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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 8-Feb-2014
8-Feb-14 World View -- Central African Republic: Christians aim to get rid of all Muslims

Web Log - February, 2014

8-Feb-14 World View -- Central African Republic: Christians aim to get rid of all Muslims

Reader complaints about Central African Republic and Syria

This morning's key headlines from

Central African Republic: Christians aim to get rid of all Muslims

A Christian man runs through looted and burning homes of Muslims who have fled for their lives (Nat. Geographic)
A Christian man runs through looted and burning homes of Muslims who have fled for their lives (Nat. Geographic)

Thousands of Muslims are fleeing for their lives from Bangui, the capital city of Central African Republic, and from towns across the country. They're escaping in convoys being guarded by troops from Chad, a Muslim country.

The violence began after a March, 2013, coup that brought a Muslim to the presidency. Muslims formed "Seleka militias" and committed deadly attacks on Christians. Christians formed "anti-balaka" (or "anti-machete") militias, and began revenge attacks late in 2013. By now, the revenge attacks are in full force. According to one reporter:

"It's horrific, actually. You have a country that is essentially falling apart. Neighbor killing neighbor on a daily basis in the most brutal, horrific fashion I have ever seen. Lynchings, people attacked by mobs, people having their arms cut off, people burnt with tires around their necks like we saw in South Africa in the 1990s. ...

I just saw today 10,000 Muslims forced to flee from Bangui and surrounding towns north toward Chad, because they are in fear for their lives. They are getting hacked to death, attacked in streets by mobs, the districts they live in and their houses and mosques are being looted and burned, so they have no choice but to leave. ...

But it's the most violent and hateful environment I've ever documented in 16 years. And I've covered every conflict in Africa over that time, but I've never documented anything this bad.

There is so much hatred. Yesterday I was in a town that had eight mosques and over 30,000 Muslims, but now the mosques have been burnt and there are only 300 Muslims left there, hiding in a mosque surrounded by French peacekeeping forces who are trying to keep them alive."

France has 1,600 peacekeeping troops in CAR, who are working with 4,000 African Union peacekeeping troops. The United Nations expects to send thousands more. But this is a generational crisis war, a force of nature, which can't be stopped by any number of troops until it's run its course. BBC and National Geographic

Reader complaints about Central African Republic and Syria

I'd like to address some reader complaints that have been addressed to me recently when I write about Central African Republic and about Syria's president Bashar al-Assad.

Bashar al-Assad is the worst genocidal monster so far this century, comparable to Mao, Hitler and Pol Pot of the last century. He's a Shia/Alawite Muslim who conducted "industrial strength" torture and extermination on his own civilians, who used sarin gas against his own people, who is allied with the Muslim terrorist group Hezbollah, and who is allied with Muslim Iran which some people call the worst terrorist country on earth.

And yet when I call al-Assad a "genocidal monster," I get bizarre complaints that I'm excusing al-Qaeda terrorism. That's ridiculous, as I write about al-Qaeda terrorism all the time, especially in Pakistan.

But what's most bizarre is that many of the people who make this complaint are in the community that perceive Muslims negatively, sometimes referring to all of them universally as "murderous." That's not true of more than a small minority, but if you really believe that all Muslims are "murderous," then you should be aware that al-Assad is the most murderous one of all.

So if you're one of those commenters who are holding those two contradictory views simultaneously, then I suggest you ask your doctor for anti-psychosis pills, because the cognitive dissonance is going to drive you crazy.

This is actually very familiar. College kids in the 1960s praised Mao Zedong as a god, even carrying copies of his "Little Red Book" in their back pockets, and quoting from it from time to time. This was going on at the same time that Mao was starving, torturing and executing tens of millions of Chinese people in the Great Leap Forward, and then again the Cultural Revolution.

There are still people today who consider Mao to be a god, and they still praise him to the skies. And we all know that there are Holocaust deniers who says that the evidence of the Holocaust was all manufactured. These are all the same to me as lovers of al-Assad.

The situation in Central African Republic is drawing a number of complaints because there are Christians committing atrocities on Muslims. One accusation is that I'm excusing the atrocities of Muslims, which is absurd.

I will agree with the commenters to the following extent: Large-scale Christian atrocities are so rare at this time in history that there is increased focus on the one in CAR, while there are so many Muslim jihadist atrocities that any individual situation is not a major story.

Another complaint was related to my contrast of the CAR war versus the Syria war, when I said that the violence in CAR was more personal.

Let's go back to the Rwanda genocide in 1994. There were many stories similar to the following: Two families lived together in peace and harmony for years. Then when a Hutu leader announced over the radio, "Cut down the tall trees," the man from the Hutu family picked up a machete, went next door to the Tutsi family, killed and dismembered the father and children, raped the wife, and killed and dismembered her. Similar stories came out of the Bosnian war genocide in 1995.

This is the kind of thing that's beginning to happen in CAR, and it's NOT happening in Syria, where something quite different is happening. Even the atrocities of Muslim jihadists are rarely as personal as described in the above story about Rwanda. That's why I'm saying that the atrocities in CAR are "more personal" than in Syria. This is an important distinction in generational theory, because this is one way to distinguish generational crisis wars from non-crisis wars.

Getting back to the Christians committing atrocities on Muslims, it may not be what I want to hear, or what you want to hear, but it's happening. The Generational Dynamics methodology does not respect ideological or religious beliefs, except as they define identity groups, and analyzes what happens among the different identity groups.

If you look at the last century, you can easily find genocidal wars that were Muslim versus Muslim (e.g., Iran/Iraq war), Christian versus Christian (e.g., World War II), and Buddhist versus Buddhist (e.g., Cambodia's "killing fields" civil war). Of course there are hundreds more examples with different kinds of populations. Generational Dynamics looks at all of these examples, analyzes them, and uses the analyses to try to predict what's going to happen in the future.

And right now, we can say with some certainty that the situation in Central African Republic is going to get very bloody, and by the time it's over, neither Muslims nor Christians will look good.

(Comments: For reader comments, questions and discussion, see the 8-Feb-14 World View -- Central African Republic: Christians aim to get rid of all Muslims thread of the Generational Dynamics forum. Comments may be posted anonymously.) (8-Feb-2014) Permanent Link
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