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


Generational Dynamics Web Log for 8-Mar-07
Jordan's King Abdullah tells Congress that Palestinian issue is the core issue

Web Log - March, 2007

Jordan's King Abdullah tells Congress that Palestinian issue is the core issue

Unfortunately few in Congress know what he's talking about.

In a half-hour address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, Jordan's King Abdullah II exhorted America to help bring peace to the Israelis and Palestinians. Here are some excerpts:

"I must speak about a cause that is urgent for your people and for mine. I must speak about peace in the Middle East . I must speak about peace replacing the division, war, and conflict that have brought such disaster for the region and for the world. ...

Jordan's King Abdullah II, addressing a joint session of Congress on Wednesday <font size=-2>(Source: CNN)</font>
Jordan's King Abdullah II, addressing a joint session of Congress on Wednesday (Source: CNN)

I come to you today at a rare, and indeed historic, moment of opportunity, when there is a new international will to end the catastrophe. And I believe that America , with its enduring values, its moral responsibility, and yes, its unprecedented power, must play the central role. ...

The status quo is also pulling the region and the world towards greater danger. As public confidence in the peace process has dropped, the cycle of crises is spinning faster, and with greater potential for destruction. Changing military doctrine and weaponry pose new dangers. Increasing numbers of external actors are intervening with their own strategic agendas, raising new dangers of proliferation and crisis. These are groups that seek even more division: faith against faith, nation against nation, community against community. Any further erosion in the situation would be serious for the future of moderation and coexistence, in the region and beyond. Have we all lost the will to live together in peace celebrating one another’s strengths and differences? ...

Some will say: ‘This is not the core issue in the Middle East.' I come here today as your friend to tell you that this is the core issue. And this core issue is not only producing severe consequences for our region, it is producing severe consequences for our world.

The security of all nations and the stability of our global economy are directly affected by the Middle East conflict. Across oceans, the conflict has estranged societies that should be friends. I meet Muslims thousands of miles away who have a deep, personal response to the suffering of the Palestinian people. They want to know how it is, that ordinary Palestinians are still without rights and without a country. They ask whether the West really means what it says about equality and respect and universal justice.

Yes, my friends, today I must speak. I cannot be silent.

Sixty years of Palestinian dispossession, forty years under occupation, a stop-and-go peace process, all this has left a bitter legacy of disappointment and despair, on all sides. It is time to create a new and different legacy, one that begins right now; one that can set a positive tone for the American and Middle East relationship; one that can restore hope to our region’s people, to your people, and to the people of this precious world. Nothing can achieve that more effectively, nothing can assert America’s moral vision more clearly, nothing can reach and teach the world’s youth more directly, than your leadership in a peace process that delivers results not next year, not in five years, but this year. ...

But we need all hands on deck. The international community, especially the United States , must be engaged in moving the process forward to achieve real results. Above all, we must make our process serve our purpose. We must achieve an agreed solution to the conflict. ...

Your responsibility today is paramount. Your potential to help Palestinians and Israelis find peace is unrivalled. This is because the people of the region still regard the United States as the key to peace, the one country most capable of bringing the two sides closer together, holding them accountable, and making a just settlement reality. ...

We look to you to play an historic role. Eleven American presidents and thirty American congresses have already faced this ongoing crisis. For not the future generation, but the generation alive today, let us say together: No more! Let us say together: Let’s solve this! Let us say together: Yes, we will achieve this! ...

The next time a Jordanian, a Palestinian, or an Israeli comes before you, let it be to say: Thank you for helping peace become a reality."

This was a desperate plea by King Abdullah.

The May, 2003, Generational Dynamics prediction was that Yasser Arafat's disappearance would be part of a generational change that would lead the Mideast into a massive new crisis war (between Jews and Arabs), re-fighting the bloodbath war in 1948-49 following the partitioning of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. In fact, hardly a day has gone by since Arafat's death that the chaos in the Mideast has gotten worse than it was the previous day, and at this point almost anyone can see that it's headed for a major war.

King Abdullah sees it best of all because he lives in the middle of it. He sees what's going on, and understands its significance.

So when he says, "The status quo is also pulling the region and the world towards greater danger. As public confidence in the peace process has dropped, the cycle of crises is spinning faster, and with greater potential for destruction," he means exactly that.

Unfortunately, he's talking to an audience of morons who have no idea what's going anywhere in the world outside their own bedrooms.

I've pointed this out many times, especially when ABC's George Stephanopoulos looked like an idiot in November because Jordan's King Abdullah had to tell him five times of the importance of the Israeli/Palestine situation, but he was still clueless.

The clincher was when Jeff Stein, national security editor for Congressional Quarterly, wrote an article about how he'd inverviewed Silvestre Reyes, whom Nancy Pelosi had selected to be chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Reyes didn't even know whether al-Qaeda was a Sunni or Shia organization. And this isn't a political thing: Stein found the same level of ignorance across parties, even among analysts who were supposedly experts on the subject they couldn't answer questions about. And if you don't know that al-Qaeda is a Sunni organization, then you cannot possibly know anything about what's going on in Iraq. It's impossible. And Reyes has been on the House Intelligence Committee for five years, since 9/11. And yet, members of Congress go on television and spout ridiculous proposals about Iraq based on little or no knowledge at all.

So it's pretty safe to assume that few members of Congress had any idea what King Abdullah was talking about. In fact I'd bet that few members of Congress even bothered to attend.

The same is true of journalists. Here's a paragraph from the Reuters coverage of the speech:

"Washington, struggling with an unpopular war that the Bush administration started in Iraq nearly four years ago, is under pressure from European and Arab allies to get more involved in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Peace talks collapsed in 2000."

This is the Reuters interpretation of the speech - it's simply political, nothing else. There's no discussion of whether Abdullah was right or wrong. They simply assume that he's wrong, but he's making a political play. Judging from the coverage I've heard elsewhere, all the journalists assumed that.

I was thinking, I've mentioned the 1947 "Truman Doctrine" in an article or two. This was a speech given to Congress. It contained phrases like, "As in the case of Greece, if Turkey is to have the assistance it needs," and "intimidation in violation of the Yalta agreement in Poland, Rumania, and Bulgaria."

You know, a speech like that couldn't be given to Congress today, because they wouldn't understand it. Places like Greece, Turkey, Poland, Rumania and Bulgaria are just names to people in Congress today; I doubt that many of them could find these countries on a map if they had to.

As the great satirist Ambrose Bierce said, "War is God's way of teaching Americans geography." Since we're having a war in Iraq, most Congressmen could probably find Iraq on a map, but that's it.

Anyway, getting back to Abdullah's speech, it sounded desperate, didn't it? He sees the danger -- that the Mideast is descending into a chaos that will affect the world. And he's asking America to solve the problem. But how? He doesn't say. He has no idea. He's just like every one of the American Boomers, who expect their parents to take care of everything for them. He has no idea how to fix the problem himself, or how American fix the problem, but he just wants it done, like a child who cries and asks his parents, "Please cure my poison ivy."

As I've pointed out many times on this web site, the Gaza strip is densely populated and the median age in the Gaza strip is 15.8. Thus, the Gaza strip is run by a generation of children with guns and missiles.

It doesn't matter what America does or what President Bush or what King Abdullah does. The fate of the Mideast is not in the hands of the leadership of Israel, nor either the Fatah or Hamas leadership of the Palestinians. None of them matters much. The fate of the Mideast is in the hands of a generation of children with guns and missiles, children who couldn't care less about the nuances of international diplomacy. At some point they'll decide that there'll be war, and then there'll be war.

It's amazing to me that nobody seems to understand this. I've often said here that politicians, pundits, high-priced analysts and journalists can't recognize any generational concept, no matter how obvious. It's just too abstract for them to understand.

And this situation is certainly pretty obvious to anyone who understands what the phrase "median age" means.

Apparently the people at the BBC don't have any idea. I recently stumbled across the BBC's Gaza Strip Profile. The profile describes the difficult life on the Gaza strip, and spends many paragraphs talking about the population.

But does the BBC mention that the median age is 15.8, and draw any conclusions from that? No, that concept is too abstract for the writers at the BBC to understand.

The only paragraph that even gives a hint of the ages of the people in the Gaza Strip is this one:

"The majority of Gaza's residents are refugees who fled or were expelled in 1948 from the land that became Israel. Most Gazans live in eight refugee camps to which the United Nations delivers health, education and other humanitarian services."

Wow! That means, ummmmmmmm, that the majority of the Gaza residents are, ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, over 58 years old. Gee, I wonder how you get a median age of 15.8 out of that?

But that's what I mean. The BBC reporters, some of whom work right in the Gaza Strip, are unable to see even the most obvious and simple generational reality. They're too tied up with their bigotry and biases to see anything that simple. Here's an article by Reuters that contains the same stupid error.

In fact, the only article I've seen that even recognizes this situation was the one in the Boston Globe in December that actually contains interviews with young Gazans.

One 20-year-old said, "For 12 years we have been in peace negotiations, we have given up many things, but achieved nothing. We don't believe in a political solution, because Israel will never respect it. So we are forced to seek a military solution, even though Israel is stronger. There will be no peace in the Palestinian territories."

Another was more succinct: "The Jews will not leave the land unless they are killed."

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, what's coming is pretty obvious. King Abdullah can see it plainly. The people who can't see it are the journalists and the politicians. The fate of the Mideast is in the hands of the young Palestinians and their young Israeli counterparts. As these younger generations grow in size, the Mideast edges closer to all-out war, which is what we've been seeing for over two years now.

Abdullah said that the Mideast "is pulling the region and the world towards greater danger. As public confidence in the peace process has dropped, the cycle of crises is spinning faster, and with greater potential for destruction." Abdullah's prediction is coming closer to fruition every day. The one thing he's wrong about is his belief that there's any possible way to stop it from happening. (8-Mar-07) Permanent Link
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