with the European Union. The EU pays the salaries of the Burundi peacekeeping troops, but they don't want to pay the money to Nkurunziza out of fear that he'll just put the money into his overseas bank account, or use the money to buy weapons to be used against his political opponents.

Like many African leaders, Nkurunziza is refusing to step down, and instead is remaining in office in violation of Burundi's constitution. As usual in Africa, this is about tribal violence. Nkurunziza is an ethnic Hutu, he's conducting torture, sexual violence, arbitrary jailings, targeted assassinations and summary executions against his political opposition, almost all from the Tutsi tribe.

So the EU doesn't want to pay the soldiers' salaries, around $5.3 million per month, to the Nkurunziza government, but instead want to pay it directly to the soldiers. The peacekeeping force is really badly needed in Somalia, to fight the jihadist terror group al-Shabaab. Nkurunziza is now pulling out his troops from the peacekeeping force, hoping that he can extort the money out of the EU and use it to bash more political opponents. Vanguard (Nigeria) and Africa News and All Africa

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 18-Jan-17 World View -- The Gambia's leader, refusing to step down, declares state of emergency thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (18-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

17-Jan-17 World View -- European leaders shocked and surprised at Trump's foreign policy comments

China threatens to 'take off the gloves' with Donald Trump

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

China threatens to 'take off the gloves' with Donald Trump


Trump interview on Monday (dpa)
Trump interview on Monday (dpa)

A kind of war of words continues to grow between by president-elect Donald Trump and China's media over Trump's repeated comments appearing to challenge the "One-China Policy," which states that there is one China, not two, but leaves it to mainland China and Taiwan to interpret it differently.

Recently, an editorial in China's Global Times threatened "revenge" against Trump over his comments. Although Global Times is Chinese state media, it is the most nationalistic of the state English-language publications, and its editorials are sometimes ignored just ravings.

So it's worth noting that the latest editorial with a threat is in China Daily, which is a more mainstream state media outline. The editorial appears to be carefully worded, talking about China's "warm heart" at the beginning, and leaving the threat of taking the "gloves off" almost to the end.

According to the editorial, because Trump is making repeated comments, he's now "showing intent" to challenge the policy:

"When it comes to tolerance, it is our tradition to display a big heart. That is why one can normally get away with making the same mistake twice, as one will be given the benefit of the doubt.

But one will seldom be given the benefit of the doubt twice, because doing the same wrong for a third time shows intent.

When United States president-elect Donald Trump broke his country's longstanding diplomatic protocol and answered a "congratulatory call" from Taiwan leader Tsai Ing-wen, the Chinese foreign minister merely responded by calling it a "petty trick" by Taipei.

When, just nine days later, Trump told Fox News Sunday the US would not "be bound by the one-China policy", Beijing simply reiterated that acknowledgement of one China is fundamental, and non-negotiable, for healthy ties.

To many, that was a mistake Trump made twice. ...

It seems wishful thinking to assume Trump and his team's remarks on Taiwan have been based on bluster or miscalculation. On the contrary, it appears the next administration is intending to use the one-China policy as its trump card. ...

If Trump is determined to use this gambit on taking office, a period of fierce, damaging interactions will be unavoidable, as Beijing will have no choice but to take off the gloves."

The latest Global Times editorial says that "China cannot and will not offer anything in exchange for the one-China policy, and Trump must understand that." It adds that China will be closely watching what Trump does as president rather than what he has been saying. China Daily and Global Times (Beijing)

European leaders shocked and surprised at Trump's foreign policy comments

European leaders are expressing shock and surprise at comments made by president-elect Donald Trump in a pair of newspaper interviews.

Trump expressed great support for Brexit, referring to the plans underway for Britain to leave the European Union:

"I think Brexit’s going to end up being the great thing. And I predicted it – but the heat I took was unbelievable. And I said – it’s because people don’t wanna have other people coming in and destroying their country. I thought the UK was so smart in getting out."

Trump said that NATO is obsolete:

"And I said long time ago that NATO had problems and the one of them it was obsolete because it was designed many many years ago. And, number two, the countries weren’t paying what they were supposed to pay."

Trump's attitudes on immigrants are well-known, after his campaign remarks about Mexican immigrants being rapists and murderers and about deporting all Muslims. He's highly critical of the 2015 remarks by Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel which many people blame for much of the refugee crisis in Europe. In the interview, Trump said:

"I have great respect for her (Merkel), I felt she was a great great leader. I think she made one very catastrophic mistake – and that was taking all of these illegals, taking all of the people wherever they come from – and nobody really knows where they come from."

European leaders have expressed shock and dismay at Trump's remarks, but were careful not to inflame the situation further. Some pointed out that not all immigrants are illegals.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the question is: How are these remarks affecting the course of events? As long-time readers are aware, Generational Dynamics predicts that the world is headed for a new world war, and that this will be brought about by a worldwide renewal of nationalism, racism and xenophobia, as the survivors of World War II continue to die off, and memories of the horrors of WW II are forgotten.

My own belief is that Trump's remarks will have no effect at all on the course of events, except to create a flurry of global political posturing. The events of the next year may prove or disprove that belief. Euro News and Deutsche Welle and France 24

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 17-Jan-17 World View -- European leaders shocked and surprised at Trump's foreign policy comments thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (17-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

16-Jan-17 World View -- With Libya in chaos, migrant deal with Italy collapses

Over 100 migrants drown in Mediterranean after their dinghy sinks

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Over 100 migrants drown in Mediterranean after their dinghy sinks


Migrants in a dinghy rescued on Thursday of last week (AP)
Migrants in a dinghy rescued on Thursday of last week (AP)

Italy's Coast Guard was able to rescue only four people after a rubber dinghy with 110 migrants sank in rough waters in the Mediterranean Sea about 30 miles off the coast of Libya.

These situations are brought about by people smugglers. They charge desperate migrants thousands of dollars each. Typically, the people smugglers put hundreds of migrants into a single large rubber dinghy, and give the migrants enough fuel to leave Libyan waters and a cell phone to use to call the Italian coast guard.

The four who were rescued were among 550 who were rescued on one day, Friday.

It's expected (or feared) that, like last year, hundreds of thousands of migrants will attempt to cross from Libya to Italy this year. According to Malta Prime Minister Joseph Muscat:

"Come next spring, the number of people crossing over the Mediterranean will reach record levels. The choice is trying to do something now, or meeting urgently in April, May ... and try to do a deal then."

It's also expected that there will be thousands of migrants departing from Egypt, with the same objective. Libya Herald and Reuters and Telegraph (London) and AP

With Libya in chaos, migrant deal with Italy collapses

Italy reopened its embassy in Libya's capital city Tripoli last week, the first Western country to do so since 2015. Italy had hoped that doing so would lead to an agreement with the government of Libya to slow the flow of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy.

Unfortunately, the agreement was never signed by the government of Libya because the phrase "the government of Libya" is meaningless. There are several governments in Libya:

None of these three governments recognizes either of the others, and so there's no hope of getting any agreement.

In fact, the Beida government last week accused Italy's Coast Guard of violating Libyan sovereignty with its rescue program. Italy had received the approval of the Government of National Accord, but in a note last week, the Beida government said,

"An Italian military vessel loaded with soldiers and ammunition has entered Libyan territorial waters. It is a clear violation of the UN charter and a form of repeated aggression."

One other government could be mentioned -- the so-called National Salvation Government, led by Khalifa Ghwell, who claimed several days ago that his forces had seized several ministries in Tripoli, and that the Government of National Accord (GNA) had been defeated. His claims could not be confirmed. VOA and Libya Herald and North Africa Post and Libya Herald

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 16-Jan-17 World View -- With Libya in chaos, migrant deal with Italy collapses thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (16-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

15-Jan-17 World View -- Poland welcomes biggest deployment of American tanks and troops in decades

US troop deployment in Poland angers Russia

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Poland welcomes biggest deployment of American tanks and troops in decades


Prime Minister of Poland Beata Szydlo and Maj. Gen. Jaroslaw Mika, commander of Poland's 11th Armored Cavalry Division, conduct a review of U.S. and Polish troops during an official ceremony in Zagan, Poland (DVIDS)
Prime Minister of Poland Beata Szydlo and Maj. Gen. Jaroslaw Mika, commander of Poland's 11th Armored Cavalry Division, conduct a review of U.S. and Polish troops during an official ceremony in Zagan, Poland (DVIDS)

People across Poland are celebrating "Operation Resolve," the arrival to Poland the largest US military deployment to Europe in decades. The deployment includes about 4,000 troops and also 2,400 pieces of military equipment, including tanks and Humvees.

The deployment is a reaction to Russia's invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Other countries in eastern Europe are concerned that they will be the next victim of a Russian invasion, and it's hoped that the presence of US troops will deter Russia.

Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said,

"Welcome to Poland. ... The presence of American soldiers in Poland is another step in our strategy to ensure safety and security for Poland and the region. ...

It's a great day today when we can welcome, here in Zagan, American soldiers who represent the best, the greatest army in the world."

Poland's Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz said:

"We have waited for you for a very long time. We waited for decades, sometimes feeling we had been left alone, sometimes almost losing hope, sometimes feeling that we were the only ones who protected civilization from aggression that came from the east."

The American troops will be part of a Nato contingent that will include troops from Britain and Canada. The troops will be rotated every nine months through Poland, the Baltic countries, Bulgaria and Romania in order to provide a technical workaround to a promise made to Moscow after the fall of the Soviet Union that Nato would not permanently base large numbers of forces east of Germany. Deutsche Welle and CNN and AFP

US troop deployment in Poland angers Russia

Russia's president Vladimir Putin is always calling everyone he dislikes "Nazis" and "Fascists," but he doesn't like to admit that Russia's were also "Nazis and Fascists" prior Adolf Hitler's invasion of Russia. Hitler and Josef Stalin had signed a treaty (the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact) in 1939 where they split up Poland between them. The agreement also divided Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and Romania between the Nazis and the Communists. It was only in 1941, when the Nazis invaded Russia, that Stalin finally learned being a Nazi is not a good thing. Even so, after Hitler was defeated, Stalin's Soviet forces occupied Poland and other east European countries for decades.

These events are far ancient history to today's young generations in America and Western Europe, but they're still very raw memories to the people of Poland and other East European countries. They've seen Russia invade and annex parts of Georgia and Ukraine, and they have no doubts that Russia would invade their countries, as has happened in the past.

Putin press spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the US troops in Poland would be "a threat to Russia's national security."

It's hard to believe that 5,000 American troops would be a threat to Russia's security, inasmuch as Russia has something like 330,000 troops along its western border. Furthermore, Russia has long-range Iskander cruise missiles in Kaliningrad that can be made nuclear.

The US deployment is being described as a "tripwire" force, designed to prevent Russia from getting away with an easy invasion of some other country, as they did with Georgia and Ukraine. It's thought that Russia would not be willing to risk a larger war by attacking an American force of any size.

Russian military expert Vladimir Kozin says that another reasons for the deployment is that outgoing President Obama wants to box in Donald Trump:

"According to the German military, some 900 railroad cars will be needed to deliver all this equipment to the deployment sites. But what is the reason? First, [US President Barack] Obama wants to play a mean trick on President-elect Donald Trump who won the election."

It's worth mentioning that there's one other possible theory why Obama did this in the last few days of his administration: It's possible that Trump asked Obama to do it before leaving office, so that he wouldn't have to do it.

Kozin said that the deployment is unprecedented since the collapse of the Soviet Union, and that the US is forcing Europe to accept it:

"Finally, the US wants to maintain tensions around the world and particularly in Europe. They want to turn the region into another tinderbox ready to ignite. This number one priority. ...

The US and NATO plan to increase aerial, anti-submarine, missile defense and intelligence activities with the use of heavy military equipment. In order to justify sanctions, the situation needs to be tense all the time. Europe is becoming a prisoner of this new Cold War initiated by Obama."

Sputnik News (Moscow) and Deutsche Welle (14-Nov-2016) and Sky News

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 15-Jan-17 World View -- Poland welcomes biggest deployment of American tanks and troops in decades thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (15-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

14-Jan-17 World View -- Syria says that Israel bombed al-Mazzeh military airport near Damascus

Israel's motive was probably to prevent weapons from reaching Hezbollah

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Syria says that Israel bombed al-Mazzeh military airport near Damascus


Huge explosions could be seen above the buildings of Damascus
Huge explosions could be seen above the buildings of Damascus

The Syrian army said that Israel has launched a missile strike on the al-Mazzeh military airport west of Damascus early on Friday morning. The army said it was a "flagrant attack" by Israel with the purpose of aiding the "terrorist groups" in Syria. According to the army statement:

"Syrian army command and armed forces warn Israel of the repercussions of the flagrant attack and stresses its continued fight against (this) terrorism and amputate the arms of the perpetrators."

Syrian state television quoted the army as saying several rockets were fired from an area near Lake Tiberias in northern Israel just after midnight. The report said that the rockets landed in the military compound of the airbase, causing explosions and a large fire. Other reports were contradictory, saying that the Israeli attack was from missiles launched from Israeli warplanes.

Syria says that there have been several such attacks in the past, and that they all coincided with defeats for the armed terrorist groups in Syria, especially Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front), which recently changed its name to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (JFS, Front for the Conquest of Syria). Syria said that the purpose of the attack was to "raise morale" of the terrorist organizations who are attempting to overthrow the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad.

Syria has sent letters to the United Nations demanding international retaliation against Israel:

"The new Israeli missile attack on Mazzeh military airport west of Damascus comes within a long series of Israeli attacks since the beginning of the terrorist war on the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Syria which has been planned in the Israeli, French and British intelligence agencies and their agents in Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and other countries that wanted to impose control and hegemony on Syria and the region."

Iran's media added to the charges by claiming that Israel was attempting to prevent Syria's army from restoring water supplies to Damascus. SANA (Syria) and Jerusalem Post and Press TV (Tehran)

Israel's motive was probably to prevent weapons from reaching Hezbollah

As is their usual practice, Israel has neither confirmed nor denied that the attack took place. Some analysts are saying that the large explosions occurred because the target of the attacks was several large weapons stores. Syria's army was using to those weapons to attack rebels in Syria, but it's possible that Israel believed that some of those weapons were to be transferred to Lebanon's Iran-backed terrorist group Hezbollah.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a war in 2006 that largely ended in stalemate. However, it's known that Iran has been supplying rockets and other weapons to Hezbollah in preparation for the next war. Israel has taken steps where possible to prevent other weapons from reaching Hezbollah. Missiles and chemical weapons from Syria are particular concerns.

In statements to Israel's parliament (Knesset) in December, Israel's Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman described Israel's policy in Syria:

"Israel has no interest in intervening in the civil war in Syria. Our policies and our positions are very clear and are based on three red lines: we will not allow any harm to come to Israeli citizens, we will not allow any harm to the sovereignty of the State of Israel and we will not allow the smuggling of sophisticated weapons or chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon for Hezbollah."

Hezbollah’s major arms supply route between Damascus and Lebanon's border has been targeted on several occasions in recent years by Israeli air strikes. This has included strikes on warehouses and convoys of weapons. Reuters and Israel National News and Middle East Monitor

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 14-Jan-17 World View -- Syria says that Israel bombed al-Mazzeh military airport near Damascus thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (14-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

13-Jan-17 World View -- Peace conference to reunite Cyprus adjourns without a deal

History of Cyprus suggests that there is little hope for permanent reunification

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Peace conference to reunite Cyprus adjourns without a deal


A Turkish army tank passes through the Turkish section of Nicosia in 1974. (AP)
A Turkish army tank passes through the Turkish section of Nicosia in 1974. (AP)

Negotiations in Geneva to reunite Cyprus ended on Thursday evening without a deal, but with plans to resume after January 18.

Almost two years of peace talks between leaders of Greek side and the Turkish side of the island of Cyprus have led to what Europe and Turkey will be the final negotiations leading to a united Cyprus.

Cyprus has been bitterly divided since a 1974 war, with Greek Orthodox Christian Greeks governing the south, and Muslim Turks governing the north. The two sides are partitioned by a "no-man's land," a strip that stretches 112 miles across the entire island.

The capital city Nicosia is in the center of Cyprus and is partitioned as well. While partitions of other cities, including Beirut, Belfast and Berlin, have disappear in the last few decades, the partition remains in Nicosia.

It's not known whether Thursday's negotiations brought the two sides close together, but the two most difficult issues are these:

According to U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres, the talks on Thursday showed progress, but there is no "quick fix." Cyprus Mail and AP and Cyprus Mail

History of Cyprus suggests that there is little hope for permanent reunification

Because of its strategic location in the Mediterranean Sea, Cyprus has been repeatedly conquered throughout history by different groups, including the Greeks, the Assyrians, the Egyptians and the Persians. It was annexed by the Ottoman Empire in 1571, but was conquered by Britain in 1878 and annexed in 1914.

Cyprus gained independence from Britain in 1960 under a power-sharing agreement between the Greeks and the Turks. Three countries -- Britain, Greece and Turkey -- would be responsible for guaranteeing security in the new country.

Violence erupted soon after. In 1974, Greece's military junta backed a coup against the president of Cyprus, leading to a civil war. Turkey responded by invading northern Cyprus. About 165,000 Greek Cypriots fled or were driven from the Turkish-occupied north, and about 45,000 Turkish Cypriots left the south for the north.

Since ancient times, at least as far back as the time around 1200BC that the face of Helen of Troy launched a thousand ships, Greece and Turkey (Anatolia) have been at war repeatedly, in one of the most violent ethnic fault lines in history. Turkey's greatest victory over Greece occurred in 1453, when the Ottoman's conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) and destroyed the Greek Byzantine Empire. None of these wars has been forgotten by the participants. Guardian (London) and BBC

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 13-Jan-17 World View -- Peace conference to reunite Cyprus adjourns without a deal thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (13-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

12-Jan-17 World View -- Pakistan: Four secular anti-military activists vanish over the weekend

Pakistan's army accused of dumping over 1,000 bodies in Balochistan

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Pakistan: Four secular anti-military activists vanish over the weekend


Demonstrators in Pakistan rally to protest the abduction of Salam Haider and others
Demonstrators in Pakistan rally to protest the abduction of Salam Haider and others

In separate incidents, four secular anti-military activists in Pakistan have disappeared within the last few days, apparently kidnapped by the army. All of them actively post on social media, to the discomfort of the army.

Asim Saeed, who was abducted from his home in Lahore on Friday, and Ahmad Waqas Goraya, who was abducted the same day, both help run the Mochi Facebook page critical of the military.

Another man, Ahmed Raza Naseer, was taken from his family's shop on Saturday. Naseer suffers from polio.

The disappearance on Saturday of Salman Haider, a lecturer at Fatima Jinnah Women University, was brought all four abductions to national attention. Haider frequently wrote about how troubled Pakistan's society it, with government security forces targeting Shias and ethnic Hazaras in Balochistan. Haider also wrote about other people whom the army the abducted, and that perhaps angered the army the most.

The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called for country-wide protests against the abductions:

"HRCP is greatly alarmed by Waqas Goraya and Asim Saeed disappearing on January 4, Salman Haider on Friday and Ahmed Raza Naseer on Saturday. All four are known for airing their views, sometime critical of authority, extremism and intolerance, on social media.

Pakistan has never been a particularly safe country for rights activists. Many have been killed, injured, abducted and threatened for their work… The events of the last week demonstrate that the dangers already extend to digital spaces. We cannot be sure if the four cases are connected but expect that would be worth looking into as well.

Threats and violence have never deterred Pakistan’s activists from speaking their mind and flagging issues that conscious citizens must raise in a civilized society. We know that the events of the last few days, will not change that. At the same time, however, HRCP also implores the government to wake up to its obligation to provide a safe environment for human rights defenders and activists."

The abductions seem to be working. In the last two days, several activists have closed down their online accounts.

Last year, Haider wrote a poem about the abductions. The following is a translated excerpt from the Urdu:

"Now friends of my friends are going missing,
Then it will be my friends, and then,
It will be my file [of me missing] that
my father will take to the courts."

Unfortunately, Haider's prediction came true on Saturday. Dawn (Pakistan) and Guardian (London) and The Diplomat

Pakistan's army accused of dumping over 1,000 bodies in Balochistan

According to Pakistan's Human Rights ministry, over 1000 dead bodies of suspected armed separatists and political activists have been found in Balochistan over the past six years.

The Voice for Baloch Missing Persons (VBMP) says it has recorded 1,200 cases of dumped bodies and there are many more it has not been able to document. VBMP says that most of the bodies were activists who, one day, were picked up by authorities and were never seen again.

However, Pakistan's government claims that they had nothing to do with the killings. According to one provincial official: "There are several explanations. Sometimes insurgents are killed in a gunfight with law enforcement agencies but their bodies are found later. Militant groups also fight among each other and don't bury their dead fighters. Then there are tribal feuds, organized crime and drug mafia." BBC and International Business Times (London) and India Times

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 12-Jan-17 World View -- Pakistan: Four secular anti-military activists vanish over the weekend thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (12-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

11-Jan-17 World View -- China threatens Trump with 'revenge' over one-China policy

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-Wen meets with Senator Cruz in Texas

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Taiwan president Tsai Ing-Wen meets with Senator Cruz in Texas


Tsai Ing-wen (standing) meets with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday
Tsai Ing-wen (standing) meets with Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday

Ignoring demands that the US forbid Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen from making "transit stops" in Houston and San Francisco en route to and from meetings with Central American leaders, Tsai met with both US Senator Ted Cruz and Texas Governor Greg Abbott during a stopover in Houston.

China's foreign ministry spokesman made this statement about the visit:

"I have taken note of relevant reports. I want to reiterate that we are firmly opposed to the Taiwan leader's contact with any US officials in any form and engagement in actions that disrupt and undermine China-US relations during the so-called transit. We once again urge relevant people from the US to abide by the one-China policy and the principles of the three Joint Communiqués, and cautiously handle Taiwan-related issues so as not to harm the overall interests of China-US relations and peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits."

As I've said before, it really amazes me that the US is supposed to bow to demands from China not to speak to or meet with people that China tells us not to speak to or meet with, and yet we're supposed to accept without question China's right to build military bases in the South China Sea, in clear violation of international law as decided by the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) in the Hague in July of last year, while annexing other countries' territories as Hitler did just prior to World War II.

Prior to the meeting, China's Consul General Li Qiangmin of Houston sent a letter to Cruz:

"For U.S. leaders in administration and legislature, not to make any contact with Taiwan leaders nor send any implication of support of ‘Taiwan Independence’ are in the interests of China, the U.S. and the international community. So, dear Senator, I sincerely hope that you will neither meet, nor have any contact with Tsai during her upcoming visit to Houston, and continue to play a significant role in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples of China and the U.S."

After the meeting, Cruz issued a statement saying the US doesn't dictate to China whom its leaders can meet with, and China should not dictate to the US:

"Shortly before our meeting, the Houston congressional delegation received a curious letter from the Chinese consulate asking members of Congress not to meet with President Tsai, and to uphold the ‘One-China policy’.

The People’s Republic of China needs to understand that in America we make decisions about meeting with visitors for ourselves. This is not about the PRC. This is about the U.S. relationship with Taiwan, an ally we are legally bound to defend. The Chinese do not give us veto power over those with whom they meet. We will continue to meet with anyone, including the Taiwanese, as we see fit.

The US-Taiwan relationship is not on the negotiating table. It is bound in statute and founded on common interests. I look forward to working with President Tsai to strengthen our partnership."

Governor Abbott said, "It was an honor to meet with President Tsai and discuss how our two economies can expand upon our already prosperous trade partnership." Houston Press and China's Foreign Ministry

Related Articles

China threatens Trump with 'revenge' over one-China policy

The "One-China Policy" states that there is one China, not two, but leaves ambiguous exactly what that means. Beijing interprets it to mean that Taiwan is province of China, to be completely governed one day by Beijing. Taiwan interprets it to mean that they are the official government of all of China. By not speaking these interpretations out loud, everyone is supposed to get along by saying "there is only one China."

China's politicians have made it clear that they will use military force against Taiwan and the United States if there is any threat that Taiwan will declare independence. In 2005 Beijing passed an "anti-secession law" requiring China to take military action even if Taiwan's leadership simply makes plans or gives speeches about independence. President Tsai has refused to confirm the "1992 consensus" which is the vehicle that reaffirms the One-China policy.

Under these circumstances, it's not surprising that China is becoming increasingly belligerent towards Taiwan. Arguably, Taiwan has already met the conditions set forth in the anti-secession law.

The reaction from China's Foreign Ministry, quoted above, states China policy, but is fairly non-belligerent. However, an editorial in the state run Global Times promises revenge if Donald Trump abandons the one-China policy after taking office:

"The US passed bills that allow serving officers to visit Taiwan, while Chinese fighter jets patrolled around Taiwan and China's aircraft carrier passed the island. It is widely expected that the mainland will impose further military pressure. Tsai needs to face the consequences for every provocative step she takes.

Trump is yet to be inaugurated, and there is no need for Beijing to sacrifice bilateral ties for the sake of Taiwan. But in case he tears up the one-China policy after taking office, the mainland is fully prepared. Beijing would rather break ties with the US if necessary. We would like to see whether US voters will support their president to ruin Sino-US relations and destabilize the entire Asia-Pacific region.

Beijing does not need to feel grateful to Trump for not meeting Tsai. The one-China policy is the basic principle reiterated in the three Sino-US joint Communiqués. It is also the foundation of the profound bilateral relationship. Sticking to this principle is not a capricious request by China upon US presidents, but an obligation of US presidents to maintain China-US relations and respect the existing order of the Asia-Pacific. If Trump reneges on the one-China policy after taking office, the Chinese people will demand the government to take revenge. There is no room for bargaining."

This article threatens to break relations with the US if Trump does not reaffirm the one-China policy, and hints at unspecified military action against Taiwan.

Trump has said that his administration will review the one-China policy, but in view of the real possibility that China will end diplomatic relations, I'm going to assume that Trump will adopt the one-China policy, or some close variant.

But completely apart from anything the US administration does, it's the attitude of the Taiwanese people that is most important. Time is not on China's side, and Chinese officials know it, as the Taiwan's population become more pro-independence every year. The Chinese people are highly nationalistic with regard to Taiwan, and it won't be too much longer before Chinese officials decide that time has run out. Global Times (Beijing) and Xinhua

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 11-Jan-17 World View -- China threatens Trump with 'revenge' over one-China policy thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (11-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

10-Jan-17 World View -- Thousands of migrants trapped in deep freeze temperatures in Greece and Balkans

European Commission resettlement plan appears to be a disaster

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Thousands of migrants risk freezing to death as deep freeze spreads across Europe


Screen grab from viral video showing migrant tents on Lesvos island
Screen grab from viral video showing migrant tents on Lesvos island

Europe's migrant crisis has been mostly out of news since March 18 of last year, when the EU and Turkey signed their migrant deal, in which Turkey agreed to police the flow of migrants from Turkey across the Aegean Sea to Greece.

Even though it's been out of the news, severe problems still remain. There are about 60,000 migrants still in Greece. When migrants travel from Turkey across the Aegean Sea, they usually stop at Greece's Lesvos Island, because it's close to Turkey, and because they've been welcomed by the Lesvians in the past. There are over 6,000 migrants at the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos Island, far over its capacity of 3,500, and the number is still increasing by a few dozen every day, since the Turkey blockade isn't completely effective. About 1,000 are living in tents covered with snow.

There are 15,600 migrants on all the Greek islands put together. Last week, Greece's Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas said:

"There are no refugees or migrants living in the cold anymore. We successfully completed the procedures for overwintering."

So a volunteer worker posted a video showing migrants on Lesvos living in extremely harsh conditions, with no heat and their tents buckling under the heavy snow.

European Commission spokeswoman Natasha Bertaud called the situation "untenable," but that the Commission was ready to help:

"We can no more dictate policy in Greece than we can in any other member state.

I have to be quite clear here, the commission is aware that the situation is untenable but we also have to be clear as I was saying that ensuring adequate reception conditions in Greece is a responsibility of Greek authorities. ...

We are pursuing a dual strategy of political pressure and financial and technical support to the Greek authorities to improve the situation."

She explained that by "political pressure," she meant a continued series of recommendations by the EC in its reports to Greece. Greek Reporter and EU Observer and EurActiv

Related Articles

Migrants in eastern Europe trapped in deep freeze temperatures

When the so-called "Balkan route" was closed to migrants last year, it left thousands of them stranded. More than 7,500 people are currently stranded in Serbia, living in overcrowded camps and informal settlements. In Belgrade, around 2,000 young people, mainly from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Syria are currently sleeping in abandoned buildings in the city center, while temperatures plummet to as low as -20°C (-4°F). Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Deutsche Welle and Reuters

Related Articles

European Commission resettlement plan appears to be a disaster

During the first week of 2017, 373 refugees and migrants crossed the sea from Turkey to Greece, an average of 53 per day. Most arrivals were from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. Most arrived on the islands Chios and Lesvos.

During the same week, 1,080 people arrived by sea to Italy, mostly as a result of Italian and European search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea. Most arrivals were from Nigeria, Eritrea, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Gambia, with lesser numbers from . Senegal, Mali, Sudan, Somalia and Bangladesh.

In September 2015, the European Commission adopted an "emergency relocation scheme," whereby 160,000 refugees, mostly in Greece and Italy, were supposed to be relocated to other EU countries.

However, the program has been something of a disaster. Out of the 160,000, only 8162 people were relocated since the beginning of the scheme. Austria, Denmark, Hungary and Poland have refused to take any migrants at all. The Czech Republic has taken 12, and Slovakia has taken 9.

With the rise of far-right, anti-migrant and even anti-EU populism growing in Europe, it seems unlikely that any of these problems will be resolved soon. UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and European Commission (PDF) and Daily Sabah (Turkey)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 10-Jan-17 World View -- Thousands of migrants trapped in deep freeze temperatures in Greece and Balkans thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (10-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

9-Jan-17 World View -- Iran's 'moderate pragmatist' Hashemi Rafsanjani dies at age 82

Is Rafsanjani's death a victory for Iran's hardliners?

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Iran's 'moderate pragmatist' Hashemi Rafsanjani dies at age 82


Hashemi Rafsanjani (L) shares a laugh with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, under a photo of the original Supreme Leader, Rouhollah Khomeini.  All three fought together in the 1979 revolution.
Hashemi Rafsanjani (L) shares a laugh with Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, under a photo of the original Supreme Leader, Rouhollah Khomeini. All three fought together in the 1979 revolution.

Iran is mourning the death of 82 year old Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, born in 1934, and a key figure in Iran's Great Islamic revolution of 1979. He was jailed several times by the Shah of Iran during the 1960s-70s for his political activism, and then after the revolution he became the second most powerful man in Iran, behind Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, who ruled Iran as Supreme Leader until his death in 1989.

Khomeini's chosen successor was Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, the current Supreme Leader. After Rafsanjani was passed over for Supreme Leader, his star began to fade, although he was elected to the presidency from 1989 to 1997.

Politicians in Iran are generally categorized into three groups:

There was a serious split between Rafsanjani and Khamenei after the 2009 presidential elections, when young people were protesting, and there was blood running in the streets because Iran's security forces were massacring students and other protesters. Khamenei wanted the security forces to be completely unleashed, so they could kill, torture, rape, jail and bash anyone they wanted, with impunity. Rafsanjani wanted to permit peaceful protests, and wanted the jailed protesters to be released. As a result of the split between Rafsanjani and Khamenei, two of Rafsanjani's children were jailed on separate charges. Rafsanjani's daughter, Faezeh Hashemi, got herself into even more legal trouble while on leave from prison by visiting a leader of Iran's persecuted Bahai religious minority. Mehr News (Tehran) and BBC (28-May-2016)

Related Articles

Is Rafsanjani's death a victory for Iran's hardliners?

Many analysts are calling Rafsanjani's death a victory for Khamenei and the hardline principlists, because he will no longer be able to exert moderating pressure on them. That's one way of looking at the situation.

The other way of looking at it is that it's a victory for the young reformists, because he will no longer be able to exert a moderating pressure on them. In other words, in this view Rafsanjani was a powerful buffer between the two extremes, and without him they will both be free to pursue more radical policies. His death might even be the trigger for an Awakening era climax.

Generational Dynamics cannot predict short-term politics, but in many cases it can predict long-term trends, and in this case the long-term trend is clear. The old hardline geezers are dying off, and the young reformists are growing in number and gaining power.

As I've pointed out many times, Iranian college students started holding pro-Western and pro-American protests in the late 1990s, and continuing into the 2000s. These protests were quashed by Khamenei, who ordered the security forces to bash any students that expressed any opposition opinions.

But by the year 2017, those students are now 30-40 years old, and they're increasingly in positions of power, making reformist decisions and implementing reformist policies. And by the way, this is also true within the ranks of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

By contrast, the old geezer hardliners are dying off or are becoming senile, and are less and less able to exert decisions as they used to. Rafsanjani was a moderate and a pragmatist, but he was also well-respected by everyone, and could influence moderation in both extremes. Without his moderating influence, we can expect the generational differences between the reformists and the principlists.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Iran is in a generational Awakening era, like America in the 1960s, characterized by a "generation gap," and a generational clash between the hardline survivors of the last generational crisis war (WW II in America's case) and the generations growing up after that war. This political clash almost always ends up in a victory for the younger generation, as the older generation retires and dies off. In America, the Awakening era climax was the resignation of Richard Nixon, which signaled a victory of the Boomers over the GI and Silent generations that had survived WW II. In Iran, no such Awakening era climax has not yet occurred, but it's 100% certain that it's coming.

As I've been writing for years, Iran will be the West's ally during the approaching Clash of Civilizations world war. Generational Dynamics predicts that in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, the US, Japan, India, Iran and Russia will be allied again China, Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries. Mehr News and Guardian (London)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 9-Jan-17 World View -- Iran's 'moderate pragmatist' Hashemi Rafsanjani dies at age 82 thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (9-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

8-Jan-17 World View -- Violent protests in Sri Lanka over China's takeover of Hambantota seaport

Britain's hospitals run out of beds as Red Cross declares NHS in 'humanitarian crisis'

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Britain's hospitals run out of beds as Red Cross declares NHS in 'humanitarian crisis'


About 6,000 patients per week are being left in ambulances because the hospital is too crowded to admit them (Evening Standard)
About 6,000 patients per week are being left in ambulances because the hospital is too crowded to admit them (Evening Standard)

The British Red Cross is declaring the National Health Service (NHS) to be in "humanitarian crisis," because 6,000 patients per week are being left in ambulances outside of hospitals that have run out of beds. When patients are left in ambulances, then the ambulances can no longer be used to transport new patients in medical emergencies. So the NHS has asked the Red Cross to help out by providing volunteers and use Land Rovers to transport patients.

Red Cross chief Mike Adamson said:

"The British Red Cross is on the front line, responding to the humanitarian crisis in our hospital and ambulance services across the country.

We have been called in to support the NHS and help get people home from hospital and free up much-needed beds.

This means deploying our team of emergency volunteers and even calling on our partner Land Rover to lend vehicles to transport patients and get the system moving.

We call on the UK government to allocate immediate funding to stabilize the current system and set out plans towards creating a sustainable funding settlement for the future."

Not surprisingly, a politician like Adamson is simply calling for more money. I've been writing about the NHS for years, and the problem is that there's no more money.

As we reported a year ago, Britain's National Health Service (NHS) is facing an existential crisis, with a huge and accelerating deficit expected to reach 22 billion pounds ($32 billion) by 2020.

The system is corrupt, with doctors falsifying records, claiming for work that was never done, or putting in for bogus overtime. Dentistry services are so bad that people are buying "do-it-yourself (DIY) dentistry kits" to take care of their whole families, as was done centuries ago.

In desperation to save money, many hospitals have had bed cuts, or have closed their Accident & Emergency departments (known in America as Emergency Rooms). Many maternity units have also been targeted for closure.

One of the biggest farces of the 2016 was perpetrated by the "Leave European Union" camp of the Brexit campaign. They promised that if the UK left the EU, then £350m-a-week that is currently being sent to Brussels would not be invested in the NHS. It was a total lie, and it was retracted soon after the referendum passed, but it's typical of the lies we hear from politicians on a daily basis.

It would be nice if it were possible to give free health care to everyone, but it isn't. In America, both the Veterans Administration and Obamacare are financial disasters. At least the NHS was designed carefully enough that it was financially healthy for fifty years of its life, but Obamacare was so poorly designed that it's a financial disaster within five years of its life. Jonathan Gruber said that Obamacare passed because of "the stupidity of the American voter," and that same stupidity is continuing, in both America and Britain. London Evening Standard and Reuters and British Red Cross and Guardian (London, 10-Sep-2016)

Related Articles

Violent protests in Sri Lanka over China's takeover of Hambantota seaport

Thousands of Sri Lanka's Buddhist monks and anti-government protesters held demonstrations on Saturday that turned violent, protesting China's takeover of Sri Lanka's Hambantota seaport by the Chinese in repayment of a debt to the Chinese incurred by the government.

In 2009, China invested $1.2 billion in the port as part of its "string of pearls" strategy to surround India. Sri Lanka had expected to repay the debt through profits earned by the port, but the slowdown in trade throughout the entire region in the last few years has meant that Sri Lanka has been unable to repay the debt.

Now Sri Lanka's government has been forced to give China a 99-year lease to take over the port. In addition, China will lease 15,000 acres in the region for an industrial zone for Chinese factories. China is expected to invest another $5 billion in Sri Lanka for industrial development.

At least 21 people were injured on Saturday in violent clashes between government supporters versus those opposed to the plan, the latter led by Buddhist monks. The two groups threw rocks at each other, and police responded with water cannon.

Opponents of the plan say that thousands of people will lose their homes because of the project. They say that China will establish a "Chinese colony" on Sri Lankan soil that will grow and can never be removed.

Supporters of the plan say that China will invest $5 billion in the region, and the new industries will generation 100,000 new jobs.

There are other international implications. China will have responsibility for security at the port, which means that it the port will host the Chinese military, including warships and submarines.

China already has similar seaports in Myanmar, Bangladesh and Pakistan, and India is concerned that it's being surrounded by China's military and warships. Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) and AP and News First (Sri Lanka) and BBC

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 8-Jan-17 World View -- Violent protests in Sri Lanka over China's takeover of Hambantota seaport thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (8-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

7-Jan-17 World View -- The Gambia's president prepares for war with Senegal on January 19

Congo's president Joseph Kabila refuses to step down after losing election

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

The Gambia's president prepares for war with Senegal on January 19


The Gambia's president Yahya Jammeh (Reuters)
The Gambia's president Yahya Jammeh (Reuters)

The Gambia's president Yahya Jammeh is joining the ranks of national leaders, mostly African, who refuse to give up power after their terms are up, violating their national constitutions, and inflicting violence by the country's armies and security forces on any opposition figures that protest.

Yahya Jammeh came to power through a military coup in 1994. Jammeh's reign was authoritarian, intolerant and violent, with executions of political opponents. There were subsequent elections, and Jammeh always won them, but suspicions were great that Jammeh had rigged the elections.

So it was with some surprise that Jammeh lost the recent presidential election last month on December 1 to Adama Barrow, a businessman.

An even more shocking event occurred: Jammeh called Barrow and conceded the election, congratulating Barrow on his victory. Jammeh said that Barrow would become president on January 19, as called for in the constitution. This concession caused dancing in the streets in the capital city Banjul, and enormous relief in the international community, particularly among The Gambia's neighbors in West Africa.

A week later, Jammeh reneged on his concession, declared that the election had been a fraud, and said that there would have to be a new election.

ECOWAS is the Economic Community of West African States, with 15 member states: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte D'ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and Togo.

ECOWAS is meeting on Saturday to decide what to do. Senegal in particular has vowed that ECOWAS must do all it can to enforce an orderly succession of power on January 19, and has put forces on alert.

In a New Year's statement on January 1, Jammeh called the ECOWAS statement a "declaration of war":

"‘‘What is clearly incontrovertible is the decision of ECOWAS to implement the results of the December 1st 2016 election results by whatever means possible. It is totally illegal as it violates the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of member states, which is an entrenched clause in the ECOWAS treaty.

It is in effect a declaration of war and an insult to our constitution. It is therefore absolutely unacceptable. This blatant, impartial and one-dimensional approach clearly indicates that the role of ECOWAS is not predicated on the pursuit of justice in the resolution of this stalemate."

According to Alexander Yearsley, Managing Director of Martello Risk, with 20 years of experience conducting field and forensic investigations across Africa, Jammeh is recruiting mercenaries to fight in a possible with ECOWAS. Yearsley refers to Charles Taylor, the former dictator of Liberia, who was convicted of war crimes during the Sierra Leone civil war for terror, murder and rape. Yearsley says that the same people who fought for and against Charles Taylor are now being recruited as mercenaries by Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia (my transcription):

"From what we're being told by people who are attending some of these recruitment meetings, a senior figure who used to be in the Taylor fighting setup - they will phone their own contacts, their networks, and they will explain the situation, how much money will be offered on a daily rate, what fighters they need. And they're recruiting across the boards - their former enemies - they are happy down differences and for $100 a day, they will be getting some very experienced fighters that know how to operate."

Yearsley's claims are supported by a former Liberian army commanded who used to fight for Charles Taylor: "Jammeh is ready to fight to the teeth and spend money to stay in power." Reuters and Africa News and Jollof News (The Gambia) and Deutsche Welle

Congo's president Joseph Kabila refuses to step down after losing election

Joseph Kabila became president of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2001, when his father was assassinated. He's been reelected to office, but his final term in office ended last month on December 19.

Joseph Kabila pulled a stunt that can only be described as mind-boggling. He claims that he can't step down because there haven't been any elections to select a president to replace him. There were supposed to be elections in November but they weren't held. His political opponents said that they weren't held because Kabila refused to budget the money to hold the elections.

So that's the situation. He'll do everything he can to prevent elections from being held, and so he won't have to step down because there's no replacement.

African leaders are always complaining the Europeans and Americans don't take them seriously, but they have only themselves to blame when you see this kind of nonsense occurring almost every week. Whether in Zimbabwe, Burundi, South Sudan, or The Gambia -- and let's not forge Syria, which is not an African country -- leaders use everything from torture and rape and jailing to wholesale genocide to stay in power.

In DRC last month, there was a threat of civil war, but the Catholic Church intervened and brokered an agreement: Elections will be held in December of 2017 to choose Kabila's successor, and this time, Kabila will really, really, really, really have to step down. This farcical agreement was signed by members of Kabila's government, but it wasn't even signed by Kabila himself. All Africa and Daily News (Zimbabwe)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 7-Jan-17 World View -- The Gambia's president prepares for war with Senegal on January 19 thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (7-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

6-Jan-17 World View -- New armed militia emerges in Central African Republic: Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation (3R)

Central African Republic crisis war continues to spin out of control

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

New armed militia emerges in Central African Republic: Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation (3R)


A UN convoy with Moroccan peacekeepers like this one was attacked on Wednesday
A UN convoy with Moroccan peacekeepers like this one was attacked on Wednesday

The Central African Republic (CAR) has been riven since 2013 by a civil war mainly between the Muslim Séléka militias and the Christian anti-Balaka militias. However, there are numerous other ethnic militias, including vigilante groups made up of nomadic, predominantly Muslim Fulani herders, as well as others specializing in highway robbery. All of these groups have been guilty of massacres, rapes, scorched earth attacks, and other atrocities, often in revenge for similar attacks by a militia on the other side.

One of the Muslim Fulani herder groups, the Peul tribe, has emerged as a relative new militia group inflicting horrors on civilians in the northwest of CAR, particularly near the borders of Cameroon and Chad. Although they have been mainly allied with the Muslim Séléka militias, fighting against the Christian anti-Balakas, they also claim on occasion to have fought against Séléka militias for the protection of their own Peul tribe.

The Peul armed militia is calling itself "Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation" or "3R". The group appeared in December 2015, and throughout 2016 they burned down villages, causing tens of thousands of civilians to lose their homes. They've killed and raped civilians, and committed other atrocities.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) conducted interviews in November, and documented numerous atrocities and murders. One 30-year-old woman said that 3R fighters broke into her home:

"One said, “Where is your husband?” I said that he was not there. ... One of them cocked his gun and pointed it at me and said, “We are going to have sex with you.” He threw me on the ground and [one of them] raped me. Another was waiting for his turn, but there was shooting outside while the first one was finishing, so when he was done they both left. ... [M]y two younger children were right beside me, crying."

I wish that I could tell you, Dear Reader, that this kind of atrocity was rare, but it's common fare during a generational crisis war, such as the war in Central African Republic. Rape and extermination of opponents is part of the human DNA, and all people of all races and religions are susceptible, often in a cycle of escalating tit-for-tat revenge. Human Rights Watch and Reuters

Related Articles

Central African Republic crisis war continues to spin out of control

On Wednesday, a convoy of United Nations peacekeepers in Central African Republic near the Cameroon border was attacked unknown assailants who killed two Moroccan peacekeepers and then escaped. It's not known whether the attackers were from the 3R militias, but this attack shows that the UN peacekeepers have almost no control in the country outside the capital city Bangui.

A month ago, Ban Ki-moon, the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations, said that he was "deeply concerned over renewed violence last week in the Central African Republic." A UN Special Adviser Adama Dieng added, "Given the country’s recent history, this kind of targeted violence is extremely dangerous and must be stopped."

It's good to hear UN officials making the hard-hitting statements, which are sure to convince both the Muslims and the Christians in CAR to put down their weapons, because other actions by the UN have been useless, and in a sense may have made things worse.

After a coup in March 2013, Muslim Séléka militias began committing atrocities, particularly targeting the Christians. In December 2013, French Foreign Legion peacekeeping troops arrived to disarm the Séléka militias.

The actions of the French troops backfired. When the Muslim Séléka troops were disarmed, the Christian anti-Balaka militias "rushed into the vacuum," and began committing atrocities in 2014, for revenge against the Sélékas. Since then, both Christians and Muslims have been committing atrocities, and it's become a full-scale generational crisis war. Thousands have been killed, and millions have been displaced.

The French peacekeepers were supposed to remain in CAR for just six months, until a United Nations force could take over. However, they remained in CAR for much longer than six months, and their withdrawal was only announced in October of last year, after several years of almost total failure. In addition, some of the French peacekeepers were charged with raping some of the CAR civilians that they were supposed to be protection. There is now a UN peacekeeping force of 12,500 troops known as MINUSCA, but as Wednesday's attack illustrates, it hasn't been any more successful.

Actually, I've written about this many times in the last four years. CAR's last generational crisis war was the 1928-1931 Kongo-Wara Rebellion ("War of the Hoe Handle"), which was a very long time ago, putting CAR today deep into a generational Crisis era, where a new crisis civil war has already started.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, a generational crisis war cannot be stopped by "peacekeeping troops." It begins when the traumatized survivors of the previous crisis war are no longer around, and are no longer able to prevent the younger generations from starting another crisis war. Massacres and atrocities by both (or all) sides continue to grow and worsen on a tit-for-tat basis, usually for five years or more, until there's an "explosive climax," some genocidal massacre that's so horrific that it brings the war to an end, and causes the traumatized survivors, both winners and losers, to vow that they will never let such a war occur again.

UN peacekeeping forces have been more or less successful in minimizing the violence in one city, the capital city Bangui, but everything outside of Bangui is completely lawless, and completely out of control of the peacekeepers. The rise of the 3R militias, and the new atrocities that it's perpetrating show how far the CAR civil war has yet to go. United Nations and International Business Times and RFI

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 6-Jan-17 World View -- New armed militia emerges in Central African Republic: Return, Reclamation, Rehabilitation (3R) thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (6-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

5-Jan-17 World View -- Israel polarized over conviction of soldier for manslaughter

Comparison to Pakistan murder of Salman Taseer

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Israel polarized over conviction of soldier for manslaughter


Screen grab from video of March 4, 2016.  Israeli soldier reloads his gun just before shooting dead the Palestinian lying wounded and bleeding (AP)
Screen grab from video of March 4, 2016. Israeli soldier reloads his gun just before shooting dead the Palestinian lying wounded and bleeding (AP)

Israelis appeared to be deeply polarized in reaction to a verdict handed down by a military court on Wednesday convicting an Israeli soldier, Elor Azaria, of manslaughter, for having shot and killed a Palestinian who was lying on the ground wounded.

On March 24 of last year Abdel Fattah al-Sharif and Ramzi Qasrawi Tamimi, two 21-year-old Palestinians, stabbed an Israeli soldier in Hebron, a majority Palestinian city in the West Bank. Tamimi was shot and killed immediately.

Al-Sharif was also shot. The shot did not kill him, but left him wounded and bleeding, lying on the ground. Almost 15 minutes later, one of the soldiers, Elor Azaria, shot al-Sharif in the head, killing him. The entire situation was videoed, and the video was posted on the internet and went viral.

In Wednesday's court hearing before three military judges in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). The lead judge, IDF Col. Maya Heller, spent almost three hours reading the decision that concluded with a conviction on a charge of manslaughter. Azaria had claimed in his defense that he felt he was in danger because al-Sharif might be wearing a concealed explosive vest. The judges rejected that claim, and pointed to the testimony of Azaria's friend, who testified that Azaria originally said Sharif needed to be killed out of revenge for stabbing a fellow soldier. 24-Mar-2016 and Jerusalem Post

Related Articles

Protesters clash with police to protest the verdict

Some 400 protesters clashed with police to protest the guilty verdict. One protester wore a shirt saying, "The people of Israel don't abandon a soldier during battle." Others referred to him as a hero.

A number of protesters threatened violence by chanting, "Gadi, Gadi beware, Rabin's looking for a friend." The protesters were threatening to assassinate IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot. Yitzhak Rabin was prime minister of Israel until November 4, 1995, when he was shot dead by an Israeli nationalist who opposed Rabin's support of a peace treaty with the Palestinians.

Palestinian journalist Ali Abunimah said that Palestinians don't expect anything to change as a result of the verdict:

"[The verdict is] divisive in Israel because there is a widespread view that Israeli soldiers should be able to kill Palestinians with complete impunity. ...

Thousands of Palestinians have been killed in the past 15 years by the Israeli army and there has been no accountability. I think, if you ask practically any Palestinian, they will tell you that even though there was a guilty verdict in this case, in all likelihood he will receive a very light sentence."

The sentence will be handed down on January 15. The maximum sentence that Azaria could receive for manslaughter is 20 years. However, because of the circumstances -- al-Sharif had just stabbed an Israeli soldier before being shot -- it's expected that the sentence will be considerably lighter than 20 years. Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked the military to grant Azaria a pardon. Ynet and Radio France Internationale

Comparison to Pakistan murder of Salman Taseer

As we described yesterday, Mumtaz Qadri was showered with roses and treated as a hero in 2011 after brutally murdering Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab province.

Elor Azaria was also treated as a hero after murdering a wounded Palestinian who lay bleeding.

The circumstances are different in that the Palestinian had just stabbed another soldier. But what both cases have in common is that they both show how polarized societies around the world have become in this generational Crisis era.

As I've been saying for several years, nationalism, xenophobia and racism have been growing in countries around the world. Those who suffered the horrors of World War II and survived realized that nationalism, xenophobia and racism had been the core reasons for the war, and vowed to make sure that they were permanently extinguished. But now, with the survivors of WW II almost gone, and young generations having grown up after WW II not understanding the dangers, nationalism, xenophobia and racism are returning and are a strong as ever. Generational Dynamics predicts that the world is headed for a new world war, the worst war in world history, and the rise of nationalism, xenophobia and racism is one of the reasons that war occur. Vice News

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 5-Jan-17 World View -- Israel polarized over conviction of soldier for manslaughter thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (5-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

4-Jan-17 World View -- Pakistan's bizarre blasphemy laws lead to death threats for son of slain governor

Pakistan's Imran Khan forced to apologize after being accused of blasphemy

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Pakistan's bizarre blasphemy laws lead to death threats for son of slain governor


Shaan Taseer, threatened with death for Christmas greeting (Pakistan Daily)
Shaan Taseer, threatened with death for Christmas greeting (Pakistan Daily)

Shaan Taseer, the son of governor Salman Taseer, who was brutally murdered in 2009 for questioning Pakistan's blasphemy laws, is receiving death threats for, again, questioning Pakistan's blasphemy.

Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province in Pakistan, was shot 28 times in broad daylight in an open marketplace on January 4, 2011. The killer was his bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri. The motive, as described by Qadri, was to punish Taseer for objecting to Pakistan's blasphemy laws, and for calling for the release of a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, who was in jail facing execution for violating the blasphemy laws.

Pakistan's blasphemy laws are totally bizarre and are almost completely meaningless except as a political weapon, similar to sexual harassment laws in the United States, but with much greater consequences. In Pakistan, a politically connected person can manufacture a charge of blasphemy to have a political enemy or hated former friend put into jail or even executed.

In the case of Asia Bibi, there was an altercation between her and another woman in 2010. Bibi drank water from a Muslim cup (whatever that is), and since the other woman was politically connected, Bibi was charged with blasphemy and thrown into jail, scheduled for execution.

Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab province, spoke out in defense of Bibi, and criticized the blasphemy laws. This triggered mass hate rallies against Taseer and Bibi, with many religious clerics calling for the immediate execution of Bibi. Finally, Mumtaz Qadri, Taseer's bodyguard, shot and killed Taseer. He shot Taseer in the back 28 times just to make sure.

Qadri immediately became a national hero. The next day, when Qadri was brought to court to face charges of having assassinated Taseer, the other lawyers in the court showered him with roses. A statement by 500 Pakistan religious scholars praised Qadri for keeping alive a "tradition of 1,400 years in Islam" which they claim requires the killing of anyone committing an act of blasphemy against Prophet Mohammed.

Qadri was convicted of murdering Taseer, and much to everyone's surprise, Qadri was put to death by hanging on February 29 of last year. This triggered new violent protests across Pakistan. One terror group, Sunni Tehreek, demanded the immediate execute of Asia Bibi, and demanded that all five million members in Pakistan of the Ahmadi branch of Islam be expelled from the country.

So now, on Christmas, the Shaan Taseer, the son of the murdered Salman Taseer, posted a video message on his Facebook page, wishing a happy holiday to Christians, and calling for prayers for Asia Bibi and for others victimized by blasphemy laws.

One can reasonably question Shaan Taseer's sanity for doing this, but if his objective was to be threatened with death, he got his wish, and now says that he's received "very credible death threats," adding:

"They are sending me Mumtaz Qadri’s photos with messages that there are several Mumtaz Qadris waiting for me."

It's expected that we will hear more about this story. Daily Pakistan and Reuters and Daily Pakistan (29-Feb-2016) and BBC

Related Articles

Pakistan's Imran Khan forced to apologize after being accused of blasphemy

Imran Khan was one of Pakistan's greatest cricket players of all time, and was once voted as the "Sexiest Man of The Year" by Australia Magazine Oz. He turned to politics in the 1990s, and has become an extremely colorful and extremely anti-American politician. He refers to Pakistan's relationship with America as "client and master."

Now the same cleric that's threatening Shaan Taseer death for blasphemy is also demanding apology from Imran Khan because one of Khan's speeches contains "blasphemous sentences for the Prophet Mohammed," adding:

"If the state fails to execute Imran Khan, it wouldn’t be a crime if any ‘aashiq-e-Rasool’ (lover of prophet P.B.U.H) kills him. He will be exempt from Qisas and Diyat (blood money)."

I've read several news stories trying to find out exactly what Khan is accused of saying, but I can't find it anywhere. I suspect that Pakistani editors are afraid to quote him, for fear of being targeted for death themselves.

It's ironic that Khan is being charged with blasphemy, because he's used charges of blasphemy against others when it was politically convenient. At any rate, Khan apologized, saying, "It was a mistake, and I assure that it won’t happen ever again." Daily Pakistan and Daily Pakistan

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 4-Jan-17 World View -- Pakistan's bizarre blasphemy laws lead to death threats for son of slain governor thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (4-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

3-Jan-17 World View -- Syrian opposition groups suspend negotiations of peace talks

Video emerges from Burma (Myanmar) showing police beating Rohingya Muslims

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Video emerges from Burma (Myanmar) showing police beating Rohingya Muslims


Screen grab from video. Dozens of Rohingyas on the right are being forced to watch the beating
Screen grab from video. Dozens of Rohingyas on the right are being forced to watch the beating

For months, Burma (Myanmar) police and soldiers have been committing ethnic cleansing of Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine State by scorched earth attacks, burning down their villages, and committing massacres, rapes and other atrocities that have forced tens of thousands to flee for their lives across the border into Bangladesh.

Burma has forbidden any journalists or humanitarian groups from entering Rakhine State to investigate, which many people consider to be an implied admission of guilt by Burma's government.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has documented the ethnic cleansing through a series of "before and after" satellite images. Burma's government agrees that the satellite images show that Rohingya villages are being burned down, but they make the laughable claim that the Rohingyas are burning down the villages themselves in order to embarrass the government. There have also been dozens of videos showing Burma's police beating and raping Rohingya civilians, but Burma's government claims that all of these videos are phony and have been fabricated.

So now a new video has emerged showing police beating and kicking a civilian, and forcing dozens of other Rohingyas to watch as the beating takes place. The video was taken by a policeman smoking a cigarette. Other policemen obviously knew that he was taking the video, suggesting that taking videos of policemen beating, killing and raping Rohingyas is some kind of standard procedure.

The mystery is how this video became public. It's thought that some dissident official with access to the video, and shocked by the behavior of his fellow policeman, published the video on the internet surreptitiously, where it has gone viral.

The second remarkable thing, beyond the fact of the video itself, is that Burma's government is acknowledging that the video is portraying a real event. The policemen appearing the video have been arrested, and the government says that there will be an investigation for police brutality.

Nobody seriously believes that anything will change. The investigation may lead to the conviction of one or two policemen, but the Buddhist xenophobic hatred of Muslims in Burma goes very deep. The root of the violence is xenophobic attacks by Buddhists led by Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu and his "969 movement," against the Rohingya Muslims, including rapes, torture and other atrocities committed by Buddhists, targeting the Rohingyas. The Rohingyas have a darker skin than Burmese, and they speak a Bengali dialect.

There are about a million Rohingyas living in Rakhine State, where they have lived for generations, but Burma's government refuses to recognize them as citizens. They are, for all practical purposes, a stateless ethnic group, living on the Bangladesh-Burma border for generations, but rejected by both countries. In fact, Burma refuses to identify the Rohingya as a unique ethnic group, preferring to call them Bengali, and referring to them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. In the last few years, large mobs of Buddhists have massacred entire neighborhoods of Muslims in various regions of the country, mutilating, raping and killing hundreds, and displacing thousands from their homes. We're used to hearing about atrocities committed by Muslim jihadists in the Mideast, but in Burma the situation is reversed -- it's the Buddhists who are committing the atrocities, while the Muslims are, for the most part, innocent victims. Russia Today and Bangkok Post and YouTube: Rohingya beating video

Related Articles

Syrian opposition groups suspend negotiations of peace talks

The Free Syrian Army (FSA), a coalition of "moderate" groups opposing Syria's president Bashar al-Assad, have suspended peace talks because of repeated ceasefire violations by al-Assad's warplanes and by al-Assad's ally, the Iran-backed Lebanon militia Hezbollah.

The ceasefire was announced last week, brokered by Russia, Iran, and Turkey, and was to lead to peace talks soon, taking place in Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan. The United States, the United Nations, and the European Union were all excluded from negotiations about the ceasefire and peace talks, which presumably was supposed to make them more likely to succeed.

Al-Assad has always been the most volatile of the participants in any of these discussions. Al-Assad started the civil war in 2011, when his bombers started targeting innocent women and children, including Palestinians in a refugee camp near Latakia, which drew young jihadists from around the world to Syria to fight al-Assad, resulting in the formation of the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

So the question that I've asked repeatedly for months and years is how can any "peace deal" ever succeed in view of al-Assad's evident determination to exterminate as many Sunni women and children as he can?

The FSA has issued its statement suspending its participation in the peace talks because his warplanes have been bombing civilian targets in a region near Damascus in which the city's water supply is located. Hezbollah and Syrian army troops are also headed for the same region. According to the FSA, "Any (advance) on the ground goes against the (ceasefire) agreement and if things don't return to how they were before, the accord will be considered null and void."

It's been assumed that Russia and Iran would control al-Assad and force him by any means necessary to honor the ceasefire, but it appears that assumption is wrong. Unless Russia and Iran find a way to control al-Assad, then the "ceasefire" will collapse completely within a few days. France 24 and VOA

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 3-Jan-17 World View -- Syrian opposition groups suspend negotiations of peace talks thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (3-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

2-Jan-17 World View -- Istanbul Turkey New Year's terror attack compared to Paris and Orlando attacks

Terror attacks expose deep divisions in Turkey's society

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Istanbul Turkey New Year's terror attack compared to Paris and Orlando attacks


Reina nightclub in Istanbul on Sunday morning, several hours after the attack (EPA)
Reina nightclub in Istanbul on Sunday morning, several hours after the attack (EPA)

The people of Turkey were once again traumatized by a new terror attack, this time on a well-known Reina night club in Istanbul, where crowds of 700 people, both Turks and foreigners, were celebrating the New Year. At around 1:15 am on January 1, a gunman opened fire on people in the packed nightclub, killing at 39 people and injuring 65 others. The gunman fled and is still at large.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it's believed to be the work of the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), because of the similarity to attacks in Paris and Orlando, where attackers killed civilians indiscriminately in entertainment venues.

In Paris on November 13, 2015, three suicide bombers detonated themselves at a football (soccer) game. Then terrorists targeted three cafes and restaurants with gunfire, and then attacked the Bataclan theatre, where three gunmen opened fire on a large crowd. In all, 130 people were killed. These attacks were planned and carried out by an ISIS terror cell in Brussels.

In Orlando on June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed by a gunman at a local gay nightclub. The assailant had sworn allegiance to ISIS, but no concrete links were found.

Turkey has suffered dozens of terrorist attacks in the past 18 months, killing hundreds of people. The perpetrators have been both ISIS and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), including the PKK offshoot Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK). There have been four previous terrorist attacks in just the five weeks:

The Turkish people have been traumatized not only by the endless stream of terrorist attacks, but also by the July 15 failed coup attempt. Hurriyet (Ankara) and Daily Sabah (Ankara) and AP

Related Articles

Terror attacks expose deep divisions in Turkey's society

Ever since the July 15 coup attempt, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been fired or jailed well over 100,000 people. Erdogan has particularly targeted journalists that write dissenting articles, but the targeted people also include members of parliament and other politicians, judges, police, and teachers.

Since many of the people targeted are from the political opposition or are dissenters from Erdogan's policies, many people believe that Erdogan is using the coup attempt to eliminate his political enemies by force, including violence. This view is supported by the fact that Erdogan had already begun targeting the political opposition when he shut down the opposition newspaper Zaman several months before the coup attempt. These attacks have enormously polarized the Turkish people, with about half supporting Erdogan, and half despising him.

One analyst, Soner Cagaptay of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute says that Turkey's population is sharply divided into two approximately equal groups:

Another analyst, Simon Waldman, notes that Erdogan's reaction to the New Year's attack was different from his reaction to other attacks in that, unlike other times, Erdogan did not refer to the people who were killed as "martyrs." This word is almost always used by Erdogan with the death of a Turkish citizen in a terrorist attack or from military combat. But in this case, Erdogan said, "I offer my condolences to our citizens’, to our foreign guests’ and to our security officer’s families."

Waldman speculates that the reason is that the attack was on a nightclub where alcohol was served, and the people were celebrating not only the New Year but also Christmas, as these two holidays are often conflated by Muslims. These are secular things that are strongly condemned by hardcore conservative Muslim clerics, and indeed it's suspected that the terrorist attack was inspired by opposition to Christmas and New Year's parties. Indeed, the attacker was wearing a Santa Claus hat.

In fact, Hurriyet columnist Murat Yetkin suggests that the "poisonous" atmosphere in Turkey is because by "rising nationalist and religious chauvinism":

"Another question surrounds the political atmosphere in Turkey, which is getting more poisonous every day with rising nationalist and religious chauvinism. Religious Affairs Directorate head Mehmet Görmez was quick to make a statement after the attack, saying there was “no difference” between terror attacks targeting places of worship and attacks targeting entertainment sites, and they should be equally condemned. That statement followed cheering after the attack among certain social media users who believe that celebrating the New Year is un-Islamic and something to be despised.

Görmez’s statement was welcome. But just two days before, the Friday sermon prepared by Görmez’s Diyanet and read in more than 80,000 mosques across Turkey harshly criticized New Year celebrations as illegitimate and having no place in Islam or Turkey’s cultural traditions. Only a few days ago, members of an ultranationalist group made headlines by performing street theater in the Western province of Aydin by pointing a pistol at the forehead of another militant dressed in a Santa Claus costume. Unlike the cases frequently opened against critical media in Turkey, the police and the courts took no action against them for “praising crime” or “stirring hatred among the people.”"

In fact, many commentators are pointing out that Turks are now fighting each other as much as they're fighting ISIS and the PKK. CNN and Globe and Mail (Canada) and Hurriyet (Ankara)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 2-Jan-17 World View -- Istanbul Turkey New Year's terror attack compared to Paris and Orlando attacks thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (2-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

1-Jan-17 World View -- Taiwan's president responds to military threats from China

Did Taiwan's president say that Taiwan is 'an independent, sovereign country'?

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

In New Year's address, Taiwan's president responds to military threats from China


Tsai Ing-wen at news conference on Saturday
Tsai Ing-wen at news conference on Saturday

In the aftermath of the 10-minute phone conversation with president-elect Donald Trump and Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen, tensions between Taiwan and China have been substantially increasing.

Reports indicate that China's military, the People's Liberation Army (PLA), has become increasingly alarmed by this phone conversation, since they feel that it threatens additional steps towards attempts by Taiwan to become an independent nation, not a province of China.

Since then, China's military has been stepping up military drills near Taiwan, in a show of military force. China sent its aircraft carrier and a naval fleet into waters near Taiwan, and also sent military jets to circle the airspace near Taiwan. Taiwan's defense minister has warned that enemy threats were growing daily.

In a New Year press conference on Saturday, president Tsai addressed a range of issues, including relations with China. She accused China of threatening Taiwan, and said that "we will not bow to pressure":

"Since [we took office on] May 20, we have endeavored to maintain peaceful and stable relations across the Taiwan Strait in accordance with the people’s will and consensus in Taiwan. Driven by our respect for history and the spirit of seeking common ground while setting aside differences, we have continuously expressed goodwill towards the other side across the strait. We hope that the two sides can gradually reduce confrontations and differences through positive interactions.

But in the past few months, it has been the general feeling of the Taiwanese people that the rational and calm position that both sides have worked hard to maintain has seen certain changes. Step by step, Beijing is going back to the old path of dividing, coercing, and even threatening and intimidating Taiwan. We hope this does not reflect a policy choice by Beijing, but must say that such conduct has hurt the feelings of the Taiwanese people and destabilized cross-strait relations.

For the sake of safeguarding regional peace and prosperity, I want to once again reiterate that our commitments will not change, and our goodwill will not change. But we will not bow to pressure, and we will of course not revert to the old path of confrontation.

Whether cross-strait ties can take a turn for the better in the coming year will depend on our patience and resolve. But it will also depend on how Beijing sees the future of cross-strait relations, and whether it is willing to assume its share of the responsibility for building new models for cross-strait interactions. This is necessary to answer the collective hope for peace from the people on both sides of the strait, as well as the different parties in the region."

Tsai added, "In 2017, our society is going to face some turbulence and face some uncertainties. It’s going to test our whole national security team, as well as the whole government’s ability to handle change. We need to face this matter calmly."

Reports indicate that China is planning retaliatory measures against Taiwan, such as conducting war games near Taiwan or imposing trade sanctions.

It never ceases to amaze me that China gets away with illegally annexing huge regions in the South China Sea, in violation of international law by the international tribunal in the Hague, but then considers a ten-minute phone call an act of war. AFP and Office of Taiwan's President and Reuters

Related Articles

Did Taiwan's president say that Taiwan is 'an independent, sovereign country'?

The excerpt from Tsai's press conference quoted above is the official translation of Tsai's statement from a Taiwan government web site.

However, other news reports say that Tsai also said the following:

"The Republic of China is an independent, sovereign country."

This is a highly inflammatory statement by the president of Taiwan, and so it's not surprising if it was removed from the official text. (Republic of China is the full official name of Taiwan.)

In a press conference two weeks ago, President Obama said:

"China views Taiwan as part of China, but recognizes that it has to approach Taiwan as an entity that has its own ways of doing things.

Taiwanese have agreed that as long as they’re able to continue to function with some degree of autonomy, that they won’t charge forward and declare independence."

Obama's description of Taiwan as an "entity" has angered some Taiwanese activists, saying "Taiwan is an independent state, not an entity."

Some activists claim that Taiwan is already a de facto independent state, because "Taiwan has already cut through the mire of its troubled history to become recognized by humanity, irrespective of official diplomatic relations." In fact, these activists claim that calling Taiwan an "independent nation" does not contradict the One-China principle.

That may be the reason why President Tsai felt that it was OK to refer to Taiwan as "an independent, sovereign country." Bloomberg and Reuters and Taipei Times and China Post (Taiwan)

Related Articles

Taiwan president's planned US visit angers China even more

Taiwan has confirmed that president Tsai Ing-wen will make a foreign visit to Central America, and will visit Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras between January 7-15.

The part of the trip that's further infuriating the Chinese is that Tsai will make "transit stops" in the US before and after the trip to Central America. She will make a stopover in Houston en route to Central America and San Francisco on her return trip to Taiwan.

There has been media speculation that Tsai will meet with representatives of Donald Trump during one of the stopovers, but Tsai's office has refused to confirm or deny these speculations.

China has repeatedly demanded that Washington not permit Tsai to visit the US during her trip. However, a Tsai spokesman says, "These transit stops are undertaken out of consideration for the safety, comfort, convenience and dignity of the traveler. President Tsai's transits will be private and unofficial." China Post (Taiwan)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 1-Jan-17 World View -- Taiwan's president responds to military threats from China thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (1-Jan-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

Web Log Pages

Current Web Log

Web Log Summary - 2017
Web Log Summary - 2016
Web Log Summary - 2015
Web Log Summary - 2014
Web Log Summary - 2013
Web Log Summary - 2012
Web Log Summary - 2011
Web Log Summary - 2010
Web Log Summary - 2009
Web Log Summary - 2008
Web Log Summary - 2007
Web Log Summary - 2006
Web Log Summary - 2005
Web Log Summary - 2004

Web Log - December, 2017
Web Log - November, 2017
Web Log - October, 2017
Web Log - September, 2017
Web Log - August, 2017
Web Log - July, 2017
Web Log - June, 2017
Web Log - May, 2017
Web Log - April, 2017
Web Log - March, 2017
Web Log - February, 2017
Web Log - January, 2017
Web Log - December, 2016
Web Log - November, 2016
Web Log - October, 2016
Web Log - September, 2016
Web Log - August, 2016
Web Log - July, 2016
Web Log - June, 2016
Web Log - May, 2016
Web Log - April, 2016
Web Log - March, 2016
Web Log - February, 2016
Web Log - January, 2016
Web Log - December, 2015
Web Log - November, 2015
Web Log - October, 2015
Web Log - September, 2015
Web Log - August, 2015
Web Log - July, 2015
Web Log - June, 2015
Web Log - May, 2015
Web Log - April, 2015
Web Log - March, 2015
Web Log - February, 2015
Web Log - January, 2015
Web Log - December, 2014
Web Log - November, 2014
Web Log - October, 2014
Web Log - September, 2014
Web Log - August, 2014
Web Log - July, 2014
Web Log - June, 2014
Web Log - May, 2014
Web Log - April, 2014
Web Log - March, 2014
Web Log - February, 2014
Web Log - January, 2014
Web Log - December, 2013
Web Log - November, 2013
Web Log - October, 2013
Web Log - September, 2013
Web Log - August, 2013
Web Log - July, 2013
Web Log - June, 2013
Web Log - May, 2013
Web Log - April, 2013
Web Log - March, 2013
Web Log - February, 2013
Web Log - January, 2013
Web Log - December, 2012
Web Log - November, 2012
Web Log - October, 2012
Web Log - September, 2012
Web Log - August, 2012
Web Log - July, 2012
Web Log - June, 2012
Web Log - May, 2012
Web Log - April, 2012
Web Log - March, 2012
Web Log - February, 2012
Web Log - January, 2012
Web Log - December, 2011
Web Log - November, 2011
Web Log - October, 2011
Web Log - September, 2011
Web Log - August, 2011
Web Log - July, 2011
Web Log - June, 2011
Web Log - May, 2011
Web Log - April, 2011
Web Log - March, 2011
Web Log - February, 2011
Web Log - January, 2011
Web Log - December, 2010
Web Log - November, 2010
Web Log - October, 2010
Web Log - September, 2010
Web Log - August, 2010
Web Log - July, 2010
Web Log - June, 2010
Web Log - May, 2010
Web Log - April, 2010
Web Log - March, 2010
Web Log - February, 2010
Web Log - January, 2010
Web Log - December, 2009
Web Log - November, 2009
Web Log - October, 2009
Web Log - September, 2009
Web Log - August, 2009
Web Log - July, 2009
Web Log - June, 2009
Web Log - May, 2009
Web Log - April, 2009
Web Log - March, 2009
Web Log - February, 2009
Web Log - January, 2009
Web Log - December, 2008
Web Log - November, 2008
Web Log - October, 2008
Web Log - September, 2008
Web Log - August, 2008
Web Log - July, 2008
Web Log - June, 2008
Web Log - May, 2008
Web Log - April, 2008
Web Log - March, 2008
Web Log - February, 2008
Web Log - January, 2008
Web Log - December, 2007
Web Log - November, 2007
Web Log - October, 2007
Web Log - September, 2007
Web Log - August, 2007
Web Log - July, 2007
Web Log - June, 2007
Web Log - May, 2007
Web Log - April, 2007
Web Log - March, 2007
Web Log - February, 2007
Web Log - January, 2007
Web Log - December, 2006
Web Log - November, 2006
Web Log - October, 2006
Web Log - September, 2006
Web Log - August, 2006
Web Log - July, 2006
Web Log - June, 2006
Web Log - May, 2006
Web Log - April, 2006
Web Log - March, 2006
Web Log - February, 2006
Web Log - January, 2006
Web Log - December, 2005
Web Log - November, 2005
Web Log - October, 2005
Web Log - September, 2005
Web Log - August, 2005
Web Log - July, 2005
Web Log - June, 2005
Web Log - May, 2005
Web Log - April, 2005
Web Log - March, 2005
Web Log - February, 2005
Web Log - January, 2005
Web Log - December, 2004
Web Log - November, 2004
Web Log - October, 2004
Web Log - September, 2004
Web Log - August, 2004
Web Log - July, 2004
Web Log - June, 2004


Copyright © 2002-2017 by John J. Xenakis.