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Web Log - March, 2021


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

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

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.


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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

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.


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 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

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

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

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,

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

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?


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

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


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