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

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

Web Log - August, 2017

Summary

31-Aug-17 World View -- Cameroon's army to force English-speaking children to attend school

Violence grows as Cameroon cracks down on Anglophone activists

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Anti-government tensions grow in Cameroon's English-speaking regions


During protests earlier this year, Anglophone protesters used catapults against police in Bamenda, Cameroon (RFI)
During protests earlier this year, Anglophone protesters used catapults against police in Bamenda, Cameroon (RFI)

Tensions are growing in the Southern Cameroons provinces of Cameroon, the Anglophone (English-speaking) regions of the country. At least half a dozen schools have been burned down.

The perpetrators are believed to be members of Ambazonia, the armed wing of the Liberation Movement of Southern Cameroons, a secessionist movement. Ambazonia is the name that the secessionists give to the Southern Cameroons region.

The Anglophone minority is about 20% of the country's 23 million inhabitants. Starting late last year, there were protests by teachers and lawyers of discrimination by the majority Francophone (French-speaking) government. Anglophone lawyers protested that the legal and court systems are biased toward Francophones, with many laws passed without even being translated into English.

Anglophone teachers went on strike last year, protesting that all courses in the schools had to be taught in French, and that any use of English was forbidden. Protests by Anglophone lawyers and teachers were dispersed by Cameroon security forces firing tear gas and live bullets.

Recently, police discovered a cache of weapons and a bomb-making factory, resulting in the arrest of seven people. VOA and Bareta News

Violence grows as Cameroon cracks down on Anglophone activists

This year, Anglophone activists began using violence against the security police. The recent burning down of schools was presumably in support of the teachers' strike, which is still ongoing after almost a year.

So-called "Ghost town" protests have brought Cameroon’s Anglophone regions to a standstill since the beginning of the year.

The Cameroon government has tried a variety of nearly desperate measures to end the strike.

In January, the government shut down all internet access in the Southern Cameroons, in order to end the protests. It never made any sense to me why the politicians thought that this would end the protests, but politicians are rarely the sharpest knives in the drawer.

Anyway, people couldn't do only banking or purchases, and businesses in the region had to shut down. The internet shutdown was a disaster for Cameroon's economy, which lost around $3.1 million. In April, the government was forced to restore internet access.

In February, Cameroon arrested three English-speaking protesters, Felix Agbor Balla, Fontem Aforteka'a Neba and Mancho Bibixy, and accused them of acts of terrorism, complicity in acts of terrorism, insurrection, propagation of false news, calling for civil war and calling for a return to the federal system, with the possibility of facing the death penalty.. However, they didn't have any actual evidence of those crimes, and so they were held in jail without trial.

In an act of desperation, Cameroon's president Paul Biya announced yesterday (Wednesday) that all judicial proceedings against these and other activists would be ended, though it wasn't clear if or when they would be set free.

This week, Biya has banned people from watching a popular cable television channel, SCBC, or the Southern Cameroons Broadcasting Corporation, claiming that it "terrorizes our people." The channel broadcasts programs about the history and culture of the Anglophone region, as well as interviews with exiled lawyers and documentaries about human rights abuses in Cameroon.

Unfortunately for Biya, the station broadcasts from South Africa, so he has no way of shutting it down, and South African authorities have refused to shut it down for him. Cable operators in Cameroon are no long permitted to broadcast the channel, but people can still watch it over the internet (particularly now that internet access has been restored).

People can be arrested for watching the channel, and some have already been detained for having videos and text messages on their phones relating to the Anglophone protests. Journal du Cameroun and Amnesty International and Reuters and Journal du Cameroun

Cameroon will use police and soldiers to force children to go to school.

The government has deployed an additional 400 police to the Anglophone regions, to join the 959 already deployed. The job will be to safeguard the start of the school term from the "persistent threat of activists."

According to Ayuk Tabe, who is considered by some as the de facto president of the Anglophone regions, "I don't know any child in this world who'll go to school because he or she has been dragged by a policeman or army officer."

If you get the feeling that Cameroon's government is run by idiots, I have the same feeling. Instead of sending in the army to force children to go to school, another alternative might be to hire English-speaking teachers to teach things like geography and math in English rather than French, and also to hire some English-speaking judges who could run some courts in English. Steps like that would likely help more than shutting down the internet.

Biya's clownish actions have been extremely destructive to Cameroon and to its people and economy, but they seem to be typical of what we've come to expect of African leaders. Paul Biya came to power in 1982 and, as usual in African countries, Biya has turned into a dictator, using abusive measures against anyone who even criticizes him, anything to keep himself and his cronies in control.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, we've seen this time after time, in Syria, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Burundi, Thailand, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Eritrea, and other countries, where leaders in generational Awakening and Unraveling eras use arbitrary jailings, violence and atrocities to keep the opposition ethnic group out of power. Over a period of years, the violence worsens until it turns into a full-scale generational crisis civil war when the next generational crisis era arrives. Radio France Internationale and AFP

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 31-Aug-17 World View -- Cameroon's army to force English-speaking children to attend school thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (31-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

30-Aug-17 World View -- Britain's Labor party makes dramatic U-turn on Brexit policy proposals

Ireland calls Theresa May's Irish border proposal 'delusional'

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Britain's Labor party makes dramatic U-turn on Brexit policy proposals


Anti-Brexit protestors on June 25 of last year in London (Getty)
Anti-Brexit protestors on June 25 of last year in London (Getty)

Britain's opposition Labor party made a dramatic policy U-turn on Saturday on the terms of Brexit negotiations. The new position leaves open the possibility that that when Britain formally leaves the European on March 29, 2019, the terms of the UK-EU relationship will be essentially unchanged for years, and possibly forever. This could effectively nullify Brexit, for all practical purposes.

Britain's Tory government, headed by prime minister Theresa May, has been struggling to define policies for the UK-EU relationship after March 2019, and has had little success so far. The intention is that there will be a "transitional period" for two years, during which further negotiations will take place on the terms of the final separation.

There are hardliners on both the UK and EU negotiating sides that are going to make any agreement very difficult. The terms of any agreement will have to be approved by all 27 remaining EU members, by the UK government, and possibly by the UK parliament. It seems unlikely that any agreement whatsoever will be reached on anything, at least until late in 2018, when the time is so late and the situation so desperate that the parties will be forced to agree to something.

Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary of the shadow government of Labor party leader Jeremy Corbyn, published a proposal on Saturday that the UK negotiate a transitional deal with the EU that preserves the UK's continued membership in the EU single market, accepting all the terms of that membership, including free movement of people through Europe, including the UK, and accepting the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice as having a higher priority than the UK's own courts.

These are exactly the policies that drove the passage of the Brexit referendum -- blocking immigrants from reaching Britain, and giving Britain jurisdiction over its own laws -- so the Labor proposal effectively negates Brexit, especially if the Labor transitional deal lasts more than two years.

According to some analysts, this proposal could run into trouble because it will be violating the terms of rules for exiting the EU described in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, and therefore could be rejected by the European Court of Justice. The Germany parliament may also oppose the proposal.

The negotiations this fall are expected to be extremely bitter and vitriolic on all sides. Guardian (London, 26-Aug) and Telegraph (London) and EuroIntelligence

UK's Tory government struggles with Brexit policy positions

The proposal by Labor is very simple, because it says that everything should be as before, with all the same privileges, rules and restrictions of the existing relationship.

Theresa May has a much more difficult problem. A proposal that honors the spirit of Brexit requires that every minute law and regulation adopted by the EU and the UK over a period of decades be renegotiated. In fact, the EU and UK sides can't even agree which policies are to be negotiated first.

The Tories are insisting that the terms of the trade relationship, or "customs union," between the UK and EU be agreed as quickly as possible, so that businesses on both sides will be able to plan for March 2019. The UK says that they can't agree on other things until they've determined what the trade relationship will be.

The EU negotiators say the opposite. They can't agree on the trade relationship until the terms of the "divorce" have been settled. There are three questions that the EU negotiators say have to be resolved first:

The trade issue, when negotiations finally begin, is liable to just as contentious. Theresa May would like an agreement of a "customs union" that would allow for "frictionless trade" between the UK and EU, with minimum rules and custom duties. She would also like for UK to be able to begin negotiating trade deals with other countries, such as the US and China.

The problem with that proposal is that it makes a customs union impossible. The idea behind the EU single market is that anyone can trade with anyone else in the customs union with no tariffs, but imports from other countries could be taxed to protect European agriculture and other products. But if the UK is part of the EU single market, and the UK can also make its own deals with other countries, then other countries could then gain tariff-free trade with the entire EU simply by trans-shipping all goods through the UK. Business Insider (16-Feb) and UK government Brexit position papers

Related Articles

Ireland calls Theresa May's Irish border proposal 'delusional'

Britain's government two weeks ago published its position paper on the border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the UK, and the Republic of Ireland (southern Ireland), which is an independent nation, but a member state of the EU. The only land border between the UK and other EU members is the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Ireland and Northern Ireland have an extremely bloody history, largely fought between the indigenous Gaelics versus the descendants of the English and Scottish invaders. (See "23-Jun-11 News -- Sectarian violence in Northern Ireland grows again")

During the 1960s-90s, in a period known as "the Troubles," there was a great deal of violence in Northern Ireland. It was mostly resolved by the "Good Friday agreement" in 1998, and part of that agreement is that the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland must be completely open.

If the UK leaves the EU under Brexit, then the border in Ireland would be a border between the UK and EU, subject to the usual tariffs and customs rules.

Theresa May is proposing some kind of "invisible electronic border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but Ireland's EU Commissioner Phil Hogan says that this is delusional:

"I think that there's a high level of delusion in London at the moment about what is required to be done.

But if there is an appetite for a pragmatic and reasonable outcome to a free-trade agreement, well then membership of the customs union would make a significant contribution to this.

I'm very concerned about the Irish question. Ireland is probably the biggest victim of this mess. [UK ministers] still don't realize that the other 27 [member states] have to agree to this transition period of two or three years or whatever they're going to be seeking."

An Irish Government source confirmed it is prepared to use the "nuclear option" of vetoing the transition period. UK Brexit policy on Ireland and Independent (Ireland)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 30-Aug-17 World View -- Britain's Labor party makes dramatic U-turn on Brexit policy proposals thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (30-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

29-Aug-17 World View -- China and India pull back from Doklam, while North Korea sharply escalates missile crisis

North Korea launches ballistic missile into Japan's airspace

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

China and India announce pullback agreement on Doklam Plateau


Chinese army soldiers in military training (Reuters, 2013)
Chinese army soldiers in military training (Reuters, 2013)

China and India made surprising announcements on Monday that they had agreed to pull back troops to reduce tension on Bhutan's Doklam Plateau.

For almost three months, China and India have each had 300 soldiers just 100 meters apart on the plateau, 3,000 meters above sea level. India did not increase its troop strength on the plateau itself, but brought troops into bases nearby, and raising the alert level in preparation for war.

The border dispute involving China, India and Bhutan over the Doklam Plateau continued to escalate for a long time, as we reported. China attempted to annex the region, which belongs to Bhutan, and on June 16 sent Chinese troops and construction workers to begin road construction. Bhutan troops tried to prevent the Chinese troop incursion, but they were overrun. India sent in its own troops, saying that it did so when Bhutan invoked a treaty with India and asked for help, resulting in a standoff.

China made increasingly vitriolic threats towards India, saying that there couldn't be negotiations until India unilaterally withdrew its troops, and that China's army would destroy India's army if India didn't withdraw.

So now it turns out that there have been secret negotiations going on for weeks, despite the vitriolic threats.

China's foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying announced China's position at a press briefing:

"Q: We have learned that on the afternoon of August 28, the Indian border troops and equipment that illegal crossed the Sikkim sector of the China-India border have all been withdrawn to the Indian side, marking an end to the trespassing incident. Do you have more information?

A: On June 18, the Indian border troops illegally crossed the well-delimited China-India border in the Sikkim Sector into China's Dong Lang area. China has lodged representations with the Indian side many times through diplomatic channels, made the facts and truth of this situation known to the international community, clarified China's solemn position and explicit demands, and urged India to immediately pull back its border troops to the India's side. In the meantime, the Chinese military has taken effective countermeasures to ensure the territorial sovereignty and legitimate rights and interests of the state.

At about 2:30 p.m. of August 28, the Indian side withdrew all its border personnel and equipment that were illegally on the Chinese territory to the Indian side. The Chinese personnel onsite have verified this situation. China will continue fulfilling its sovereign rights to safeguard territorial sovereignty in compliance with the stipulations of the border-related historical treaty."

Hua received additional questions, pressing her to explain whether China had also pulled back. She apparently became increasingly annoyed and the questions, and finally answered:

"A: The Indian side has withdrawn all its trespassing border personnel and equipment to the Indian side. The Chinese personnel onsite have verified this situation. China will continue fulfilling its sovereign rights to safeguard territorial sovereignty in compliance with the stipulations of the border-related historical treaty. In light of the changes on the ground, China will accordingly make necessary adjustments and deployment."

India's Ministry of External Affairs also issued a statement:

"In recent weeks, India and China have maintained diplomatic communication in respect of the incident at Doklam. During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests.

On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to and is on-going."

China's Foreign Ministry and India's Ministry of External Affairs

Related: China and India prepare for border war at Doklam Plateau (12-Aug-2017)

Many unanswered questions about the China-India Doklam agreement

The two announcements leave many questions unanswered, including the following:

Once again, we have to point out that China is a highly militarized country, with a huge army and bristling with missiles, and it's lied repeatedly and continuously about its claims and criminal activities in the South China Sea, and so there is no reason to believe any claims they make about Bhutan's territory on the Doklam Plateau.

My personal belief, based on all the reports that I've read, is that China was completely surprised by what happened. I believe that China expected to overwhelm Bhutan's army and annex the Doklam Plateau quickly and easily. Instead, I believe that the Chinese were completely surprised by India's intervention, making a quick and easy victory impossible. New Delhi TV and India Today

North Korea launches ballistic missile into Japan's airspace


Map showing trajectory of North Korean missile (Yonhap)
Map showing trajectory of North Korean missile (Yonhap)

North Korea on Tuesday fired a long-range ballistic missile that flew over Japan, traveling more than 2,700 km with a maximum altitude of around 550 km. Technically, that's an act of war, but Japan didn't try to shoot it down, nor did the United States.

Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe said:

"The North Korean missile that was launched passed over our nation and landed in the Pacific Ocean. The government had been monitoring the launch from the moment it was fired.

We have done our utmost to ensure the safety of the people. The missile that passed over our nation represents the greatest and gravest threat to our nation ever. It is also a threat to the peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region.

This reckless act of launching a missile that flies over our country is an unprecedented, serious and important threat."

North Korea has been trying to develop a ballistic missile with a nuclear payload since the 1990s, and international attempts have been made to dissuade further development. However, diplomacy hasn't worked, sanctions haven't worked, threats of retaliation haven't work, and Security Council resolutions haven't worked. Government leaders in many countries -- the US, Russia, China, South Korea, and so forth -- have made delusional statements about negotiations with North Korea, but they've repeatedly failed.

So one choice now is to accept North Korea as a full-fledged nuclear, using nuclear weapons for all sorts of international blackmail. The other choice now is a military option of some kind. One way or the other, the question should be answered within a few months. Korea Times and Australian Financial Review and Reuters and South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

Related: Japan will shoot down N. Korean missiles via 'collective self-defense' (13-Aug-2017)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 29-Aug-17 World View -- China and India pull back from Doklam, while North Korea sharply escalates missile crisis thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (29-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

28-Aug-17 World View -- Violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar/Burma escalates dramatically

Rise of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militant insurgency

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar/Burma escalates dramatically


Bangladesh border guards at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, to prevent Rohingyas from crossing.  There are already 400,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. (AFP)
Bangladesh border guards at the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh, to prevent Rohingyas from crossing. There are already 400,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. (AFP)

Violence between Burma's (Myanmar's) mostly Buddhist army and Muslim ethnic Rohingyas in Rakhine State has sharply escalated in the last four days, to the point where it's feared that it may have reached a dangerous turning point.

Starting in 2011, Buddhists have been attacking Muslims in villages across Burma, particularly the 1.1 million ethnic Rohingyas in Rakhine State. Mobs of Buddhists have attacked Muslims, conducting atrocities including torture and rape, killing hundreds and forcing hundreds of thousands to leave their homes to flee from the attacks. In some cases, the Buddhists have burned down entire Rohingya villages to the ground.

The current round of violence was triggered on Friday when Rohingya insurgents carried out a series of coordinated attacks against 30 Burma police outposts and an army base. Using knives, some guns and homemade explosives they killed at least a dozen security force members.

The army responded with a sweep of violence against Rohingyas, causing thousands of them to flee their villages and head for the Bangladesh border, where they hoped to cross and reach a refugee camp. The Foreign Ministry of Bangladesh said Saturday that "thousands of unarmed civilians" from Rakhine state had gathered near its border and were "making attempts to enter Bangladesh." The Burmese army shot them as they were fleeing, including women and children, killing dozens. However, Bangladesh already has 400,000 Rohingyas in its refugee camps and its border guards are refusing to allow any more to enter, and so the Rohingyas trying to flee are hiding out along the border between the two countries. However, an estimated 2,000 Rohingyas have made the crossing since Friday.

Yesterday, Bangladesh handed over a protest note to the Myanmar envoy in Dhaka, and called upon Myanmar country to stop any fresh flow of Rohingyas towards Bangladesh. CNN and AFP and Daily Star (Bangladesh)

Rise of the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA) militant insurgency

The leader of the Buddhist atrocities is Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, who says that he's just trying to protect Burma from Muslims. He calls his movement the "969" movement, where 969 is a historic Buddhist sign, referring to the nine qualities of Buddha, the six qualities of Buddha's teaching, and nine qualities of the Buddhist community. 969 is supposed to promote peace and happiness, although Wirathu's 969 movement is a vehicle promoting violence,

After three years of Buddhist atrocities directed at Rohingyas, a radicalized group of Rohingyas formed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army (ARSA).

ARSA took responsibility for attacks on 8 police posts in October of last year. Those attacks sparked a wave of deadly "clearance operations" by Myanmar’s army and forced some 87,000 Rohingya to flee to Bangladesh. The UN believes that military crackdown may have amounted to ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya.

During the past week, the United Nations Rakhine Advisory Commission, headed by Kofi Annan, issued a final report that confirmed these conclusions.

ARSA has also taken responsibility for the coordinated attacks on 30 police outposts and an army base that took place on Friday. Whereas the "clearance operations" by Myanmar's army last October appeared to be reasonably disciplined, the reports of the army's attacks on Rohingyas in the last three days suggest that they are extremely undisciplined and disorganized.

There are also reports of growing violence between ARSA and the Myanmar army, including reports that ARSA militants are shooting at Rohingyas who are trying to flee to Bangladesh.

India's government is taking a strong position in favor of Myanmar's government, and against the Rohingyas. According to external affairs ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar:

"India is seriously concerned by reports of renewed violence and attacks by terrorists in northern Rakhine State of Myanmar. We are deeply saddened at the loss of lives among members of the Myanmar security forces.

Such attacks deserve to be condemned in the strongest possible terms. We hope that the perpetrators of these crimes will be brought to justice and we extend our strong support at this challenging moment to the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar."

The clashes in Rakhine state are current turning into a męlée that could become a lot more serious quickly, if not now, then when the next round of violence occurs. As the clashes between Buddhists and Muslims continue to grow in Myanmar (Burma), other neighboring countries are also going to be forced to choose sides. Straits Times and AFP and Reuters and Hindustan Times

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 28-Aug-17 World View -- Violence between Buddhists and Muslims in Myanmar/Burma escalates dramatically thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (28-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

27-Aug-17 World View -- As Hajj approaches, Iran and Qatar remain in dispute with Saudi Arabia

UAE reacts furiously to Qatar's restoring diplomatic relations with Iran

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

UAE reacts furiously to Qatar's restoring diplomatic relations with Iran


Muslims attend Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca two days ago, ahead of the Hajj (Reuters)
Muslims attend Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque in Mecca two days ago, ahead of the Hajj (Reuters)

Many had been hoping that the split between Qatar and other Arab countries would finally come to an end, but instead the split appears to be getting worse.

The foreign minister of United Arab Emirates (UAE), one of the countries, along with Bahrain and Egypt, that followed Saudi Arabia's lead in implementing a sea, air and land blockade on Qatar, directed vitriolic comments at Qatar after the latter restored diplomatic relations with Iran, and returned its ambassador to Tehran on Friday.

In a series of angry tweets, Anwar bin Mohammad Gargash said:

"[Qatar’s] sovereign decision should not be shy or confused, but its arrogance and adolescent behavior makes it so. Its justification is not convincing. ...

[Qatar's] management of the crisis is characterized by confusion and mismanagement. ... It lacks the strategic dimension and the interests of Qatar and its people. ...

Qatar’s crisis was deepened through (Doha’s) crisis management of burning bridges, squandering of sovereignty and undermined what remained of the mediator’s chances. The wisdom we wished for is completely absent."

On June 5, four Arab countries -- Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt -- imposed a land, sea and air blockade on Qatar. The reasons given were Qatar's support for Iran, Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which the four countries consider to be a terrorist group, and Qatar's aggressive use of al-Jazeera to broadcast incitement to overthrow their governments.

The four countries listed 13 specific demands that would be necessary to resolve the crisis. The demands included: sever most ties with Iran; sever all ties to the Muslim Brotherhood; shut down al-Jazeera; terminate Turkey's military presence in Qatar; pay reparations and compensation for loss of life and other, financial losses caused by Qatar’s policies in recent years. Since then, the demands have been reduced to six broad principles, but the sense is the same.

In past decades, Mideast countries were usually able to remain reasonably friendly with each other, or at least were able to tolerate each other, but this all changed with the "Arab Spring" that began in 2011. Since then, Saudi Arabia and Iran have been in a proxy war in Yemen, and Iran's Shia/Alawite client Bashar al-Assad has been massacring Sunni women and children with barrel bombs and Sarin gas.

Relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran have grown increasingly hostile. Relations between the two countries became explosive early in 2016 when Saudi Arabia executed 47 alleged terrorists -- 46 Sunnis and one Shia, Mohammad Baqir Nimr al-Nimr. Iran and Shias were infuriated because the execution implied that Shia terrorism is equivalent to Sunni terrorism. Iranian mobs firebombed the Saudi embassy in Tehran, and attacked the consulate in Meshaad. Saudi Arabia and Iran broke diplomatic relations as a result. Other Saudi allies followed suit, including Qatar.

So now, after 20 months, Qatar is restoring diplomatic relations with Iran. Saudi Arabia, of course, is not doing the same. So the vitriolic feelings of the Saudis directed at Iran are now being directed at Qatar. The end is nowhere in sight. Gulf News (Dubai) and Press Tv (Tehran) and Al Jazeera (Doha) and The National (Abu Dhabi)

Related Articles

As Hajj approaches, Iran and Qatar remain in dispute with Saudi Arabia

The Hajj takes place each year in Mecca, in Saudi Arabia. It's Islam's holiest event, commemorating rituals that date back to the prophet Abraham, and then codified by the prophet Mohamed in the Quran. Each Muslim is required to make a pilgrimage to the Hajj at least once in his lifetime. In 2015, about two million Muslims from 180 countries around the world arrived in Saudi Arabia for their once in a lifetime Hajj pilgrimage. This year, the dates of the Hajj are August 30 to September 4.

Of all the many bitter disagreements between Iran and Saudi Arabia is where to place the blame for the disaster that occurred in the 2015 Hajj. In 2015, one of the roads became so crowded with people that there was a stampede that killed hundreds of people who were trampled to death, including 464 Iranians. Although Saudi officials blamed "inevitable fate and destiny" for the disaster, Iranian officials blamed the disaster on the incompetence of Saudi officials, and even criminal acts by them.

Contentious talks between Iran and Saudi failed to reach agreement over security guarantees for the 2016 Hajj, and so Iran banned its citizens from attending last year's Hajj.

However, the countries agreed in March of this year that Iranians would be able to attend the Hajj this time. Some 90,000 Iranians, including many that have already arrived, are expected to attend the Hajj this year. They are traveling by a variety of means, including flying on an Iranian airline.

However, only about 400 Qataris will be attending the Hajj this year, unless something changes in the next three days. The problem is that, unlike Iran's airline, Qatar's airline is forbidden by the Saudi-imposed blockade from flying into Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has offered to fly the Qatari pilgrims to Mecca at Saudi's expense, but a miffed Qatar has apparently taken the view that if Qatar can't fly them into Mecca, then Saudi Arabia can't fly them into Mecca.

According to Qatar's foreign minister Ahmed bin Saeed al-Rumaihi:

"It is usual and customary for pilgrims to be transported from any country by means of national air, land and sea transportation in that country.

Pilgrims from Qatar don’t need financial assistance from the Saudi side for the Hajj. Restrictions on transportation only with Saudi airlines is unprecedented and illogical."

As for the 400 Qatari pilgrims that will be attending, they traveled overland, and were permitted to cross the border from Qatar into Saudi Arabia. Reuters and AFP and Azer News (Azerbaijan)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 27-Aug-17 World View -- As Hajj approaches, Iran and Qatar remain in dispute with Saudi Arabia thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (27-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

26-Aug-17 World View -- Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra flees to Dubai

Brief generational history of Thailand

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra flees to Dubai


Yingluck Shinawatra has fled Thailand to escape sentencing
Yingluck Shinawatra has fled Thailand to escape sentencing

Police in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, are searching for former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, for whom an arrest warrant was issued after she failed to show up for a sentencing hearing which might have put her in jail for decades. Her commerce minister, Boonsong Teriyapirom, did show up for sentencing, and was sentenced to 42 years in jail.

Yingluck became prime minister in 2011, after winning an election decisively, after a campaign in which she promised to use 'femininity' to resolve disputes.

However, she was ousted by a military coup in 2014. The ruling military junta then impeached her retroactively and froze her assets. She was then tried and convicted for improperly administering a rice subsidy program that that mostly targeted the poor indigenous Thai-Thai people in northern Thailand.

She was to be sentenced on Friday, but she failed to show up in court, and is now believed to have fled to another country, such as Singapore, Hong Kong or Dubai. Her location has not been confirmed, but unnamed sources say that she's joined her brother in Dubai.

Her brother is former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, a telecommunications magnate turned politician who was ousted as prime minister in 2006 and fled the country in 2008 when he was convicted for conflict of interest. Since then, he's been living in exile in Dubai and London.

Both Yingluck and Thaksin are extremely popular. The ruling military junta is being blamed for letting her escape, but there are suspicions that they purposely let her go, rather than risk massive protests if she were sent to jail. The Nation (Thailand) and Straits Times (Singapore) and CNN

Related Articles

Collapse of Thailand's democracy

Thailand adopted a constitution in 1997 that was supposed to guarantee that the country would be governed by free and fair democratic elections. Unfortunately for the country's Thai-Chinese elite minority, the winners of the last five elections have all been candidates from the Pheu Thai political party, which represents the interests of the Thai-Thai indigenous population.

On the one side, you have the market-dominant "yellow shirt" light-skinned elites, also called "Thai-Chinese," since almost all of them are descendants of Chinese, comprising about 1/4 of the population, living mostly around the capital city Bangkok.

On the other side, you have the "red shirt" dark-skinned lower class indigenous people, also called "Thai-Thai," comprising about 3/4 of the population, living mostly in the northern and northeastern regions of Thailand, but who come to Bangkok mostly to work in menial jobs serving the Thai-Chinese.

Obviously, if elections are fought along ethnic lines, then the party representing the Thai-Thai is going to win every time. The yellow shirt elites have used a variety of techniques, from violent protests to army coups, to overturn these elections. The Thai-Thai hero Thaksin Shinawatra was prime minister until 2006, when an army coup forced him out of office. His sister Yingluck was forced out of office in 2014.

Incidentally, my favorite story in this saga occurred in December 2008. ( "Thailand government collapses, ending crippling riots from class war".) A candidate representing Thai-Thai, Samak Sundaravej, had been elected prime minister. After violent protests by the yellow shirts, he was forced to step down, because a court removed him from office because he had previously had a cooking show on tv, and that was somehow considered a conflict of interest. That's how ridiculous Thailand's government has become.

So the ruling military junta is under pressure to allow new elections, but everybody knows that the Thai-Thai candidate, possibly even another member of the Shinawatra family, will win again. So the junta is amending the constitution to make sure that only the elite Thai-Chinese win elections. Bangkok Post

Brief generational history of Thailand

Part of Thailand's history was made famous by Anna Leonowens, who came from London to Siam (as it was known then) to be the governess and teacher of the many children of King Mongkut (Rama IV) in the 1860s. In 1895, she wrote memoirs that were turned into a film, "Anna and the King of Siam" in 1946, and into the 1952 Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway musical, "The King and I."

If you have a few minutes, then watch the YouTube video of "The March of the Siamese Children," from the 1956 film, "The King and I." It depicts Anna's first meeting with the children.

The play depicts a troubled king trying to lead a small country surrounded by large enemies, and willing to use invasion, torture and other atrocities.

King Rama had fought a generational crisis war in the early 1830s when he had invaded Laos and Cambodia, but ended up losing to a Vietnamese army.

Siam's next generational crisis war occurred in what is now southern Thailand. For centuries, Siam's kings had felt that the Muslims in southern Siam were a major threat to the security of the country, mainly because resistance and rebellion against Thai government rule were so strong among the Muslim population, and in fact the southern Muslims had revolted during the 1830s crisis war.

By the late 1800s this threat had been felt to be critical, and in 1902 King Rama V invaded and annexed the Malay kingdom of Patani, consisting of the four provinces of Satun, Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat. (Note: The kingdom is spelled "Patani," while the province is spelled "Pattani.") In 1909, an Anglo-Siamese Agreement established the present border between Thailand and Malaysia.

During the next few decades, Siam (which became Thailand in 1939) was faced with the problem of trying to assimilate the southern Muslim population into what is essentially a Buddhist country. During the generational Awakening era that followed, the military coup of 1932 overthrew the absolute monarchy in Siam and replaced it with constitutional monarchy. This was a representative form of government that promised a high degree of political participation of the Malay-Muslims in the South. However, as World War II (an Awakening era war for Thailand) approached, the country became more Thai-nationalistic, and the country adopted a policy of forced assimilation towards the Muslims, which had little success, as resistance and rebellion have continued since then.

The 1930s also saw a large influx of migrants from China, coming to the country to work. Over the decades, they were able to displace the indigenous people in positions of power in government, and in control of businesses. This formed an ethnic fault line between the indigenous Thai-Thai majority and the elite Thai-Chinese minority.

The next generational crisis war was the Cambodian "killing fields" war, 1975-79, in which Pol Pot's communist Khmer Rouge government, backed by China, killed almost ten million people in a massive genocide. The Cambodian war spilled over into Thailand in the form of a communist rebellion that had begun in the 1960s. King Bhumibol (Rama IX) became an essential figure in the fight against the communists, although his role became more controversial in the savage anti-leftist coup of 1976, in which dozens of students were brutally killed by the security forces and royal-backed militias, and thousands forced to flee to seek sanctuary with the Communist Party.

The Cambodian "killing fields" civil war took place on Thailand's doorstep, though not on Thai soil. Still, it caused a split along the Thai-Thai versus Thai-Chinese fault line that continues to the present time. Today, Thailand is in a new generational Awakening/Unraveling era, and we're seeing a repeat of what happened in the 1930s.

During the generational Awakening era of the 1930s, the military coup of 1932 overthrew the absolute monarchy in Siam and replaced it with constitutional monarchy that gave some power to the southern Muslims, only to have it taken away a few years later.

During the current era, the 1997 constitution guaranteed free elections for everyone, including the indigenous Thai-Thai, and now that's being taken away by a military junta.

History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes. Yale: Thailand’s Response to the Cambodian Genocide and Cornell: History and Politics of the Muslims in Thailand (PDF) and Communist Party of Thailand

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 26-Aug-17 World View -- Thailand's former prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra flees to Dubai thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (26-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

25-Aug-17 World View -- France's Emmanuel Macron accuses EU countries of 'social and fiscal dumping'

Britain sees a big fall in net migration since Brexit vote

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

France's Emmanuel Macron accuses EU countries of 'social and fiscal dumping'


Migrant workers in France (Getty)
Migrant workers in France (Getty)

In 2005, European leaders were stunned when France overwhelmingly rejected the proposal to ratify a new EU constitution.

Those who campaigned against ratification in the French referendum used the code words "Preserving national identity" to disparage east European countries. During the campaign, the low-paid Polish plumber who steals a job away from a well-paid Frenchman became the symbol of the opponents.

France and Poland have continued to have an uncomfortable relationship since then, and France's new president Emmanuel Macron has inflamed the relationship by accusing Poland and other countries of "social dumping." Speaking during a visit to Romania, Macron said:

"Some political or business circles seek to use the EU's funds while at the same time developing a system of social and fiscal dumping. [Failure to reform] will lead to the dismantling of the European Union. Part of Britain's Brexit vote was down to the poor functioning of the single market on posted worker rules, and the rules we have on social rights."

Speaking in Austria, Macron said

"The single European market and the free movement of workers is not meant to create a race to the bottom in terms of social regulations.

I think that Europe should protect [its citizens], and in that way, the European integration project should get a new meaning. Ultimately our citizens want to free themselves from the pressures of globalization.

A Europe that protects is also in the position to solve the problem of posted workers. The posted workers directive, as it currently works, is a betrayal of the European spirit ... This only fuels populism in our countries."

The reference to "posted workers" is to a law that allows a company in a low-paying EU country (Poland) to send a worker to a high-paying EU country (France) without having to meet local labor regulations, including union-negotiated salaries and benefits.

Poland's Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said on Thursday:

"We are not going to change our stance. We will defend our position to the very end, because it is a position that is in the interests of Polish workers."

France 24 and Reuters and Express (London)

Related: French reject European constitution (30-May-2005)

Britain sees a big fall in net migration since Brexit vote

It's good to remember every now and then that while the most inflammatory aspect of Britain's migration issue is Muslim migrants from Syria or Africa, the actual target of those who favored Brexit was the Christian migrants from Poland and other low-paying eastern European countries.

New figures from Britain's Office of National Statistics reveal that net migration (subtracting the number that leave from the number that arrive) has fallen sharply since the Brexit, down 81,000 to 246,000 in the 12 months ending in March.

There was a particularly sharp rise (17,000) of citizens of the so-called EU8 or A8 countries. These are countries that joined the EU during its enlargement in 2004, and include Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

However, the Brexit vote may not fully explain the fall in net migration. Since the Brexit referendum, the value of the pound sterling currency has fallen sharply. Last June, the pound bought almost 6 Polish zlotys. Today, it buys only 4.6 zlotys. It may be that east Europeans are leaving Britain because it no longer makes economic sense.

The food industry is expressing alarm over the outflow of EU workers. A survey of food industry businesses found that 31% were already losing EU workers, and 36% said they would become unviable if the trend continued. The survey was of businesses in the "farm-to-fork" supply chain, including the agricultural, food, drink and manufacturing sectors. BBC and BBC

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 25-Aug-17 World View -- France's Emmanuel Macron accuses EU countries of 'social and fiscal dumping' thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (25-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

24-Aug-17 World View -- Afghan and Eritrean migrants clash at site of 'Jungle' in Calais France

Authorities fear that a new 'Jungle' is forming in Calais France

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Afghan and Eritrean migrants clash at site of 'Jungle' in Calais France


Ten court-ordered toilets for migrants have been set up near Calais (AFP)
Ten court-ordered toilets for migrants have been set up near Calais (AFP)

As many as 200 migrants using sticks and iron bars as weapons were involved in mass brawls on Wednesday in France's port city of Calais. About 20 people were injured, though none seriously, and five people were arrested.

The fighting was apparently caused by a drunk migrant during the distribution of free food by a local charity, the Auberge des Migrants.

Last year, Calais was the home to a huge migrant camp called "The Jungle," housing about 7,000 migrants. French authorities shut the camp down in October of last year, forcing the migrants to disperse or to be housed in refugee centers in other parts of France. At those refugee centers, migrants are given a chance to apply for asylum, and are deported back to their home countries if asylum is not granted.

This is not the first brawl since the closure of The Jungle. In early July, a brawl between African migrants from Eritrea and Ethiopia left 16 injured.

In April, a refugee camp in Dunkirk in northern France was burnt to the ground. Many of the 1,600 migrants had been living in The Jungle, before that camp was closed. The original population of the Dunkirk camp was Iraqi and Kurdish migrants, but the new arrivals were Afghans who did not get along with the Iraqis and Kurds, leading to violence. Fighting between the different ethnic groups began in early evening and continued well into the night. During the fighting, multiple fires were set on purposing, burning the entire camp to the ground.

When The Jungle camp was demolished last year, many of the evicted migrants burnt their tents and shanties to the ground as a way of saying goodbye. Radio France Internationale and Sky News

Related Articles

Authorities fear that a new 'Jungle' is forming in Calais France

Migrants continue to arrive in Calais, and authorities fear that a new "Jungle" is emerging. French authorities estimate that ther are 400 migrants to be in the Calais area, although aid agencies put the number at closer to 700.

According to figures from France's Interior Ministry, migrants have made over 30,000 illegal attempts to reach Britain from Calais so far this year. There were 17,867 attempts to break into the fortified zone around the port and Channel Tunnel, and there were 12,349 attempts to stow away on UK-bound trucks. There are reports that two new migrant welcome centers will be opened near Calais.

As we reported several weeks ago, a court in France ordered Calais officials, within ten days, to provide drinking fountains, toilets and showers to migrants who are "exposed to inhuman and degrading conditions" in the area.

French authorities did in fact set up portable toilets and water taps. Ten portable toilets and a bank of five taps were installed outside a refugee center run by the charity Secours Catholique a few miles from Calais.

However, an official at the charity said that is not enough. "It's less than minimal. [The authorities'] interpretation (of the order) is worrying. We hope it's just a first step, which is clearly inadequate."

France's new government under Emmanuel Macron has taken a tough line on Calais. France's Interior Minister Gerard Collomb saying he does not want Calais to become a "running sore." Daily Mail (London) and Express (London) and AFP (16-Aug)

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 24-Aug-17 World View -- Afghan and Eritrean migrants clash at site of 'Jungle' in Calais France thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (24-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

23-Aug-17 World View -- Trump promises victory in Afghanistan by redefining 'victory'

An Afghanistan policy guided by generational theory

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Trump promises victory in Afghanistan by redefining 'victory'


Trump giving speech on Monday evening (AP)
Trump giving speech on Monday evening (AP)

Most Americans are in denial about the fact that the US and China are headed for a major world war, but the people in the Administration are well aware of this. So any Afghanistan policy is going to be formulated with the impending world war in mind, but without saying so. This fact at least partially explains the confusion surrounding the Afghanistan policy announced by President Donald Trump on Monday evening. As I've written in the past, the Afghanistan war is a problem with no solution. But the least bad solution is one which prepares for the war with China.

Trump said in his speech:

"But we must also acknowledge the reality I am here to talk about tonight: that nearly 16 years after September 11th attacks, after the extraordinary sacrifice of blood and treasure, the American people are weary of war without victory. Nowhere is this more evident than with the war in Afghanistan, the longest war in American history -- 17 years. ...

[O]ur nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives. The men and women who serve our nation in combat deserve a plan for victory. They deserve the tools they need, and the trust they have earned, to fight and to win."

So, Trump is proposing a plan for victory. He describes what "victory" means:

"Our troops will fight to win. We will fight to win. From now on, victory will have a clear definition: attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge."

He explains further:

"Ultimately, it is up to the people of Afghanistan to take ownership of their future, to govern their society, and to achieve an everlasting peace. We are a partner and a friend, but we will not dictate to the Afghan people how to live, or how to govern their own complex society. We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists."

Is victory possible, with this redefinition of "victory"?

Well, there will certainly be a lot of terrorists to kill. The terrorists al-Qaeda in Iraq were able to withdraw and go home. The Taliban cannot withdraw and go home, because they're already at home. Furthermore, the generation of young Pashtuns will get larger and larger, and they will gain more territory and conduct more terrorist acts in Kabul and elsewhere. So does that conform to Trump's definition of "victory"? I report, you decide.

I believe it's also true that Trump and the generals have a larger purpose in mind than just killing terrorists in Afghanistan, and I heard one analyst provide such a purpose.

There are several American military bases in Afghanistan, including two air bases in Bagram and Kandahar International Airport. These bases will be valuable in any future war with China. So remaining in Afghanistan allows us continued use of those bases, as the war with China and Pakistan approaches.

If that's the case, then the Administration had better brace itself for a lot of continued bad news, before those bases become useful.

As I've said many times before, the Afghanistan problem has no solution, and by that I mean not that no one has been clever enough to find a solution, but rather that no solution exists. One could argue that the plan Trump announced was a bad plan because there was no good outcome, but it's possible that it's still the best plan available, in that other plans have worse outcomes. White House and Military Bases

An Afghanistan policy guided by generational theory

I've always felt that the country would be much better off if foreign policy could be guided by Generational Dynamics analysis, rather than by ideology. Barack Obama's policies were purely (left-wing) ideologically driven and never made any sense at all, and led to one disaster after another. My hope was that Steve Bannon, who is an expert on Generational Dynamics, could guide the Trump administration to a foreign policy that would be analytically driven, and would be best for the country.

With Bannon now out of the White House, the question now arises whether Donald Trump's foreign policies will be purely (right-wing) ideologically driven and still make no sense at all. The announcement of the Afghanistan plan provides a first look.

First, it was clear that Trump based his plan on the advice of military leaders. In interviews last year, all three of Obama's former secretaries of defense confirmed that the Obama administration ignored military advice, and made military decisions based on ideology. Trump did not do that, but instead worked with the military to develop a plan. This is a good thing.

Second, it has been widely reported that the (right-wing) ideological driven policy advocated by Rand Paul and others was to withdraw completely all forces from Afghanistan. Trump himself has recommended this in the past. As I wrote two weeks ago in my analysis of US Afghanistan policy, complete withdrawal would have potentially disastrous results, giving the Taliban total victory, collapsing the government completely, and dealing a huge blow to India. In his speech, Trump pointed out these same issues, and repudiated his previous recommendation for a completely withdrawal of all forces. This is also a good thing.

Third, there had been rumors that Trump would announce an increase of 20,000 troops, with the intention of defeating the Taliban. As one conservative analyst put it, "Don't do what Obama did and micromanage the troops. Let them do their thing and win." That attitude is highly delusional, as I'll come back to below. At any rate, Trump did not do that. That is also a good thing.

Trump did not announce the number of additional troops that will be sent to Afghanistan, but sources have put the number at around 4,500, in addition to the 8,400 already there. But these troops will not be there for "nation-building," according to Trump. Their purpose will be for "attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge."

Related Articles

Pushing on to victory - as in WW II, Iraq 1991, Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2007

I have previous written many times, victory in the Afghan war is impossible. By that I meant victory in the sense of any of America's previous victories -- WW II, Iraq 1991, Afghanistan 2001, Iraq 2007. Instead, I pointed out that victory in Afghanistan now is impossible, largely because of the relationship between the radicalized ethnic Pashtuns (Taliban) in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

However, Trump in his speech did promise victory in Afghanistan. So let's look at those four examples of victory from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, and see why they're irrelevant to Afghanistan today:

None of these examples is in any way comparable to Afghanistan today. In particular, Afghanistan is completely different today than it was in 2001. The main thing that's changed in the 16 years since the 2001 Afghan war is that a whole new generation of Pashtuns have come of age. They are not war-weary like these parents. Furthermore, there are more of them every day. Even if, by some miracle, most of the existing Taliban fighters could be wiped out, they would be replaced quickly by other Pashtuns in the young generations. That would be true even if it weren't for Pakistan, but Pakistan makes it worse, because the ethnic Pashtun community stretches across borders into both countries.

For similar reasons, the 2007 Iraq war is not comparable. Al-Qaeda in Iraq was a foreign force that could be ejected, but the Taliban and the Pashtuns are basically the same people, differing only in extent of radicalization.

Related Articles

Rex Tillerson denies that 'battlefield victory' is possible

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a significant clarification on Tuesday, saying that there is no way to win a "battlefield victory." It's impossible to tell whether Tillerson wanted to directly contradict Trump's statement that he was proposing "a plan for victory," or if he used the phrase "battlefield victory" to distinguish his use of the word "victory" from Trump's use.

Since a victory in Afghanistan is impossible, but it's important to maintain bases in Afghanistan for the coming war with China, Tillerson said:

"This entire effort is intended to put pressure on the Taliban to have them understand: you will not win a battlefield victory. We may not win one, but neither will you. At some point, we have to come to the negotiating table and find a way to bring this to an end.

There’s been an erosion in trust because we have witnessed terrorist organizations being given safe haven inside of Pakistan to plan and carry out attacks against U.S. servicemen, U.S. officials, disrupting peace efforts inside of Afghanistan. Pakistan in particular can play an important role here certainly in delivering the Taliban to the negotiating table."

The last part of this statement is completely delusional (assuming that anyone in the Administration actually believes it), though it's probably necessary to satisfy critics. There is zero probability that the Taliban would agree to a negotiated peace, or that Pakistan will help. If they agree to negotiate at all, it would be only for the same reason that North Korea and Iran negotiate -- to get financial aid or some other benefit in exchange for promising some concession, and then renege on the promise once the benefit is received.

America redefines its relationship with Pakistan and India

For years, American foreign policy generally gave the perception of not choosing sides between Pakistan and India, but Trump's Afghanistan speech made a significant change by giving the perception that the US is choosing India. This makes sense because it's inevitable. As I've been saying for years, the approaching Clash of Civilizations world war will pit the United States + India + Russia + Iran versus China + Pakistan + the Sunni Muslim countries.

Trump's discussion of India and Pakistan in his speech was highly significant. He said:

"For its part, Pakistan often gives safe haven to agents of chaos, violence, and terror. The threat is worse because Pakistan and India are two nuclear-armed states whose tense relations threaten to spiral. ...

The next pillar of our new strategy is to change the approach and how to deal with Pakistan. We can no longer be silent about Pakistan’s safe havens for terrorist organizations, the Taliban, and other groups that pose a threat to the region and beyond. Pakistan has much to gain from partnering with our effort in Afghanistan. It has much to lose by continuing to harbor criminals and terrorists.

In the past, Pakistan has been a valued partner. Our militaries have worked together against common enemies. The Pakistani people have suffered greatly from terrorism and extremism. We recognize those contributions and those sacrifices.

But Pakistan has also sheltered the same organizations that try every single day to kill our people. We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting. But that will have to change, and that will change immediately. No partnership can survive a country’s harboring of militants and terrorists who target U.S. service members and officials. It is time for Pakistan to demonstrate its commitment to civilization, order, and to peace.

Another critical part of the South Asia strategy for America is to further develop its strategic partnership with India -- the world’s largest democracy and a key security and economic partner of the United States. We appreciate India’s important contributions to stability in Afghanistan, but India makes billions of dollars in trade with the United States, and we want them to help us more with Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development."

In other words, Trump is threatening to punish Pakistan for providing safe havens to terrorists attacking American forces in Afghanistan, with two kinds of punishment:

The heightened presence of India will be fairly alarming to Pakistan officials. It's pretty obvious that Pakistan can't control militants causing terrorist acts in Kabul, since they can't control militants causing terrorist acts in Karachi.

But even if the Pakistanis could control the Afghan militants, it's highly doubtful that they would want to, according to an editorial written in Pakistan media in June:

"Missing in the policy matrix is the source of tension between Afghanistan and Pakistan that makes prospects for Afghan peace bleaker. Cross-border insurgent sanctuaries are a symptom and not the cause of the growing divide. Relations between the two countries have never been cordial since 2001, but they have hit a new low with the escalation in terrorist attacks that Kabul blames on the Haqqani network allegedly operating from Pakistan’s border areas. There has been a further breakdown of relations between the two countries with the recent measures taken by Pakistan to tighten border management.

But the main reason for the increasing trust deficit is Pakistan’s concern at the growing Indian presence in Afghanistan. That is also the reason for Pakistan using the Afghan Taliban as a hedge against this development. The heightening tension between India and Pakistan has further intensified Islamabad’s apprehensions. Despite its own problem of violent militancy, Islamabad is not willing to take tougher action against the Afghan insurgent sanctuaries.

It is apparent, that no matter how intense the US administration’s pressure, it cannot force Pakistan to change its position."

Well, this has turned out to be a fairly lengthy analytical article, but the conclusions are pretty clear:

In addition, if the US cuts aid to Pakistan, which is inevitable anyway, then China will undoubtedly move to fill the gap, and has already said they will do so. Dawn (Pakistan, 21-June) and Politico and Dawn (Pakistan)

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 23-Aug-17 World View -- Trump promises victory in Afghanistan by redefining 'victory' thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (23-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

22-Aug-17 World View -- Hong Kong cracks down on illegal immigrants after death of foreign worker from Philippines

Demand for Filipina maids creates thriving black market in China

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Philippines maid Lorain Asuncion employed in Hong Kong killed in mainland city


Lorain Asuncion, Filipina maid died after falling from seventh floor of Shenzhen high-rise
Lorain Asuncion, Filipina maid died after falling from seventh floor of Shenzhen high-rise

Lorain Asuncion, a 28-year-old Filipina domestic helper, died after falling from the seventh floor of a high-rise in the city of Shenzhen in China's mainland on July 24. Chinese officials classified the death as suicide related to human trafficking," but her sister has said, "We were told that she jumped. But we think the death of my sister is very suspicious,” the deceased’s kin told the news outlet. “We want to know what happened and have justice."

Asuncion had come to Hong Kong to be employed as a domestic worker, but her employers forced her to work for a family on the mainland, which is illegal. Although Hong Kong residents are permitted to employ foreign maids, mainland residents are prohibited from doing so.

Asuncion was contracted to work in Hong Kong only, but her employer forced her to travel repeatedly in the last year. Her sister said that when she went to Shenzhen on July 22, she was surprised that the only person living in the home was the father of the Hong Kong employer's wife. Two days later, on July 24, she fell to her death from the building in which the father lived.

Asuncion's Hong Kong employers were arrested last week on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud. Inquirer (Manila, 15-Aug) and Shanghaiist (14-Aug) and Kwentong OFW (Overseas Filipino Workers)

Demand for Filipina maids creates thriving black market in China

It's illegal for China's mainland residents to employ foreign maids, and yet it's estimated that there are nearly 200,000 undocumented Filipina maids in China's thriving black market. Typically, these women earn around $2,000 per month, but because they're working illegally, they're at the mercy of their employer, and can't return home.

Filipina maids are said to be highly prized in China for several reasons:

On the other hand, Chinese maids demand higher salaries, even though they're less well-educated than the Filipinas, and less professional. The news sources don't mention this, but presumably the shortage of women in China from decades of the one-child policy and abortions of female babies has caused a shortage of Chinese maids, and raised salaries because of the law of supply and demand.

China is considering a plan to allow Filipina maids to work legally in five Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Xiamen. Shanghaiist (31-Jul) and Global Times (19-Oct-2016) and NextShark

Hong Kong cracks down hard on illegal foreign workers


Cartoon showing Filipina maid in China (Global Times)
Cartoon showing Filipina maid in China (Global Times)

The death of Filipina maid Lorain Asuncion has led to a harsh crackdown on Filipinos and other illegal foreign workers in Hong Kong. The Asuncion case was unusual in that it was the employers who are being prosecuted. Advocates for foreign works complain that the authorities accuse the workers of being criminals in most cases, rather than the employers. That might have happened to Asuncion, except that she was killed instead.

Last week, Hong Kong's immigration police raided two restaurants, one Chinese and one Japanese, and arrested two female and two male Vietnamese illegal workers, aged 27-45. According to the Hong Kong government's web site:

"When intercepted, they were found working in the kitchens of the restaurants. Upon identity checking, they produced for inspection recognizance forms issued by the ImmD, which prohibit them from taking employment. ...

The four illegal workers were charged at Shatin Magistrates' Courts yesterday with taking employment after landing in Hong Kong unlawfully and remaining in Hong Kong without the authority of the Director of Immigration or while being a person in respect of whom a removal order or deportation order was in force. The four Vietnamese illegal workers pleaded guilty and were sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment. Furthermore, the two male illegal workers were also charged with using or being in possession of forged Hong Kong identity cards while a female illegal worker was also charged with using a false instrument. They were sentenced to imprisonment of 15 months for each charge respectively. All sentences are to run concurrently. ...

[Illegal foreign workers] are liable upon conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and up to three years' imprisonment. The Court of Appeal has issued a guideline ruling that a sentence of 15 months' imprisonment should be applied in such cases. ...

The spokesman reiterated that it is a serious offence to employ people who are not lawfully employable. The maximum penalty is imprisonment for three years and a fine of $350,000. The High Court has laid down sentencing guidelines that the employer of an illegal worker should be given an immediate custodial sentence."

Those four foreign workers were not the only ones arrested. In just two days last week, the immigration police in Hong Kong arrested a totally of 39 people on suspicion they were working without permits. South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and Hong Kong government and Asia Times

Related Articles

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 22-Aug-17 World View -- Hong Kong cracks down on illegal immigrants after death of foreign worker from Philippines thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (22-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

21-Aug-17 World View -- Turkey warns of sectarian war as Iraq ejects ISIS from Tal Afar

President Trump to announce US strategy in Afghanistan

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Done with Mosul, Iraqi forces begin operation to eject ISIS from Tal Afar


Iraqi girls play in a Mosul schoolyard (Reuters)
Iraqi girls play in a Mosul schoolyard (Reuters)

Iraqi forces launched an offensive Sunday to recapture the city of Tal Afar, which fell in 2014 to the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh). The offensive comes a month after the forces declared that the city of Mosul had been recaptured from ISIS, leaving Tal Afar as the only remaining large stronghold for ISIS in Iraq.

The recapture of Mosul took nine months of extremely brutal house to house fighting, as the streets were too narrow for tanks and other vehicles. Furthermore, the ISIS forces used women and children as hostages in houses where explosives were stored and ISIS militias fought off the Iraq forces.

The Iraqi military is claiming that the recapture of Tal Afar will be much easier, because it's smaller and because the streets are much wider in most parts of the city. The Iraqi air force dropped leaflets across the city say, "The battle is imminent and the victory is coming, God willing."

Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi announced Sunday in a televised speech to the nation that ISIS militias should surrender or die:

"I am saying to Daesh [ISIS] that there is no choice other than to surrender or die. [To the Iraqi troops] the whole world is with you."

However, ISIS fighters have dug trenches around the city and can use light machine guns, improvised explosive devices, and car bombs to stop the Iraqi forces, using a strategy similar to what they had adopted in Mosul.

Some 40,000 Iraqi fighters are participating in the offensive. As in Mosul, a US-led coalition will provide support to the Iraqi forces. According to a statement issued by Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend on Sunday:

"The coalition will continue to help the government and security forces to liberate the Iraqi people and defeat ISIS through five means: by providing equipment, training, intelligence, precision fires and combat advice. ...

In accordance with the laws of armed conflict and in support of its partnered forces who are risking their lives every day in the fight against an evil enemy, the coalition will continue to strike valid military targets, after considering the principles of military necessity, humanity, proportionality and distinction."

Before 2014, Tal Afar had a population of around 200,000. However, most of the people have been fleeing the city, and it's estimated that only 10,000 to 40,000 civilians remain. It's believed that there are about one or two thousand ISIS militants and their families still in the city. Iraqi News and International Business Times and Dept. of Defense

Turkey warns of sectarian war following battle of Tal Afar

The population of Tal Afar is mostly ethnic Turkmens, which are ethnically related to Turks, and which are part of Turkey's identity group. An estimated 60% of the Turkmens are Sunni, while the remaining Turkmens are Shia.

So Turkey is expressing a great deal of concern that most of the fighters in the Iraqi forces are from the Iran-backed Shiite paramilitary group Hashd al-Shaabi militias. Turkey is concerned that once Hashd al-Shaabi takes control of Tal Afar, there will be ethnic cleansing of the Turkmens.

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is on record as saying that Turkey would intervene if this kind of ethnic cleansing takes place. In October 2016 he said:

"I conveyed this to all authorities loud and clear. Tal Afar is entirely a Turkmen town. Half the town is Shiite and the other half Sunni. We are looking at them holistically as Muslims rather than Shiite or Sunni. However, if Hashd al-Shaabi terrorizes [Tal Afar], our response would certainly be different."

Iran's last generational crisis war was the Iran/Iraq war of the 1980s. This was not a war of Sunnis versus Shias. It was an ethnic war of Arabs and Turkmens versus Persians, with Sunnis and Shia involved on both sides. It was an extremely bloody war, with something like 1.5 million people killed, climaxing when Saddam Hussein began using chemical weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

So Turkey's concerns are that now you have Iran-backed militias that will take control of Tal Afar, with its population of Turkmens, and conduct revenge attacks for the Iran/Iraq war -- which is possible and may even be likely.

Furthermore, Iran is known to have a strategy of taking control of a swath from Baghdad to Damascus, and Iranian control of Tal Afar would be a big advance on that strategy. Anadolu (Ankara) and Sabah (Ankara) and Al Monitor (1-Dec-2016) and NY Times

Related Articles:

  • Concerns grow over chaos in Iraq after ISIS is defeated in Mosul (22-Mar-2017)
  • Recapturing Mosul from ISIS leaves the future of Iraq in question (09-Jul-2017)
  • Turkey and Iraq in dispute over Turkish participation in Mosul operation (18-Oct-2016)
  • Iraq sending Shia militias to Mosul, directly violating promise to Turkey (28-Nov-2016)
  • President Trump to announce US strategy in Afghanistan

    President Donald Trump is planning a nationwide televised address from the Oval Office on Monday evening, with the purpose of explaining decisions that he's made regarding the US strategy in Afghanistan.

    A couple of weeks ago, I discussed the whole US strategy in Afghanistan at length, including the options recommended by Steve Bannon. Now that Bannon has left the White House, it will be interesting to see whether Bannon's recommendations are followed on Monday evening.

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 21-Aug-17 World View -- Turkey warns of sectarian war as Iraq ejects ISIS from Tal Afar thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (21-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    20-Aug-17 World View -- Chinese vessels massing near Philippines island in South China Sea

    Official warns may be necessary to invoke US-Philippines mutual defense treaty

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Chinese vessels massing near Philippines island in South China Sea


    Philippines Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio says that the government must confront China now.  Carpio helped the Philippines win the Hague Tribunal ruling that declared illegal China's activities in the South China Sea
    Philippines Supreme Court justice Antonio Carpio says that the government must confront China now. Carpio helped the Philippines win the Hague Tribunal ruling that declared illegal China's activities in the South China Sea

    A statement by Philippines Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio warns that government must act in response to an "invasion of Philippine territory by China" in the South China Sea.

    The warning was triggered when Rep. Gary Alejano said that the military reported early last week that Chinese vessels appeared to be massing north of Pag-asa Island (Thitu Island), a Philippine territory. The Philippines maintains a small population of about 100 people on Pag-asa Island in order to guarantee that it maintains its sovereignty.

    Images released by the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI) confirm the military's information, showing nine Chinese fishing vessels and two Chinese Navy ships near Pag-asa island. According to AMTI:

    "The number and rapid coordination of naval and coast guard ships suggests that this was purposely organized in advance and was not just an ad hoc response by government vessels that happened to be in the area."

    AMTI has repeatedly used satellite images to prove that China is continuing land reclamation activities, building artificial islands, and creating large military bases. These activities are all illegal under international law, since July 2016, when a Tribunal at the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague eviscerated all of China's claims to the South China Sea. Since then, China has continued its criminal activities, and has continued to annex regions of the South China Sea belonging to other countries, as Hitler did in 1939.

    In October of last year, Philippines president Rodrigo R. Duterte traveled to Beijing and announced:

    "Your honors, in this venue, I announce my separation from the United States. Both in military... not maybe social, but economics also, America has lost. I will be dependent on you. ...

    I’ve realigned myself in your ideological flow and maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world — China, Philippines and Russia.

    Americans are loud, sometimes rowdy. Their larynx is not adjusted to civility."

    And that statement was made at a time when Barack Obama was president, not Donald Trump.

    At the time of that statement, I said this new relationship wouldn't last long because the Philippine people like and trust the United States, while the dislike and distrust China. Duterte's statement has been highly controversial in the Philippines, and Duterte has been forced to backtrack in some ways.

    Ever since then, it's been official government policy that China and the Philippines are friends. That's way Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano ridiculed the concerns about Chinese vessels massing near Pag-asa Island, saying "China is not the enemy of the Philippines." ABS-CDN (Manila) and Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (AMTI)

    Related Articles

    Official warns may be necessary to invoke US-Philippines mutual defense treaty

    Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio raised the stakes on Saturday by describing China's actions as a "invasion of Philippine territory." He said:

    "This means China is now virtually occupying a new geologic feature within the territorial sea of Pag-asa, a Philippine territory, in clear violation of China's supposed vow not to occupy any more islands in the Spratlys. This is worse than what happened in Scarborough Shoal. Sandy Cay is a newly-created island and could not have been owned by China even under its discredited historic nine-dashed line claim. Sandy Cay emerged within the territorial sea of a Philippine territory. If Sandy Cay becomes Chinese territory, it will reduce by a third or more Pagasa's territorial sea. It will also prevent the Philippines from extending the territorial sea of Pagasa to include Subi Reef. By any yardstick, this is seizure of Philippine territory. ...

    It is the constitutional duty of President Duterte, and DFA Secretary Cayetano, to defend and protect Philippine territory. Both have vowed to the Filipino people that they will not concede a single inch of Philippine territory to China. ...

    If both are courageous, they should send a Philippine navy ship to guard Sandy Cay, and if the Chinese navy ships attack the Philippine navy vessel, they should invoke the Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty."

    Carpio was part of the team that won the Hague Tribunal ruling last year that declared illegal China's activities in the South China Sea.

    According to Philippine media, there are now known discussions at the US Pentagon about putting the contested Scarborough Shoal under the 1951 Philippine-US Mutual Defense Treaty, which requires each party to defend the other in the case of an external attack on its territory. Rapplier (Manila) and Asia Times and Inquirer (Manila)

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 20-Aug-17 World View -- Chinese vessels massing near Philippines island in South China Sea thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (20-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    19-Aug-17 World View -- Germany accuses Turkey's Erdogan of jailing Germans as hostages

    Erdogan tells Turks living in Germany not to vote for Angela Merkel

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Erdogan tells Turks living in Germany not to vote for Angela Merkel


    Recep Tayyip Erdogan
    Recep Tayyip Erdogan

    The rapidly deteriorating relations between Germany and Turkey took another bizarre twist on Friday when Turkey's president called on Turks living in Germany not to vote for the Christian Democrat Party (CDU) the party headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel, or for any party that supports Merkel. Speaking after Friday prayers in Istanbul, Erdogan said:

    "I call on fellow Turks in Germany not to vote for the CDU, the SPD or the Greens, which are all hostile to Turkey. Support those who are not enemies of Turkey. ...

    I think Turkish voters should teach a necessary lesson at the ballot box to those political parties who are so aggressive and disrespectful toward Turkey."

    Merkel will be running for a fourth term in the upcoming elections on September 24. Merkel rejected Erdogan's "meddling," and said:

    "German voters, including the ones with Turkish background, have a right to vote freely. We will not stand for any kind of interference."

    Yeni Safak (Ankara) and Deutsche Welle and BBC

    Germany accuses Erdogan of extortion by 'hostage diplomacy'

    Erdogan's speech was probably prompted by a statement on Thursday by Germany's Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel accusing Turkey of practicing "hostage diplomacy" by arresting foreign nationals on bogus charges and then holding them in prison while demanding the extradition of someone he claims was part of last year's July 2016 aborted coup.

    In February, Turkey arrested Deniz Yücel, a Turkish-German political correspondent working for Die Welt, accused of reporting on the activities of the Kurds in Turkey. Erdogan has accused Yücel and other foreign nationals of terrorist activities. In July, Erdogan ordered the arrest of Peter Steudtner, a German human rights activist in Turkey.

    The arrest of Steudtner caused Sigmar Gabriel told a press conference that it was no longer safe for German people and businesses to travel to Turkey.

    On Thursday Gabriel was asked by Yücel had not been released. His response:

    "Because Turkey, in my opinion, holds him as a hostage."

    In fact, Erdogan is holding a number of German and American nationals on bogus charges. In particular, North Carolina Christian pastor Andrew Brunson was imprisoned on October 7 of last year, on charges of "membership in an armed terrorist organization," with no evidence whatsoever. When President Trump met with Erdogan in May, Trump asked that the Turkish government “expeditiously” return Brunson to the United States.

    What Erdogan wants to do is force the US to extradite Felhullah Gülen back to Turkey. Gülen is a 76-year-old political enemy of Erdogan, living since 1999 in self-imposed exile in Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania, after splitting with Erdogan. Erdogan claims that Gülen orchestrated the coup from his easy chair at his resort in the Pocono Mountains.

    Erdogan arrested or fired over 100,000 people since the coup on vague charges. Anyone could be arrested for any reason. If someone's child went to one of Gülen's schools, then the child's parents could be arrested.

    As I've written in the past, Erdogan's claims make no sense. For one thing, Erdogan started shutting down media and arresting reporters months before the attempted coup even occurred. After the coup attempt, Erdogan moved so quickly to arrest tens of thousands of people that it was pretty clear that the arrests had been planned all along, just waiting an excuse to execute them.

    The reason that Erdogan has been arresting American, German and other nationals and holding them hostage is to use them as bargaining chips to force the extradition of Turks in other countries. Erdogan wants to force the US to extradite Gülen, even though Erdogan has been unable to provide evidence to satisfy a US court that Gülen had anything to do with the coup attempt.

    From Germany, Erdogan wants to extradite a prominent cleric, Adil Öksüz. Erdogan accuses Öksüz of being a middleman between Gülen and coup plotters. Erdogan claims that he's provided Germany with 1,500 documents, but apparently Germany's courts are also not satisfied that there's any actual evidence that Öksüz was actually doing what Erdogan accuses him of.

    Recently Erdogan explained his hostage diplomacy by saying that it's the policy of the "new Turkey," since the "old Turkey" no longer exists:

    "Here in Pennsylvania, there is a known charlatan [Gülen]. His back team [Öksüz], they are also in Germany, mainly in Germany, and they are all around. You feed these terrorists, then you get up and say 'Give us Filjan.' Do not look up, if you have a reputation, I have a judgment. First you will give it, then you will receive it from us. You are not here. There is no old Turkey anymore, this Turkey is new Turkey. You should see it as a flag race."

    There's a little lost in translation, but apparently "You feed these terrorists, then you get up and say 'Give us Filjan'" is an accusation that the US and Germany feed the terrorists, and then demand that prisoners like Brunson, Yücel, and Steudtner be freed.

    Erdogan has promised that after the September 24 elections in Germany, relations between Turkey and Germany will improve. Erdogan is assuming that Merkel will lose in the election, but even if she does, it seems unlikely that the new Chancellor will give into hostage extortion from Turkey, and so relations are expected to continue worsening.

    As I've been writing for years, Generational Dynamics predicts that the coming Clash of Civilizations world war will pit the US, India, Russia, Iran and the West against China, Pakistan, and the Sunni Muslim countries, including Turkey. Worsening relations between Turkey and Germany are following that trend line. BuzzFeed and Anadolu (Ankara) (Trans) and Asheboro NC Courier-Tribune and Arab News

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 19-Aug-17 World View -- Germany accuses Turkey's Erdogan of jailing Germans as hostages thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (19-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    18-Aug-17 World View -- Barcelona attackers apparently had multiple coordinated attacks planned

    White House officials appear to differ on North Korea military option

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Barcelona attackers apparently had multiple coordinated attacks planned


    People walk down a main street on Thursday in Barcelona, where a van mounted the sidewalk and ploughed into people. (AP)
    People walk down a main street on Thursday in Barcelona, where a van mounted the sidewalk and ploughed into people. (AP)

    Thirteen people died and over 100 were injured in a terror attack on Thursday at 5:30 pm, when a van ploughed into crowds strolling down the street in Barcelona's famous Las Ramblas area, a top tourist destination.

    The driver fled on foot after the attack and has not been found. Two passengers in the van have been arrested, one who was born in Morocco, and one who was born in the Spanish enclave of Melilla in north Africa.

    Authorities believe that the Barcelona attack is linked to an explosion hours earlier in Alcanar, about 125 miles south of Barcelona. The house was apparently a bomb-making factory, filled with bottles of propane and butane. The explosion completely destroyed the house, killing one person and leaving seven more with injuries.

    Another terror attack, in Cambrils, a coastal town south of Barcelona, was thwarted by police early Friday, when four alleged attackers were killed and another was seriously injured. The fact that all in all there were three attack sites indicates that this was bigger than a lone wolf attack, and was considerably more complex.

    Motor vehicles are being increasingly used as weapons of terror, because they're easy to use, require no training, and are impossible to detect in advance by authorities. The most recent motor vehicle attack occurred on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, by neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr., who drove his car into a crowd of protesters, killing one an injuring 19 others.

    In the last three years, deadly car-ramming jihadist attacks have occurred in several European cities, including Paris, London, Stockholm, Berlin, Nice France, and Nantes France. It's feared that the number of these attacks is going to increase. AP and BBC and CBS News

    Related: Nice France terror attack provokes desperate search for solutions (16-Jul-2016)

    ISIS takes credit for the Barcelona attack

    The so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) immediately took credit for the Barcelona attack through its Amaq public relations agency:

    "The perpetrators of the Barcelona attack are soldiers of the Islamic State and carried out the operation in response to calls for targeting coalition states."

    ISIS has a policy of simply taking credit for any terrorist act, even when it had nothing to do with it, and there's no reason to believe that ISIS did anything to support or direct the Barcelona attack.

    However, ISIS has been using its online sites to encourage lone wolf attacks by individuals against the own home countries, especially the "coalition states" mentioned in the Amaq message. These are countries in the US-led coalition attacking ISIS in Syria.

    ISIS is under attack in both Iraq and Syria, and has been almost completely expelled from Mosul in Iraq, and will soon be expelled from Raqqa in Syria. As they've been losing ground, they've changed their online strategy. They used to post videos encouraging young jihadists from around the world to come to Syria and join ISIS, but that message is no longer viable. Now their online videos are almost exclusively targeted at encouraging young jihadists to attack their home countries, with a car attack advocated as one of the best terror techniques, because it's easy to do, requires no training, and is almost impossible to detect in advance by authorities. Business Insider and BBC and AP

    Related: Iraqi forces are just 'tens of meters' away from retaking Mosul from ISIS (09-Jul-2017)

    Related: Final push to expel ISIS from Raqqa, Syria, to begin in June (16-May-2017)

    White House officials appear to differ on North Korea military option

    From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, it's been clear for some time that North Korea is not going to stop nuclear and ballistic missile development until they have a nuclear ballistic missile capable of reaching the United States mainland. North Korea's child dictator Kim Jong-un has repeatedly ignored sanctions and aid proposals by the West, hoping to stop the development. But Kim is thought to believe that once that point has been reached, his regime will be safe from attack, since no one would want to risk nuclear retaliation.

    Many people have suggested that the US should launch a cruise missile attack on North Korea to take out their nuclear and ballistic missile development sites. Once again, from the point of view of Generational Dynamics in this generational Crisis era, it's clear that Kim is determined to forestall this option, and has done so with hundreds of artillery batteries on the boundary with South Korea, within targeting range of the South Korean capital city Seoul.

    Full disclosure: As I've described in the past, I've worked with Steve Bannon off and on for several years in the past, both on his movie "Generation Zero" and when I was cross-posting articles on the Breitbart National Security site, and I know personally that he is an expert on military history and world history, and also has an expert understanding of Generational Dynamics and generational theory.

    So it's significant that Bannon appears to agree with the Generational Dynamics analysis of the situation. In an interview with American Prospect magazine, Bannon said:

    "There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us."

    In a recent analysis on White House policy in Korea, I quoted South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, who said that war with North Korea is "inevitable," and:

    "If there’s going to be a war to stop him [Kim], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And he [Trump] has told me that to my face."

    However, both Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that the U.S. still has the option of using military force. According to Mattis:

    "I can just assure that in close collaboration with our allies there are strong military consequences if [North Korea] initiates hostilities."

    And Tillerson said:

    "Obviously, any diplomatic effort in any situation where you have this level of threat that we're confronted with, a threat of proportions that none of us like to contemplate, has to be backed by a strong military consequence if North Korea chooses wrongly."

    The statements by Mattis and Tillerson are presented by the media as contradicting Bannon's position, but that's clearly not true. Mattis and Tillerson are saying that if North Korea initiates hostilities, then they will get a strong military response. Bannon is saying that if North Korea does NOT initiate hostilities, but instead continues development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, then it's inevitable that they will develop a nuclear ballistic missile, and then we will be more or less at their mercy. Those statements are not contradictory.

    And Graham's is not contradictory either. It says that, one way or another, war with North Korea is "inevitable," and that an effort will be made to confine the war to the Korean peninsula. That's a worthwhile objective, but it's totally delusional to believe that it could succeed in a generational Crisis era. American Prospect and Washington Examiner

    Related: Rex Tillerson warns China is risking 'open conflict' with the United States (03-Aug-2017)

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 18-Aug-17 World View -- Barcelona attackers apparently had multiple coordinated attacks planned thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (18-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    17-Aug-17 World View -- China opens a new front in its border war with India

    North Korea apparently backs down from the threat to attack Guam

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    China opens a new front in its border war with India


    Pangong Lake is in the Himalayas over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) high on the Tibetan plateau. (AP)
    Pangong Lake is in the Himalayas over 4,000 meters (13,000 feet) high on the Tibetan plateau. (AP)

    With the border confrontation between China's and India's armies at Bhutan's Doklam Plateau still simmering, China has apparently opened a new front in another part of their 3,500 km (2,175 mile) border.

    While Doklam Plateau is far to the east, Lake Pangong is on the western part of the China-India border, actually forming part of the border between China-occupied Tibet and the India-government portion of Kashmir.

    According to Indian sources, Chinese soldiers on Tuesday tried to enter Indian territory at two different places. India troops blocked the Chinese troops by forming a human chain of Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel. This apparently is standard fare from time to time between the two border armies.

    What was different this time was that the Chinese soldiers began throwing stones at the Indians, for which the latter retaliated. Both sides sustained minor injuries. According to an Indian army officer:

    "Chinese troops tried to enter Indian terrain on Tuesday (August 15) when our soldiers were celebrating Independence Day.

    The incident occurred along the banks of Pangong Lake, a popular tourist attraction on the Indian side of the border in Ladakh.

    [After two hours,] the situation was brought under control after a drill which saw both sides holding up banners proclaiming their rights over the disputed area before stepping back to their respective positions."

    Apparently this banner drill is the customary way for Indian and Chinese troops to step back from a confrontation. The border standoff has been going on for yet, but so far, no bullets have been fired for decades.

    However, the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC - as the India-China border is called) has been deteriorating since April, and has been escalating since the Doklam standoff began in June. China's president Xi Jinping was apparently caught by surprise when Indian troops came to Bhutan's defense at the Doklam Plateau, and now has to decide whether to start a border war or to stand down. Either approach could be a major humiliation for him at the Communist People's Congress in November.

    What was China's side of the story? By the end of the day on Wednesday, China denied knowing anything about the confrontation. Greater Kashmir and The Hindu and India West and The Quint

    Survey of Bhutan's people shows high anxiety over border confrontation

    Bhutan, caught between the two giants India and China in the standoff over Bhutan's Doklam Plateau, is the perfect potential example of the old saying, "When the elephants fight, the grass gets stomped." A recent analysis of the social media in Bhutan shows that most Bhutanese would favor a better diplomatic relationship with China. However, Bhutanese are aware that China's army invaded Tibet and simply annexed it, and most Bhutanese worry that China would do the same to Bhutan -- invade Bhutan and annex Doklam Plateau or all of Bhutan. The Diplomat

    Related: China and India prepare for border war at Doklam Plateau (12-Aug-2017)

    North Korea apparently backs down from the threat to attack Guam


    Kim Jong-un inspects the army's proposed plans for launching missiles towards Guam on Monday (KCNA)
    Kim Jong-un inspects the army's proposed plans for launching missiles towards Guam on Monday (KCNA)

    North Korea has apparently backed down from the threat to launch ballistic missiles at Guam, which contains US military bases. As he had previously promised, North Korea's child dictator Kim Jong-un waited for the presentation from the Korea People's Army (KPA), and received a briefing on Monday. After hearing the presentation, he announced that he would "give the Americans a little more time."

    There are two theories about why he backed down. One is that he was responding to President Donald Trump's threat to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea, and later adding that the military options are "locked and loaded." The second theory is that China forced North Korea to back down. However, no one doubts that Kim could change his mind again at any time. 38 North and North Korea Leadership Watch

    Related: Japan will shoot down N. Korean missiles via 'collective self-defense' (13-Aug-2017)

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 17-Aug-17 World View -- China opens a new front in its border war with India thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (17-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    16-Aug-17 World View -- France promotes 'G5 Sahel' peacekeeping force in west Africa after jihadist attacks

    Jihadists attack multiple targets in Mali and Burkina Faso

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Jihadists attack multiple targets in Mali and Burkina Faso


    Djenna Mosque in Timbuktu, Mali, built around 1300
    Djenna Mosque in Timbuktu, Mali, built around 1300

    On Sunday night, gunmen opened fire on the Aziz Istanbul café in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso, killing 20 people and wounding several others. Last year, in January 2016, jihadists with AK-47s attacked a café called Cappuccino and a hotel on the same street as the Aziz Istanbul Café.

    On Monday in Mali, gunmen attacked two camps of the UN peacekeeping force in Mali, one in the northern city of Timbuktu and the other in the central city of Douentza.

    Gunmen stormed into the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission (MINUSMA) in Mali headquarters in Timbuktu on Monday and opened fire, killing seven. In a separate incident Monday, armed assailants attacked a U.N. Compound in the city of Douentza and opened fire on U.N. peacekeepers and Malian soldiers, killing one peacekeeper. In both attacks, the gunmen were shot dead.

    The United Nations Security Council responded in its most forceful manner by condemning in the strongest terms “the barbaric and cowardly terrorist attack carried out in Ouagadougou,” and reaffirmed that “terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security."

    After the attacks on Monday, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, head of MINUSMA, said, "I do not have enough words to condemn this cowardly and despicable act." Quartz and UPI and Med Africa Times and AFP

    France calls for international peacekeeping in G5 Sahel force

    France's military has been conducting anti-terrorism operations in northern Africa since 2013, when France intervened to prevent Mali's collapse from an assault from ethnic Tuaregs and al-Qaeda linked jihadists. In 2014, France launched Operation Barkhane to wipe out armed terrorist groups in the Sahel, a term that refers to the strip of Africa just below the Sahara desert, separating the Arab north from Black Africa to the south.

    France has 4,000 peacekeeping troops in Operation Barkhane in five countries: Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad. However, the cost of maintaining this peacekeeping force is high, and so France's new president Emmanuel Macron would like to turn Operation Barkhane into an international peacekeeping force, sponsored by the United Nations.

    On June 21, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution approving the "G5 Sahel Joint Force," which would consist of 5,000 soldiers and police. The Trump administration had threatened to veto the resolution, because most of the cost would be borne by the United States, the leading financial contributor to UN peacekeeping operations. So the resolution was passed after a compromise between the US and France that dropped a provision that invoked chapter 7 of the UN charter, which authorizes the use of force and UN funding. Instead, the resolution was written so that the €423 first year budget would be funded by pledges from UN countries.

    There have been pledges by France and the European Union, but not nearly enough. However, the multiple terror attacks Burkina Faso and Mali in the last few days has resulted in renewed efforts to get funding. A donor conference will be held in Berlin in September, and a planning conference in Brussels in December. United Nations and Foreign Policy (13-June) and RFI (22-June) and Eurasia Review (1-July) and Le Monde

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 16-Aug-17 World View -- France promotes 'G5 Sahel' peacekeeping force in west Africa after jihadist attacks thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (16-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    15-Aug-17 World View -- Pakistan celebrates its 70th birthday, wondering what Pakistan is

    Generational history of the 1947 Partition War that created Pakistan and India

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Pakistan celebrates its 70th birthday, wondering what Pakistan is


    A government building in Lahore is illuminated in the colors of Pakistan's national flag in celebration of independence (Reuters)
    A government building in Lahore is illuminated in the colors of Pakistan's national flag in celebration of independence (Reuters)

    August 14, 1947, was the day that the state of Pakistan was created, the result of splitting the Indian subcontinent into two states, India and Pakistan. The concept devised by the two founders, Hindu leader Mahatma Gandhi and Muslim leader Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was that people of the two religions would live separately, and so at peace.

    India was to be a secular state, albeit with a Hindu majority, but what was Pakistan to be? Another secular state? What is Pakistan?

    Jinnah in 1947 must have looked at Saudi Arabia and Turkey as examples of Muslim states. Turkey was a Sunni Muslim majority secular state, while Saudi Arabia was a Sunni Muslim majority Muslim state. Apparently, Jinnah didn't like either of those examples. He didn't want Pakistan to be a secular state like Turkey, because then it would be just another India, but he also didn't want Pakistan to exclude other religions, as Saudi Arabia does.

    The result today is that Pakistan still doesn't know what kind of state it is. It's a Sunni Muslim state, but it still has a sizable Shia Muslim minority, and smaller minorities of other religious faiths, including Sufis and Ahmadis, which are Islam spinoffs, and Christians.

    The vast majority of Pakistanis are accepting of all of these religions, but there is a significant minority that support terror groups associated with Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP, Pakistan Taliban) that want to exterminate the other religions, particularly the Shias, the Sufis, and the Ahmadis, and conduct frequent terror attacks on their mosques, their schools, and their markets.

    Many Pakistanis blame Jinnah himself for these problems, for allowing the seeds of these problems to be sown in 1947, rather than finding a way to prevent them.

    However, what Jinnah didn't foresee -- what nobody foresaw, not the Britons, not Gandhi, nor Jinnah, nor anyone else -- was the Partition War that followed. Since this war was so unexpected, it's almost impossible to believe today not only that it occurred, but how incredibly bloody it was, filled with all kinds of sadistic atrocities by both Hindus and Muslims, including mass murder, mass rapes, burning down entire villages, mass slaughter, and forced migration.

    One thinks of World War II ending in 1945, but not for Pakistan and India. The Partition War of 1947-48 was at least as bloody and horrific as any battle of the world war that preceeded it, resulting in two million people killed and over ten million displaced from their homes.

    Pakistan since then has been completely haunted by the Partition War. Pakistanis want to blame India, but they know that they're to blame as well. Officially, Pakistan wants to live in peace with India, but large segments of the government, particularly the army, anticipate a new war with India, often in revenge for the Partition War. Living with such schizophrenia, no Pakistani president in 70 years has ever completed the full five-year term described by the constitution. Every president has been thwarted by assassination or a coup. Just in recent weeks, Pakistan's Supreme Court ordered president Nawaz Sharif to step down because of unproven allegations of corruption, and now Pakistan has a new acting president, Mamnoon Hussain, until elections are held next year.

    By the way, my understanding is that the name "Pakistan" is a hybrid. It was formed in the 1930s from the name of the largest region, Balochistan, by removing the "Baloch" part, and replacing it with P for Punjab, A for Afghanistan, and K for Kashmir. A later interpretation of the name says that I is for Indus, S is for Sindh, and T is for Turkestan, leaving only the "AN" as the remains of the original name, Balochistan.

    Today, Kashmir is an open sore in the India-Pakistan relationship. The worst fighting in the Partition War was in Punjab Province, which contains Kashmir, and which was split into two parts by the new Pakistan-India boundary. Dawn (Pakistan) and Al Jazeera and Pakistan Today

    Related Articles

    Generational history of the 1947 Partition War that created Pakistan and India


    Muslims on a train from New Delhi to Pakistan in 1947 (AP)
    Muslims on a train from New Delhi to Pakistan in 1947 (AP)

    The Partition War was the last generational crisis war for both India and Pakistan, but you can't understand it unless you go back at least as far as the previous generational crisis war, the bloody 1857 Indian Rebellion, also called India's First War of Independence from the British colonial power.

    As I described in detail last year, Hindu veneration of cows, and apparent British disrespect for cows, was a major trigger for the 1857 Rebellion. This disrespect, and the alleged defiling of Indians' bodies, led to riots and mutinies that spread across India. The war lasted over two years and resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    During the generational Awakening era that followed the 1857 Rebellion, there were renewed protests and demands for independence from Britain. Cow protection had already started again as a symbol of Hindu nationalism as early as 1882, as cow protection societies began to be formed at that time. Cow protection became more and more important as a nationalist symbol in the following decades.

    Mahatma Gandhi, the Indian peace activist, launched a "non-cooperation movement" against the British, involving civil disobedience. The Awakening era climax occurred on April 10-12, 1919, with the horrific Jalianvala Bagh Massacre (Amritsar Massacre), when British troops opened fire on 10,000 Sikhs holding a protest meeting, killing hundreds. That event, which is still remembered with shock to this day, convinced both the British and the Indians that Britain should completely give up control of India.

    As the discussion of independence evolved over the following decades, led by Gandhi and Jinnah, the principal debate was whether there should be a single Indian state, or two states living side-by-side in peace, and in the latter case, how the boundary should be drawn.

    The argument that won the day was that Muslims can't stand pigs and Hindus can't eat cows, and so they can't live together, leading to the decision to have two separate states, India and Pakistan.

    However, drawing the boundary has led to enormous problems that haven't been resolved to this day. The most difficult problems were the provinces of Punjab in the west, and Bengal in the east, both of which had heavily mixed populations, and both of which were split down the middle.

    Punjab was the epicenter of the Partition War. Millions of people left their homes, with Hindus and Sikhs moving from Pakistan Punjab to India, and Muslims moving from India Punjab to Pakistan. Today, the tensions between Hindus and Muslims in Kashmir, which is part of Punjab, have not been resolved, as we've reported many times in the past year, and the region is headed for another war, essentially re-fighting the Partition War.

    However, the story is quite different for Bengal province. It too was split down the middle, but that region in the east was on a different generational timeline than Punjab, so the Partition war was a non-crisis war for Bengal. The province was split into West Bengal, which became part of India, and East Bengal, which became a completely separate part of Pakistan known as East Pakistan, while the Pakistan we know today was called West Pakistan.

    East and West Pakistan really had almost nothing in common. The population of West Pakistan was mostly ethnic Punjabis, Pashtuns, and Sindis, and Urdu was the official language. East Pakistan consisted mostly of Urdu-speaking Biharis and Bengali-speaking Bengalis, as I described in detail last year.

    So Bengal's turn for a generational crisis war came 2 1/2 decades later in 1971. The Bengal war was a bloody civil war, repeating the rapes, beheadings, mutilation and other atrocities of the 1947 Partition war in the west. Pakistan's army supported the Biharis, while India's army supported the Bengalis. In the end, the Bengalis won. East Pakistan gained independence in 1971, and called itself Bangladesh, while West Pakistan just became plain Pakistan.

    So on Monday of this week, Pakistan celebrates the 70th anniversary of its independence. On Tuesday, India celebrates the 70th anniversary of its independence. What seems to be clear is that neither country is really celebrating independence. What they're really doing is commemorating the horrors of the 1947 Partition War, and wondering how they'll get past it. In view of all that's happened in the last 70 years, it's hard to see that either country has a great deal to celebrate, especially since they're headed for a new generational crisis war in the next few years. Dawn (Pakistan) and Pakistan Today and Al Jazeera and Dawn

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 15-Aug-17 World View -- Pakistan celebrates its 70th birthday, wondering what Pakistan is thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (15-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    14-Aug-17 World View -- Kenya fears violence as opposition refuses to accept presidential election results

    Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga promises to 'remove' the Uhuru Kenyatta government

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Kenya's election commission announces that Uhuru Kenyatta is reelected president


    President Uhuru Kenyatta giving election victory speech on Saturday
    President Uhuru Kenyatta giving election victory speech on Saturday

    Tensions continue to boil in Kenya as the opposition leader, an ethnic Luo, continues to claim that Tuesday's presidential election was rigged by the government in favor of the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, an ethnic Kikuyu.

    There is widespread fear of a repeat of the inter-tribal violence that followed the 2007 election, killing more than 1,200 people, and punctuated by numerous atrocities, when Odinga lost the presidential election to another Kikuyu, Mwai Kibaki.

    For decades, Kenya's elections have been suspected of riggings, but challenges have always been summarily rejected by Kenya's Supreme Court. This time, it had been hoped that careful preparation by the country's Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) would produce an election result that was so carefully computed that no one would challenge it. The key was a sophisticated IT system managed by the IEBC. But then on July 31, the man in charge of the IT systems, Chris Msando, was found brutally murdered, with broken fingers and other evidence of torture, including strangulation.

    After the election on Tuesday, the IEBC announced preliminary results showing a 54% victory for Kenyatta, with 44% to Odinga. Odinga claimed that his people had collected election results from each of the districts in the country, and that his figures show that he had won, not Kenyatta. He said that the IEBC's IT systems had been hacked, which the IEBC denied.

    By Friday, the IEBC had received all the paper ballots from all the districts, and had counted all of them individually. The result was the same -- 54% for Kenyatta to 44% for Odinga.

    Diplomats from numerous countries are saying that Kenyatta won the election fairly, and that Odinga should now concede defeat, which he is refusing to do. 24 people have been killed in post-election violence, and further violence is feared. Reuters and The Nation (Kenya) and CNN

    Related Articles

    Kenya's opposition leader Raila Odinga promises to 'remove' the Uhuru Kenyatta government


    Opposition leader Raila Odinga with thousands of supporters in Nairobi on Sunday
    Opposition leader Raila Odinga with thousands of supporters in Nairobi on Sunday

    Despite enormous international pressure to concede defeat, the major opposition candidate Raila Odinga is refusing to do so, and continues to claim that the election was rigged, although he has provided no evidence so far.

    On Sunday, Odinga addressed a crowd of 4,000 cheering supporters in Kibera, an enormous slum in Nairobi, Kenya's capital city. With the crowd chanting "Uhuru must go," he blamed Jubilee, Kenyatta's political party, for the post-election violence that killed at least 24 people:

    "I am telling Jubilee that they have spilled innocent people's blood, they will pay for it. Because Jubilee has deployed troops with guns to kill innocent people, tomorrow (Monday) you should not leave your house, there is no work tomorrow . Then on Tuesday (August 15) I will give out the direction as to what we need to do."

    After the 2007 elections, Odinga's claims of rigging were thought to be the trigger for the massive inter-tribal violence and atrocities that followed. In the 2013 election, Odinga challenged the election results in the courts, but the court rejected his claims.

    This time, Odinga has announced that he will overturn the election results, not through the courts but through the people. It's not known what action Odinga will announce on Tuesday, but it's feared that it could trigger more violence.

    Whether violence is likely is discounted by some analysts, who point out that people remember the 2007 violence, and have no desire to repeat it.

    However, in one way violence has been increasing since 2007. Raila Odinga is a member of the marginalized Luo tribe, which is an offshoot of the Kalenjins, a nomadic herder people. Uhuru Kenyatta is from the market-dominant Kikuyu tribe, which represents farmers and large landowners. In the classic battles between herders and farmers, there have repeated instances of violence between Kalenjins and Kikuyus this year. In fact, there have been some Kalenjin politicians inciting violence against large landowners. The result could be new rounds of violence, with Odinga accused of inciting the violence. The Star (Kenya) and Reuters and Guardian (London)

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 14-Aug-17 World View -- Kenya fears violence as opposition refuses to accept presidential election results thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (14-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    13-Aug-17 World View -- Japan will shoot down N. Korean missiles via 'collective self-defense'

    Japan to deploy more advanced PAC-3 Patriot Missiles to defend U.S.

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    North Korea threatens US bases on island of Guam


    A Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile battery at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo.
    A Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile battery at the Defense Ministry in Tokyo.

    On Wednesday of last week, the start-run North Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the US strategic bombers at the US military bases on the island of Guam "get on the nerves of the DPRK [North Korea]", and therefore the KPA [Korean People's Army] is making plans for a missile attack:

    "The KPA [Korean People's Army] Strategic Force is now carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam with medium-to-long-range strategic ballistic rocket Hwasong-12 in order to contain the U.S. major military bases on Guam including the Anderson Air Force Base in which the U.S. strategic bombers, which get on the nerves of the DPRK and threaten and blackmail it through their frequent visits to the sky above south Korea, are stationed and to send a serious warning signal to the U.S.

    The plan is to be soon reported to the Supreme Command soon after going through full examination and completion and will be put into practice in a multi-concurrent and consecutive way any moment once Kim Jong Un, supreme commander of the nuclear force of the DPRK, makes a decision.

    The execution of this plan will offer an occasion for the Yankees to be the first to experience the might of the strategic weapons of the DPRK closest.

    Explicitly speaking again, the strategic weapons which the DPRK manufactured at the cost of blood and sweat, risking everything, are not a bargaining thing for getting acknowledgement from others and for bartering for anything, but they serve as substantial military means for resolutely countering the U.S. political and economic pressure and military threat as what has been observed now."

    On Thursday, KCNA "clarified" the statement:

    "As already clarified, the Strategic Force of the KPA is seriously examining the plan for an enveloping strike at Guam through simultaneous fire of four Hwasong-12 intermediate-range strategic ballistic rockets in order to interdict the enemy forces on major military bases on Guam and to signal a crucial warning to the U.S.

    On Tuesday, the KPA Strategic Force through a statement of its spokesman fully warned the U.S. against its all-round sanctions on the DPRK and moves of maximizing military threats to it. But the U.S. president at a golf links again let out a load of nonsense about "fire and fury," failing to grasp the on-going grave situation. This is extremely getting on the nerves of the infuriated Hwasong artillerymen of the KPA. ...

    The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA will cross the sky above Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi Prefectures of Japan. They will fly 3 356.7 km for 1 065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam.

    The KPA Strategic Force will finally complete the plan until mid August and report it to the commander-in-chief of the DPRK nuclear force and wait for his order.

    We keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the U.S."

    President Donald Trump responded by threatening to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea, and later added that the military options are "locked and loaded." Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) and CBS News

    Related Articles

    Japan to deploy more advanced PAC-3 Patriot Missiles to defend U.S.

    Leaders in Guam, South Korea, and Japan expressed hope that war is not imminent, but they're all preparing for any eventuality.

    While advising people to continue their business as usual, Guam’s Office of Civil Defense began distributing a fact sheet entitled "Preparing for an Imminent Missile Threat." In case a missile is approaching, keep calm and, if you're caught outside:

    "Do not look at the flash or fireball — it can blind you. Lie flat on the ground and cover your head."

    Japan is holding missile evacuation drills for the public, and is doing a lot more: Planning to install additional Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) anti-missile systems. There is particular concern about the three prefectures that North Korea threatened: the Shimane, Hiroshima and Kochi Prefectures.

    Japan is saying that since Japan is potentially threatened by the North Korean missiles, they are justified in shooting them down. This would require the government to declare a "survival-threatening situation."

    Japan currently has a two-level missile defense system.

    The Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) system mounted on Aegis-equipped destroyers can shoot down incoming ballistic missiles in outer space at a maximum altitude of about 500 kilometers. The SM-3 system is designed to shoot down missiles traveling on a parabolic path when they start descending.

    The second layer of Japan's missile defenses are the surface-to-air Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) guided missiles, which can destroy targets at altitudes between 10 and 20 kilometers if SM-3 interceptor missiles are not effective. The country’s 34 PAC-3 units attached to 17 anti-aircraft units are mostly deployed in densely populated areas like the Tokyo metropolitan and Kyushu regions as well as at major Self-Defense Forces bases. It's expected that Japan will redeploy two PAC-3 systems to the prefectures threatened by North Korea. Japan News and Japan Times and Nikkei Asian Review

    Japan's government will invoke 'collective self-defense' to defend the United States

    Article 9 of Japan's constitution, imposed on Japan by US Gen. Douglas MacArthur at the end of World War II, renounced war and the threat or use of force. Technically, Japan does not have the right to shoot down North Korean missiles.

    The pacifist Article 9 remains extremely controversial. Many conservatives see it as a humiliating imposition, while liberals view it as the basis of Japan's peace and democracy.

    Prime minister Shinzo Abe has repeatedly said that the would like to amend Article 9, but he's never had the votes to do it. However, in 2015, he was able to bring about passage of a reinterpretation of the self-defense clause to include "collective self-defense." The old self-defense clause of the constitution has been interpreted to permit military action only when Japan itself is being attacked, and only on Japanese soil. The new collective defense laws reinterpret the self-defense clause to include "collective self-defense," which would permit military action anywhere in the world under some circumstances when an ally (such as the United States) is attacked. I discussed the meaning of "collective self-defense" in detail in 2014.

    Japan's Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera on Thursday said that it would be necessary to declare a "survival-threatening situation," which would enable Japan to exercise its right of collective self-defense, with a view to intercepting North Korean missiles on behalf of Japan's ally, the United States. According Japanese officials, certain conditions would have to be met:

    "If it is judged that North Korea indicates a clear intention to attack the United States and starts missile launch preparations, an armed attack would be considered to have occurred. ...

    However, if North Korea says it’s targeting the missiles outside [U.S.] territorial waters, it would be difficult to call it an attack against the United States and declare a survival-threatening situation."

    Sputnik News (Moscow) and AP and Reuters (31-July) and Japan Times

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 13-Aug-17 World View -- Japan will shoot down N. Korean missiles via 'collective self-defense' thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (13-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    12-Aug-17 World View -- China and India prepare for border war at Doklam Plateau

    China and India on brink of war that could spread to the Indian Ocean

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    India reinforces its military in preparation for war


    Chinese soldier stands guard on the Chinese side of the border crossing between India and China. (AFP)
    Chinese soldier stands guard on the Chinese side of the border crossing between India and China. (AFP)

    India's military have raised the alert level in the region surrounding the Doklam Plateau, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) the forms the border between India and China.

    For almost two months, China and India have each had 300 soldiers just 100 meters apart on the plateau, 3,000 meters above sea level. India is not increasing its troop strength on the plateau itself, but is bring troops into bases nearby, and is raising the alert level in preparation for war.

    The border dispute involving China, India and Bhutan over the Doklam Plateau continues to be unresolved, and in fact appears to be escalating. As we've been reporting a standoff between India's army and China's army on Doklam plateau in the tiny country of Bhutan. China is attempting to annex the region, and on June 16 sent Chinese troops and construction workers to begin road construction. Bhutan troops tried to prevent the Chinese troop incursion, but they were overrun. India sent in its own troops, saying that it did so when Bhutan invoked a treaty with India and asked for help, resulting in a standoff.

    No bullets have been fired yet, but as we recently reported, China appears to have set an August 19 deadline for India to withdraw its troops from the Doklam Plateau.

    Even if August 19 passes with no military action, there's another hard deadline: The Communist People's Congress in Beijing in November. If the standoff hasn't been resolved in time for that meeting, it could be a major humiliation for China's president Xi Jinping.

    In addition to setting deadlines, China has been using every possible form of psychological warfare on India to try to force them to withdraw their soldiers, and allow the Chinese military to invade and annex Doklam Plateau. Some of the techniques used by China include the following:

    India has moved its army to a state of "no war, no peace," which is an alert state where soldiers take up positions that are earmarked for them in the event of a war. Reuters and Indian Express and India Times and Financial Express and International Business Times (India)

    Bhutan makes it clear to China that its ally is India

    From the beginning of this crisis, China's media have insisted that Bhutan and China have no dispute, implying that the two countries agree that the Doklam Plateau belongs to China, not Bhutan.

    Furthermore, China's media have insisted that Bhutan did not want India's intervention, and that Indian troops had entered the region in order to gain control of Bhutan.

    Bhutan has in fact tried to avoid inflaming the situation, and has said little, hoping that India and China find a peaceful resolution.

    However, on Thursday, the government of Bhutan issued a statement made its position very clear:

    "Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan's Foreign Ministry on June 29, 2017."

    The referenced June 29 statement is as follows:

    "Press Release June 29, 2017

    In view of the many queries raised recently in the media regarding the Bhutan – China boundary in the Doklam area the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would like to convey the following:

    On 16th June 2017, the Chinese Army started constructing a motorable road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri. Boundary talks are ongoing between Bhutan and China and we have written agreements of 1988 and 1998 stating that the two sides agree to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas pending a final settlement on the boundary question, and to maintain status quo on the boundary as before March 1959. The agreements also state that the two sides will refrain from taking unilateral action, or use of force, to change the status quo of the boundary.

    Bhutan has conveyed to the Chinese side, both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel, that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between our two countries. Bhutan hopes that the status quo in the Doklam area will be maintained as before 16 June 2017."

    Once again, we have a situation where China's claims are simply lies. As usual, we have to point out that China has lied repeatedly and continuously about its claims and criminal activities in the South China Sea, and so there is no reason to believe any claims they make about Bhutan's territory on the Doklam Plateau.

    As we've said before, China is a highly militarized international criminal state, but at some point they'll go one step to far, and bring an enormous catastrophe on themselves and the world. India Times (8-Aug) and Kashmir Monitor and Bhutan Foreign Ministry

    SCMP: China and India on brink of war that could spread to the Indian Ocean

    Among Chinese media publications, we often quote China Daily and Global Times. Both are strictly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party, though Global Times is far more nationalistic.

    The Hong-Kong based South China Morning Post (SCMP) is a bit more independent than the other two. That's not to say that they would directly confront and contradict Beijing policy -- if they did, Beijing would probably have the editors abducted, thrown into a pit and tortured. But they are able to print analyses that are a bit more balanced than the pure propaganda of the other two.

    According to an SCMP analysis, both China and India are preparing for an armed conflict in the event that negotiations fail.

    The article quotes a Chinese military source:

    "The PLA [People's Liberation Army] will not seek to fight a ground war with Indian troops early on. Instead it will deploy aircraft and strategic missiles to paralyse Indian mountain divisions stationed in the Himalayas on the border with China. [Indian troops will probably hold out for] no more than a week."

    Chinese military sources believe that any conflict will be controlled, and not spill over into other disputed areas, of which there are currently three along the 2,000 km border.

    However, an Indian defense expert, says that a conflict will not be limited, and could extend into the Indian Ocean.

    China is vulnerable in the maritime area, because China is heavily reliant on imported fuel and, according to figures published by state media, more than 80 per cent of its oil imports travel via the Indian Ocean or Strait of Malacca.

    Dr Rajeev Ranjan Chaturvedy of the National University of Singapore says:

    "Any Chinese military adventurism will get a fitting reply from the Indian military.

    Certainly, it will be detrimental for both, but if Beijing escalates [the conflict], it will not be limited. Perhaps, it may extend to the maritime domain as well.

    If China engages in a military offensive against India, New Delhi will take all necessary measures ... [and will] respond to Chinese actions in its own way. Why only a border war? It could escalate to a full-scale India-China war."

    South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 12-Aug-17 World View -- China and India prepare for border war at Doklam Plateau thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (12-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    11-Aug-17 World View -- UN Human Rights chief warns of 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing' in Central African Republic

    Six Red Cross workers and 30 civilians killed in Central African Republic massacre

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Six Red Cross workers and 30 civilians killed in Central African Republic massacre


    Displacement camp in Central African Republic for people fleeing their homes to escape violence (HRW)
    Displacement camp in Central African Republic for people fleeing their homes to escape violence (HRW)

    At least 30 civilians, including six Red Cross workers were massacred on August 7 in the town of Gambo in southeastern Central African Republic (CAR). The violence is blamed on the militias from the Muslim Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (l'Union pour la Paix en Centrafrique, UPC) which broke off from the Muslim Séléka militias in 2014.

    According to Antoine Mbao-Bogo, the president of the Central African Red Cross:

    "In principle, we shouldn't be targets. I'm actually in tears right now, and the entire Red Cross is appalled and worried.

    We don't have guns, or any kinds of weapon.. we're just trying to do our job, which is to help people. Among those killed last week, there were pregnant women killed. They'd come to the health center to give birth. And they had their throats cut. This is something that goes beyond my understanding."

    This illustrates how younger generations don't understand what's going on. The survivors of World War II saw something like this happen many times, so they wouldn't be surprised by it today, but those survivors are all gone now, and the people left behind have absolutely no clue how the world works.

    Fighting has been intense in that entire region of CAR, around the town of Bangassou, where around 2,000 Muslims have been sheltering in a Catholic church since violence in May. The Church is surrounded by mainly Christian anti-balaka militia who are threatening to kill them. Fighting in other nearby towns has led to the deaths of at least 60 people in the last two weeks.

    Many people are blaming France for the violence, because they withdrew the French peacekeeping mission Sangaris earlier this year, as we reported a few months ago. There's a UN force is known as MINUSCA, which stands for Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic.

    French general Dominique Trinquand, the former chief of the military mission to the United Nations, said:

    "The problem is that the UN troops alone are not mobile enough, meaning that when you've got an incident somewhere, they've got to intervene, but they usually are too late, after the killing of people there has happened. But Sangaris was ready to intervene with helicopters, very quickly and so it was a sort of a safeguard for the UN forces inside the country.

    The other important point is that a UN force is fine, but when you have soldiers who are not able to interact with the population then you've got a problem. A lot of the soldiers inside the UN force are not French speakers, and so they're not able to discuss with the people and to have the right information in order to react very quickly."

    French troops have been recalled back to France, for Operation Sentinelle, after France was hit by a string of terror attacks. Radio France Internationale (RFI) and Al Jazeera and ReliefWeb

    UN Human Rights chief warns of 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing' in Central African Republic

    Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O'Brien warned that he's seeing "the early warning signs of genocide," and that various armed groups "have the intention to ethnically cleanse" the country of their enemies. According to O'Brien:

    "It was clear to me that the growth of intercommunal violence, this pretense, perhaps it's sincere, I don't know, of using ethnic and confessional identity as a cause for killing, brutality, torture, threatening behavior, that these were the early signs, the early warning signs, of what could rapidly turn into a genocide.

    And we're all now coming together to do what we can to urge greater presence of the UN for the protection of civilians in what is becoming a very rapid, flare-up in various parts of the southeast, central southeast, the east as well as the northwest of the Central African Republic. ... We must act now, not pare down the UN's effort, and pray we don't live to regret it."

    This may be a surprise to O'Brien, but it won't be a surprise at all to long-time readers of Generational Dynamics, as CAR is in a generational crisis war that peacekeepers will have little effect on, and so will not end until there's a devastating, explosive genocidal climax. Peacekeepers may get leaders to sign a peace agreement, which has already happened several times in the CAR war, but this is a war led by the people, not the leaders or politicians.

    The CAR sectarian war began in March 2013, when François Bozizé, the Christian former president of CAR, was ousted in a coup in March 2013 by Michel Djotodia, a Muslim, who became president and served until January 2014.

    After Djotodia's coup took place in March 2013, Muslim Séléka militias began committing atrocities, particularly targeting the Christian constituencies of the deposed François Bozizé. 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.

    During 2014, the peacekeepers were able to bring the violence somewhat under control in Bangui, the country's capital, but CAR is a huge country, and violence continued in various regions. The violence began to slow down because the country became effectively partitioned into Muslim and Christian regions, with millions of people fleeing from their homes.

    However, the Séléka militias began an intra-Muslim "fraticidal" conflict. One faction was the Union for Peace in the Central African Republic (l'Union pour la Paix en Centrafrique, UPC), consisting mainly of militia from ethnic Fulani, who are cattle herders. The other faction was the Popular Front for the Renaissance in the Central African Republic (Front Populaire pour la Renaissance de la Centrafrique, FPRC), dominated by ethnic Gula and Runga who are farmers.

    As I've described many times in Central African Republic, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Sudan, South Sudan, and even America in the 1800s, is that in country after country, there a classic and recurring battle between herders and farmers. The farmers accuse the herders of letting the cattle eat their crops, while the herders accuse the farmers of planting on land that's meant for grazing. If the farmers put up fences, then the herders knock them down.

    So at the present time you have sectarian clashes between Muslims and Christians, and you have ethnic inter-Muslim clashes between farmers and herders. There are millions of people involved, and the United Nations would like a few hundred peacekeepers to bring peace to all of them. This is a typical United Nations fantasy, completely out of touch with reality and the real world. The French apparently reached this conclusion last year, when they announced the pullout of their Sangaris mission.

    As I've explained in the past, 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. This war will not end until there's an explosive, genocidal climax. Maybe O'Brien should learn a little history before he starts talking about the peacekeeping budget. Deutsche Welle and AFP and United Nations Humanitarian Agency and Human Rights Watch and Elizabeth Kendal blog (18-May)

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 11-Aug-17 World View -- UN Human Rights chief warns of 'genocide' and 'ethnic cleansing' in Central African Republic thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (11-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    10-Aug-17 World View -- Turkey reshuffles military in preparation to attack Kurds in northern Syria

    Turkey announces plans for military action against Kurds in northern Syria

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Turkey reshuffles top military leaders in preparation for action in Syria


    Young men stand on a Turkish army tank in Ankara on July 16, 2016, the day after the attempted coup. (Reuters)
    Young men stand on a Turkish army tank in Ankara on July 16, 2016, the day after the attempted coup. (Reuters)

    Heads rolled at the top of Turkey's military last week, as the army, air force and navy commanders were all replaced.

    The replacements came a year after the aborted military coup of July 15 of last year. Since the coup, over 100,000 people have been fired or jailed, in a variety of professions, often with no evidence.

    The military came under special scrutiny, since renegade military officers led the aborted coup. Immediately after the coup attempt, the government ordered the firing of 149 generations, - nearly half of the armed forces' entire contingent of 358 - for alleged complicity in the coup attempt.

    This hollowing of Turkey's armed force is blamed for Turkey's poor performance in Operation Euphrates Shield last year and this. That operation used Syrian rebel militias supported by Turkey's army and air force with the objective of defeating the the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) and also of pushing the Kurds back east of the Euphrates River. Turkey was only minimally successful with both objectives.

    Turkey is committed to preventing the Kurds from gaining a foothold in northern Syria, and in particular to preventing the creation of an independent Kurdish state called Rojava. The Kurdish terrorist group Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has been conducting an insurgency in Turkey since the 1980s, and has perpetrated large terrorist attacks in Turkish cities during the last three years.

    Speaking at a meeting last week of Turkey's Supreme Military Council (YAS), Prime Minister Binali Yildirim highlighted that Turkey continues to fight terrorist groups with determination.

    "The fight against the PKK has been carried out very successfully especially in the last one year. The strategy for the offensive that was decided early August last year and the work in full coordination with the Turkish Armed Forces and other security units have given the expected result. Last year we decided in the beginning of August to lead the struggle and to work in full coordination with the Turkish Armed Forces and other security units. The struggle against the PKK has reached significant levels. ...

    Ongoing instability along the countries on our southern border, as well as the lack of proper governance and civil war pose the biggest threat to our fight against terrorism."

    Hurriyet (Ankara) and Daily Sabah (Ankara) and AFP (28-July-2016)

    Related Articles

    Turkey announces plans for military action against Kurds in northern Syria

    A week after a reshuffle of Turkey's top military commanders, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned of a coming military operation in northern Syria against Kurdish fighters.

    In a speech on Saturday, Erdogan said:

    "We will not leave the separatist organization in peace in both Iraq and Syria. We know that if we do not drain the swamp, we cannot get rid of flies."

    The fight to expel ISIS from Raqqa, its Syrian stronghold, has been led by the People's Protection Units (YPG), consisting mostly of Kurdish fighters, backed by the United States. The US has been working with the YPG because the Kurds have proven themselves to be the most effective fighters in Syria against ISIS.

    Turkey is infuriated by this choice, because they consider all Kurds in Syria to be linked to the PKK. Turkey had offered its own fighters to expel ISIS from Raqqa, but after Turkey's poor performance last year, the YPG were the obvious choice.

    Turkey has been particularly infuriated because the US is supplying weapons to the YPG, and Turkey fears that these weapons will be used against Turkey, once the Raqqa operation is completed.

    These concerns became acute since YPG forces on Saturday destroyed a tank "belonging to terrorist groups under the Turkish army’s command," referring to the rebel forces that Turkey used to fight Operation Euphrates Shield. This event occurred in Afrin, a city outside of Raqqa. The YPG used an anti-tank guided missile system (ATGM) to destroy the tank. The ATGM may have been supplied by the US, but the YPG could have obtained the ATGM system from other sources as well.

    Turkey is also concerned about the presence of al-Qaeda linked forces in Idlib, near Turkey's border. These forces are the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, formerly known as the al-Nusra Front. Turkey is concerned about an imminent threat that can be posed by al-Nusra elements against Turkey and of a possible influx of refugees into Turkey because of attacks by the al-Nusra militias. Hurriyet (Ankara) and Navy Times and Reuters

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 10-Aug-17 World View -- Turkey reshuffles military in preparation to attack Kurds in northern Syria thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (10-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    9-Aug-17 World View -- China threatens India, as Trump threatens North Korea

    China sets apparent Aug 19 deadline for war with India

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    China sets apparent Aug 19 deadline for India to remove soldiers from Doklam


    Chinese soldier confronts Indian soldier at border crossing (AFP)
    Chinese soldier confronts Indian soldier at border crossing (AFP)

    China's rhetoric over the border dispute with India has been become increasingly belligerent since the standoff began in June, and now appears to be setting a hard deadline for military action.

    As we've been reporting a standoff between India's army and China's army on Doklam plateau in the tiny country of Bhutan. China is attempting to annex the region, and on June 16 sent Chinese troops and construction workers to begin road construction. Bhutan troops tried to prevent the Chinese troop incursion, but they were overrun. India sent in its own troops, saying that it did so when Bhutan invoked a treaty with India and asked for help. The result is a standoff, though no bullets have been fired yet.

    However, statements in the media and from China's Foreign Ministry have been increasingly threatening, demanding that India withdraw its troops and permit China to invade and annex the region, or be "annihilated" by China's army. Many analysts seem to agree that China will win a military confrontation.

    In the last three days, China's state-run Global Times appears to have set a deadline of August 19, after which there will be a "small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops."

    The article on August 5 said:

    "China will not allow the military standoff between China and India in Doklam to last for too long, and there may be a small-scale military operation to expel Indian troops within two weeks, Chinese experts said after six ministries and institutions made remarks on the incident within the past 24 hours.

    From Thursday to Friday, two ministries and four institutions, including the Chinese foreign ministry, the defense ministry, the Chinese Embassy in India and the People's Daily, released statements or commentary on the military standoff between China and India in Doklam, Tibet Autonomous Region. The standoff has lasted for almost two months now, and there is still no end in sight."

    In order to prove that the threats are credible, the article emphasizes that all of China's relevant ministries and institutions are saying the same thing: That a military action within two weeks will expel Indian troops.

    The article goes on to quote Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences:

    "The series of remarks from the Chinese side within a 24-hour period sends a signal to India that there is no way China will tolerate the Indian troops' incursion into Chinese territory for too long. If India refuses to withdraw, China may conduct a small-scale military operation within two weeks."

    As usual, we have to point out that China has lied repeatedly and continuously about its claims and criminal activities in the South China Sea, and so there is no reason to believe any claims they make about Bhutan's territory on the Doklam Plateau. But China's policy is to use brute military force to invade and annex other countries' territories, and the same thing is now happening to Bhutan. It would have happened already but Indian troops have blocked China's invasion so far.

    Another article on August 7 says the following:

    "The Times of India reported on Monday that "the Indian security establishment is reasonably sure China will not risk a war or even 'a small-scale military operation' despite all its belligerent rhetoric."

    Of course China doesn't want to risk a war and hopes that peace could return and China and India can get along well. But if Indian troops continue to linger on Chinese soil, it will be quite another matter.

    India made constant provocations at the China-India border in 1962. The government of Jawaharlal Nehru at that time firmly believed China would not strike back. China had just undergone domestic turmoil and natural disasters; Beijing and Washington were engaged in hostility and China's relations with the Soviet Union had begun to chill.

    However, the Nehru government underestimated the determination of the Chinese government to safeguard China's territorial integrity even as the country was mired in both domestic and diplomatic woes.

    Fifty-five years have passed, but the Indian government is as naďve as it ever was. The lessons of the 1962 war didn't last for half a century. Usually, no government dares to offend a powerful neighbor. Now all Indian people know that their troops have trespassed on the territory of another country, although New Delhi claims that it is a disputed area between China and Bhutan. As the risk of war is rising, Indian public opinion has become clear that Indian troops cannot defeat the Chinese People's Liberation Army.

    Now the Indians place their hopes on China being unwilling to risk a war due to strategic concerns. They believe the US will likely side with India, which will exert huge psychological pressure on China. It seems that New Delhi does not comprehend the nature of the Sino-US rivalry and the meaning of strategic containment. It thinks Washington can influence the situation along the China-India border simply by issuing a pro-India statement or sending warships to the Indian Ocean."

    As I've said in the past, the people in China live in a fantasy world where their military will defeat everyone else in the world, and all that will be required is "a small-scale military operation," similar to a victory in a brief war in 1962. That war fizzled quickly because both countries were in a generational Recovery era, about 14 years after the end of their respected generational crisis wars, China's Communist Revolution and India's Partition war. In any country, there is little desire to fight another war so soon after a generational crisis war.

    But today both countries are in generational Crisis eras, and any war they fight will not be brief.

    In fact the editor at the Global Times is probably a child who is too young to remember another massive invasion by the Chinese into Vietnam in 1979. That was largely a defeat for the Chinese, though they undoubtedly thought at the beginning that it would be a victorious "small-scale military operation."

    China might also take a look at the current war in Yemen. When it began in 2014, it was supposed to be a "small-scale military operation" by Saudi Arabia to wrest control of the country's capital city Sanaa from the Houthis. Instead, that war is still going today. Global Times (Beijing, 5-Aug) and Global Times (Beijing, 7-Aug) and Reuters

    Related Articles

    Trump threatens North Korea with 'fire and fury'

    President Donald Trump on Tuesday threatened North Korea with "fire and fury," in response to North Korean threats. A statement from the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) says the following, where "DPRK" refers to North Korea and "UNSC" refers to the United Nations Security Council:

    "The DPRK is taking measures to strengthen the self-defensive nuclear deterrence in order to counter the policy of extreme hostility and nuclear threat against it from the US, the biggest nuclear weapons state of the world.

    As long as the US hostile policy and nuclear threat continue, the DPRK, no matter who may say what, will never place its self-defensive nuclear deterrence on the negotiation table or flinch an inch from the road chosen by itself, the road of bolstering up the state nuclear force.

    Second, now that the US did forge the "sanctions resolution" by manipulating the UNSC to obliterate the DPRK's sovereignty and rights to existence and development, the DPRK will move into its resolute action of justice as it had already clarified ....

    As the gangsters of the US remain unabated in their mean and heinous provocation, the DPRK will further increase the strength of justice to thoroughly eradicate the cause of war and aggression and never back away from this fight to a finish. ...

    Third, the DPRK will make the US pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country. ...

    The US is sadly mistaken if it considers its mainland a safe haven for being on the other side of the ocean."

    This statement was followed by reports that North Korea has developed a nuclear weapon small enough to fit into the tip of the intercontinental missiles that they have been testing.

    President Trump made the following response at a meeting where journalists were present:

    "North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.

    He [Kim Jong-un] has been very threatening beyond a normal statement.

    And, as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and, frankly, power — the likes of which the world has never seen before."

    Last week, Trump said:

    "We will handle North Korea. We are gonna be able to handle them. It will be handled."

    North Korea responded by on Wednesday by saying that they're considering an attack on the American base in Guam.

    So there have been numerous threats from numerous sources in numerous countries around the world in the last few days, as the Clash of Civilizations world war approaches. Newsmax and Reuters

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 9-Aug-17 World View -- China threatens India, as Trump threatens North Korea thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (9-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    8-Aug-17 World View -- Dozens of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan killed in fourth Taliban victory in 3 weeks

    Trump's review of the Afghanistan war seeks solution where none exists

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Dozens of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan killed in fourth Taliban victory in 3 weeks


    Afghan security forces retake control of Jani Khel in Paktia province after ten days of heavy fighting with the Taliban (Khaama)
    Afghan security forces retake control of Jani Khel in Paktia province after ten days of heavy fighting with the Taliban (Khaama)

    Dozens of men, women and children, mostly ethnic Hazara Shia Muslims, were massacred in a two-day battle that ended on Saturday in northern Afghanistan in Sar-e-Pul. About 50 people were shot and killed, 30 houses were torched and burned to the ground, several mosques were set ablaze, and an unknown number of villagers were taken hostages. Seven Afghan troops and 12 Taliban militants were killed in the fighting.

    The extremely bloody Afghan crisis civil war, 1991-96, mostly pitted the ethnic Pashtuns, who are Sunni Muslims and later formed the Taliban, versus the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. Now, twenty years later, Afghanistan is in a generational Awakening era, and a new young generation of Pashtuns is coming of age, raised on stories their parents told them about the atrocities committed by the Northern Alliance.

    These kinds of attacks are going to continue and may even become more frequent. Furthermore, this is only one of four Taliban attacks across the country in four different provinces.

    The district of Jani Khel in Paktia a known stronghold of the Haqqani Network fell to the Taliban in late July after several days of heavy fighting. It was recaptured on August 4. The districts of Taywara in Ghor in central Afghanistan, and Kohistan (or Lolash) in Faryab in the northwest fell to the Taliban on July 23 after several days of fighting.

    Afghan security forces were unable to prevent any of these losses. None of these losses is an existential threat to the government in Kabul, and in each case Afghan forces will recapture the district in time. But they provide the Taliban with an opportunity to loot the district of its equipment, vehicles, weapons and ammunition -- much of which was supplied by the US, meaning that the US is arming both sides in Afghanistan. These losses also show that the Taliban is capable of conducting operations in all regions of the country. BBC and Khaama Press (Afghanistan) and Long War Journal (25-Jul) and Tolo News (Afghanistan, 25-Jul) and Deutsche Welle

    Did ISIS team up with the Taliban in Sar-e-Pul massacre?

    According to most western media reports, the massacre of dozens of Shia Muslim Hazaras in Sar-e-Pul on Saturday is the result of a joint coordinated attack by the Taliban and the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

    As usual, this is mainly a publicity stunt. It definitely does not mean that ISIS leader Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, who is probably cowering in a basement somewhere in Syria or Iraq, has ordered a few of his thugs to pack up their things and travel to Sar-e-Pul to massacre some women and children.

    What it really means is that two Taliban factions were involved in the slaughter, and one of the factions has pledged allegiance to ISIS, hoping to get some publicity and perhaps some volunteers out of it.

    As a matter of fact, in this case what it means is that Sher Mohammad Ghazanfar, a local Taliban command, has pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to a local government spokesman.

    Furthermore, a Taliban spokesman denied the allegations:

    "It was an independent operation by our mujahideen forces. There is no cooperation with [ISIS] on the operation."

    He also denied that civilians were killed. This is also a public relations fabrication. The Taliban have faced criticism even from Pashtuns in Afghanistan for their willingness to kill innocent women and children. So now they just kill the women and children anyway, but claim they didn't. International Business Times and Al Jazeera and CNN and PBS (17-Nov-2015)

    Related Articles

    Trump's review of the Afghanistan war seeks solution where none exists

    In the last couple of weeks, the media have been filled with stories about a new White House review of the war and Afghanistan, including a demand by President Donald Trump to achieve victory. The media have described this as an angry disagreement between National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and President Donald Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon.

    According to the reports that I've seen, McMaster wants to send a new "surge" of troops into Afghanistan, presumably to win, while Bannon wants either to withdraw completely, or else to outsource the war to military contractors, such as Blackwater Worldwide or DynCorp.

    As long-time readers are aware, I've been predicting for years, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis of, among other things, the tribal relationships of the Pashtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan, that a victory is impossible. I summarized the reasoning briefly earlier in this article with the discussion above of the Pashtuns and the Northern Alliance.

    As I've described in the past, I've worked with Steve Bannon off and on for several years in the past, both on his movie "Generation Zero" and when I was cross-posting articles on the Breitbart National Security site. So I know that Steve Bannon is an expert on military history and world history, and he also has an expert understanding of Generational Dynamics and generational theory, and he also understands the Generational Dynamics predictions in Afghanistan.

    So the strategy of withdrawing all American forces would seem to make the most sense, given that a victory is impossible. The problem with that strategy is that it will leave the way open for total victory by the Taliban, collapsing the government completely, and would also deal a huge blow to India, which has major interests in Afghanistan. Other possible consequences would be the rise of ISIS militias in Afghanistan, and a return of the Russian military to Afghanistan to fill the vacuum created by an American withdrawal. The use of military contractors might mitigate some of these consequences. This is presumably the subject of in-depth analyses being performed in the White House.

    Sending in additional troops would be a "kick the can down the road" strategy. Victory is impossible, but additional troops would not have the potentially disastrous consequences of a complete withdrawal. Instead, it would be a kind of holding action.

    At times like this, I like to point out that there is no solution to this problem. By this, I don't mean that nobody has been clever enough to figure out the solution. What I mean is that no solution exists, because no strategy can lead to victory. NewsMax and Washington Post

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 8-Aug-17 World View -- Dozens of Shia Muslims in Afghanistan killed in fourth Taliban victory in 3 weeks thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (8-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    7-Aug-17 World View -- Israel announces that it will ban al-Jazeera in Israel

    BBC vs Al-Jazeera: Which is more biased?

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Israel announces that it will ban al-Jazeera in Israel


    Al-Jazeera's Marwan Bishara (L) comments during the news conference of Israel's communications minister Ayoub Kara
    Al-Jazeera's Marwan Bishara (L) comments during the news conference of Israel's communications minister Ayoub Kara

    Israel’s Communications Ministry announced Sunday that it will take action to ban Qatar-owned al-Jazeera from both operating and broadcasting in Israel.

    In doing so, Israel has clearly and unequivocally taken sides against Qatar and in favor of the countries that are currently enforcing a land, sea and air blockade against Qatar -- Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt.

    Israel's Communications Minister Ayoub Kara made the announcement in a televised news conference:

    "Freedom of expression is a basic value, and I will do everything I can to protect objective journalism and freedom of expression, which is very important to me. But the events on the Temple Mount have put me in a position where I need to think about how I can secure the safety of Israel’s citizens, and that is the most important.

    “Recently, we’ve noticed that some outlets are not being used for free expression, but for incitement against Israeli citizens. One of these outlets, the Al Jazeera network, is responsible for the loss of some of our finest sons. ...

    A media, which has been deemed to be a supporter of terror by almost all Arab countries, and we know this for certain, we will take a few steps against it, to express our fight against terrorism and radical Islam, and our empathy with the sane Arab world.

    The freedom of speech is not the freedom of incitement. Democracy has boundaries as well. When it comes down to the question what precedes what, I have no doubt, I prefer citizens and soldiers alive in Israel. ...

    Lately, almost all countries in our region determined that Al Jazeera supports terrorism, supports religious radicalization.

    And when we see that all these countries have determined as fact that Al Jazeera is a tool of the Islamic State, Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, and we are the only one who have not determined that then something delusional is happening here."

    Although Israeli officials have discussed banning al-Jazeera for years, the move gained impetus after the massive sometimes violent anti-Israeli protests at the Al-Aqsa Mosque / Temple Mount in Jerusalem last month. At that time, Israel's president Benjamin Netanyahu accused al-Jazeera of inciting violence by encouraging the protests, and wrote in a Facebook post:

    "The Al-Jazeera channel continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount. ...

    I have appealed to law enforcement agencies several times to close the Al-Jazeera office in Jerusalem. If this is not possible because of legal interpretation, I am going to seek to have the necessary legislation adopted to expel Al-Jazeera from Israel."

    There are two al-Jazeera channels, al-Jazeera English (AJE) and al-Jazeera Arabic (AJA). Israelis say that the media source tries to appear reasonable on AJE, but really incites violence on the AJA, since few Jews understand Arabic.

    Kara announced that he first would work to revoke the journalist credentials for all reporters affiliated with al-Jazeera. In addition, he would push to have al-Jazeera dropped from cable and satellite services in Israel, and to close its Jerusalem offices.

    The decision will not have immediate effect, since it would require a vote by Israel's cabinet, and possibly the parliament (Knesset). Some analysts are saying that Kara will have difficulty getting approval for those measures, since many ministers and MKs strongly support freedom of speech. Israel prides itself in claiming to be the only democracy in the Mideast.

    During this generational Crisis era, censorship has been increasing around the world. Online blogs and discussion sites are being closely monitored or shut down in countries like China, Iran and Russia. Egypt jailed four al-Jazeera reporters for years, and one is still in jail. Russia Today, which used to be a reasonably independent media site, now publishes only state-approved propaganda. In Turkey, the country's largest opposition media operation, Zaman Media, was shut down and some of the reports arrested -- and this was several months before the aborted coup occurred.

    From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, nationalism and xenophobia are rapidly increasing in countries around the world, as these countries go deeper into a generational Crisis era. This trend will continue, and will only be ended by war. Israel National News and Jerusalem Post

    Al-Jazeera gives bitter, angry response to Israel's move

    In an official statement, al-Jazeera said that it had reported violence at the al-Aqsa Mosque / Temple Mount, but had not incited it, and they denounced Israel's announcement:

    "Al Jazeera stresses that it will closely watch the developments that may result from the Israeli decision, and will take the necessary legal measures towards it. ...

    Al Jazeera will continue to cover the events of the occupied Palestinian territories professionally and accurately, according to the standards set by international agencies, such as the UK Office of Communications (Ofcom)."

    However, what was more interesting were the 30-minute rants by chief analyst Marwan Bishara that I watched on al-Jazeera English.

    Bishara's biases are well-known: He hates Israel, he hates the Palestinian Authority even more, he hates Egypt, and he loves Hamas. So anything he says must be understood in that context. But I've listened to him many times over the years, and he provides a window into the thinking of Arab governments in general, though more recently just the Qatari government.

    So it's not surprising that Bishara said that Israel performed this move on behalf of "Arab dictators," referring the four countries that have implemented the blockade against Qatar, and that he praised the 2011 "Arab Spring" that brought down Egypt' long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak, and led to the election of Mohammed Morsi and a Muslim Brotherhood government allied with Hamas.

    Bishara did not mention that Qatar, which is the wealthiest country in the world in terms of per-capita income for its citizens, treats its foreign workers brutally.

    Bishara said that the move by Israel shows a "synergy" of "dictatorships" in the Arab world and "dictatorship of military occupation in Palestine":

    "It is as if closing down a network will diminish violence, when everyone knows that repression and military occupation, and aggression is the reason for violence in the region. Not reporting it."

    But by far, the most interesting of Bishara's remarks was his ten-minute vitriolic rant attacking on Israel's Communications Minister Ayoub Kara, the man who gave the televised news conference that made the announcement.

    Bishara began by pointing out that Kara is not a Jew. "He is an Arab -- an Arab Druze," said Bishara angrily and bitterly. He attacked Kara's intelligence by calling his performance at the news conference "incoherent" and "irrational."

    He said that Kara had risen in Israel's government go become a minister by betraying Arabs and the Palestinians. He repeatedly called Kara a "traitor" to Palestinians.

    It was very peculiar rant, and it makes one wonder whether Bishara would have been happier if the announcement had been made by a Jew.

    However, there's more angle to this. During his news conference, Kara said the following:

    "I am the only one [in Israel's government] who is an Arabic speaker, who understands Arabic and my native language is Arabic. You cannot fool me with Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic. I know how to identify how disturbing reporting becomes incitement instead of being free speech."

    This is perhaps the part of Kara's statement that infuriated Bishara most of all. Other Israeli officials have been "fooled" by al-Jazeera's trick of broadcasting its worst incitement on al-Jazeera Arabic (AJA), but Kara used his knowledge of Arabic to avoid being "fooled," and see through the ploy. Al-Jazeera and Middle East Eye

    Related Articles

    BBC vs Al-Jazeera: Which is more biased?

    I've watched both the BBC and al-Jazeera for years. The BBC is an invaluable source of information because it has correspondents in countries around the world. Al-Jazeera is an invaluable source of information because it has the best coverage of the Mideast. However, it's very hard to be worse than the BBC in terms of bias.

    During the George W. Bush administration, I was on a mailing list of the BBC reporter Gavin Esler. Esler's mailings included the news of the day, and also the "BBC News Joke of the Day." The jokes were almost always designed to make Bush look like an idiot or a fascist. Actually much of the news had the same objective.

    The worst occurred in 2007, during President Bush's "surge" in Iraq. The BBC, the NY Times and NBC News essentially became the public relations agency for al-Qaeda in Iraq by coordinating their news reports with the bombings that occurred in Baghdad. They did everything they could to support al-Qaeda and get American soldiers killed in the most appalling example of nearly traitorous behavior by the press that I've ever seen, though it's hard to call them traitors because they were the stupidest bunch of idiots imaginable. Later, these media sources were completely humiliated when the "surge" worked.

    By contrast, the BBC were lapdogs for President Barack Obama. He could start a war, get Americans killed, commit any crime, and the BBC would excuse him and blame it on the Republicans. I've always believed that if Obama had picked up a gun and shot and killed Michele, then the BBC, NY Times and NBC News would blame it on the Republicans.

    Now, with President Trump in office, it's the same as during the Bush administration or even worse. As I've reported in the past, the BBC makes up whatever facts they want. They have no morals or ethics, and they obviously believe that they have the right to make up anything they want with impunity.

    Now, as I've said before, al-Jazeera hates Israel. Al-Jazeera loves the Muslim Brotherhood, and loved Mohammed Morsi in Egypt, but now hates Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. Al-Jazeera loves Hamas.

    Al-Jazeera hates Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority, and after today's rant against Ayoub Kara, I can finally see why.

    Marwan Bishara was vitriolicly critical of Kara, even more so than of the new Israeli policy. To Bishara, the great crime was not shutting down al-Jazeera. The great crime was being a traitor to the Palestinians.

    And that explains why Bishara and al-Jazeera hate the Palestinian Authority so much. Mahmoud Abbas has followed a policy of cooperating with the Israelis to maintain peace on the West Bank, saving the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis. To Bishara, that's a betrayal at the level of the biblical Judas.

    Hamas, on the other hand, wages war against Israel, and gets both Israelis and Palestinians killed, although in the 2014 Gaza war, far more Palestinians were killed than Israelis. To Bishara, that's GOOD thing, because Hamas isn't a traitor the Palestinians.

    Egypt is just as bad to Bishara because Egypt and Israel are coordinating efforts to control ISIS-linked terrorist killings in Egypt's northern Sinai, along the border with Israel. Once again, that level of cooperation is, to Bishara, a traitorous betrayal of the Palestinians.

    When looked at in this light, we can see why Saudi Arabia is demanding that Qatar end its support of terrorists. If Bishara's thinking represents the policies of Qatar's government, then the Saudis might well believe that Qatar supports terrorism.

    So is the BBC better or worse than al-Jazeera? I report, you decide.

    However, if things have gotten to the point where the Qataris believe that it's better to let Palestinians be killed than to betray them by cooperating with Israel, then things have really gotten very bad.

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 7-Aug-17 World View -- Israel announces that it will ban al-Jazeera in Israel thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (7-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    6-Aug-17 World View -- China takes control of Sri Lanka's strategically valuable Hambantota seaport

    Threat of India-China border war at Doklam Plateau grows

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    China takes control of Sri Lanka's strategically valuable Hambantota seaport


    Sri Lankan citizens watch Chinese dredging ships in Hambantota port (Reuters)
    Sri Lankan citizens watch Chinese dredging ships in Hambantota port (Reuters)

    Last week, Sri Lanka's government signed an agreement giving China a 99-year lease to use Sri Lanka's strategically valuable southern Hambantota seaport. The seaport is on the main shipping route from Asia to Europe, and oversees the Indian ocean all the way to Antarctica. In addition, China will hold a 70% stake in a joint venture to handle the commercial operations of the port.

    The deal has been extremely controversial for several reasons:

    The deal triggered violent protests earlier this year by Buddhist monks and anti-government protesters, but there were few protests when the deal was finally signed on July 29.

    The agreement is considered a very bad deal for Sri Lanka, even by those politicians who felt that Sri Lanka had no choice but to go ahead with it as part of a debt repayment scheme. In 2009, China invested $1.2 billion in the Hambantota seaport. 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, and now China has essentially taken over the port in lieu of repayment of the debt.

    The deal has generated a great deal of anger by people who are accusing China of having purposely set a "debt trap" in 2009, knowing that Sri Lanka would be unable to repay the debt, and would be forced to give away Sri Lankan assets to China. Container Management Magazine and Asian Tribune and Colombo Gazette and LankaWeb

    Related Articles

    India reacts to China's One-Belt One-Road and threat of war over Doklam

    Recently, China launched a naval military base in Djibouti in eastern Africa as the endpoint to its "string of pearls," commercial deep-water ports in the Indian Ocean that China could use in time of wars. Many of these ports were built and often are operated by Chinese companies. These include deep-water ports in Sri Lanka, in Colombo and Hambantota; Pakistan, in Gwadar and Karachi; Myanmar, in Sittwe; and the Seychelles, in Port Victoria. The Gwadar port in Pakistan is expected to be upgraded to a full Chinese military base soon.

    These are all part of China's $1 trillion "One Belt One Road" (OBOR) initiative consisting of an overland Economic Belt and a Maritime Silk Road. Although these infrastructure projects are supposed to be for commercial use, Indian officials believe that China is preparing for war by surrounding India with the Hambantota port and other ports, as well as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that appears to be impinging on the India-government portion of Kashmir. And this is occurring at a time when China and India are close to a border war over the Doklam Plateau in Bhutan.

    India is attempting to match China's influence in the region by executing its own major infrastructure projects. India is involved in joint economic and technical projects with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal. India is also investing heavily in Africa to compete with China there.

    India is part of the North-South Transport Corridor (NSTC) which links India with Iran, the Central Asian countries, and Russia. Part of NSTC is the port in Chabahar, which is on the coast of Iran near Pakistan. It's a direct competitor to China's Gwadar port in Pakistan. Using it, India will be able to bypass Pakistan in shipping goods to Iran, and from there to Afghanistan, Central Asia or Europe.

    However, India's projects are generally much smaller than China's, and are often only in the planning stages. For example, India invested $54 billion in Africa and Indo-African trade in 2016, while China invested $194 billion. Menafn (Middle East North Africa Financial Network)

    Related Articles

    Threat of India-China border war at Doklam Plateau grows

    We've reported several times on the growing tensions in Bhutan's Doklam Plateau, which China would like to invade and annex, but is being blocked by India forces, although no shots have yet been fired.

    As we reported yesterday, China is threatening war over Doklam, and believes they will "annihilate" India's army.

    Many analysts, including some officials in India, believe that sooner or later India will back down. However, a web site reader pointed out that it's a lot more serious than a simple border dispute over a small piece of land:

    "The Indians will definitely fight, because if they don't push back now, they will wake up and find Eastern India cut off from New Delhi. This is a red line the Indians will never allow to be crossed. And this is where it gets really dangerous. China doesn't need to steal land from Bhutan to survive, but India needs to preserve the Siliguri Corridor because India has no choice but to defend it if it wants to preserve the country. India will fight. It's the Chinese who are miscalculating."

    The Siliguri Corridor, also known as the "Chicken's Neck," is a land corridor that connects western and eastern India. If China takes control of the Doklam Plateau, they will also take control of the Chicken's Neck corridor, and India will be effectively split into two pieces.

    The Doklam Plateau conflict has turned into an existential threat for both countries, and it seems that neither China nor India will back down. There's also a hard deadline in getting the issue resolved, as there's a Chinese "People's Congress" in November, and China's president Xi Jinping will look extremely weak if there's still a standoff.

    And according to the somewhat hysterical Global Times article tht I quoted yesterday, the Chinese say that they will "annihilate" the Indian army, and it wouldn't surprise me if they actually believe that. Needless to day, the Indians don't agree. And it's worth remembering that the Saudis expected to annihilate the Houthis when they invaded Yemen in 2014.

    Finally, for those readers who enjoy a little black humor, we have a remarkable analysis appearing Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror, who has this response to people who fear war between China and India:

    "Have no such fears. With certainty, it can be said that nuclear powers will not go to war. Take heart from Wednesday’s US statement offering peace talks with North Korea. It came days after the maverick regime carried out a successful test of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile capable of hitting the US mainland.

    The deterrent value of nuclear weapons is one of the key factors why the Third World War has still not happened. For nearly two months, China and India have been bogged down in a face-off in the Himalayas. But neither wants to start a major war. Nuclear powers may find themselves in warlike situations, but will not go to war, unless insane leaders take control of affairs. This is why China and the US have not gone to war over the South China Sea disputes."

    I know that regular readers of my Generational Dynamics articles will have a good laugh over this.

    However, with both India and China facing an existential crisis over the Doklam Plateau, the situation is a disaster in the making, unless someone can figure out a face-saving formula that both sides can agree to in the next month or so. India Times (3-July) and Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka)

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 6-Aug-17 World View -- China takes control of Sri Lanka's strategically valuable Hambantota seaport thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (6-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    5-Aug-17 World View -- China further escalates the rhetoric threatening India over Doklam Plateau

    China attempts to justify its claim to the Doklam Plateau

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    China further escalates the rhetoric threatening India over Doklam Plateau


    India's prime minister Narendra Modi and China's president Xi Jinping at a meeting last year (AP)
    India's prime minister Narendra Modi and China's president Xi Jinping at a meeting last year (AP)

    The border dispute involving China, India and Bhutan over the Doklam Plateau seems far from resolution. As we've been reporting a standoff between India's army and China's army on Doklam plateau in the tiny country of Bhutan. China is attempting to annex the region, and on June 16 sent Chinese troops and construction workers to begin road construction. Bhutan troops tried to prevent the Chinese troop incursion, but they were overrun. India sent in its own troops, saying that it did so when Bhutan invoked a treaty with India and asked for help. The result is a standoff, though no bullets have been fired yet.

    China's Foreign Ministry tells the story a little differently:

    "On June 16, the Chinese side was building a road in the Dong Lang area which is located on the Chinese side of the Sikkim Sector of the China-India boundary. This was aimed at improving the local transportation and facilitating local herdsmen's grazing of livestock and border troops' patrolling. It is normal activity of China in its own territory which is completely lawful and legitimate."

    Unfortunately, it isn't "normal activity," and it isn't China's territory. It's Bhutan's territory.

    To make its point, China's military has carried out live fire exercises in Tibet, presumably near the Doklam region. A video on China Central Television (CCTV) showed a commander sitting in a vehicle shouting “3, 2, 1, fire!” into two telephones and a missile was launched into the sky. Troops were shown loading and firing other missiles, some of which landed in fiery explosions.

    Probably more significant is that a commentary in China's official Xinhua news agency said, "China has made it clear that there is no room for negotiation and the only solution is the unconditional and immediate withdrawal of Indian troops from the region."

    China's state-run Global Times says that China would "annihilate" Indian forces:

    "India is publicly challenging a country that is far superior in strength. India's recklessness has shocked Chinese. Maybe its regional hegemonism in South Asia and the Western media comments have blinded New Delhi into believing that it can treat a giant to its north in the way it bullies other South Asian countries.

    Over the past month, the People's Liberation Army (PLA) has been on the move. We believe that the PLA has made sufficient preparation for military confrontation.

    It is a war with an obvious result. The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi should be aware of the PLA's overwhelming firepower and logistics. Indian border troops are no rival to PLA field forces. If a war spreads, the PLA is perfectly capable of annihilating all Indian troops in the border region."

    Indian authorities have said in the past that they are prepared for a military clash with China in Doklam, and that they expect to win.

    India's Ministry of External Affairs is using far more diplomatic rhetoric than China, but has not shown and inclination to back down. A spokesman said that India is continuously coordinating with Bhutan to arrive at a "mutually-acceptable solution" to resolve the Doklam dispute. He added, "Our objective is to achieve peace and tranquility through diplomacy." However, it's hard to see how war can be avoided unless India backs down.

    China's president Xi Jinping may be under pressure to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.

    The Communist Party congress is set for November. If the Doklam standoff continues until them, or if China's military withdraws, then it would make Xi look weak, and would bolster his rivals.

    From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, xenophobia and nationalism are increasing in countries around the world, as countries go deeper into a generational Crisis era. The result is that many countries are becoming more belligerent, at least in rhetoric.

    On the Arabian Gulf, the four Arab countries Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt have implemented a land, sea and air blockade against Qatar. This has gone on for weeks.

    As we reported two days ago, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that China was risking "open conflict" with the US over its policies in the South China Sea and in Korea. His remarks were consistent with other statements by President Donald Trump and Senator Lindsey Graham. They represent a significant escalation in rhetoric by the US, and a change in policy that's consistent with a Generational Dynamics analysis.

    Another example is North Korea itself, which is exhibiting increased belligerence through development of ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.

    China's escalating rhetoric over the Doklam Plateau is consistent with these other examples, which illustrate how the worldwide increase in xenophobia and nationalism is pointing in the direction of a new war. India.com and AP and China's Foreign Ministry and Global Times (Beijing)

    China attempts to justify its claim to the Doklam Plateau

    On Wednesday, China's Foreign Ministry issued a 15-page document entitled: "The Facts and China’s Position Concerning the Indian Border Troops’ Crossing of the China-India Boundary in the Sikkim Sector into the Chinese Territory."

    It goes into detail about an agreement called the "1890 Convention Between Great Britain and China Relating to Sikkim and Tibet" to provide proof that the Doklam Plateau really belongs to China, rather than Bhutan. However, that was a colonial-era agreement between Great Britain and China. Bhutan was not a party to that agreement.

    We always run into the same problem with China. In the South China Sea, they're building artificial islands and military bases that are in violation of international law, and they've repeatedly lied to make their claim to annexing the entire South China Sea. If they've lied repeatedly about the South China Sea, why would anyone believe anything they say about the Doklam Plateau or anything else?

    Of course it doesn't make any difference whether China is lying or not. China is a highly militarized state with a "China dream" that is preparing for many wars. China's Foreign Ministry (PDF) and India Times and International Business Times (India)

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 5-Aug-17 World View -- China further escalates the rhetoric threatening India over Doklam Plateau thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (5-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    4-Aug-17 World View -- Thousands of migrants flee to Canada, fearing deportation in the US

    Seven years after earthquake, Haiti is still devastated

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Thousands of migrants flee to Canada, fearing deportation in the US


     Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre greets a busload of Haitian asylum seekers from the United States as it arrives on Thursday (AFP)
    Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre greets a busload of Haitian asylum seekers from the United States as it arrives on Thursday (AFP)

    Officials in Canada are scrambling to accommodate hundreds of migrants fleeing from the United States in fear of being deported back to their home countries by the Trump administration. 500 migrants arrived on Tuesday, and another 300 people arrived on Wednesday. The average has grown to 150 people per day requesting asylum in Canada.

    Some 4,345 migrants arrived in the first six months of 2017, and another 1,000 arrived in July alone. Migrants that cross at official land border crossing are denied asylum on the spot, and are sent back to the United States, under an agreement between the two countries. The "Safe Third Country Agreement" was signed on December 5, 2002, as part of a plan to improve security between the two countries in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    However, the agreement applies only to official land border crossings. For that reason, most migrants simply cross the border at an unmanned location. By entering Canada illegally, they bypass this agreement. They can then claim refugee status, seek asylum, and then stay while their refugee applications are being processes. Hundreds of migrants have crossed into Canada by walking along a dirt crossing into the Quebec town of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle.

    Canadian authorities were unprepared for the sudden surge in migrants. To accommodate them, Montreal's Olympic Stadium, built for the 1976 summer Olympics, has been transformed into a makeshift refugee center. Others are being sent to schools, which are not in session during the summer. Other accommodations will have to be found when schools open in September.

    Some 70% of the migrants are from Haiti, but others are from Sudan, Turkey and Eritrea. There are also some who are US citizens fleeing to Canada.

    Most of the asylum seekers are from Haiti, who arrived in the United States following the January 2010 earthquake. The Department of Homeland Security under President Obama granted Haiti the Temporary Protected Status (TPS) benefit following the earthquake, which permits them to stay in the country and work, and send remittances back to their families in Haiti.

    Besides Haiti, several Latin American countries have TPS status. El Salvador has had TPS status since 2001 because of a devastating earthquake. Nicaragua and Honduras have had TPS status since a hurricane that happened 18 years ago.

    The TPS for Haiti was meant to last only 18 months, but it kept getting 18-month extensions under the Obama administration. When the last TPS extension expired in May, the DHS announced a final six-month extension. In a statement from DHS:

    "The Department of Homeland Security urges Haitian TPS recipients who do not have another immigration status to use the time before Jan. 22, 2018, to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States."

    So many Haitian refugees have been taking the DHS advice and arranging their departure from the United States by traveling to Canada. They were encouraged by a welcoming tweet from Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau on January 28, shortly after Trump announced his travel ban:

    "To those fleeing persecution, terror & war, Canadians will welcome you, regardless of your faith. Diversity is our strength #WelcomeToCanada"

    Trudeau's tweet was followed by a picture of him greeting a refugee family. The two tweets received over a million likes and half-a-million retweets. Canadian Broadcasting and Canadian TV News and AFP

    Related Articles

    Seven years after earthquake, Haiti is still devastated


    People dump trash and raw sewage into canals that run through Port-au-Prince, Haiti. When it rains, the canals overflow and flood poor neighborhoods. (NPR)
    People dump trash and raw sewage into canals that run through Port-au-Prince, Haiti. When it rains, the canals overflow and flood poor neighborhoods. (NPR)

    Haiti appears to be a cursed country. Before 2010 it was already almost the poorest country in the world, with many neighborhoods strewn knee high in garbage. Then, on January 12, 2010, the earthquake struck, killing 316,000 people and leaving more than 1.5 million people homeless, and 3.3 million facing food shortages.

    Then the United Nations sent in peacekeepers to aid in the cleanup. The peacekeepers didn't accomplish too much cleanup, but they did infect the water in Haiti with cholera, in a country which had previously been free of cholera. This caused hundreds of thousands of cases of cholera. It was later attributed to the peacekeepers from Nepal.

    Billions of dollars in aid have been spent in Haiti since then, apparently accomplishing little because of pervasive corruption. The Red Cross, for example, is accused of building only six homes in Haiti with nearly half a billion dollars in donated funds, and spending millions on internal expenses.

    Haitian migrants have been flooding into other countries, usually in order to work and send remittances back to their families. The Dominican Republic recently granted a one-year extension to some 230,000 Haitian migrants trying to renew or obtain residency permits. Other countries, including the Bahamas and Turks-and-Caicos have also had to cope with Haitian migrants. Huffington Post (12-Jan-2017) and Reuters and NPR and Magnetic Media TV and Bahama Journal

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 4-Aug-17 World View -- Thousands of migrants flee to Canada, fearing deportation in the US thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (4-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    3-Aug-17 World View -- Rex Tillerson warns China is risking 'open conflict' with the United States

    Rex Tillerson promises a US 'response' to North Korea's 'unacceptable threat'

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Rex Tillerson promises a US 'response' to North Korea's 'unacceptable threat'


    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

    Speaking to the State Dept. press corps on Tuesday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made it clear that the United States would not be appeasing either North Korea or China. Tillerson began by explaining the policy toward North Korea:

    "We have reaffirmed our position towards North Korea, that what we are doing, we do not seek a regime change; we do not seek the collapse of the regime; we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula; we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel. And we’re trying to convey to the North Koreans we are not your enemy, we are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond."

    Tillerson's statement was consistent with a remark made the previous day by President Donald Trump:

    "We will handle North Korea. We are gonna be able to handle them. It will be handled."

    UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said that the "time for talk is over," referring to the endless series of UN Security Council resolutions, each one expressing outrage that North Korea has ignored previous resolutions, and threatening North Korea with a new resolution in the future if the current one is violated. Some people in the mainstream media are having reading comprehension difficulties with these statements, considering them contradictory to one another. One journalist, for example, said that Trump and Tillerson "offered distinctly mixed messages on North Korea," and that Trump "preached a different message."

    And yet, the messages are perfectly clear and consistent. We do not seek regime change, but North Korea is presenting a major unacceptable threat to the US, and we have to "respond" or to "handle it."

    The reason that so many journalists, politicians, pundits and analysts are having difficulty is because they don't have the vaguest clue what's going on in the world, or how the world works, or they think that the world works the same way it did when they were children in the 1980s-90s. In those days, the world was still being run by the Silent generation, survivors of World War II, who were well aware of what can go wrong. But the world today is being run by younger generations who have no clue what can go wrong.

    The exception is Donald Trump's close adviser, Steve Bannon, who knows very well what is going on in the world. As I've described in the past, I've worked with Steve Bannon off and on for several years in the past, both on his movie "Generation Zero" and when I was cross-posting articles on the Breitbart National Security site. So I know that Steve Bannon is an expert on military history and world history, and he also has an expert understanding of Generational Dynamics and generational theory.

    So Bannon knows very well, and presumably has communicated to Trump, that a nuclear military confrontation with North Korea is coming with absolute certainty. Following the path of previous administrations would have meant showing weakness and appeasing North Korea, and then being overwhelmed by North Korea's unexpected surprise nuclear attack on South Korea and American bases, just as the US was overwhelmed by Imperial Japan's unexpected surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Instead of appeasing North Korea, the Trump administration is threatening to "respond." Presumably, there is hope that some response could somehow cripple North Korea's nuclear missile development program. To my knowledge, nobody believes that any such response is possible, and most analysts believe that any such attempt would trigger a North Korean attack on Seoul and South Korea. US State Dept. and Washington Examiner and Global Times (Beijing)

    Related Articles

    Rex Tillerson warns China is risking 'open conflict' with the United States

    In his speech to the State Dept. press corps, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that the US has asked China to pressure North Korea to end their nuclear missile program:

    "The Chinese have been very clear with us that we share the same objective, a denuclearized Korean Peninsula. They do not see it in their interest for North Korea to have nuclear weapons, just as we do not see it in anyone’s interest. ...

    We’ve been very clear with the Chinese we certainly don’t blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea. Only the North Koreans are to blame for this situation. But we do believe China has a special and unique relationship because of this significant economic activity to influence the North Korean regime in ways that no one else can.

    And that’s why we continue to call upon them to use that influence with North Korea to create the conditions where we can have a productive dialogue. We don’t think having a dialogue where the North Koreans come to the table assuming they’re going to maintain their nuclear weapons is productive. So that’s really what the objective that we are about is."

    The logic of this statement is a little convoluted. He wants China to influence North Korea so that they can all have a constructive dialog. But a productive dialog is not possible if North Korea assumes that they're going to maintain their nuclear weapons. Therefore, he's implying that he wants China to influence North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons development.

    After North Korea's ballistic missile statement last weekend, President Trump lashed out at China on Twitter:

    "I am very disappointed in China. Our foolish past leaders have allowed them to make hundreds of billions of dollars a year in trade, yet they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk. We will no longer allow this to continue. China could easily solve this problem!"

    Trump's tweet contained an implicit threat towards China. Tillerson went farther in his speech to the press corps and warned China that China is risking open conflict with the United States, because of disagreements over trade and over China's actions in the South China Sea:

    "The question now is that we – we believe we’re at a bit of a pivot point in that relationship because of how China has progressed now to become the second largest economy in the world, and they will continue to grow in their importance to the global economy. What should define this relationship for the next 50 years? And those are the discussions that we have with the Chinese in the broadest contours: How should we define this relationship and how do we ensure that economic prosperity to the benefit of both countries and the world can continue, and that where we have differences – because we will have differences, we do have differences – that we will deal with those differences in a way that does not lead to open conflict. And that has been the success of the past policy. It’s one that we must continue, but we recognize conditions have changed and to simply rely upon the past may not serve either one of us well.

    So these are very in-depth conversations and discussions we have with the Chinese, and we test this relationship through things like the situation in North Korea. Can we work together to address this global threat where we have a common objective? And where we have differences – in the South China Sea, and we have some trading differences that need to be addressed – can we work through those differences in a way without it leading to open conflict and find the solutions that are necessary to serve us both?"

    Tillerson's statement contains a direct warning to China by twice using the phrase "lead[ing] to open conflict."

    Previous administrations have avoided any sorts of direct threats to China, for fear of angering them. But avoiding threats has the effect of showing weakness and appeasing China, and then later being overwhelmed by an unexpected surprise attack.

    But, once again, this administration is different because Trump advisor Steve Bannon is an expert on Generational Dynamics, and is well aware of the Generational Dynamics prediction that the US and China are headed for all-out war with 100% certainty.

    Instead of appeasing North Korea and China, the Trump administration is making unspecified threats, in the hope of finding either a way to stop the war or a way to make sure that the United States survives a war.

    The Trump statement quoted above suggests that Trump plans trade sanctions against China, and the statements by Tillerson suggest that the administration plans some sort of action to neutralize North Korea's nuclear missile threat.

    I wish I could say that there's hope that these measures will have the desired effect of stopping North Korea and China, but as I've been saying for years, major decisions and trends like those developing now do not come from the countries' leaders. They come from the countries' populations, entire generations of people, and attempting to halt these trends is like trying to stop a tsunami with a teacup.

    On Tuesday morning, South Carolina Republican Lindsey Graham, who has a close relationship with Trump, made a statement about the inevitability of war in Korea that is believed to have come from Trump himself. Graham said that unless North Korea's president Kim Jong-un changes, war is coming:

    "I’m saying it’s inevitable unless North Korea changes because you’re making our president pick between regional stability and homeland security.

    If there’s going to be a war to stop him [Kim], it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here. And he [Trump] has told me that to my face."

    These statements by Tillerson, Trump and Graham, taken together, define a policy that is completely consistent with the Generational Dynamics analysis of the situation in China and North Korea. Mainstream journalists and analysts are completely baffled by it, because they have no idea what's going on in the world, and they know nothing about Generational Dynamics or generational theory. That's why mainstream journalists talk about chaos, or a White House with no foreign policy or an incoherent foreign policy. They simply have no clue.

    But the fact is that this is the most coherent and sophisticated White House foreign policy that I've seen in the 15 years that I've been writing about Generational Dynamics. Unfortunately, it won't prevent the catastrophic Clash of Civilizations war that's approaching, any more than a policy of appeasement would do, but we can hope that it may help guarantee that the United States will survive. Guardian (London) and Daily Star (London) and South China Morning Post (Hong Kong) and Global Times (Beijing) and Daily Beast

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 3-Aug-17 World View -- Rex Tillerson warns China is risking 'open conflict' with the United States thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (3-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    2-Aug-17 World View -- Court orders France to provide water and sanitation to Calais migrants

    French police accused of abusive treatment towards Calais migrants

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Court orders France to provide water and sanitation to Calais migrants


    Migrants are continuing to arrive in Calais, despite the closure of the Jungle camp nine months ago. (CNN)
    Migrants are continuing to arrive in Calais, despite the closure of the Jungle camp nine months ago. (CNN)

    Under court order, France's government said that it would provide hundreds of refugees "sleeping rough" in the Calais region with drinking water, showers, and toilets.

    In October of last year, France finally closed "The Jungle," the refugee camp housing about 7,000 refugees in the French port city of Calais, hoping to sneak onto ferries and trucks crossing the English Channel, in order to apply for asylum in Britain.

    France had hoped to be done with "The Jungle," but now hundreds of new refugees have come to Calais with the same goals. One Afghan refugee said that this year it's different:

    "The difference is huge compared to the former ‘Jungle,’ police were not harassing people every day. There were houses, tents set up, there was food. We had everything there.

    There were showers, toilets, a mosque and even a place for eating. We had everything. Here, there is nothing, no toilet, no shower, nowhere to sleep. Not even a plate to eat from."

    In June, a regional court ordered Calais officials, within ten days, to provide drinking fountains, toilets and showers to migrants who are "exposed to inhuman and degrading conditions" in the area. The court said that Calais didn't have to provide shelter to migrants on a permanent basis, but said it was "unlawful to deny all aid to people who are in a state of complete deprivation." The court said that if Calais failed to comply, then the city would be fined €100 per day.

    The ruling was hailed as a victory by migrants' rights activists, but Calais chose not to comply, with the mayor reportedly saying that he's rather pay a €100 per day fine than risk having thousands of migrants come back to Calais.

    Interior minister Gérard Collomb warned that complying with the order risked developing a migrant "abscess."

    "We've seen this before, it starts with a few hundred people and ends with several thousand people who we can't manage. That's why we don't want a center here."

    So on Monday, France's highest administrative court, the e Council of State or Conseil d'État, upheld the lower court order, and ordered the state to provide running water and sanitation for the migrants, saying that its refusal so far to do so "exposed them to inhuman and degrading treatment."

    Calais Mayor Natacha Bouchart said that she would ignore the order:

    "The decision by the Council of State is unfair to the people of Calais because it threatens them with the emergence of yet another Jungle.

    In the absence of a national and European policy offering a global solution on controlling immigration, Calais will not implement the injunctions."

    Instead, Interior minister Gérard Collomb announced on Monday that two shelters for Calais migrants, each with a capacity of 300, would be opened within ten days. The centers will be located in the towns of Troisvaux and Bailleul, situated about 80 kilometers from Calais. Furthermore, refugees will only be permitted to remain there for a few days, to allow their asylum applications to be processed, and then they would be required to leave and go somewhere else. Whether that will satisfy the court remains to be seen.

    But Calais's mayor, Natacha Bouchart, called Collomb's plans "an injustice to the people of Calais," and said the plans would lead to a new Jungle. Euro News and RFI and France 24 (26-June) and Express (London)

    French police accused of abusive treatment towards Calais migrants

    For months, NGOs and activists have been accusing French police of use of abusive treatment and excessive force towards migrants in Calais. Police were accused of preventing aid groups from distributing meals in Calais.

    According to regional police chief Fabien Sudry in June, the charges were unfounded:

    "In a country with the rule of law, all people can file a legal complaint and ask for an investigation from the police inspector general. No legal complaints have been filed at this stage regarding police violence on migrants."

    Now Human Rights Watch has produced a report based on interviews of 60 asylum seekers and migrants, confirming the reports of police abuse. According to the report:

    "Human Rights Watch finds that police in Calais, particularly the riot police (Compagnies républicaines de sécurité, CRS), routinely use pepper spray on child and adult migrants while they are sleeping or in other circumstances in which they pose no threat; regularly spray or confiscate sleeping bags, blankets, and clothing; and sometimes use pepper spray on migrants’ food and water. Police also disrupt the delivery of humanitarian assistance."

    According to HRW, authorities have turned a blind eye to these widespread reports of police abuse against asylum seekers and other migrants. According to HRW's director in France: "It is reprehensible for police to use pepper spray on children and adults who are asleep or peacefully going about their day. When police destroy or take migrants’ blankets, shoes, or food, they demean their profession as well as harm people whose rights they’ve sworn to uphold." Human Rights Watch and European Observatory of Crimes and Security and Reuters (1-June) and Daily Sabah (Ankara)

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 2-Aug-17 World View -- Court orders France to provide water and sanitation to Calais migrants thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (2-Aug-2017) Permanent Link
    Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
    Donate to Generational Dynamics via PayPal

    1-Aug-17 World View -- Torture and murder of election official raise fears of violence in Kenya

    Widespread fears in Kenya of a repeat of the 2008 tribal violence

    by John J. Xenakis

    This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

    Torture and murder of election official raise fears of violence in Kenya


    Election poster in Kenya (Reuters)
    Election poster in Kenya (Reuters)

    With the minds of the people of Kenya still filled with sharp memories of the massive bloody violence that occurred after the 2007 presidential elections, most people were shocked and disgusted to learn on Monday that the person most responsible for guaranteeing free and fair presidential elections next week on August 8 was tortured and killed on Friday.

    Chris Msando, who was in charge of IT systems for Kenya's electoral commission, went missing on Friday. On Monday, his naked body was found dumped in a forest, with his left hand and fingers broken, a swollen injury on his head, and evidence of strangulation. The body of a woman identified only as Shiru was also found, leading to some social media speculation that the murder was a personal matter triggered by an illicit affair.

    However, most Kenyans believe that Msando was murdered to affect the presidential elections next week. Those who support the incumbent, Uhuru Kenyatta, say that polls show that their candidate is likely to win, and therefore the opposition are the likely murderers, with the objective of making it possible to rig the election against the incumbent.

    Those who support the main opposition candidate, Raila Odinga, say that the polls show that the election will be close, and the government had Msando murdered in order to make it possible to rig the election to make sure that the incumbent wins.

    On Monday, Msando was to oversee the public testing of a new national computerized voting system, the Kenya Integrated Electoral Management System (KIEMS). A similar electronic system that was used in the 2013 election failed spectacularly, leading to manual counting of votes which some have argued allowed for voter manipulation. The test was put on hold following the announcement that Msando's dead body was found, and it's unclear what the status of next Tuesday's presidential elections is now. BBC and Standard Media (Kenya) and The Nation (Kenya) and Standard Media (Kenya) and Deutsche Welle (9-July)

    Widespread fears in Kenya of a repeat of the 2008 tribal violence

    After the December 2007 president elections, there was a period of extremely bloody inter-tribal violence in Rift Valley in Kenya, that began early in 2008. The worst atrocity occurred when 30 people were lured into a church to escape violence, and a young gang locked the doors and set the church on fire, burning everyone alive. All in all, more than 1,200 people were killed in the tribal violence between the Kalenjins, whose nomadic lifestyle was typical of herders, and the Kikuyus, who were mostly farmers.

    President Uhuru Kenyatta is from the market-dominant Kikuyu tribe, while his opponent, Raila Odinga, is from the marginalized Luo tribe, which is an offshoot of the Kalenjins. Observers in Kenya are pointing out that the Kikuyus and the Kalenjins have reached some sort of agreement to prevent violence this time. However, as I described in detail in April, the violence between herders and farmers is a classic battle and standard fare in country after country, including America in the 1800s.

    In fact, the pre-election violence in Kenya has already begun. As I described in my April article, well-known Italian conservationist Kuki Gallmann, 73, was shot in the stomach by herders who invaded her Gallmann Laikipia Nature Conservancy in Laikipia county in Kenya's Rift Valley.

    Kenya's last generational crisis war was the Mau-Mau rebellion that began in 1952 and climaxed in 1956. In 2008, Kenya was still in a generational Unraveling era, which made a full-scale war very unlikely, and explains why the violence at that time fizzled fairly quickly. Today, Kenya is in a generational Crisis era, and so the possibility of full-scale war is much greater.

    As I described in April, there is a significant generational difference between 2008 and 2017. During the last year, Kalenjin politicians have been inciting violence by herders against farmers. In 2008, the senior politicians were all survivors of the Mau-Mau rebellion, and they would not have incited violence and risked full-scale war. But today, those survivors are almost all gone, and politicians are really playing with fire by inciting violence. That's the difference between a generational Unraveling era and a Crisis era.

    Kenya is headed for an all-out war, repeating the extremely bloody violence of the Mau-Mau rebellion, either now or in the months to come. The torture and murder of Chris Msando sets the stage for accusations of vote-rigging by whoever loses the election, and if one side or the other becomes convinced that the election was stolen, that could trigger new violence. The Star (Kenya) and Deutsche Welle and Human Rights Watch and Standard Media (Kenya)

    Related Articles

    (Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 1-Aug-17 World View -- Torture and murder of election official raise fears of violence in Kenya thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (1-Aug-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.