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31-Jul-21 World View -- Wuhan Coronavirus -- Thinking the Unthinkable

The Secret Speech of General Chi Haotian (2003)

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Wuhan Coronavirus -- Thinking the Unthinkable


Li-Meng Yan, the virologist who fled from China to the United States, after she told how the virus came out of China
Li-Meng Yan, the virologist who fled from China to the United States, after she told how the virus came out of China

I've always been skeptical of the most extreme explanations of the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus (Covid-19). For a long time, I was willing to accept the explanation that it jumped to humans from an animal in a so-called "wet market" or, if it came from the Wuhan Virology Lab, that it escaped from the lab accidentally, for example by accidentally infecting one of the lab workers. The last possibility has been supported by numerous reports of sloppy security practices at the lab.

In particular, I've never believed that the Chinese Communists purposely unleashed the virus on the world. Whatever happened, I've always felt, must have been mostly caused by accidents, stupidity and incompetence. I've frequently criticized the Chinese Communists for policies that were extremely stupid, but surely the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as stupid as they are, would not be so stupid as to purposely spread a novel virus across the world.

My opinion has changed 180 degrees. I now believe that the CCP is easily stupid enough to have purposely spread the virus across the world. In fact, I now believe that's exactly what happened.

The Secret Speech of General Chi Haotian (2003)

What's changed my mind is a document from 2003, The Secret Speech of General Chi Haotian (2003).

General Chi Haotian was born in 1929, and was one of the last hardline military men that led Mao Zedong's army to victory, forming the People's Republic of China in 1949. If you'dlike to compare him to an American general, then select a hardline general who was born in the 1920s.

The 2003 document is a large, complex strategy document, describing how China would defeat America diplomatically and militarily. It was written 18 years ago, almost the length of an entire generation. Chi's hardline war survivor generation is now gone, replaced by younger generations who may not agree with everything that Chi says.

But as I analyzed this document, it was clear to me that this document is not out of date, except in a few irrelevant details. The plans and motivations of the Chinese Communists, and the methods for achieving their objectives, have not changed substantively since 2003.

I had wanted to provide a summary of the main points, but this document is so large and complex that a summary would be almost as long as the original document. So I'll just provide a narrative of points most relevant to this article, and suggest that you read Chi's entire speech for yourself.

So the following sections contain some of the main points of Chi's speech. As you read them, you'll think that they're highly delusional, to the point of insanity, and I agree. But they're also the policies of the entire CCP, which have frequently been shown to be delusional to the point of insanity. It's also worth pointing out that these policies and views are not new. They're deeply embedded in Chinese culture, dating back millennia to the Analects of Confucius (551-479 BC) and The Art of War (500 BC) by Sun Tzu.

The uniqueness of Chinese DNA

The core belief of Chi Haotian, the CCP, and the entire Chinese culture is that the Chinese people are a unique race, superior to all other races. I've sometimes described this as believing that all other races have no other purpose than to serve the Chinese, in the same way that a donkey has no other purpose than to serve a farmer. I've been using that analogy for years, and I'm not aware of any example of Chinese behavior that contradicts the donkey analogy. This is the Chinese culture. This is how the Chinese think of us, and this is how it has been for millennia.

Chi Haotian carries this to the next level by claiming that Chinese DNA is so unique that the Chinese people did not originate in Africa like everyone else. Chi repeats a claim, based on archaelogical discoveries of "Peking Man" in the 1920s, that the Chinese people evolved completely independently of the other races on earth. This claim was debunked by Chinese scholars in the 1980s, but was still believed by Chi, and is probably still believed by many in the CCP.

Chi is describing the strategy for "the great revitalization of the Chinese nation," which, of course, "is not limited to the land we have now but also includes the whole world." Chi claims that the Chinese nation would not exist without the Communist Party. The Communist Party must exist for this great revitalization of the Chinese nation.

Chi sees the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre as an existential crisis for the Communist Party. If a reformist faction (led by Zhao Ziyang) had succeeded in resolving the riots peacefully, then there would have been a "peaceful transition," ending the power of the Communist Party. Fortunately (he believes), Zhao Ziyang was removed at a crucial movement, and the 1989 riots were crushed.

Chi sees this as a generational issue. He says that Communism ended in the Soviet Union when the "pioneering senior comrades" (i.e., the generals who had served in WW II) passed away, Gorbachev came along, and the power of the Communist Party was taken away by peaceful evolution. This peaceful transition must not happen to the Chinese Communist Party!!! "If we, the CCP, are finished, China will be finished, and the world will be finished."

Justifying the insanity of the Chinese Communists

This is the justification for all the insanity. It's not to improve China's economy. It's not to defend China from a war. It's not even to prevent an internal civil war. The justification for all the insanity is to prevent a peaceful transition in China that ends the power of the Communist Party. And this is breathtakingly insane, but we can see the consequences.

So, for example, every religion must be brutally crushed. Here is the justification:

"Maybe you have now come to understand why we recently decided to further promulgate atheism. If we let theology from the West into China and empty us from the inside, if we let all Chinese people listen to God and follow God, who will obediently listen to us and follow us? If the common people don’t believe Comrade Hu Jintao is a qualified leader, question his authority, and want to monitor him, if the religious followers in our society question why we are leaving God in churches, can our Party continue to rule China?"

So that's why any religious worship is an existential threat to Communism. That's the justification for brutally crushing Buddhists and Christians, and for beating, raping, torturing, and enslaving two million Muslim Uighurs. Praying to God is like declaring war on the Communist Party.

And I want to emphasize the insanity of this. In America or any other country, religious prayer exists alongside the government without a conflict. But in China, "listening to God and following God" is an existential threat to the Communist Party, because the Communist leaders' authority will be questioned, and they will lose their power. I don't know what this looks like to you, Dear Reader, but to me it looks like total madness.

The need for more living space

Chi Haotian complains bitterly that China has the world's largest population, including Chinese in China and overseas, but too little per-capita living space for Chinese people.

According to Chi: "China’s great economic expansion will inevitably come with significant development in our military forces, creating conditions for our expansion overseas."

In 2003, China was about 20 years into the "One Child Policy," that caused the government to kill children and forcibly abort women when a family might have more than one child. Chi does not mention the One Child Policy, but I can well believe that he hates it, and sees it as an additional reason for expansion overseas.

Colonization of foreign lands is a crucial part of Chi's strategy for the revitalization of the Chinese nation, and Chi looks to the experience of Hitler and the Nazis for lessons on how to proceed.

Learning lessons from Hitler and Nazi Germany

In America and the West, we generally think of Hitler and the Nazis as a uniquely evil world development that will never happen again. However, that's not how the Chinese view him. In my book, "War between China and Japan," I mentioned that Chiang Kai-shek admired Hitler, but I didn't carry it farther.

But Chi Haotian and the CCP do not consider Hitler and the Nazis to be a uniquely evil development. They admire Hitler and his attempt to rule the world, and want to learn lessons from his "humiliating" defeat so that the Chinese Communists won't repeat them.

Chi says, "Our Chinese people are wiser than the Germans because, fundamentally, our race is superior to theirs." An important difference between the German Nazis and the Chinese Communists is that "we are complete atheists, while Germany was primarily a Catholic and Protestant country. ... Although Hitler also believed that ordinary citizens had low intelligence, and that leaders should therefore make decisions, and although German people worshipped Hitler back then, Germany did not have the tradition of worshipping sages on a broad basis."

So that's why Hitler made mistakes, and why there are three lessons that the CCP must learn from Hitler's failure.

Chi explains the Issue of America as follows:

"Would the United States allow us to go out to gain new living space? First, if the United States is firm in blocking us, it is hard for us to do anything significant to Taiwan, Vietnam, India, or even Japan, [so] how much more living space can we get? Very trivial! Only countries like the United States, Canada and Australia have the vast land to serve our need for mass colonization. Therefore, solving the “issue of America” is the key to solving all other issues."

This explains a lot of things for me, things that I've described as insanity in the past.

First, it explains the obsession with Taiwan. Yes of course the Chinese may legitimately wish Taiwan to be part of China, but what's insane is that the CCP is willing to pursue total war to make Taiwan a province of China. Britain gave up the entire British Empire without going to war to keep each colony. Going to war for that reason can legitimately be called insane.

In August 2006, I transcribed a BBC interview with Sha Zukang, China's ambassador to the United Nations. What was remarkable was that the ambassador was screaming angrily at the top of his lungs. He was asked about Taiwan's independence, and he screamed as follows:

"The moment that Taiwan declares independence, supported by whomever, China will have no choice but to [use] whatever means available to my government. Nobody should have any illusions on that. ...

It's not a matter of how big Taiwan is, but for China, one INCH of the territory is more valuable than the LIVES of our people."

[With regard to the U.S.'s constant criticism of China's rapid militarization:] It's better for the U.S. to shut up, keep quiet. That's much, much better. China's population is 6 times or 5 times the United States. Why blame China? No. forget it. It's high time to shut up. It's a nation's sovereign right to do what is good for them. But don't tell us what's good for China. Thank you very much."

This followed a 2005 warning given by top-level Chinese army officer General Zhu Chenghu if America interfered with Taiwan: "If the Americans are determined to interfere [then] we will be determined to respond. We ... will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian [a city in central China]. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds ... of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese."

And that's not all. China has 21 active border disputes with neighboring countries. Once again, Dear Reader, I call that insanity. But it's become a Chinese Communist obsession to colonize other lands, and not give up even one inch of land.

This gets to the heart of Chi Haotian's "Issue of America." Chi said that America will block any attempt by China to colonize Taiwan, Vietnam, India or Japan. Therefore, America must be defeated.

According to Chi, the reason that Chinese talk loudly about the "Taiwan issue" is that they want to hide their real objective, the "American issue."

Using biological weapons to 'clean up' America

Chi says that once America is conquered, it will be necessary to use biological weapons to "clean up" America:

"To resolve the issue of America we must be able to transcend conventions and restrictions. In history, when a country defeated another country or occupied another country, it could not kill all the people in the conquered land because back then you could not kill people effectively with sabers or long spears, or even with rifles or machine guns. Therefore, it was impossible to gain a stretch of land without keeping the people on that land. However, if we conquered America in this fashion, we would not be able to make many people migrate there.

Only by using special means to “clean up” America will we be able to lead the Chinese people there. This is the only choice left for us. This is not a matter of whether we are willing to do it or not. What kind of special means is there available for us to “clean up America”? ...

Only by using non-destructive weapons that can kill many people will we be able to reserve America for ourselves. There has been rapid development of modern biological technology, and new bio-weapons have been invented one after another. Of course, we have not been idle, in the past years we have seized the opportunity to master weapons of this kind. We are capable of achieving our purpose of “cleaning up” America all of a sudden."

So Chi Haotian concludes that the way to solve the "Issue of America" is to conquer America, and then "clean up America" by unleashing biological weapons.

Chi doesn't say how America would be conquered, but today's CCP has been stockpiling nuclear weapons and building silos, implying that they plan a massive nuclear missile attack where military targets and American cities are all fired upon at the same time, to knock out America quickly.

Spreading Covid-19 as a 'beta test' of biological weapons

Having completed my analysis of Chi Haotian's 2003 speech, you can see why I've done a U-turn, and I now believe that China's release of Covid-19 on the entire world was intentional, and was actually a kind of "beta test" for a full bio-chemical attack in the future.

Here's what we know:

For me, the logic is as follows: So many of the things that the CCP has done for years that I consider insane are explained by Chi Haotian's 2003 speech, and if I were to try to devise a way to "beta test" using a biological weapon in the world, I would probably have done it the way the CCP spread Covid-19 around the world.

If you take a virus and turn it into a bioweapon, the type of research is named "gain-of-function." The enhanced virus may be more lethal, may spread more easily, or may target only certain kinds of entities. For example, in 2000 Dutch researchers genetically engineered the spike protein of a mouse coronavirus so that it would attack only cats, but not rodents.

The nightmare scenario for the world is that Chinese scientists might similarly engineer a virus that attacks all humans, excluding all those with Chinese DNA. This would be entirely expected from Chi Haotian's glorification of the unique Chinese DNA.

However, if this was some kind of "beta test," then many lessons have been learned all around. Scientists and politicians in the United States have learned a lot about handling virus outbreaks, and those lessons would be applied to a biological weapon.

A lesson that the Chinese may be learning is that viruses can mutate when they're out in the wild. As I'm writing this article, hundreds of people in China are suddenly being infected by a "delta variation" of the virus that they infected the world with. That's the danger of using a bioweapon -- you can't be sure that it won't turn against you, once you lose control of it.


China-Japan Book
China-Japan Book

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 Table of Contents
https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (31-Jul-2021) Permanent Link
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24-Jul-21 World View -- China and Japan significantly escalate military tensions over Taiwan

Japan says 'F--k you China, bring it on'

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

China and Japan significantly escalate military tensions over Taiwan


Japan's Ministry of Defense removes Taiwan from China in map (Taiwan News)
Japan's Ministry of Defense removes Taiwan from China in map (Taiwan News)

The mutual hatred that the people of China and Japan feel for each other has always been bubbling below the surface, but in the last month or so, it has become far more public and open at the military and government levels.

The flash point is Taiwan. China has repeatedly declared the intention to invade Taiwan and annex it to China. Japan has said that China's annexation of Taiwan would be a security risk to Japan, and so Japan will join with Taiwan in a war with China. I discussed all of this in my article last month. ( "28-Jun-21 World View -- Japan's plans for defending Taiwan from an attack by China")

What's changed in the last month is that each side, China and Japan, has published something that indicates a harsh "fuck you" attitude toward the other side. In years past, Japan and China pretended to be nice to each other, but those days apparently are ending.

China's military threatens the 'Japan Exception Theory'

On July 12, the Chinese Communist military uploaded a video to a Chinese Military channel, "Military strategies." The video was taken down after two days, after it had been re-posted, with English subtitles, by Chinese-born human rights activist and author Jennifer Zeng.

Here are some of the main points of the Chinese military video as described by Jennifer Zeng:

There's so much of the above that's entirely delusional that it's hard to know what to start. The most obvious is that the continuous nuclear bombing will not cause Japan to declare unconditional surrender "for the second time." The Japanese will be infuriated and will fight to the last bullet.

The video implies the following Chinese delusional military strategy: The Chinese strategy would be a quick victory in Taiwan combined with a nuclear victory over Japan, to be executed before the United States could respond. When the dust cleared, there would be a new reality, with Taiwan part of China, and Japan colonized/controlled by China.

This is entirely delusional, but being delusional has never stopped the Chinese Communists till now.

There is a never-ending debate whether nuclear weapons will be used in the next war. But Jennifer Zeng's article explains why China MUST use nuclear weapons at the beginning of the war. In conventional warfare, Taiwan+Japan could defeat the Chinese. The Chinese know this, and the Japanese know this. That's why the Chinese are developing the "Japan Exception Theory," which means that Japan is the exception to the "promise" that China will not be the first to use nuclear weapons. Japan does not currently have nuclear weapons, so there will presumably be no danger of nuclear retaliation from Japan.

Chinese warplanes practice blockading Taiwan

The Japan Exception Theory is just words, but China has also done a lot militarily in the last few weeks to increase its preparation for war with Taiwan.

The Chinese Communists have sent warplanes into Taiwan's airspace dozens of times in 2020, and hundreds of times so far in 2021. The media describes this as "sending a message," but how long will the increasingly nationalist Chinese public be satisfied with just "sending a message"?

In March, the Chinese military showed an aggressive new tactic: planning for a blockade. Ten Chinese warplanes invaded Taiwanese airspace to the island's south and west, while another two Chinese planes cut through its southern airspace to skirt Taiwan's eastern airspace. A Taiwanese official said that the move was designed to practice cutting Taiwan off from Japanese and American intervention if China carries through on its threats to invade Taiwan.

It's not known what a Chinese invasion of Taiwan would look like, and it's not clear that China has the capability to successfully invade Taiwan.

However a full blockade of Taiwan could be a much simpler strategy. The idea is that if Taiwan were cut off from the world, it could quickly run out of both military and non-military necessities, but once it did it would be forced to surrender. Once again, that's entirely delusional, but a blockade could be part of a larger strategy to weaken and isolate Taiwan first, in preparation for the actual invasion.

Once again, you have to step back here and look at the larger picture. What the hell is going on here? China has been "sending messages" for years, decades even. Now we have the Chinese military talking about a Japanese exception to allow a nuclear attack, and Chinese warplanes practicing for a blockade to prevent Japan or the US from defending Taiwan. We also know that the Chinese Communists have explicitly warned that they would invade Taiwan, and those warnings have become increasingly shrill.

As I've written many times, a war could start at any time, and it wouldn't even require an affirmative decision to do so. World War I was started by a twelve year old boy who decided to assassinate a Serbian archduke. World War II was started by a Japanese garrison near Beijing when a Japanese soldier needed to pee and got lost in the woods. The Japanese accused the Chinese of abducting the soldier, and they were at full-scale war within a month, with the Rape of Nanking occurring two months later.

Japan says 'F--k you China, bring it on'

Look closely at the pair of maps at the beginning of this article. They are the "Defense of Japan" white papers published, respectively, in 2020 and 2021. Both of these are maps of China, with the red arrow pointing to the island of Taiwan.

In 2020, Taiwan was shown in red, indicating that Taiwan is part of China. In 2021, Taiwan is shown in grey, meaning that Taiwan is NOT part of China.

I'm referring to this as a "Fuck you China, bring it on" message. There are no words that could be more insulting and more infuriating to the Chinese Communists than what is essentially a declaration by Japan's Ministry of Defense (MOD) that Taiwan is an independent country.

In the context of the current increasingly belligerent actions by the Chinese, and their declaration of the "Japan Exception Theory," Japan is saying that they're not intimidated.

The "Defense of Japan" white paper, this year for the first time, makes clear that Japan is concerned about a potential Chinese attack on Taiwan:

"Stabilizing the situation surrounding Taiwan is important for Japan’s security and the stability of the international community. Therefore, it is necessary that we pay close attention to the situation with a sense of crisis more than ever before."

What is significant about this statement is that Taiwan was never even mentioned in previous white papers.

Nuclear weapons in Japan

Japan adopted a pacifist constitution after World War II, and later signed the international Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which bans it from developing nuclear weapons, more than 40 years ago.

However, Japan has been able to build nuclear weapons since it launched a plutonium breeader reactor and uranium enrichment plant in the 1980s. Since then, Japan has pursued a nuclear fuel recycling program that separates plutonium from the waste from its nuclear power plants.

Today, Japan has 45.5 tons of separated plutonium — 8.9 tons at home, and 36.6 tons in Britain and France. The amount is enough to make about 6,000 atomic bombs. And Japan continues to produce more plutonium.

Analysts estimate that it would require about six months for Japan to develop an atomic weapon.

In fact, I would speculate further. I could well believe that the Japanese have manufactured the nuclear weapons, perhaps with technical help from the Americans or the Indians, but haven't yet inserted the plutonium. That way, they can claim that they still have no nuclear weapons, but they might be able to complete the manufacture within a few days, when the time comes.

I don't have any evidence of that. I'm just saying that it wouldn't surprise me.

International love affairs and hatreds

Americans fought and won a war with the Nazis, and now, 75 years later, Americans like the Germans, are friends with the Germans, and Germany is an ally.

Americans fought and won a war with the Imperial Japanese, and now, 75 years later, Americans like the Japanese, are friends with the Japanese, and Japan is a very important ally.

Americans fought and won a war in support of the Chinese, and saved the Chinese from the Japanese. Since then, Americans always loved the Chinese, although attitudes changed with the Tiananmen Square massacre, the torture and enslavement of two million Muslim Uighurs, the smashing of democracy in Hong Kong, and the repeated threats and obvious plans to wage war to annex Taiwan.

Americans like the Chinese people, and have no desire for a war with them, but Americans are increasingly scared to death by the hateful belligerence of the Chinese Communist Party. The Chinese people like the American people, and have no desire for a war with them, but the Chinese Communists have decided that there must be a war because the United States military will defend Taiwan and Japan from a Chinese invasion.

The Chinese and the Japanese fought a war with each other, and now, 75 years later, each side has a deep, vitriolic hatred of the other. The Japanese performed unspeakable atrocities on the Chinese during World War II. The Chinese are craving revenge like nothing else. Given the chance, they will inflict the same kinds of enormous atrocities on the Japanese, and they'll be satisfied with nothing less than the destruction of the Japanese culture.

That's why the last actions by Japan's Ministry of Defense are interesting, which is why I describe them as "F--k you China, bring it on." There are no signs that the Japanese fear a war with the Chinese. It's possible that they fear war with China less than we do. The Japanese have a very powerful conventional armed forces, and they may have nuclear weapons, and they may believe that they can defeat the Chinese, in alliance with Taiwan. So I get the feeling that the Japanese would like another go at China, and are looking forward to it.

It's ironic that the crucible of the war between China and Japan will likely be an invasion of little old Taiwan. Taiwan was a colony of Japan in the early 1900s, and apparently consider that relationship to have been good enough for Taiwan to be on the side of Japan in fighting their common enemy, China.

But what about Korea? Which side will they be on?

Throughout Korea's history, they were either a colony of Japan or a vassal state of China. I'm not sure which is worse. So which side would Korea choose to fight against -- Japan or Korea? I get the feeling that they would rather be like Switzerland, and try to stay neutral as long as possible.

But of course it's much more complicated than that, because Korea isn't Korea any more. Korea is now South Korea, apparently aligned with the United States, and North Korea, apparently aligned with China. Each Korea wants the country to be reunited, but under its own government. So it seems likely that there will be a war between North and South Korea, while Japan is fighting China.

So what will happen to all those nuclear weapons that the North Koreans have been manufacturing? With they be launched toward America, toward Japan, toward China or toward South Korea? That's a very interesting question, and I think that the answer is far from obvious.

So I really don't know what the Koreans will do. Perhaps some of the Koreans who read my articles could write to me and enlighten me, or post their opinions anonymously in the Generational Dynamics forum.

There are people in the Generational Dynamics forum who criticize me for making imperfect predictions. "What good are your forecasts, Xenakis, if you can't tell the date when the war will break out?"

That's funny. All I can tell you today, with 100% certainty, is that China and Japan are headed for a full-scale war over Taiwan. I can't give you an exact date, but I can tell you that China is rapidly making preparations, Japan is rapidly making preparations, and Taiwan is rapidly making preparations. But I can keep track of events and hope for clarity.


China-Japan Book
China-Japan Book

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

Sources:

Related Articles:

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (24-Jul-2021) Permanent Link
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17-Jul-21 World View -- Lebanon's self-destruction continues as government collapses again a year after port disaster

World Bank: Lebanon among the worst economic disasters since 1857

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

A year after port disaster, Lebanon still can't form a government


Aftermath of August 4, 2020, port explosion in Beirut Lebanon (Reuters)
Aftermath of August 4, 2020, port explosion in Beirut Lebanon (Reuters)

Lebanon continued its path to self-destruction on Thursday, when Saad al-Hariri, who had been designated to form the first government following the massive port explosion in Beirut on August 4 of last year, resigned.

He offered his resignation after meeting with Lebanon's President Michel Aoun. According to Hariri, Hariri's attempts to form a government were thwarted by Aoun, who demanded that Hariri change his proposed slate of ministers so that Iran-backed Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah would have a "blocking third," which means that Nasrallah could veto any proposal of any other sect of the government, giving Nasrallah effective dictatorial control of the government.

Hariri has been prime minister three times in the past, but resigned in 2019, complaining that massive corruption was destroying the country's economy. Shortly after the port blast, Hariri agreed to return if he were allowed to choose his government cabinet ministers. In his statement on Thursday, he said:

"I withdrew from forming the government. Aoun demanded some amendments, which he considered essential, and said we will not be able to reach an understanding with each other. ... And may God save this country.

I resigned in 2019 because I wanted a government of experts, and if we formed Michel Aoun’s government then the country won’t be saved.

The main problem of this country is Michel Aoun, who is allied with Hezbollah, who in turn protects him. This is the equation in the country and if someone can’t see it then they’re blind."

Incredibly, a year has gone by since the port explosion, and the corrupt politicians running the country have done nothing except continue to line their own pockets.

The economy had been in free fall even before the explosion, with a crashing currency and an unemployment rate above 30%.

About 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer had been left unprotected, sitting in a storage warehouse since 2013, adjacent to a fireworks factory, in the midst of a densely packed residential area. Later investigations showed that Hezbollah had been using the ammonium nitrate fertilizer to build bombs to be used in Syria. When the explosion occurred, 300,000 people lost their homes from the explosion, hundreds were killed, and thousands were wounded. 85% of the country's grain storage was destroyed. Several hospitals were destroyed. The explosion was far larger than anyone had ever seen, and property was damaged and windows broken all across the city, and for miles around. The explosion could be heard as far away as Cyprus.

The explosion was massive and destructive, but apparently not destructive enough to shake loose Iran-backed Hezbollah's control of Lebanon.

World Bank: Lebanon among the worst economic disasters since 1857

According to the World Bank in a report published in March, Lebanon's financial crisis is among the top ten, and possibly the top 3, in world history in the period since 1857 to the present. According to the report:

"In fact, Lebanon’s GDP plummeted from close to US$ 55 billion in 2018 to an estimated US$ 33 billion in 2020, with US$ GDP/ capita falling by around 40 percent. Such a brutal and rapid contraction is usually associated with conflicts or wars. ... This illustrates the magnitude of the economic depression that the country is enduring, with sadly no clear turning point on the horizon, given the disastrous deliberate policy inaction.

[In Fall 2020], the World Bank [termed] Lebanon’s economic crisis The Deliberate Depression. For over a year, Lebanese authorities countered an assailment of compounded crises -- namely, the country’s largest peace-time economic and financial crisis, COVID-19 and the Port of Beirut explosion -- with deliberately inadequate policy responses. The inadequacy is less due to knowledge gaps and quality advice and more the result of a combination of (i) a lack of political consensus over effective policy initiatives; and (ii) political consensus in defense of a bankrupt economic system, which benefited a few for so long. In the face of these challenges, Lebanon lacks a fully-functioning executive authority and is currently in the process of forming its third Government in a little over a year. This debilitating institutional void has lasted over 8 months so far."

In other words:

During the last year, nothing has changed. The year has simply been wasted by government officials, especially Aoun and Nasrallah, who don't want anything to change.

In August of last year, after the port explosion, France's president Emmanuel Macron led an international conference which pledged nearly $300 million in humanitarian assistance. However, the money was withheld until a reform government could be formed, because otherwise the $300 million would simply go into the pockets of the politicians and their cronies.

A month later, there was no movement to reform. Macron said at a news conference, "I’m ashamed of the Lebanese political leaders. Ashamed." He accused them of “collective betrayal” and choosing “to favor their partisan and individual interests to the general detriment of the country.”

The main stumbling block, then and today, was that the Shiite sect demanded complete control of the finance ministry, which means that Nasrallah would be able to use Lebanon's treasury for any purpose he wanted. What always happens in situations like these is that Nasrallah and Hezbollah don't dare to open the books of the finance ministry to scrutiny, since that would reveal years of robbery, embezzlement and corruption that had previously been hidden.

Lebanon's 'confessional' system of government

In the past few months I've become aware of the brilliance of the US Constitution and its ability to withstand these kinds of crises. This is because of its system of checks and balances among the three branches of government at the federal level, and the checks and balances between the federal governments and the state governments. I expect the US Constitutional form of government to withstand the current attack, especially as vote audits in Arizona, Georgia and other states are revealing what actually happened in the 2020 election. These audits could not be occurring except for the checks and balances in the US Constitution.

However, there are no checks and balances whatsoever in Lebanon's government, and that's why corruption is out of control and why the country is unable to form a government in the wake of the massive explosion that leveled much of Beirut -- an explosion that is the fault of incompetence and corruption in Lebanon's government.

Lebanon has a "dynastic confessional" system of government. Lebanon's "confessional" system of government is defined in its constitution, which requires that the three main government offices be occupied by specific sectarian groups:

So there are three "branches" of government in Lebanon, but there are no checks and balances, since the leader of each branch can do whatever he wants, including skimming money and paying his cronies to do things like beat up people in the opposition, and there is nothing to stop them. That's why each branch forms a kind of "dynasty."

As time goes on, each sect creates its own dynasty within the section of government that it controls. So one way to think of Lebanon's government is, not as a simple dictatorship, but as a triple dictatorship, which each dynastic sect have complete dictatorial control over one part of government, with complete power of embezzlement and corruption, and no controls, no checks, no balances.

This system of government was set up that way for a reason. The sects that I've mentioned -- the Sunni Muslims, the Shia Muslims, and the Syriac Maronite Catholics -- consider people in any but there own sect to be "scum of the earth." The different sects of Lebanon are not capable of simply getting along with each other. The level of mutual hatred between the sects runs extremely deep. This is standard fare after an ethnic civil war in any country.

Lebanon's last generational crisis war was the civil war of 1975-90, mainly between Muslims versus Christians, killing some 200,000 people. A major event occurred on September 15-16, 1982, when Maronite Christian militias massacred 2-3,000 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps. This act has haunted Lebanon to this day.

That was 40 years ago. Most of the people today vividly remember the horror of that mass slaughter, and many are still traumatized by it. And they still hate each other for it. So the "confessional" form of government in Lebanon was designed to keep the three sects as separate as possible -- the complete opposite of mutual checks and balances. No sect will have any say over what the other sects do, even when it's corruption or other criminal activity.

If I understand correctly the reason given by al-Hariri for resigning from his appointment to form a government is that he was trying to break through this confessional blockade so that the government could actually function.

Even though the port explosion was massive and horrific, it wasn't bad enough to cause Hezbollah chief Nasrallah to give up any of his dictatorial power. Better to let the people starve.

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15-Jul-21 World View -- South Africa tribal violence spreading and growing

Cuba street protests at start of its generational Crisis era

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

South Africa tribal violence spreading and growing


Burning warehouse in Durban following riots gives rise to fears of food and fuel shortages (Reuters)
Burning warehouse in Durban following riots gives rise to fears of food and fuel shortages (Reuters)

Communal violence is spreading in South Africa, led by members of the Zulu tribe. More than 70 people have been killed and more than 1,200 people have been arrested, as the violence continues into the eighth day.

Rioters have been looting shopping centers, stores and warehouses, possibly emulating the antifa-blm looters in Portland and Chicago. There are already pockets of hunger in South Africa, and it's feared that the looting will make shortages of food and fuel worse.

The rioting was triggered by the jailing of South Africa's ex-president Jacob Zuma, a charismatic and popular Zulu leader who was ousted from his own ANC party over accusations of corruption and rape.

For several weeks, Zuma has been calling on his supporters to prevent his arrest by locking arms and blocking the police from arresting him. He has often been seen singing his favorite revolutionary song "Umshini Wami" (Bring me my machine gun), often accompanied by him swirling his hips and skillfully doing a traditional Zulu dance. He used that song frequently during his political campaigns.

The two largest tribes in South Africa are the Zulu tribe and the Xhosa tribe. Between them, they make up a third of South Africa’s 55 million people.

The African National Congress (ANC) is the only political party that has won elections since South Africa's independence in 1994. Thus, the leader of the ANC always goes on to become the president. Up until recently, the Zulu and Xhosa tribes have dominated the ANC.

The ANC hero, Nelson Mandela, a Xhosa, became the first president of the ANC and of South Africa in 1994. He was followed by Mandela's hand-picked successor, Thabo Mbeki, another Xhosa. The ANC became sharply divided in Decenber 2007, when when Mbeki lost a bruising battle for ANC leadership with a Zulu, Jacob Zuma.

Xenophobic violence during Jacob Zuma's term

In 2008, xenophobic violence against immigrants from other African countries, originating in Alexandria, a suburb of the capital city Johannesburg, spread east into the Zulu heartland of Durban and west into Cape Town. The violence was spurred by a poor economy and a lack of jobs, with the accusations that other African immigrants were taking the good jobs.

Tens of thousands of immigrants were forced to flee for their lives from their homes and businesses, often with no time to collect their belongings before their homes and businesses were looted and destroyed. The violence and looting were generally perpetrated by young South Africans from the Zulu and Xhosa tribes. (See "South Africa will create 'temporary shelters' for migrants, not 'refugee camps' (31-May-2008)")

The xenophobic violence was repeated in 2015 when thousands of people, mostly foreigners from Zimbabwe and Malawi, fled for their lives, after mobs with machetes attacked them in the city of Durban. Durban is the largest city in the South African province of KwaZulu-Natal, which is the heartland of the Zulu tribe. The anti-immigrant violence spread to Johannesburg. It's believed that the attacks were triggered by remarks made by Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini, who said in a public speech, "We are requesting those who come from outside to please go back to their countries." ( "17-Apr-15 World View -- South African xenophobic violence echoes 1820s Mfecane Zulu massacre")

Cyril Ramaphosa, from the Venda tribe, becomes president

Jacob Zuma was ousted from the party before his second term ended in 2018. He is facing 16 charges of corruption, fraud, graft and racketeering relating to a 1999 purchase of weapons and gear from European arms firms when he was deputy president. In 2006, he was in court for the alleged rape of a colleague's HIV-positive daughter. He was acquited of those charges, but not before bragging that he had unprotected sex with the woman, but avoided catching HIV by taking a shower after sex.

A surprise candidate, Cyril Ramaphosa, won the ANC leadership in 2017, in a close battle with the favored Zulu candidate. Ramaphosa is a member of the Venda tribe, a small tribe with fewer than 700,000 people, living near the border with Zimbabwe.

Ramaphosa became president in the hope that he could be relatively neutral between the Zulus and Xhosas, and could resolve the divisiveness between those two tribes. One businessman voter was quoted as saying,

"There are not enough Venda to hijack the country. When Thabo Mbeki was president [from 1999 to 2008], you had to be Xhosa to get anywhere. Under Zuma, the Zulus have led the way. I am hoping that Cyril as a Venda will have to involve all South Africans because his own people are so few."

There have been very divisive issues during Cyril Ramaphosa's term as president, and Ramaphosa has been successful in defusing most of them. The most explosive one was the proposal to confiscate the land of white farmers without compensation. Ramaphosa found a way to mitigate the land confiscation without compensation to make it less divisive.

However, probably the most explosive issue of all has been the jailing of Jacob Zuma for corruption, and that has led to the current tribal violence that appears to be increasing.

Brief generational history of South Africa

Human existence has forever been controlled by one major law: That the population always grows more quickly than the food supply. This is the reason why every society has to have an existential, genocidal war every 80 years or so. The purpose of the war is to kill off enough people so that the survivors have enough food to eat.

That appears to be what happened in southern Africa at the end of the 1700s. Population levels were increasing rapidly, and resources were increasingly scarce. The introduction of corn by the Europeans had the double effect of producing more food, but using more water to grow. Corn became a major staple, but there was massive disruption and suffering with declining rainfall at the end of the 1700s, followed by a calamitous ten-year drought that began about 1800. Presumably, this is the fault of "climate change."

Kingdoms that had existed side by side in peace for decades began to fight each other for resources. The result was a massive war called the Mfecane ("the crushing") that climaxed in 1828. The Mfecane gave rise to Shaka, considered to be possibly the greatest African warrior in history. Shaka introduced many new warfare techniques. One of the best known was to use short spears, which required close combat with the enemy, rather than long spears, which would be thrown but would not always be effective.

By the mid-1820s, Shaka ruled a kingdom of more than 100,000 people with a standing army of 40,000 men. The great Zulu Empire lasted for decades, until it was destroyed by the British in 1879 in the bloody Anglo-Zulu war. At the climax of that crisis war, the Zulus were dispersed, and the Zulu nation ended.

South Africa's last generational Crisis war was World War II. Since South Africa was part of the British Empire, it fought on the side of the allies, although some tribal factions wished to side with the Germans or stay neutral. The British colonists introduced Apartheid during the 1940s, but it was abolished in the generational Awakening era of the 1990s that led to South African independence, an Awakening era climax.

When I talk about the world in today's generational Crisis era, I talk about increasing nationalism and xenophobia in almost every nation. The same is true on a tribal basis in South Africa. The Zulus have become extremely nationalistic, and this is driving the current round of looting and rioting. But this time the violence is directed at membrs of other South African tribes, not just a "immigrants" from other African countries, as occurred in 2008 and 2015.

As the world approaches a new world war, South Africa can be expected to be involved in two different wars. One war will be as a participant in the world war on the side of either China or the West -- to be decided -- and the other will be an internal civil war, refighting the battles of the Mfecane.

Rewriting the history of the Mfecane

Just as China blames all its failures on the 1840s Opium Wars, some South African historians are blaming all their failures on the Mfecane, and blaming the Mfecane on the Europeans.

In 1988, a historian named Julian Cobbing published a paper on "The Mfecane As Alibi." He argued that the Mfecane was caused by the European and Brazilian slave trade, and if it hadn't been for the Europeans, then the Mfecan would never have occurred.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this is nonsense. As we said, there was overpopulation and a calamitous drought at the beginning of the 1800s, and this is exactly the formula for a generational crisis war, a war of extermination, whose purpose is to kill off enough people so that the survivors will have enough to eat. So the Mfecane would have occurred with or without the Europeans.

The same thing is happening today, around the world. A report earlier this week by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says that "world hunger and malnutrition levels worsened dramatically last year, with most of the increase likely due to the COVID-19 pandemic." This continued and accelerated a trend that had already been occurring prior to the pandemic.

According to the report, "Unfortunately, the pandemic continues to expose weaknesses in our food systems, which threaten the lives and livelihoods of people around the world. No region of the world has been spared."

The increase in hunger and malnutrition means that there is less food per capita in the world. For populations living on the margin, this means that they will have to fight for enough food to feed themselves and their families. This usually translates into anti-government protests, such as the ones we see today in South Africa and Cuba, and leads to either civil wars or external wars.

Cuba street protests at start of its generational Crisis era

Cuba's government is in turmoil in the face of large anti-government protests that started over the weekend.

Analysts are blaming three factors:

Analysts are comparing this to the 1994 student protests, which fizzled fairly quickly.

However, today's protests are different because this is the beginning of a generational Crisis era.

Cuba's last generational crisis war was Fidel Castro's revolution that climaxed in 1960. The new Crisis era began 58 years later, in 2018.

Prior to 2018, Cuba was in an Unraveling era, when many of the Communist policies imposed by Fidel Castro began to unravel. They moved hundreds of thousands of people from government employment to private sector employment, including self-employment. They abandoned the core principal of Marxist Socialism, "From each according to abilities, to each according to needs." Instead, workers in the private sector will be able to earn high salaries.

Today's new anti-government protests are larger and more widespread than the 1994 student protests. Since this is the beginning of a generational Crisis era, it's quite possible that it will spread, in the following weeks and months, into a re-fighting of Castro's revolution.

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7-Jul-21 World View -- Russia and Tajikistan protect border As Afghan forces collapse under Taliban offensive

Tajikistan mobilizes 20,000 military reservists to Afghan border

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Tajikistan mobilizes 20,000 military reservists to Afghan border


Map of Afghanistan showing recent rapid advance of Taliban (Afghan-Analysts)
Map of Afghanistan showing recent rapid advance of Taliban (Afghan-Analysts)

Multiple analysts on TV have been echoing the reports that, as American and Nato troops withdraw from Afghanistan, the Taliban are taking control of the country far more rapidly than expected.

The Taliban are now in control of a third of the country. Many in the Afghan army, who are supposed to be fighting the Taliban without the aid of Nato, are apparently fleeing without a fight.

More than 1,000 Afghan security personnel fled across the border with Tajikistan, causing Tajikistan's president to call up 20,000 military reservists to guard the border. This follows a general warning to Tajikistan villagers who live along the border to be prepared "to take up arms." (See "3-May-21 World View -- US withdrawal from Afghanistan threatens Central Asia stability")

In May, a provincial governor announced:

"In coordination with the police and intelligence departments, we've registered all hunters who live in the border areas. They will have to take up arms to defend our country. In fact, all of us will have to take up weapons if the situation dictates."

As I wrote at the time, the withdrawal of American and Nato forces in Afghanistan threatens to destabilize the entire Central Asian region that includes Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.

Many analysts are pointing these events out, and it's not lost on any of them that after America and Nato have had forces in Afghanistan for almost 20 years, all the work that was done is now about to be lost in a period of a few months. In particular, there are already reports that the freedoms of women and girls are already being curtailed in newly-captured Taliban areas.

Russia prepares to help Tajikistan protect its border with Afghanistan

Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan are all members of Russia's Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Russia operates one of its largest military bases abroad in Tajikistan, equipped with tanks, helicopters, drones and ground attack aircraft, and Russia is promising to stabilize the border with Afghanistan if needed.

In the 1980s, Russia had an ill-fated invasion of Afghanistan (Russia's "Vietnam") fighting Islamic Pashtuns who later became the Taliban. Tajikistan and other Soviet Socialist republics, who were part of the Soviet Union in the 1980s, supported Russia's invasion. At that time, Osama bin Laden was a Sunni Muslim Saudi citizen whom the Saudis got rid of by encouraging him to travel to Afghanistan to fight against the Orthodox Christian Russian infidels. Since the Soviet Union was the West's major enemy at the time, America and other Western countries supported bin Laden and his fight with the Soviets.

After the Soviets withdrew in 1989, the situation rapidly evolved. There was an extremely bloody Afghan civil war between 1992-96, pitting radicalized Pashtuns in the south against the Northern Alliance in the north, consisting of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks.

As I've written many times, this civil war, a generational Crisis war, is the controlling event today. Each side is bitterly angry at the atrocities, beatings, tortures and rapes perpetrated by the other side, and all many people want is revenge. That's always the nature of an ethnic civil war, and it's the reason why the Taliban will never fulfill their promises to give up violence. And that's why the remnants of the old Northern Alliance are now fleeing across the border into Tajikistan.

As I wrote at the time, the agreement between Donald Trump and the Taliban in March 2020 was entirely delusional, but was apparently driven by a desire to withdraw troops from Afghanistan no matter what the cost and no matter how humiliating to the US. Joe Biden fully endorsed the delusional agreement, and we're now seeing the results, predictable and predicted. And yes, 20 years of work is now going down the drain. ( "16-Feb-20 World View -- US and Taliban to sign laughable 'reduction in violence' agreement in Afghanistan")

So Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Rudenko says:

"The situation there is rather tense because according to some sources, up to 70% of the Tajik-Afghan border is now controlled by the Taliban."

So the Northern Alliance may be reincarnated under Russian leadership. Things are changing rapidly in Afghanistan, as the last American and Nato troops prepare to leave, and many analysts are foreseeing a catastrophe.

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28-Jun-21 World View -- Japan's plans for defending Taiwan from an attack by China

China's Dong Jingwei defects to the United States

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Japan's relations with Taiwan


Japan's Self-Defense Forces (KYODO)
Japan's Self-Defense Forces (KYODO)

When we discuss China's planned invasion of Taiwan, we generally (tacitly) assume that the US will be Taiwan's only foreign defender. While it's not clear how South Korea, Vietnam, Australia or India might react to China's invasion of Taiwan, Japan has been discussing how it would react, in increasingly explicit terms.

Taiwan was a colony of Japan, thanks to the Treaty of Shimonoseki, signed by Japan and China on April 17, 1895, after Japan's victory in the Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95. China ceded Taiwan to Japan as a result of that treaty, and Japan controlled Taiwan until Japan was defeated in 1945. Japan's colonization of Taiwan was harsh, but there were numerous economic benefits to Taiwan, and improvement in living standards. When Japan declared war on China in 1937, Taiwan was an ally of Japan against their common enemy, China.

After WW II, Taiwan and Japan had cordial relations, but there was little talk of joint security and defense planning, since Japan had adopted its "Pacifist Constitution," which made it illegal for Japan to deploy armed forces for any reason other than to defend an attack on Japanese soil.

Defending Taiwan as 'collective self-defense'

Finally in 2015, Japan reinterpreted the constitution to permit "collective self-defense," which would permit Japanese military forces to deploy armed forces for an attack on an ally, such as the United States. (See "5-May-14 World View -- Japan debates 'collective self-defense' to protect America and Japan" for a detailed explanation of what was adopted in 2015.)

So a commitment to defend Taiwan from an invasion by China is not a simple thing as it would be in other countries, especially since the pacifist constitution is very popular among the Japanese people, who are still trying to figure out why they acted as they did in WW II. But the increasingly belligerent threats from China are forcing the Japanese to look for a solution.

So with that reinterpretation of the Constitution, Japanese government officials are considering two possible paths by which they could militarily support the United States after a Chinese invasion of Taiwan.

Is Taiwan a 'nation'?

In a debate on Covid-19 in parliament earlier this month, Japan's prime minister Yoshihide Suga referred to Australia, New Zealand and Taiwan and said, "These three countries have been imposing strong restrictions on privacy rights" to curb the virus outbreak.

It's not known whether this was a slip or was intentional, but it drew the usual hysterical complaint from China's Foreign Ministry: "China expresses strong dissatisfaction with Japan's erroneous remarks and has lodged a solemn protest against Japan."

China claims Taiwan as a province of China, and has repeatedly said that they will invade Taiwan at a time of their choosing to force Taiwan to be part of China. As a result, both the United States and Japan have adopted a policy of "strategic ambiguity," in order to encourage both China and Taiwan to continue thinking that the issue can be resolved in time peacefully (which, of course, it cannot). In particular, the US has not committed to defending Taiwan, but is providing weapons to Taiwan for its own self-defense.

For decades, this strategic ambiguity has been debated in Washington and Tokyo. But now, with the growing military might of China and its growing belligerence, there is pressure on both the US and Japan to abandon strategic ambiguity and commit to defending Taiwan in case of attack.

These discussions are in process, and it's possible that something will be decided within a few months, or not.

China's plan for invading Taiwan

According to an analysis by Ian Easton, senior director at the Project 2049 Institute, China is preparing for an all-out invasion within five to ten years.

He says that Beijing’s optimistic version of events goes something like this:

Easton says that Taiwan has been preparing for just such an attack by fortifying defenses around key landing points and conducting drills to repel Chinese forces.

Japan provides vaccines to Taiwan

China has blocked Taiwan from getting doses of the Pfizer vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine was co-developed by the German company BioNTech. Taiwan was negotiating with Pfizer to get the vaccine, but China was able to delay the deal indefinitely by pressuring BioNTech and the German government. The Chinese claim that they had offered to sell their vaccine to Taiwan, but Taiwanese law bans Chinese-made medical products, including vaccines.

So earlier this month, Japan delivered 1.24 million doses of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine to Japan. The Japanese foreign ministry said that that Japan was responding to a Taiwanese request, and that the donation reflects “Japan’s important partnership and friendship with Taiwan.”

On Friday, Japan said it would send 2 million additional doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to Taiwan and Vietnam, and arrangements were being made to send 1 million doses each to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

In addition, the United States recently shipped 2.5 million vaccine does to Taiwan. Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu tweeted, “The Taiwan-U.S. relationship is rock solid, & we’ll keep cooperating closely in combating COVID19. Forces for good will prevail!”

Instability of the Chinese Communist Party

Analysts who talk about a Chinese invasion of Taiwan usually provide a time frame of five to ten years. That's pretty much what they have to say, isn't it.

But any such timeline assumes that the Chinese Communists are pursuing rational policies. As I've written in the past, crisis wars begin with a chaotic unexpected event. WW I began because a 12-year-old decided to shoot an Archduke in 1914. WW II began because a Japanese soldier had to pee and got lost in the woods in 1937. Those wars were a complete surprise, even to the belligerents. That's how WW III will begin. It will be totally irrational and unexpected, and it could happen any day.

A lot depends on the stability of the CCP government, and I've argued in the past that any dictatorship is fatally flawed and unstable, especially as compared to the US Constitutional government, with its federal system of checks and balances. The problem is that when a dictator does something really stupid, there's no one there to stop him, and anyone who tries is executed. This was true, for example, of Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward (1958-59), which was possibly the stupidest policy of any country in the history of the world, killing tens of millions of innocent people for no reason at all, destroying China's economy for decades.

So now we have Xi Jinping in that same position of dictator. If he appears weak, he'll be replaced. So he has to be strong, and if he makes a stupid decision, as Mao did, there will be no one to stop him, and the result will be disaster.

Xi reached the position of dictator by a brutal anticorruption campaign, begun in 2012, which targeted some two million officials in the Chinese Communist Party. This was popular with many Chinese, but alienated may elites.

China's Dong Jingwei defects to the United States

Xi Jinping is facing many problems. Domestic problems include income inequality, environmental threats, land grabs, food safety, Air pollution, water scarcity, and soil contamination. In addition, China’s aging population means that more retirees are supported by fewer young people.

Internationally, China is facing criticism about its brutal crackdown on the free press in Hong Kong, China's arrest and enslavement of millions of Uighurs, and illegal belligerent actions in the South China Sea. The Chinese Communists have made it abundantly clear that they don't care at all what others think of them, and what international laws they violate. What we're seeing is the millennia-old Chinese culture saying that the rest of the world are barbarians, and are to be treated as donkeys, with no purpose except to serve the Chinese Communists.

On top of all this, there have been reports that Xi Jinping and CCP officials have been shocked at the defection in February of Dong Jingwei and his daughter to the United States. Dong is China's Vice Minister of State Security in the Chinese Ministry of Defense. He is perhaps the highest-level Chinese defector the U.S. has ever had.

He is reported to be providing informtion about the identity of all the Chinese spies in the US, and methods used by the Chinese to infiltrate the US government, businesses and universities.

According to a report from Taiwan, this defection has triggered factional fights within the CCP leading to a period of unprecedented instability not seen since the Cultural Revolution.

The point of mentioning all this in an article on Japan's plans to defend Taiwan from Chinese invasion is that the invasion could occur at any time -- maybe in the 5-10 years as predicted by the analysts, but possibly much sooner than that with an overwhelmed dictator Xi Jinping in charge, and the possibiity that he'll order some military action in the Taiwan Strait to deflect from his personal or political problems.

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24-Jun-21 World View -- Myanmar/Burma army fights new militia in Mandalay as civil war spreads

China's strategic interest in Myanmar / Burma

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Myanmar/Burma army fights new militia in Mandalay as civil war spreads


Map of Myanmar / Burma, showing verious ethnic groups and militias (EAGs) (Economist)
Map of Myanmar / Burma, showing verious ethnic groups and militias (EAGs) (Economist)

A significant new escalation in the civil war in Myanmar / Burma occurred on Tuesday as the junta regime's armed forces clashed with the Mandalay People’s Defence Force (Mandalay PDF), a newly formed anti-junta militia in Mandalay, Myanmar's second largest city.

Since the February 1 army coup that installed the junta dictatorship, junta forces have been clashing with militias for months in rural areas. What's different this time is that the clash is occurring in a large urban center, Mandalay. As the civil war progresses, this could lead to large-scale carnage among the huge, dense population of Mandalay. According to the junta, troops killed four people and arrested eight others.

The United Nations is warning that unless something is done, Myanmar will accelerate to a civil war of "unprecedented scale." Well, of course, there are many civil wars of "unprecedented scale" all the time, including Burma's last generational crisis civil war (1948-58), so let's ignore the UN hyperbole.

Nothing will be done because the United Nations has become completely toothless. Any resolution in the Security Council is a joke, vetoed by Russia and China. There was a non-binding resolution passed last week by the UN General Assembly. It had been debated for three months and was supposed to call for an arms embargo, but it only passed after the arms embargo stuff was deleted, so the resolution says exactly nothing.

The Biden administration has imposed sanctions on Myanmar's gemstone industry, which funds the army's violent actions, as well as a number of individuals in the junta's government. These sanctions will do no good, but it's interesting to mention them because it shows, once again, that the US is policeman of the world, and can actually take action while the UN can only pass toothless resolutions.

The 2021 coup vs the violent 2007 and 1988 demonstrations

As I've described starting with the massive demonstrations in 2007 by the "'88 Generation," Burma's last two generational crisis wars (1886-91 and 1948-58) were extremely bloody and violent civil wars involving multiple ethnic groups. (See "Burma: Growing demonstrations by the '88 Generation' raise fears of new slaughter")

As expected, the demonstrations in 2007 fizzled out, because Myanmar/Burma was in a generational Unraveling era, when the last aging survivors of the preceding crisis war exert all their political power to prevent a new crisis war.

But starting in 2016, 58 years after the end of the last crisis war, the survivors were almost all gone (dead or retired), and the people in power were in younger generations, with no sense of history.

Starting in 2011, Buddhists began attacking Muslim Rohingyas in villages across Burma, particularly the 1.1 million ethnic Rohingyas in Rakhine State. Mobs of Buddhists 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 burned down entire Rohingya villages to the ground.

However, the worst violence began after a terrorist attack on Ausgust 25, 2017. The Tatmadaw (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 Burmese army shot them as they were fleeing, including women and children, killing dozens. This was the beginning of mass genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas. There are now a million Rohingyas who were forced to flee across the border into Bangladesh, where they're living in filthy refugee camps.

However, that wasn't the end of the Tatmadaw's program of mass torture, rape and slaughter. After the coup of February 1 of this year, that same army turned on its own people. The Tatmadaw has been conducting torture, rape and slaughter of the ordinary Burmans, the Burmese people. And this time it isn't fizzling the way it did in 2007. Isn't it amazing, Dear Reader, what crazy things people do during a generational Crisis era?

The rise of the Ethnic Armed Groups (EAGs)

So as Generational Dynamics has been predicting, the army and the people of Myanmar/Burma are refighting their last generational crisis war, which was a massive bloody war among ethnic groups (1948-58), with intervention by the Chinese.

But now there's a new acronym appearing in news reports: EAG, which stands for "Ethnic Armed Group." The EAGs are militias formed by different anti-junta ethnic groups in Myanmar. There are 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar, so there is the possibility of 135 different EAGs. The population of Myanmar numbers somewhere between 51 and 55 million people. Of this, around 68% are considered part of the dominant ethnic group - the Bamar (also known as the Burmans).

Here are some of the most significant EAGs:

The war in Myanmar vs the war in Syria

Many people are comparing the civil war in Myanmar against the civil war in Syria.

Here's a comparison by the analysts at Lowy in Australia:

"Like their fellow Syrian protestors, civilians in Myanmar are forming their own militias. Myanmar already had a patchwork of ethnic militias, some of which have stepped up attacks on the military, known as the Tatmadaw, ostensibly in support of the protestors. Geopolitically, the fault lines mirror the Syrian conflict, with Russia and China blocking Western-led efforts to censure the Tatmadaw at the United Nations.

Nonetheless, there are substantial differences between 2021 Myanmar and 2011–12 Syria.

Three key elements helped create the Syrian conflagration: a mass armed uprising, extensive foreign intervention on both sides and an influx of foreign fighters. None of those elements currently exist in Myanmar, and it is unclear whether they ever will – particularly the second and third."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this analysis is nonsense, and it's instructive to understand why.

Syria's last generational crisis war climaxed in February 1982 with the destruction of the town of Hama, by Hafez al-Assad. His son, Bashar al-Assad, launched an attack on peaceful protesters in 2011, during a generational Awakening/Unraveling era. During such an era, the traumatized survivors of the previous crisis war do what they can to prevent a new war. Bashar al-Assad's army suffered from poor morale and heavy desertions, and in 2015, al-Assad announced that he was going to lose the war. At that point, Russia intervened. That's why there was "extensive foreign intervention on both sides and an influx of foreign fighters." This was the result of an unpopular war during an Awakening/Unraveling era.

So when comparing the Syria war to the Myanmar war, the reason for Russian (and Iranian) intervention in the Syrian war was that al-Assad was going to be defeated. It is typical for an Awakening/Unraveling war to fizzle, just like the Myanmar rebellions in 2007 and 1988.

Myanmar has been in a generational Crisis era since 2016. There is no chance that this war will fizzle like the Syria war. It's possible that the Chinese will intervene, but that's because of the fighting along China's border.

China's strategic interest in Myanmar / Burma


Globe showing China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (Switzerland's Federal Intelligence Service)
Globe showing China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) (Switzerland's Federal Intelligence Service)

China has for years been supplying weapons to the Tatmadaw, but has been reluctant to fully endorse the February 1 coup, because the Chinese Communists fear that the people of Myanmar will turn against the Chinese.

Myanmar is an essential element of the Chinese Communists' delusional grand plan to lead and control the world within five years. According to this plan, China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) will bring peace and harmony to the entire world, and all countries will resolve their mutual differences and accede to China's leadership. The only thing that can go wrong, according to this delusiona plan, is that the US will be jealous, and will go to war with China to stop it.

The major BRI project in Myanmar is the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which is strategically essential to China's grand plan, since it provides a corridor for the transport of people and goods between China's Yunnan province and the Indian Ocean, through Myanmar's ports on the Andaman Sea. This is similar to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which connects China's Xinjiang province to Pakistan's Gwardar port, which China now controls.

Both CMEC and CPEC are essential to China's delusional grand plan, since they have to counter the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, formed by the US, along with Australia, India and Japan, with the obvious goal of countering China.

So the Myanmar civil war is more than just an inconvenience to the Chinese Communists. It's a threat to their whole delusional plan for world domination. What the Chinese really want is for the war to just end and go away, but in a generational Crisis era, that's very unlikely. It's much more likely that it will re-fight the previous crisis war, the extremely bloody 1948-58 civil war that involved all of Burma's ethnic groups, and forced the Chinese to intervene to protect their border.

Russia's strategic interest in the Myanmar/Burma war


Myanmar's arms suppliers -- China, Russia, India, S. Korea, Belarus, etc. (Nikkei)
Myanmar's arms suppliers -- China, Russia, India, S. Korea, Belarus, etc. (Nikkei)

China and Russia have historically been the biggest weapons suppliers to the Tatmadaw, but they have different objectives.

Neither the Russians nor the Chinese care at all how many Myanmar civilians are tortured, raped, beaten or slaughtered. The Russians and the Chinese don't even care how many of their own people are tortured, raped, beaten or slaughtered, let alone the Myanmar people.

So the Russians are perfectly happy to fully support the coup, and continue to supply weapons to the Tatmadaw. Russia does not share a border with Myanmar, and so any genocide or mass slaughter is miles away, and easily ignored.

But as we said, the civil war is a problem for the Chinese. The war could spill over across the border into China, and the people of Myanmar could turn against China, at a time when their support is needed for the CMEC and China's grand delusional plan to run the world. Thus, it is critical for China that the Myanmar people not blame the Chinese for the ongoing violence. There have already been attacks on Chinese factories by groups claiming that the Chinese are supporting the army violence. So the Chinese will continue supplying weapons, but will keep as low a profile as possible.

For the Tatmadaw, the situation is ideal. They can play the Russians and Chinese off against each other, and get all the weapons they want for their fun program of torture, rape, beatings and slaughter.

In fact, there are eight countries that have openly expressed support for the coup and the violence: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

Thailand supports the coup and the slaughter


 Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Myanmar's leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. (Reuters)
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Myanmar's leader Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. (Reuters)

Just as China has a potential problem along the border with Myanmar, Thailand has an actual problem.

More than 20,000 villagers, mostly women and children, in Karen State (Kayin State, Kayah State) have been forced to flee from their homes into the jungle to escape the relentless airstrikes and artillery fire by the Tatmadaw. The targets are supposed to be military targets of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), but as always happens with genocidal armies, the Tatmadaw are most targeting civilians, in order to "send a message."

As food is scarce in the jungle, with stories emerging of mothers having to feed their children with insects, many villagers have fled across the border into Thailand. Thailand has set up military checkpoints along the border, and is pushing villagers back across the border into Myanmar.

Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha fully supports the coup and the violence by Myanmar's coup leader, Gen. Min Aung Hlaing. That is because Prayuth conducted his own coup in 2014, overthrowing the democratically elected government of Thailand, and Hlaing was the first foreign leader to congratulate him. (See "23-May-14 World View -- Thailand's army seizes power in major victory for 'yellow shirt' elites")

But there hasn't been similar violence in Thailand as is occurring in Myanmar. According to reports, Hlaing has been asking for advice from Prayuth in back-channel discussions, but so far they haven't worked.

Once again, the explanation is the difference in generational era. Thailand's last generational crisis war was the extremely violent "Killing Fields war" in the 1970s next door in Cambodia, so Thailand is in an Awakening/Unraveling era, while Myanmar is in a generational Crisis era. So Prayuth might be able to provide some interesting details, but nothing he says will help quell the Crisis era fury of the anti-junta rebels in Thailand.

Karmic justice continues

As I've written before, the situation in Myanmar/Burma reeks of Karmic justice.

Since 2011, Burma's army has been committing atrocities on Muslim ethnic Rohingyas living in Rakhine State, including gang rape, violent torture, execution-style killings and the razing of entire villages, in a scorched earth campaign. These atrocities have been cheered by the ordinary Myanmar people, led by Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, most of whom apparently hate the Rohingyas.

Aung Sang Suu Kyi became a "useful idiot" for the army by presenting a sympathetic, tired, weary, female face to the world, defending the army to deflect the horrors and atrocities that are occurring in their country. In 2019, the International Court of Justice in the Hague held a trial on Burma's genocide, and Aung Sang Suu Kyi came and defended the army, saying that nothing had happened.

So now the same atrocities that the Buddhist monks cheered when used against the Muslim Rohingyas are being used against the Buddhists, and the "useful idiot" Aung Sang Suu Kyi is in jail, where she'll probably be killed when it's convenient for the Tatmadaw. That's full Karmic justice.

In the meantime, it's not just the people of Myanmar who are going to suffer. This is a highly explosive situation, and it's very likely to spread to other countries in the region, including China, Thailand and India. In the Generational Dynamics forum, we keep discussing various scenarios that could lead eventually into a world war, and this is one possibility.

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20-Jun-21 World View -- North Korea in crisis, facing 'tense' food shortage and surging food prices

Happy Juneteenth, everyone!

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

North Korea in crisis, facing 'tense' food shortage and surging food prices


Kim Jong-un last week announcing the 'tense' food shortage (Reuters)
Kim Jong-un last week announcing the 'tense' food shortage (Reuters)

North Korean dictator last week said that "The people's food situation is now getting tense," referring to scarcity of food and sharply rising food prices He added that the "agricultural sector failed to fulfil its grain production plan" in 2020.

A massive shortage of food has led to a dramatic rise in prices of basic food commodities. A kilogram of bananas costs $45. The price of a kilogram of rice was $0.77 in April, $0.90 in May, and $0.96 in June.

North Korea is subject to both UN and US sanctions, but normally North Korea's agricultural sector can produce enough food, and receive supplements from China and Russia. However, this failed to be enough during 2020 for three reasons:

The food shortage has not surprisingly led to violence in some areas. According to reports, construction workers building houses in the capital city Pyongyang, North Korea’s largest city with a population of about 3 million, are poorly fed, and are committing robberies and murders to steal food in the neighborhoods where the houses are being built.

Kim Jong-un 'solemnly vows' to overcome difficulties

At the conclusion of a Central Committee meeting on Friday, Kim "solemnly swore that the Party will surely break through head-on the difficulties lying in the way of the revolution" and remain loyal to the revolutionary idea to the end regardless of the "severer difficulties it may be confronted with in the future," according to KCNA, the (North) Korean Central News Agency.

It's not clear how the North Koreans plan to do that, but there have already been some missteps.

North Korea's state-run food stores normally sell just basic foods like unprocessed corn and rice, but due to shortages are now selling some processed foods like sugar, seasonings, flour and cooking oil. However, stocks of those foods are extremely low as well.

A different concern was raised by a recent special "intensive inspection of the storage maintenance status of combat reserve supplies" for the armed forces. The inspection revealed shortages of reserve supplies, and evidence of corruption, since the written records do not match the actual supplies. According to an RFA report:

"The main focus of this inspection is on supplies like wartime fuel, food, combat suites and medicine. All units typically lack fuel, food and medicine so they often secretly dip into their reserves."

Managers responsible for the combat reserve supplies may now fact punishment:

"In addition to the punishment of those who are found at fault in the military-wide intensive inspection, the project to distribute combat reserve materials according to demand will also be under review.

All units have been specifically asked whether they comply with the directive that requires them to create combat reserve supplies by contributing five percent of the daily supplies guaranteed by the state and of military supplies they themselves produce."

Obviously, this has implications for the ability of North Korea's army to attack South Korea, when Kim Jong-un decides to do so.

The Denuclearization Delusion

We haven't heard much from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un since those exciting gone-by days of yesteryear prior to the Wuhan Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, when he was meeting regularly with Donald Trump, and the two were expressing their love for one another, in their father-son relationship. In particular, there haven't been any new tests of nuclear weapons or long-range ballistic missiles in a long time. There were some short-range missile tests in March of this year, but they didn't generate much excitement.

President Joe Biden has not announced a North Korea policy, except for "consulting with our allies and partners" and "some form of diplomacy ... conditioned upon the end result of denuclearization," as he said after the North Korean missile test in March.

At that time, I wrote a lengthy article comparing the strategies of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. (See "28-Mar-21 World View -- North Korea's ballistic missiles stoke the Denuclearization Delusion")

The point of the article was the same as in the articles about North Korea that I've been writing for years -- that it makes absolutely no difference what strategy is used by Trump and Biden. North Korea is going to continue developing and manufacturing nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and one day will use them, probably on Japan and the US. The idea of North Korea denuclearization is completely delusionary, even though the "Denuclearization Delusion" persists in the dream world of Pollyannaish fantasy.

In fact, Biden's special representative for North Korea, Sung Kim, was in South Korea on Saturday to discuss the stalled denuclearization talks. Kim Jong-un ordered his government to prepare for both dialogue and confrontation with the United States. Kim is demanding that the US lift its sanctions on North Korea.

Happy Juneteenth, everyone!

Saturday was the new federal holiday, Juneteenth, celebrating the day June 19, 1865, when the Republicans, who had won the Civil War and emancipated the slaves under Abraham Lincoln, officially completed the emancipation by forcing the Democrats, who had finally surrendered after losing the Civil War, to really give up their slaves and set them free.

I can't help but think that this is an odd holiday for the Democrats to be celebrating, since it's a day of their total humiliation and surrender. Following the emancipation, the bitterly angry Democrats formed the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) and spent the next century lynching black boys and raping black girls with impunity.

This anger continues to today. Joe Biden grew up at the time when the KKK was active, and his friend and mentor Robert Byrd held the title "Exalted Cyclops." Biden and Byrd may have participated in some lynchings or rapes, or if not were certainly aware of them and approved of them. Biden was a racist and White Supremacist his entire life, and was quite public about it until Barack Obama nominated him to be vice president. But with the recent release of Hunter Biden's texts, which were laced with highly racist epithets, we know that racism and White Supremacy are deeply embedded in the Biden family.

Maxine Waters, who has often appeared to be totally unhinged, must have suffered some kind of trauma in the past. My guess is that either she was raped as a young girl by a White Democrat in the KKK, or if not, at the least she must have known many young black girls who were raped. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who also seems to be unhinged, was born too late to be raped by a KKK member, but undoubtedly knew many black women who had been raped in years past. Frankly, I don't blame Waters or Lightfoot for acting as they do, given the trauma they must have suffered decades ago, surrounded by black girls and women who had been raped by White Democrats.

Lori Lightfoot's Chicago is a good example of how the Democrats are causing massacres of blacks today, just as though the KKK were as active as before. Lightfoot and other Democrat politicians have adopted a set of racist policies that specifically target black communities, making them unsafe and punishing successful black businesses. These policies include the following: destroying the black family, defunding police, not arresting violent criminals, letting violent criminals out of jail, keeping the police from making gun checks, forbidding community policing, and allowing huge amounts of fentynal and meth into the country through the southern border. Of course whites also suffer from these policies, but not nearly as much as blacks do. These policies all target blacks and have the specific purpose of making black neighborhoods unsafe and poor. These are all White Supremacist policies, and any Democrat who follows them is, by definition, a White Supremacist.

The results speak for themselves: Hundreds of blacks are killed each week through mass shootings on the streets of Chicago and other Democrat-run cities, where the above racist policies are in force. These have the same purpose as the 1921 Tulsa massacre of a century ago. It's as if the KKK were still as active as ever in the mass slaughter of blacks.

So now we come to the new Juneteenth federal holiday, which celebrates the Democrat Party's loss of their black slaves, and also commemorates the Democrat Party's launching of the KKK. I find it bewildering that the Democrats allowed this holiday to be celebrated, and I can't help but wonder if this is actually the beginning of a social war by the blacks against their white masters.

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15-Jun-21 World View -- The hysteria over inflation in a deflationary era

Understanding inflation, deflation and the CPI

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

The hysteria over the Consumer Price Index


Velocity of Money, 1959-2021 (St. Louis Fed)
Velocity of Money, 1959-2021 (St. Louis Fed)

In mid-May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) published its monthly computation of the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of 4.2%, the highest rate since September 2008. This means that consumer prices had risen 4.2% in the preceding 12 months.

The media went hysterical and started predicting hyperinflation. A typical media statement by so-called "experts" was some variation of the following:

"Inflation exploded in April at an annual rate of 4.2%, the highest rate since Sept 2008, so inflation is already occurring, and we can expect much higher inflation or hyperinflation in the next few months!"

Long-time readers are aware that I have a low opinion of economists, and the above statement is one more example. If the inflation rate was even higher in September 2008, then why wasn't there hyperinflation in 2009? These "experts" are too dumb to even ask that question. As it turned out, there was mild deflation in 2009, so the Law of Reversion of the Mean took hold.

Then in mid-June, the BLS reported a CPI increase of 4.99%. Here's how CNBC reported it:

"The consumer price index, which represents a basket including food, energy, groceries, housing costs and sales across a spectrum of goods, rose 5% from a year ago. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been expecting a gain of 4.7%.

The reading represented the biggest CPI gain since the 5.3% increase in August 2008, just before the worst of the financial crisis sent the U.S. spiraling into the worst recession it had seen since the Great Depression."

This was actually a pretty good report, since it balanced the inflation hysteria with a sober report about what happened in 2009.

However, it didn't stop the hysteria from the so-called "experts" on TV, who have been predicting hyperinflationary doom, because they just can't seem to grasp that this CPI change is a temporary spike.

Historical consumer price index changes

The following page contains a table of historical changes in the CPI month by month for the preceding 12 months, from 1913 to the present:

Historical Consumer Price Index Change

If you'd like, you can copy and paste the table on that page into a text file or into a spreadsheet, or you can just read the table on the web page.

You should spend a few minutes studying that table. It shows how the current spike in inflation is not unusual in the last three decades, and that there were previous larger spikes that didn't lead to sustained inflation.

As I've written many times, the "experts" have been consistently wrong about inflation since 2003, when I started keeping track, and predicted a deflationary era. For the last 70 quarters, the "experts" predicted that there would be inflation or super-inflation in the following quarter, and for 70 quarters they've been wrong every quarter and I've been right every quarter. And now it's the same thing all over again.

It would be VERY nice if even one of these "experts" at least acknowledged that they've been wrong for the last 70 quarters, and explained why "this time it's different" this quarter. But they never do.

Understanding inflation, deflation and the CPI

When I first wrote about deflation in 2003, I really didn't understand what was going on, and in fact I said that inflation is "very mysterious." But I knew we were in a stock market bubble, and I knew that public debt was very high, and I knew that we were in a generational Crisis era, so I assumed that we would be following the deflationary path of the 1930s, and that we were in a "deflationary era."

That turned out to be correct. But now, having seen what happened in the last almost 20 years, I now have a much better idea about what a "deflationary era" or "disinflationary era" means. It means two things:

There are two economic measures that define a deflationary era:

Both of these economic measures are generational, in the sense that they occur during generational Crisis eras, and are the opposite of what occurred in the generational Awakening era of the 1970s. During the 1970s, people were still recovering from the Great Depression and public debt was extremely low, so people were willing to incur debt and spend money, resulting in a high velocity of money in the 1970s, and inflation.

Financial crisis of 2007-2008

The global financial crisis of 2007-2008 caused many people to go bankrupt or to lose their homes, and that made people extremely averse to spending. This reluctance to spend was measured by the velocity of money, which has been falling sharply since then. You can see that clearly by the graph at the beginning of this article.

This doesn't cause deflation, but it does put a lid on inflation during this deflationary era. It also means that when there's a burst of inflation caused by scarcity, like today, it will not encourage people to spend more, but instead will cause people to become more cautious and pull back even further, often resulting in a brief period of deflation as the scarcity unwinds. This happened in 2009, following an inflationary spike in 2008.

The second factor, besides velocity of money, is increasing public debt.

But today, public debt is extremely high and growing. This feeds into the velocity of money, since people in debt are very reluctant to spend and pay high prices, which would only increase their debt.

Furthermore, the high public debt leads to the second outcome of a deflationary era, namely that it ends with a sharp deflationary crash. This is because of the chain reaction that starts at the beginning of a financial crisis. As debts come due, people are no longer able to borrow money to roll debts over, so they have to sell assets and collect money owed through other people's interlocking debts, and that forces other people to sell their assets, resulting in a chain reaction and a full-fledged deflationary spiral.

I was actually expecting this to happen in 2008, with the collapse of Lehman and other banks. But something happened that I didn't expect -- that the Fed would flood the markets with "quantitative easing" (printed money), which provided banks with plenty of liquidity so that they could lend money to roll debts over. The problem is that this exacerbated the problem of interlocking debt and extended it around the world, so that the next crisis won't be resolved by quantitative easing, especially if it happens in the context of war.

Here's a final ironic point. When the US government "prints money," knee-jerk economists say that this will result in "too many dollars chasing too few goods" and inflation. This was true in the 1970s, but the opposite is true in a generational Crisis era, which the knee-jerk economists don't grasp at all. Printing money today does not generate inflation today. Printing money today increases public debt, which makes people more cautious and lowers the velocity of money. So printing money today does not cause inflation. It creates disinflationary pressure, and eventually will make the deflationary crash much larger. So printing money today actually causes more deflation.

You know, I used to think that the amount of money in the economy (M2) at least had some effect on the inflation rate, but as time has gone on, I increasingly believe that the amount of money has absolutely nothing to do with the inflation rate, at least in the American economy.

The inflation rate is not a monetary phenomenon. It's a generational phenomenon. It's not the Fed that affects the inflation rate. It's the people and the mood of the people that affect the inflation rate.

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1-Jun-21 World View -- Coronavirus coverup unravels in US as China threatens Australia

Evidence grows that Wuhan coronavirus came from Wuhan Virology Lab

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

China's 'Wolf Warrior' strategy moves towards world war


China views Australia as being a puppet, with America as the puppetmaster (Global Times)
China views Australia as being a puppet, with America as the puppetmaster (Global Times)

This is an article about two subjects -- threats by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to bomb Australia and the unraveling of the CCP's Wuhan coronavirus coverup. As different as these issues are, they have a common core: the intense increase in the last year of China's xenophobia, paranoia, nationalism and belligerence. This has been predicted by Generational Dynamics for years, as the prelude to world war. By now, the level of hostility between China and the West is as bad as the hostility between Japan and the US in 1941, in the months prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

This is being described as a sharp rise in "Wolf Warrior" strategy, named after a 2015 Chinese-produced military action film that demands a belligerent response to anyone disrespecting China.

Here's how left-leaning Foreign Policy magazine puts it:

"Sometime in 2020, China came unmoored from its grand strategy. Until then, Beijing’s diplomatic, military, and economic efforts were all directed toward national security. ... The consistency of purpose underpinning China’s behavior was hard to miss.

Of late, however, China has lost that purposefulness -- one of the hallmarks of grand strategy. The predominant feature of Chinese conduct today is not grand strategy but a belligerent, defensive nationalism that lashes out without heed of consequences. Just why that breakdown has occurred is uncertain, but it is clear that the change has put both China and the world in jeopardy. China risks undoing all it has gained -- at considerable cost -- since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) came to power. And the rest of the world, particularly the United States, finds itself confronted not with the hard task of managing a rising, reasonably predictable power but the infinitely harder job of managing a flailing one."

Analysts analyzing the situation say that the rise in this kind of xenophobic nationalism actually began in 2008 with the global financial crisis. I would agree with that because 2008 was 59 years after the end of China's civil war in 1949, and so was the time that China entered its generational Crisis era (Fourth Turning), just as 2003 was the time when America entered its generational Crisis era, 58 years after the end of World War II. There's a parallel between Washington and Beijing in that sensible policies in this era have been replaced by total lunacy in both capitals. Unfortunately, that's how world wars start.

Last year I gave as an example of the insanity of CCP policy is that it was threatening war over 21 different border disputes with neighboring countries. This would be like America threatening border disputes with Canada, Russia, Mexico, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Cuba. The CCP no longer has any coherent strategy, and is striking out in all directions. (See "5-Jul-20 World View -- Gleeful China wins big Hong Kong victory at UN Human Rights Council -- India's list of China's border disagreements")

Australia's long hostile relationship with China

Australia has a long history of antipathy towards Chinese in Australia since European settlement, starting with race riots amid the gold rush of the 1850s and '60s. With hundreds of Chinese prospectors injured and evicted from mining sites, the unrest prompted immigration rules that led to the infamous "White Australia" policy, which existed in various forms from 1901 until 1973.

Although these racist policies were repealed decades ago, there has never been a comfortable relationship. In May 2018, an Australian MP accused politicians of Chinese ancestry of being spies for the CCP, and the parliament passed sweeping influence laws targeting secret attempts by foreign spies to influence Australia's politicians, media, ethnic groups and civil society organizations. ( "29-Jun-18 World View -- Australia passes foreign influence laws, targeting China")

In April of last year, Australia's relationship with China deteriorated significantly after prime minister Scott Morrison called for an international inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. The Chinese were furious, assuming that it was an attack on the CCP (which, in fact, it was). Morrison further infuriated the Chinese for commenting on human rights abuses in Xinjiang and Hong Kong, and for criticizing China's repeated threats to invade Taiwan.

At this point, China was deep into its "wolf warrior" phase. China blocked or slowed exports from Australia of numerous products, including wine, barley, beef, timber and coal.


CCP tweet with fake picture of Australian soldier holding a knife to the neck of an Afghan baby, saying, 'Don't be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace'.  The baby and the knife are blurred in the above picture.  (SMH)
CCP tweet with fake picture of Australian soldier holding a knife to the neck of an Afghan baby, saying, 'Don't be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace'. The baby and the knife are blurred in the above picture. (SMH)

Australia was infuriated in December when China's foreign ministry tweeted a fake picture of an Australian soldier holding a knife to the neck of an Afghan baby, saying, "Don't be afraid, we are coming to bring you peace." In his strongest criticism of China, Morrison said:

"The Chinese government should be totally ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world's eyes. It is an absolutely outrageous and disgusting slur. Australia is seeking an apology from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and we are seeking it be removed from Twitter."

Needless to say, China did not apologize, and Twitter did not remove it. However, Morrison's statement was significant because it was strong comment Morrison had ever made about the CCP since taking office.

Australia retaliates by cancelling BRI projects

Four months later, in April of this year, Australia struck back at China by canceling Belt & Road Initiative (BRI) agreements that China had contracted with Victoria, a province in southeast Australia. The reason given was that the projects were not compatible with Australia's security, and made Victoria too dependent on China. Agreements with Iran and Syria were also scrapped at the same time.

These were small projects, so this should not have been a big deal, and it would not have been in any other era. But China responded with rage and threats, calling the cancellation "unreasonable and provocative," and vowing revenge.

China's state media Global Times accused Australia to be a puppet of the United States, and wrote the following, referring to Australia's capital city Canberra:

"Canberra must have known or even anticipated that its action would draw such a furious response and potentially crippling countermeasures from Beijing. However, it still decided to move ahead with the action. Clearly, Canberra is increasingly unhinged and in way over its head by taking such a suicidal attack on not just China but also its own economic interests.

Since the cancellation of the BRI deals, speculation has been rife that Canberra may soon suffer from the wrath of its largest trading partner. Given the viciousness and seriousness of the move, we won't be surprised if China takes forceful countermeasures to inflict serious pain on Australia. With China's comprehensive strength, there are numerous ways for China to achieve that."

The reason for China's hysterical response is that the cancellation of this small project is a loss of faith for the CCP and Xi Jinping himself.

As I've written in the past, has a totally delusional geopolitical strategy based on BRI. Guided by China's leadership, countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Mideast will put aside their disagreements. Old hatreds will be mended by necessity, to attract capital for investments. These include countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, and Pakistan. China will create a "global colossal," of dozens of countries in a massive multi-country partnership, bound together by China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). China foresees connecting the world through trade and peace, but foresees only one obstacle: that America will try to block it, leading to war.

China has used bribery, corruption, and threats to coerce countries in Asia, Africa and Europe agree to build BRI projects in those countries. However, China is receiving increasing resistance to these projects because of "debt trap diplomacy," which gives China almost effective control over each national government. This is actually what Australia feared, in canceling Victoria's BRI project.

A firm cancellation of Australia's Victoria BRI project would be the first such cancellation and would be a major crack in the entire delusional geopolitical plan, since it would provide cover for other countries to similary cancel or refuse BRI projects.

So China's hysteria over the cancelation, with threats of revenge, is intended to force Australia to reverse its decision, just as the boycotts of barley, coal and other products was intended to force Australia to back down from its demands in the area of human rights and particularly its demand for an international investigation of the source of the Wuhan Coronavirus.

At the beginning of May, the editor in chief of the Global Times posted the following editorial:

"Given that Australian hawks keep hyping or hinting that Australia will assist the US military and participate in war once a military conflict breaks out in the Taiwan Straits, and the Australian media outlets have been actively promoting the sentiment, I suggest China make a plan to impose retaliatory punishment against Australia once it militarily interferes in the cross-Straits situation. The plan should include long-range strikes on the military facilities and relevant key facilities on Australian soil if it really sends its troops to China's offshore areas and combats against the PLA. In addition to making the plan, China should also reveal this plan through non-official channels to deter the extreme forces of Australia and prevent them from taking the risk and committing irresponsible actions.

China loves peace and will not take the initiative to pick a fight with faraway Australia, but Australian hawks must be clear-minded. If they are bold enough to coordinate with the US to militarily interfere in the Taiwan question and send troops to the Taiwan Straits to wage war with the PLA, they must know what disasters they would cause to their country. China has a strong production capability, including producing additional long-range missiles with conventional warheads that target military objectives in Australia when the situation becomes highly tense."

This is a remarkable statement, for several reasons:

This editorial well illustrates the belligerent mood in Beijing, and its "wolf warrior" attitude that China must never be disrespected.

Evidence grows that Wuhan coronavirus came from Wuhan Virology Lab

Now let's turn to the second subject area, the Wuhan coronavirus.

Last week, president Joe Biden ordered intelligence officials to investigate the origins of the Wuhan Coronavirus, including the theory that it came from the Wuhan Virology Lab in China, either accidentally or intentionally, and that the virus was the result of "gain of function" research to create a bioweapon for the military. The investigation will also look at China's actions in covering up the spread of the virus, protecting China by blocking internal travel, and then purposely spreading the virus to 180 other countries by encouraging air travel between Wuhan and those countries.

This order has caused a seismic shock in Beijing, as well as in Washington's mainstream media.

Simply calling for an investigation isn't exactly an act of war, but we've seen how Australia's call for an investigation in March of last year led to hysterical calls for revenge and retribution, including boycotts of Australian goods, escalating up to the present time when Chinese media is talking about bombing Australian soil.

The CCP is far more reluctant to threaten the US militarily than to threaten Australia. Nonetheless, they must be considering possible forms of revenge in the next few weeks.

For now, the CCP response is limited to the usual hysterical lying and deceptions. Here's the statement from China's foreign ministry spokesman:

"However, some in the US, turning a blind eye to facts, science, the questionable study of origins and botched response at home, kept clamoring for additional investigation in China. This shows that they don't care about facts or truth and have zero interest in a serious science-based study of origins. Their one aim is to use the pandemic to pursue stigmatization and political manipulation to shift the blame. They are being disrespectful to science, irresponsible to people's lives, and counter-productive to concerted global efforts to fight the virus. With 33 million confirmed cases and 600,000 deaths from COVID-19, both the highest in the world, the US, instead of examining its own behavior, attempted to scapegoat China. What are they up to? Can they sleep at night with a troubled conscience?

What secrets are hidden in the suspicion-shrouded Fort Detrick and the over 200 US bio-labs all over the world? In July 2019, there were reports on the unexplained outbreaks of respiratory disease in northern Virginia and on the subsequent EVALI outbreaks in Wisconsin. What's hidden there? When will the US release detailed data and information on relevant cases? It owes an explanation to the world."

There are many biolabs in many countries around the world, including one at Fort Detrick biodefense center, where an infectious disease research program was shut down in 2019 over problems with disposal of dangerous materials. However, there was no threat to public health, no injuries to employees, and no attempt to protect the United States while purposely infecting 180 countries around the world, so its in no way comparable to the Wuhan Virology Lab.

The seismic shock to Washington's mainstream media is that this is the biggest story of the century, and yet the mainstream media adamantly refused to investigate and report on it, but has cooperated with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to label it as "fake news" or a "conspiracy theory" that was dreamed up by president Donald Trump for political reasons.

Left wing media pundits have been falling all over themselves trying to explain why Donald Trump was right and they were all wrong about the biggest story of the century. Joy Behar of the TV show The View, who is a total idiot, said:

"Trump was blaming the Chinese from the beginning. He was using them as scapegoats. If it happens to be true it was from Wuhan, then that was just a lucky break on his part because he took a guess, in my opinion."

This was echoed by other mainstream media pundits, explaining that the reason that they missed the story of the century was that they didn't want to admit that Trump was right.

However, I believe that the real reason is obvious and far more sinister. The mainstream media and many politicians are totally compromised by the Chinese. News organizations that report news that "disrespects" China can be expelled from China, and even have their reporters jailed. Sports figures have been forced to make humiliating public apologies, kowtowing to China, for merely uttering the word "Uighur" or the phrase "the nation of Taiwan." California representative Eric Swalwell was totally compromised by an affair with a hot Chinese spy, and Joe Biden and his son Hunter are totally compromised by their financial deals with China. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The CCP have given grants, provided money, provided girls, and provided workers to every university, every public, private and governmental organization, to infiltrate them. This has been a nationwide scandal in Australia and New Zealand.

That China operates this way has been well-documented in many countries, with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) being the primary bribery and extortion vehicle in Asia, Africa and Europe. This is China's playbook, and it gives them the leverage to use extortion against any reporter, sports figure or politician that might otherwise "disrespect" China or disagree with Chinese Communist policies.

So that's the reason why the mainstream media have been refusing to investigate and report the greatest story so far this century. They would rather find a way to blame Trump, even though it makes them look like idiots, rather than admit to being extorted, which they were. It's bad enough that the mainstream media are an arm of the Democrat Party, but it's much worse that the mainstream media are an arm of the Chinese Communist Party. (Paragraph modified, 1-June)

Biden was clearly reluctant to order any investigation for the same reasons, and in fact in January he closed an investigation in the State Dept. that had been opened by Trump and Mike Pompeo. So what changed?

It's just that circumstantial evidence has been growing and growing more powerful over time. This has included whistleblowers and scientists who had worked in the Wuhan Virology Lab.

There were several triggering events during the month of May:

Biden had previously called for the previous WHO investigation to be completed, as had been promised, but after the CCP announcement on Tuesday that they wouldn't cooperate, Biden was compelled politically to agree to an investigation.

Weaponizing biotech and 'gain of function' research

In August 2019, shortly before the spread of the Wuhan Coronavirus, Defense One magazine published a detailed analysis of decades of China's plans for creating biological weapons for use by the military. So it's possible, though unproven, that Covid-19 was developed by the Chinese military as a bioweapon.

If you take a virus and turn it into a bioweapon, the type of research is named "gain-of-function." The enhanced virus may be more lethal, may spread more easily, or may target only certain kinds of entities. For example, in 2000 Dutch researchers genetically engineered the spike protein of a mouse coronavirus so that it would attack only cats, but not rodents.

The nightmare scenario for the world is that Chinese scientists might similarly engineer a virus that attacks all humans, excluding all those with Chinese DNA.

Not surprisingly, gain-of-function research has become highly controversial. As described by the recent article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) provides grants funding projects at the Wuhan Virology Lab. When questioned about these grants in congressional committees, Dr. Anthony Fauci denied vehemently that these grants ever funded gain-of-research funding at the Wuhan Lab.

However, publicly available documents show that the grants went to a prime contractor, Peter Daszak, president of the EcoHealth Alliance of New York, and that Daszak subcontracted to Bat Lady, Shi Zheng-li, the gain-of-function researcher at Wuhan Virology Lab that we previously described. Fauci insisted that there was no gain-of-function research because the grant agreement specified that there would be no gain-of-funding research. Under questioning, Fauci admitted that there was no way to tell if the Chinese were lying.

The Chinese Communists are supported by many useful idiots in the United States, but apparently Fauci is the stupidest useful idiot of them all.

China becomes increasingly unstable and desperate

I've described China's Communist government as being desperate and unstable in the past, and that's been true, but it's been getting much worse. It's a worsening trend that the CCP is desperately striking out in all directions, with a delusional geopolitical plan, 21 border disputes, deteriorating BRI strategy, and facing people in hundreds of countries that are pissed off that China protected themselves while purposely inflicting the Wuhan Coronavirus on them, though are afraid to take any action because of China's bribery and extortion playbook.

Americans can't grasp how China's government is becoming increasingly unstable because the US Constitutional government is possibly the most stable in world history, and we can't imagine it any other way. Every serious decision we take is subject to checks and balances by three branches of government, and is usually first debated in various committees, agencies, and the courts.

Contrast that with China, where Xi Jinping has made himself a dictator for life, which means that he could make a serious decision and there would be no one there to stop him. That's what happened with Mao Zedong's disastrous Great Leap Forward in 1958, which resulted in tens of millions of unnecessary deaths, and destroyed China's economy for decades, so much that it still hasn't recovered. Nothing like that could ever happen in America.

Why did the Imperial Japanese choose December 7, 1941, to bomb Pearl Harbor? They chose that date because they thought that they were running out of time and they panicked. The US had placed an embargo on the trade of all militarily useful items with Japan, and faced with serious shortages, they believed that they had to move quickly, or they would lose the opportunity.

We know that the Chinese are going to attack Taiwan. We know that because they've said so repeatedly, and they've been open about making military preparations for an attack. And now we've learned that their preparations are reaching the stage of possibly bombing Australia, because they believe that Australia's military would join with America's military in defending Taiwan.

China's "Wolf Warrior" strategy of xenophobia, nationalism and belligerance has been growing. I've tried to show a trend, how there have been a series of such incidents, and how each incident has been worse than the last one. Over the last 20 years, I've studied thousands of wars, and this is how wars start.

The Chinese military or Xi Jinping may decide, for rational, irrational or delusional reasons, that they've run out of time and that they have to move quickly, or they would lose the opportunity. No one, not even the Chinese themselves, can predict when they will panic and take that step. All we can do is watch as the Chinese Communist government becomes increasingly unstable and desperate.

Sidebar: Attacks on Asian-Pacific people in the United States

This is a separate subject, but this is a good place to include it.

The mainstream media have been pointing to an increase in hate crimes on Asian Americans as proof that Republicans are white supremacists, and that they've been stirred up by president Trump's frequent reference to the "China Virus."

It takes a reporter from the NY Times or CNN to say something as totally idiotic as that. These attacks have been going on since the 1800s, and incidentally they've been even worse in Australia. So they long predate Trump.

However I came across a report, posted in January by the National Institutes of Health, which used data from the Department of Justice to "examine the nature and characteristics of hate crimes against Asian Americans." The report compared hate crimes against Asian Americans, African Americans, and Hispanics.

The most important finding of the report is that perpetrators of hate crimes against Asians are most likely to be blacks, for economic reasons. This is something that's been known anecdotally for a long time, but the NIH report confirms it. It's also clear that the writers of the NIH report don't want you to easily find this result, probably for fear that if they expose the truth, they'll get fired or canceled.

You have to go far into the report to find the results (search for "Table 3" or "Findings of this study, however, also provide support to the minority-specific model"), but the findings are clear:

The article by conservative Michelle Malkin referenced below provides multiple examples of hate crimes against Asians by blacks, probably all Democrats.

Reading through the news stories of the Atlanta shooting in March of Asians, you can almost see the frustration of the writers that they can't find an angle to blame Republicans. By this time it's almost certain that the Atlanta shooter was a Democrat, probably a supporter of Black Lives Matter.

A personal note: All the signs are there that the Atlanta shooter was obsessed with Asian women and went berserk. I find this quite believable, since I've known two guys in the past who were obsessed with Asian women -- to date them not to kill them. There's something about Asian women that causes some men (not me) to obsess about them.

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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26-May-21 World View -- The aftermath of the Israel - Gaza war

What did the Israelis accomplish? Mowing the lawn

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

The Gaza-Israel war by the numbers


Over $300,000 in gold shaped as nails and hidden in wooden pallets.  Hamas tried to smuggle the gold into the West Bank to fund terror activity.  (Jerusalem Post)
Over $300,000 in gold shaped as nails and hidden in wooden pallets. Hamas tried to smuggle the gold into the West Bank to fund terror activity. (Jerusalem Post)

The worst possible outcome of the recent war -- that it would spiral into a full-scale regional war -- did not happen.

The best possible outcome of the recent war -- that it would settle the Israel-Palestinian dispute once and for all -- did not happen and could not possibly happen.

The 11 day conflict ended with a ceasefire on Friday, May 21, at 2 am. Nobody believes that there won't be another war soon.

Hamas fired 4,300 rockets from Gaza into Israel during the conflict, killing two children and six adults in Israel.

Israel fired thousands of missiles into Gaza during the conflict, killing 66 children and 248 adults.

Gaza was devastated by the war. More than 100,000 people lost their homes. Water and sewer systems were destroyed, so there's no water or sanitation. There is little electricity, and many hospitals were destroyed.

What did the Gaza Palestinians accomplish? International attention

If you listen to Palestinians interviewed on tv, then you hear them say that the deaths and destruction in Gaza were worth it because those deaths have generated international outrage at Israel. There have been international anti-Israel riots and demonstrations in cities around the world. There have been calls for boycotts of Israeli goods.

In a way, this is a longing for a return to the 2000s decade, when the Palestinian issue was front page news around the world almost every day. Starting around ten years ago, Palestinian spokesmen began complaining that they had been completely forgotten by the international community because of other international issues, such as the wars in Ukraine and Syria. One of the motivations for starting the 2014 summer war with Israel is thought by some to be an attempt to get back on the front pages. And now, the Palestinians themselves seem to be saying the same thing.

Some Arab writers are saying the same thing in different ways.

German-Egyptian Intellectual Dr. Hamed Abdel-Samad said the following in an interview:

"Hamas has turned the Palestinians into beggars. Where did all the money go? I would like Fatah and Hamas to explain to the Palestinians where all this money went? [Imagine] what could have been done with it.

Why wasn't it invested in good education, instead of making children TV shows that teach them martyrdom and suicide? Why do all the leaders of Fatah have villas, palaces, and a lot of money? They stole from their people and did not invest in their freedom, in their educations, and in their self confidence. They left their people only with the choice between martyrdom or begging for money."

Saudi journalists are even more harshly critical of the actions of the Gaza Palestinians, directly connecting the actions of Hamas to the agenda of the Iranians, who are supplying Hamas with the rockets that they've been launching at Israel.

As the war began, Saudi journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh tweeted:

"I suspect that the move of those Palestinian factions that are agents of the Persians was carried out on orders from Iran, so as to exert pressure in [Iran's] favor in the Vienna [nuclear] talks. The implications [of the escalation] will likely be devastating for the helpless citizens of Gaza."

Another Saudi journalist, Sa'ud Al-Fawzan said that the war could have been avoided entirely, but it's something that that the leaders of Palestine and Israel wanted:

"I will never show tolerance for the killing of children in [either] Tel Aviv or Gaza. Those responsible for their death are both [Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu and [Hamas leader in Gaza Isma'il] Haniya. Were it not for Netanyahu and Haniya, the Palestinians and the Israelis would have lived together just as our forefathers coexisted peacefully with the Jews for many centuries."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this interpretation is comforting, but delusional. There is enormous mutual hostility, xenophobia and hatred between the Palestinians and the Israelis, and do Netanyahu and Haniya were doing what the people they were governing wanted them to do.

And this is further proved, by the way, by the communal violence between Palestinians and Israelis that broke out and is still ongoing.

What did the Israelis accomplish? Mowing the lawn

First, not all Israelis are happy with the ceasefire. The cities of Ashkelon and Sderot, in southern Israel, have been hit particularly hard to by Gaza rockets over the years, and have suffered numerous casualties.

According to Sderot's mayor Alon Davidi:

"This proves that despite the full support and perseverance and heroism that the residents of the south have shown for the past 20 years, it appears that Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and the Israeli government are not interested in defeating Hamas and prefer temporary quiet for residents of central Israel at the expense of residents of the Gaza periphery and the south, who will continue to suffer from terrorism."

Of course it's totally delusional that completely defeating Hamas is even possible, but this is a widely held desire by many Israelis, especially in the south.

When Israeli officials are interviewed about what they accomplished, they describe the war much more succintly and in military terms.

They say that Israel had to defend itself from the incoming rockets, and that they had to retaliate with massive missile strikes to destroy Hamas's military infrastructure, including military offices, weapons stores, and a huge labyrinth of underground tunnels. The objective is to prevent a new war from occurring for as long a time as possible.

Israeli military commanders do not have any expectation of defeating Hamas permanently. They use the metaphor "mowing the lawn" to capture the idea that after destroying Hamas's arsenal and tunnels, they will be restored again by Iran -- the grass will grow back and have to be mowed again.

The Biden Administration plans

It was Egypt that negotiated the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. President Joe Biden says that ceasefire was possible because of his intense behind the scenes mediation.

One of the accomplishments claimed by the Palestinians, along with the rise in worldwide outrage at Israel, is that the far left in America's Democrat Party, led by AOC, is demanding that Biden withdraw his support from Israel. In particular, Biden is being pressured from the left to cancel a $735 million weapons deal, most of which would be used to resupply the defensive missiles in the Iron Dome anti-missile system that protected much of Israel from the thousands of Gaza rockets.

Not resupplying the Iron Dome would have disastrous consequences for Israel, and would permit thousands of Gaza rockets to reach their intended destinations, killing civilians in their homes.

AOC in the past has said that she is thrilled by how Biden has taken one far left socialist position after another, but now for the first time, Biden is being forced to take a position opposed to AOC. On Friday, Biden says that the Democrat party "still supports Israel," and said:

"There is no shift in my commitment to the security of Israel. Period. No shift. The shift is we still need a two-state solution. It is the only answer."

I've been ridiculing the "two-state solution" through the presidencies of Bush, Obama, Trump and now Biden. The first major Generational Dynamics analysis that I posted was Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace? (1-May-2003), in which I explained why there would not be peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, because they would be re-fighting the bloody 1948 war that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Trump's two-state solution plan was announced just a little over a year ago. ( "29-Jan-20 World View -- Trump announces fantasy 'Peace to Prosperity' Mideast peace plan")

Since 2006, there have been five wars involving Israel and Palestinians: the war between Israelis and Hezbollah, fought largely on Lebanon's soil in 2006; the war between Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah in Gaza in 2008, that led to Hamas control of Gaza; Operation Cast Lead, the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza early in 2009; the two wars between Israel and Hamas in Gaza in November, 2012 and July-August 2014.

These wars follow a typical, predictable pattern of a series of clashes separated by periods of peace, with each clash more violent than the preceding one. As the old saying goes, "Peace is that brief, glorious moment in history when everybody stands around reloading." This pattern cannot go on forever, and eventually will lead to a full-scale generational crisis war.

So now Biden is adopting the same delusional two-state solution plan as Bush, Obama and Trump. The main features of Biden's plan are like every other policy announced by Biden -- just do the opposite of Trump did.

Trump's strategy, which included isolating Iran, was to strongly support Israel and cut funding for Palestinian militias, to prevent another war. Biden's strategy, which includes negotiations with Iran to restore the JCPOA nuclear deal, is to "rebuild ties" with the Palestinians. Biden will reopen the the consulate with the Palestinians in Jerusalem -- Trump had closed it and made it part of the new embassy in Jerusalem. Biden will ask Congress for $75 million for economic assistance for the Palestinans, and also $5.5 million for emergency aid for Gaza. Biden will also restore $32 million in new aid for UNRWA, for the exponentially growing number of Palestinian "refugees."

The money being provided is intended for use in rebuilding Gaza's buildings and infrastructure after being devastated by war. The objection, of course, is that those millions of dollars will be used by Hamas to purchase new stocks of weapons from Iran in preparation for the next war with Israel, instead of to rebuild Gaza.

Along with this monetary largess comes another part of the plan that seems totally delusional. Biden's plan is to route the money though the West Bank Palestinian Authority, and let Fatah, Hamas's enemy, take charge of using Biden's money to rebuild Gaza. Yeah, that will work fine.

As for the Democrat Party, there's a poisonous anti-Semitism growing, which is resulting in violent attacks on Jews in this country. Black Lives Matter is promoting the same hate-filled anti-Semitism. Democrat leaders like Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi have said nothing about the growing violence against Jews.

The future of the Mideast

Regular readers will be familiar with the following paragraph, since I've written something like it dozens of times:

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.

The latest Gaza war is actually different from previous Gaza wars in some significant ways.

First, Hamas had more rockets and more powerful rockets than in the past, supplied by Iran. Hamas points with pride to the fact that its rockets can now reach apartment buildings in Tel Aviv for the first time.

Second, Israel's missile strikes on Gaza were much more powerful than in the past. The destruction of apartment blocks and infrastructure was much more extensive than in 2014.

Third, the communal violence between Arabs and Israelis in the West Bank and within Israel itself was much greater and more violent than in the past. In particular, for the first time, Arabs living as citizens in Israel took the fight to their Israeli neighbors. This is extremely ominous, and the communal violence is still ongoing.

No politician, except the most delusional, believes that the recent Gaza war was the last one. In a sense, the continuing communal violence suggests that the recent Gaza war hasn't really ended yet. But we can expect a new Gaza war in the not too distant future, and at some point it will escalate into a full regional Mideast war.

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16-May-21 World View -- Will there be a third Palestinian Intifada?

Can Joe Biden bring peace to the Mideast?

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

History of Palestinian Intifadas


Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday -- can he prevent a Third Intifada (AFP)
Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday -- can he prevent a Third Intifada (AFP)

Previously, I've described a new an unexpected development in the current war between Israel and the Palestinians. The new development, which has apparently caught everyone by surprise, is the rise of extremely bitter communal / sectarian violence between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. (See "14-May-21 World View -- Communal violence within Israel threatens much wider war")

The purpose of this article is to explain in further detail the significance of this violence, and the role of the "58-Year Rule" of generational theory.

Today's violence is occurring on both the Jewish and Arab sides, but it's being characterized by some as a "Third Intifada," a general street uprising of Palestinian people against the Israeli government and people.

There have been two previous Intifadas. The first began in December 1987 in Gaza and spread to the West Bank. It consisted of massive peaceful protests, demonstrations, strikes, boycotts, and riots. It began to die off fairly quickly, and officially ended in September 1993 with the signing of the Oslo Accords agreement, which was supposed to provide peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but never did anything of the sort. In the late 1990s, Hamas was formed and carried out a series of suicide attacks against Israeli targets, while Israelis continued to build settlements in the West Bank, with both sides violating the Oslo Accords.

The Oslo Accords broke down in 2000, resulting in the Second Intifada, which began in September 2000 and was an armed rebellion by Palestinian militias, including Hamas and Fatah, against Israeli security forces, and against Israeli civilians using suicide bombings. The violence only began to subside in 2005, after the deaths of about 3,000 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis.

Yassir Arafat vs Ariel Sharon

During the Second Intifida, the leaders of the Palestinians and Israelis were, respectively, Yassir Arafat and Ariel Sharon. On May 1, 2003, I posted my first major Generational Dynamics analysis, 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))

In that article, I wrote the following:

"There's an incredible irony going on in the Mideast today, in that the leaders of two opposing sides are, respectively, Ariel Sharon and Yassir Arafat.

These two men hate each other, but they're the ones cooperating with each other (consciously or not) to prevent a major Mideast conflagration. Both of them remember the wars of the 1940s, and neither of them wants to see anything like that happen again. And it won't happen again, as long as both of these men are in charge."

Although I didn't write the following, I suspected that Sharon and Arafat were actually cooperating in back channels to prevent the violence from turning into a full-fledged civil war.

Why would they do that? They would do that because they had both survived the ethnic civil war in 1948-49. In my article earlier this week, I gave an example of what happened during Rwanda's ethnic civil war: Populations had intermarried and were living on the same streets, where their children had played together. But that did not stop someone from picking up a machete, going next door, killing the father and children, raping the wife, killing her, and then cutting them all up into mangled pieces. These examples are the rule, not the exception, for ethnic civil wars. Crisis wars are like forces of nature; you can no more stop a crisis war than you can stop a tsunami.

That example is from the Rwanda war, but you can be absolutely certain that similar things happened during the 1948-49 ethnic civil war between Arabs and Jews. Both Arafat and Sharon had lived during that war. They may have personally participated in or ordered these kinds of atrocities. Nobody goes through experiences like that without being completely traumatized. Preventing a repeat of those experiences becomes an overwhelming goal, much more important than fighting another war, even a "justified" war.

It goes much deeper than that. Not only Arafat and Sharon, but also millions of Palestinians and Israelis had lived through the 1948-49 war and were similarly traumatized. That's why, during the Second Intifada, there was relatively little contact between civilian Jews and Arabs, and most of the violence was more or less organized, through militias and security police.

When Yassir Arafat died in November 2004, I wrote the following:

"Yes, he was a brutal, vicious terrorist. Yes he was a liar and maybe even a crook. Yes, he approved suicide bombings that killed Jewish children.

But for a man in his position, approving suicide bombings was the lesser of two evils. The greater evil was unleashing a new genocidal war, one that would kill many more Jewish and Arab children than suicide bombings do."

Mahmoud Abbas, born in 1935, took Arafat's place. He was also a survivor of the 1948-49 war, and did not radically change Arafat's policies. Today, Abbas is facing the possibility of leading the Palestinians through a Third Intifada.

The decline of Mahmoud Abbas

I have often seen Al-Jazeera's political analyst Marwan Bishara discuss Mideast topics. It's always been clear that he hates Israel but, notably, it's also been clear that he hates Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah even more than he hates Israel. He considers Abbas to be a historic traitor to the Palestinians, because he negotiates with the Israelis to keep the peace, and the West Bank security forces cooperate with the Israeli security forces for the same reason.

So I listened to Bishara rant for a long time on Saturday. He wonders why the Israelis are killing innocent Palestinians. He wants the US, the UK and the EU all to condemn Israel for its practices, and to force Israel to accept a ceasefire with Hamas.

It's not surprising that Bishara sharply disagrees with Abbas. Abbas was born in 1935 and lived through the 1948-49 war. Bishara was born in 1969, and knows nothing about the war except what Palestinian activists have told him. So he welcomes a Third Intifada, because the Palestinians might finally achieve their dreams of freedom -- whatever that means.

Abbas opposes a Third Intifada. He believes that the Second Intifada was a disaster for Palestinians. His unstated reason is that it is absolutely certain that Abbas remembers the traumatizing atrocities of the 1948-49 war. He is old enough to remember them, and he's also old enough to recognize that it's happening again. Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was forced to go on television and tell the nation: "Nothing justifies the lynching of Arabs by Jews and nothing justifies the lynching of Jews by Arabs." For him to make that announcement reveals that horrible things are happening today and, indeed, news reports confirm that.

Can Mahmoud Abbas prevent a Third Intifada from occurring?

Mahmoud Abbas is now 85 years old. I reported years ago that polls shows young Palestinians were almost unanimous in disliking Abbas. They consider him a failure for any number of reasons, the most obvious one being that, 27 years after the Oslo Accords, almost nothing has changed for the Palestinians. Young Palestinians dislike Hamas leaders almost as much.

In my article last week, I described how the 58-Year Rule applies. The generations people who lived through the 1948-49 war were all traumatized by the horrors and atrocities. We've found that these generations all retire and die around the same time, 58 years after the end of such a war, which would have been 2006-2007. That's why the First and Second Intifadas fizzled. There were too many people around who were traumatized by the last war, and would do anything to keep it from happening again.

But that's not true today. Abbas is still around, but almost everyone else from that generation of survivors is gone. That's the difference between Mahmoud Abbas and Marwan Bishara. Bishara has no personal knowledge of the war's atrocities, so he couldn't care less if there's another ethnic civil war. He and many other young people welcome it, because they have fantasies that they'll be free and that Israel will be pushed into the sea.

So, can Mahmoud Abbas prevent a Third Intifada from occurring? Can an 85 year old extremely unpopular leader stop a force of nature? If I had to bet (and fortunately I don't), I would bet that he can't. Or if he can, he can stop it only temporarily.

Can Joe Biden bring peace to the Mideast?

On Saturday, there was a panel of journalists on the BBC discussing the Israel-Palestine situation. The hostility to Israel among these journalists is enormous, and not surprising. And it's worth noting that there are anti-Israel demonstrations going on in cities around the world.

One person said, "I'm going to say something very controversial. [long pause] If Donald Trump were president, this would not have happened."

Instead of the usual screaming, this comment was met with silence, which I interpreted as tacit agreement.

According to these journalists, Biden was hoping to avoid having to deal with the Mideast, since he wanted to focus on getting a new nuclear agreement with Iran, and ending the sanctions. This would now be very controversial, since Iran is funding Hamas. But the journalists are blaming Biden for the Mideast war, saying that he has been ignoring the Palestinian problem in favor of the Iran policy.

So the narrative is growing that the Mideast war is Israel's fault, and it's also Biden's fault because Biden is not holding back Israel, and forcing Israel to agree to a ceasefire.

In Washington, Democrats like AOC are demanding that Biden end all funding to Israel, and force Israel to accept a ceasefire under terms dictated by Hamas. Republicans are angry that Biden has been taking a wrecking ball to all aspects of America's domestic and foreign policy, and is giving money to the Palestinians, which they are using to buy weapons from Iran, which Biden is also supporting.

So this is shaping up to be a major political issue in America. Meanwhile, the Israel-Palestine war is continuing to escalate, and will continue to do so no matter what Biden does.

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14-May-21 World View -- Communal violence within Israel threatens much wider war

Understanding the mainstream media

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Israel-Gaza war continues to escalate


Israeli riot policeman tries to block a Jewish right-wing man as communal violence erupted in Lod on Wednesday (AP)
Israeli riot policeman tries to block a Jewish right-wing man as communal violence erupted in Lod on Wednesday (AP)

Communal or sectarian violence within Israel threatens a much larger war. I'll return to that subject below.

The following are the recent developments in the war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza:

My view has been that the current war would fizzle out within a few months, like the 2014 war. The only thing that could prevent that is if some third country, like Egypt or Turkey, actively entered the war on the side of Hamas.

Communal violence within Israel threatens much wider war

However, there's a new development that changes that calculation. The new development, which has apparently caught everyone by surprise, is the rise of extremely bitter communal / sectarian violence between Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs. To be clear, we're talking about Israeli citizens who have for years been living side by side within Israeli cities and towns. About 20% of Israel's total population are Arabs.

There have been shootings, lynchings, rock-throwing, and stabbings. The epicenter of the ethnic violence is Lod, a city with large Jewish and Arab populations. However, the violence has been spreading to cities across the country.

In one case, a lynching was shown on tv in real time. In the city of Bat Yam, a live tv broadcast showed a Jewish mob dragging a man, whom they believed to be Palestinian, out of his car before severely beating him. Needless to say, the video of this live broadcast has gone viral.

"Death to Arabs" is frequently chanted in rallies throughout the country, including Haifa and Acre in the north, as well as Lod, Jaffa, and Tiberias.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on both Jews and Arabs to cease attacks on each other:

"Nothing justifies the lynching of Arabs by Jews and nothing justifies the lynching of Jews by Arabs."

Maybe nothing justifies these lynchings, but it's clear that these lynchings are going to increase in number.

Generational Dynamics analysis -- the 58-Year Rule

As one commentator said, there has been a "social compact" in Israel for decades, permitting Arabs and Jews to live together side by side in peace, but now that social compact is coming apart at the seams.

The 58-Year Rule is a significant finding of modern generational theory. According to the Generational Dynamics 58-Year Hypothesis, which by now has been well proven, a new ethnic civil war will not begin less than 58 years from the end of the previous ethnic civil war. That's because 58 years is precisely the time when the generations of survivors of the preceding war all die or retire, all at once, and the younger post-war generations come to power. It has now been 73 years since the end of the last ethnic civil war, the war between Jews and Arabs that occurred with the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel in 1948, and so Israel is fully ripe for a new ethnic civil war, and that seems to be what's happening.

Two recent examples of ethnic civil wars are the Rwanda war of 1994 and the Bosnian war of 1995. In Rwanda and Bosnia, populations had intermarried and were living on the same streets, where their children had played together. But that did not stop someone from picking up a machete, going next door, killing the father and children, raping the wife, killing her, and then cutting them all up into mangled pieces. These examples are the rule, not the exception, for ethnic civil wars.

So as long as the war between Israel and Gaza is at the top level government levels, then the top-down war is likely to fizzle out, as I said. But when the war is organic and bottom-up, then it's likely to spread into a much wider war, crossing into neighboring countries.

So for those of you who can take a breather from Washington politics and want to watch what's going on in the world, this is the place to watch. If the communal violence dies down, then a larger war will be avoided, for the time being. But if the communal violence grows and spreads, it will probably engulf the entire Mideast.

As regular readers know (since I've written it many times), 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.

Understanding the mainstream media

This is a completely separate subject. The following text is something that I posted in the Generational Dynamics forum that may be of interest to a larger audience.

The problem is that media sources have become dishonest and censorious, and so the question is: Who is to be believed?

But after writing thousands of articles over almost 20 years, I've developed a pretty good intuition about who in the media is telling the truth and who is bullshitting.

I should probably put together a whole big article on the subject, but here are some sample conclusions:

CNN, MSNBC, AP, Tehran Times, Russia Today, China Daily are all similar in that they're "state media," and just parrot the government line uncritically.

Fox News generally lives up to its "fair and balanced" claim, since they present both sides of issues pretty fairly.

For international news, the BBC is pretty good, but when it reports on American news, which it does all the time, it's the same as CNN and MSNBC. BBC receives a great deal of funding from NPR, and so it is required to follow the same Democrat party talking points.

Al-Jazeera is also pretty good with international news. But you'll never see a negative story about Qatar. Also, they hate Israel, and they hate the Palestinian Authority even more, but they love Hamas. But for Asian news they're pretty good. Oh, and they hate America, and they REALLY hate Trump.

AFP is pretty good for Mideast, Asian and African news. VOA and RFERL are pretty reliable.

Reuters is an interesting case, because I've found them to be almost always completely fair and balanced. I believe that the reason is that Thomson Reuters is an Canadian company, so they have a wholly different view of the world.

When I'm writing an international story, I have to use each news source in a credible way. For example, I'll consider China Daily or Global Times to be an accurate statement of China's political position, and I would consider them more credible on this subject than, say, Reuters or AP or the BBC. On the other hand, the BBC is much more credible about China's actions.

In an international story, like the Israel-Palestine story of today, I don't want to take sides, so I try to find accounts from each side, ideally to quote them in parallel. This is not always easy to do.

And of course I'm always guided by previous Generational Dynamics conclusions. For example, I've known for decades that there will never be a "two-state solution" in the Mideast, so I know automatically that any policitian who talks about it is full of crap.

So maybe at some point I'll expand this into a more comprehensive article.

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11-May-21 World View -- Violence escalates between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and Gaza

Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa Mosque after violent Palestinian protests

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Hamas fires dozens of rockets at Jerusalem in response to clashes


Violence in Jerusalem on May 6 (Reuters)
Violence in Jerusalem on May 6 (Reuters)

The war between Hamas militants in Gaza and Israeli's military was renewed on Monday, when militants fired dozes of rockets into Israel, and Israel's military responded with missile strikes, killing 20 people in Gaza, including nine children, according to Gaza officials.

This was the worst such violence that has occurred in year, since the 2014 summer war. Hamas militants have fired rockets into southern Israel at intervals for years, but this was a major escalation because the rockets targeted Jerusalem. Explosions could be heard in Jerusalem, and one of the rockets damaged a home on the outskirts of Jerusalem. Israel struck many of the rockets down, using their "Iron Dome" anti-missile system, and others exploded harmlessly in open areas.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the rocket attacks had "crossed a red line":

"Israel will respond very forcefully. We will not tolerate attacks on our territory, our capital, our citizens and our soldiers. Whoever strikes us will pay a heavy price."

Hamas launched the rocket attacks after a 6 pm deadline passed for an ultimatum that demanded that Israeli police withdraw from the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem. Hamas also demanded the release of all detained Palestinians, and the removal of Jewish settlers from an East Jerusalem neighbourhood.

Hamas said that Israel was waging a "religious war against Palestinian worshipers" in Jerusalem.

"What is happening in the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the time of storming and assaulting worshipers is proof of the brutality of the Zionist occupation.

[Israel is responsible for its] incursion into the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The occupation will pay a heavy price."

So both sides are promising "a heavy price."

Terminology:

Israeli police storm Al-Aqsa Mosque after violent Palestinian protests


Map of holy sites in Jerusalem's Old City (BBC)
Map of holy sites in Jerusalem's Old City (BBC)

Hamas militias set the 6 pm deadline and launched the rockets as a reaction to a situation of escalating violence is occurring for weeks in Jerusalem. Typically, these situations worsen for a while, then begin to settle down and fizzle. But we know that one day one of these situations will escalate into a full war, but we don't know which one. So far, this situation is triggering a larger war, to include Hamas.

The epicenter of violence in the last few weeks is the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, which is Islam's third-holiest site, behind Mecca and Medina. It is also a major holy site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount. So it's not surprising that it's a major flash point for Palestinian worshippers and Israeli nationalists.

On Monday, Palestinians hurled rocks, other heavy objects and firecrackers at Israeli policemen. Israeli police stormed the mosque, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets inside the mosque. Hundreds of Palestinians were wounded, and dozens were hospitalized.

This kind of violence has been going on daily since the start of Ramadan on April 13. This is the worst violence in years between Israeli police and Palestinians in East Jerusalem. In April, Israeli police blocked off access to a part of the Old City, giving Covid restrictions as the reason. Then a TikTok video went viral apparently showing an Israeli being abused by an Arab. That's when right-wing extremist Jewish settlers held a large demonstration, chanting "Death to Arabs." Palestinians heard about this, and a crowd responded by throwing firecrackers and setting garbage bins on fire. (See 24-Apr-2021 World View: Violence grows between Palestinians and far-right Jews in East Jerusalem)

Clashes between Palestinians and settlers have occurred almost daily since then. The violence has spiked in recent days as Jewish settlers are asking the Israeli courts to evict Palestinians from their homes, so that the Israeli settlers can take their place. The settlers claim that the land occupied by the Palestinian homes belonged to their Jewish ancestors prior to the 1948 creation of Israel.

These are the last days of Ramadan but, more significantly, Monday is Israel's "Jerusalem Day," which celebrates Israel's capture of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East war.

Israel's government took two steps to try to defuse the violence. First, a court hearing scheduled for Monday was postponed a month. The court hearing would have finalized the decision to evict Palestinians from homes. These threatened evictions would have severely escalated the clashes between Palestinians and settlers.

The other step was to cancel a scheduled march by Israeli right-wing nationalists and settlers, in celebration of Jerusalem Day. The parade would have marched through the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, which the Palestinians said would be highly provocative. These two steps reduced some of the violence, although they've apparently infuriated the Israeli nationalists. Nationalist Israelis demonstrated against the moves.

Generational Dynamics predicts that the Israelis and Palestinians will be re-fighting the 1948 war that followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. However, this new situation so far shows signs that it's more likely to fizzle, rather than expand into a larger regional war. The US State Department is pressuring Israel to back off, and the United Nations, Egypt and Qatar are mediating between Israel and Hamas to halt the fighting.

However, the violence is expected to continue for at least several weeks and months. The court hearing to evict Palestinians from their homes has not been canceled, but has been postponed for a month, so we can't expect the clashes between Palestinians and Israelis around the Al-Aqsa Mosque to end for at least that period of time. That will lead to more demands by the Hamas militants for at least that period of time. Perhaps the worst that will happen will be like the 2014 summer war between Hamas and Israel that lasted 67 days.

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3-May-21 World View -- US withdrawal from Afghanistan threatens Central Asia stability

Violence on Tajikistan - Kyrgyzstan border worst in 20 years

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Violence on Tajikistan - Kyrgyzstan border worst in 20 years


Ironically, some crockery survives an enormous blast that reduced homes to rubble near the Tajikistan - Kyrgyzstan border (BBC)
Ironically, some crockery survives an enormous blast that reduced homes to rubble near the Tajikistan - Kyrgyzstan border (BBC)

For years since the end of the bloody Tajikistan civil war (1992-97), there have been border disputes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, but they've all been isolated incidents. But in the last few weeks, the Tajik army has been mobilizing along a long section of the border, for the first time. The border is 971 kilometers long, of which 471 km are disputed.

At least 31 people have been killed, and over 10,000 people have been evacuated from their homes due to the worst violence in decades between Kyrgyz and Tajik army forces. Entire villages on both sides have been burned down. On Sunday, the two governments agreed to a ceasefire, but it's not clear that the people on the ground agree.

Both Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan belong to Russia's Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), and Russia has military bases in both countries, so Russia would like to see the conflict settled peacefully.

The borders between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan were set up in the 1920s by Josef Stalin, making them part of the Soviet Union. Stalin had no concern for ethnic, demographic, and tribal considerations when he set up those boundaries. He was only interested in commericial benefits. And the boundaries didn't matter, since both countries were part of the Soviet Union. But when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, suddenly the boundaries mattered.

The boundaries were never clearly defined, and there have been calls over the years to officially mark the boundaries. Of course, this would bring any border disagreements into sharp focus, so this project hasn't been pursued. But recently, the government of Kyrgyzstan announced that it would like to complete border demarcations between the countries, and to build a reservoir along the river that supplies water to both countries. These announcements caused the Tajiks to panic, and led to the current border clashes.

Taliban and Afghan forces clash as US begins withdrawal

The US and Nato began withdrawal of all forces from Afghanistan on May 1, with the withdrawal to be completed on September 11, on the 20th anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001, attacks. The Taliban had promised to coexist peacefully with the Afghan government provided that the US withdrawal was fully completed by May 1, as agreed with the Donald Trump administration early last year. But the Taliban now say that the US has violated the agreement, so they're free to attack anyone they want. Joe Biden has said that the the September 11 completion date for the withdrawal is absolute, not conditions based, so the Taliban know that they can just go ahead and attack.

On Friday, 30 people were killed when a car bomb exploded near a guest house where high school students were staying, in preparation for university entrance exams. Dozens of people were hurt. Witnesses described roofs collapsing and victims being trapped under the debris.

In the last two days alone, there have been dozens of new casualties, from clashes between Afghan forces and the Taliban. Once the Americans leave, there will be nothing preventing the clashes from escalating.

Reports indicate that the people of Kabul are feeling increasingly anxious, particularly about girls' education, which the Taliban have promised to abolish. Friday's car bombing may have been designed to target girls' education.

US withdrawal from Afghanistan threatens Central Asia stability

The withdrawal of US and Nato troops from Afghanistan threatens more than just the stability of Afghanistan. It threatens new kinds of instability in the entire Central Asia region. The countries in the region are concerned that the American withdrawal from Afghanistan will create the same regional instability that the American withdrawal from Iraq did in 2010.

The heads of the countries in Russia's Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) have been meeting to discuss this precise concern. In fact, villagers in Tajikistan, along the Afghanistan border, are being told to be prepared "to take up arms," in the words of a provincial governor:

"In coordination with the police and intelligence departments, we've registered all hunters who live in the border areas. They will have to take up arms to defend our country. In fact, all of us will have to take up weapons if the situation dictates."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this is not surprising at all. Both Afghanistan (1991-96) and Tajikistan (1992-97) had extremely bloody ethnic civil wars during the 1990s.

In Afghanistan, the war was between the Pashtuns in the south versus the Northern Alliance in the north, consisting of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. These opposing groups have fresh memories of the atrocities, torture, rape, beatings, dismemberments, mutilations, and so forth that the other side performed on their friends, wives and other family members, so they will be looking for revenge.

It's been over 20 years since those civil wars ended, so the region is in a generational Awakening era, with new nationalistic generations having grown up since then, and having little fear of a new civil war. It's way too early for a major new war, but as typically happens, there will be periods of bloodshed separated by periods of ceasefire, with each bloodshed period worse than the previous one.

Furthermore, new terrorist groups with allegiance to al-Qaeda or ISIS have been springing up in Afghanistan, but have been kept under control with the help of American forces. These groups will be encouraged to grow again, with the departure of the Americans.

In 2009, I told readers to make a mental note of the Fergana Valley (or Ferghana Valley), in central Asia, because it was going to become increasingly important in world affairs. The Fergana Valley sits at the intersection of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, and is a hotbed of terrorist activity by al-Qaeda. ( "Islamist Uzbeks lead terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan (2-Nov-2009)")

The American withdrawal from Afghanistan will encourage these clashes. That may be why there have been reports that the Biden administration has been talking to the government of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to reposition the US forces leaving Afghanistan in abandoned American military bases in those two countries. American forces had occupied those bases between 2001 and 2014, before the host countries demanded that the Americans leave.

Little is known publicly about these negotiations, but it would be ironic if the withdrawal of American forces from the "forever war" in Afghanistan led to American forces becoming involved a "forever war" in Central Asia and the Fergana Valley.

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19-Apr-21 World View -- Britain sends warships to Black Sea amid Russia's military buildup around Ukraine

Britain to send warships to Black Sea after US backs down

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Britain sends warships to Black Sea amid Russia's military buildup around Ukraine


Ukraine.  In 2014, Russia invaded and occupied Donbas, and invaded and annexed Crimea.  In 2018, Russia completed a bridge over the Kerch Strait, controlling access to the Sea of Azov.
Ukraine. In 2014, Russia invaded and occupied Donbas, and invaded and annexed Crimea. In 2018, Russia completed a bridge over the Kerch Strait, controlling access to the Sea of Azov.

Britain is reported to be sending two warships to the Black Sea, as Russia continues its military buildup on the Ukraine border, and a naval buildup in the Black Sea. Britain's announcement came when the US backed out of plans to send ships to the Black Sea after being warned by Russia to stay out.

Russia appears to be taking the next step in a plan that began with its invasion of eastern Ukraine in 2014, following a military buildup on the border of Ukraine similar to the military buildup going on at the current time. The invasion took place after Vladimir Putin promised not to invade Ukraine.

During the course of that invasion, Russians in eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shot down a passenger plane, Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, with a Russian Buk 9M38 missile. The Russians claimed that the US shot down the plane to embarrass Putin. Russia lied about not invading Crimea, and then invaded Crimea. Putin lied about not annexing Crimea, and then annexed Crimea.

In May 2015, Russia began constructing an 11.8 mile bridge across the Kerch Strait (see map above), said to be the longest bridge in Europe.

Russia used the bridge to strangle commerce into Ukraine's seaports of Mariupol and Berdyansk, resulting in substantial economic damage to Ukraine. In November 2018, Russia completed the bridge, and opened live fire for no reason on three Ukrainian vessels, wounding six sailors, boarding and seizing the vessels. The sailors were transferred indefinitely to a jail in Moscow.

The point of reviewing this history is to set the framework for Russia's latest actions, and to show that pretty much everything Russia claims is garbage. The typical Russian playbook is to commit some atrocity and then blame the United States or Nato, such as when the Russians shot down the MH17 passenger plane.

In the current scene, Russian analysts are claiming that the military buildup is because the United States wants Ukraine to join Nato, and because Ukraine is planning to invade Russia. Over the years, I've dealt with dozens of Russian trolls excusing Russia atrocities with some of the most ridiculous excuses, and this is typical.

The problem is that we have absolutely no idea what the Russians are planning.

Whatever military action Russia is planning will probably take place in early or mid-May, after the snows have melted and the fields have dried and are able to hold tanks. We'll have to wait until then to see which of these options Russia will pursue.

Russia builds up its naval forces in Black Sea

Coinciding with the huge build-up of over 100,000 Russian troops near the border with Ukraine, Russia is bolstering its naval fleet in the Black Sea.

Two Russian warships from Russia's Baltic fleet, accompanied by 15 smaller vessels, transited from the Mediterranean Sea through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea on Saturday. The Bosphorus is the waterway, controlled by Turkey, connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Black Sea.

This comes after Russia announced that Russia is sending 15 naval vessels from its Caspian Sea Flotilla to the Black Sea. These vessels must travel up the Volga River, through a canal built in 1952 with 13 locks, to the Don River, and then to the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.

So Russia's naval buildup is large and expensive, just like its ground buildup.

Britain to send warships to Black Sea after US backs down


Map of Russian deployment around Ukraine (RFE/RL)
Map of Russian deployment around Ukraine (RFE/RL)

There are a number of news stories from multiple international sources describing this situation, and they seem to boil down to the following:

The US was planning to send two warships into the Black Sea, for a long-scheduled routine mission. However, Russia warned the United States on Tuesday (4/13) against sending the warships, "for their own good." Russia's Deputy Foreign Ministry Sergei Ryabkov was quoted by Russian news agencies as follows:

"There is absolutely nothing for American ships to be doing near our shores. We warn the United States that it will be better for them to stay far away from Crimea and our Black Sea coast. It will be for their own good."

Also on Tuesday, president Joe Biden phoned Russia's president Vladimir Putin, after which the US backed down on the plans to send warships to the Black Sea. US officials described the reason was to avoid needlessly escalating the situation, and a desire not to provoke Moscow during a delicate time.

However on Sunday, British media is reporting that a flotilla of ships from the Royal Navy's carrier task group in the Mediterranean, including a Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate, will travel to the Black Sea in May. The deployment is aimed at showing solidarity with Ukraine and Britain's NATO allies.

I heard one analyst make the following speculation about what happened: Perhaps Biden fears a coordinated attack next month on Ukraine by Russia simultaneously with a Chinese attack on Taiwan, and so Biden did not want American warships to be trapped in the Black Sea.

Russia continues military buildup on Ukraine's border

If major hostilities break out again in the Donbas (eastern Ukraine), then the situation will have changed a lot since the last war in 2014, since both Ukraine's and Russia's militaries are better prepared.

Ukraine has significantly boosted defense spending since 2014, has U.S.-supplied Javelin anti-tank missiles in its arsenal, and has troop numbers of nearly 250,000 compared to 168,000 in 2013.

In recent weeks, Russia has unexpectedly boosted its troop presence near the conflict zone in Ukraine. Analysis of open-source material has identified tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, long-range artillery, rocket launchers, and Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems among the materiel that has been moved to the area since mid-March. U.S. and NATO officials have called it the largest military buildup in the region since Russia’s surprise occupation of Crimea and the start of fighting in the Donbas, which has killed more than 13,000 combatants and civilians since April 2014.

So what are Russia's plans? We probably won't know until early to mid-May.

Major diplomatic row between Russia and Czech Republic

This is a (probably) unrelated story, but it's being described as a major diplomatic development between Russia and Europe.

The Czech Republic expelled 18 Russian diplomats on Saturday. Czech local intelligence agents claim the diplomats are Russian intelligence operatives. They are suspected of involvement in an explosion at an arms depot in 2014. On Sunday, Russia retaliated by announcing that 20 diplomats from the Czech Republic will be expelled. At the time of the explosion, it was assumed to be an accident, but through detective work, Czech officials now say that it was Russian sabotage.

Czech Police have identified two suspects in connection with the blast - Alexander Mishkin and Anatoly Chepigov - who are also accused of using the chemical nerve agent weapon Novichok to murder Sergei Skripal, a former double Russian agent, and his daughter Yulia. The murder took place in the UK in Salisbury in 2018.

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15-Apr-21 World View -- High farce and tragedy continue in Afghanistan, as Biden announces Sept 11 troop withdrawal

CNN: Biden guided by 'magical thinking' in Afghanistan

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

High farce and tragedy continue in Afghanistan, as Biden announces Sept 11 troop withdrawal


Girls in Afghanistan will no longer be in school if the US withdraws and the Taliban takes over (NY Times)
Girls in Afghanistan will no longer be in school if the US withdraws and the Taliban takes over (NY Times)

President Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that all American troops would be withdrawn by September 11 of this year, the 20th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attacks, and that Nato troops would be withdrawn at the same time. This would be farcical if it weren't so tragic.

How many times have we been here? The President announces a new policy -- "surge" into Afghanistan, a "victory" in Afghanistan, or a "peace with honor" in Afghanistan. I write an article explaining why all of those are impossible, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis summarized later in this article. The new policy fails, exactly as I predicted. But nobody ever learns.

So last year, Donald Trump made a farcical agreement with the Taliban that if they changed their behavior, then the US would withdraw its troops by May 1 of this year. Trump's reason was that Americans are tired of "endless wars." (A bit of irony: Biden's announcement was described by the fawning mainstream media as "historic," but Trump's similar announcement was not.)

So now Joe Biden is president, and he made a farcical announcement that the troops will be removed by September 11 of this year -- the 20th anniversary of the 9/11/2001 attack. I always accuse the Biden administration of having no clue what's going on in the world, but this takes the cake. We can expect the Taliban to engineer a major terrorist attack on September 11 to celebrate their victory over the Americans, having achieved their objective of forcing the Americans to withdraw.

In his speech, Biden said:

"I believed that our presence in Afghanistan should be focused on the reason we went in the first place: to ensure Afghanistan would not be used as a base from which to attack our homeland again. We did that. We accomplished that objective.

I said, among — with others, we’d follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell if need be. That’s exactly what we did, and we got him. It took us close to 10 years to put President Obama’s commitment to — into form. And that’s exactly what happened; Osama bin Laden was gone.

That was 10 years ago. Think about that. We delivered justice to bin Laden a decade ago, and we’ve stayed in Afghanistan for a decade since. Since then, our reasons for remaining in Afghanistan are becoming increasingly unclear, even as the terrorist threat that we went to fight evolved."

So Biden's argument is that America went into Afghanistan to defeat al-Qaeda, but now that al-Qaeda has been defeated, there's no need for American troops to remain.

There was one difference between the terms of the Trump and Biden announcements. Trump's May 1 deadline was "condition based," meaning that if the Taliban didn't behave, then Trump might extend the deadline. This was explained by Biden's press spokesman, Jen Psaki:

"[Question: And could his deadline extend, or could he change his mind if you do see the situation in Afghanistan just decline?]

Psaki: Well, I will say that the president made this decision after close consultations and a close discussion and taking into account all the difficult factors I should say around that decision. So no, he remains committed to the timeline that he intends to set out in his speech. ...

[Question: I don’t think I’ve heard in the answers so far, what the Taliban is supposed to think about this. I mean, if I was them, I think I’d want to take the summer off and wait until September 11th. And why go ahead and negotiate an agreement that would limit them if the U.S. is going to leave anyway?]

Jen Psaki: Well, first I would say that we have an expectation that the Taliban is going to abide by their commitments and that they are not going to allow Afghanistan to become a pariah state. That’s our view. That’s also in their interest, in our view. ...

And his view is that, when you talk about a conditions-based withdrawal, it punts it down the road, “We will never leave. What conditions would we be required to leave? By how long? What does that mean? What’s the additional cost?” These are all the factors in his mind."

First off, the "expectation that the Taliban is going to abide by their commitments" is totally delusional.

This answer illustrates the conundrum that Biden and Psaki did not unravel.

On the one hand, if the withdrawal date is unconditional, then the Taliban will have every reason to continue terrorist acts. In fact, the Taliban have announced that they won't attend an Afghanistan peace conference being hosted by Turkey. Why should they?

On the other hand, if the withdrawal date is conditional then, as Psaki says, the date will just be kicked down the road again.

So the question is this: Will Biden go ahead with the withdrawal as announced, and hand the Taliban a victory? Or will he be forced to reconsider the withdrawal decision?

CNN: Biden guided by 'magical thinking' in Afghanistan

A number of analysts have ridiculed Biden's withdrawal announcement and the delusions behind it. One of them is Peter Bergen, the National Security Analysts for CNN, the network that fawns over Biden so much they've turned into a sewer. So Peter Bergen's analysis cannot readily be rejected as the opinion of a "white supremacist," or whatever CNN calls anyone who disagrees with them.

According to Bergen:

"President Biden's decision to announce a date for pulling all US troops out of Afghanistan by the 20th anniversary of 9/11 sets the stage for a predictable disaster. ...

There has to be some magical thinking going on for the Biden White House to expect that there will be a different outcome in Afghanistan [than in President Obama's precipitous withdrawal from Iraq].

Yes, al Qaeda is a mere shadow of what it was on 9/11. That's because for the past two decades, the US and its allies have prevented Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for al Qaeda and allied groups.

It's a policy that has worked.

Now, that sound policy is being abandoned. Once the US leaves Afghanistan, America's NATO allies, who have 7,000 soldiers on the ground, will leave as well, since they rely on an American security umbrella. President Biden confirmed this in his speech to the nation Wednesday afternoon.

The pullout of US and NATO troops will likely enable the Taliban to take over much of the country."

Bergen explains that the Taliban have remained in close contact with al-Qaeda, and they've guaranteed that they "would honor their historical ties" with al-Qaeda. Furthermore, ISIS retains a foothold in Afghanistan.

As Bergen pointed out, the US and Nato have prevented Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for al-Qaeda and allied groups. Once the allied forces pull out, Afghanistan will once again become a safe haven for both al-Qaeda and ISIS, just as Osama bin Laden used Afghanistan as a safe haven to launch the original 9/11/2001 attacks.

It's not just Peter Bergen who is alarmed at the withdrawal decision. The New York Times, which always fawningly slobbers over Biden, is worried for the girls of Afghanistan. According to the Times:

"“I am so worried about my future. It seems so murky. If the Taliban take over, I lose my identity,” said Wahida Sadeqi, 17, an 11th grader at Pardis High School in Kabul. “It is about my existence.” ...

For two decades, American leaders have pledged peace, prosperity, democracy, the end of terrorism and rights for women. Few of those promises have materialized in vast areas of Afghanistan, but now even in the cities where real progress occurred, there is fear that everything will be lost when the Americans leave. ...

Over two decades, the American mission evolved from hunting terrorists to helping the government build the institutions of a functioning government, dismantle the Taliban and empower women. But the U.S. and Afghan militaries were never able to effectively destroy the Taliban, allowing the insurgents to stage a comeback. ...

Women would be most at risk under Taliban rule. When the group controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, it banned women from taking most jobs or receiving educations and practically made them prisoners in their own homes."

Biden administration officials might be thinking to paraphrase Lyndon Johnson's statement from 53 years ago, referring to Walter Cronkite: "If we've lost the NY Times, then we've lost America."

The interesting thing about the NY Times article is that it seems to reject the delusional Biden administration claim that the Afghan democracy will continue. The article simply assumes that the Taliban will take over, and will impose the same dictatorial government they had in 2001, when they sponsored Osama bin Laden's attack on America.

Analysts who favor continuing to leave a small number (3,500) of American troops in Afghanistan point out that these can prevent a resurgence of al-Qaeda and ISIS, and can also provide a listening post and forward military base to counter Chinese military activity in Central Asia. On the other hand, once America closes its bases in landlocked Afghanistan, they can never be reopened.

Generational Dynamics analysis of the war in Afghanistan

I began writing about the impossibility of winning in Afghanistan shortly after President Obama announced his plan to "surge" troops into Afghanistan.

President Bush had used a successful "surge" counter-insurgency strategy in Iraq in 2007, with the result that al-Qaeda was driven out of Iraq, and the objectives were met. But al-Qaeda in Iraq were mostly not Iraqis. They were jihadists that al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had imported from Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The Iraqis themselves, even the Sunnis, mostly hated al-Qaeda, as I described in a lengthy analysis, "Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq".

But the Taliban could not be defeated in a similar way in Afghanistan, because the Taliban are radicalized ethnic Pashtuns, and most of the population of Afghanistan are Pashtuns.

In an article earlier this year, I was able to extend this original analysis, based on research that I had done for my book, "Vietnam, Buddhism and the Vietnam War." In that book, I compared the counter-insurgency strategies used by British in the Boer War (1899-1902) and the Malay Emergency (1948-55), and how they contrasted to similar counter-insurgency strategies used by the Americans in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. (See "18-Jan-21 World View -- Chaos grows in Afghanistan as American troops leave in hope of delusional peace plan")

But the extended analysis is based on the same reasoning: In Iraq, the civilians and jihadists looked different and spoke differently. In Afghanistan, the civilians and jihadists are the same Pashtun people.

Let's face it, most politicians and journalists are ignorant and dumb. They have no knowledge of Afghanistan's last generational crisis war, an extremely bloody, horrific civil war, in 1991-96, that defines Afghan society today. The war was a civil war, fought between the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan versus the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban are radicalized Pashtuns, and when they need to import foreign fighters, then can import their cousins from the Pashtun tribes in Pakistan.

Indeed, it's much worse than that. The ethnic groups in Afghanistan are COMPLETELY NON-UNITED and loathe each other. Pashtuns still have scores to settle with the Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks that formed the Northern Alliance, especially the Shias. These opposing groups have fresh memories of the atrocities, torture, rape, beatings, dismemberments, mutilations, and so forth that the other side performed on their friends, wives and other family members, and they have no desire to be friends or to work together. They'd rather kill each other.

So what is Biden going to do? If he goes ahead with the withdrawal, then it's 100% certain that Afghanistan will collapse into chaos, and it's likely that the Taliban will take control of the government, and everything that America's sacrifices brought to Afghanistan -- democracy, women's rights, relative peace -- will be lost within a few months.

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13-Apr-21 World View -- Investing in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Smart Contracts

Sabotage and fraud in DeFi and Smart Contracts

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Investing in Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Smart Contracts


How Smart Contracts Work (Deccan Herald)
How Smart Contracts Work (Deccan Herald)

I've been asked about investing in the crypto-currency (Bitcoin) related technologies, Decentralized Finance (DeFi) and Smart Contracts, which use the same internet-based blockchain technology as Bitcoin.

For over a decade, crypto currencies have been the highly stylish, fashionable rock star finance technology, but lately they've been losing their glamor and lustre as compared to a newer technology, "decentralized finance" (DeFi) and "smart contracts."

It was just a few years ago that people were saying that the world was just a stone's throw away from having a universal currency (Bitcoin) that was independent of any nation. Last week, I read one analyst saying, "We are a stone’s throw away from the global financial industry running on a common software infrastructure." Well, that stone would have to land something like 20-30 or more years in the future, and if humans haven't figured out how to do it by then, then perhaps our computer overlords will do it for us.

What's happening now is that there's an explosion of financial applications and services, normally provided by banks, brokers, and other financial institution, that are now being provided on blockchain platforms as "smart contracts." There are really an unlimited number of possible apps and services -- insurance, lending, borrowing, asset management, gaming, day trading, savings, payments, billing, and so forth. Smart contracts are "self-executing," meaning that once a particular smart contract is set up, any action that would normally be taken by a human intermediary in a bank or financial institution would now be executed automatically by the smart contract.

Another way of looking at it is to compare a smart contract to workflow software that has been around since the 90s. The software is set up with a set of workflow rules, and when the appropriate conditions specified by the rules are satisfied, then the workflow software sends out e-mail messages to the appropriate people, telling them to take the appropriate action.

DeFi applications are more powerful because typically they have control of crypto assets, so when the right conditions are met, the app does not send out an e-mail saying "buy a new car." Instead, it automatically issues the paperwork to buy a new car.

There are several ways to invest in DeFi technology. You can set up a financial relationship with someone else using a smart contract. Or you could invest in companies that develop these apps or offer services using this technology.

The following web site provides a pretty extensive list of companies offering such apps and services at the current time: https://defipulse.com/defi-list/

Automated processing on IBM mainframes in the 1960s

Although Decentralized Finance and Smart Contracts are a brand-new, shiny technology, there are problems and dangers that can be learned from history. Let's look at some historical examples.

Back in the 1960s, accounting systems were developed for IBM mainframe systems, and they were only a stone's throw from never needing human accountants again, according to experts.

The transaction processing systems used magnetic tapes. A typical processing run required three tapes -- an input tape of existing account records, an input tape of new transaction records, and an output tape of updated account records. The two input tapes are pre-sorted by account number so that they can be processed simultaneously in order of account. It's therefore possibe to update the accounts with only one pass through the transaction tape, writing the updated accounts to the output tape, which would be the existing accounts input tape for the next day's run.

So let's take a look at some of the issues. The most obvious one is that the mainframe might be down, so that the transaction processing run could not take place. Another issue is that mag tapes are somewhat fragile, and data could be lost.

Another possible problem is that the transaction processing software could have a bug, since all software has bugs. So if the bug affects several thousand accounts, then it's possible that a single run could result in several thousand errors caused by the bug, and they wouldn't be caught until much later.

That's when people started saying things like, "To err is human. To really screw things up takes a computer."

Intentional sabotage in automated processing

Another problem was intentional sabotage. The mag tape transaction processing that I described was subject to a very interesting form of sabotage.

Some transactions involve division of two numbers, and result in an amount with a fraction of a penny. The correct algorithm would round to the nearest penny, and the resulting amount would be used in the transaction. But one developer did something different. His software contained secret code that deducted the fractional penny from the amount, and credited it to his own account. Tens of thousands of fractions of a penny adds up to real money. He made a lot of money that way, but the consequences of what he had done were not discovered until much later.

The thing that makes this kind of sabotage possible is that managers don't understand what the programmers are doing. There was a similar problem with the financial crisis of the 2000s. The Gen-X financial engineers got their Masters Degrees in the 1990s, and applied those skills to create fraudulent synthetic securities based on subprime mortgages. Their managers in the financial institutions had no idea how they worked, except that they made lots of money, and the result was the financial crisis. In the late 2000s I was working on a government system where the lead programmer was sabotaging the code (my code, in particular). I complained repeatedly to my boss, but he refused to believe me. Eventually, the lead programmer screwed around with someone else's code, someone really important, and my manager apologized to me. This shows that the consequences of sabotage are not usually discovered until much later.

Another example was the Obamacare website Healthcare.gov. President Obama launched Obamacare on the afternoon of Oct 1, 2013, and he had no idea that the web site wasn't even working. When he announced the launch, he had no idea a disaster had unfolded several hours earlier. As I wrote in my 2015 article, massive fraud had occurred among all the consulting firms, and they propagated lies all the way up the chain. The entire White House had no idea of the disaster until it was too late. (See: "Healthcare.gov -- The greatest software development disaster in history")

So there was massive fraud in the development of Obamacare, which no one cares about since caring about Obamacare fraud is politically censored. Similarly, with tens of millions of mail-in ballots sent out last year there was massive fraud in the 2020 election that no one cares about, since caring about fraud in the 2020 election is politically censored.

The reason for mentioning all this is that the DeFi technology will be a huge target for sabotage and fraud, and the people benefiting from the fraud may want it censored. This concern is being politically censored because the major beneficiaries -- Silicon Valley, the Chinese, the Democrats, hedge funds -- don't want it discussed.

Sabotage and fraud in DeFi and Smart Contracts

Blockchain technology has this magical, mystical reputation as being incorruptible -- open source, "tamper-proof data," transparency, permissionless access, etc. Obamacare had the same magical, mystical reputation, and the amount of fraud was massive. The mainstream media didn't want to see it, because it was censored. The housing bubble of the early-mid 2000s was obvious (I was writing about it, Alan Greenspan was talking about it), but mainstream media didn't want to see it until 2009, when millions of people had lost their homes or went bankrupt. The mainstream media don't want to see the massive voter fraud in the 2020 election.

So there's no doubt that as DeFi grows, there will be lots of bugs and plenty of fraud, sabotage and corruption. This will be done at technical levels, and managers won't even know that it's going on until there are severe consequences and it's too late. In particular, it's absolutely certain that China's military is already developing tools to hack into DeFi applications, to control them.

There's another issue that's analogous to the 1960s IBM mainframe being unavailable, and this applies to all blockchain technologies: There may be a crisis (flood, hurricane, Chinese sabotage, malware, war), and the internet could become unavailable, or large numbers of servers along the blockchain could be destroyed.

Due diligence in DeFi and Smart Contract investments

So you can invest in DeFi at any of several levels. You can invest in companies developing core low-level technologies, or in companies developing mid-level API platforms, or in companies developing the top level apps that people and corporations actually use in their business. Or, you could invest by using one of the apps for its business relationships. The investment at any of these levels would be subject to the same concerns that I've raised.

So how do you do due diligence on such an investment? I believe that the biggest advantage of DeFi is also its biggest disadvantage and biggest risk -- the "self-executing" feature of "smart contracts."

Here's the investopedia definition of Smart Contracts:

A smart contract is a self-executing contract with the terms of the agreement between buyer and seller being directly written into lines of code. The code and the agreements contained therein exist across a distributed, decentralized blockchain network. The code controls the execution, and transactions are trackable and irreversible.

Smart contracts permit trusted transactions and agreements to be carried out among disparate, anonymous parties without the need for a central authority, legal system, or external enforcement mechanism.

In other words, a "smart contract" is just a software program. It will also certainly contain bugs -- because all software programs contain bugs -- and it will be subjected to sabotage, malware and hacking. And since the whole point of smart contracts is that they're "self-executing," without human involvement, and since management won't understand what's going on anyway, the bugs and sabotage won't be detected until a disaster has occurred.

Perhaps a good solution is to require "human oversight" of any smart contract. That is, if a self-executing smart contract tells you "kill your mother or pay a large fine" (and this isn't as far-fetched as it might seem, given my experience with software developers in the last 20 years), then there has to be a way for a human being on each side of the smart contract to review the self-executing action, and override it under the right circumstances.

This means that every party to a "smart contract" should have, as a backup, a printout or a pdf of a written contract that can be referenced if the internet goes down, or if there's a failure in or sabotage of the smart contract.

Unfortunately, this will only work at a small scale. DeFi applications are going to become larger and more complex, with a single app consisting of hundreds or thousands of interlocking smart contracts, and these will really be a disaster waiting to happen. But they're coming anyway. Watch for the buzzword: DAO (distributed autonomous organization), an entire business which is just a collection of smart contracts.

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11-Apr-21 World View -- Myanmar ethnic groups in Shan State launch coordinated attack on Burmese military

Peaceful protests continue in cities across Myanmar, heading for catastrophe

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Myanmar ethnic groups in Shan State launch coordinated attack on Burmese military


Burmese soldiers in Shan State after an attack by ethnic groups in 2019 (AFP)
Burmese soldiers in Shan State after an attack by ethnic groups in 2019 (AFP)

An alliance of ethnic armies in Myanmar / Burma on Saturday attacked a military police station in Shan State, killing at least 10 policemen. The attackers were from an alliance that includes the Arakan Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army. Normally, these ethnic groups oppose each other, and occasionally fight each other, but this is the first time that they've allied, in the face of the army coup, which makes this very significant.

As we've been expecting, the Myanmar / Burma military crackdown on peaceful civilian protesters, following the coup that replaced the democratically elected government with a dictatorial military junta, is rapidly turning into a full scale civil war, involving multiple ethnic groups.

This situation is growing into a repeat of Burma's last generational crisis war, an extremely bloody civil war (1948-1958) following independence, and involving multiple ethnic groups, along with intervention by the Chinese.

This attack on the police station outpost in Shan State seems to me to have special significance, in view of the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the ethnic Rohingyas in previous years.

Repeating the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingyas

Starting in 2011, Buddhists began attacking Muslim Rohingyas in villages across Burma, particularly the 1.1 million ethnic Rohingyas in Rakhine State. Mobs of Buddhists 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 burned down entire Rohingya villages to the ground.

However, the most horrific Buddhist violence against the Rohingyas began after August 25, 2017, 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 Burmese 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 Burmese army shot them as they were fleeing, including women and children, killing dozens. The attack on the police posts was the beginning of mass genocide and ethnic cleansing.

This is a standard pattern used by genocidal autocrats. I've described how this works in detail in "12-Jan-21 World View -- America and the standard Genocide Playbook". Autocratic regimes use an isolated terrorist incident as an excuse to conduct a massive overreaction against an entire group. In America, the Democrats are using the January 6 incident to declare that all 74 million Trump supporters are racists, white supremacists and terrorists, and are using that as an excuse for massive censorship and extrajucicial arrests.

So in Myanmar, we now have a situation similar to the one on August 25, 2017, when Rohingyas attacked police outposts. Saturday's attack by ethnic groups -- the Arakan Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army -- could well bring about a repeat of what happened to the Rohingyas. We should know within the next few days.

The unifying of different ethnic groups is being described as highly significant by analysts. Over the decades, since the last crisis war, the Burmese military has been able to deal with the different ethnic groups separately, and after the February 1 coup, the military negotiated with each one to keep them out of the fighting. But now it's clear that has failed, and we can expect all out war with the ethnic groups.

These groups are on the border with China, and there are many people of Chinese ancestry living in Shan State. So this may be the trigger that leads to intervention by the Chinese, although the Chinese will not intervene unless events force them to.

War with the Karen ethnic group on the Myanmar / Thailand border

As a separate issue, Burmese regime fighter jets have been dropping bombs on ethnic Karens in territory controlled by the Karen National Union (KNU), as we reported last week. The Karens are the largest ethnic group in Burma. The bombing began on March 27 and has continued almost every day. It was triggered by an attack by the KNU on a military barracks outpost, killing 20.

Some 10,000 Karens have fled across the border into Thailand to escape the violence. This is not new. In the 1990s, a war between the preceding Burmese military junta and the Karens led to some 100,000 refugees in camps along the border between the two countries. This has caused a political problem for the Thai government, which is also led by a military junta that overthrew a democratically elected government in 2014. (See the following: "23-May-14 World View -- Thailand's army seizes power in major victory for 'yellow shirt' elites")

Thailand's last generational crisis war (the Cambodian Killing Fields war) climaxed in 1979, so Thailand is in a generational Unraveling era, with little chance of a new ethnic civil war at this time. (Burma, of course, is well into a generational Crisis era.) Therefore, Thailand's coup did not lead to civil war, but Burma's coup is doing so.

So the thousands of refugees pouring into Thailand present a problem for the Thai military junta, who basically are aligned with the Burmese military junta. So even though Thai prime minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha has assured that "human rights will be respected," the result is that many of the Karen civilians fleeing violence by crossing the border into Thailand are being pushed back into Myanmar by the Thai police.

There are also refugees pouring into India and China.

Peaceful protests continue in cities across Myanmar, heading for catastrophe

There were peaceful protests in multiple cities across Myanmar on Saturday, with large marches in Yangon and Mandalay.

This despite the fact that on Friday, 80 peaceful protesters were killed by the army in random gunfire in the city of Bago, near Yangon. The army had thought that escalating violence would cause the protests to fizzle out, as they did in 2007, during Burma's generational Unraveling era. But they're not going to fizzle out now, in a generational Crisis era.

News reports from Myanmar these days are just filled with more details about the army slaughtering innocent unarmed civiians. Analysts say that the solution is for the UN Security Council to pass a resolution, which is hilariously laughable. Others say that the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) should hold a meeting, which is also laughable. I heard one analyst say that the United States has to intervene militarily to stop the carnage. That guy must have been hopped up on some of the drugs currently pouring into the USA through the open southern border.

Both Russia and China are supplying weapons to the Burmese junta, and neither country would be willing to take any step to end the carnage.

So the bottom line is this: I cannot think of a scenario, nor have I read or heard of a scenario, that will stop the violence in Myanmar / Burma from escalating into a full-scale multi-ethnic civil war in the next few days, weeks and months. Like a Greek tragedy, the characters in this play are heading unstoppably into a catastrophe of their own making. After that, the only question is whether it will spread to other countries, and whether it will be the trigger that leads to a new world war.

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9-Apr-21 World View -- The Troubles: Violence in Northern Ireland revives as consequence of Brexit

Brief generational history of violence in the Isle of Ireland

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

The Troubles: Violence in Northern Ireland revives as consequence of Brexit


Hijacked cars burn at the Peace Wall as rioting broke out in West Belfast, Northern Ireland on Wednesday (AP)
Hijacked cars burn at the Peace Wall as rioting broke out in West Belfast, Northern Ireland on Wednesday (AP)

The last week in Belfast, Northern Ireland, has seen the worst ethnic street violence in decades. There is a concrete "Peace Wall" in Belfast, separating the two warring neighborhoods. People have been lobbing bricks and Molotov cocktails across the Peace Wall in both directions. The violence worsened when the gate in the Peace Wall was smashed open. At least 55 police officers have been injured over several nights of rioting.

The violence has been triggered by the consequences of the Brexit deal that took the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland) out of the European Union. There were many difficult issues that had to be resolved, but the most intractable was the fact that Northern Ireland is part of the UK, while the Republic of Ireland (Southern Ireland) is part of the EU. This is the only place (if you don't count Gibraltar) where there is a land border separating the UK and the EU after Brexit.

So the biggest deal in the Brexit negotiations was that Ireland and Northern Ireland must have a "frictionless border," so that people and goods could pass freely back and forth without customs and border checks. So a Spanish company that wants to ship goods to England without paying British tariffs could simply trans-ship them through Northern Ireland -- that is, ship them to Ireland, send them across the "frictionless border" to Northern Ireland, and then ship them across the Irish Sea to England. Similarly, an English firm could ship goods to Spain by trans-shipping in the opposite direction, and avoid paying EU tariffs.

Well, that could never work. No politician is going to voluntarily give up tariffs. So the solution is that there has to be a "customs border in the Irish Sea." So goods shipped back and forth between England and Northern Ireland now have to go through customs and result in tariff charges.

During the Brexit negotiations, politicians said that if there were a customs check between Northern Ireland and Ireland, then this would infuriate the "Catholic republicans," and would trigger a revival of "The Troubles," the three decades violence in Northern Ireland. So they did it the other way, and put in a customs check in the Irish Sea, and this has infuriated the "Protestant loyalists," and this is triggering a revival of The Troubles anyway.

Brief generational history of violence in the Isle of Ireland

Northern Ireland's indigenous Gaelic Irish people (usually Catholic, republican, nationalist, "green") have been at war with the descendants of invading English and Scottish people (usually Protestant, loyalist, unionist, "orange") off and on since the 1400s. The Republicans want Northern Ireland to merge with the Republic of (Southern) Ireland, while the Loyalists want to remain loyal to the British crown and have Northern Ireland remain in the UK.

There have been clashes between the two groups since the 1400s, but the most important pattern of wars was set by the Nine Years War (1594-1603), where the Irish Gaelics attempted to overthrow English rule. The result was the Plantation of Ulster, which Gaelics today refer to as genocide and "ethnic cleansing," because the British drove the Gaelics from their land, took it over as landlords, and used the Gaelics as servants.

The next crisis war for Northern Ireland was the Williamite-Jacobite war, climaxing in a victory of the British with the Battle of the Boyne on July 12, 1690. This was the date of the victory of Protestant William of Orange over the Catholic King James II, and it followed England's Glorious Revolution of 1688, where the Dutch Prince William "invaded" England and overthrew King James without firing a shot. Sectarian violence in Northern Ireland tends to increase as July 12 approaches, as it's commemorated by groups like the Protestant Orange Institution.

The border across Ireland first appeared in 1921 as a result of the British-Irish treaty that partitioned the island and ended the Irish War of Independence, with the new borderline running across farms and villages.

The beginning of 'The Troubles'

"The Troubles" began in 1969, when hostilities broke out in Northern Ireland, and the border was reinforced with British Army watchtowers and bomb-proof and mortar-proof inspection facilities. All of those reinforcements were removed as a result of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, with a new power-sharing accord that was supposed to break down some of the barriers between south and north, including the physical barrier at the border.

The "Good Friday Agreement" has achieved almost mythic status among politicians, and its terms were frequently cited during the Brexit negotiations as inviolable, lest The Troubles begin again. The result was the "frictionless border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but instead there's a customs border between Northern Ireland and England, and The Troubles seems to be starting again anyway.

There's a lot of finger-pointing now as to the cause of the new violence, with many people blaming Boris Johnson for his "betrayal" of the Northern Ireland loyalists. But from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the revival of The Troubles is not surprising, inasmuch as a full generation has passed since the Good Friday agreement, and young kids are not going to care about a piece of paper or an ancient agreement that was signed before many of them were even born.

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2-Apr-21 World View -- Russia massing forces on Ukraine border, apparently planning imminent invasion

Russia fires back at reports of a potential invasion of Ukraine

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Russia massing forces on Ukraine border, apparently planning imminent invasion


A trainload of tanks in southwestern Russia headed in the direction of the border with Ukraine earlier this week
A trainload of tanks in southwestern Russia headed in the direction of the border with Ukraine earlier this week

The US armed forces European Command has raised its threat watch assessement to its highest level -- "potential imminent crisis" -- because of growing reports of trains loaded with large amounts of Russian military hardware, including aircraft, tanks and other heavy armored vehicles, as well as heavy artillery and ground troops, headed toward the border with Ukraine.

In 2014, Russia troops invaded Ukraine in support of Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine. The purpose was to break off the entire eastern portion of Ukraine and annex it to the Russian Federation.

That didn't happen, but Russia also invaded Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and annexed it and made it part of the Russian federation. It's been assumed that Russia has wanted to complete the job of annexing eastern Ukraine, and there are concerns the Russians plan to do exactly that right now.

Russia may have decided to strike now because of the new Biden administration in Washington. Last Thursday press conference by Biden was undoubtedly analyzed closely by the Kremlin, and it was clear that Biden has no idea what's going on. In addition, the world can see that the Biden administration has completely lost control of its southern border. The Kremlin analysts may have decided that it would take a long time for the Biden administration to do anything, if the Biden administration did anything, and that therefore they can invade Ukraine with impunity. (See "28-Mar-21 World View -- North Korea's ballistic missiles stoke the Denuclearization Delusion".)

Russia fires back at reports of a potential invasion of Ukraine

Russia's mealy-mouthed spokesman Dmitry Peskov issued a statement saying that there's nothing to see here:

"Russian Federation is moving its troops within its territory, at its own discretion. Nobody should be concerned about it. It poses no threat to anyone."

At this point, it's worthwhile to make a list of previous Russian lies related to the 2014 Russian invasion of Ukraine:

According to US estimates, Russia has about 32,700 military personnel in Crimea, some 28,000 personnel in "separatist" units in areas of eastern Ukraine known collectively as the Donbass who have been fighting the government in Kiev since 2015.

A member of the Generational Dynamics forum, Navigator, an expert on military history, says:

"You do not move this kind of stuff [tanks and armored vehicles] around unless you mean to use it. Russia wants the traditional Ukraine back. This is up to the line of Odessa/Vinnetsa. They will probably allow Ukraine to remain in what was once the Austro-Hungarian province of Galicia, centered around the city of Lvov. Given Europe's current state, plus a weak US administration, they know they will be able to get away with this.

My bet is that Putin will go all in after Ukraine. After that he will take a breather to get ready for the Baltics. Going after the Baltics will require a NATO response. But my guess is that they will appear so weak due to an almost non-existent response to the Ukrainian campaign that the threat of this will not dissuade him. He could also have intel that the Chinese will be going after Taiwan at the same time he will be prepared to go into the Baltics. This is my guess."

So now more Russian troops ("volunteers?") are headed for the border with Ukraine, and Peskov says, "Nobody should be concerned about it."

However, the Pentagon is concerned about it, as evidenced by the rise in the threat watch assessement to its highest level -- "potential imminent crisis."

According to Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby: "We obviously don’t want to see any more violations of Ukrainian territory. We’ve been very clear about the threats that we see from Russia across domains ... we’re taking them very seriously."

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29-Mar-21 World View -- Myanmar/Burma protests turn into ethnic civil war

Irony and Karmic retribution

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Myanmar/Burma protests turn into ethnic civil war


Friday meeting between Russia's defense minister Sergei Shoigu and Myanmar's army leader Min Aung Hlaing to discuss Russia's support for the slaughter (Tass)
Friday meeting between Russia's defense minister Sergei Shoigu and Myanmar's army leader Min Aung Hlaing to discuss Russia's support for the slaughter (Tass)

Saturday was the deadliest day yet of violence by the Myanmar/Burma army since the February 1 military coup, and installation of a junta headed by army leader General Min Aung Hlaing. In cities across the country, some 80-100 peaceful protesters were killed on that day alone, with no provocation, as the violence by the army is becoming horrific and unrestrained.

These included children and even babies in their homes. Hundreds of people have been killed, including a seven-year-old girl reportedly shot dead in her home this week. Soldiers have also occupied major public hospitals and attacked healthcare workers, including emergency responders trying to help injured protesters.

According to reports, the security forces have occupied 36 hospitals around the country and, in some cases, patients have been evicted from these hospitals. (This is reminiscent of another war criminal, Syria's Bashar al-Assad, specifically targeting hospitals with missiles to prevent medical care.)

The 'silent strike' threatens a complete economic and healthcare collapse

Because peaceful street protests are being met with increasingly horrific violence by the army, protesters are trying a new tack -- a "silent strike." Starting Wednesday of last week, a growing number of public servants, bankers, and employees in other key industries are deserting their jobs en masse in a civil disobedience movement to demand an end to the violence.

The junta has responded in the only way it knows how -- by going to the homes of the strikers and arresting them. Several hundred public servants and bankers have been arrested, according to reports.

Many doctors and nurses at major public hospitals have joined a nationwide civil disobedience movement, which has severely constricted healthcare delivery. The result is that the public health system has come to a near standstill and the public health system teeters on the brink of collapse.

As the violence increases, clashes with ethnic groups grow

As the violence grows into full-scale civil war, there are now growing ethnic conflicts.

On Sunday morning, army fighter jets launched air strikes against a region along the Thai border populated by the Karen ethnic group, killing eight people. As a result of the air strikes, at least 3,000 people fled across the border into Thailand. There are already more tha 7,500 refugees who have been living in refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.

The air strikes were in retaliation for attacks on the Burmese army by the Karen National Union (KNU) on Saturday. At least seven members of the military were captured. That was just the latest in a series of skirmishes between the KNU and the army since the February 1 coup, which the KNU opposed.

The Karen have been persecuted throughout Burma's history. In 2004, a ceasefire between the Karen and the Burmese government was brokered, but human rights abuses continue, including forced labor, village burnings, arbitrary taxation, rape, and extrajudicial killings. 140,000 refugees from Burma, mostly Karen, are living in refugee camps in Thailand, some for as many as 20 years.

Another ethnic group, the Kachin, have also been in clashes with government security forces.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) launched simultaneous attacks on at least four of the junta’s police battalions in a Kachin State township early on Sunday morning. Up to 20 policement were killed, and the KIA seized weaponry from the sites.

This situation is growing into a repeat of Burma's last generational crisis war, an extremely bloody civil war (1948-1958) following independence, and involving multiple ethnic groups, along with intervention by the Chinese.

According to the Generational Dynamics 58-Year Hypothesis, which by now has been well proven, a new ethnic civil war will not begin less than 58 years from the end of the previous ethnic civil war. That's because 58 years is precisely amount the time when the generations of survivors of the preceding war all die or retire, all at once, and the younger post-war generations come to power. It has now been 63 years since the end of the last ethnic civil war, so Myanmar is fully ripe for a new ethnic civil war, and that seems to be what's happening.

General Min Aung Hlaing thanks Russia for its support

On Saturday, while Burma's army were slaughtering innocent Burmese people peacefully conducting pro-democracy protests against the February 1 coup, Burma's army held a massive parade and weapons exhibition to celebrate Armed Forces Day, which commemorates the army's rebellion in 1945 against Japanese occupation. At the ceremony, the army leader Senior General Min Aung Hlaing said that the military would protect the people and strive for democracy.

Many countries in the international community had been expressing horror at the ongoing violence in Myanmar. And yet, despite the horrific ongoing violence, there were eight countries that sent representatives to join Hlaing in the celebrations: Russia, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

During his speech, Hlaing singled out one of these eight countries -- Russia. He welcomed the presence of the Russians at the ceremony and said, "Russia is a true friend," having previously referred to Moscow as a "loyal friend."

And indeed, Russia is a friend to war criminal Hlaing. Russia has been a leading supplier of weapons to Burma's army. If you see armored vehicles on the streets of Myanmar in videos, those vehicles were almost certainly supplied by the Russians.

Conflicting strategies of Russia versus China in Myanmar

In Western media, Russia and China are often portrayed as having similar relationships to Myanmar. This largely comes from the fact that Russia and China jointly veto any attempt in the United Nations Security Council to condemn Myanmar for its war crimes and genocidal violence.

However, from Myanmar's point of view, the two countries are quite different. Russia is geographically remote, while China shares a long border. This means that Russia is simply a weapons provider, and really doesn't care how the slaughter in Myanmar evolves. General Hlaing has cultivated defense ties with Moscow over the past decade to avoid dependence on China, which is Myanmar's largest weapons supplier.

But the situation is much more complex for China. China is heavily involved in building Myanmar's infrastructure, including a joint construction project to build the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The CMEC focuses on 12 areas including basic infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, transport, finance, human resource development and telecommunications.

Thus, it is critical for China that the Myanmar people not blame the Chinese for the ongoing violence. There have already been attacks on Chinese factories by groups claiming that the Chinese are supporting the army violence.

That's why the Russians are able to express open support for the army, while the Chinese are holding back, waiting to see what happens. The Russians couldn't care less how many innocent civilians are slaughtered, and don't care if they're blamed for it in some way. The Chinese don't care either, but they have business interests in Myanmar that outweigh any other considerations.

Irony and Karmic retribution

Buddhists are into Karma, and so it must have occurred to many of them in Myanmar that there a great deal of irony in the country's situation, as well as Karmic retribution.

Since 2011, Burma's army has been committing atrocities on Muslim ethnic Rohingyas living in Rakhine State, and I've written many articles about this. The atrocities included gang rape, violent torture, execution-style killings and the razing of entire villages, in a scorched earth campaign. These atrocities have been cheered by the ordinary Myanmar people, led by Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu, most of whom apparently hate the Rohingyas.

Aung Sang Suu Kyi became a "useful idiot" for the army by presenting a sympathetic, tired, weary, female face to the world, defending the army to deflect the horrors and atrocities that are occurring in their country. In 2019, the International Court of Justice in the Hague held a trial on Burma's genocide, and Aung Sang Suu Kyi came and defended the army, saying that nothing had happened.

So now, the worm has turned, as the old saying goes. The army had no more use for the useful idiot Aung Sang Suu Kyi, so she's now in jail. The horrors and atrocities that the army perpetrated on the Rohingyas are now being perpetrated on Buddhist civilians. That is truly Karmic justice.

I saw a Burma citizen being interviewed on the BBC about the violence. He was asked about the Rohingyas, and asked how he felt about the genocide and ethnic cleansing that went on. He said that he couldn't speak out for the Rohingyas when the genocide was going on because he would have been punished. But now, he says, the Rohingyas are his beloved "brothers," and he welcomes their return to the country. It makes you want to vomit, doesn't it.

I've been around a long time, and I've learned to believe in Karma. People who do evil things eventually become the victims of their own evil. It's sometimes phrased as "what goes around comes around," meaning that the evil circles back to the evildoer. There's no easy explanation, except that people who are evil do stupid things, and their stupid evil acts catch up with them. I've seen this many, many times in my life, and the Karmic retribution going on in Myanmar today is one of the best examples I've ever seen.

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28-Mar-21 World View -- North Korea's ballistic missiles stoke the Denuclearization Delusion

Myanmar / Burma becomes toxic and explosive

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

North Korea's ballistic missiles stoke the Denuclearization Delusion


Kim Jong-un and Joe Biden
Kim Jong-un and Joe Biden

North Korea launched two ballistic missiles into the Sea of Japan on Thursday, in violation of UN resolutions. The missiles landed outside Japan's territorial waters and exclusive economic zone and there have been no reports of harm caused to aircraft or ships. Both Japan and South Korea have lodged formal protests.

The timing was interesting, because Thursday was the day of President Joe Biden's long awaited press conference, where it was promised that he would take questions from reporters. As expected, Biden's handlers carefully selected the questions in advance, from carefully chosen reporters, and the order in which they would be asked, so that all Biden had to do was follow along in a notebook on his podium and read the answers out loud. The reporters and questions were all fawning, such as referring to Biden "as a moral, decent man," and the Fox News reporter was carefully sidelined.

There was one question where Biden seemed totally unprepared, and that was the question about North Korea's ballistic missile launch, which had just occurred several hours before the press conference. Biden looked down at the podium and read a prepared statement supplied by his handlers. Here's what he said:

"Let me say that, number one, U.N. Resolution 1718 was violated by those particular missiles that were tested — number one. We’re consulting with our allies and partners. And there will be responses — if they choose to escalate, we will respond accordingly.

But I’m also prepared for some form of diplomacy, but it has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearization. So that’s what we’re doing right now: consulting with our allies."

Denuclearization is a delusional fantasy, as I'll describe below.

This is a reasonable statement, but if you watched the press conference, as I did, Biden didn't appear to understand what he was reading, and had a difficult time reading it. That portion of the press conference appears right at the beginning of the al-Jazeera video referenced below, so you can watch it and judge for yourself. You can blame me as a wild-eyed ideologue for saying that Biden appeared to be, at the least, cognitively challenged or worse, but my perception is not important. What's important is that leaders around the world were watching carefully and analyzing, and they know that Biden is mouthing words, but doesn't know what he's saying. To me, it was painful to watch, and almost cruel for his handlers to stand him up and put him and the country through that.

Before proceeding with the analysis, I want to make it clear that it makes no difference what Biden said. From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there is a powerful "March of History" going on here. As I've been saying for years, North Korea is on a path to develop nuclear weapons and missiles, and nothing that Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump or Biden could say or do will stop it (short of a pre-emptive missile attack on all of North Korea's facilities, which Trump threatened, but which was never going to happen). Diplomacy is a worthless delusion in the March of History.

Analysis of North Korea's nuclear weapons program

I now want to quote excerpts from the best analysis of the North Korea nuclear program that I've seen in years (not counting some of my own). It appeared in the al-Jazeera show Inside Story, and you can watch the whole thing by following the link in the sources below.

The analysis was done by Tariq Rauf, former head of Verification & Securiity Policy, at the IAEA, which is the United Nations nuclear inspection agency.

He began by giving a summary of North Korea's current capabilities (my transcription):

"North Korea has one of the oldest nuclear programs in the world. It started in 1953 [right at the end of the Korean War].

They now have a complete nuclear fuel cycle -- uranium mining, uranium enrichment, enriching to reactor grade uranium, also to weapons grade uranium, which is over 90%. They also have a plutonium separation capability.

And they've obviously demonstrated that they can make nuclear warheads. They carried out six nuclear tests, and if one looks at the yields of the six nuclear tests, each one of them has been bigger than the previous one. The last test in 2017 was nearly 140 kilotons.

And so North Korea, in its six tests, has demonstrated much more advanced nuclear weapons capability than India or Pakistan did so in 1998. Therefore it is a full program."

He said that their missile program is equally advanced: "They also have a full suite of ballistic and cruise missiles. They have short range or battlefield missiles, they have medium range missiles, and they also have long range missiles."

He added that their nuclear program is pretty much completed, and the only question left is the number of weapons they have in their arsenal. "We believe they have 30, 40 or 50 nuclear weapons, and can apparently make 7 to 12 more per year."

Sanctions and the Denuclearization Delusion

For years, America and the United Nations have been using sanctions to try to convince the North Koreans to denuclearize. This was true under the Clinton, Bush, Obama and Trump administrations, and it's still true in the Biden administration, since Biden has not made any statement about removing the sanctions.

During the al-Jazeera show, Tariq Rauf gave a lengthy discussion of why sanctions have absolutely no chance of succeeding:

"As for sanctions, nobody can point to a single case in history where sanctions have reversed their nuclear, chemical or biological weapons program in a country.

Sanctions did not affect South Africa, Iraq, Iran, didn't stop India or Pakistan, and it's clear that they didn't stop North Korea.

The leadership has shown in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq and also North Korea that if the population has to tighten its belt, that's what they will do.

And North Korea has also seen how Iraq, Libya and Iran have been squeezed because they didn't have nuclear weapons.

Nobody threatens North Korea with an attack, nobody says all options are on the table, so North Korea knows. They also know that India and Pakistan have been accepted as de facto nuclear weapons states."

So Rauf makes it clear that North Korea's nuclear program is here to stay, and sanctions will do nothing.

As I said, there is a March of History, and sanctions will not affect it. By the time the world war ends, every one of North Korea's nuclear weapons will be used somewhere -- on America, on Japan, on South Korea, on China, on Russia, or elsewhere.

Contrasting negotiating styles: Joe Biden vs Donald Trump

Tariq Rauf also gives a comparison between Joe Biden and Donald Trump in handling the North Korea situation:

"Biden has already insulted the Russian president, the Chinese president, has insulted Kim Jong-Un as a Hitler and as a thug. How does he expect them to have a meaningful dialog?

President Biden who is also known for rash decisions, and for insulting foreign leaders, needs also to be restrained. We criticize president Trump quite justifiably, but president Biden is no angel either. He's not going to wave a magic wand and things are going to fall into place."

This gives rise to a comparison of the two negotiating styles, always keeping in mind that the March of History will be same, irrespective of the American president's negotiating style.

As I described many times, I was initially quite contemptuous of Trump's lack of knowledge of the world, until the unexpected happened: He selected as his principal advisor Steve Bannon, who is an expert on both military history and Generational Dynamics, as I had worked with him off and on for several years. Bannon educated Trump on what was happening in China, North Korea and elsewhere, and Trump used that knowledge, combined with this own "Art of the Deal" skills, in his relations with foreign leaders. Thus, he developed a friendly father-son relationship with Kim Jong-un, and repeatedly complimented Xi Jinping as a great leader, although that changed dramatically in March 2020, when the CCP infuriated Trump by announcing that the coronavirus had been planted into Wuhan province by the American army.

At his press conference on Thursday, Joe Biden emphasized that he had a long relationship with China's president Xi Jinping:

"I’ve known Xi Jinping for a long time. Allegedly, by the time I left office as Vice President, I had spent more time with Xi Jinping than any world leader had, because President Obama and the Chinese President Hu decided we should get to know one another since it was inappropriate for the President of the United States to spend time with the vice president of another country. But it was obvious he was going to become the new leader of China.

So, I spent hours upon hours with him alone with an interpreter — my interpreter and his — going into great detail. He is very, very straightforward. Doesn’t have a democratic — with a small “D” — bone in his body. But he’s a smart, smart guy. He’s one of the guys, like Putin, who thinks that autocracy is the wave of the future and democracy can’t function in an ever — an ever-complex world.

So, when I was elected and he called to congratulate me, I think to the surprise of the China experts who were — his people were on call as well as mine, listening — we had a two-hour conversation. For two hours. .... And earlier this month — and apparently it got the Chinese’s attention; that’s not why I did it — I met with our allies and how we’re going to hold China accountable in the region: Australia, India, Japan, and the United States — the so-called Quad. Because we have to have democracies working together.

Before too long, I’m going to have — I’m going to invite an alliance of democracies to come here to discuss the future. And so we’re going to make it clear that in order to deal with these things, we are going to hold China accountable to follow the rules — to follow the rules — whether it relates to the South China Sea or the North China Sea, or their agreement made on Taiwan, or a whole range of other things. ....

And the third thing, and the thing that I admire about dealing with Xi is he understands — he makes no pretense about not understanding what I’m saying any more than I do him — I pointed out to him: No leader can be sustained in his position or her position unless they represent the values of the country. And I said as — “And, Mr. President, as I’ve told you before, Americans value the notion of freedom. America values human rights. We don’t always live up to our expectations, but it’s a values system. We are founded on that principle. And as long as you and your country continues to so blatantly violate human rights, we’re going to continue, in an unrelenting way, to call to the attention of the world and make it clear — make it clear what’s happening.”

And he understood that. I made it clear that no American President — at least one did — but no American President ever back down from speaking out of what’s happening to the Uighurs, what’s happening in Hong Kong, what’s happening in-country.

That’s who we are. The moment a President walks away from that, as the last one did, is the moment we begin to lose our legitimacy around the world. It’s who we are."

Biden was making the point that he has a relationship with Xi Jinping, though apparently a fairly hostile one -- but that's better than no relationship. However, he has no similar relationship with Russia's Vladimir Putin, whom he recently called a "killer," nor with Kim Jong-un, whom he has called a thug, a dictator and a tyrant.

We have to mention that the Trump administration spoke out forcefully about human rights in China, and about the Uighurs. Biden's claim otherwise may be a lie, or more likely he doesn't know, since his handlers didn't bother to tell him. However, world leaders who watched Biden stumble through his press conference are well aware that he lied. (See "20-Jan-21 World View -- Pompeo bashes China over genocide, virus, Taiwan on last days of Trump administration")

So it's not surprising that North Korea's media made a particularly harsh response to Biden's statement:

"We cannot but build invincible physical power for reliably defending the security of our state under the present situation in which south Korea and the U.S. constantly pose military threats to the Korean peninsula while persistently conducting dangerous war exercises and introducing advanced weapons.

We express our deep apprehension over the U.S. chief executive faulting the regular testfire, exercise of our state's right to self-defence, as the violation of UN "resolutions" and openly revealing his deep-seated hostility toward the DPRK.

Such remarks from the U.S. president are an undisguised encroachment on our state's right to self-defence and provocation to it.

It is a gangster-like logic that it is allowable for the U.S. to ship the strategic nuclear assets into the Korean peninsula and launch ICBMs any time it wants but not allowable for the DPRK, its belligerent party, to conduct even a test of a tactical weapon.

We clearly remember that after the appearance of the new administration in Washington there have been exploitation of every opportunity to make words and acts provoking the sovereignty and dignity of our state in which we were branded as the most serious "security threat".

The bellicose stance of the new U.S. administration awakens us to the way to be followed by us and convinces us of the justice of the work to be done by us once again."

It's worth remembering that North Korea is a vassal of Communist China. Kim Jong-un occasionally throws a temper tantrum and does something the CCP doesn't like, but basically Kim does as he's told. I consider it likely that the CCP gave Kim the OK for Thursday's ballistic missile launches.

In my opinion, North Korea will not launch any military attacks without China's permission, and that means it will be done in coordination with China's invasion of Taiwan or Japan or an attack on the United States, at some point in the future.

So that's the state of the relations between America and North Korea today.

Myanmar / Burma becomes toxic and explosive

I want to add a brief word about a different subject.

The situation in Myanmar (Burma) is becoming toxic to the point of being close to explosive. Some 50-80 peaceful protesters were killed on Saturday alone, with no provocation. These included children and even babies in their homes. The violence by the army is becoming horrific and unrestrained. Furthermore, other ethnic groups, including the Kachin and the Shan, are threatening to intervene unless the violence stops.

Burma's last generational crisis war was an extremely bloody multi-ethnic civil war following independence (1948-1958). It's been 63 years since the end of that civil war, and so Burma is due for a new one, and that appears to be happening.

This is going to trigger large refugee flows into Thailand, India and China, so those countries may be brought into the war. Russia, incidentally, is supporting Burma's army, and so probably expects to gain from a Burma civil war.

Sources:

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23-Mar-21 World View -- Book Announcement: World View: Vietnam, Buddhism, and the Vietnam War

How Vietnam became an economic powerhouse after the Vietnam War

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Book Announcement: World View: Vietnam, Buddhism, and the Vietnam War

Announcing a new book on Vietnam and Buddhism by John J. Xenakis

Book Announcement: World View: Vietnam, Buddhism, and the Vietnam War

Subtitle: How Vietnam became an economic powerhouse after the Vietnam War


Book Announcement: World View: Vietnam, Buddhism, and the Vietnam War, by John J. Xenakis
Book Announcement: World View: Vietnam, Buddhism, and the Vietnam War, by John J. Xenakis

$13.99 -- Buy the paperback on Amazon

Click here for description and Complete Table of Contents

If you buy it, please write a 5-star amazon review. Thanks.

Description

Most people know nothing about Vietnam except that their grandfathers fought in something called "the Vietnam War." And yet, as guardian of the maritime routes from Europe to India, Malaya and China, Vietnam has for millennia been a dominant player in world trade.

And now, with China illegally annexing the South China Sea, which controls $1.3 trillion in trade, Vietnam's historic role as guardian of the South China Sea could bring the two countries to full war, for the first time in thirty years.

This book describes Vietnam's history since ancient times, through rule by China, through independence, through multiple dynasties, through colonization by France, and through the Indochina wars since World War II, before becoming an economic powerhouse. Those seriously interested in living in or doing business in Vietnam should understand that historically it's not a country in the European sense, but is composed of "Vietnam Villages" that define its culture and business dealings, and should understand the interaction between Buddhism, Confucianism, and Christianity in the villages and guilds.

The book has extensive coverage of the history and theology of Buddhism, and how it spread from India to Vietnam and China, in one of the most sigificant events in the history of religion. The book explains how this was possible because of the specific interactions of Buddhism, Daoism and Confucianism, and how Chinese and Vietnamese leaders played one religion off of one another as needed to control the population. In today's Vietnam, these tensions still exist, especially between North and South.

The author's previous book on the history of Iran has extensive coverage of the history and theology of Islam and Christianity, while his book on China does the same for Confucianism and Daoism. Putting the three books together provides a comprehensive understanding of the world's religions.

The book also has extensive coverage of what "really happened" in the Vietnam war. Most people, even those who fought in the war, or who had family and friends who fought in the war, nonetheless have no idea what the Vietnam War was about. Even Vietnamese people under age 50 don't know what it was about. This book will tell you what actually happened -- not what the politicians and ideologues say happened, but what actually did happen, and why it happened.

Generational Theory Book Series

I set up the GenerationalDynamics.com web site in 2003 as an experiment, as I stated at the time. I would analyze current and historical events through generational theory and Generational Dynamics. I would make forecasts and predictions, and the articles would remain on my web site for review at any time.

Now, almost 20 years later, there are over 6,000 articles on my web site, containing thousands of analyses and predictions on hundreds of countries, all of which are either true or trending true. None has been shown to be wrong. There is no web site in the world with a better successful forecasting and analysis record than mine, and there is no politician, analyst or journalist with a better forecasting and analysis record than mine.

There are now four books in the Generational Theory Book Series.


Vietnam-Buddhism Book
Vietnam-Buddhism Book

"World View: Vietnam, Buddhism, and the Vietnam War: How Vietnam became an economic powerhouse after the Vietnam War" (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 4), March 2021 Paperback: 325 pages, over 200 source references, $13.99 https://www.amazon.com/dp/1732738645/


China-Japan Book
China-Japan Book

"World View: War Between China and Japan: Why America Must Be Prepared" (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 2), June 2019 Paperback: 331 pages, over 200 source references, $13.99 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/


Iran Book
Iran Book

"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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Supremacy-Obsession-Generational/dp/1732738610/


Anniversary Edition Book
Anniversary Edition Book

"Generational Dynamics Anniversary Edition - Forecasting America's Destiny", (Generational Theory Book Series, Book 3), January 2020, Paperback: 359 pages, $14.99, https://www.amazon.com/Generational-Dynamics-Anniversary-Forecasting-Americas/dp/1732738629/

Table of Contents - World View: Vietnam, Buddhism, and the Vietnam War

Table of Contents - World View: Vietnam, Buddhism, and the Vietnam War

Part I. Vietnam, Buddhism and the Vietnam War -- Vietnam today Chapter 1. Importance of Vietnam Chapter 2. Overview of Contents Chapter 3. Objectives of this book Chapter 4. Description of Buddhist theology Chapter 5. Getting a 'feel' for Vietnam 5.1. Vietnam country names Chapter 6. Brief summary of generational eras

Part II. Vietnam's Doi Moi economic reforms (1986-present) Chapter 7. Vietnam's legal and economic history 7.1. Nations, kingdoms, empires, leaders, kings, emperors, dynasties 7.2. Economic influences in historical Vietnam 7.3. Vietnam's economy after French colonization (1858) 7.4. Social etiquette Chapter 8. The collapse of Communism, Socialism, Marxism in Asia 8.1. China -- Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward 8.2. Russia -- Perestroika and Glasnost 8.3. South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, and Hong Kong -- the 'Asian Tigers' 8.4. The Doi Moi economic reforms Chapter 9. Details of Doi Moi reforms 9.1. Reforming centrally-planned to market oriented economy 9.2. Land reform 9.3. Abolishing the dual-pricing system 9.4. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) 9.5. Financial crisis in 2009-12 Chapter 10. Vietnam's economic crisis during Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic (2020) 10.1. Vietnam focuses on foreign investment and trade 10.2. Government heightened focus on high tech and artificial intelligence 10.3. Human Rights

Part III. Overview of Asian religions and theology Chapter 11. Evolution of great religions 11.1. Evolutionary framework of great religions 11.2. Documentation -- written law of the great religions 11.3. Written law in Hinduism and Buddhism 11.4. Etiquette in engaging with Buddhists Chapter 12. Overview of Buddhist theology 12.1. Achieving Nirvana 12.2. Theravada Buddhism ('Path of the Elders') 12.3. Mahayana Buddhism ('The Great Vehicle') 12.4. Hinayana Buddhism ('Modest Vehicle') Chapter 13. The school of meditation: Ch'an / Zen Buddhism 13.1. Rise of Ch'an/Zen Buddhism in China 13.2. Philosophy of Daoism 13.3. Ch'an / Zen Buddhism and sudden enlightenment 13.4. Zen Buddhism in the West Chapter 14. Other schools of Buddhism 14.1. The evolution and simplification of Buddhism 14.2. Pure Land Buddhism 14.3. Tantric (Vajrayana, Tibetan) Buddhism 14.4. Bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism 14.5. The Maitreya in Buddhism

Part IV. How Hinduism and Buddhism spread from India to southern Vietnam Chapter 15. Aryan invasion, and rise of Hinduism in India 15.1. Life of The Buddha (563-483 BC) 15.2. The Middle Way and Enlightenment 15.3. Hinduism and Buddhism 15.4. Popularity of Buddhism Chapter 16. Legacy of Emperor Ashoka (304-232 BC, Ruled 273-232 BC) 16.1. Ashoka commits genocide and ethnic cleansing 16.2. Ashoka repents and converts to Buddhism 16.3. Spread of Buddhism north and south -- overview 16.4. Ashoka's influence on Buddhism Chapter 17. Spread of Theravada Buddhism to southeast Asia and southern Vietnam 17.1. Spread of Buddhism to Ceylon (Sri Lanka) 17.2. Spread of Buddhism to Burma (Myanmar) and Siam (Thailand) 17.3. Spread of Buddhism to Malay Peninsula and Indonesia 17.4. Spread of Buddhism to Cambodia and southern Vietnam (Mekong Delta)

Part V. How Buddhism spread through China to northern Vietnam Chapter 18. Spread of Mahayana Buddhism along the Great Silk Road Chapter 19. Collapse of China's glorious Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) 19.1. Significance of China's Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) 19.2. Decline of the Han Dynasty in the 100s 19.3. Collapse of the Han Dynasty -- Yellow Turban Rebellion - 184 AD Chapter 20. Changes to Daoism and Buddhism during and after Han Dynasty 20.1. Daoism during and after the declining Han Dynasty 20.2. Buddhism during and after the declining Han Dynasty 20.3. Differences between Chinese and Indian languages and culture 20.4. Role of Daoism in linking Indian and Chinese cultures Chapter 21. Sacking by the Huns (311) -- China splits into North and South Chapter 22. Spread of Buddhism south of the Yangtze River 22.1. Buddhism vs Confucianism and Daoism Chapter 23. Spread of Buddhism north of the Yangtze River 23.1. Northern rulers' adoption of Buddhism 23.2. Northern rulers' misgivings about Buddhism 23.3. Emancipation of Buddhist ideas from Daoism in the North Chapter 24. Spread of Buddhism in Sui and Tang dynasties (589-906) 24.1. Divergence of North and South during period of disunion 24.2. Regulation of religions during Sui-Tang dynasties 24.3. Great Buddhist movements during Sui-Tang dynasties 24.4. The school of meditation: Ch'an or Zen Buddhism 24.5. The catastrophic An Lu-shan Rebellion (755-763) 24.6. Union of Uighurs and Tibetans (765) 24.7. The Great Suppression of Buddhism (842-845) 24.8. Revival of Confucianism Chapter 25. Zen Buddhism in Japan 25.1. The Zen Koan: What is the sound of one hand clapping? Chapter 26. Buddhism in Vietnam 26.1. Adulteration / Syncretism of Buddhism in Vietnam 26.2. Vietnam Communist Party hostility to religion

Part VI. South Vietnam's ancient history Chapter 27. Background: Archaeological ages and Geography 27.1. Archaeological ages 27.2. Stone age 27.3. Bronze age 27.4. Iron age 27.5. Vietnam's fusion of races, languages and cultures 27.6. Vietnam's Geography Chapter 28. South Vietnam's ancient civilizations -- Sa Huynh, Dong Son 28.1. Sa Huynh culture (10000 BC - 200 AD) 28.2. Dong Son (Dong Son) culture 28.3. Growth of Dong Son culture 28.4. China-Vietnam disputes over Dong Son cultures

Part VII. The millennium of Chinese rule (111 BC to 938 AD) -- Viets, Funan, Champa, Khmers Chapter 29. North Vietnam: Confucian Viet culture, following conquest by China 29.1. Chinese invasion and conquest (111 BC) 29.2. Confucianism in Vietnam and role of women 29.3. Trung Sisters Rebellion (40-43 AD) and reconquest by China 29.4. The Sinicization of North Vietnam 29.5. Ly Bi overthrows Chinese rule, creates Van Xuan empire (544-603) 29.6. Chinese rule by China's Tang dynasty (618-906) Chapter 30. Chinese rule ends with spectacular Battle of Bach Dang River (938) 30.1. Ngo Quyen defeats Chinese in the spectacular Battle of Bach Dang River (938) 30.2. Dinh Bo Linh's tributary mission to China (968) Chapter 31. Far Southern Vietnam: Rise of Hinduized Funan culture, centered in Cambodia 31.1. Funan Culture and Oc-Eo port city Chapter 32. Central Vietnam: Rise of Champa culture 32.1. Champa culture 32.2. Cham people today

Part VIII. Nine centuries of Vietnam independence -- 938 - 1862 Chapter 33. Reference list of Vietnamese dynasties after independence Chapter 34. Vietnam villages 34.1. Vietnam's guilds and villages 34.2. Village organization Chapter 35. Brief history of Laos Chapter 36. Early Le Dynasty (980-1005) 36.1. Generational summary 36.2. Defeating another Chinese invasion Chapter 37. The First Great Dynasty: The Later Ly Dynasty (1009–1225) 37.1. Generational summary 37.2. Development of agriculture in Red River Delta -- and southward move 37.3. Development of written law 37.4. Growth of Buddhism in Nam Viet 37.5. Buddhism in central and south Vietnam 37.6. Champa Kingdom conquest by Angkor Khmers (Cambodia) (1203-20) 37.7. Cultural differences: Nam Viet vs Champa Chapter 38. The Second Great Dynasty -- The Tran Dynasty (1225-1400) 38.1. Generational summary 38.2. Mobilizing eunuchs and slaves - preparing for war 38.3. Sacking of Champa capital Vijaya (1252) 38.4. First Mongol War (1257) 38.5. The Tran vs the Mongols [1284-1287] 38.6. Tran Dynasty defeats the Mongols (1284, 1287) 38.7. Mongols face Vietnamese war elephants (1284) 38.8. Tran soldiers defeat Mongols in Battle of Bach Dang (1287) 38.9. Tran war with Champa (1312) 38.10. Buddhism vs Confucianism during the Tran dynasty 38.11. Growth of Confucianism to modern times Chapter 39. Ho Dynasty (1400-1407) -- Vietnam's most hated dynasty 39.1. Ho general usurps the throne 39.2. China invades Vietnam in brutal period of governance 39.3. Ho Dynasty echoes through Vietnam's history 39.4. War with the Chinese (1417-1427) Chapter 40. Later Le Dynasty Part 1: destruction of Champa Kingdom (1428-1527) 40.1. Generational summary 40.2. Destruction of Champa Kingdom (1471) 40.3. Southern expansion (nam-tien) and land settlement (don dien) 40.4. Aftermath of the destruction of Champa kingdom 40.5. Decline of the Le Dynasty (1497-1527) Chapter 41. Later Le Dynasty Part 2: The warring warlords (1527-1787) 41.1. Generational summary 41.2. The Mac family and Nguyen family split Vietnam in two (1527-45) 41.3. Trinh family joins the struggle (1545-1592) 41.4. Arrival of the Europeans - 1600s 41.5. The inevitable war between Nguyen and Trinh begins (1620-1672) Chapter 42. The cataclysmic Tay-Son Rebellion (1771-1790, defeated 1802) 42.1. Background to Tay-Son Rebellion 42.2. The Ho (Nguyen) brothers begin the Tay-Son rebellion 42.3. Marxist Socialism before Marx -- Tay-Son rebellion 42.4. Tay-Son rebels align themselves with Chinese pirates 42.5. Socialism in the 21st century -- Memories of the Tay-Son rebellion Chapter 43. Nguyen Phuc Anh (Gia Long) launches a harsh new Nguyen Dynasty 43.1. List of kings of the Nguyen Dynasty 43.2. Generational summary 43.3. Nguyen Phuc Anh defeats the Tay-Son rebels (1776-1802) 43.4. Vietnam finally adopts the name Viet Nam 43.5. The Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) 43.6. Nguyen Dynasty and persecution of Christians

Part IX. The Treaty of Saigon and French colonization (1862-1954) Chapter 44. Treaty of Saigon, June 1862 44.1. France completes conquest of French Indochina (1887) Chapter 45. Conflicts during French colonization 45.1. Vietnam Villages during French colonization 45.2. Vietnam government after the Treaty of Saigon (1862-1954) 45.3. Truong Dinh -- anti-French guerrilla movement (1858-64) 45.4. Anti-Catholic violence 45.5. Vietnamese modernization movements opposing French colonialism Chapter 46. Rise of Vietnam nationalism up to World War II 46.1. Phan Boi Chau and the Rise of Nationalism (1904) 46.2. Did Ho Chi Minh betray Phan Boi Chau? 46.3. Rise of Ho Chi Minh and fight for independence from the French 46.4. European migration to French Indochina until 1945

Part X. Understanding the context of America's 'Vietnam War' Chapter 47. Summary of America's Vietnam War Chapter 48. Major findings about America's Vietnam War 48.1. Disastrous decisions by President Kennedy 48.2. The question of insanity 48.3. The question of sophistry 48.4. Facts and events vs Context 48.5. Was the Vietnam War worth the cost? Chapter 49. Major world events as context of Vietnam War 49.1. March of Communism 49.2. North Vietnam's toxic relationships with China and Soviet Russia 49.3. Vietcong insurgency in South Vietnam 49.4. Laos coup and the 'Ho Chi Minh Trail' Chapter 50. Insanity and Greek Tragedy 50.1. Understanding Greek Tragedy 50.2. Insanity 50.3. Aeschylus and Prometheus 50.4. The relevance of Greek Tragedy 50.5. The Vietnam War and Greek Tragedy 50.6. Setting the scene in 1959-60 -- the seeds of future defeat 50.7. The main characters Chapter 51. Generational issues 51.1. The Vietnam War and American generations 51.2. Public moods in Vietnam, France and America after WW II 51.3. Hannah Arendt -- 'the calm that settles after all hopes have died' 51.4. Communism on the march -- and the 'Iron Curtain' 51.5. The Truman Doctrine makes America Policeman of the World (1947) 51.6. Truman receives NSC-68 report calling for Soviet Communist 'containment' (April 14, 1950) 51.7. Communist North Korea invades South Korea (June 25, 1950) 51.8. President Eisenhower explains the Domino Theory (1954) 51.9. President Kennedy's 'ask not' inauguration speech (1961) Chapter 52. From trauma in World War II to a Generation Gap in the 1960s 52.1. The traumatic World War II 52.2. Lessons learned: New laws and institutions after WW II 52.3. Definition of the 'Generation Gap' 52.4. The Summer of Love (1967) 52.5. America's generational Awakening era -- 1960s-1970s 52.6. Generation Gap resolution -- Awakening Climax Chapter 53. Examples of generational Recovery and Awakening Eras 53.1. America after World War II (1945) 53.2. Iran after Great Islamic Revolution (1979) 53.3. Zimbabwe after war of independence (1980) 53.4. China after the Communist Revolution (1949) 53.5. American Civil War (1865) 53.6. America's Revolutionary War (1782) 53.7. Japan after the Meiji Restoration (1868) 53.8. Japan after World War II (1945) 53.9. The generational 'Democide Pattern' Chapter 54. The political debate over America's 'Vietnam War' 54.1. The left-wing antiwar view of the Vietnam war 54.2. The Vietnamese view of the Vietnam war 54.3. America allies with Ho Chi Minh in World War II Chapter 55. Overview of the Vietnam War

Part XI. French Indochina War (First Indochina War, Nov 1946 to Aug 1954) Chapter 56. Beginnings of the war Chapter 57. Vietminh strategy Chapter 58. Battle of Dien Bien Phu

Part XII. Interwar period -- 1954-1959 -- Republic of Vietnam Chapter 59. Disagreements between China and Vietnam over who gets the credit Chapter 60. History of persecution of Catholics Chapter 61. North-South migration after First Indochina war Chapter 62. Land reform program Chapter 63. Beginnings of American military involvement Chapter 64. Le Duan replaces Ho Chi Minh as de facto North Vietnam leader 64.1. Legacy of Le Duan (1908-1986) 64.2. Rise of Le Duan Chapter 65. North Vietnam ratifies Resolution 16, authorizing war with the South (May 1959)

Part XIII. Second Indochina War 1959-1975 (America's "Vietnam War") Chapter 66. Conflicts between Washington and Saigon 66.1. Core issues - John Kennedy and William Averell Harriman 66.2. Kennedy's youth and inexperience 66.3. Two peoples, quite apart in culture, thrown together against a common enemy 66.4. Ngo Dinh Diem and South Vietnam's imperfect democracy 66.5. America's conflicting values and policies 66.6. America's conflicting policies in Vietnam under Eisenhower 66.7. Kennedy's disastrous international agreement on Laos 66.8. The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba (April, 1961) Chapter 67. Conflicting counterinsurgency (COIN) strategies 67.1. Summary of conflicting counterinsurgency (COIN) strategies 67.2. Counterinsurgency (COIN) military doctrine 67.3. Clear-hold-build counterinsurgency framework Chapter 68. Antecedents of Vietnam's Strategic Hamlet program 68.1. Description of the resettlement strategy for COIN operations 68.2. Boer War (1899-1902) resettlement operations for counterinsurgency 68.3. The Malayan Emergency (1948-55) counterinsurgency (COIN) program Chapter 69. Vietnam's Strategic Hamlet counterinsurgency (COIN) program 69.1. Mixed success of strategic hamlet program Chapter 70. Military coup and assassination of Ngo Dinh Diem 70.1. Eruption of Buddhist-Catholic conflict (summer 1963) 70.2. Rise of antiwar activism and assassination of Diem (1963) 70.3. Summary: Kennedy's two acts of sabotage of the Vietnam War effort 70.4. Sabotage of the Strategic Hamlet program by Hanoi Chapter 71. Why did the Strategic Hamlets program fail? 71.1. Ethnic and linguistic purity in Malaya and Vietnam 71.2. Ethnic and linguistic purity in Boer War 71.3. Counterinsurgency operations in Iraq War and Afghanistan War 71.4. Ethnic and linguistic purity issue in Afghanistan Chapter 72. Lyndon Johnson's war (1964-1967) 72.1. Battle of Ia Drang (November 14-18, 1965) 72.2. Chaos in Saigon -- Buddhists vs Catholics 72.3. Was the war already lost in 1964? 72.4. Lyndon Johnson's 'limited war' escalation 72.5. Tet Offensive, January 1968 72.6. The My Lai Massacre (March 16, 1968) 72.7. Korean soldiers in Vietnam war Chapter 73. Nguyen Van Thieu and the Second Republic of Vietnam (1967-1975) 73.1. Creation of the Second Republic (1967) 73.2. American policy mistakes in Vietnam 73.3. Problems facing Richard Nixon 73.4. Nixon's 'Vietnamization' policy 73.5. The Cambodia incursion 73.6. The Paris Peace Agreement - October 1972 73.7. The collapse of South Vietnam 73.8. Le Duan's victory speech (May 15, 1975)

Part XIV. Vietnam - Cambodia - China war (Third Indochina War, 1975-1989) Chapter 74. Overview of the so-called 'Vietnam War' Chapter 75. Richard Nixon's 'decent interval' policy Chapter 76. North Vietnamese post-war massacres and boat people (1975-85) Chapter 77. Pol Pot and the Cambodian 'Killing Fields' by the Khmer Rouge 77.1. Rise of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia 77.2. Pol Pot's Killing Fields -- one of the worst genocides of the 20th century 77.3. War between Vietnamese and Khmer Rouge (supported by the Chinese Communists) 77.4. Cambodia invades Vietnam (1977) 77.5. Hanoi attacks the Chinese population in Vietnam (1978) 77.6. Collapse of Vietnam's economy (1978) 77.7. History of China and Russia wars and border conflicts 77.8. Vietnam invades Cambodia 77.9. China invades Vietnam (1979-89) 77.10. Le Duan dies and Vietnam opens its markets - Doi Moi (1986)

Part XV. References lists Chapter 78. Reference list of names for Vietnam Chapter 79. Reference list of Vietnam's dynasties Chapter 80. Reference list of 54 Vietnamese Ethnic Groups 80.1. Eight categories of Vietnamese ethnic groups 80.2. Alphabetical list of Vietnam's 54 ethnic groups Chapter 81. Reference list of China's dynasties

Part XVI. Histories of Vietnam's neighbors Chapter 82. History of Philippines 82.1. China's history with the Philippines 82.2. Ancient history of the Philippines 82.3. Philippines Spanish colonial period (1521-1898) 82.4. Philippines under American control (1898-1946) and Japanese occupation (1941-45) 82.5. Modern generational history of the Philippines republic Chapter 83. Brief generational history of Cambodia Chapter 84. Brief generational history of Thailand Chapter 85. Brief generational history of Myanmar (Burma)

Part XVII. The End Chapter 86. About John J. Xenakis 86.1. Acknowledgments

Part XVIII. Footnotes / References

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (23-Mar-2021) Permanent Link
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16-Mar-21 World View -- After ten years, Qatar seeks to become Syria war mediator

Syrian war timeline

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

After ten years, Qatar seeks to become Syria war mediator


Map of Syria showing areas of control, as of February 2021 (BBC)
Map of Syria showing areas of control, as of February 2021 (BBC)

On Thursday of last week, a three-way conference was held in Doha, Qatar's capital, to lay the groundwork for a political solution to war in Syria that began in 2011. Qatar has suffered some foreign policy defeats in recent years, and is looking for a new role to play, and apparently sees this as a way of gaining increased influence in the Mideast.

The conference was attended by ministers form Qatar, Russia and Turkey. They were Qatar's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

According to Cavusoglu: "Today we launched a new trilateral consultation process. Our goal is to discuss how we can contribute to efforts towards a lasting political solution in Syria."

This is laughable. The United Nations has appointed several envoys -- Kofi Annon, Lakhdar Brahimi, Staffan de Mistura -- to mediate a political solution, and in the end they all resigned in disgust after being made useful idiots by Bashar al-Assad. In neach case they provided cover for al-Assad to continue his war crimes and genocide targeting innocent Arab Sunnis, and also provided cover for al-Assad's supporters in Russia and Iran, allowing them to make sanctimonious statements while they support al-Assad's bloody slaughter. The UN has recently appointed a new envoy, Geir Pedersen, who sounds to me like all the others, and speaks the same nonsense.

All of these envoys say the same thing: "A military solution is impossible. There has to be a political solution." The problem is that Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have joined together, and have brought about a military holocaust in Syria. Bashar al-Assad believes that he is close to a total victory, and will never agree to any political solution.

So now Qatar wants to take on the role of mediator. Qatar is a little different from the envoys because it openly supports tne anti-Assad Arab political opposition, while the UN envoys are supposedly neutral. But Qatari officials apparently believe that they can use their existing relationship with Russia to bring something about.

Russia's Vladimir Putin, of course, doesn't care how many Sunni Arabs Bashar al-Assad beats, tortures, rapes or kills. Russia is supporting al-Assad because it wants to retain control of its two military bases in Syria, the Tartus naval base and the Hmeimim airbase. When al-Assad begged Putin for military help in 2015, Putin agreed to help, and received control of the two military bases in return.

Ten years of war have turned an affluent Syria into a country in ruins

Ten years ago, Syria used to be a beautiful, affluent middle-class country. Today, the entire country looks like a war zone, with buildings destroyed everywhere, particularly schools, hospitals and markets.

Of the 22 million people that lived in Syria before the war, about half a million have been killed, and more than 12 million people have been forced to flee their homes, either becoming refugees or displaced people in their own country.

Today, Syria is an economic basket case, with massive poverty among people who still live there, and among Syrians who live in refugee camps in Lebanon and Turkey.

The Syrian currency, the Lira, has crashed. $10 used to give you 500 Syrian Lira. Now $10 is 40,000 Syrian Lira. Money-changers need carts to carry their currency, in a scene reminiscent of the wheelbarrows of money in Germany in the hyperinflation of the early 1920s.

Post-war discontent with corruption, spiralling food prices, a collapsed currency, worsening power cuts and gasoline shortages have aggravated hardships for the remaining citizens.

The remaining battleground in Idlib province

The war in Syria has become more or less static in the last year. There are about 2.5 million Sunni Arabs in Idlib province, which is in northwest Syria along the border with Turkey, and I had expected that Syria's dictator Bashar al-Assad, backed by Russia, would by this time have found a way to exterminate many of the 2.5 million people, who are mostly women and children. But Turkey has sent its own troops and tanks into Idlib, and al-Assad's extermination process has been slowed.

Al-Assad himself has been shown by defectors to be someone who gets obvious pleasure from gouging out people's eyes or pulling out their fingernails, or other forms of torture. (See "8-Feb-17 World View -- Investigation reveals depraved new atrocities by Syria's Bashar al-Assad")

Most of the civilians in Idlib are women and children refugees from other provinces, including Aleppo, Ghouta, Daraa and Quneitra. In each of the other provinces, al-Assad sent missiles into school dormitories to kill children, or dropped barrel bombs laden with metal, chlorine, ammonia, phosphorous and chemical weapons on civilian neighborhoods, or using Sarin gas to kill large groups of people. Al-Assad's barrel bombs, missiles and chemical weapons have specifically targeted schools, markets and hospitals, in order to kill as many women and children as possible, Since chlorine gas is heavier than air, it seeps down into the basements and forces the choking women and children out into the open, where they can be targeted by missiles and gunfire. As if that wasn't enough, al-Assad was supported by Russian warplanes.

In each case, international pressure forced al-Assad to allow hundreds of thousands of civilians, mostly women and children, to escape to Idlib province. The result is that about half the population in Idlib is refugees from other provinces.

Bashar al-Assad repeatedly vowed to attack Idlib next, with Russian support, and to exterminate all the Sunni Arab civilians. This threat actually presented a huge threat to Turkey and even to Europe, as those attacks would drive millions of refugees across the border into Turkey, and possibly into Europe from there.

To block this, Turkey sent its own troops into Idlib, so that an attack on Idlib would be an attack on Turkey. This has prevented the expected extermination of Sunni Arabs in Idlib. But it has also raised pressure on Turkey to end its "occupation" of Syrian territory.

Qatar's strategy in offering to mediate the Syrian war

From the outbreak of the Syrian conflict, Qatar, provided huge financial, political and media support for opposition groups, especially armed ones. However, this aid stopped in 2015 when Russia intervened.

Qatar has for years had sharp differences with the other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In March 2014, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain recalled their ambassadors from Qatar after a stormy meeting. One issue was Qatar's friendly relationship with Iran, as well as Qatari support for two organizations that Saudi Arabia and UAE consider to be terrorist organizations -- the Muslim Brotherhood and the Union of Muslim Scholars.

They papered over their differences in 2014, but the differences exploded in June 2016, when Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also broke relations and imposed a sea, air and land blockade on Qatar. Qatar is a very wealthy country and was able to weather this blockade, but it lost influence in the Mideast.

There has been some softening of the blockade in recent months. That change, combined with the presence of a new administration in the United States, has led Qatar to change direction and reactivate its diplomatic posture.

Having ended its aid to Syrian opposition groups in 2015, Qatar is now returning to mediation in the Syria war, taking advantage of what it hopes are its existing good relations with Russia and Iran.

Syrian war timeline

The following timeline lists the major events in the ten-year Syrian war?

Sources:

Related Articles:

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6-Mar-21 World View -- Violence escalates dangerously in Myanmar / Burma

Consequences of a new Burma civil war

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Violence escalates dangerously in Myanmar / Burma


Protesters set up a street blockade in Mandalay, Myanmar (AP)
Protesters set up a street blockade in Mandalay, Myanmar (AP)

Last Sunday (February 28) was a major turning point in the violence in Myanmar / Burma, when the army security forces began using lethal force and adopted a shoot-to-kill policy, killing peaceful protesters for the first time. The protests were the largest that Myanmar has seen since 2007. They began when the iconic leader Aung San Suu Kyi was arrested on Jan 28, along with her government ministers. (See "2-Feb-21 World View -- Myanmar (Burma) military coup as army arrests Aung San Suu Kyi government officials")

Up till last Sunday, the army had been using non-lethal tactics, including tear gas and rubber bullets. But on Sunday they began using live ammunition, and the level of violence has been increasing every day since then. Dozens of protesters have been killed so far, and thousands have been arrested, including 29 journalists.

Several analysts have said that the army is purposely increasing the level of violence each day in order to break the back of the protests. This tactic worked in 2007. Hundreds of activists and citizens were shot dead or burned alive in government crematoriums. Thousands of Buddhist monks, who led the protests to begin with, were gathered up and detained. Some were found floating face down in rivers. The protests finally fizzled when the violence became lethal enough.

However, there's a big difference in public mood between now and 2007. Unlike then, the country today is in a generational Crisis era, and so, unlike then, the mood of both the army and the protesters is not to compromise. This means that it's unlikely the violence will fizzle, and more likely that it will continue to escalate. The next step for the army would be machine guns and assault rifles.

The fact that young, innocent people are being killed is infuriating the protesters. There have been complaints of cruelty, even sadism, by the security forces. There have been brutal attacks on innocent medics, and all hospitals are closed in many cities.

The increase in lethal violence so far has not deterred the protesters who remain defiant and, if anything, have been growing in numbers. The protesters are wearing whatever protective equipment they can find, like makeshift shields. Some are using satellite dishes as shields, or are wearing helmets. They've tasted freedom in the last few years, and they cannot tolerate a new dictatorship by military junta.

Protesters are heavily using their mobile phones to publicize the violence. Although it's dangerous to do so, they're filming the violence and then loading the video onto twitter or live streaming it onto facebook.

Probably the military junta has been most hurt by civil disobedience and the national strikes by the banks, and even in the civil service, by workers in health, education, labor, and immigration.

The army has used videos on Tiktok to threaten the protesters. A typical video shows a soldier pointing a big gun at the camera and saying that protesters will be shot dead. Tiktok claims that it has removed most of those videos.

International community calls for sanctions to end the violence

The UN Security Council met on Friday and, not surprisingly, accomplished nothing. Any condemnation of the violence in Myanmar will be vetoed by China and Russia, rather than risk having violence in their own countries be condemned.

The US and UK are planning their own sanctions. There are planned sanctions targeting the assets of the members of the military council and imposing travel restrictions, as well as an arms embargo.

There is no chance that these sanctions will stop the military junta.

Ethnic Burmans vs the other ethnic groups

Both BBC and al-Jazeera have been interviewing people in Myanmar, and they're describing a different situation than is portrayed by the so-called "international community," as represented by the UN and NGOs.

The international community has provided verbal condemnation that the violence is unacceptable and must stop immediately, that peaceful protests much be permitted, and that Aung San Suu Kyi must be released from jail and returned as leader of the government. And if the violence doesn't stop, the international community is threatening even worse verbal condemnations, and possibly even to hold more meetings.

However, some reports have pointed out that although the Burmese mobs support that solution, the ethnic minorities in Myanmar are opposed to it. This opposition point of view was discussed at length by Khin Zaw Win, a Burmese anti-government activist and journalist who was imprisoned by the army from 1994-2005 for "seditious writings," and who was interviewed on the BBC.

According to Khin, the ethnic minorities are opposed to Aung San Suu Kyi because she was part of the government that discriminated against minorities. Furthermore, she damaged herself deeply by becoming a useful idiot and siding with the army when the army was conducting genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingyas in Rakhine State, even going so far as traveling to the Hague in December 2019 to defend the Burmese army against charges of war crimes. It is an irony that the army that she defended turned around and threw her under the bus, arresting her and her entire government when she was no longer useful to the army.

The Burmese majority and the ethnic minorities have been temporarily united by the military coup and the resulting violence against peaceful street protesters. However, they do not share a common objective. What the ethnic minorities want is a new constitution, with greater political autonomy and greater rights for ethnic minorities. And nobody believes that solution is even remotely possible.

Generational analysis of crisis in Myanmar / Burma

Burma's last two generational crisis wars (1886-91 and 1948-58) were extremely bloody and violent civil wars involving multiple ethnic groups. (See "Burma: Growing demonstrations by the '88 Generation' raise fears of new slaughter")

The October 2007 demonstrations occurred 49 years after the climax of the last crisis war, during a generational Unraveling era. At that time, there were many people in the army who had lived through the 1958 slaughter, and stopped short of trying to repeat it. Similarly, the young people who protested in 2007 had parents who had lived through the 1958 slaughter, and who held back their children from going too far in risking their lives.

But since 2016, Burma has been in a generational Crisis era. The people who had lived through the 1958 slaughter are gone or retired, and have lost their influence. The younger generation of protesters have no memory of the 1958 slaughter, and do not fear what's coming.

The current generation of people in the army also have no memory of the 1958 slaughter. What they remember is the 2007 protests, and they remember that those protests fizzled when the army began escalating the violence.

The current protesters also remember the 2007 protests, and they remember how the protesters at that time simply surrendered when they didn't have to.

This is how a generational Crisis era is different from a generational Unraveling era. Today, the army has no inhibitions against escalating its violence, and the protesters have no inhibitions against continuing to protest, even if some of them get killed. That makes it unlikely that the current situation will simply fizzle.

The situation is further complicated by the ethnic minorities. The 1948-1958 crisis war was a civil war involving all the ethnic groups, especially the Burmese, the Kachin and the Shan. The latter three groups are currently aligned in their opposition to the army, but what we are seeing are the first signs of a massive new ethnic civil war.

Consequences of a new Burma civil war

According to the Generational Dynamics analysis, the current clashes are fairly likely to escalate into a full scale civil war, although that is not a certainty. However, the current situation is so febrile that even if some temporary truce is worked out -- and this would have to include freeing Aung San Suu Kyi and her government -- then the violence will resume again before long.

Arguably, the civil war already began in 2012, when the army began its genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Muslim Rohingyas. The army referred to the Rohingyas as "enemies of the state," but now the ordinary Burmese people have also become "enemies of the state."

If the violence escalates into a full-scale civil war, it could affect the entire region. There are now almost a million Rohingyas living in filthy refugee camps just across the border in Bangladesh, and they're looking for revenge. If there is a general breakdown in law and order in Myanmar, then those Rohingya refugees may well cross back into Myanmar and join the fighting. This could also bring Bangladesh itself into the fighting.

The separatist Kachin Independence Army (KIA) has joined together with the Shan ethnic group and other ethnic groups in northern Burma, along the border with China, to form a "northern alliance" against Burma's army. These groups have had occasional clashes with China's army along the border inside China, and those clashes would probably escalate if there is a civil war in Burma. In fact, China was heavily involved in the crisis war that climaxed in 1958, and history will certainly repeat itself, with China heavily involved in a new civil war in Burma.

As long-time readers are aware, Generational Dynamics predicts a new world war between the US and China, but does not predict the scenario that will lead to that war. We've speculated that it may begin with a Chinese invasion of Taiwan or Japan, or it may begin with a war between India and Pakistan, or it may begin in the Mideast and spread from there.

But here we see another possibility. If a massive civil war occurs in Burma, and it spreads to involve China and Bangladesh, then it may spread further to other countries in Central Asia, bringing in India and Russia.

And so, Dear Reader, keep your eye on Myanmar / Burma. Even if you're totally addicted to watching the political sewer in Washington, try to avert you eyes every once in a while, if only for a few moments, to see something that may affect the lives of you and your family more than the latest lockdown.

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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19-Feb-21 World View -- Afghanistan prepares for war, as Nato postpones military withdrawal decision

Book on history of Vietnam nearing publication

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Afghanistan prepares for war, as Nato postpones military withdrawal decision


Feb 29 2020 signing ceremony for US-Taliban peace agreement (Tolo News)
Feb 29 2020 signing ceremony for US-Taliban peace agreement (Tolo News)

On Thursday, Nato defense ministers met in Brussels and decided to postpone the planned withdrawal of Nato troops, previously scheduled for May 1. The Taliban have threatened that unless the troops are withdrawn, then there will be a major escalation in the Taliban's spring fighting season, and indeed the violence is already increasing.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban are poised to return to power in Afghanistan, either through negotiations or through a renewed civil war, after they had been removed from power by the United States in 2001, after the 9/11 attacks.

In 2009 I wrote, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis summarized below, that peace was impossible in Afghanistan, no matter how many troops the US and Nato sent there, which means that the Taliban would return to power if American troops withdrew. That prediction is being proven true once again, and we now appear close to a historic dénouement.

In February 2020, the Donald Trump administration reached a delusional agreement with the Taliban to bring a new era of peace to Afghanistan. America and Nato would remove all its troops by May of this year and, in return, the Taliban would stop funding al-Qaeda and would sever all its ties to al-Qaeda. The Taliban didn't promise to stop violence altogether, but did promise to "tone down" the violence.

As part of the agreement, peace talks took place between America and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar. These peace talks were also completely delusional. The Afghan government weren't in the talks. And NATO, which also has troops in Afghanistan, weren't in the talks. In fact, the entire "peace process" has always been delusional.

Trump removed all but 2,500 troops from Afghanistan, and had every intention of removing all troops by May 1, but Joe Biden has promised to review that decision. But what happens now is now a Brussels decision rather than a Washington decision.

Nato postpones decision to withdraw forces from Afghanistan

Nato still has 10,000 troops in Afghanistan, and they were scheduled to leave by May 1 as well. It's clear that's not happening, simply from the fact that they haven't yet "started packing."

BBC's Lyse Doucet interviewed Nato's Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday. Parts of what he said were hopeful but delusional, but in other parts he conceded that the hopeful parts were not going to happen.

The Taliban are claiming that they've met their commitments to reduce violence and end ties with international terrorists. However, violence has been increasing, not decreasing. Furthermore, a UN panel headed by Edmund Fitton-Brown has found that "There is still clearly a close relationship between Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We believe that the top leadership of Al Qaeda is still under Taliban protection."

The Taliban are promising a major escalation of violence unless the US and Nato troops withdraw by May 1. Since it's clear that the troops will not withdraw by May 1, it's clear that a major escalation in fighting will begin in the new spring fighting season.

Here is what Stoltenberg said in the interview (my transcription):

"So we really believe that this not the time to make a final decision, because we'd like to give every chance to the peace process, the peace talks, to succeed.

Those talks are fragile and difficult, there is no easy option in Afghanistan, but there is still a possibility to reach a lasting political agreement, and all parties should engage in those talks, and the Taliban must reduce violence and must negotiate in good faith, and they must stop cooperating with the international terrorists.

And by doing that, they will also provide the platform to find a political solution.

[Question: So you may be in Afghanistan for many years to come?]

Absolutely, as I said, there are no easy options in Afghanistan, and we face many difficult dilemmas. If we decide to stay beyond May 1, then we risk more violence against our troops, and of course we risk continued long-term involvement in a very difficult operation in Afghanistan. But if we leave, we risk that Afghanistan once again becomes a safe haven for international terrorists, planning attacks against our own countries as we saw on 9/11 and also losing all the gains we made on human rights, especially for women over last years.

So this is difficult. That's the reason at this stage why we believe this is not the right time to make a final decision on whether we leave or stay, but continue to support the efforts to re-energize the peace talks.

[Question: The Taliban say they have kept their commitments. Do you believe you have solid evidence that they have not cut there ties with al-Qaeda, that there is still a risk that Afghanistan could once again be a safe haven to launch attacks against Europe and the United States?]

What we have seen is an increase in violence, not a decrease in violence. We have seen that the peace talks are almost stopped, there is hardly any progress at all.

And the Taliban has to do more and they have to live up to their commitments especially related to counterterrorism, break ties with terrorist groups."

According to Doucet, this is so far the worst Taliban fighting season ever, and it will get worse when the snow melts. In fact there's been so little snow this winter, the doctors in the National Police Hospital said that they had never seen so many casualties from so many provinces at this time of year.

So the delusional parts of Stoltenberg's interview are when he says, "we'd like to give every chance to the peace process, the peace talks, to succeed." That's delusional because there is zero probability that the peace talks will succeed, since the Taliban are committed to them not succeeding, and are using the peace talks as a ploy to get the Nato forces to withdraw, so that the Taliban can overrun Kabul and resume the control they had before they were ejected by American forces after 9/11/2001.

According to a European diplomat: "This war is not winnable, but Nato cannot allow itself to lose it pitifully." That's the choice facing Nato right now.

And so the war will go on and be substantially escalated again when the Taliban's spring fighting season begins in earnest.

Why the Afghan peace agreement must fail

I've written many times that, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis, there is no possibility whatsoever of a successful peace agreement. I started writing about this in 2009, when I predicted that Barack Obama's "surge" into Afghanistan would fail. That prediction has been 100% correct so far.

The following is a summary of the Generational Dynamics analysis:

Afghanistan's last generational crisis war was an extremely bloody, horrific civil war, in 1991-96. The war was a civil war, fought between the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan versus the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban are radicalized Pashtuns, and when they need to import foreign fighters, then can import their cousins from the Pashtun tribes in Pakistan.

Indeed, it's much worse than that. The ethnic groups in Afghanistan are COMPLETELY NON-UNITED and loathe each other. Pashtuns still have scores to settle with the Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks that formed the Northern Alliance, especially the Shias. These opposing groups have fresh memories of the atrocities, torture, rape, beatings, dismemberments, mutilations, and so forth that the other side performed on their friends, wives and other family members, and they have no desire to be friends or to work together. They'd rather kill each other.

So when Jens Stoltenberg says that Nato wants to give the peace process a chance, he knows that statement is delusional, and the only relevant statement is the one by the unnamed European diplomat: "This war is not winnable, but Nato cannot allow itself to lose it pitifully."

Book on history of Vietnam nearing publication

As regular readers know, I have been writing a book on the history of Vietnam, to complement my previous books on the histories of Iran and China. The book is nearing publication, and I now expect it to be published on Amazon in March.

Here are the front and back book covers:


Front and back covers of forthcoming book on history of Vietnam
Front and back covers of forthcoming book on history of Vietnam

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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, https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Supremacy-Obsession-Generational/dp/1732738610/

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, https://www.amazon.com/Generational-Dynamics-Anniversary-Forecasting-Americas/dp/1732738629/

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(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the Generational Dynamics World View News thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (19-Feb-2021) Permanent Link
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8-Feb-21 World View -- Violence feared in Myanmar/Burma as pro-democracy protests grow

Similarity between Burma and Washington DC

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Violence feared in Myanmar/Burma as pro-democracy protests grow


Thousands of protesters in Yangon on Sunday carrying placards with image of Aung San Suu Kyi (BBC)
Thousands of protesters in Yangon on Sunday carrying placards with image of Aung San Suu Kyi (BBC)

Myanmar / Burma is seeing its largest protests in more than a decade, as tens of thousands of protesters demanded that Aung San Suu Kyi be freed, after she was arrested by the army last weekend during an army coup. (See "2-Feb-21 World View -- Myanmar (Burma) military coup as army arrests Aung San Suu Kyi government officials")

The "problem" that the army has to face is that Suu Kyi has millions of supporters, as her party won legislative elections by a landslide in November.

To combat the peaceful protests, the army shut down the internet. The army shut down internet social media, and then the entire internet, making it difficult for international observers to know what was going on, and to prevent protesters from easily communicating with one another. However, on Saturday, the internet was partially restored, though social media is still blocked.

History of violence and atrocities in Burma

What everyone fears is the next tactic -- violence.

In October 2007, there were large nationwide anti-army pro-democracy demonstrations, led by over 100,000 Buddhist monks. These were demonstrations by the "88 Generation," triggered by an abrupt government decision to double the price of gasoline. ( "Burma: Growing demonstrations by the '88 Generation' raise fears of new slaughter")

Hundreds of activists and citizens were shot dead or burned alive in government crematoriums. Thousands of Buddhist monks, who led the protests to begin with, were gathered up and detained. Some were found floating face down in rivers.

By coincidence, Sylvester Stallone was filming a Rambo film nearby, and witnessed some of the genocide. Stallone said:

"I witnessed the aftermath—survivors with legs cut off and all kinds of land mine injuries, maggot-infested wounds and ears cut off. We saw many elephants with blown off legs. We hear about Vietnam and Cambodia and this was more horrific. This is a hellhole beyond your wildest dreams. All the trails are mined. The only way into Burma is up the river."

The October 2007 demonstrations occurred 19 years after the previous major nationwide demonstrations, starting on August 8, 1988 (8/8/88), creating what was called the "88 Generation," led by Aung San Suu Kyi. Those demonstrations were crushed when the Burmese army fired on students with machine guns, killing thousands. Suu Kyi was arrested and put into detention for years.

Atrocities come easily to Burma's army. Since 2011, the army has been committing atrocities on Muslim ethnic Rohingyas living in Rakhine State, as I described in last week's article. The atrocities included gang rape, violent torture, execution-style killings and the razing of entire villages, in a scorched earth campaign. Aung Sang Suu Kyi became a "useful idiot" for the army by presenting a sympathetic, tired, weary, female face to the world to deflect the horrors and atrocities that are occurring in their country, as I described in my article.

Suu Kyi appeased the army by becoming a useful idiot, just as Neville Chamberlain appeased Hitler and the Nazis. In both cases there were high prices to be paid for being appeasers.

The international community is now waiting to see what will happen next in Burma. Anti-government pro-democracy protests have been growing. How long will the army wait before repeating the violence and atrocities that come as easily to them as smoking a cigarette?

Similarity between Burma and Washington DC


Nancy Pelosi has requested thousands of troops in Washington DC, armed with crew-manned machine guns like the one shown above
Nancy Pelosi has requested thousands of troops in Washington DC, armed with crew-manned machine guns like the one shown above

The problems facing the Democrats in Washington DC are similar to the problems facing the army in Burma.

The Burmese army has to deal with millions of Aung Sang Suu Kyi supporters conducting street protests. They've arrested Suu Kyi so that she can't communicate with her supporters, and they've shut down internet social media so that her supporters can't communicate with one another.

The Democrats have to deal with 74 million Trump supporters who, according to polls I've seen, overwhelmingly support Trump. The wealthy, powerful "Big Tech" companies have colluded with the Democrats to shut down thousands of social media accounts to prevent Trump from communicating with his supporters, and to prevent his supporters from communicating with each other. This kind of mass censorship is previously unheard of in America, and suggests that America is becoming a Stalinist dictatorship.

The Democrats are taking other steps. Joe Biden announced last week that hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens will be permitted to enter the United States freely. The apparent purpose is to send them mail-in ballots in 2022 and instruct them to vote for Democrats.

What about violence? The Burmese army is on the verge of violence as the only way to handle even peaceful demonstrations by the millions of supporters of Suu Kiy.

Would the Democrats use violence to control peaceful demonstrations by the 74 million Trump supporters?

Let's make it a little more specific. Look at the first picture at the beginning of this article with a mob of peaceful demonstrators carrying placards with pictures Aung Sang Suu Kyi. Now imagine that as a crowd of Trump supporters carrying placards with pictures of Trump, with text reading "Trump - The Real President."

Something like that could actually happen. What would the Democrats do? Would Nancy Pelosi totally freak out? On January 20, the acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli said that Nancy Pelosi had requested thousands of troops to remain in DC for months, and she wanted them armed with crew-manned machine guns. These are the guns used in countries like Burma to kill dozens of student protesters within seconds. The request was denied, but this request shows the state of mind of Pelosi and the Democrats.

We also note that Biden is ordering the army to "stand down" so that "extremists" can be weeded out. To the Democrats, all 74 million Tea Partiers and Trump supporters are extremists or cultists that need to be "deprogrammed."

The state of the world.

If you're talking about psychology and madness, it's hard to find any aspect of today's world that isn't full of madness.

You have full-scale genocide going on in China, as bad as the world has seen since the 1930s, or worse. China is also annexing or threatening to annex other regions, as the Nazis did in the 1930s.

There are huge refugee flows around the world. The number of displaced persons has surged astronomically since 2010.

America is being governed by "big tech" companies, and America is moving in the direction of a Stalinist dictatorship.

Stock prices are at astronomically high valuations, and global debt is unsustainable in the hundreds of trillions.

I find the madness of today's world personally overwhelming. To say that it's a world that is senseless to me is an understatement. I can understand how King Solomon saw a world of madness and folly and chaos.

Generational Dynamics is less about predictions than it is about trends. And the madness and folly and chaos trends are growing worse every day. These are the trends, and the trends are unstoppable. Every aspect of today's world is worse than yesterday's world. The only good news is that today's world is better than tomorrow's world.

If something can't go on forever, then it won't.

People talk about how to prevent World War III. But Generational Dynamics sees a world that needs World War III. Each day's delay means that World War III will be even worse.

Infographic: Refugee flows around the world


Infographic: Refugee flows around the world surging since 2010 (UNHCR)
Infographic: Refugee flows around the world surging since 2010 (UNHCR)

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2-Feb-21 World View -- Myanmar (Burma) military coup as army arrests Aung San Suu Kyi government officials

China may intervene in Myanmar

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Myanmar (Burma) military coup as army arrests Aung San Suu Kyi government officials


Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in happier days, before she turned into Hitler
Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi in happier days, before she turned into Hitler

The military in Myanmar (Burma) on Sunday arrested the country's nominal leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, and about 45 other government officials, in a military coup. Army chief Min Aung Hlaing declared a state of emergency, and claims that the state of emergency will last a year, and then there will be new elections.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) party won a landslide victory two months ago in November's parliamentary elections, with 80% of the seats. The army's political party suffered a huge defeat, and risked losing a great deal of power when the new parliament was seated, which was scheduled for today (Monday).

In 2010, the army released Suu Kyi from detention after 21 years. She had been under detention since the 1988 student protests, in which she participated. During her time in detention, she won a Nobel Peace Prize.

She went into politics and became country leader under the condition that she "share power" with the army. There have been numerous disagreements between the two, but apparently there was always one area of agreement: Aung Sang Suu Kyi and the army and the Buddhist monks, led by monk Ashin Wirathu, committed massive genocide, atrocities and ethnic cleansing on ethnic Rohingya Muslims. Suu Kyi still retains her Nobel Peace Prize anyway.

On Monday, the NLD issued a statement that had been written by Suu Kyi in advance, in anticipation of the coup. In the statement, Suu Kyi called on the country’s 55 million people to oppose a return to “military dictatorship.” The implication is that she is asking her supporters to protest and riot.

How Aung Sang Suu Kyi became a useful idiot


Cox's Bazar refugee camp for Rohingyas in Bangladesh, fleeing from Burma (al-Jazeera)
Cox's Bazar refugee camp for Rohingyas in Bangladesh, fleeing from Burma (al-Jazeera)

Army general Min Aung Hlaing, the leader of the coup, became head of the army in 2011. That was the same year that Burma's security forces began committing atrocities on Muslim ethnic Rohingyas living in Rakhine State. The atrocities were supported by Buddhist monks, led by Buddhist Monk Ashin Wirathu. The United Nations described it as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing." The atrocities included gang rape, violent torture, execution-style killings and the razing of entire villages, in a scorched earth campaign. Aung Sang Suu Kyi told reporters nothing had happened.

In 2013, a mob of Buddhists attacked a Rohingya village, hacking 20 boys to death, and reduced an entire established community of 12,000 Muslims, including homes, shops and mosques, to ashes and rubble. Aung Sang Suu Kyi told reporters nothing had happened.

A massive period of full-scale genocide and ethnic cleansing began in August 2017. Tens of thousands were killed, and 730,000 refugees were forced across the border into Bangladesh, where they're still living in the crowded, filthy Cox's Bazar refugee camp.

In 2019, the International Court of Justice in the Hague held a trial on Burma's genocide, and Aung Sang Suu Kyi came and defended the army, saying that nothing had happened.

So Aung Sang Suu Kyi is just a useful idiot, becoming a war criminal herself and serving the needs of the Burmese army war criminal, by presenting a sympathetic, tired, weary, female face to the world to deflect the horrors and atrocities that are occurring in their country.

These atrocities have been going on since 2011, but almost nobody cared, or even cares much now, because of Aung Sang Suu Kyi's tired, weary, female face, reciting the words of her puppetmaster Min Aung Hlaing. Most Burmese people are well aware of the genocide and ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas. But they aren't bothered by it. They love it. "Go on!" you might imagine millions of Burmese saying in unison. "Torture the Rohingyas some more! Rape them some more! Slit their throats, so that their impure blood waters the furrows of our farmland!"

The Burmese hatred of the Rohingyas is not rare. That kind of ethnic hatred is common in several countries today and recently. It's the rule. It's the Chinese hatred of Uighurs. It's the Zimbabwe Shona hatred of the Nbdele. It's the Syrian Alawite hatred of Arab Sunnis. It's the Rwandan Hutu hatred of Tutsis. It's the Nazi hatred of Jews. In America today, it's the Democrats' hatred of the 74 million Tea Partiers and Trump supporters, as I described at length in "12-Jan-21 World View -- America and the standard Genocide Playbook".

Aung Sang Suu Kyi sold herself, her self-respect, and her soul out to become a useful idiot for the Burmese army war criminals. As often happens by groups united only by hatred and criminality, the army and Aung Sang Suu Kyi have now become enemies. The army has arrested Aung Sang Suu Kyi and dozens of people in her government, but the army just lost an election in a landslide, and they can't arrest the millions of people who supported her. (This is also a lesson for America.)

Aung Sang Suu Kyi has called on her millions of supporters to oppose the coup with protests. This could easily unravel into full-scale riots. However, the Burmese security forces were extremely violent for years against the Rohingyas, and they won't hesitate to be equally violent against their own people. They can also count on support from the Chinese Communists, who conduct their own violence against Uighurs, Tibetans, Buddhists, Christians, and anyone who disagrees with them.

China may intervene in Myanmar

Myanmar and China share a common border, and they have a great deal in common, especially since both are committing genocide and ethnic cleansing of Muslims, of Rohingyas and Uighurs, respectively. That must give them a lot to talk about, to discuss the best methods for torture and enslavement. Indeed, in a meeting last month with Min Aung Hlaing, China's foreign minister Wang Yi called the two countries “brothers” while praising the military’s “national revitalization.” Myanmar has promised to "continue to support China's position on issues related to Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang." They also support each other in the United Nations, when they're accused of crimes against humanity. It takes one to know one.

China is heavily involved in building Myanmar's infrastructure, including a joint construction project to build the China-Myanmar Economic Corridor (CMEC), which is part of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The CMEC focuses on 12 areas including basic infrastructure, construction, manufacturing, agriculture, transport, finance, human resource development and telecommunications.

China is also practicing "vaccine diplomacy," by promising to provide 300,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines to Myanmar.

However, China and Burma have also had strong disagreements over separatist ethnic groups. In August 2009, there was violent fighting between Burma's army and rebels from the Kokang ethnic group. This angered the Chinese because the Kokang are a Han Chinese minority, and got China's army involved briefly.

The Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and Shan state

The wild card in this situation is the separatist Kachin Independence Army (KIA), which is demanding a separate state for the Kachin ethnic group. They've joined together with the Shan ethnic group and other ethnic groups in northern Burma, along the border with China, to form a "northern alliance" against Burma's army. In northern Shan state, intense fighting has occurred since January 2018 and intensified since December 2020. There are an estimated 7 ethnic armed organizations, 20 militia groups, and 7 Border Guard Forces (BGFs) actively engaged in an armed independence movement against the Myanmar government.

Burma's last two generational crisis wars (1886-91 and 1948-58) were extremely bloody and violent civil wars involving multiple ethnic groups. (See "Burma: Growing demonstrations by the '88 Generation' raise fears of new slaughter")

62 years have passed since the climax of the last generational crisis war, so Burma is ripe for cycling around and having a new violent ethnic civil war. China was heavily involved in the 1950s crisis war, and they would be involved in a new Myanmar civil war, possibly destabilizing the entire region.

Pretty much everyone is shocked that the army engineered this coup at this time. Analysts are puzzled by why the army took this step right now, since they pretty much control everything anyway, even with Aung San Suu Kyi as the nominal leader.

So the following is speculation: Perhaps the Burmese army has intelligence that sees signs of new KIA activity, and they want to lock everything down. As I said, this is speculation, but the current situation appears to be potentially very unstable, with an army coup, with threats of protests and riots by Aung Sang Suu Kyi's millions of supporters, and with the possibility of protests by the Kachin and Shan ethnic groups. It's necessary to watch the situation in Myanmar very carefully in the next few weeks.

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20-Jan-21 World View -- Pompeo bashes China over genocide, virus, Taiwan on last days of Trump administration

China calls Pompeo 'Mr Liar' displaying 'final hysteria'

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Pompeo bashes China over genocide, virus, Taiwan on last days of Trump administration


Li-Meng Yan, the virologist who fled from China to the United States, after she told how the virus came out of China
Li-Meng Yan, the virologist who fled from China to the United States, after she told how the virus came out of China

Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump's Secretary of State, made extremely harsh accusations against China on Tuesday, announcing new sanctions on China and declared that China's actions constitute "genocide" and "crimes against humanity."

The harsh accusations refer to China's treatment of the Uighurs in East Turkistan (Xinjiang Province). According to Pompeo's statement:

"For the past four years, this Administration has exposed the nature of the Chinese Communist Party and called it what it is: a Marxist-Leninist regime that exerts power over the long-suffering Chinese people through brainwashing and brute force. We have paid particular attention to the CCP’s treatment of the Uyghur people, a Muslim minority group that resides largely in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in Western China. While the CCP has always exhibited a profound hostility to all people of faith, we have watched with growing alarm the Party’s increasingly repressive treatment of the Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups. ...

Party apparatchiks have denied international observers unhindered access to Xinjiang and denounced reliable reports about the worsening situation on the ground, instead spinning fanciful tales of happy Uyghurs participating in educational, counter-terror, women’s empowerment, and poverty alleviation projects. Meanwhile, they are delivering far darker messages to their own people, portraying Uyghurs as “malignant tumors,” comparing their faith to a “communicable plague,” and exhorting the Party faithful to implement a crushing blow, telling them “you can’t uproot all the weeds hidden among the crops in the field one-by-one; you need to spray chemicals to kill them all.” ...

These crimes are ongoing and include: the arbitrary imprisonmentor other severe deprivation of physical liberty of more than one million civilians, forced sterilization, torture of a large number of those arbitrarily detained, forced labor, and the imposition of draconian restrictions on freedom of religion or belief, freedom of expression, and freedom of movement. The Nuremberg Tribunals at the end of World War II prosecuted perpetrators for crimes against humanity, the same crimes being perpetrated in Xinjiang. In addition, after careful examination of the available facts, I have determined that the PRC, under the direction and control of the CCP, has committed genocide against the predominantly Muslim Uyghurs and other ethnic and religious minority groups in Xinjiang. I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uyghurs by the Chinese party-state. The governing authorities of the second most economically, militarily, and politically powerful country on earth have made clear that they are engaged in the forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religious minority group, even as they simultaneously assert their country as a global leader and attempt to remold the international system in their image."

I've been writing about these atrocities for years. Many Washington politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, have been calling on the Trump administration since 2017 to make this determination. In a televised interview on Tuesday on Fox News, Pompeo defended the timing of the announcement, on his last day in office: "Look, I’m happy to accept that critique. What took so long is when you do something like this, you have to be right. You have to – and I think this will be a bipartisan analysis that will be shared by a broad swath of American leadership. Indeed, leaders all across the world I think will recognize that the United States got this right."

Pompeo calls for investigation of China's Wuhan virology laboratory

Pompeo has made several statements and accusations recently on China. Last week, Pompeo called for a a transparent and thorough investigation into the origin of COVID-19, the Wuhan Coronavrus, including a thorough investigation of the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), to investigate the evidence that the virus was created by Chinese scientists and then escaped from the WIV lab.

Pompeo this week released new information concerning the activities inside China’s government laboratories in 2019. According to Pompeo:

"The COVID-19 pandemic was avoidable. Any responsible country would have invited world health investigators to Wuhan within days of an outbreak. China instead refused offers of help – including from the United States – and punished brave Chinese doctors, scientists, and journalists who tried to alert the world to the dangers of the virus. Beijing continues today to withhold vital information that scientists need to protect the world from this deadly virus, and the next one."

One of those brave Chinese scientists is Li-Meng Yan a virologist who made claims about the creation of the coronavirus and her relationship with the Chinese government, and then had to flee from her life from China. She has taken refuge in United States, at an undisclosed location.

Pompeo lifts restrictions on American officials in Taiwan

Two weeks ago, Pompeo announced that the State Dept. is lifting its internal restrictions on how American officials may interact with their Taiwanese government counterparts. These complicated restrictions had been in place to enforce the delusional "One China policy," where China and the United States both say that there is but one China, but they don't say who the one China is.

The Trump administration has also increased weapons sales to Taiwan, to help them defend against an expected invasion from China. China has been threatening this invasion for years, and it could occur at any time.

China calls Pompeo 'Mr Liar' displaying 'final hysteria'

Prior to Tuesday's announcement, where Pompeo accused China of genocide and crimes against humanity targeting the Uighurs, China's statement media went on a hysterical tirade accusing Pompeo of lying and "final hysteria." China blamed Pompeo's hysteria on realizing that he followed the wrong guy as his boss, Donald Trump.

According to China's Global Times:

"A long-term anti-China hawk in the Trump administration, Pompeo tweeted around 30 anti-China posts during the weekend, including verbal attacks on the Communist Party of China (CPC), Chinese media entities, policies concerning the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Hong Kong, the South China Sea, China's response to the COVID-19 outbreak and so on. ...

"Pompeo is now at the stage of physical and psychological hysteria. Why? Because he is facing such a huge failure in his own political career and rising anxiety in his final days after he realized that he followed the wrong guy as his boss, especially after the Capitol Hill riots," Shen Yi, a professor at the School of International Relations and Public Affairs of Fudan University, told the Global Times on Sunday."

We can hardly wait to see how China will react to the accusations of genocide.

This kind of hysteria from the Chinese Communists just emphasizes how delusional Chinese government officials are. Unfortunately, these hysterical delusions make them extremely dangerous.

Pressure on the Biden administration

These recent announcements are fairly certain to be timed to put pressure on the incoming Biden administration not to lose the ground that America has gained versus China during the administration of Donald Trump, who was the first president in decades to confront China on theft of intellectual property and many other Chinese crimes.

There is real concern that Joe Biden himself, who has spent the last year in his basement, is not capable of leading the administration as anything but a figurehead. These concerns have grown as evidence accumulated that Democrats like Eric Swalwell, Dianne Feinstein, Hunter Biden and Joe Biden are all totally compromised by the Chinese and Chinese money and Chinese honeypots. China has openly used money and sex to influence American politicians, almost always Democrats, to gain intelligence and compromise policy. With Trump making these harsh accusations in the last few days, the objective of the Trump administration is to pressure the Biden administration and prevent it from simply returning to the previous situation before Trump took office.

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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18-Jan-21 World View -- Chaos grows in Afghanistan as American troops leave in hope of delusional peace plan

Iran offers Shia fighters to fight the Taliban and ISIS

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Chaos grows in Afghanistan as American troops leave in hope of delusional peace plan


A Kabul resident washes the road after gunmen killed two female judges working for the Supreme Court (AFP)
A Kabul resident washes the road after gunmen killed two female judges working for the Supreme Court (AFP)

On Sunday morning, unidentified gunmen, suspected to be from the Taliban, killed two female judges from Afghanistan’s Supreme Court. The two were were driving to their office in a court vehicle, when gunmen riding a motocycle ambushed them and shot them dead.

This was only the latest in a wave of assassinations across the country. In many cases, the targets appear to have been chosen because they're women.

This is happening as delusional peace talks are taking place in Doha, Qatar, between America and the Taliban. Participation of the Afghan government in the peace talks has been limited to nonexistent because the Taliban don't want to talk to the Afghan government. They simply want to use the peace talks as a ruse to get America to withdraw its troops.

In February 2020, Washington agreed with the Taliban to begin withdrawing troops. The Taliban did not have to agree to end its terrorist violence, but it did agree to "tone down" its violence. I guess shooting only two female supreme court judges dead is an example of "toning down" violence.

Donald Trump made a campaign promise of "stopping the endless wars," and so has been ordering the withdrawal of American troops faster than had been anticipated, something that some American military officials opposed. In August of last year, there were 8,000 US troops in Afghanistan, which were cut to 4,500. After losing the election on November 3, Trump fired his Defense Secretary Mark Esper on November 9, apparently because the latter opposed further troop withdrawals, unless the Taliban met its commitments to reduce violence. On Friday of last week, acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller said that further withdrawals have reduced the number to 2,500.

Trump has agreed with the Taliban to withdraw all remaining troops by May 2021. I assume that Trump's intention is to let whatever happens happen after that, even if it means that the Taliban take control of the government, as they had prior to 9/11/2001.

However, that will be devastating for the people of Afghanistan, especially the girls and women. For that reason, president-elect Joe Biden may be forced to postpone any further withdrawals.

Joe Biden has been hiding in his basement for the last year, and has no idea what's going on in Afghanistan. According to some unconfirmed reports, Susan Rice will work behind the scenes to make Biden's foreign policy decisions. Susan Rice is an idiot, but I don't know if she's stated a policy on Afghanistan.

Why the Afghan peace agreement must fail

I've written many times that, based on a Generational Dynamics analysis, there is no possibility whatsoever of a successful peace agreement. I started writing about this in 2009, when I predicted that Barack Obama's "surge" into Afghanistan would fail. That prediction has been 100% correct so far.

The following is a summary of the Generational Dynamics analysis:

Afghanistan's last generational crisis war was an extremely bloody, horrific civil war, in 1991-96. The war was a civil war, fought between the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan versus the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban are radicalized Pashtuns, and when they need to import foreign fighters, then can import their cousins from the Pashtun tribes in Pakistan.

Indeed, it's much worse than that. The ethnic groups in Afghanistan are COMPLETELY NON-UNITED and loathe each other. Pashtuns still have scores to settle with the Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks that formed the Northern Alliance, especially the Shias. These opposing groups have fresh memories of the atrocities, torture, rape, beatings, dismemberments, mutilations, and so forth that the other side performed on their friends, wives and other family members, and they have no desire to be friends or to work together. They'd rather kill each other.

Based on my work on the book on Vietnam that I'm writing, I was able to extend this analysis in an article last year by comparing the Afghan counterinsurgency efforts to previous counterinsurgency efforts. ( "22-Nov-20 World View -- Afghan 'peace talks' threatened by terrorist rocket attack on Kabul")

Here's a brief summary of the extended analysis:

Iran offers Shia fighters to fight the Taliban and ISIS

Iran has recently offered to send Shia militias into Afghanistan to fight the Taliban and ISIS in Afghanistan. These Shia militias would presumably be withdrawn from Syria, and consist of thousands of ethnic Hazaras and other Shia fighters previously recruited from Afghanistan to support Bashar al-Assad's genocide in Syria.

This is certainly an interesting proposal. Since Iran and Afghanistan are in generational Awakening/Unraveling eras, this would not lead to an "explosion" as some people are suggesting, but it would lead to local clashes between the Hazaras and the Pashtuns. The Hazaras are already under frequent terror attacks by the Pashtuns, and those would expand.

We'll have to wait and see if this goes anywhere.

Abandoning the peace talks

Since the peace talks under Trump were always completely delusional, they're going to end one way or another without accomplishing their supposed objective.

When the Taliban's spring fighting season begins this year, I would expect to see a surge in terrorist violence, whether American troops have been completely withdrawn or not.

The Biden administration will be under tremendous pressure to cancel the May 2021 withdrawal, and probably will do so.

Here's some advice for the Biden administration from the Atlantic Council:

"The new administration should affirm its support of the ongoing Doha peace negotiations. It should pause further US troop withdrawals until it can conduct an expedited inter-agency policy review. The review should include consultations with NATO, the European Union, and other allies who have faithfully partnered with the United States in Afghanistan. It should include a re-examination of military drawdowns not only as part of a political strategy, but also as they relate to assuring that remaining US forces, diplomats, and other personnel are secure."

This would abandon the existing peace agreement at just about the time of the Taliban's spring fighting season. It is a prescription to continue the status quo indefinitely, and with the increase in Taliban violence, Biden might actually be forced to increase the number of American troops again.

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12-Jan-21 World View -- America and the standard Genocide Playbook

The January 6 attack on the Capitol building by Trump supporters

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

What is the standard Genocide Playbook pattern?


Jan 9 announcement by John Matze, CEO of Parler.com, of a coordinated attack by Twitter, Google and Amazon
Jan 9 announcement by John Matze, CEO of Parler.com, of a coordinated attack by Twitter, Google and Amazon

As regular readers know, everything I write is, as much as possible, from a historical perspective. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. As King Solomon said, there's nothing new under the sun.

So before describing how America is in the early stages of the Genocide Playbook, I have to describe what the Genocide Playbook is, and how common it is.

I want to emphasize that this is nothing rare. This is going on in multiple countries today. As regular readers know, I've written thousands of articles describing current and historical events in hundreds of countries, and the Genocide Playbook is a pattern that is not only not rare, but is actually very common, and is the rule.

Here's an outline of how the pattern works:

I will repeat several times: This pattern is not rare. It is common. It is the rule.

Let's look at some examples where the Genocide Playbook is in use today in its later stages:

I wanted to give examples of genocide taking place today to show that the Genocide Playbook isn't some science fiction concept, but is commonly used in many countries.

Of course it was also used in Nazi Germany, when Hitler used the burning down of the Reichstag to attack all communists, and then used minor terrorist acts by Jews to claim that all Jews were terrorists, leading to the Holocaust.

Democrats' attitude to Tea Partiers during Obama administration

I never thought I'd see the Genocide Playbook pattern being used in America. This is the darkest time for America in my memory.

As I've said many times, the Democrats' vitriolic hatred for Trump has nothing to do with Trump. They used to love Trump when he was a TV star. They only began to hate him when they transferred their vitriolic hatred of Tea Partiers to him.

And the vitriolic hatred of Tea Partiers was enormous during the Obama administration. Obama and Joe Biden both referred to Tea Partiers and Republicans in general as terrorists, racists and teabaggers. The word "teabaggers" is an especially vile epithet, as bad as the n-word. Can you imagine someone saying that all Democrats are the n-word? That would be extremely vile and hateful, and that shows how vile and hateful the Democrats were to Tea Partiers and Republicans.

And why were Obama and Biden calling them racists, terrorists and teabaggers? It's because they opposed Obama policies -- Obama's budget, Obamacare, or gun control for example. No matter what the policy, if Tea Partiers opposed it, it's not because the policies were bad (which they were). It's because the Tea Partiers were racists, terrorists and teabaggers.

The Democrats' hatred went even beyond that, saying that they had some kind of neurological disorder that turned them into violent racists. This is similar to the kinds of things that Hitler said about the Jews.

The following are excerpts from a newsbusters.org article from 2009 that I saved from my archives. As far as I know, this article is no longer online.

"Garofalo: Tea Party Goers Are Racists Who Hate Black President

By Noel Sheppard | April 16, 2009 | 23:56

During last year's election campaign, liberal media members treated Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin with a hatred most Americans had never witnessed from the press.

On Thursday's "Countdown," MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and his guest Janeane Garofalo defamed fellow citizens who attended the prior day's Tea Parties with the same vitriolic contempt.

Garofalo actually called Party-goers "a bunch of teabagging rednecks," adding "this is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up."

But that's just the beginning, for what Olbermann and Garofalo engaged in Thursday evening is amongst the most vile, hate-filled attacks on average American citizens ever conveyed on national television by so-called journalists.

KEITH OLBERMANN, HOST: Well, the teabagging is all over, except for the cleanup. And that will be my last intentional double entendre on this one at least until the end of this segment. Our number two story tonight, the sad reality behind the corporate sponsored Tea Parties, visual proof that this is not about spending, deficits, or taxes, but about some Americans getting riled up by the people who caused these things, and finally about some Americans who just hate the president of the United States. ...

And then there were the protest messages, seething with hate. [Neil] Cavuto calling that hate bipartisan. "They hate Republicans who waste money, they hate Democrats who waste money." ...

OLBERMANN: Congratulations, Pensacola teabaggers. You got spunked. And despite the hatred on display, a few of you actually violated the penal code. But teabagging is now petered out, taint what it used to be. ... On a more serious note, we're now joined by actor, activist Janeane Garofalo. Good to see you.

JANEANE GAROFALO: Thank you. You know, there's nothing more interesting than seeing a bunch of racists become confused and angry at a speech they're not quite certain what he's saying. It sounds right and then it doesn't make sense. Which, let's be very honest about what this is about. It's not about bashing Democrats, it's not about taxes, they have no idea what the Boston tea party was about, they don't know their history at all. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of teabagging rednecks. And there is no way around that. And you know, you can tell these type of right wingers anything and they'll believe it, except the truth. You tell them the truth and they become -- it's like showing Frankenstein's monster fire. They become confused, and angry and highly volatile. That guy, causing them feelings they don't know, because their limbic brain, we've discussed this before, the limbic brain inside a right-winger or Republican or conservative or your average white power activist, the limbic brain is much larger in their head space than in a reasonable person, and it's pushing against the frontal lobe. So their synapses are misfiring. Is Bernie Goldberg listening? ...

GAROFALO: Because Bernie might not have heard this when I said this the first time. So, Bernie, this is for you. It is a neurological problem we're dealing with. ...

GAROFALO: I don't think you do, for most of them. This is a -- it's almost pathological or elevated to a philosophy or lifestyle. And again, this is about racism. It could be any issue, any port in the storm. These guys hate that a black guy is in the White House. But they immigrant bash, they pretend taxes and tea bags, and like I said, most of them probably couldn't tell you thing one about taxation without representation, the Boston tea party, the British imperialism, whatever the history lesson has to be. But these people, all white for the most part, unless there's some people with Stockholm syndrome there.

OLBERMANN: And, I didn't see them, the fact that they weren't near the cameras which is bad strategy on the part of the people that were staging this at Fox.

GAROFALO: True, and Fox News loves to foment this anti-intellectualism because that's their bread and butter. If you have a cerebral electorate, Fox news goes down the toilet, very, very fast. But it is sick and sad to see Neil Cavuto doing that. They've been doing it for years, that's why Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch started this venture, is to disinform and to coarsen and dumb down a certain segment of the electorate. But what is really, I didn't know there were so many racists left. I didn't know that. I -- you know, because as I've said, the Republican hype and the conservative movement has now crystallized into the white power movement.

OLBERMANN: Is that not a bad, long-term political strategy because even though your point is terrifying that there are that many racists left, the flip side of it is there aren't that many racists left.

GAROFALO: They're the minority, but literally tens of people showed up to this thing across the country.

OLBERMANN: But if you spear your television network or your political party towards a bunch of guys looking who are just looking for a reason to yell at the black president, eventually you will marginalize yourself out of business, won't you?

GAROFALO: Here's what the right-wing has in, there's no shortage of the natural resources of ignorance, apathy, hate, fear. As long as those things are in the collective conscious and unconscious, the Republicans will have some votes. Fox News will have some viewers. But what else have they got? If they didn't do that, who is going to watch -- you know what I mean? They have tackled that elusive clam -- you know, the clam, the 18 to 35 clam -- klan. Klan. With a k demo. But, you know, who else is Fox talking to? I mean, what is it urban older white guys? And the girlfriend, and, you know, the women who suffer from Stockholm syndrome gain. There's a lot of Stockholm syndrome, is what I'm saying ultimately. What else do you want to know?

OLBERMANN: What happens if somebody who's at one of these things hurt somebody?

GAROFALO: That is an unfortunate byproduct since the dawn of time of a volatile group like this of the limbic brain. Violence unfortunately may or may not ensue. It always, it's like a, the Republican Party now depends upon immigrant bashing and hating the black guy in the White House. Will people act on that? It's not new. But, you know, Fox doesn't mind fomenting it. Michelle Bachmann doesn't mine fomenting it. Glenn Beck doesn't mind fomenting it.

OLBERMANN: Lou Dobbs.

GAROFALO: Lou Dobbs. Oh, man he sure doesn't mind. But this is, this their, what have they got if they don't have this? You know what I mean? It's like an identity politics of the worst kind. ...

OLBERMANN: Janeane Garofalo, number five, comedian, actress, political activist, and the expert on the limbic brain, great thanks as always.

GAROFALO: Very much thanks to you."

The reference to "Bernie" is Bernard Goldberg, a hated conservative commentator, whose web site is still online at https://bernardgoldberg.com/. The hatemongers also mention Lou Dobbs and Neil Cavuto, who still have shows on Fox Business Network.

So those 60 million Tea Partiers have become 75 million Trump supporters, and the Democrats have the same vitriolic hatred for them.

Once again, I have to emphasize that this isn't rare. This kind of hatred is common. It's the Chinese hatred of Uighurs. It's the Burmese Buddhist hatred of Rohingyans. It's the Syrian Alawite hatred of Arab Sunnis. It's the Rwandan Hutu hatred of Tutsis. It's the Nazi hatred of Jews.

I wish I understood this kind of hatred. In the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans freed the slaves. The Democrats bitterly opposed ending slavery, and after they lost the Civil War, they formed the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) militia, which the Democrats used for the next century to lynch, torture, rape and execute blacks. If today you're a Democrat who hates Trump supporters, then a century ago you would have been a Democrat in the KKK, cheering the lynching, torture, rape and killing of blacks. I don't know why that kind of thing is in the DNA of the Democrats, or why it's in the DNA of the Chinese or Burmese Buddhists or Nazis or the other groups I mentioned. Like the Genocide Playbook, it's not rare. It is very common. It is the rule.

The January 6 attack on the Capitol building by Trump supporters

At the beginning of this article I described the Genocide Playbook, and these were the last two items: "Sooner or later there is some kind of violent incident by a few people in the target group. This incident might occur organically, or it might be a setup by the élites. The élites use this incident to justify complete censorship, violence, abuse and control towards the target group and, in the extreme, commits genocide and ethnic cleansing."

In the current situation, the violent incident was the January 6 attack on the Capitol building by Trump supporters.

This resulted from Donald Trump's disastrous decision to hold a rally with hundreds of thousands of supporters, and then tell them to march to the Capitol building to pressure the politicians to do their jobs and object to the electors in six states. He's been accused of purposely inciting violence, which was clearly the opposite of his intention. He may be accused of stupid blunders and reckless actions, but it was clearly not his intention to incite violence, even if that was the unintended consequence.

The violent Capitol building incident is the culmination of the Genocide Playbook strategy towards Tea Partiers and Trump supporters that the Democrats have been using since the Obama administration. It's what they've been hoping for to crush the Trump supporters once and for all. The Democrats made vile attacks on Tea Partiers during the Obama administration, as we've described, calling them terrorists, racists and teabaggers, just for opposing Obama's policies. Conservatives on college campuses and in businesses could lose their jobs for saying something as simple as "Marriage is between a man and a woman."

The Democrats have gotten away with phony and illegal anti-Trump investigations and impeachments, encouraging antifa-blm fascists to riot and burn down small businesses, using pandemic lockdowns to shut down millions of small businesses, censoring any news that criticizes Biden or exposes Hunter Biden's criminality, and flooding the country with millions of unsolicited ballots and using the the resulting chaos to rig the election with voting fraud and steal the election from Trump -- all with total impunity. The Democrats are gloating that they can get away with anything, and they are escalating their threats.

During the last year, antifa-blm fascists, encouraged by Democrats, tore down statues and burned down not only businesses, but also police stations, courthouses, and even St John's Episcopal Church, near the White House. These are clearly terrorist acts, but the Democrats not only didn't condemn them, but encouraged them and censored them in the media. That's why these acts by the Democrats are analogous to the Nazi Kristallnacht.

Biden's vitriolic comments towards Trump supporters at his press conference last week not only expressed his personal hatred of Tea Partiers and Trump supporters, but also incited further violence. Biden even compared Republican Senators to Nazis. I'm tempted to say that these remarks prove that Biden is the one with the neurological disorder, not the hated Tea Partiers. Biden even was an admirer of Robert Byrd, a Great Kleagle (or something like that) in the Ku Klux Klan that lynched and tortured blacks.

There's increasing evidence that the Democrats provoked the attack on the Capitol building by providing only a bare skeleton security force to protect the building, even though it was known for many days that an attack was imminent.

Obama's Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta criticized the Capitol Police for being completely unprepared, even though "everyone knew that there would be people ... creating havoc":

"What the hell was law enforcement on Capitol Hill thinking by not having secured the Capitol today? ...

Everybody knew that there would be a disturbance. Everybody knew that there would be people who were interested in doing nothing else but creating havoc in the Capitol. And very frankly, it was the responsibility of law enforcement and the Capitol Hill police to secure the Capitol, and I'm not sure what happened that allowed this event."

It is now reported that the FBI and the NYPD both warned the Capitol police that there were groups planning violent attacks, but the Capitol police only provided a skeleton force to block them, in effect indirectly provoking those attacks.

These facts may come out in the investigation. But whether the Democrats purposely provoked the attack, or whether it was simply incompetence by the police, it is clearly the violent incident that the Democrats hoped for and are using as part of their strategy to completely destroy the Republican Party and Trump's supporters.

As I've said repeatedly, these kinds of actions are not rare. They're common, and they're occurring today in many countries in various stages. Still, it is almost beyond belief to me that four companies -- Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook and Amazon -- have successfully colluded to completely shut down Parler.com, a successful and growing online service with millions of users -- for purely political reasons as part of the Democrats' Genocide Playbook strategy. This is the kind of thing that occurs in Russia and China and Cuba and North Korea and Venezuela and totalitarian countries. It was never supposed to happen in America.

Even though this is very common, I never never thought I'd see the Genocide Playbook being used in America. This is the darkest time for America in my memory.

How will this end?

Will the Democrats' use of the Genocide Playbook lead to actual genocide and ethnic cleansing? No. For that they would at least need backing from the army, which obviously they don't have.

In fact, what the Democrats are doing is so completely bizarre and outrageous, so destructive and self-destructive, and so un-American, that it can't possibly last long.

Still, how is this going to end?

First, Donald Trump and his 75 million supporters are not dead and buried. Every Trump voter I've seen interviewed on TV says the same thing: That Trump actually speaks to them, and the others in Washington ignore them. That's why they're loyal to Trump. Trump says that he has some major announcement coming. We'll see what he says.

Second, Parler.com is not dead and buried. The Democrats have gotten Parler offline for now, but Parler has enough support to build its own datacenter and cloud to replace Amazon's AWS, and it will be online again.

In fact, if I were a business using Amazon's AWS cloud service, then I would look at this situation in horror, knowing that Amazon could shut me down at any time for any foolish reason. No one believes that shutting down Parler had anything to do with violence. It had everything to do with isolating 75 million Trump supporters and with eliminating a competitor to twitter. If Amazon can come after Parler, they can come after anyone.

Furthermore, Twitter, Google and Facebook made huge amounts of money because of Trump in the last few years because of Trump. With Trump gone, and with their contemptuous treatment of Trump supporters, they're going to lose a lot of money. But, no worry, the execs will be ok. Many of them are taking jobs in the Biden administration.

It's quite possible that Parler will come back with a vengeance and become a major business threat to Twitter. If not Parler, then another service. This is what always happens.

In fact, another conservative social media service, Gab.com, has signed up millions of new users in the last few days. If you access the site, the reason that it's slow is because it's being overwhelmed by new users.

Third, and this is how it will really end.

As I've been saying for years, there will be a global financial crisis and third world war with China, and this will unify the country, and end all political divisiveness. That will be the end of silliness and political correctness, and the beginning of a real existential crisis.

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16-Dec-20 World View -- China escalates hostility with Australia through threatened coal ban

China's delusional geopolitical strategy

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

China escalates hostility with Australia through threatened coal ban


A rally in Hong Kong in December last year in support of Uighurs in Xinjiang province.  In the back, one officer draws a pistol.  (AFP)
A rally in Hong Kong in December last year in support of Uighurs in Xinjiang province. In the back, one officer draws a pistol. (AFP)

China state media reports that China's top economic planner has authorized power plants to import coal without clearance restrictions from several countries "except for Australia." This implies that China is formalizing its ban on imported Australian coal. Australian coal been informally banned for months in the sense that dozens of vessels carrying Australian coal have been stranded offshore, blocked from entering China's ports.

China began an economic war on Australia in April, with economic boycotts and blacklisting of imports from Australia, when Australia called for an international investigation on the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. China responded by telling Australian officials, "China is angry. If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy."

Australia has also criticized China over the arrest of millions of Uighurs and imprisoning them in concentration camps. These criticisms have also infuriated the Chinese Communists.

The ban on Australian coal imports has not yet been officially confirmed by the Chinese Communists. However, the state media report is another escalation in China's war of threats, extortion and bribery against Australia.

New evidence of massive slavery of Uighurs in China

China's escalating economic war on Australia comes at a time of newly discovered documents that provide a clear picture of how up to a million Uighurs are being forced into slavery in manufacturing, in garment making, and in picking of cotton.

It's been obvious for years that this has been going on, as I've written in the past. Xi Jinping is an admirer of Adolf Hitler, who created one of the largest forced labor systems in history: Over twenty million foreign civilian workers, concentration camp prisoners and prisoners of war from all of the occupied countries were required to perform forced labor in Germany.

The picking of cotton is a particularly emotional issue because American black slaves were forced to pick cotton for their white masters, prior to the freeing of the slaves by Abraham Lincoln. Xi Jinping is going in the opposite direction of Abraham Lincoln. Xi Jinping is forcing more and more Uighurs to pick cotton for their Chinese Communist masters. It's likely that Tibetans and other minorities are being treated the same way. China supplies 20% of the world's cotton.

China's delusional geopolitical strategy

A web site reader has forwarded to me an investment newsletter written by an analyst close to the Chinese Communist Party that describes Xi Jinping's geopolitical strategy over the next five years for gaining hegemony over the entire world. It could have come from China's Central Committee. It's a breathtaking plan, comparable to similar plans by such historical luminaries as Adolf Hitler and Julius Caesar.

I'll be posting a full analysis at some point, but here's a summary: Guided by China's leadership, countries throughout Africa, Asia and the Mideast will put aside their disagreements. Old hatreds will be mended by necessity, to attract capital for investments. These include countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, India, and Pakistan. China will create a "global colossal," of dozens of countries in a massive multi-country partnership, bound together by China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The plan specifies concessions to be made by one nation after another to "mend old hatreds," but it doesn't contain a single example of China making any concession whatsoever.

According to the newsletter: "The big question is how America will respond to the challenge of connecting so much of the world through trade and peace. Their containment policy has failed so far. The choice is either to join this more peaceful venture or to fight it. If the latter choice is adopted it will result in a global war between America and its remaining allies and the combined forces of China and Russia."

This is a completely delusional fantasy, of course, but it feeds into the Chinese Communist and Confucian view that they're the Master Race, and the rest of us are barbarians, with no other purpose than to work for and pay tribute to the Chinese, in the same way that donkeys work for farmers.

Cognitive dissonance

As Leon Festinger has shown, the problem with a person believing in and being committed to a totally delusional fantasy is that when something goes wrong, the person suffers cognitive dissonance and desperately doubles down on the fantasy, trying to make it come true. In countries, this only happens when the country is a dictatorship, where no one can challenge the fantasy view without being jailed, tortured or executed. That explains what happened in Mao Zedong's disastrous Great Leap Forward in the late 1950s. In Xi Jinping's case, this could involve Chinese military action that leads to a regional war, spreading to a world war.

China's delusional geopolitical strategy has been fed a powerful drug-like boost this year by the Chinese Communists' apparent success with the Wuhan Coronavirus. Donald Trump is the first president in decades to stand up to the Chinese, rather than appeasing them. At the beginning of 2020, it appeared that Trump would coast to re-election. But instead, China's intentional spread of Wuhan Coronavirus to countries around the world, including the United States, has resulted in the election of Joe Biden who, along with his son Hunter Biden and other Democrats, have totally compromised relationships with China. At the very least, China can expect to use threats, bribery and extortion on the Bidens and the Democrats to force the US to return to a policy of full-scale appeasement.

This apparent victory would be like a drug to the Xi Jinping, who is convinced that their plan of global hegemony is working.

But an example of what can go wrong occurred in April when Australia called for an international investigation of the source of the pandemic. China responded by telling Australian officials, "China is angry. If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy." Such an investigation would derail the Chinese plan, and so they doubled down on their strategy by declaring economic war on Australia.

The Chinese Communists will certainly consider this to be another victory since, we assume, no other country would now dare to call for an international investigation of the source of the pandemic. China's policy of threats, bribery and extortion has won again.

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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11-Dec-20 World View -- Morocco normalizes ties with Israel in exchange for Western Sahara

Israel's 'pragmatic' foreign policy

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Morocco normalizes ties with Israel in exchange for Western Sahara


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and Morocco's King Mohammed VI (AFP)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Donald Trump and Morocco's King Mohammed VI (AFP)

Morocco and Israel on Thursday agreed to normalize relations, in an agreement mediated by president Donald Trump, and described as "historic." This is the fourth such agreement since September, after agreements between Israel and United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Sudan were also signed. The first Arab countries to recognize Israel were Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.

As part of this deal, the United States changed longstanding US policy and recognized Morocco’s claims over the disputed Western Sahara region.

Morocco has had a large Jewish population for centuries. Before Israel's establishment in 1948, Morocco was home to a large Jewish population, many of whose ancestors migrated to North Africa from Spain and Portugal during the Spanish Inquisition. Today, hundreds of thousands of Israeli Jews trace their lineage to Morocco, making it one of the country's largest sectors of Israeli society, and a small community of Jews, estimated at several thousand people, continues to live in Morocco.

Trump announced the agreement in a series of tweets in which he thanked Morocco for being one of the first nations to recognize the United States shortly after it declared independence from Britain:

"Today, I signed a proclamation recognizing Moroccan sovereignty over the Western Sahara. Morocco’s serious, credible, and realistic autonomy proposal is the ONLY basis for a just and lasting solution for enduring peace and prosperity!

Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Morocco have agreed to full diplomatic relations – a massive breakthrough for peace in the Middle East!

Morocco recognized the United States in 1777. It is thus fitting we recognize their sovereignty over the Western Sahara."

As in the case of the previous agreements, the Palestinian authorities are infuriated. In Gaza, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said: “This is a sin and it doesn’t serve the Palestinian people. The Israeli occupation uses every new normalization to increase its aggression against the Palestinian people and increase its settlement expansion.”

The Trump administration is pressuring Saudi Arabia to join with the other countries in normalizing relations with Israel. The Saudis have given tacit approval to the normalization process, but Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said last week Riyadh would only consider such a move if a peace deal "delivers a Palestinian state with dignity and with a workable sovereignty that Palestinians can accept."

Agreement mediated by Donald Trump changes the status of Western Sahara


Map of Western Sahara (Britannica)
Map of Western Sahara (Britannica)

The agreement is receiving criticism from the United Nations, because the UN does not recognize Morocco's sovereignty over the Western Sahara.

The region, Spanish Sahara, was a Spanish protectorate until Morocco achieved independence in 1956, and then claimed sovereignty over Western Sahara in 1957, although Spanish troops repelled the Moroccan military from the territory.

In the 1970s, a guerrilla insurgency of nomadic ethnic Sahrawis sprang up, calling itself the Polisario Front, and calling for the formation of a new nation, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR). This led to clashes between the Moroccans and the Polisario Front, until a ceasefire was agreed in 1991.

The ceasefire broke down last month. The Polisario Front has declared a "state of war," and the UN has received reports of several "shooting incidents" made by either side.

The Polisario Front is supported by Algeria and South Africa. The intervention by the Trump administration is an important symbolic change in the situation, and will energize the Moroccans. The U.S. is now the only Western country to recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, providing a diplomatic breakthrough for which the kingdom has lobbied for decades.

Israel's 'pragmatic' foreign policy

As I reported in February of this year, 15 years ago Israel made a startling policy change and adopted a new "pragmatic" foreign policy. (See "6-Feb-20 World View -- Israeli diplomat reveals Israel's startling new 'pragmatic' foreign policy")

In the new "pragmatic" foreign policy, adopted around 2004, Israel no longer considers itself to be a Mideast country, so much as a European country. It no longer pretends to try to integrate itself into the Mideast. Instead, under Israel's pragmatic policy, the Arabs and Israelis continue to hate each other, but Israel would use money and trade incentives to "buy" peace with its Arab neighbors. The Trump-mediated peace agreements with UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco appear to be the implementation of this pragmatic strategy.

Al-Jazeera's political analyst Marwan Bishara, who hates Israel but who hates the Palestinian Authority even more for traitoriously negotiating peace with Israel, said that the new announcement was another example of "America as a diplomatic mercenary on behalf of Israel. ... Let’s call it what it is – the imperial proclamation. At the end of the day, Washington is using its influence around the world on behalf of Israel, or rather Israel is outsourcing American power for its own benefit in the greater Middle East."

Bishara puts his hatred of Israel on full display, but his political interpretation is more or less consistent with Israel's pragmatic foreign policy.

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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28-Nov-20 World View -- Australia-China relations become more toxic through boycotts and accusations

China's official list of 14 blunt complaints about Australia's government

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Australia-China relations become more toxic through boycotts and accusations


Australian crayfish are one of the products targeted by China (9News)
Australian crayfish are one of the products targeted by China (9News)

The toxic relationship between the government of Australia and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has become increasingly apparent after a blunt verbal CCP attack on Australia's government, accusing it of "poisoning bilateral relations," at the same time the China is escalating its economic boycotts and blacklisting of imports from Australia.

Commenting on China's action, a CCP official said to Australian officials: "China is angry. If you make China the enemy, China will be the enemy."

On Friday, China announced 107% to 212% tariffs on wine imported from Australia. This is only the latest economic attack by China on Australia. In recent months, China has been blacklisting one Australian product after another, including lobster, cherries, beef, sugar, cotton, barley and timber. Another blacklisted import is coal. More than 50 ships have been anchored off Chinese ports for months waiting to deliver $500 million of Australian ports.

However, the most important commodity that China imports from Australia remains untouched -- the $60 billion worth of iron ore that Australia exports to China annually, and which China desperately needs.

Although these disputes have been simmering for years, China began an extremely agressive series of economic attacks on Australia in April, when Australian officials called for a joint international investigation of the origins of the coronavirus pandemic. Australia's announcement was thought to be targeting China, which has repeatedly tried to dodge responsibility for the Wuhan Coronavirus.

Earlier this year, the CCP was blaming the US army for developing the virus and somehow secretly spreading it in China's Wuhan wet markets. Lately, CCP officials have been promoting a bizarre claim that the virus originated elsewhere and arrived in China on frozen food packaging.

So an Australian call for an international investigation on the origins of the virus has brought about the CCP's usual hysterical rantings and threats and demands that everyone shut up and do as China tells them. However, this time, the CCP has backed up its hysterical rantings with the boycott of Australia's products.

The CCP has also been infuriated by Australia's criticisms of China's National Security Law, which has effectively ended the Hong Kong democracy that was supposed to last until at least 2047.

China's bribery and extortion

Bribery and extortion are the CCP's standard foreign policy tools, and China has used these tools for years to force dozens of countries to involuntarily end diplomatic relations with Taiwan. Now China is using the same techniques against a much larger country, Australia.

Australia’s former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says that China's tactics fail will only damage China's standing abroad.

"The fundamental point is this: when someone tries to coerce you or bully you, threaten you, you can’t take a backward step.

If you do, then all that will do is invite more coercive activity. The best thing that can happen, frankly, is for this episode to come to an end, and for Australia and China to get back to a traditional, businesslike relationship.

Has it won China more influence? No. Has it won China more friends [or] persuaded other countries to be more compliant? No ... if the object of your foreign policy is, among other things, to win friends and increase your influence in the world, how is any of this helpful?"

Turnbull is saying in calm diplomatic terms the same thing that I've been saying for years: That the CCP policies are insane, and always make any situation worse.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, mutual relations between China and Australia have become increasingly hostile for the last few years, and as the populations of both countries are becoming increasingly nationalistic and belligerent in the generational Crisis era, this worsening situation will lead to war.

This is also a good time to respond to the frequently heard statements like, "Countries A and B will never go to war, because trade between the two countries is good, and war will be bad for business." If this were true, there would never have been a war. What actually happens is that trade does not prevent a war. Instead, trade makes the situation worse, because the stronger trading partner uses trade as one more weapon of war, as we're seeing now in the case of China and Australia.

China's official list of 14 blunt complaints about Australia's government

Last week, in another incredibly bizarre CCP move, a sheet of paper containing 14 blunt complaints about Australia's government was leaked to three Australian news agencies. In other words, these were official complaints by the CCP, but instead of notifying Australia's government directly, or instead of posting them on a web site, the Chinese Embassy called up reporters and scheduled meetings, but said nothing at the meetings except to hand over, in each case, the sheet of paper.

The list included complaints about Australia's banning Huawei's 5G routers on national security grounds, complaints about speaking out about the South China Sea, and complaints about "siding with the US" anti-China campaign.

The following is the official list of 14 complaints, as they were printed on the Embassy official's sheet of paper:

In other words, shut up and do as you're told.

National security threat of China's Huawei 5G networks

This is a good time to repeat the situation with China's 5G routers. It is absolutely certain that these routers contain "backdoors" that permit China's military not only to spy on any traffic traveling through them, but also to control them, possibly shutting down entire networks in time of war.

First off, I'm the expert on this subject, not some reporter or politician who majored in sociology or women's studies in college. I spent five years of my career developing board-level operating systems for embedded systems, so I know how easy it would be to install a "backdoor" into a device that would allow the device to be controlled remotely by China's military. Furthermore, an implementation that uses public/private key encryption technology could be designed in such a way that the backdoor could not be detected, even by someone who suspects that the backdoor is there.

I have the skills to do this fairly easily, and there are undoubtedly many Chinese engineers with the same skills. So it would be very easy for Huawei to install undetectable backdoors into all its devices, allowing the devices to be controlled by China's military. Furthermore, in 2017, the CCP passed the National Intelligence Law, which demands that all organizations, including Huawei, "support, cooperate with, and collaborate with" China's military in collecting intelligence, even when doing so is illegal. That makes it certain that Huawei's routers can be controlled remotely by China's military.

So any country or company that has installed Huawei networks and devices can be easily spied on by China's military, and the network can be controlled or shut down by China's military, for example at time of war.

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22-Nov-20 World View -- Afghan 'peace talks' threatened by terrorist rocket attack on Kabul

Conflicting American values in Vietnam and Afghanistan

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Afghan 'peace talks' threatened by terrorist rocket attack on Kabul


Taliban fighters relax after lunch (Washington Post)
Taliban fighters relax after lunch (Washington Post)

A terrorist barrage of dozens of rockets were fired into residential areas of the the heavily fortified Green Zone of Kabul, Afghanistan's capital city, killing at least eight civilians and wounding dozens more on Saturday.

The Taliban, which is engaged with the United States in so-called "peace talks" taking place in Doha, Qatar, has denied responsibility for the attack.

On the other hand, ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks. ISIS is a terrorist group, imported from Syria, in competition with the Taliban to win the prize as the better terrorists.

This occurs amid the backdrop of negotiations taking place in Doha, Qatar, between representatives of America and the Taliban. For a long time, the Taliban refused to allow the Afghan government of president Ashraf Ghani to send representatives to the negotiations, but they've generously lifted that restriction in the last few months. However, as I understand it, the Taliban and Afghan government do not talk to each other, but only engage in "proximity talks." This hilarious phrase means that the two groups are in separate rooms, and a negotiator trots back and forth between the rooms to further the "talks."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Doha on Saturday, where he met separately with the Taliban and Afghan government negotiators. Presumably, Pompeo served as the proximity talk mediator on this occasion.

According to reports, the talks have not even reached the stage for producing a timeline. The original claim was that the Taliban would end its terrorist violence, but, as I understand it, the current demand is that the Taliban "tone down" the violence. (Believe it or not, that's the phrase used by an analyst on tv.)

So the peace talks are a huge joke, and have never been anything but a huge joke. But they do have one purpose: They provide political cover for the Trump administration to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, which was a campaign promise made by Donald Trump. Trump had claimed that he would get all American troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2020.

He didn't accomplish that, but he did go ahead with announcement that shocked a lot of people. First, on November 9, he fired his Defense Secretary Mike Esper, apparently because Esper opposed removing any troops from Afghanistan. Trump replaced Esper with an acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who announced on November 17 that 2,000 troops will be withdrawn from Afghanistan by mid-January. That would reduce the troop level from 4,500 to 2,500.

No one seriously believes that the Taliban will adhere to commitments made in a peace deal once the American troops are all withdrawn. The Taliban want Afghanistan to be governed by the Taliban, as it was prior to 9/11/2001, after which US forces declared war on Afghanistan, a war that's still going on. The Taliban want the war to end and want American troops gone, so that they can go back to hardline jihadist policies, such as closing girls' schools, as well as beating, raping and torturing the Hazaras and other ethnic enemies.

So why did ISIS launch Saturday's terrorist attack? Since ISIS and the Taliban are enemies, they presumably wish to sabotage the peace talks, so that the Taliban can't over the whole country. We'll probably know within a few months.

We may also know within a few months whether the American withdrawal will destabilize the relationships among other countries in the region -- China, Pakistan and India. These countries all have an interest in Afghanistan and have benefited from the American presence, and may now feel it necessary to fill the vacuum created if the Americans leave.

Why the Afghan peace agreement must fail

In 2007, president George Bush launched a "surge" policy in the Iraq war which, much to the surprise of many people, actually worked and won the Iraq war.

So in 2009, president Barack Obama decided that what worked in Iraq would also work in Afghanistan. As I wrote at the the time, and have written many times since then, Iraq and Afghanistan are completely different situations, and a "surge" that worked in Iraq would not work in Afghanistan. This prediction has, of course, turned out to be completely correct.

A summary of the reasoning is as follows: Afghanistan's last generational crisis war was an extremely bloody, horrific civil war, in 1991-96. The war was a civil war, fought between the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan versus the Northern Alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban are radicalized Pashtuns, and when they need to import foreign fighters, then can import their cousins from the Pashtun tribes in Pakistan.

Indeed, it's much worse than that. The ethnic groups in Afghanistan are COMPLETELY NON-UNITED and loathe each other. Pashtuns still have scores to settle with the Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks that formed the Northern Alliance, especially the Shias. These opposing groups have fresh memories of the atrocities, torture, rape, beatings, dismemberments, mutilations, and so forth that the other side performed on their friends, wives and other family members, and they have no desire to be friends or to work together. They'd rather kill each other.

Obama's surge policy failed because it had to. Obama never had any clue what's going on in the world, so his multiple foreign policy failures aren't surprising. In addition, he appointed that idiot John Kerry as Secretary of State, who stumbled from one disaster to another making things worse.

When Trump began running for president, it was clear that he also had no clue what was going on in the world. I once mocked him for knowing nothing about other countries except his golf courses. But then he did something that was completely unexpected and surprising: He hired Steve Bannon as his principal advisor. This is something I never dreamed would happen. I had worked off and on with Bannon over a period of years, and he's an expert on both military history and Generational Dynamics analysis. Even before taking office, Trump was educated for a year on foreign affairs by Bannon.

Even after Bannon left the White House, there was still somebody left who knew what was going on in the world -- John Bolton. Bolton left the White House last year, and as far as I know, Trump no longer has anyone who can credibly inform him about what's going on in the world, beyond the catalog of facts you can find in the CIA World Factbook.

By the way, Joe Biden has been hiding out in his basement for a year, and apparently knows less than nothing about anything. But he thinks that it might be a good idea to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan, though he isn't sure.

Conflicting American values in Vietnam

Working on my forthcoming book on Vietnam has given me plenty of time to contemplate how American values contradict each other, and how well-meaning presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon tried to navigate through the conflicting values and were often forced to make bad decisions that led to bad outcomes.

After World Wars I and II, a traumatized, exhausted America feared they would be fighting a third world war, this time against the Communists. This anxiety increased as Communism seemed to be on the march everywhere -- behind the Iron Curtain in eastern Europe, in China, in northern Korea, in northern Vietnam, and even in the United States in the form of a strong American Communist Party (CPUSA). It became the highest priority of American foreign policy to stop Communism before it led to World War III.

But American values went far beyond that. America was committed to democracies, and South Vietnam was a young vibrant democracy which was being invaded by Communist North Vietnam. There was no way that the leaders who had survived World War II would have tolerated just standing by and letting the South Vietnamese democracy die at the hands of the Communists.

But there was another American value that was equally strong. America had been a British colony and had won its independence from a colonial power. America valued its independence, and would not tolerate having another country, even a friendly country, interfere in its affairs.

South Vietnam was a democracy that had just won its independence from a colonial power, France. America was interfering in South Vietnam's affairs to defend it from the Communists, and so was violating another American value -- not interfering in the affairs of another democracy.

It was this contradiction in American values that led to contradictions in American policies that led to issues that could be exploited by the antiwar activists and American Communists, using the contradictions to sabotage the American war effort politically, leading to the final defeat, and the American betrayal of the people of South Vietnam.

Conflicting American values in Afghanistan

It's worthwhile exploring those conflicting American values in Vietnam, because exactly the same conflict exists today in Afghanistan. However, this time the enemy is a vicious Islamist terror regime, rather than communism.

On the one hand, there is a strong American drive to preserve the democracy in Afghanistan, and protect it from the Islamist terror regime.

On the other hand, there is a strong American drive to avoid interfering in the Afghan government. With the Americans negotiating in Doha with the Taliban, almost to the exclusion of the official Afghan government, there are major policy contradictions, as there have been for the last 19 years.

These contradictions are now in full force, as Americans try to decide how aggressively to take control in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban, or to let the Kabul government make its own decisions. After almost 20 years in Afghanistan, Trump has decided that Americans can't stay there forever, and that it's time to withdraw completely, and let the Taliban take over if that's what's in the cards.

There's another issue. Many American soldiers fought in Afghanistan, and many people lost fathers, brothers and sons there. The same is true of Nato countries. Was all that lost blood and treasure for nothing? Apparently so.

When is a war winnable?

As I work on my forthcoming book on Vietnam, I've also reached some conclusions about when a war is winnable or not winnable.

These conclusions are based on examination of the following wars: Vietnam War, Iraq war, and Afghanistan war. What these three wars have in common is that they're all guerrilla insurgencies -- internal rebellions against the government. Why were we able to win the Iraq war, while losing the Vietnam and Afghanistan war? This analysis does not apply to wars fought by opposing armies.

The insurgency in Vietnam could not be defeated because it was impossible to distinguish between the insurgents and ordinary civilians. The South Vietnamese government adopted a counter-insurgency strategy that had been successfully used a decade earlier by the UK in its Malay colony. In that case, the civilians were indigenous Malays, while the insurgents were ethnic Chinese. The British were able to segregate the Chinese from the Malay population for a simple reason: They looked different. They could easily be distinguished.

The South Vietnamese government adapted this same strategy into something called "strategic hamlets," where North Vietnamese insurgents would be segregated from civilians. This worked for a while, but it had to fail because it was impossible to tell the difference between an ordinary civilian and a Communist insurgent.

President George Bush's "surge" strategy won the Iraq war because the insurgents were quite distinguishable from Iraqi civilians. The insurgent group "al-Qaeda in Iraq" consisted almost entirely of fighters imported from Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Syria. They were not Iraqis, and the Iraqis hated them. That's why the Iraq war was winnable. (See "Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq" from April, 2007.)

The Afghan insurgency was hopeless from the beginning. Yes, we were able to quickly defeat the Afghan army after 9/11/2001, but after the situation turned into an insurgency it could not be won because ordinary civilians were ethnic Pashtuns, and so were the Taliban.

The Afghan war turned into a guerrilla insurgency about 15 years ago, and since then it has been unwinnable. This is the justification for withdrawing American troops from Afghanistan. Sooner or later, we'll have to lose.

Unfortuately, that conflicts with important American values about protecting young democracies. This political battle will be fierce.

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16-Nov-20 World View -- Ethiopia civil war escalates sharply as Tigray Region attacks Eritrea

Generational history of Ethiopia and Eritrea

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Ethiopia civil war escalates sharply as Tigray Region attacks Eritrea


Map of Horn of Africa showing Tigray Region of Ethiopia (VOA)
Map of Horn of Africa showing Tigray Region of Ethiopia (VOA)

The ethnic civil war in Ethiopia escalated sharply on Saturday when the army of the Tigray ethnic group fired missiles at the airport in Asmara, the capital city of the Eritrea, bringing Eritrea into Ethiopia's civil war.

The Tigray ethnic group occupies the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, with Eritrea on its northern border, and Sudan on its western border. Ethiopia's federal government, headed by prime minister Abiy Ahmediat of the Oromo ethnic tribe, is located in the capital city Addis Ababa in central Ethiopia. For the last few weeks, government forces have been attacking Tigray with missiles and militias. The militias are mostly ethnic Amharas, who are historic enemies of the Tigrays. The Amhara region is directly south of the Tigray region.

Over 20,000 refugees from Tigray have abandoned their homes and belongings and have fled into Sudan to refugee camps along the border to escape the violence. Sudanese officials have said that as the fighting escalates, they expect to see 200,000 refugees.

At the same time, terrorist groups from ISIS and al-Shabaab have been entering Ethiopia from Somalia and, according to Ethiopian officials, plotted to attack various parts of the country, seizing the window of opportunity opened by the conflict in the Tigray region.

Ethiopia is a hotbed of tensions between different ethnic groups. There are already growing clashes between other ethnic groups in other parts of Ethiopia, and there are fears that waves of refugees will cross into Kenya and Somalia, possibly destabilizing the entire region.

The Tigray attack on the airport in Asmara, Eritrea, was something of a surprise, and puzzled analysts since it seems to have no purpose except to provoke a retaliatory attack by Eritrea on Tigray.

However, Debretsion Gebremichael, the leader of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), says that the airport was a "legitimate target," since it was being used by Ethiopian forces. "As long as troops are here fighting, we will take any legitimate military target and we will fire. We will fight them on all fronts with whatever means we have," he said

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmediat, launched military operations in Tigray two weeks ago after he accused local authorities of attacking a military camp in the region and attempting to loot military assets. The TPLF denies the charge and has accused the prime minister of concocting the story to justify deploying the offensive.

On Sunday, the Abiy government rejected any calls for a ceasefire:

"With unwavering commitment we will see this project through to the end ... As a sovereign nation, Ethiopia reaffirms its capability and resolve to manage ... its own rule of law operation without any external intervention. ...

The Federal Government of Ethiopia is asserting its constitutional mandate to uphold the rule of law according to the laws of the land."

With Abiy unwilling to consider a ceasefire, with the Tigrays attacking Eritrea, and with tens of thousands of refugees pouring into neighboring countries, observers are concerned that this could escalate into a full-scale war in the Horn of Africa.

The rise of prime minister Abiy Ahmediat


Map of Ethiopia showing internal Regions (Bloomberg)
Map of Ethiopia showing internal Regions (Bloomberg)

Ethiopia's last generational crisis war (1975-1991) was a protracted war between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) against the vicious Marxist Derg military government in Addis Ababa, which climaxed in 1991 when they were finally toppled by the TPLF. The Tigrays are only 6% of Ethiopia's population but they dominated Ethiopia's government for decades, following the 1991 victory.

The Oromo ethnic group, of which Abiy is a member, and the Amhara ethnic group are the two largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia. During the generational Awakening era, mass protests by these two groups targeted the Tigray coalition government, resulting in a "velvet coup" that brought Abiy to power as prime minister in 2018. At the same time Ethiopia and Eritria signed a peace deal ending a bitter border dispute between the two countries.

Shortly after that, Abiy won the Nobel Peace Prize, which is always laughable these days. The TPLF says that, since then, Abiy's government has systematically persecuted Tigrays since he took office. After Abiy became prime minister in April 2018, several high-ranking TPLF officials were prosecuted for human rights abuses and corruption. The TPLF responded by accusing Abiy of targeting them in a politically motivated campaign.

When Abiy’s government delayed this year’s general elections until 2021, citing Covid-19, the TPLF accused the prime minister of using the pandemic to hold on to power beyond his mandate. The TPLF then unilaterally held regional elections in September. The federal government refused to accept the results, and this led to the federal government's military attack on Tigray.

Abiy apparently expects a quick victory against the Tigrays, but analysts point out that the TPLF remains a fighting force of up to 250,000 battle-hardened troops. Furthermore large elements of the Northern Command leadership of the national Ethiopian army are Tigrays, meaning that Abiy cannot expect full loyalty from the army.

Generational history of Ethiopia and Eritrea


Horn of Africa
Horn of Africa

These two countries, Ethiopia and Eritrea, have been linked since at least the second century AD.

Ethiopia adopted Christianity in the 4th century, and was a tribal society ruled by emperors until the 1800s. However, a split between Ethiopia and Eritrea occurred in the 700s with the rise of Islam and the Arab trade along the Red Sea, and what is now Eritrea became part of the Islamic Empire, and later the Ottoman Empire.

Italy colonized the region in the 1860s, in the so-called Scramble for Africa, so named because after it was discovered in the 1850s that malaria could be controlled with quinine, England, Belgium, France, Portugal, Italy, Spain and Germany all competed with each other to colonize different parts of Africa.

In 1869, the Suez Canal opened, connecting the Red Sea with the Mediterranean Sea, and Italian shipping firms became active. Large stretches of Eritrea's coastline were acquired from the local sultans and transferred to Italian control. By the mid-1880s, the Italian army moved into Eritrea, displacing the Ottomans, and challenging the Ethiopian empire.

In 1889, Menelik II rose to the position of Emperor of Ethiopia. The "Italian-Ethiopian War" (1889-1896) was a generational crisis war for Ethiopia. Menelik inflicted on Italy the most humiliating and bloody defeat ever experienced by a colonial power in Africa. In the outcome, Italy retained Eritrea as a Red Sea colony, populating it with thousands of Italian settlers, developing road and rail transport, but doing little to improve the lives of Eritreans.

Ethiopia gained independence, and by 1914 and the beginning of WW I, all of black Africa except Ethiopia and Liberia were European colonies.

By 1935, Eritrea was a colony of Italy, and Ethiopia had a new emperor, one who had taken the title Haile Selassie, meaning "Might of the Trinity," emphasizing the fact that Ethiopia was a largely Christian country.

In October 1935, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini ordered an invasion of Ethiopia, partly in revenge for Italy's humiliating defeat in 1896. Mussolini announced the establishment of a new Italian empire, including Ethiopia, Eritrea and Somalia, under the name Italian East Africa. Haile Selassie fled the country.

When Mussolini brought Italy into World War II on Hitler's side, in June 1940, Haile Selassie won the cooperation of Britain in launching a counterattack against the Italian forces in Italian East Africa. By 1941, Haile Selassie was once again emperor of Ethiopia. After the war, the United Nations made Eritrea a part of Ethiopia, an autonomous federal province with its own constitution and elected government, something that the Muslims in Eritrea strongly opposed.

From the above description, one can see that although World War II was a generational crisis war for Italy and Britain, with part of the war fought on Ethiopian soil, it was not a crisis war for Ethiopia itself. In fact, with the previous crisis war having climaxed in 1896, this was a generational Unraveling era for Ethiopia. In such an era (like America in the 1990s), there is little appetite for war among the general population, except perhaps for quick police actions. Although Ethiopia and Eritrea changed hands several times during the WW II time period, the fighting was mostly between foreign armies, and did not heavily involve the local population.

In the mid-1950s, the region entered a generational Crisis era, and the fault line between Muslims and Christians began to inflame. In 1958, Eritrea's Muslim leaders formed the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), consisting mainly of students, intellectuals, and urban wage laborers. Low-level warfare continued throughout the 1960s.

In the 1970s, the Eritrean independence movement took another turn with the formation of a powerful Marxist offshoot of the ELF, the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF). Haile Selassie was toppled in 1974, after which factional warfare began to increase.

This might have led to a full-scale generational crisis war, but there was a major development: In 1977, the USSR allied with the Ethiopian government, took control of Eritrea's Red Sea ports, and provided Ethiopia's government with huge supplies of arms, enough to suppress the EPLF guerrillas.

The guerrilla war fought by Marxist rebels against the well-armed Ethiopian government climaxed in May 1991 with the collapse of Ethiopia's government, coincident with the collapse of the USSR. Eritrea finally declared independence. By that time, there were 500,000 refugees that had fled to refugee camps in Sudan, and they had to be resettled in Ethiopia and Eritrea.

In 1998, a new border war broke out between Eritrea and Ethiopia. This was a non-crisis war, with a quality very similar to World War I, where trenches were dug, mines were laid, and bodies of dead soldiers were strewn about. Of the 400,000 men who fought on both sides, 50,000 soldiers died.

A peace deal in 2000 ended the two-year border war, but it was never fully implemented, and a new peace deal was signed in 2018.

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11-Nov-20 World View -- Facing military disaster, Armenia agrees to Russian peace deal with Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh

Ethiopia civil war threatens to destabilize horn of Africa

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Facing military disaster, Armenia agrees to Russian peace deal with Azerbaijan on Nagorno-Karabakh


Map of Azerbaijan and Armenia, showing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region (BBC)
Map of Azerbaijan and Armenia, showing the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict region (BBC)

Armenia has agreed to a Nagorno-Karabakh peace deal with Azerbaijan, mediated by Russia, rather than face a complete military debacle. Azerbaijani military forces have achieved a string of victories in capturing cities and villages around Nagorno-Karabakh. On Sunday, Azerbaijani forces captured Shusha (Shushi), the region's second-largest town, and were close to attacking the Nagorno-Karabakh capital city Stepanakert, which is on the main road to Armenia.

Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan called the deal "incredibly painful both for both me and our people." He added, "The army said that we had to stop, because there are problems for which there are no solution, and the army was out of resources."

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev said “This (ceasefire) agreement has historic significance. This agreement constitutes Armenia’s capitulation. This agreement puts an end to the years-long occupation."

Vagram Pogosian, a spokesman for the Armenian government in Nagorno-Karabakh, said "Unfortunately, we are forced to admit that a series of failures still haunt us, and the city of Shushi is completely out of our control. The enemy is on the outskirts of Stepanakert.”

Turkey's foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, "We will stand alongside Azerbaijan. This is a great success, a victory for Azerbaijan. Territories that were under occupation for 30 years are being taken back."

This is the fourth mediated cease-fire agreement on the last three months. The previous ones lasted only a day. There are two things that make this one different. First, there is the lingering threat the Azerbaijani military forces will continue on to Stepanakert and take control of the entire Nagorno-Karabakh region. And second, Russia is deploying its own military forces to separate the two sides and prevent a resumption of fighting.

Nagorno-Karabakh's standard generational pattern

This is actually the next step in a standard generational pattern.

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. 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 according to a standard generational pattern, 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 full-scale war would not be anticipated until at least 2052.

So it remains to be seen how long the new cease-fire will last. Maybe it will last only a day like the last one. Or, maybe it will last a couple of years like the cease-fire negotiated in 2016. But you can be absolutely certain that it will not last.

Joyous celebrations in Baku, Azerbaijan

Al-Jazeera is showing video of the streets of Azerbaijan's capital city Baku filled with overjoyed people, dancing, singing, and shouting (without, incidentally, much sign of masks or social distancing).

Joyous, grinning young girls were launghinbly describing how they will now return to their homes in Nagorno-Karabakh, where their parents were displaced in 1994. They chuckled as they said that it won't be long before all of Nagorno-Karabakh is returned to Azerbaijan, so that they can all return to all of their former homes.

One 52-year-old Azeri is quoted as complaining that the government should not have agreed to the cease-fire. "We were about to gain the whole of Nagorno-Karabakh back. The agreement is very vague I don’t trust Armenia and I don’t trust Russia even more.”

Furious rioting in Yerevan, Armenia

The video from Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia was considerably grimmer. Furious citizens are demanding the resignation of Armenia's Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his entire government, saying that he betrayed the Armenian people, and asking why Pashinyan waited until now to capitulate, after 1,300 Armenian soldiers have already been killed in the fighting.

Rioting broke out in Yerevan, the capital city of Armenia, where crowds stormed and ransacked government buildings.

Threat of Russia - Turkey clash

As "historic" as the cease-fire agreement is, there are a number of issues remaining.

Russia is claiming to be the kingmaker that brought about the deal, but Turkey was not part of the deal. Turkey was heavily committed to backing Azerbaijan in the fighting, and have even provided hundreds of Syrian jihadists to fight alongside the Azerbaijani forces, according to a number of reports, paying the jihadists pay ranging from $1,200 to $2,000 per month.

Russia and Turkey are historic enemies that have fought massive wars against each other in previous centuries, and are already supporting opposing sides in conflicts in Syria and Libya. Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan would like to restore the former glory of the ancient Ottoman Empire, and being shut out of the Nagorno-Karabakh cease-fire deal in favor of Russia is contrary to those glorious plans.

According to some reports, the Russians did not want to commit Russian troops to enforce the ceasefire, but felt that they had to because if the fighting continued, it was likely that Russia and Turkey would soon be at war. Russia is supposed to be an ally of Armenia, and has a military base in Armenia, so an increase in fighting could force Russia to defend Armenia from the Turks.

Russian forces are scheduled to remain for at least five years. Almost 2,000 servicemen, 90 armured personnel carriers, and 380 vehicles and pieces of other hardware were being deployed. Russian media said 20 military planes had taken off for the region and had started arriving in Armenia en route to Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russia says that there had been no agreement on deploying any Turkish peacekeepers in Nagorno-Karabakh, but the Turkish military will help staff a joint monitoring center with Russian forces.

The Khojaly Massacre, February 26, 1992

According to Azerbaijan, on February 26, 1992, 613 Azeri civilians were massacred by Armenian soldiers in the town of Khojaly in Nagorno-Karabakh. Some 487 people, including 76 children, were critically injured. According to Azerbaijan, this was genocide.

According to Armenia, Khojaly had been used as an Azeri firebase from which to use multi-rocket launches on residential areas of Stepanakert, purposely killing as many Armenian civilians as possible. Everyone knew that an Armenian military attack on Khojaly was coming, but according to Armenia, the Azeri military purposely blocked civilians from leaving Khojaly, so that the attack would result in a massacre of civilians, which they would call a genocide.

Whichever side is telling the truth, it remains clear that the Azeri people are demanding revenge for the Khojaly massacre.

The future of the Nagorno-Karabakh

This is a standard generational pattern, the next step in a string of alternating periods of war and ceasefire. The last ceasefires each lasted one day, Russia hopes this one will last at least five years.

As is always the case, it will be the people, rather than the politicians, who will decide how long the ceasefire will last.

The people of Azerbaijan, as far as I can tell, want the fighting to resume and continue. They want revenge for the Khojaly Massacre, they want to recapture the rest of Nagorno-Karabakh and drive out all the Armenians, and those whose parents were displaced in the 1991-94 war are demanding to return to those homes.

All of these steps are inevitable, if not right away then in the next few years, and the result will be genocide and ethnic cleansing of Armenians.

Ethiopia civil war threatens to destabilize horn of Africa

This is a completely separate subject, for those who are interested in more than the subject of voter fraud in Pennsylvania. I've written several times in the past about the ethnic situation in Ethiopia, but it's been peaceful for a couple of years, and now new clashes are creating a refugee crisis that can threaten the entire horn of Africa.

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, who comes from the Oromo tribe, the largest Ethiopia ethnic group, has ordered hundreds of air strikes and an army offensive against the Tigray minority in northern Ethiopia. Already 2,500 Ethiopians have fled into Sudan, and the fear is that a wider civil war would bring hundreds of thousands of refugees into Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia and Kenya. Even worse, the border war between Ethiopia and Eritrea may be renewed The African Union called for a ceasefire, but we know how those things go.

I've written about the civil war between the Tigrays and the Oromos several times in the past, and how Abiy Ahmed got a Nobel "Peace" Prize by ending the civil war. But, as in the case of Nagorno-Karabakh, there is a generational pattern that's always followed, with alternating periods of peace and conflict, with the conflict worsening with each iteration. I'm still spending a lot of time on my Vietnam book, but I'll try to write something soon to bring the Ethiopian civil war up to date.

Sources:

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19-Oct-20 World View -- Thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok demand reform of Thailand's monarchy

Brief generational history of Thailand

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok demand reform of Thailand's monarchy


Pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok hold up their mobile phones as they rally in defiance of the government's emergency declaration (EPA)
Pro-democracy protesters in Bangkok hold up their mobile phones as they rally in defiance of the government's emergency declaration (EPA)

Thailand's military junta government is in crisis after five continuous days of anti-government protests in Bangkok by thousands of protesters, mostly young students, demanding that army general Prayuth Chan-ocha step down as prime minister. Protests are also spreading to other provinces.

A new aspect of these protests is the demand that the monarchy be reformed. In the past, protesters have not made this kind of demand, since criticizing the monarchy in Thailand is considered a severe violation of the law.

On Friday, police in Bangkok used a water cannon with chemical-laced water that stings the eyes to repel thousands of pro-democracy protesters. However, the protesters were mostly young students, and some were children, and so the police have been heavily criticized for attacking children with chemical laced water.

The protests began in July, and reached tens of thousands of protesters on some days in the last few days. The protesters have been copying some of the tactics of the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests of last year, forming flash mobs that scatter when confronted by police, but then form a new protest in another place.

Dozens of pro-democracy activists have been jailed, but that hasn't stopped the protests, as they've used online communications to play cat and mouse with the police.

The protesters used "pop-up demonstrations" to outfox the police, leaving the police protecting an empty intersection, while they gathered at another intersection.

The protesters are mostly young people, born since the late 1990s, who have known only coups, protests and military governments during their lifetime. Many of them have vivid memories of 2010, when the Bangkok army, led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha, used tanks and live fire to disperse and kill "red shirt" protesters in Bangkok.

The most recent coup occurred in May 2014, when a military junta led by General Prayuth Chan-ocha overthrew the democratically elected government of prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and made Prayuth the prime minister.

Red Shirt vs Yellow Shirt protests

The core issue in Thailand is that there are two ethnic groups, and the ones in charge are in the minority, and the minority is repressing the majority ethnic group. In any country, this would be a situation resulting in riots, protests or even civil war, and Thailand is no exception.

The vast majority of Thailand's population are the dark-skinned lower class indigenous people, also called "Thai-Thai" and "red shirts," 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 as servants of the Thai-Chinese.

The Thai-Chinese, also called "yellow shirts," are the light-skinned descendants of a wave of Chinese workers that poured into the country to find jobs in the 1930s. They comprise 1/4 of the population, live mostly around Bangkok, and are extremely contemptuous of the indigenous Thai-Thai, whom they consider to be inferior.

What this means is that if Thailand holds a free and fair election, and race is an issue, as it always is, then the indigenous Thai-Thai red shirts are going to win every time, much to the distress of the élite Thai-Chinese in Bangkok.

In the 2000s decade, an extremely charismatic leader Thaksin Shinawatra became prime minister in 2001. He was born in Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand with a long history of restive opposition to control by Bangkok. In office, he implemented a number of programs that were favored by the large mass of rural Thai-Thai voters in the northeast of the country. Thaksin became very popular with the poor rural voters in the north and northeast, but he angered the wealthier, better educated élite population in the southern areas around Bangkok.

When he was reelected in 2005, the army staged a bloodless coup that overthrew Thaksin's government, and forced Thaksin into exile. There were new elections in 2007, and a Thaksin's party easily won control of the government, and named a Thaksin ally as prime minister.

The new prime minister, Samak Sundaravej took office in December 2007. This is where everything turned to farce. Apparently Samak is also quite a good amateur cook, and for many years he hosted a televised cooking show. He kept on with the cooking show after he became Prime Minister, causing a court to remove him from office, because the cooking show represented a conflict of interest with his job as Prime Minister.

So Samak Sundaravej was ousted because he had a cooking show, and the parliament, still controlled by Thaksin's party, then named Somchai Wongsawat, another Thaksin ally, as prime minister. That's when the "yellow shirt" protests began.

It became clear to the élite in Bangkok that the indigenous Thai-Thai were going to keep on winning, so the yellow-shirt Thai-Chinese held massive protests in 2008, mostly peaceful, but shutting down the entire city, including the airport. Samak Sundaravej was forced to resign, and the army installed a Thai-Chinese prime minister, Abhisit Vejjajiva.

Red shirt protests in 2010

At the beginning of April 2010, the "red shirt" protests began, demanding that Abhisit Vejjajiva resign, followed by new elections. Of course, new elections would mean a new red-shirt political victory.

Masses of protesters occupied Bangkok's high-class shopping district, forcing stores to close, and leading to a state of emergency. Army troops attempted to clear the protestors on April 10, but suffered a humiliating defeat, with 25 people killed, and hundreds injured.

The protests finally ended in May when the Thai army ran tanks through their barricades and assaulted them with live ammunition, and after the most radical elements of the protestors retaliated by burning down shopping centers and the stock exchange. The violence left civilians on both sides extremely bitter.

So in 2011 there was another election. The party of Thaksin Shinawatra's political party easily won the parliamentary election decisively again, as was obvious that it would, and the parliament selected a new prime minister -- Yingluck Shinawatra, the sister of Thaksin, who was still in exile in Dubai. And to add to the comedy, she said the following:

I am ready to fight according to the rules and I ask for the opportunity to prove myself. I ask for your trust as you used to trust my brother. I will utilise my femininity to work fully for our country."

Well, the misogynists in the Thai-Chinese élite somehow weren't fully charmed by Yingluck's femininity.

Returning 'power to the people' in 2014

In December 2013, yellow shirt rioters were back in the street again, with anti-government protests. About 30,000 "yellow shirt" rioters occupied government buildings and hurled stones and petrol bombs at police, who fired back tear gas. At least four people were killed and dozens injured. The anti-government yellow shirt leader Suthep Thaugsuban met with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and gave her a 48 hour ultimatum "to return power to the people."

Was Suthep calling for new elections? Obviously not, since that would just mean another victory for the hated dark-skinned Thai-Thai indigenous red shirt majority. It turned out that what he meant was that he was demanding that Yingluck resign, and that a new "People's Council" select the next prime minister. Presumably, the People's Council would be packed with Thai-Chinese.

What the yellow-shirts were objecting to was a rice-subsidy scheme that Yingluck began in 2011 that paid rice farmers above market rate for their crop. This pleased the Thai-Thai rice farmers in the north around Chiang Mai, but it cost the government $21 billion, and infuriated the powerful élite Thai-Chinese opposition in Bangkok.

A month later, in January 2014, Yingluck offered to resign and call for new elections, but the yellow shirt élite protesters forced the new election to be called off because they knew that Yingluck's party would win.

In Thailand, the Thai-Chinese élites are backed by the monarchy, the army and the courts. So in May 2014, the courts ruled that Yingluck and her government should be impeached because of the rice subsidy. Then they used the courts to appoint the "People's Council" described above.

However, General Prayuth Chan-ocha didn't wait that long. He seized control of the government two days later, and announced on Thai television:

"In order for the situation to return to normal quickly and for society to love and be at peace again ... and to reform the political, economic and social structure, the military needs to take control of power."

Love and peace - more comedy. In 2017, Yingluck was convicted of corruption, but the army looked the other way when she fled the country, fearing popular riots from her supporters. Yingluck is now in exile with her brother Thaksin.

After the 2014 coup, Prayuth promised to hold elections in early 2015, then in 2016, and then in November 2018, canceling them each time. Finally he held a rigged election in March 2019, which he won.

That brings us to 2020, and new protests by the Thai-Thai red shirts.

Many of these protesters were young children when General Prayuth used bullets and tanks to disperse and kill their parents and older brothers and sisters during the red shirt protests in 2011.

The army is being criticized for using water cannons on the protesters on Friday, since the water contained burning chemicals, and many of the protesters were children.

Demands to reform Thailand's monarchy

The ruling élite face the continuing problem that 3/4 of Thailand's population are the hated dark-skinned indigenous Thai-Thai red shirts, and they will win any election in a democracy. The ruling élite may have found a solution: Restore the monarchy so that the King is ruling again, and there are no more elections. No more democracy.

The problem with this solution is that the current king is so scandal-ridden and so unpopular that any solution like this would lead to a further backlash among red shirts, and possibly even among yellow shirts.

Thailand's previous king, Bhumibol Adulyadej, also known as Rama IX, was born on December 5, 1927, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was on the throne in Thailand since 1946, and so until his death on October 13, 2016, he was ever-present as King of Thailand, and the only monarch that almost every resident of Thailand had ever known. Bhumibol had been a calming voice that had seen Thailand through multiple national crises, including several coups and military takeovers, and so he was highly revered, so much so that the country has passed so-called "lèse-majesté" laws that make it a crime to even criticize the monarchy.

Despite his being 88 years old, Bhumibol's death in 2016 still came as a shock to the Thai people, probably most of all to the person next in line for the throne, the highly unpopular 62-year-old Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn. Vajiralongkorn was an international playboy, living mostly in Germany, who had been divorced four times, and who had disowned his own children by one of the wives. So he didn't even want to be king, but he reluctantly assumed the throne a year later, under pressure from the army, and became King Rama X.

Vajiralongkorn's numerous scandals and his reported cruelty to his wives and servants have made him a target of the protesters. However, even a mild criticism can make someone liable for arrest under the "lèse-majesté" laws. In fact, the army junta has made draconian use of the lèse-majesté as a tool for jailing dissidents.

The protesters are demanding that the monarchy be reformed. They're particularly critical of his vast wealth and his taking personal control of $40 billion of Thailand's financial assets.

The élite have decided that they can no longer hold elections, since the hated Thai-Thai red shirts will always win. Prayuth denies that there are plans to replace the democracy with a new monarchy ruled by Vajiralongkorn. However, Vajiralongkorn's act in taking control of $40 billion of Thailand's assets leads many to believe that replacing the democracy with a monarchy is just a step away.

Brief generational history of Thailand

Thaksin and Yingluck Shinawatra were born in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. Chiang Mai is the red shirt stronghold, and plays an important part in Thailand's history.

Chiang Mai was built in 1296 to be the capital city of the Lanna Kingdom (the kingdom of a million rice fields). The Lanna kingdom was successfully invaded and incorporated into Burma as a vassal state in 1557. Over the next 200 years Chiang Mai fell at various times under the rule of the strongest invader, be it Burma or Siam.

In 1774, Siam finally drove the Burmese out of the Lanna Kingdom. The Lanna Kingdom eventually became part of Siam in 1892. The Lanna Kingdom was gradually dissolved and condensed into an area centered around Chiang Mai. In 1932 the whole Chiang Mai area officially became a province of Siam.

Thailand's 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 élite Thai-Chinese minority.

Thailand's 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 up to 3 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 been taken away by a military junta.

History doesn't repeat itself, but it rhymes.

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11-Oct-20 World View -- Russia mediates humanitarian ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan's objectives

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

Russia mediates humanitarian ceasefire between Armenia and Azerbaijan


Topographical map of the Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh (Al-Jazeera)
Topographical map of the Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh (Al-Jazeera)

A temporary truce between Armenia and Azerbaijan was mostly successful on Saturday, although each side accused the other of violating the ceasefire.

The ceasefire was mediated by Russia, which applied heavy pressure to both sides to accept the agreement. It's being described as a humanitarian ceasefire, to permit the two sides to exchange prisoners, and for the Red Cross to remove dead bodies. Also, it will give both sides time to reload and resupply their weapons in preparation for the next round of fighting.

The two countries are fighting over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh ("highland Karabakh") province and seven adjacent regions within Azerbaijan territory that are populated and governed by Armenians. The two countries used to be member states of the Soviet Union, which collapsed in 1991. A major war was fought between the two countries, and it ended in stalemate in 1994, under pressure from Russia.

There have been occasional outbursts of fighting since then, but the fighting that began on September 27 of this year is the worst so far since 1994.

Armenia says that its objective is that Nagorno-Karabakh should be recognized internationally as an independent state, Artsakh. That isn't going to happen.

Azerbaijan's objectives

Azerbaijan says that its objective is to gain full control of the enclave, as it is Azerbaijan territory. According to a number of tv analysts, Azerbaijan officials feel that this objective is within its grasp. Several of the areas adjacent to Nagorno-Karabakh have already been captured by the Azeri army.

In 1994, when Russia mediated a ceasefire, Armenia was much more militarily powerful than Azerbaijan, and was able to take over Nagorno-Karabakh. However, the situations are reversed today, and Azerbaijan is more powerful militarily, according to these analysts. Furthermore, the international community is supportive of Azerbaijan since Nagorno-Karabakh is officially Azeri territory.

Turkey is supporting its Turkic brother Azerbaijan, and has promised to provide military aid if necessary. Furthermore, Turkey has little concern about good relations with Armenia, having been accused of genocide against the Armenian people in 1915.

Russia is close to its Eastern Orthodox Christian sister Armenia, and has a military base in Armenia, but wants to maintain good relations with both countries. Russia is applying maximum pressure to both sides to keep the ceasefire going, but it seems unlikely that the ceasefire will continue much longer.

One analyst suggested that there's "horse-trading" going on. For example, Russia may convince Armenia to give up Nagorno-Karabakh in return for Turkey pulling its forces out of Syria. That's an interesting idea -- then the Azeris could massacre the Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh in revenge for the massacre of Azeris by Armenians in the 1990s, and Syria's president Bashar al-Assad could continue with its genocide and ethnic cleansing of Sunni Arabs in Syria's Idlib province. That would be an explosive development, so I do not believe that this particular version of "horse-trading" is likely. (Paragraph corrected, 11-Oct)

Meanwhile, there are other things going on in the world. I'm working every spare minute to finish up my book on Vietnam. Kyrgyzstan's government has collapsed, and people are rioting, because of alleged election fraud. China is stepping up warplane flights threatening Taiwan, is demanding that US ships stop entering international waters in the South China Sea illegally claimed by China, and is arresting anyone in Hong Kong who dares to criticize Beijing. The United States is locked into an election campaign circus, and Americans are generally completely oblivious to anything going on in the world. And many countries are trying to avoid more lockdowns, as cases of Wuhan Coronavirus have been surging in many countries, especially in Europe. And that's the way it is.

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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 GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Armenia warns of 'full-scale war' with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Possible intervention by Turkey and Russia

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.

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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 GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Lebanon's new prime minister resigns in failure, throwing country into further chaos
  • President Trump harshly attacks China and World Health Org at UN

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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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 GenerationalDynamics.com

  • China crosses and repudiates 'median line' separating China from Taiwan
  • China's incursion strategy
  • China's dual-track policy towards Taiwan

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:

  • to conduct training missions to prepare pilots for encountering foreign air forces during long-range flights;
  • to probe and gather intel on Japanese, South Korean, and Taiwanese forces;
  • to demonstrate air power capable of protecting its territorial and security interests;
  • and to apply coercive pressure to decouple coalitions resistant to Chinese influence in the region.

"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:

  • Escalating military deterrence toward Taiwan, such as the last week's intrusions into Taiwan's ADIZ by dozens of Chinese warplanes.
  • Adopting no-contact policy by cutting off all levels of political communications DPP politicians in Taiwan with any mainland institutions or officials. The CPP tolerated this contacts when the KMT was in power.
  • Using a variety of coercive techniques -- bribery and extortion -- to get other countries to end diplomatic relations with Taiwan.
  • Preventing Taiwan from participating in various international organizations, such as the World Health Organization.
  • Blacklsting actors, singers and other entertainment industry figures who have expressed pro-independence views.

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:

  • Beijing's pressure in security, political and diplomatic areas has aroused backlash from the DPP, and even stimulated pro-independence figures to advocate more radical pro-independence initiatives.
  • "Instead, the mainland's confrontational approaches in security, political and diplomatic frontiers would undermine the credibility and sincerity of Beijing's conciliatory gestures in economic, social and cultural areas. The strained cross-Strait relations will inevitably exacerbate the hostility and drive common Taiwanese to turn their back on the mainland China, which will consequently make it harder, instead of easier, to charm the public into favoring Beijing's ultimate goal of unifying the two sides peacefully."
  • Beijing's hardline stance undermines its efforts to achieve reunification by "winning the hearts and minds of the Taiwan people." The enduring standoff has already strengthened and deepened civilian distrust and antagonism between the two societies.

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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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 GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Economic powerhouse Vietnam scrambles to recover from pandemic setbacks
  • Vietnam's successful fight against the Wuhan Coronavirus
  • Vietnam focuses on foreign investment and trade
  • Government heightened focus on high tech and artificial intelligence
  • Human Rights
  • Marxist Socialism before Marx -- Vietnam's Tay-Son rebellion
  • Aftermath of the Tay-Son rebellion
  • Vietnam's future

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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

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, https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Supremacy-Obsession-Generational/dp/1732738610/

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, https://www.amazon.com/Generational-Dynamics-Anniversary-Forecasting-Americas/dp/1732738629/

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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 GenerationalDynamics.com

  • New 'historic' Israel-Bahrain peace agreement generates controversy
  • Mideast peace continues to be a fantasy objective

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 GenerationalDynamics.com

  • India scores tactical victory in Ladakh border conflict, causing fury in China
  • Comments by Chinese analysts in the media

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:

  • The Indians want leverage in future negotiations over the South China Sea.
  • India is signalling that if a conflict occurs on the border, then it may resort to retaliation against China at sea by targeting China's oil and gas transport vessels, "thereby, urging the Chinese government to take proper countermeasures to deal with the disturbances at the sea."
  • India is working at the behest of the United States, particularly since there may be a US-China military showdown before the US elections.
  • More specifically, India and the Americans have reached a behind-the-scenes deal that the latter will build up pressure on China's eastern and southern fronts, India will activate the western front, so as to force China to take action under unfavorable terms, forced to fight on both sides.
  • Since the Wuhan Coronavirus epidemic began, "India has decided to stand with the United States in the great power competition."

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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30-Aug-20 World View -- South China Sea: Vietnam prepares new lawsuit against China, as China launches missile barrage

South China Sea tensions soar after China launches missile barrage

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • South China Sea tensions soar after China launches missile barrage
  • Vietnam prepares new arbitration lawsuit against China
  • The path to war with China

South China Sea tensions soar after China launches missile barrage


U-2 spy plane (Reuters)
U-2 spy plane (Reuters)

China's military launched a barrage of ballistic missiles into the South China Sea on Tuesday, triggering a further escalation of tensions between China and the United States.

China's state media said that they were DF-21D and DF-26 missiles, which China developed specifically to target moving American aircraft carriers, with the ability to adjust their path after launch to follow the moving carrier. According to the Global Times, "China's DF-26 and DF-21D are the world's first ballistic missiles capable of targeting large and medium-sized vessels, earning them the title of 'aircraft carrier killers.'"

The missile launches set off a flurry of statements on both sides.

According to a Pentagon statement:

"Conducting military exercises over disputed territory in the South China Sea is counterproductive to easing tensions and maintaining stability. The PRC's [China's] actions, including missile tests, further destabilize the situation in the South China Sea."

According to Chinese military commentators:

"This is China’s response to the potential risks brought by the increasingly frequent incoming US warplanes and military vessels in the South China Sea. China doesn’t want the neighboring countries to misunderstand Beijing’s goals. ...

The US continues to test China’s bottom line in Taiwan and South China Sea issues, and this pushed China to showcase its military strength to let Washington know that even US aircraft carriers cannot flex their full muscle near China’s coast."

The "incoming US warplanes and military vessels" phrase refers to an American U-2 spy plane sent on Tuesday into an area illegally claimed by China, and a Freedom of Navigation operation (FONO) by the US guided missile destroyer USS Mustin near the Paracel Islands, which are illegally claimed by China.

Laughably, when the FONO operation ended, the Chinese claimed that they had driven the Mustin away:

"The USS Mustin, a US Navy guided missile destroyer, trespassed into the China's territorial waters in the [Paracel] Islands on Thursday, and the [Chinese military] dispatched naval and air forces to track, identify and warn it leave, said Senior Colonel Li Huamin, a spokesperson.

The US ignored the rules of the international law, repeatedly stirred up troubles in the South China Sea, exercised navigational hegemony in the name of "freedom of navigation," seriously undermined China's sovereignty and security interests, and severely sabotaged the international navigation order in the South China Sea, Li said.

China has undisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and their adjacent waters in the region, and the command troops are always on high alert to resolutely protect national sovereignty and safeguard peace and stability in the region of the South China Sea, Li said."

You know, Dear Reader, writing these articles over the years, I've had to deal with so many trolls, from China, Russia, Iran, Syria, and elsewhere, and after a while one just gets tired of the bullshit. China does not have "indisputable sovereignty" over the islands. They have no sovereignty whatsoever. The US plus everyone in the region is disputing it. Furthermore in July 2016, the United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled that China had no sovereignty, and that its activities in the South China Sea are illegal.

Furthermore, the Chinese are highly contemptuous of international law as it applies to them, but they demand that everyone else conform.

As I've said in the past, the Chinese are unique in a highly racist way, as I described in my book, "War Between China and Japan." While people in America consider themselves to be ordinary people who were lucky enough to be born in the greatest nation in world history, the Chinese Communists view themselves as the Master Race -- yellow race, black hair, brown eyes, yellow skin -- and the rest of us as barbarians. They see international law as a way to control us, the barbarians. They'll sign an international agreement knowing that they'll violate it at will, because they're the Master Race, and the rest of us are just there to serve the Chinese.

Since completing my book on China and Japan, I've been working on a book on the history of Vietnam. It's clear that nobody has a claim on the South China Sea, but if anyone does, it's Vietnam. Vietnam's Champa Kingdom, in particular, has been guardian of the sea for centuries. The Chinese were never interested in it until Chiang Kai-Shek, an admirer of Adolf Hitler, took an interest in it in 1947, and decided to claim it just as Hitler had claimed Poland. Mao Zedong continued to claim it for Communist China.

The whole claim has always been a hoax, based on one lie after another. One of the biggest lies occurred at a September 25, 2015, press conference on the White House lawn, where Xi Jinping blatantly lied to President Barack Obama, saying that China had no intention to militarize the South China Sea, at a time when China was already moving rapidly to militarize the South China Sea. This was a significant lie about a major military matter, and it shows that the thugs in the Chinese Communist Party are never anything but trolls, even at the top.

So now the Chinese are still claiming "indisputable sovereignty." After a while, one just gets sick and tired of listening to all this crap from the Chinese Communists.

The US retaliated on Wednesday with sanctions, blacklisting 24 Chinese companies and individuals involved in China's illegal construction and military actions in the South China Sea.

Vietnam prepares new arbitration lawsuit against China

The Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) has ten members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

This association has always worked very hard not to anger China, which means saying very little about China's illegal claims to the South China Sea. In particular, very little is said at their meetings about the 2016 victory by the Philippines at International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in the Hague. The ruling declared China's activities in the South China Sea to be illegal.

However, positions have been hardening this year. The US and Australia have already issued "notes verbales", or formal diplomatic requests, to the United Nations, challenging China's claims to the South China Sea, quoting the 2016 Tribunal ruling. Japan is taking similar steps.

What's new is that several ASEAN states are also losing their fear of angering China, and are issuing their own notes. These include Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam and Brunei.

In particular, Vietnam has been taking steps to file a new lawsuit with International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea to reaffirm the 2016 decision for the Philippines, and provide additional support for Vietnam's own claims. This would be politically explosive.

In July 2016, one day after the Hague Tribunal issued its ruling against China, the Master Race's vice foreign minister Liu Zhenmin said, "It is just a piece of waste paper. You may just chuck it in the bin, leave it on the shelf, or put it in archives." Whether it's China's 1984 agreement on Hong Kong, or China's commitments to the World Trade Organization, or any other agreement, the Chinese are contemptuous of all such agreements, and see their only use as keeping the barbarians (the rest of us) under control.

The path to war with China

China has gotten away with that for decades, as the world kept hoping that China would slowly turn into a liberal democracy. Instead, each year it's become more and more criminal.

As I'm working on my book on Vietnam, I have to point out one irony. After the Vietnam war, Vietnam was a hardcore communist country led by a fanatic, Le Duan. When he died in April 1986, the country actually did open up and institute many reforms. It's far from a liberal democracy today, but it has been moving in that direction.

The opposite is true in China. After the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Chinese Communist Party became paranoid, desperate and belligerent, increasingly so every year.

Now the world is turning against China, especially after they seeded hundreds of nations, apparently intentionally, with the Wuhan Coronavirus, while controlling it within China itself. I've often said that Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward, which killed 50 million innocent Chinese for no reason at all, was the stupidest policy enacted by any nation in the history of the world. But I may have to change that opinion now that China has adopted an even stupider policy with regard to the Wuhan Coronavirus.

So China is becoming increasingly belligerent every year, and the Western nations are becoming increasingly hostile to China every year. This has resulted in tit-for-tat confrontations that have been escalating and will continue to escalate.

These escalating tit-for-tat escalations are exactly the path that always leads to war. There's no way to stop this, given the paranoia and desperation of the Chinese Communist thugs.

This past week, China's military launched four "carrier killer" missiles into the South China Sea, in a "signal" to the United States. That's just the next escalating step. Sooner or later, it will escalate to full scale war.

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22-Aug-20 World View -- Hezbollah implicated in catastrophic Beirut Lebanon explosion

Media investigations reveal new facts about the Beirut Lebanon explosion

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Media investigations reveal new facts about the Beirut Lebanon explosion
  • Investigation implicates Hezbollah in explosion

Media investigations reveal new facts about the Beirut Lebanon explosion


A man stands near the Beirut blast site on August 11.  Graffiti reads 'My government did this' (Reuters)
A man stands near the Beirut blast site on August 11. Graffiti reads 'My government did this' (Reuters)

Ever since the catastrophic explosion in the Beirut, Lebanon, seaport on Tuesday, August 4, leveled thousands of homes, killed and injured thousands of people, and left 300,000 people homeless, Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, the Iranian puppet leader of the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, has been running as fast as he can in the other direction, to avoid being blamed. ( "9-Aug-20 World View -- Beirut Lebanon police clash with furious protesters following Tuesday's catastrophic explosion")

At first, Nasrallah insisted he knew nothing about the 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that exploded, after being stored in the port unprotected since 2013, in a warehouse next door to a fireworks factory. Then he tried to blame Israel. Then, when a furious public demanded an international investigation, he insisted that any investigation could only be done locally -- that is, controlled by Hezbollah.

Nasrallah is still doing everything possible to prevent an official international investigation by the United Nations or by the European Union, but unfortunately for him, he has no way to stop unofficial investigations by media or other private parties.

An investigation conducted by the German magazine Der Spiegel and the journalism network called the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has revealed that Hezbollah fingerprints are all over the explosion, and that the storage of the ammonium nitrate in the first place was under Hezbollah control.

Investigation implicates Hezbollah in explosion

As I detailed in my August 9 article, the "official" narrative has been that a Moldovan-flagged, Russian-owned cargo ship, the MV Rhosus, carrying 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, left Georgia in 2013 heading for Mozambique, but stopped in Beirut because of technical problems, and because the owner could not afford the fees to pass through the Suez Canal. The ship was impounded in Beirut, but despite repeated requests and warnings of danger from customs officials, the Beirut courts refused to permit the ammonium nitrate to be removed or sold.

The investigation by Spiegel and OCCRP revealed numerous flaws and problems with the official narrative:

  • The Rhosus was actually owned by the Cypriot businessman Charalambos Manoli, not by a Russian.
  • Manoli used a variety of subterfuges to hide his ownership of the Rhosus from the Lebanese authorities.
  • Manoli had a major relationship with a bank known to launder money for Hezbollah, and Manoli owed millions of dollars to this bank.
  • The Rhosus stopped in Beirut because Manoli ordered the crew to stop in Beirut.
  • An investigation in Mozambique failed to find any evidence that the Rhosus ever had Mozambique as a destination. It appears that Beirut was always the intended final destination.
  • An inspection of the ammonium nitrate in spring 2020 raised doubts that all 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate were still there. Based on the size of the explosion, European intelligence officials believe it was between 700 and 1,000 tonnes. So what happened to the rest?

The Hezbollah militia has an iron grip on Beirut, especially on the Beirut seaport. So one possibility is that in 2013 Hezbollah ordered the delivery of the ammonium nitrate, and has been using it for weapons and explosives in Syria and elsewhere since then.

There are other possibilities as well. That's why it's most important for an international investigation to determine what actually happened. Even though Hezbollah will do everything possible to block any such investigation, it's only a matter of time before all the facts come out.

In any case, this crisis isn't over, and won't be for years.

Sources:

Related Article:

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17-Aug-20 World View -- Microsoft's monopolistic practices leave Windows 10 vulnerable to massive hacking attack

The political power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Microsoft's monopolistic practices leave Windows 10 vulnerable to massive hacking attack
  • Example #1: Apple's iPhone forced slowdown using 'throttling'
  • Example #2: Microsoft forcing an upgrade to Enterprise edition
  • Example #3: Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10
  • Example #4: Microsoft's crapware (games, ads, trials) downloads
  • Crapware downloads risk global hacking attack
  • The political power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft
  • The 'Hate Speech', 'Fake Speech' censorship monopoly
  • The power of monopoly -- and the danger
  • Sources
  • Previous articles about China
  • Previous articles about financial fraud
  • Previous articles about the financial crisis
  • Previous articles about Healthcare.gov disaster

Microsoft's monopolistic practices leave Windows 10 vulnerable to massive hacking attack


Windows 10 task manager screen showing when Microsoft is downloading crapware (games, ads, trials, teasers) to your computer without asking you.  Notice that the C: drive is 100% active, and this can go on for hours, at high priority, sometimes crippling the computer
Windows 10 task manager screen showing when Microsoft is downloading crapware (games, ads, trials, teasers) to your computer without asking you. Notice that the C: drive is 100% active, and this can go on for hours, at high priority, sometimes crippling the computer

There was a major news story recently that you may have missed about an extremely serious hacking breach.

Last month, hackers took control of dozens of Twitter accounts, and used them to try to extort hundreds of thousands of dollars from millions of Twitter users. The hackers used a very simple "low tech" technique to gain control: they bribed or extorted or tricked a Twitter employee to giving them control. There are undoubtedly hundreds or even thousands of people in Twitter's IT department with full access to the user databases who could have satisfied the hackers, although Twitter is now thought to be reducing that number.

When this happened, most people were shocked that this could even happen. Most thought that it was impossible. In this article, we're going to show that this and a lot worse can happen to Microsoft and other online services.

According to Twitter:

"The attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter’s internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections. As of now, we know that they accessed tools only available to our internal support teams to target 130 Twitter accounts. For 45 of those accounts, the attackers were able to initiate a password reset, login to the account, and send Tweets. We are continuing our forensic review of all of the accounts to confirm all actions that may have been taken. In addition, we believe they may have attempted to sell some of the usernames."

News reports at the time speculated that the Twitter attack was just a rehearsal for a much larger attack by Russia or China to be launched just prior to the November 3 election, to influence the election.

According to press reports, all the hackers wanted was money, but press reports speculate that they could have been a lot more malicious, and the recent attack could have been a practice test for a more extensive attack to manipulate the November 3 elections.

According to Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.):

"This hack bodes ill for November balloting. Count this incident as a near miss or shot across the bow. It could have been much worse with different targets. So many security red flags are raised by this criminal attack that the culprits should be tracked down as quickly as possible."

Blumenthal is right about the large number of security red flags. But he's wrong that the problem can be solved by tracking down the culprits. The reason he's wrong is that this is a simple, low-tech attack. There's no super-complex hacking software involved. It's done the old fashioned way, with bribery and extortion or tricking of Twitter employees.

And the same low-tech attack could be used on any of the online giants -- Google, Amazon, Facebook, or Microsoft or indeed on any large online service. A malicious actor, including a country like China or Russia, could use bribery or extortion to "manipulate" one or more IT employees to gain access to or control of dozens or hundreds or even thousands of user accounts or computers. This is what happened at Twitter, and it can happen at any of the online giants. How the malicious actor uses that access or control varies from one online giant to another, but the core technique of using bribery or extortion to gain control is the same in all cases.

In this article, we're going to focus on Microsoft. According to Microsoft, there are almost one billion desktop computers running Windows 10. Microsoft is a monopolist with complete control of Windows 10 on those one billion computers. Microsoft can update or modify the Windows 10 software at any time, and there's nothing that any user can do to stop it because, for almost all users, there's no other choice but to use Windows 10. Microsoft is the quintessential monopolist, with total control of a product that one billion people are forced to use.

We're going to show how Microsoft illegally uses its monopoly power to extort money from users. The method is obvious from the numbers: If Microsoft can update or modify the Windows 10 software on computers in order to "coerce" a million users to pay $100 each for Microsoft apps or services or upgrades, then Microsoft makes $100 million for doing essentially nothing. This is the essense of monopoly power.

We're going to show how Microsoft is already doing that, and we're going to show how a malicious actor, like Russia or China, could use an attack similar to the Twitter hack to extort money or even to start a war.

Let's begin by giving three examples of how this has already occurred in other ways.

Example #1: Apple's iPhone forced slowdown using 'throttling'

It's estimated that some 3 billion iPhones have been sold, and Apple has the kind of monopolistic control over them that Microsoft has over Windows. Apple has already used criminal monopolistic behavior to force users of older iPhones to upgrade.

You may recall from March that Apple was forced to pay up to $500 million to settle a US lawsuit. Apple had used its monopolistic control over iPhones to slow down old iPhones, in order to coerce users into upgrading. This is criminal behavior under the antitrust laws, and that's why Apple was forced to settle, and was anxious to settle. They were lucky that it cost them only $500 million.

Here are some excerpts from a Reuters news story from March:

"Apple to pay up to $500 million to settle U.S. lawsuit over slow iPhones

(Reuters) - Apple Inc has agreed to pay up to $500 million to settle litigation accusing it of quietly slowing down older iPhones as it launched new models, to induce owners to buy replacement phones or batteries.

Consumers contended that their phones’ performance suffered after they installed Apple software updates. They said this misled them into believing their phones were near the end of their lifecycles, requiring replacements or new batteries.

Apple attributed the problems mainly to temperature changes, high usage and other issues, and said its engineers worked quickly and successfully to address them. Analysts sometimes refer to the slowing of iPhones as “throttling.”

Following an initial outcry over slow iPhones, Apple apologized and lowered the price for replacement batteries to $29 from $79."

Apple was committing a crime by using its monopoly control of iPhones to force iPhones to run more slowly, in order to coerce the user to upgrade to a new iPhone. That's why Apple was desperate to settle as quickly as possible.

An important part of Apple's behavior is that it must be as obscure as possible to the user. If the user knew that Apple was purposely throttling his iPhone, he might trade it in for an Android. Instead, slowing the iPhone down is made as obscure and invisible as possible so that the user doesn't know what's going on, and just buys a new iPhone.

I realize that many people idolize Tim Cook and Apple, but this is incredibly sleazy behavior. Apple managers are screwing their own customers to essentially extort their customers to buy new iPhones. It's absolutely incredible, but it shows the state of corporate management these days. Apple managers like Tim Cook and Craig Federighi are criminals who are totally lacking in morality and ethics. And this criminal behavior actually happened.

But with 3 billion iPhones under their control, morality and ethics go out the window, as Cook and Federighi look for ways to extort more cash from users. The chance to extort billions of dollars from users is just too tempting.

If anyone reading this wants to argue that Microsoft managers are less unethical and immoral than Apple managers, then I'd like to hear that argument.

Example #2: Microsoft forcing an upgrade to Enterprise edition

Example #1 was Apple's illegal throttling hack on iPhones to slow them down, forcing users to upgrade.

Example #2 is an illegal action in 2016 by Microsoft to force Windows Pro users to upgrade to Windows Enterprise, costing as much as $200 for each user.

In July 2016, Microsoft updated Windows 10 on its customers' desktop to make it impossible for Windows Pro users to eliminate Windows crapware like games, ads, trials and teasers. Users already have to pay a big premium to run Windows Professional, but they do so because, well, they're professionals like me, and want a professional version of Windows, so they want the option of removing things like games. But that's not good enough for Microsoft. Microsoft wants to force Pro users to pay $100-200 more per computer to get the professional features they thought they already had.

Here is a July 28, 2016, post by Russian blogger Sergey Tkachenko on his Winaero blog:

"Microsoft locks some Group Policy options to Enterprise editions in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Today, we surprisingly discovered that Microsoft has secretly changed the availability of some Group Policy options in Windows 10 version 1607. Windows 10 version 1607 "Anniversary Update" has reduced the control via Group Policy that you have in Pro edition. Pro edition users have lesser options available compared to version 1511, so many behaviors of the OS cannot be controlled.

If you open the Group Policy management console and read the description of certain policy settings in Windows 10 build 14393, you will find out that the options mentioned below are NO LONGER AVAILABLE for Windows 10 Pro users. They are locked down to Enterprise and Education editions only: ...

Turn off Microsoft consumer experiences. Using this option, you could prevent Windows 10 from automatically downloading and installing promoted apps like Candy Crush Soda Saga, Flipper, Twitter, NetFlix, Pandora, MSN News and many other potentially unwanted apps and games. Now you can't prevent these apps from being automatically downloaded and installed if you are using Windows 10 Pro or Home editions. The policy setting (or Registry setting) has no effect in these editions. consumer experience Starting with Windows 10 Anniversary Update, you can only control unwanted apps in Enterprise and Educations editions of Windows 10. This behavior was confirmed when I upgraded my Windows 7 Professional to Windows 10 Pro and many unwanted apps installed automatically from the Store."

A Zdnet article by Mary Jo Foley at that same time explains why Microsoft did this:

"Why did Microsoft remove the ability for admins to change and shut off these apps and settings? I asked and didn't hear back from company officials.

Some of us cynics believe the change was because Microsoft wants to get more users to upgrade to the more expensive Enterprise SKU. ...

Microsoft officials have been very up front about looking for ways to make money indirectly from Windows 10 in various ways, including promotional/sponsored app suggestions. ... The Softies are trying to push more people to go to the Store and download new/more apps. Microsoft gets a cut of third-party apps downloaded from the Store."

This is pretty much a smoking gun. Microsoft wants to prevent Pro users from stopping the crapware attacks, so the option to stop them is disabled in the Pro edition. Foley call the Microsoft execs "softies," but I would call them hardcore monopolistic criminals.

This is clearly extortionary behavior by Microsoft that's illegal. There is absolutely no reason to remove these options from the Pro version, except to extort money from users who are trapped by Microsoft's monopoly, and have already paid a premium for the "Professional" version of Windows 10.

Example #3: Upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10

Like many sophisticated users, I used to love my Windows-7 system. It worked great, with none of the Microsoft crap that you have to put up with in Windows-10.

In mid-January 2019, on a Tuesday afternoon, all of a sudden my Windows 7 computer started getting incredibly slow. Firefox was brought to its knees, and Chrome was working intermittently.

I spent many days trying to figure out which process was causing the problem, and then I realized that it was far more sinister: Whenever I started using Firefox, or a Youtube video on Chrome, or Windows Media Player, or any of several other programs, then the problem would occur. What would happen is that that particular program would only use 15-20% of the cpu, but Windows would magically jack up the CPU usage of other normally innocuous processes.

So for example, when the system was mostly idling, process explorer might show the top cpu users as omnipage 1.3%, firefox 0.9%, sidebar 0.9%, emacs 0.1%, acro rd32 0.3%, and so forth, totalling around 10%.

But when I started up a youtube video on chrome, that process would use 23% of the cpu, which wouldn't be a problem. But all of those numbers in the last paragraph were now jacked up to 13.1%, 8.4%, 5.6%, and so forth, totaling 100%, bringing the system to its knees.

In other words, starting up something on Chrome or Media Player or any of numerous other programs would affect every other process on the system. For example, I open Media Player, and suddenly Emacs would go from using 0.1% of the cpu to 13.1% of the cpu, which makes no sense at all.

So I started searching the internet, and I found that it's happening to other people. Apparently it was triggered by a particular windows update. Being a paranoid individual, I took note of the fact that this problem started occurring the same week that Microsoft reminded everyone that Windows 7 support would expire in a year, and I wondered if this was a Microsoft plot to force people to install Windows 10.

What was going on was purposely obscure to 99.9% of the Windows-7 users. I'm one of the few users who could figure out what was going on, since I spent many years of my career developing operating systems. I developed three embedded operating systems, and two mainframe operating systems, so I'm very capable of diagnosing these situations.

So after a great deal of analysis, I knew that the only way this problem could be occurring would be is if someone (Microsoft) changed the operating system in a certain way. There's a process queue in the core of any timesharing operating system, and there's a core o/s function that takes the top process off the queue and gives it a time slice -- let's it execute for a few milliseconds. When the time slice expires, then that process goes on the bottom of the process queue, and the new top of queue is allowed to run for a time slice. That's how the operating system makes it appear that multiple programs are all running simultaneously when, in fact, they are running in turn, a few milliseconds at a time.

So the problem I was having could happen only one way: Microsoft had modified the operating system on my computer to add several milliseconds of time in a do-nothing loop to each time slice for each process. This might have been simply a bug, and that's why I was hoping that it would be corrected in the next Windows update. But it wasn't corrected in the next update or the one after. It was clear to me that that Microsoft was doing this on purpose, to force me to upgrade to Windows 10.

By the way, the only reason I could figure this out was because of my years of operating system experience. Ordinary users would have no clue what was going on, and that's how Microsoft wanted it. And if they called anyone for support, they would simply be told that their computer was getting too old, and they should upgrade to Windows 10.

I knew what was going on, but it didn't matter. Microsoft is a powerful monopolist that can screw me or any of its users at any time of its choosing, to extract money or whatever. After a few weeks of despair, I bought a new Dell Windows-10 computer. Then, of course, Microsoft started with crapware downloads on my new computer, which caused the same kind of performance problem as on my old computer.

Example #4: Microsoft's crapware (games, ads, trials) downloads

I've now given three examples of illegal monopolistic behavior -- Apple throttling iPhones, Microsoft forcing upgrade to Enterprise edition, and Microsoft forcing upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10. All of these are examples are of a monopolistic company illegally using its monopoly power to extort money from users.

We'll now turn to the particular subject of this article, Microsoft's illegal monopolistic behavior downloading crapware. However, this example is much worse because unlike the recent Twitter hack, it's about more than money.

At any time of the day or night, Microsoft downloads several gigabytes of data to my computer, essentially crippling my computer. If I'm trying to get some work done, then I'm screwed. Response time to a simple command becomes 15-30 seconds, and saving a file in an Emacs editor can sometimes take as much as 5 minutes.

The crapware downloads are different from the regular Windows Updates downloads. Those updates occur at scheduled times, and they're carefully controlled by Microsoft procedures that have been developed for years.

However, with Windows 10, that hasn't been enough for Microsoft. Every week, Microsoft downloads several gigabytes of ads, games, videos and other crapware to your computer in a completely uncontrolled fashion. These downloads go on for hours, often completely crippling the desktop computer being targeted.

My experience for the last year is that Microsoft cripples my computer at any time of the day or night, for any number of hours at a time, to store more crapware on my computer. To say that this infuriates me would be a big understatement.

Let me make it clear that I don't care about the ads. I'm used to seeing ads on tv, on web sites, in magazines, and so forth. That's not the problem. The problem is that Microsoft is purposely crippling my computer at any time, for hours at a time, to download their crapware, preventing me from getting my work done. This is criminal behavior by a monopolist, designed to force users to upgrade or to purchase additional Microsoft services.

As a Senior Software Engineer of many decades, I can spot bad software and sloppy implementations. Here's a list of the characteristics of these crapware downloads that reveal the intent:

  • There's no advance warning notification, since that would allow the user to plan for some other activity while the download was going on.
  • Similarly, there's no notification during the download, telling the user what's going on and how long it will last since, once again, the user could plan for something else.
  • And of course there's no way to cancel or reschedule or slow a crapware download.
  • There's no way to identify what process is doing the download, since that would allow a user to lower its priority or cancel it.
  • The download runs at maximum priority, crippling the computer. Clearly, it could run at a lower priority and accomplish the same thing over a longer period of time without crippling the computer, so running at high priority is an intentional choice by Microsoft to harm the user unnecessarily.

As a software engineer of many decades, I see the above list as proof that Microsoft is purposely screwing its users for financial gain, just as Apple did in throttling iPhones. Some of the items in the above list could be fixed trivially, such as displaying advance notifications, and allowing the user to reschedule, or lowering the priority of the process, so that the computer isn't crippled. The fact that Microsoft designed these downloads to do the greatest possible harm to its own users in the most chaotic way is proof, in my opinion, of extreme malice and criminal behavior on the part of Microsoft.

For most users, it's almost impossible to see what's going on, except that your computer slows down. The only way that I know of to see what's happening during a crapware download is to open the Task Manager, go to the performance tab, and click on the "Disk 0 (C:)". You'll see that disk activity is solid 100% without variation, sometimes for hours. (By the way, I've gotten into the habit of leaving the Task Manager window open all the time to that tab. If I'm suddenly having problems, I can click on that window, and usually I can see that a new Microsoft crapware attack is just beginning.)

The graphic at the beginning of this article shows what Task Manager looks like during a crapware attack. Note that the Drive C: activity is at 100%, and this can go on for minutes or hours. That's on the Performance tab. If you try to switch back to the Process tab, you'll see that there's nothing going on -- Microsoft has purposely hidden the crapware download activity so that you can't plan for it or modify it, or even know it's going on. Microsoft can do this because it's a monopoly and it has control of your computer, and can do whatever it wants to you.

As a Software Engineer, I've always had a very high opinion of Windows, and Microsoft technology. I started playing around with Windows version 1 in 1985. Since then, I haven't always agreed with some of the directions that Windows took, but I always felt that they were intended to be in the best interest of the users. Until a year or two ago, Windows was always a gold star product, in my opinion.

I also met Bill Gates two or three times in the 1990s. I thought he was a really decent, competent guy who, once again, believed in doing what was in the best interest of the users.

But Bill Gates is gone now, having left Microsoft years ago to save the world from malaria and coronavirus. The company that he left behind has turned into a sewer with a corporate culture of young people who happily sacrifice the best interest of their users for their own agendas and money.

Crapware downloads risk global hacking attack

I'm now ready to show how Microsoft's policies risk a global hacking attack on Microsoft that can have much more serious consequences than the similar attack that's already occurred on Twitter.

I've now shown the following:

  • The Twitter hack is extremely dangerous, and could happen to any of the big online services -- Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft.
  • A malicious actor, like Russia or China, could gain access or control of millions of accounts or desktops by using bribery and extortion or trickery to "manipulate" (Twitter's word) any of their many employees with access to the company database.
  • In the case of Microsoft, a malicious actor has an additional path to taking control. The crapware being downloaded is full of third party games and ads. A malicious actor could plant malware in one of those games and ads, or could "manipulate" an employee of the company providing the game to do so.
  • How the actor makes use of that control depends on the online service (Google, Microsoft, Twitter, etc.) and the actor's intention. It could be to extort money, it could be to gather intelligence, it could be to destroy competitive businesses, it could be to affect the November 3 election, or it could be some major political objective, even starting a war.

With regard to "manipulating" any of the employees of these services, let's recall that there are hundreds of thousands of Chinese living in America. Under Chinese law, the Chinese military tracks them and requires them to provide intelligence or perform other duties as described by the military. China's 2017 National Intelligence Law requires all Chinese citizens and businesses to perform such duties, even when doing so is illegal. I don't blame the Chinese citizens for this. I blame the Chinese Communist thugs who treat their own citizens like dirt, as contrasted to ethnic Chinese citizens who live in Taiwan and have much higher standards of living, much more freedom, and aren't persecuted by a paranoid, desperate government.

The major online services are mostly headquartered in the west, and so have many Chinese employees. These people are all subject to China's National Intelligence Law, and so they can be directly "manipulated" by China's military. If one of these employees has access to the company's user database -- and I have no doubt that many do -- then those employees can be "manipulated" into stealing data, stealing accounts, or taking control of millions of users' accounts, as has already happened in the case of the Twitter hack.

I have a personal anecdote related to this subject. A few months ago, I started receiving robocall phone messages in Chinese on my home phone. So I recorded one of them and asked someone to translate. It went: "Hello, this is the Chinese embassy. You have a very important notification. For details please press xxx." So I don't know why my phone number was called, or what sort of "important notification" was intended, but this shows one of the ways that the Chinese Communists keep Chinese people in America on a short leash, ready to do as they're told.

The political power of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft

On July 29, 2020, the House Judiciary committee held a hearing on examining the dominance of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. The CEOs of all four companies came and testified, and were questioned by the politicians on the committee.

The hearing began in full-scale farce. The opening statement of Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, began as follows:

"My mom, Jackie, had me when she was a 17-year-old high school student in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Being pregnant in high school was not popular in Albuquerque in 1964. It was difficult for her. When they tried to kick her out of school, my grandfather went to bat for her. After some negotiation, the principal said, “OK, she can stay and finish high school, but she can’t do any extracurricular activities, and she can’t have a locker.” My grandfather took the deal, and my mother finished high school, though she wasn’t allowed to walk across the stage with her classmates to get her diploma."

Listening to this, I was soooooooo touched that I almost had tears streaming down my face. It was just so sad.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Google, took a slightly different approach:

"Expanding access to opportunity through technology is deeply personal to me. I didn’t have much access to a computer growing up in India. So you can imagine my amazement when I arrived in the U.S. for graduate school and saw an entire lab of computers I could use whenever I wanted. Accessing the internet for the first time in that computer lab set me on a path to bring technology to as many people as possible. It’s what inspired me to join Google 16 years ago."

Once again, very touching.

So what's going on here? These ridiculous statements are carefully planned and carefully rehearsed well in advance, in both content and demeanor, to show that these huge online service monopolies are really just innocent little businesses, bringing the American dream to millions of others.

It's as if to say, "We're not like other wicked monopolists -- John D. Rockefeller in oil, Andrew Carnegie in steel, Cornelius Venderbilt in railroads. Those are nasty, mean, old, ancient, out-of-date monopolies. Not like us. We're sweet, happy, modern, hip, cool monopolies, and we're different."

The CEOs were playing on the politicians' ignorance and stupidity, which is trivially easy. The objective of the CEOs was to avoid answering any real questions from the posturing politicians, who are too dumb to know what was going on anyway, since they barely know how to turn on a computer. And it worked.

So what are the questions that the CEOs were afraid to answer?

One of them was the one we've been discussing. This hearing occurred shortly after the Twitter hack, and the CEOs were undoubtedly all dreading the question: "Could the same thing happen to you?" They were dreading that question because the answer would have to have been "Yes," although they would have buried that answer in multiple paragraphs of self-excusing verbiage.

The 'Hate Speech', 'Fake Speech' censorship monopoly

The second question the CEOs are afraid to answer is about their censorship monopoly.

This article has been about illegal abuse of monopoly power and exposure to data breaches, by the large online services, especially Microsoft.

However, with the November 3 presidential election approaching, we're seeing abuse of a different kind of monopoly power. We're seeing Google, Facebook and Twitter abuse their monopoly power over censorship to influence the election toward the Democrats by censoring anything from Trump's 63 million supporters as "hate speech" or "fake speech." There are many examples of this that are extremely ridiculous, such as approving support for left-wing protests and violent riots by antifa, while condemning street protests against Democratic governors as racist or dangerous.

Ironically, this didn't start with Trump's presidency and actually has nothing to do with Trump. It was already going on early in the Obama administration with the vitriolic attacks by Democrats on members of the conservative Tea Party, referring to Teapartiers with the hate term "teabaggers," which is as bad as the N-word. In my almost 20 years of developing Generational Dynamics, I've seen many similar examples of one group hating another group for no reason at all. I don't know what chromosome or hormone causes this, but I do know that that chromosome or hormone causing Democrats to hate 63 million Teapartiers and Trump supporters is exactly the same as the one that caused the Nazis to hate the Jews, the Hutus to hate the Tutsis, or the Chinese Communists to hate the Uighurs and Tibetans. This is a constant of human nature, and we're seeing it played out in America today in the Democrats' vitriolic hatred of 63 million Teapartiers and Trump supporters.

So today we have the major online services -- Google, Facebook and Twitter -- supporting this hatred by classifying anything by Teapartiers or Trump supporters as "hate speech" or "fake speech."

When confronted with evidence of this, a standard answer is to appeal to the magic of artificial intelligence. "The decision whether something is hate speech is made by impersonal AI algorithms in computers that are non-partisan and not political. Haha."

Politicians who barely know how to turn on a computer just accept this argument, as if there were some magic involved. Actually, there's no magic involved. AI algorithms like that are rules-driven, and programmers would write the rules.

The rules used by Google and others are confidential, of course, but we can speculate on how some of them work. Let's suppose a tweet contains the text, "Make America great." That alone wouldn't be enough to classify it as hate speech, but it would add points in some sort of point system. If a tweet contains another "racist" phrase like that, then there might be enough points for the "non-partisan" algorithms to decide that the tweet is hate speech.

Who decides what these rules are? The deciders are Google employees. Among the Google employees making the rules there will be women as well as men, to prevent anti-female bias in the rule-making. And there will be blacks as well as whites, in order to prevent anti-black bias in the rule-making. But what do they do about anti-conservative bias? The answer is NOTHING. We know from various statements and blogs and leaked meeting videos that all the employees at Google are far left, and if there are any politically moderate employees at Google (such as James Damore), they will be fired or marginalized by the others, and their suggestions for rules will ignored in group code reviews.

So we have a situation where Google is fully on-board to target 63 million tea partiers and Trump supporters in order to affect the November 3 election. As I said, for one demographic group to hate another demographic group is common throughout history and the world, as in the Nazi hatred of Jews and the Hutu hatred of Tutsis or any of a million other examples that anyone who studies history can name. The one good thing we can say about the current situation is that the hate campaign has not yet degenerated into genocide, although genocide is the stated objective of the fascist organization antifa.

The power of monopoly -- and the danger

I can't end this article without looping back to the beginning.

There are some important points to be made about the power of monopoly. I've shown how companies like Apple and Microsoft use their monopoly power to coerce millions of users to purchase additional unnecessary services, products and upgrades, making hundreds of million or billions of dollars for the companies involved, or how Google, Twitter and Facebook are using their monopoly power over censorship rules to control the November 3 elections.

But I've also shown the danger of monopoly -- to the companies, to the country, and even globally. Think of a monopoly as an enormous source of power that the company can use in many ways to make money. But now suppose a malicious actor, like Russia or China, finds a way to gain control of that enormous power, as has already happened in the case of the Twitter hack. That power then becomes a weapon that can destroy the company, destroy million of lives or businesses, or destroy a country.

Right now that monopoly power is being used to make money and to affect the November 3 election. But we can also be certain that hackers around the world have learned from the Twitter hack, and are working 24 hours a day to gain control of an online system for their own financial or political benefit. It's possible that they've already succeeded without our knowing it.

In the middle of an election season, it's too late to even think about fixing this problem this year. But fixing this problem should be among the highest government priorities next year, no matter who wins the election.

Sources

Previous articles about China

Previous articles about financial fraud

Previous articles about the financial crisis

Previous articles about Healthcare.gov disaster

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14-Aug-20 World View -- Mideast leaders split on Israel-UAE 'historic' peace agreement

Palestinians infuriated by UAE-Israel peace agreement

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Mideast leaders split on Israel-UAE 'historic' peace agreement
  • Palestinians infuriated by UAE-Israel peace agreement
  • Text of the UAE-Israel peace agreement

Mideast leaders split on Israel-UAE 'historic' peace agreement


Egypt-Israel peace agreement handshake, on September 6, 1978, at Camp David.  Left to right: Egypt's president Anwar Sadat, US president Jimmy Carter, Israel's prime minister Menachem Begin (CNN)
Egypt-Israel peace agreement handshake, on September 6, 1978, at Camp David. Left to right: Egypt's president Anwar Sadat, US president Jimmy Carter, Israel's prime minister Menachem Begin (CNN)

US President Donald Trump has mediated a peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) being described as "historic," since the agreement will lead to normalization of diplomatic relations between the two countries, for the first time. They will exchange embassies and ambassadors, and cooperate in numerous areas, including commerce, trade, security, anti-terrorism, and health.

Historically, this is the third 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, and in 1994, Jordan signed a peace agreement with Israel. Thus, the UAE becomes the third country to take this step.

According to Trump, both Israel and UAE were anxious to reach this agreement, because Israel and UAE are united in their opposition to Iran. Trump said that the agreement only became possible because the Trump administration backed out of the Iran nuclear deal, and because Trump then developed personal relations of friendship with several Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia.

A significant part of the new agreement is that Israel will suspend plans to annex a portion of the West Bank occupied by Israeli settlers. These plans to annex a portion of the West Bank have been extremely controversial since they were announced several months ago. This has infuriated Jewish settler organizations. David Elhayani, head of the Yesha Council of settlers, said: "He deceived us. He has deceived half a million residents of the area and hundreds of thousands of voters."

Trump is claiming that this agreement is an important step on the path to Mideast peace. This is political fantasy. The Palestinians are not part of this deal, and they will not be in favor of it.

Another country that won't be happy will be Qatar. Qatar is still under an air, sea and ground blockade by Sunni Arabia and UAE. The blockade began in 2016, and attempts at mediation by Trump have failed. However, the US has a large military naval base in Qatar, so that relationship is important.

Palestinians infuriated by UAE-Israel peace agreement

As long-time readers know, the first Generational Dynamics analysis that I posted was on May 1, 2003, when I predicted 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 the followed the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Since then, there have been several smaller Mideast wars, with but there has been no sign of an acceptable peace agreement. Indeed, I have said any number of times that the so-called "two-state solution" is impossible.

So it's not surprising that Palestian leadership is denouncing this agreement, and accusing the UAE of betrayal of the Palestinians, and even of "stabbing them in the back." Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas's senior adviser said, "The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the UAE, Israeli and US trilateral, surprising, announcement."

A former deputy foreign minister of Iran tweeted:

"UAE's new approach for normalizing ties w/fake, criminal #Israel doesn't maintain peace & security, but serves ongoing Zionists' crimes. Abu Dhabi behavior has no justification, turning back on the Palestine cause. W/ that strategic mistake, #UAE will be engulfed in Zionism fire.

— H.amirabdollahian (@Amirabdolahian) August 13, 2020"

Other Mideast leaders reacted as expected.

Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain and European countries endorsed the agreement with varying levels of enthusiasm. At the very least, individual spokesmen hoped that it would advance the "peace process." Saudi Arabia has not commented on the agreement, but it's thought that the UAE would not have taken this step without the Saudi's tacit approval.

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.

Text of the UAE-Israel peace agreement

The following is the text of the agreement announced on Thursday:

"Joint Statement of the United States, the State of Israel, and the United Arab Emirates

President Donald J. Trump, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, and Sheilch Mohammed Bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates spoke today and agreed to the full normalization of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region. All three countries face many common challenges and will mutually benefit from today's historic achievement.

Delegations from Israel and the United Arab Emirates will meet in the coming weeks to sign bilateral agreements regarding investment, tourism, direct flights, security, telecommunications, technology, energy, healthcare, culture, the environment, the establishment of reciprocal embassies, and other areas of mutual benefit. Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East's most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation, and forging closer people-to-people relations.

As a result of this diplomatic breakthrough and at the request of President Trump with the support of the United Arab Emirates, Israel will suspend declaring sovereignty over areas outlined in the President's Vision for Peace and focus its efforts now on expanding ties with other countries in the Arab and Muslim world. The United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates are confident that additional diplomatic breakthroughs with other nations are possible, and will work together to achieve this goal.

The United Arab Emirates and Israel will immediately expand and accelerate cooperation regarding the treatment of and the development of a vaccine for the coronavirus. Working together, these efforts will help save Muslim, Jewish, and Christian lives throughout the region.

This normalization of relations and peaceful diplomacy will bring together two of America's most reliable and capable regional partners. Israel and the United Arab Emirates will join with the United States to launch a Strategic Agenda for the Middle East to expand diplomatic, trade, and security cooperation. Along with the United States, Israel and the United Arab Emirates share a similar outlook regarding the threats and opportunities in the region, as well as a shared conimilment to promoting stability through diplomatic engagement, increased economic integration, and closer security coordination. Today's agreement will lead to better lives for the peoples of the United Arab Emirates, Israel, and the region.

The United States and Israel recall with gratitude the appearance of the United Arab Emirates at the White House reception held on January 28, 2020, at which President Trump presented his Vision for Peace, and express their appreciation for United Arab Emirates' related supportive statements. The parties will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. As set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem's other holy sites should remain open for peaceful worshippers of all fifths.

Prime Minister Netanyahu and Crown Prince Sheilch Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan express their deep appreciation to President Trump for his dedication to peace in the region and to the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to achieve it."

Sources:

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9-Aug-20 World View -- Beirut Lebanon police clash with furious protesters following Tuesday's catastrophic explosion

Why was 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in Beirut's seaport for years?

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Beirut Lebanon police clash with furious protesters following Tuesday's catastrophic explosion
  • Why was 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in Beirut's seaport for years?
  • Theory of Government in Lebanon - Generational Dynamics
  • Seeking a political solution in Lebanon
  • The future of Lebanon

Beirut Lebanon police clash with furious protesters following Tuesday's catastrophic explosion


Protests in Beirut Lebanon's Martyrs' Square on Saturday.
Protests in Beirut Lebanon's Martyrs' Square on Saturday.

Police are firing rubber bullets and teargas at protesters in Martyrs' Square in central Beirut, Lebanon's capital city. One person was killed and dozens injured on Saturday, as government buildings were occupied by protesters.

There is a growing anti-government fury in Lebanon, following the catastrophic explosion on Tuesday at the Beirut seaport. Hundreds were killed, thousands were injured, hundreds of thousands are now homeless because their homes were destroyed.

The exploded materials were 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate fertilizer that had been stored in the seaport since 2013. As a point of comparison, Timothy McVeigh used only about one ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer to destroy the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995.

There is a growing fury in Beirut that the politicians who have been destroying Lebanon's economy for years by lining their own pockets have allowed this to happen. A lot of people knew about the stored fertilizer, and a lot of people complained about it during the last six years, but nothing was done. It was just allowed to sit there, without proper precautions taken. Meanwhile the corrupt élite politicians just continued growing fat and happy, allowing the economic collapse to worsen month after month, allowing garbage to pile up around the city, taking kickbacks for approving defective fuel oil so there's been no electricity, and still going on tv and spouting the usual unbearable self-serving crap that comes from all politicians who are incapable of accomplishing anything but the enrichment of themselves and their cronies.

Even before the explosion, even before the Wuhan Coronavirus pandemic, the country Lebanon was already on the verge of collapse. Nearly 50% of the population are living in poverty. Lebanon has two problems. The Iran-controlled terrorist group Hezbollah runs the country, but is receiving less money from its puppetmaster Iran, thanks to US sanctions. And second, there is massive government corruption, stemming from its "confessional system of government," where power is divided based on sectarian affiliation or confession (Sunni, Shia, Christian), as I've described in detail in the past. The confessional form of government has worked fairly well in resolving disputes in both Iraq and Lebanon, but it gives each sectarian group unrestricted access to the funds of the portions of government it controls, leading to a situation where government officials take all the money for themselves, and let the people starve and freeze in darkness. Now, for the first time, there is massive anger growing against Hezbollah in both Lebanon and Iraq, and Lebanon's government may collapse completely.

The country has been in free fall for months. The currency has collapsed. The unemployment rate is over 30%. A tainted fuel oil scandal revealed enormous corruption -- bribes, forged documents, and falsified tests. There have been anti-government protests for months, and after the explosion they are now propelled by a new fury.

The 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer was left sitting in a storage warehouse, adjacent to a fireworks factory, in the midst of a densely packed residential area. 300,000 people lost their homes from the explosion, hundreds were killed, and thousands were wounded. 85% of the country's grain storage was destroyed. Several hospitals were destroyed. The explosion was far larger than anyone had ever seen, and property was damaged and windows broken all across the city, and for miles around. The explosion could be heard as far away as Cyprus.

Public officials in Lebanon are all trying to cover their asses to claim that they had nothing to do with storing 2750 tonnes of fertilizer in the seaport for several years, and each one is pointing to someone else to blame. Citizens in Lebanon are blaming the entire government, and demanding that all of it be thrown out.

It's interesting that none of Lebanon's politicians is willing to come to Martyrs' Square to talk with the people. The only politician who did so was France's president Emmanuel Macron, who visited Beirut on Thursday and poignantly went into the square to talk to the people that Lebanon's leaders didn't dare talk to.

Marwan Bishara at al-Jazeera is reporting that Hezbollah officials are referring to the protesters in Martyrs' Square as "the scum of the earth." We'll discuss this more later.

Why was 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate fertilizer in Beirut's seaport for years?

The sequence of events was so ridiculous that it would be a joke if it hadn't ended in catastrophe. Here's a summary:

  • In September 2013, the Moldovan-flagged cargo ship MV Rhosus left Georgia's Batumi Port in the Black Sea, carrying the 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, headed to Biera in Mozambique.
  • The ship passed from the Black Sea, through Turkey's Bosphorous, and reached the eastern Mediterranean Sea, where technical problems forced the ship to enter Beirut seaport.
  • However, a different narrative has emerged that the reason that the ship stopped in Beirut seaport was because additional money was needed to pay for passage through the Suez Canal. So the plan in Beirut was to collect an additional cargo of heavy machinery, but as it turned out, the machinery was too heavy to load.
  • Either way, the ship's owner did not pay port fees and fines, and so Lebanon authorities impounded the ship and its cargo, and the owners abandoned the ship.
  • Lebanon's "Urgent Matters Court" took over. At first the judge refused to let the crew return home from the impounded ship, but eventually they were allowed to go, though some waited on the ship for over a year and almost starved to death. The judge ruled that the ammonium nitrate should be moved into "Warehouse 12", next to the grain silos in the seaport, where the cargo remained for years, "awaiting auctioning and/or proper disposal."
  • Since 2014, Lebanon's "Urgent Matters Court" was asked repeatedly to allow the dangerous cargo to be removed. Customs authorities proposed three options: Export the ammonium nitrate, hand it over to the Lebanese Army, or sell it to the privately-owned Lebanese Explosives Company. The judge ignored all such requests, probably because he was being paid off by someone who wanted to keep control of the ammonium nitrate. This is typical of corruption in Lebanon's political class.

Theory of Government in Lebanon - Generational Dynamics

Imagine if there were no checks and balances in the US constitution. Donald Trump would have been able to impose all sorts of immigration and other policies with no resistance from the courts or Democrats. Similarly, if the Democrats were in power, they would be able to impose far left Socialist green new deal policies without resistance. It's the checks and balances in the US constitution that prevent radical policies from being implemented, and force compromises.

China illustrates what happens when there are no checks and balances. An example of what happens is Mao Zedong's Great Leap Forward policy in 1958-60. This may have been the stupidest, most destructive policy of any nation in the history of the world, and it resulted in tens of millions of unnecessary deaths of innocent Chinese, from starvation, execution and torture, all to impose a Socialist ideology. China's economy still has not recovered from the disaster. It happened because there were no courts to stop it, and any politician who pointed out to Mao that it was failing was tortured and executed. Today, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and dictator Xi Jinping are repeating mistakes in the same way -- genocide, executions, torture, invasion, annexation, and so forth -- and there are no courts or opposition to stop him. China is headed for another disaster. That's what happens when you don't have government checks and balances like the United States.

So that brings us to Lebanon's "dynastic confessional" system of government. Lebanon's "confessional" system of government is defined in its constitution, which requires that the three main government offices be occupied by specific sectarian groups:

  • The prime minister, must be a Sunni Muslim. Hassan Diab is the prime minister. He assumed office on Jan 21, 2020.
  • The president, currently Michel Aoun, must be a Syriac Maronite Catholic.
  • And the speaker of parliament, currently held by Nabhi Berri, must be a Shia Muslim. The Shia Muslim sect in Lebanon is controlled by the terrorist militia Hezbollah, which is led by Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah.

Because each sect has complete control of one portion of the government, there are no checks and balances and corruption is rampant, with the leaders of each sect able to steal as much money as they like from their own part of the government.

As time goes on, each sect creates its own dynasty within the section of government that it controls. So one way to think of Lebanon's government is, not as a dictatorship, but as a triple dictatorship, which each dynastic sect have complete dictatorial control over one part of government, with complete power of corruption, and no controls, no checks, no balances.

This system of government was set up that way for a reason. Recall that several paragraphs back I referred to Hezbollah politicians referring to the protesters as "scum of the earth." The different sects of Lebanon are not capable of simply getting along with each other. The level of mutual hatred between the sects runs extremely deep.

Recall Lebanon's last generational crisis war, the civil war of 1975-90, mainly between Muslims versus Christians, killing some 200,000 people. A major event occurred on September 15-16, 1982, when Maronite Christian militias massacred 2-3,000 Palestinian civilians in the Sabra and Shatila Palestinian refugee camps. This act has haunted Lebanon to this day.

That was less than 40 years ago. Most of the people today vividly remember the horror of that mass slaughter, and many are still traumatized by it. 15 years ago, when I wrote about the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. I quoted Lebanese President Émile Geamil Lahoud as saying:

"Believe me, what we get from [Israeli bombers] is nothing compared to [what would happen] if there is an internal conflict [a new civil war] in Lebanon. So our thanks comes when we are united, and we are really united, and the national army is doing its work according to the government, and the resistance [Hizbollah] is respected in the whole Arab world from the population point of view. And very highly respected in Lebanon as well."

In 2006, the people of Lebanon were still more sickened and horrified by what they had done to each other in 1982 than in the bombing by Israel's warplanes. The Lebanese feared, above all else, a repeat of something like the 1982 massacre at Sabra and Shatila, and considered that to be a worse possibility than Israeli bombers.

Some 14 more years have passed, but those feelings still remain. There's a terror in the population that a spark will be lit, and there will be another huge, bloody massacre of Lebanese people by other Lebanese people, as happened in 1982.

Lebanon's political situation is complicated in another way. Lebanon has become a vassal state of Iran, which uses Iran to fight its Mideast wars. Iran itself has turned into a full-fledged vassal state of China, who is buying Iranian oil as long as the Iranians do as they're told. A political change in Lebanon could have some kind of chain reaction in Iran and China.

Seeking a political solution in Lebanon

Lebanon is in a generational Awakening era, a time when older traumatized generations who had survived the war do anything possible to prevent it from happening again, while the younger naive generations rebel against the strict rules and institutions that their parents had put in place. In America and Europe, the last Awakening era was the 1960s, following the horrors of World War II.

One thing that WON'T happen in this current crisis in Lebanon is a new civil war. There are too many people who are still traumatized by the memories of the last one, and they won't let it happen again.

But what does happen during an Awakening era is a political climax -- a regime change, a "velvet revolution," "palace coup" or non-violent coup that fundamentally changes the government in a significant way. In America, this was the resignation of Richard Nixon in 1974. Another example is Germany's change of government that led to the Weimar Republic in 1918.

So today's protesters in Martyrs' Square are seeking a major political reform: Repeal the dynastic sectarian form of government and replace it with a real democracy with checks and balances.

A solution of this kind will probably be adopted, but it has the problem that it will tear down the firewalls between the sects that the strictly confessional government provides. This would normally lead to low-level clashes among the sects, and then full-scale sectarian civil war again probably around 2040.

The future of Lebanon


Beirut seaport after the explosion on Tuesday (EPA)
Beirut seaport after the explosion on Tuesday (EPA)

It's hard to overstate how devastated Lebanon is. The economy was in a state of collapse before Tuesday, and now hundreds of thousands more are homeless and the food stocks have been destroyed. Lebanon is desperately in need of international aid.

Lebanon has been negotiating for a bailout with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for years. The problem is that there's no point in giving money to Lebanon's corrupt government, since it would just go into the coffers of the cronies of the sleazebag Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, and the others. So the IMF refused to provide money to Lebanon unless Lebanon reforms, which was never going to happen.

On Sunday, Emmanuel Macron will lead an international donors' conference. Macron has already promised that aid to Beirut will not fall into "corrupt hands," but whether there are any non-corrupt hands left in Beirut remains to be seen.

Sources:

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26-Jul-20 World View -- Kremlin shocked by large anti-government protests in Russia's Far East

China's strategy continues to suffer geopolitical reverses

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Kremlin shocked by large anti-government protests in Russia's Far East
  • History of Khabarovsk and Vladivostok
  • China's strategy continues to suffer geopolitical reverses

Kremlin shocked by large anti-government protests in Russia's Far East


Map showing Khabarovsk and Vladivostok in Russia's Far East
Map showing Khabarovsk and Vladivostok in Russia's Far East

Russia's government in Moscow has been caught by surprise by large anti-government protests in Khabarovsk, eight time zones away in Russia's Far East.

Protests have been growing for several weeks, and on Saturday, tens of thousands of people in Khabarovsk took part in protest marches. Protests have also spread to other cities. They were protesting the arrest, on July 9, of Sergei Furgal, the democratically elected governor, who was "kidnapped" back to Moscow, over 6,000 km away. Furgal was arrested on charges that he was involved in three murders in the early 2000s. The protesters were demanding that if Furgal was going to be tried, then the trial must take place in Khabarovsk, not 6,000 km away in Moscow.

Furgal was unexpectedly elected governor of the Khabarovsk Region in September 2018, beating the candidate who had been hand-picked by Vladimir Putin. Furgal has remained a popular figure ever since, and in 2019, his Liberal Democratic party won a landslide victory. After Furgal's arrest, and before any trial, Furgal was fired as governor, and Putin replaced him with a federal politician Mikhail Degtyaryov as acting governor to the region. Degtyaryov is from the same party as Furgal, but presumably he will do as he's told by Putin.

Theoretically, Russia is a functioning democracy, but as a practical matter, the candidates selected by Putin always win, and are expected to do as they're told when in office. Furgal did not do as he was told, and his removal and replacement by Putin is seen not only as a necessary step to bring the Khabarovsk Region under control, but also as a warning to any other governor who might be thinking of straying from the official line.

Nonetheless, the size of the anti-government protests has been a shock to the Kremlin, with an estimated 30,000 protesters marching to the Khabarovsk capital building on Saturday.

At the march, demonstrators chanted slogans like "Disgrace!", "Fair trial in Khabarovsk!", “As long as we are united, we are invincible!” and “Freedom for Furgal!” Many demanded President Putin resign because local people had lost trust in him.

The new governor, Degtyaryov, has already offended people by refusing to meet with local citizens, saying that he won't meet with those who come "yelling under my windows."

Putin has always responded harshly to protests, but this one caught him by surprise. If the protests continue, we can expect violence by the security forces in the coming weeks.

History of Khabarovsk and Vladivostok

Khabarovsk is the capital city and largest city of the Khabarovsk Krai (administrative region), with a population of 600,000, including thousands of Chinese migrants that have crossed over the Amur River from China.

Many Chinese claim that Khabarovsk really belongs to China. They point to Hong Kong, which became a British colony in 1842 because of the Opium Wars and what the Chinese call an "unfair treaty." Hong Kong was handed back to China in 1997. Many in Chinese social media claim that Khabarovsk became part of Russia because of another "unfair treaty," the May 1858 Treaty of Aigun between Russia and China that settled the boundary between the two countries, when China was weakened by the Taiping Rebellion. The Chinese are claiming that Russia should hand Khabarovsk back to China, just as Hong Kong was handed back to China. However, the region demanded by China also contains Vladivostok, which is the location of Russia's Pacific military fleet, so there is little chance that Russia would agree to any such thing without a major war. Still, China and Russia fought a border war in the 1960s, so there may be a new war at some point.

However, it won't be soon. Russia and China currently have a "marriage of convenience," where they pretend to love each other. They need each other's support because they're both criminal outlaws, with China illegally annexing the South China Sea and Russia illegally annexing eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

China's strategy continues to suffer geopolitical reverses

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) itself has been suffering numerous serious reverses lately. The Trump administration's closing of China's Houston consulate is a major blow to the Chinese military's espionage program. China is receiving worldwide condemnation for many of its policies that were previously ignored, or even supported by the credulous Western mainstream press -- purposely seeding hundreds of countries with the Wuhan Coronavirus, causing worldwide economic devastation, arresting, torturing and enslaving millions of Muslim Uighurs, imposing dictatorial policies on Hong Kong through its new security law.

China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) is running into problems because China's infrastructure agreements with numerous countries, especially in Africa, imposed huge debt requirements, thanks to China's "debt trap diplomacy," and now because the Wuhan Coronavirus has shut down many economies, many countries can no longer make the debt repayments.

What many people don't realize is that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has no strategy. They're planning to annex part of India, annex part of Vietnam, annex Russia's Far East, launch a war of revenge against Japan, and annex Taiwan. But what's the strategy? Even if China wins all those wars (and it will probably lose all of them), then those gains will disappear within two generations.

At the end of World War II, the Soviet Union had won control of numerous countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. By 1991, Russia had lost control of all of those countries. The same would happen with China. So what's China strategy after it wins all those wars? If there is one, I'm not aware of it.

The CCP thugs today are paranoid and desperate, and highly emotional. What do we do now? Attack Taiwan? Attack India? Sign up another BRI country? They don't know what to do next, so they might do anything. Sooner or later that will lead 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 https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Between-Prepared-Generational/dp/1732738637/

---- Sources:

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17-Jul-20 World View -- Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam now filling with water, alarming Egypt

Lebanon: A country in free fall

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • News events in Ethiopia, Egypt, Lebanon, Armenia and Azerbaijan
  • Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam now filling with water, alarming Egypt
  • Military clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh
  • Lebanon: A country in free fall

News events in Ethiopia, Egypt, Lebanon, Armenia and Azerbaijan


Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is reportedly now filling with water (Reuters)
Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam is reportedly now filling with water (Reuters)

For many years, I used to write an article every day, 365/366 days per year, and cross-posted them on Brietbart. However, in the last couple of years, I no longer have the energy to do that. One reason is that I was royally screwed by the a--holes at Breitbart, and the other reason is that, even though I have thousands of regular readers, nobody is willing to pay me a regular salary, and most of them consider the articles equivalent to a comic strip that they enjoy reading, as long as it's free.

Nonetheless, there's so much nonsense, ignorance and stupidity, in the mainstream media, especially about international events. Even the BBC is turning into a left-wing sewer like CNN, probably because the BBC receives a lot of money from PBS and they have to do as they're told. And I've been told by many people that they depend on my web site, which apparently the only web site in the world with honest, unbiased, non-ideological descriptions of what's going on in the world.

The result is that I actually feel guilty about not doing more. So the purpose of this article is to briefly summarize some major international stories that are very important, but which nobody knows anything about. It's not as good as three major articles on three consecutive days, but it's almost as good.

Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam now filling with water, alarming Egypt

There's a really interesting story about Ethiopia's Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which has been under construction since 2011. I've written several stories about it while it was under construction, and about the controversy: Once the dam has been constructed, it has to be filled with water from the Blue Nile, and the region to be filled is so enormous that it will take about seven years to fill the dam. However, the Blue Nile supplies most of Sudan's water, and about 90% of Egypt's water. Both Egypt and Sudan are already short of water, and there are drought seasons that are worse. So this seven-year filling period is potentially a disaster to Sudan and Egypt. There have been years of arguments and negotiations, to no avail.

So now, in July 2020, the time has come for Ethiopia to start filling the dam. Nothing much has happened yet, but if Egypt and Sudan suffer from lack of water, there could well be a war.

Military clashes between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh

Azerbaijan and Armenia have been arguing for years about an Armenia-governed enclave called Nagorno-Karabakh in the middle of Azerbaijan. There was no problem when both countries were part of the Soviet Union, but they had a bloody war after the Soviet Union fell apart in 1991. There have been occasional clashes, most recently in 2016. But in the last week, major fighting has begun, and people in Azerbaijan have been marching on the capitol building in Azerbaijan's capital city Baku, demanding that Azerbaijan declare war on Armenia and force Armenia to withdraw from Nagorno-Karabakh.

Generally speaking, Azerbaijan is a Turkic country aligned with Turkey, and Armenia is an Eastern Orthodox (Armenian Apostolic) country aligned with Russia. Furthermore, memories of the massacre of Armenians in Turkey in 1916 ("Armenian genocide") are being revived. Turkey has vowed to defend Azerbaijan, and Russia has offered to mediate. I would say that this situation could lead to a regional war, but there's already a small regional war going on. The war could expand into a war between Turkey and Russia, two countries that are also at odds with each other in Syria and Libya.

Lebanon: A country in free fall

The country Lebanon is on the verge of collapse. Nearly 50% of the population are living in poverty, and that was before the Wuhan Coronavirus crisis began, which is making things much worse. Lebanon has two problems. The Iran-controlled terrorist group Hezbollah runs the country, but is receiving less money from its puppetmaster Iran, thanks to US sanctions. And second, there is massive government corruption, stemming from its "confessional system of government," where power is divided based on sectarian affiliation or confession (Sunni, Shia, Christian), as I've described in detail in the past. The confessional form of government has worked fairly well in resolving disputes in both Iraq and Lebanon, but it gives each sectarian group unrestricted access to the funds of the portions of government it controls, leading to a situation where government officials take all the money for themselves, and let the people starve and freeze in darkness. Now, for the first time, there is massive anger growing against Hezbollah in both Lebanon and Iraq, and Lebanon's government may collapse completely.

The country is in free fall. The currency has collapsed. The unemployment rate is over 30%. A tainted fuel oil scandal revealed enormous corruption -- bribes, forged documents, and falsified tests. Protesters have blocked roads with burning tires and are demanding that the entire government resign. A crisis seems imminent.

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15-Jul-20 World View -- China, Iran draft 25-year $400 billion trade and military agreement

Iran's Chabahar Port deal with India is at risk

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • China, Iran draft 25-year $400 billion trade and military agreement
  • Iran's history with the 'capitulatory system'
  • Iran's Chabahar Port deal with India is at risk

China, Iran draft 25-year $400 billion trade and military agreement


A hearty laugh is shared in December by Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, left, and Miao Lu, secretary-general of Center for China & Globalization (AFP)
A hearty laugh is shared in December by Iran's foreign minister Javad Zarif, left, and Miao Lu, secretary-general of Center for China & Globalization (AFP)

A leaked agreement being negotiated by China and Iran has little chance of being implemented, but if it were, it would have significance going back through centuries of Iran's history. China would invest $400 billion over a 25 year period in infrastructure and military projects in Iran, in return for discounts on Iranian oil.

The agreement is very much in the pattern of China's Belt and Road (BRI) agreements with numerous countries, using "debt trap diplomacy." The typical pattern is that China lends an enormous sum of money to a country, and the country then uses that money to pay Chinese companies for parts and services, and then pays salaries of thousands of Chinese workers that will develop the projects. Once the target company fails to make its debt repayments, China seizes control of the country's strategic assets. China has used these secret agreements to acquire and control ports and other strategic assets in Sri Lanka, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ghana, Zambia, Kenya -- through its "debt trap diplomacy." Several other countries, including Pakistan and the Maldives, are at risk.

The draft agreement is secret, but the terms that are leaked look very similar to BRI agreements with other countries. According to the NY Times, which obtained the leaked agreement, it cites almost 100 projects, including airports, high-speed railways and subways. China would develop free-trade zones in Maku, in northwestern Iran, and in Abadan, where the Shatt al-Arab river flows into the Persian Gulf, and on the gulf island Qeshm. The agreement also includes proposals for China to build the infrastructure for a 5G telecommunications network, to offer the new Chinese Global Positioning System, Beidou, and to help Iran's government control the internet in the same way that China does. China will have access to Iran's military airbases.

A secretive element relates to the military dimension of the agreement, whereby China will have 5,000 members of its security forces present on the ground in Iran. Once again, this is a typical requirement. China lends money to Iran, Iran uses the money for Chinese parts and services, and to pay the salary of Chinese workers, the Chinese workers send the money back to their families in China. So China gets the money back, and Iran still has to repay the loan, so that Iran essentially has to repay the loan twice.

China will be investing nearly $400 billion in Iran’s oil, gas and petrochemicals industries in the first five years of the agreement. In return, China will get priority to bid on any new project in Iran that is linked to these sectors. China will also get a 12 percent discount and it can delay payments by up to two years. In addition, China will essentially be able to pay in any currency it desires. In total, China will receive discounts of nearly 32 percent.

Iran's history with the 'capitulatory system'

The "capitulatory system" of the Middle East was developed starting in the 1500s during the rise of the Ottoman empire (Turkey). A capitulation was an agreement between two countries to permit one country to grant various concessions to another country. Under this system, the French were granted by the Ottomans to establish trading posts and consular missions in Syria and Egypt. Later, agreements with England and other Europeans provided for imports of steel, lead, tin, gold and silver into Turkey.

In the 1800s, the capitulatory system reached Persia (Iran). After Persia's humiliating military losses to the Russians and English, Persia was forced to accept concessions as "reparations." Economic concessions fell into three major categories: public utilities, financial enterprises, and exploration for and exploitation of natural resources. I described this capitulatory system in detail in my 2018 book, "World View: Iran's Struggle for Supremacy -- Tehran's Obsession to Redraw the Map of the Middle East."

After decades of these concessions, where the Russians and English took advantage of the Iranians, and the Iranian politicians and clerics were enriched through corruption, there was a backlash. For example, the tobacco concession granted a monopoly on both the purchase and sale of tobacco within Persia to an English company for a period of fifty years, and during this period Iran's rulers received enormous kickbacks, while Iran's tobacco merchants suffered. Huge anti-government protests led to the anti-government Tobacco Revolt (1890-92).

In the political debate of that time, a merchant wrote:

"By what laws does the government sell our national rights to foreign racketeers? These rights, according to both the principles of Islam and traditional laws of Iran, belong to the people of our country. These rights are the means of our livelihood. The government, however, barters the Moslem property to the unbelievers. By what law? Have the people of Iran died that the government is auctioning away their inheritance?"

Today, the proposed Iran-China draft agreement is receiving sharp criticism that sounds very similar to the above criticism of the 1890 tobacco concession. Some lawmakers are saying that it feeds China's 'colonialist greed." Former President Mahmood Ahmadinejad warned that the Iran-China agreement was with "a foreign country" was being discussed "away from the eyes of the Iranian nation." Reza Pahlavi, the son of the last Shah of Iran, blasted the "shameful, 25-year treaty with China that plunders our natural resources and places foreign soldiers on our soil."

The Tobacco Revolt was a major event in Iranian history, with implications far beyond the income of tobacco merchants. The tobacco concession was revoked, but the anti-government protests continued. In 1905 there were protests over the price of sugar and the sugar merchants. This led to a massive generational crisis civil war known as the Constitutional Revolution, whose purpose was, among other things, to demand adoption of a constitution that would guarantee that no leader was above the law, and would control the powers of the Shah, and not allow him to grant concessions to other countries without the approval of the Majlis (parliament).

What's obvious here is that today's proposed Iran-China agreement is stirring up emotions still remaining from the Tobacco Revolt and the Constitutional Revolution, just as racial issues in America today stir up emotions remaining from the American Civil War.

People are always asking me about "regime change" -- when will the Iranian people rise up and finally replace the exceedingly corrupt religious thugocracy running the country now? As we know from Generational Dynamics, Iran is in a generational Awakening era, which is the time in any country when a "velvet revolution" or "palace coup" or non-violent coup is most likely to occur.

So I believe that this agreement has almost no chance of being implemented. But if Iran's loony leaders continue to push it, it could be the trigger for the regime change that everyone claims to want.

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, https://www.amazon.com/World-View-Supremacy-Obsession-Generational/dp/1732738610/

Iran's Chabahar Port deal with India is at risk

In 2016, India and Iran signed a the "historic" Chabahar Port agreement. Chabahar is on the coast of Iran near Pakistan. India has agreed to invest $500 million to significantly increase the size of this port. Using it, India will be able to bypass Pakistan in shipping goods to Iran, and from there to Afghanistan, Central Asia or Europe. When India took operational control of the port in 2018, India agreed to invest in the 628 km Chabahar-Zahedan railroad linking the port to the Trans-Iranian railway and to other cities in Iran, connecting from there to Afghanistan, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. ( "18-Feb-18 World View -- Iran gives operational control of its Chabahar seaport to India")

On Tuesday, Iran announced that India would no longer be part of the Chabahar-Zahedan railway project, and that Iran would go it alone. The reason given is that India has delayed providing funding for its share of the project, related to the American sanctions on Iran.

However, it's widely suspected that India was dropped from the project under pressure from China. Under the new China-Iran draft agreement, China will assist Iran in "Chabahar’s duty free zone, an oil refinery nearby, and possibly a larger role in Chabahar port as well," according to reports. The upcoming deal will facilitate Chinese investments in "infrastructure, manufacturing and upgrading energy and transport facilities, to refurbishing ports, refineries and other installations." Furthermore, the agreement wi commit Iran to supplying oil and gas to China for the whole duration.

Using debt trap diplomacy, China has taken over Sri Lanka's Hambantota port, and is expected soon to take over the Mombasa port in Kenya. In each of those cases, there is a large enclave of thousands of Chinese workers living near the ports. Under the new draft agreement, China is already planning an enclave of 5,000 Chinese workers in Iran, and may be planning to take over the Chabahar port, when the time is right.

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8-Jul-20 World View -- Learning to live with Wuhan Coronavirus

The Chinese Communist Party and Wuhan Coronavirus

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Learning to live with Wuhan Coronavirus
  • Should you wear a face mask?
  • The Chinese Communist Party and Wuhan Coronavirus

Learning to live with Wuhan Coronavirus


Cartoon from 2004: "BIRD FLU - The panic is spreading! -- Better safe than sorry!"
Cartoon from 2004: "BIRD FLU - The panic is spreading! -- Better safe than sorry!"

The following are some personal thoughts.

The administration is now saying that we have to learn to live with coronavirus.

The good news is that once you get sick from Wuhan Coronavirus, then doctors are a lot more able to treat you and possibly even cure you. Furthermore, there are many therapeutics being successfully developed for treating the illness. So the death rate for infected people has been coming down.

On the other hand, I haven't heard anyone credibly claim that a vaccine will be available until well into 2021, if then. And even if one becomes available, how will it be administered? Will the developing country (US, UK, China, etc.) restrict it to its own citizens until they're all protected? That will create huge international outrage, including violent riots. There are 330 million Americans. How long would it take to provide a vaccine to all of them? There are almost 8 billion people in the world. Same question.

In the US, there's been a big resurgence of infections in some southern states -- California, Arizona, Texas, Florida. One reason given for this is that there's been a kind of reversal from the north. In March, people stayed indoors in the north to stay warm, and went outside in the south. Today, people go outdoors in the north, but stay indoors in the south to get air conditioning. The reasoning is that the virus spreads most rapidly among a group of people indoors in an enclosed area, so it spread rapidly in the north in March, and in the south today.

It had been hoped (and expected) that the coronavirus would act like the seasonal flu and slow down (or stop) during the warm summer months. That seems to have been a false hope. The coronavirus seems much more virulent than the seasonal flu.

All the experts seem to expect a "second wave" in the fall, as happened in the fall 1918 with the Spanish Flu pandemic. Perhaps, by that time, some of these therapeutics will be successful enough so that most people can recover.

Every state and every country seems to be handling the pandemic in its own way, but it always seems to end the same way. Israel started out with a quick lockdown and strict controls, and thought that they had conquered it, but now there's a big resurgence again. The same is true in South Africa.

It's now winter in South America, and infections are growing exponentially in almost every country. In fact, infections are growing exponentially across Africa. That's going to cause a major political explosion.

Should you wear a face mask?

Confusion over face masks continues. In February, Dr. Anthony Fauci was saying that face masks were not necessary for anyone but medical workers. The explanation now given for that advice is because there were not enough face masks available for the general public, beyond medical workers.

Since then the advice has changed to make face masks optional or required, depending on the jurisdiction. Sometimes "social distancing" is enough so that you don't need a mask, according to some experts, but you always need a mask according to others. Also, do people have to be one meter apart or two meters apart for social distancing? It seems to vary.

Why do we wear face masks? "You wear a mask to protect me, and I wear a mask to protect you," goes the standard explanation. This means that if you're social distancing, then you don't have to worry about a mask. But in the last couple of days, that advice has been changing. It seems that the virus is spreading not in large droplets that fall to the ground quickly (as had been previously stated), but rather in a fine mist that stays in the air for a long time. That means that if you don't want to be infected, then you always have to wear a face mask, and you have to inhale through your mask, even if you're socially distancing.

If you get the virus and you survive, can you get it again? The experts say they don't know. Apparently you have immunity for a few weeks or months, but we don't have experience to judge whether the immunity lasts longer than that. So if you've had the virus already, you might get it again in the fall.

So only about 3% of the world's population have become infected so far, according to one estimate, including those that show no symptoms. That means that 97% of the world still has no immunity at all.

It's pretty random. Anyone could get infected just by touching the wrong thing or breathing the wrong air or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Which means that, sooner or later, perhaps 5 billion, 6 billion or 7 billion more people have yet to be infected. I'm one of those who believe that, sooner or later, everyone will be infected.

Personally, I know that I'm in multiple risk groups -- old, overweight, high blood pressure -- so if I live long enough to get infected, I won't live much longer after that. Young people, the experts say, are far more likely to survive, though lately there have been statistics challenging that claim. However, experience in other countries shows that children in school are almost completely safe.

The Chinese Communist Party and Wuhan Coronavirus

As regular readers know, I follow the news about China constantly, and I've written a book, "War Between China and Japan" which describes how China is preparing to launch a war of revenge against Japan, a war of annexation against Taiwan, and a war with America because we will be defending Japan and Taiwan.

It's been increasingly clear since Xi Jinping came to power that China is becoming more and more belligerent and hostile every day. With regard to the situation in Hong Kong, it's been clear (again) that China feels free to violate any international law, but still demands that everyone else obey international law. The Chinese Communist Party considers themselves to be the Master Race, and everyone else to be barbarians and vassals, and the only purpose of international law is to provide a means for the Chinese to control the barbarians.

This has been really clear in the last few days as the CCP has imposed a harsh National Security law on Hong Kong, completely ignoring international law and their own commitment in the 1984 handover agreement with the UK. The same is true of their arrest, torture and enslavement of millions of Uighurs, and their illegal annexation of the South China Sea. The CCP attitude is that they're superior to everyone else, and not bound even by their own commitments.

The CCP thugs don't have a strategy. They are increasingly paranoid and desperate, and lash out in all directions at once. They're absolutely furious that they're being blamed (correctly) for having unleashed the Wuhan Coronavirus on the world, lied about it, purposely spread it to hundreds of countries, and purposely purchased all available PPE (face masks, gowns, goggles, etc.) around the world so that those materials wouldn't be available to anyone but the Chinese. The CCP have managed to piss off almost every country in the world, even countries that are forced to support them.

On Tuesday, FBI director Christopher Wray gave a press conference on the enormous threat to the United States from the Chinese Communist Party:

"The greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality, is the counterintelligence and economic espionage threat from China. It’s a threat to our economic security—and by extension, to our national security. ...

And at this very moment, China is working to compromise American health care organizations, pharmaceutical companies, and academic institutions conducting essential COVID-19 research."

As Wray suggests, the CCP are desperate to be the first to develop therapeutics and a vaccine for Wuhan Coronavirus to use as leverage against America and the West. He says that the Chinese want to "compromise American ... institutions conducting essential COVID-19 research." He doesn't say whether the Chinese simply want to steal the intellectual property, or to hack into company services and somehow destroy them - probably both.

Meanwhile, the hostility towards China has grown substantially in the last year in the West. The mutual xenophobia between China and Western nations grows almost every day. This will not end well.

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5-Jul-20 World View -- Gleeful China wins big Hong Kong victory at UN Human Rights Council

India's list of China's border disagreements

by John J. Xenakis

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Gleeful China wins big Hong Kong victory at UN Human Rights Council
  • Rogue's gallery of international criminals support China
  • Most Western countries condemn China's human rights record
  • India's list of China's border disagreements

Gleeful China wins big Hong Kong victory at UN Human Rights Council


World map showing countries defending or criticizing China's human rights record (Axios)
World map showing countries defending or criticizing China's human rights record (Axios)

Communist China's state media are claiming a major victory in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHCR) when 53 countries supported China's human rights record in Hong Kong, and only 27 members opposed it.

The United Kingdom called for the vote to condemn China's human rights record in Hong Kong, after Chinese Communist Party (CCP) implemented a new Hong Kong Security Law that imposes harsh restrictions on freedom. For example, a person can be arrested and jailed for 5 years to life for merely criticizing a CCP policy or action.

The CCP action violates the commitment that China made to Britain in a 1984 agreement that was registered with the UN. The commitment was that after Britain handed its Hong Kong colony over the China in 1997, China would guarantee a high degree of freedom and autonomy in Hong Kong for 50 years, until 2047.

For many years, the US, UK and other Western nations have ignored or overlooked human rights violations in China. However, the violations have become extremely egregious since the rise of dictator Xi Jinping. The CCP has also committed many other human rights violations, including arresting, torturing and enslaving millions of Muslim Uighurs in East Turkestan (Xinjiang province), as well as arresting and torturing Buddhists in Tibet and Christians anywhere who simply pray to Jesus. The CCP thugs claim that they're the Master Race and all the rest of us are barbarians, but every day the CCP proves that we in the West are far superior, and the CCP thugs are barbarians with an IQ of 50, with no capability other than to bluster and kill.

And we have to mention that the CCP apes are so stupid that they didn't stop the Wuhan Coronavirus when they could have, but instead let it spread, and then purposely seeded the virus into dozens of other countries, something they continue to believe is a victory for China.

So the CCP media is quite gleeful about their victory in the UNHCR. According to the puppet media Global Times:

"A total of 53 countries supported China's national security law for Hong Kong at the 44th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva on Tuesday, triumphing over 27 members that attacked and called for harsh measures against China over issues involving Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet.

The landslide victory was seen by experts as showing that China's achievements in human rights have won more supporters and become known by wider audiences. The double standards of some Western countries that tried to politicize the UNHRC and to use human rights-related issues as weapons to attack China, brought themselves more criticism within the international community."

Rogue's gallery of international criminals support China

The people supporting China's human rights record form an interesting rogue's gallery of countries, many with their own devastating human rights record.

Some are brutal dictatorships that torture, jail and arrest political opponents and journalists: Cuba, Cambodia, Cameroon, Egypt, Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Syria and others.

Some, like China, are currently committing genocide and ethnic cleansing, or have done so recently: Myanmar (Burma), Syria, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Cambodia, and others.

Belarus is the only European country supporting China.

The vast majority -- over 40 -- are part of China's Belt and Road Infrastructure (BRI) project. China has been using "debt trap diplomacy" on these projects and now, particularly in Africa, many countries can no longer make their debt payments, thanks to Wuhan Virus lockdowns and downturns. So these countries are at China's mercy and they have no choice but to do as their Chinese puppetmasters tell them.

The complete list of countries supporting China are:

China, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belarus, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Comoros, Congo-Brazzaville, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Gabon, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Syria, Ta