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Web Log - September, 2020


28-Sep-20 World View -- Armenia warns of 'full-scale war' with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

Possible intervention by Turkey and Russia

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Armenia warns of 'full-scale war' with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh

Baku, Ajerbaijan, in July 2020 -- demonstrators storm the national parliament, demanding war against Armemia (Getty)
Baku, Ajerbaijan, in July 2020 -- demonstrators storm the national parliament, demanding war against Armemia (Getty)

Heavy fighting has erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan, starting early Sunday. There were brief clashes in July of this year, and a larger clash in 2016, but this is the worst clash since the bloody Nagorno-Karabakh war ended in 1994. There are fears that this could spiral into a larger regional war, especially if Turkey or Russia gets involved. Turkey issued a statement that it would support Azerbaijan in a conflict, and this led Armenia to issue a warning of "full-scale war."

Nagorno-Karabakh is a region within Azerbaijan, but which has a mostly Armenian population which governs it. Nagorno-Karabakh ("highland Karabakh") is also called Karabakh by Azerbaijan, and the Republic of Artsakh by Armenia.

Even when both Armenia and Azerbaijan were member states of the Soviet Union, there was tension over Nagorno-Karabakh. However, when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, an extremely bloody war broke out. Armenia invaded Azerbaijan and defeated the Azeri defenders of Nagorno-Karabakh, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people displaced or killed.

The war ended in 1994 because of Russia's mediation, but since then it's proceeded in a fairly typical way, with periods of peace alternating with periods of low-level violence that grow worse with each iteration. In typical situations, this process continues until at least 58 years after the end of the war, when the survivors of the war are no longer in power, and a new war breaks out. In this case, a new war would not be anticipated until at least 2052.

Sunday's clashes resulted in dozens of deaths, including civilians. As is usual in these situations, each side is blaming the other for firing the first shot. However, several analysts are pointing out that Azerbaijan has been signaling this kind of attack since July, while Armenia really has nothing to gain by launching this clash.

Possible intervention by Turkey and Russia

The countries are in a generational Awakening era, and so there are too many traumatized survivors of the last war still alive, and they will do everything possible to keep the low-level clashes from escalating into another full-scale war, despite demands for war from younger people to recover Karabakh, as shown in the photo at the beginning of this article.

However, that could change if other countries get involved. Russia, Iran, France and the EU have offered to mediate. Russia has good relations with both former Soviet countries, although it has closer relations with its Orthodox Christian sister Armenia and has a military base in Armenia. But Russia is expected to stay neutral unless Turkey gets involved.

Turkey issued several statements on Sunday that Turkey was ready to side with its Turkic brother, Azerbaijan, if war breaks out.

Turkey's Ministry of Defense said:

"In the struggle to protect the territorial integrity, we will remain in the ranks with our brothers, the Azerbaijani Turks, to the end."

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote on his Twitter page:

"By carrying out another attack on Azerbaijan, Armenia reaffirmed that it is a great obstacle on the way to peace and stability. I call on the Armenian people to use their future against the government, which is pulling them into the abyss of disaster, and those who use them as puppets. At the same time, I call on the whole world to support Azerbaijan, which is fighting against despotism and injustice."

Armenia says that it will defend its "sacred homeland," the Republic of Artsakh, because "we must defend our homeland and our families." Armenia declared martial law and mobilized its male populations to prepare for war.

A full-scale war between Azerbaijan and Armenia would destablize the entire southern Caucasus region, and perhaps the Mideast as well.

The Generational Dynamics analysis is that this clash will fizzle within a few days or weeks or maybe a few months, and will not escalate into full-scale war. That could change if it turns into a proxy war between Turkey and Russia, two countries that are already at war in Syria and Libya, and have been historical enemies in the Caucasus for centuries.

---- Sources:

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27-Sep-20 World View -- Lebanon's new prime minister resigns in failure, throwing country into further chaos

President Trump harshly attacks China and World Health Org at UN

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Lebanon's new prime minister resigns in failure, throwing country into further chaos

Aftermath of August 4 explosion in Beirut Lebanon (Reuters)
Aftermath of August 4 explosion in Beirut Lebanon (Reuters)

Mustapha Adib, the man recently designated to become Lebanon's next prime minister, resigned in failure on Saturday, unable to form a government because of opposition from the puppets of Iran, the Hezbollah terror group and the Shia Amal political party.

The country is still reeling from the catastrophic explosion in the Beirut, Lebanon, seaport on Tuesday, August 4, which leveled thousands of homes, killed and injured thousands of people, and left 300,000 people homeless. Investigation has revealed the Hezbollah is implicated in the explosion, and may be to blame for it. ( "22-Aug-20 World View -- Hezbollah implicated in catastrophic Beirut Lebanon ")

Lebanon's economy has been a continually worsening disaster for many years, and that's blamed on Lebanon's "dynastic confessional" system of government, where power is divided based on sectarian affiliation or confession, requiring that a Sunni Muslim must occupy the position of prime minister, while the presidency is given to a Maronite Christian and speaker of parliament to a Shia Muslim. As I've explained in detail several times in the past, this confessional system has promoted massive corruption, as there are no checks and balances, and greedy politicians have taken advantage of it to destroy Lebanon's economy. ( "9-Aug-20 World View -- Beirut Lebanon police clash with furious protesters following Tuesday's catastrophic explosion")

Hezbollah and the Shia bloc have benefited the most from the corruption and criminality engendered by the confessional system, and it was hoped that because the August 4 explosion practically leveled the city of Beirut, Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah might change his stripes, and allow some government reforms. France's president Emmanuel Macron has promised international aid to Lebanon, but only if fundamental government reforms take place.

But apparently Nasrallah is doubling down on his greed and his demands that he and the Shia bloc retain all their power. He particularly wants full control of the Finance Ministry, which would give the Shia full control over spending any international aid that international organizations granted to Lebanon. There's no way that Macron would approve this. This is the reason that Mustapha Adib resigned.

According to a couple of Lebanese analysts on TV, Nasrallah's puppetmaster, Iran's president Hassan Rouhani, is demanding that Nasrallah remain intransigent at least until America's November 3 election.

Presumably the reason for this is that Rouhani is hoping that Donald Trump will lose the election to Joe Biden, and Biden will restore the nuclear deal and end sanctions on Iran, and that the Europeans will follow with money for both Iran and Hezbollah, and Nasrallah can remain fat and happy, until the next disaster.

So Lebanon's chaos is going to continue for at least a couple more months, and possibly a lot longer, because the expected election chaos in the US caused by fraud and irregularities with 80 million mail-in ballots poured onto the election could result in long delays in determining who the election winner will be.

President Trump harshly attacks China and World Health Org at UN

On Tuesday, president Donald Trump gave a speech to the United Nations General Assembly. It was described by the mainstream media as a "machine gun speech," because he covered one point after another very quickly, without adding the usual political bloviation. The speech lasted only 7 minutes, reportedly the shortest leader speech in the history of the United Nations.

What was interesting about the speech was the harsh criticism of China and the World Health Organization (WHO).

Trump used to say that Xi Jinping was his friend. However, he made a U-turn in March, when China's Foreign Ministry began saying that the American Army infected Wuhan with the virus. This accusation infuriated Trump, and since then he's taken every opportunity to condemn China for the "China virus."

In the UN speech, Trump said that the UN must hold China accountable for purposely unleashing this plague onto the world. He also harshly criticized the WHO for supporting several lies by China that allowed the virus to spread around the world, while China protected itself.

Trump also said that "China dumps millions and millions of tons of plastic and trash into the oceans, overfishes other countries’ waters, destroys vast swaths of coral reef, and emits more toxic mercury into the atmosphere than any country anywhere in the world." Trump also heavily criticized China's human abuse record.

Here are some excerpts from Trump's speech:

"It is my profound honor to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Seventy-five years after the end of World War II and the founding of the United Nations, we are once again engaged in a great global struggle. We have waged a fierce battle against the invisible enemy — the China virus — which has claimed countless lives in 188 countries.

In the United States, we launched the most aggressive mobilization since the Second World War. We rapidly produced a record supply of ventilators, creating a surplus that allowed us to share them with friends and partners all around the globe. We pioneered life-saving treatments, reducing our fatality rate 85 percent since April.

Thanks to our efforts, three vaccines are in the final stage of clinical trials. We are mass-producing them in advance so they can be delivered immediately upon arrival.

We will distribute a vaccine, we will defeat the virus, we will end the pandemic, and we will enter a new era of unprecedented prosperity, cooperation, and peace.

As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.

In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world. China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they cancelled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.

The Chinese government and the World Health Organization — which is virtually controlled by China — falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease.

The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.

In addition, every year, China dumps millions and millions of tons of plastic and trash into the oceans, overfishes other countries’ waters, destroys vast swaths of coral reef, and emits more toxic mercury into the atmosphere than any country anywhere in the world. China’s carbon emissions are nearly twice what the U.S. has, and it’s rising fast. By contrast, after I withdrew from the one-sided Paris Climate Accord, last year America reduced its carbon emissions by more than any country in the agreement.

Those who attack America’s exceptional environmental record while ignoring China’s rampant pollution are not interested in the environment. They only want to punish America, and I will not stand for it. ...

Thank you. God bless you all. God bless America. And God bless the United Nations."

This is just one more illustration of how the atmosphere between the US and China continues to grow worse. This is a typical pattern that history tells us leads to war.

John Xenakis is author of: "World View: War Between China and Japan: Why America Must Be Prepared" (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 2), June 2019, Paperback: 331 pages, with over 200 source references, $13.99


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23-Sep-20 World View -- China crosses and repudiates 'median line' separating China from Taiwan

China's dual-track policy towards Taiwan

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

China crosses and repudiates 'median line' separating China from Taiwan

Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen on Monday (Taipei Times)
Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen on Monday (Taipei Times)

The Chinese Communists further escalated the tensions with Taiwan on Sunday, by sending a mass of 43 warplanes across the Taiwan Strait, crossing the historic "median line" or "middle line" separating China from Taiwan, and entering Taiwan’s air defense identification zone (ADIZ).

The incursions came from multiple directions and involved a combination of sophisticated fighter jets and heavy bombers, without modern precedent, marking a significant escalation in cross-strait tensions. Taiwan responded by scrambling its own warplanes, which intercepted the Chinese warplanes and escorted them back in the direction of China.

The Chinese Communists went even further when Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin claimed in a statement that "Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory; there is no so-called median line of the strait." The "median line" was established in 1954 to establish rules to prevent Taiwan-China conflicts. The sudden declaration that the median line does not exist is the latest flouting of international law by the Chinese Communist Master Race.

Taiwan's president Tsai Ing-wen accused China of threatening regional stability, and praised the "heroic performance" of Taiwan's pilots in intercepting the Chinese warplanes:

"I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [Taiwan], how could we let enemies strut around in our own airspace?"

The Chinese Communists have indicated that the intrusions are retaliation for a visit to Taiwan by U.S. Under Secretary of State Keith Krach last week to attend the memorial service of late President Lee Teng-hui.

China's incursion strategy

According to an analysis by the Federation of American Scientists (FAS), China has commited more than 4,400 intrusions into the ADIZs of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan since 2013. There have been thousands of intrusions into Japan's ADIZ, hundreds into South Korea's ADIZ, and two dozen into Taiwan's ADIZ.

This is consistent with the findings of my 2019 book, "War Between China and Japan - Why America must be prepared," in which I found, after extensive research, that China is planning for and preparing for a war of revenge against Japan, and a war of annexation against Taiwan.

According to a FAS analysis:

"Over the last decade, Chinese flights in the East China Sea have become increasingly more sophisticated. Intrusions in the early 2010s often featured single Y-8 early warning aircraft flying near the Senkakus to the Miyako Strait. By the late 2010s, Chinese flights evolved into more specialized training missions featuring multiple independent flight groups of various aircraft packages conducting increasingly long-range flights to the Pacific."

These "training missions" are preparing China for its revenge invasion of Japan.

With regard to Taiwan, the FAS analysis found: "Chinese air provocations against Taiwan manifest in three ways: circumnavigational flights of Taiwan, ADIZ intrusions, and violations of the cross-strait median line. Circumnavigational flights are the most common provocation, followed by ADIZ intrusions. Violations of the median line are widely seen as the most provocative action and as a result are rare." The FAS report is several months old, and the violations of the median line are now more frequent and, indeed, China now says that the median line does not exist.

The FAS analysis gives "four clear objectives" of China's intrusions into the ADIZ's of other countries:

"On this last point it is important to remember that China not only seeks to decouple security partners like Japan, South Korea, and the United States from one another, but to also manipulate possible domestic political cleavages to its advantage, such as those potentially between Taiwanese citizens and the Tsai government and between Japan’s hardline security establishment and more cautious partners like the Komeito."

China's dual-track policy towards Taiwan

In 2016, Taiwan's pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), led by Tsai Ing-wen, defeated the pro-Beijing Kuomintang (KMT) party in the presidential election, changing the directions of Taiwan's politics, and also changing the direction of China-Taiwan relations. ( "17-Jan-16 World View -- Taiwan's pro-independence party wins historic presidential election")

Prior to 2016, when the pro-Beijing KMT was in power, relations were very cordial, with the Chinese Communists indulging in the fantasy that if they were nice to Taiwan, then the Taiwanese people would actually want to give up their nation, and become a province of China. That was never going to happen, but the election of Tsai Ing-wen as president destroyed the fantasy for all but the most delusional Chinese Communists.

According to analysis by the Shanghai-based Fudan University, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has adopted a set of dual-track policies towards Taiwan.

One set of policies are used to "tighten the noose on Taipei to contain the pro-independence momentum." Some of these policies are as follows:

The second track of Taiwan policies is for politicians and other Taiwanese individuals who have expressed pro-Beijing views or at least have been neutral on the independence questions. Generally speaking, these are the same policies that Beijing applied to everyone in Taiwan when the KMT was in power, but they are now blocked for anyone expressing pro-independence views.

According to the report, Beijing's aim is to more closely integrate Taiwan into China in economic, social and cultural fields:

"[For example, in February 2018], Beijing unveiled 31 preferential measures covering fields of industry, finance and taxation, land use, employment, education and health care. The essential objective of Beijing is to integrate Taiwan people and companies more closely with China.

Since the introduction of the 31 preferential measures, it is reported that more than 2,000 enterprises with investment from Taiwan have enjoyed preferential tax treatment on the mainland and more than 100 enterprises have secured special financial support under programs for industrial transformation and upgrading, green manufacturing and intelligent manufacturing. Additionally, Beijing annulled administrative restrictions on high-skilled professionals and technical personnel from 134 listed professions in order to attract as many well-educated Taiwanese as possible to open businesses and lead a life on the mainland."

Reading through the two tracks of these policies, I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would think that either set of policies would make any citizen of Taiwan want Taiwan to become a province of China. How do the Chinese Communists benefit from this nonsense? I'm always talking about the incredible stupidity of the CCP thugs, and this looks like just one more example.

In fact, the published report seems to agree. According to the report, these dual-track policies have produced counter-productive consequences, including the following:

I've said many times that the Chinese Communist Party thugs consistently follow one incredibly stupid policy after another. The most disastrous policies since WW II were the Great Leap Forward, which killed 50 million innocent Chinese while destroying the economy for decades, and the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, which was so horrific that the CCP is still pretending that it never happened. Whether it's a policy regarding Hong Kong, the South China Sea, the Uighurs in Xinjiang, or anything else, I've often said that I don't know what the CCP will do, but I can guarantee that whatever they do, they will make the situation worse.

In fact, even the Chinese Communists don't seriously believe that this nonsense will make the Taiwanese want to become provincial citizens of China. There is only one way that all this benefits the Chinese Communists. According to analysts, referring to the massive intrusions into Taiwan's airspace: "PLA drills this time are not a warning, but a rehearsal for a Taiwan takeover."

In other words, the Chinese Communists are not trying to charm the Taiwanese people. What they're actually doing is preparing to launch a war -- against Taiwan, against Japan, and against the United States -- and everything that the Chinese Communists are doing is to help them prepare for those wars.

John Xenakis is author of: "World View: War Between China and Japan: Why America Must Be Prepared" (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 2), June 2019, Paperback: 331 pages, with over 200 source references, $13.99


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16-Sep-20 World View -- Economic powerhouse Vietnam scrambles to recover from pandemic setbacks

Marxist Socialism before Marx -- Vietnam's Tay-Son rebellion

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

Economic powerhouse Vietnam scrambles to recover from pandemic setbacks

(I am currently writing a book on the history of Vietnam, following my books on the histories of China and Iran. Vietnam has a long, complex history, heavily influenced by both India and China. This article provides some advance information from the new book.)

Danang, Vietnam, on Aug 17. The city was on lockdown and thousands had been evacuated because of the pandemic.  (VOA)
Danang, Vietnam, on Aug 17. The city was on lockdown and thousands had been evacuated because of the pandemic. (VOA)

Up until the last two months, Vietnam was considered the undisputed economic powerhouse of southeast Asia. In 1986, the hard-core communist government saw that their Marxist Socialist policies were causing economic disaster, and they instituted the "Doi Moi" reforms that began to privatize government businesses, and reduced regulations on foreign direct investment (FDI). These capitalistic reforms have been extremely successful, and Vietnam's economy has shown spectacular growth for over three decades. Vietnam also benefited greatly from the US-China trade dispute, which caused may Chinese businesses to relocate to Vietnam.

Another reason for Vietnam's economic success is that its population is relatively young, a large percentage having been born since 1975, the end of the "Vietnam-American war." This especially makes Vietnam a large market for Japanese goods, with Japan's median age over 50.

Vietnam's economic success has depended on FDI and on global economic growth, but both of those have fallen sharply with the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, with the result that Vietnam's economy has recently fallen off a cliff.

Both Russia and China were forced to abandon their Marxist Socialist policies in the past, in favor of capitalism and privatization reforms. The Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) is trying to learn from the Russian and Chinese experiences, and keep its economic growth continuing, without making the same mistakes that Russia and China made and are making.

Unfortunately, there's a dark side to the CPV's economic reforms. The dark side is that they weren't accompanied by human rights reforms. Implementing economic reforms without human rights reforms means that CPV is no longer a Communist, Socialist or Marxist government, but instead has become a Fascist dictatorship. In this sense, it is following China's path, though not Russia's path.

Ironically, Vietnam has previously had a Marxist Socialist government for three decades in the Tay-Son Rebellion of the late 1700s -- decades before Marx was even born. This previous experiment with Marxist Socialism was a disaster, but unfortunately the CPV has not learned any lessons from that disaster.

Vietnam's successful fight against the Wuhan Coronavirus

Those who are hoping for a quick economic recovery in Vietnam are pointing to the country's successful response to the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, which is already in a "second wave" in Vietnam.

Vietnam had very few cases for months, using what was described as "cost-effectives" methods of virus control. These included health checks at airports and borders, strategic testing, contact tracing through mobile apps, effective public communication campaigns, and a national lockdown in April. On May 4, millions of students went back to school after three months at home, making Vietnam one of the first in Southeast Asia to ease movement restrictions.

The Vietnamese thought that they had the virus all but defeated. By July 25, Vietnam had remarkably been completely free of local transmission of the virus for almost 100 days, and had quickly isolated anyone entering the country with the virus.

But then a "second wave" began unexpectedly on July 25, with a new local transmission outbreak began in the coastal city of Danang, a popular tourist destination. By July 31, there were 82 new cases in a single day, more than half in Danang. On the same day, Vietnam reported its first death due to the illness.

So Vietnam quickly decided to evacuate 80,000 people from Danang, so that large-scale sterilization procedures could be set up to control the virus. From the Western point of view this is absolutely incredible, and it shows the difference between fascist governments like China and Vietnam, versus Western democracies, where those kinds of drastic measures would be impossible. They may all have open or partially open economies, but only a fascist CPV government could evacuate 80,000 people quickly from a city by force.

It may be that this drastic technique was successful, as there have been no new community transmissions in Vietnam for the last week.

There are concerns about whether Vietnam will successfully manage a new surge in the fall, but the Vietnam government expects to do so. According to a UN representative in Vietnam, "I am confident that the country will be successful in its efforts to once again successfully contain the virus, once more over the next few weeks."

Vietnam focuses on foreign investment and trade

It's been pretty clear for several months that Vietnam's economy is contracting sharply this year, thanks to the pandemic. Vietnam's Doi Moi reforms were designed to encourage foreign direct investment (FDI) and trade, and so its economy today is extremely dependent on global trade, with exports equivalent to over 70% of GDP.

The pandemic caused global trade to fall drastically, estimated at an 8% contraction in 2020. Thus, exports from Vietnam fell 12.1% in March from a year ago. This was followed by a 14% drop in April, and a 12.4% drop in May.

But the economy is coming back. According to research by Euromonitor, Vietnam ranks second out of 50 economies in merger and acquisitions attractiveness. Exports climbed 2.5% in August compared to a year ago, with shipments to the U.S. rising 19% in the first eight months of 2020. However, this is not all good news. Exports from domestic companies in August increased 18.3% year-on-year, while foreign companies in Vietnam experienced a 4.6% decline. Figures like these inevitably raise suspicions that the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) government is unfairly favoring domestic companies.

The CPV is taking numerous steps to restore economic growth, especially trade, as quickly as possible.

In June, the CPV ratified a free trade agreement with the European Union that will cut or eliminate 99% of tariffs on goods traded between Vietnam and the EU. The deal was controversial in Europe because of the CPV's human and labor rights record, although the agreement supposedly addresses those abuses. It will open up Vietnam’s services, including post, banking, shipping and public procurement markets, align some standards and protect EU food and drinks, such as French champagne or Greek feta cheese, from imitations in Vietnam.

In the area of energy, Vietnam is currently working with ExxonMobil to develop the Blue Whale gas field off the country’s central coast, which has an estimated reserve of 150 billion cubic meters. Gas from this field will be used to run three gas-fired power plants slated to be built at the nearby Dung Quat Economic Zone.

In the area of manufacturing, Vietnam's primary industry of textile and garment exports fell 22%. The decline in global textile demand has led these businesses to manufacture PPE instead, producing nearly three billion masks a month.

Government heightened focus on high tech and artificial intelligence

The CPV is seeking to support high tech firms with a number of financial incentives.

High tech firms have not only seen their real estate fees reduced or waived completely, but have also been able to take preferential loans with half the general interest rate. SMEs with a revenue of 200 billion dong ($8.8 million) will also see a 30% reduction in corporate income taxes.

In Vietnam, the Communist Party owns all the land, and grants various individuals and businesses the right to use the land, in return for payments to the CPV. The CPV has reduced or eliminated real estate fees for high tech firms, and have granted them loans at low interest rates.

The CPV itself has invested heavily in the tech sector. Hanoi-based Viettel Group, the largest state-owned military telecommunications company, is investing $30 million in 5G labs to manufacture 5G chips en masse to create a national 5G infrastructure.

The investments have paid off. Dozens of AI tech firms were founded in the last two years, and Vietnam has an increasingly sophisticated workforce. Vietnam is also benefiting from the US-China trade dispute. A number of foreign high-tech firms are relocating their supply chains from China to Vietnam, due to cheaper production costs and geopolitical stability. These include South Korea's consumer electronics companies LG Group and Samsung Group. Dozens of Japanese companies have made similar shifts, including Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co, Panasonic Corp., and Canon Inc.

Australia's government is heavily supporting AI development in Vietnam. Through its Aus4Innovation program, Australia's Ministry of Science and Technology has already provided millions of dollars in funding for partnerships between Vietnamese and Austrailian institutions for commercialization of science and technology across Vietnam. New funding of almost half a million dollars is specifically targeted to AI applications to assist Vietnam's economic recovery after the coronavirus pandemic.

Human Rights

The economic future of Vietnam seems very bright, but there's also a very dark side to Vietnam, and that's in the area of human rights.

The CPV adopted the "doi moi" economic reforms for purely monetary reasons -- to encourage foreign investment that benefits the country in general and the CPV in particular, by keeping it in power. However, the CPV did not reform the harsh, abusive public policies.

Like the Communist Party in China, the CPV has a paranoid fear of religion-based rebellions. The thugs in both Communist parties consider themselves to be more important than their countries, or than anything. These are vicious, greedy, abusive dictators, scared to death that any sort of religious prayer would mean the destruction of the Communist Party itself, and the loss of their jobs.

In Vietnam, Christians and Buddhists are particular targets of CPV abuse -- arrest, torture, jailings or execution -- just for praying to their gods rather than to the Communist Party thugs.

This abusive behavior is quite widespread, but a particularly interesting example is the Christian Hmong ethnic group in Laos, just across the North Vietnam border in Laos.

The Vietnamese brutally massacred the Hmong in the late 1970s, even performing such atrocities as cutting off penises or widespread rape. The Hmong in Vietnam continue to be persecuted by the CPV because of their Christian religion.

There is a connection between the Hmong ethnic group and the death of George Floyd early in 2020 in Minneapolis at the hands of a white policemen, Derek Chauvin. Little has been reported about Chauvin's past, except that he's married to Kellie Chauvin, a former Mrs. Minnesota. She's an ethnic Hmong and a Hmong activist, born in Laos, but fled to Thailand and became a refugee in the late 1970s, when Vietnam was committing genocide. I haven't been able to find out whether the Hmong connection was related in way to the death of George Floyd.

Marxist Socialism before Marx -- Vietnam's Tay-Son rebellion

In one way or another, Vietnam has been around for millennia, and I will make no attempt in this article to even summarize that history. It is described in detail in my forthcoming book on the history of Vietnam.

However, there's one snippet of Vietnam's history that's fascinating now because of its relevance to today's world. It's about a three decade period in the late 1700s, when Vietnam tried Marxist Socialism, decades before Marx was born, with disastrous results as is always the case with Marxist Socialism.

The story begins in 1400 with the Ho Dynasty, Vietnam's most hated dynasty. In 1400, General Ho Quy Ly seized the throne and proclaimed himself founder of the short-lived Ho dynasty (1400-1407). He inflicted an enormous amount of suffering on the Vietnamese people, so much so that the landowners appealed to China's Ming Dynasty to intervene.

The Chinese took advantage of the situation. They invaded and took control, and inflicted even worse human exploitation than the Ho on the Vietnamese people, until they were ejected in 1428.

The Ho family came back with a vengeance in 1773, when three Ho brothers from the Tay-Son district launched a rebellion. It's apparently very easy to change your name in the Vietnam culture, and so they changed from the hated Ho name to the popular Nguyen name, although they were unconnected with the Nguyen family.

Their rebellion spread and gained strength quickly. Like all Socialists, the Tay-Son bought popularity by spending other people's money, starting by confiscating all the money of their own constituents. The Tay-Son governing chief principle and main slogan of the Tay Son was "seize the property of the rich and distribute it to the poor." In each village the Tay Son controlled, oppressive landlords and scholar-officials were punished and their property redistributed. The Tay Son also abolished taxes, burned the tax and land registers, freed prisoners from local jails, and distributed the food from storehouses to the hungry. As the rebellion gathered momentum, it gained the support of army deserters, merchants, scholars, local officials, and bonzes. It was essentially a modern-day Marxist Socialist government, though it existed long before the birth of Karl Marx.

Like all Socialist regimes, they soon ran out of other people's money. Modern day Socialist regimes turn to such things as drug dealing, extortion or dictators to gain income. They also starve, torture, jail and execute their political opponents still living in their Socialist Paradise.

The Tay-Son rebels aligned themselves with Chinese pirates. The targets of these Chinese pirates were Chinese commercial vessels. Among other things, this gave the Tay-Son (Ho) brothers revenge for the Chinese invasion in 1407 that removed the Ho Dynasty.

The benefits of the Tay-son - pirate relationship were mutual. The pirates required bases and safe harbors on land where they could sell booty, gain military and organization experience, careen and refit ships, and carouse, and the rebels provided that to the pirates, along with protection and legitimacy. In return, the rebels got the needed manpower and revenues to fight against the entrenched bureaucracy.

By the 1780s, the Tay-Son brothers were so destitute from their Socialist policies that they were completely dependent on the support of Chinese pirates. According to one historian, pirates "became a central feature of Tay Son naval strategy and indeed the regime’s economy between 1786 and 1802."

In the 1790s, a prince from the real Nguyen family, Nguyen Phuc Ahn, teamed up with French Christian missionaries and raised a mercenary army in India and defeated the Tay-Son government on June 1, 1802. The missionaries were willing to cooperate because the Tay-Son brothers were persecuting Christians.

Aftermath of the Tay-Son rebellion

Nguyen Phuc Ahn began a new Nguyen Dynasty in 1802. He changed his own name to Gia Long, and he changed the name of the country to Nam Viet. The Chinese didn't like that name for historical reasons. China recognized Gia Long as emperor of the new Nguyen Dynasty, but insisted on naming the country Viet Nam, the first time that name was used.

After a generational crisis civil war ends, the winning tribe or ethnic group continues the conflict by harsh, abusive treatment of ordinary people in the losing side after the war ends. Typically, the winning side fears a renewed uprising by the losing side, and they become paranoid and freely begin using harsh repression, torture and jailings.

Gia Long was no exception. His regime harshly repressed any political opposition that opposed the regime or the interests of the bureaucracy and the landowners. Pre-Tay-Son taxes were reinstated. Pre-Tay-Son prison punishments were reinstated, or were even more severe.

Gia Long followed strict "North Vietnam" Confucian style government principles. Buddhism, Taoism, and indigenous religions were forbidden, and these are characteristic of the "South Vietnam" culture.

Initially, the new government was friendly to the French Christians, since it was Christian missionaries that helped overthrow the Tay-Sons. However, the growing number of converts to Christianity -- 450,000 by 1841 -- with their disdain for Confucianism, were perceived as a critical problem by the regime. By the 1830s, the regime issued edicts that forbade the practice of Christianity, forcing the Christian communities underground. An estimated ninety-five priests and members of the laity were executed by the Vietnamese during the following quarter of a century.

Tensions grew, and in early 1861, a French fleet of 70 ships and 3,500 men reinforced Saigon, and in June 1862, forced Vietnam's emperor to cede Saigon and three provinces to the French.

France's navy continued traveling up the Mekong River, and by the end of the century had colonized all of French Indochina, their new name for Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. The French remained in control until after World War II, and left completely after being defeated by human wave assaults at Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Once again, Vietnam was partitioned into North and South Vietnam.

Vietnam's future

The reason that I went into such detail about the Tay-Son rebellion is because it's being replayed today. "History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes."

North and South Vietnam were split in the 1760s. The Tay-Son (Ho) brothers started a harsh Marxist revolution that began in 1773 and lasted until 1802, with the result that North and South Vietnam were reunited again. It was followed by decades of severe repression and religious persecution. There would have been a new civil war around 1860 between North and South Vietnam, except that the French came and colonized the region. North and South Vietnam remained united until the French were ejected in 1954.

In 1954, after the defeat of the French colonizers, North and South Vietnam were again split. Another Ho, the dictator Ho Chi Minh, started a harsh Marxist revolution that began in 1954 and lasted until the reforms in 1986. It was followed by decades of severe repression and religious persecution, that are still going on today.

Vietnam may be united under control of the the CPV, but it is not culturally united. For centuries, there have been many wars between North and South Vietnam, and the core reasons haven't changed. This is clear from many blog posts online today that the people of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh city or HCMC) really do hate their CPV overlords and the people of Hanoi, while the people of Hanoi consider the people of Saigon to be sweet and nice, as if they were puppies.

The Vietnam-American war that ended in 1975 was just one more of a long series of wars between the Sinicized-Confucian culture in North Vietnam versus the Indianized-Buddhist culture in South Vietnam. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the time frame for a new civil war would be around 2035. However, just as the French invasion and colonization of French Indochina derailed the timeline for the civil war that would otherwise have begun in 1860, the current timeline could be derailed by an invasion from China or by a new world war.

In the meantime, "it is what it is," to use the trite phrase. You can visit Vietnam, you can work in Vietnam, you can live in Vietnam, provided you understand the rules. The rules are that the CPV is very harsh and oppressive, and saying or doing the wrong thing can get you arrested, tortured or deported. And even if you find a comfortable niche, the tensions and hostility between North and South are going to be worse every year.

Vietnam is an exciting, interesting place to live or visit, and it has a young, enthusiastic work force eager to succeed. Take advantage of those benefits as long as you can, and just follow the rules.

John Xenakis is author of: "World View: War Between China and Japan: Why America Must Be Prepared" (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 2), June 2019, Paperback: 331 pages, with over 200 source references, $13.99

John Xenakis is author of: "World View: Iran's Struggle for Supremacy -- Tehran's Obsession to Redraw the Map of the Middle East" (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 1), September 2018, Paperback: 153 pages, over 100 source references, $7.00,

John Xenakis is author of: "Generational Dynamics Anniversary Edition - Forecasting America's Destiny", (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 3), January 2020, Paperback: 359 pages, $14.99,


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12-Sep-20 World View -- New 'historic' Israel-Bahrain peace agreement generates controversy

Mideast peace continues to be a fantasy objective

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

New 'historic' Israel-Bahrain peace agreement generates controversy

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas was not included in Friday's peace agreement (Reuters)
Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas was not included in Friday's peace agreement (Reuters)

US President Donald Trump has mediated another peace agreement, this time between Israel and Bahrain, following the peace agreement one month ago between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Once again, the agreement is being described as "historic."

Bahrain will participate in what will now be a three-way signing ceremony at the White House Tuesday with Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Trump explained the peace agreements happened because "Even great warriors get tired of fighting, and they’re tired of fighting." He suggested that this was just the next step on the road to peace deal for the entire Mideast. He said that other countries are considering signing peace agreements as well. He didn't name countries, but Morocco, Kuwait and Oman are considered possible candidates.

Those are all small kingdoms. It's not expected that Saudi Arabia would join the countries normalizing relations with Israel, even though Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) might consider doing so, since his father King Salman is opposed to any such recognition until the Palestinian issue is settled. However, it's believed that UAE and Bahrain normalized relations with Israel with the approval of MBS. MBS has supported the agreements by permitting Israeli planes to fly over Saudi air space for the first time.

Historically, this is the fourth peace agreement between Israel and an Arab country since Israel was created in 1948. In 1979, Egypt and Israel signed a peace agreement between the two countries, in 1994, Jordan signed a peace agreement with Israel, and a month ago, UAE signed a peace agreement. Thus Bahrain is the fourth country to take this step.

Mideast peace continues to be a fantasy objective

Long-time readers know that I've reported on and mocked numerous proposed peace agreements. Every president has a plan for Mideast peace based on a "two-state solution" -- Israel and Palestine, side-by-side in peace. Just think about that. On what planet could Israel and Palestine exist side-by-side in peace?

On May 1, 2003, I posted an article predicting that President George Bush's "Mideast Roadmap to Peace" peace plan would fail, because the Jews and the Palestinians would be re-fighting the bloody 1948 war that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. (Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace? (1-May-2003)) The most recent was President Trump's "Deal of the Century" ( Trump announces fantasy 'Peace to Prosperity' Mideast peace plan (29-Jan-2020)).

When you're trying to do a Generational Dynamics analysis of a situation, you have to analyze what the people want, not what the leaders want. Bahrain and UAE are countries far away from Israel, and people probably couldn't care less whether a peace deal is agreed or not. Generally speaking, they're more concerned about Iran than Israel.

But the Palestinian people of course do care. So the Palestinian Authority leaders on Friday strongly condemned Bahrain's decision as a "betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Palestinian issue." They said:

"[The Bahraini decision would] support the legalization of the cruel crimes of the Israeli occupation against our Palestinian people at a time when the occupation state is continuing to control the Palestinian lands and annex them by military force, is working toward Judaizing Jerusalem and controlling the Islamic and Christian holy sites and is committing crimes against the Palestinian people."

So now suppose that the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, who is 84 years old, decided to sign a meaningful peace agreement with Israel. He would either be shot dead by his own advisers, or else beaten to death by Palestinian mobs. Remember that the average age in the West Bank and Gaza is about 20 years old, and 20 year old children will not care about a peace agreement that an 84 year old fossil signs.

So the point is that these "historic" agreements are just pieces of paper, signed by aging leaders, with no relevance to the vast majority of the population. The peace treaties are nice, but it's the young people in that majority that are going to determine what happens, and Generational Dynamics predicts that it will be war.

As regular readers know, Generational Dynamics predicts that there is an approaching Clash of Civilizations world war, pitting the "axis" of China, Pakistan and the Sunni Muslim countries against the "allies," the US, India, Russia and Iran. Part of it will be a major new war between Jews and Arabs, re-fighting the bloody the war of 1948-49 that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. The war between Jews and Arabs will be part of a major regional war, pitting Sunnis versus Shias, Jews versus Arabs, and various ethnic groups against each other.


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6-Sep-20 World View -- India scores tactical victory in Ladakh border conflict, causing fury in China

Comments by Chinese analysts in the media

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from

India scores tactical victory in Ladakh border conflict, causing fury in China

Chinese cartoon blaming China-India conflict on incitement by the US (Global Times)
Chinese cartoon blaming China-India conflict on incitement by the US (Global Times)

Readers may recall that in June hostilities broke out between Chinese and Indian troops in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the unmarked boundary between the two countries. On June 15, Chinese forces ambushed Indian forces in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, using barbaric weapons consisting of bayonets, poles studded with steel nails, and wooden clubs wrapped with barbed wire, killing 20 unarmed Indian soldiers. ( "25-Jun-20 World View -- Both India and China reinforce armies in Ladakh, as China makes new claim")

Now, almost three months later, there are still many unanswered questions about what happened on June 15, since neither side has issued a statement providing a full narrative. The Indians have said that 20 Indian soldiers were killed, but the Chinese have not even revealed how many Chinese soldiers were killed, leading to some speculation. Various reports indicate that 40-45 Chinese soldiers were killed, even though the Chinese were armed and the Indians were unarmed. Furthermore, according to some unconfirmed reports, the reason that the Chinese needed weapons and lost anyway is because Indian soldiers are taller and stronger than the Chinese soldiers, and so India soldiers defeat Chinese soldiers in hand to hand combat. If any of this is true, then it would be huge embarrassment for the Chinese military to admit it, and could lead to popular unrest and a desire for revenge in China, and so they won't even admit how many soldiers were killed.

The Chinese and Indian military have been having peace talks, most recently at the ministerial level on Friday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) defense ministers’ meeting, with the meeting lasting over two hours. The peace talks have not gone well, and they belie what's actually happening on the ground.

What's happening on the ground is that Indians apparently scored a major tactical victory two days ago. Both China and India have been building up troops. But India last week executed a stealth night-time operation to claim strategic outposts. Thousands of soldiers climbed up mountain peaks for about six hours during the night to claim the vantage points along the south bank of Pangong Tso, a glacial lake under dispute. According to the Indians, this tactical move gives them the high ground and a clear view of enemy troop movements in disputed territory.

According to Chinese state media: "India bears full responsibility for the current China-India border tensions and China's military is fully determined, capable and confident to safeguard China's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Institute of International Relations of the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, expects the Indians to have to give up without a fight:

"By the end of September, winter will have arrived in the Ladakh region where temperatures could fall to minus 25 degrees, and India has deployed about 40,000 troops in the region. This is far beyond its logistics capability, and if the tension remained unresolved, the Indian military could see non-combat casualties."

The conflict has spilled over into the economic area. India has limited Chinese investments, is tightening scrutiny on vasas, is blocking Huawei Technologies Co. out of 5G networks, and is banning numerous Chinese mobile phone apps.

Some analysts are calling the current India-China relations in Ladakh the most dangerous in decades. Both sides are massing troops, and if it's really true that the Indian troops cannot tolerate the low winter temperatures, then they'll have to either strike or retreat. The winter months may bring a turning point.

Comments by Chinese analysts in the media

The Chinese communists have not admitted either their plans or intentions in their mass military buildup in Ladakh. However, Antara Ghosal Singh, a Chinese strategy expert at the Delhi Policy Group, has done an analysis of commentary by the Chinese strategic community on the situation. They all blame the Indians for the hostilities, and give various reasons for they think that the Indians are doing this. The following are some of the main points:

Many in China are fuming over India's tactical victory, and for its "audacity" to wave a Tibetan "Snow Mountan Lion Flag" at the confrontation site, the video of which went viral in the Chinese social media. Chinese social media space has been buzzing with calls for an "appropriate counterattack."


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