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Thread: Generational Dynamics World View - Page 125







Post#3101 at 04-03-2016 10:32 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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4-Apr-16 World View -- Syria's Alawites threaten to abandon Bashar al-Assad

*** 4-Apr-16 World View -- Syria's Alawites threaten to abandon Bashar al-Assad

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict extremely dangerous, despite 'unilateral ceasefire'
  • Syria's Alawites threaten to abandon Bashar al-Assad


****
**** Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict extremely dangerous, despite 'unilateral ceasefire'
****



Furious Azerbaijan president Ilham Aliyev announces that the cease-fire will be observed

Heavy fighting continued on Sunday for the second day between
Azerbaijani and ethnic Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh (NKB).
As I reported yesterday
,
there is widespread concern that this conflict could spread
south into the Mideast and north into the Caucasus.

There were many international calls for a cease-fire. Armenia accused
Azerbaijan of starting the renewed fighting. Azerbaijan's president
Ilham Aliyev accused Armenia of violating international law, and
announced a "unilateral ceasefire":

<QUOTE>"We won't abandon our principal position, but at the
same time, we observe the ceasefire, and after that we will try to
solve the conflict peacefully. At the same time, we will
strengthen our army. We are fighting on our territory. If an
Armenian soldier doesn't want to die, then let him get off Azeri
territory. I have said that many times, and I want to repeat it
now."<END QUOTE>

However, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, spokesman for the Armenian Defence
Ministry, said: "The statement by the Azerbaijan side is an
information trap and does not amount to a unilateral ceasefire."

The Nagorno-Karabakh military (which holds to the position that it is
distinct from the Armenian military) said: "The Nagorno-Karabakh armed
forces are ready to meet and discuss a ceasefire proposal in the
context of restoring former positions."

In fact, there have been reports of continued fighting by both sides.

As we described in yesterday's report, the NKB conflict is extremely
dangerous. There are reports that Turkey is openly supporting
Azerbaijan. Russia is remaining nominally neutral, but Armenia is an
important Russian ally, while Turkey is an important Russian enemy.
It's possible that either Turkey or Russia could intervene militarily,
in which case, the conflict would draw other countries in and begin to
spiral. AzerTag (Azerbaijan) and Reuter

****
**** Syria's Alawites threaten to abandon Bashar al-Assad
****


In a surprise, a document has emerged by the leaders of Syria's
Alawite sect dissociating members of the sect from the regime of
Syria's president Bashar al-Assad.

Al-Assad himself is an Alawite, and the Alawites have been the
group in Syria most loyal to him, as al-Assad has conducted his
genocidal attempts to exterminate the Sunni majority as if
they were cockroaches. But this relationship is at a high
cost for the Alawites:

  • Much of al-Assad's army has been drawn from the Alawite
    community. Although defections and desertions substantially crippled
    the army, especially prior to Russia's military intervention, the sect
    has lost about a quarter of all of its men of fighting age.
  • After the conflict ends, it's quite possible that many of the
    Sunnis in Syria will seek revenge against the Alawites. This is
    particularly true of the jihadists, who claim that the Alawites are an
    apostate sect.


The new document is called a "Declaration of Identity Reform." The
document concedes "that we have been, for far too long, defined with
the words of others rather than our own," and seeks to remedy this
situation by establishing a new and distinct identity.

In interviews with foreign journalists, Alawite leaders said that they
"should not be associated with the crimes the regime has committed."
The document says that Syria has suffered because of "totalitarian
regimes:

<QUOTE>"The vicissitudes of the Syrian land tender proof that
no true national integration has materialized yet. A national
integration was forged before the era of the modern State through
the coercion of imperial rule. Later, it became no more than an
illusion exhibited by totalitarian regimes. ...

26: The ruling political power, whoever embodies it, does not
represent us nor does it shape our identity or preserves our
safety and reputation. Nor do we, the Alawites, substantiate it or
generate its power. The legitimacy of a regime can only be
considered according to the criteria of democracy and fundamental
rights."<END QUOTE>

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, the document declares
that Alawism is not a branch of Shia Islam, as has been widely
reported in the press for years;

<QUOTE>"28: We do not speak, in this Declaration, as
religious preachers but as people inspired by religious
thought. Doctrinal Islam, Sunni or Shia, in our view, originated
in a quest to understand God's message, the religious. It focuses
on what comes from God. In contrast, Alawism can be regarded as a
quest to understand what God truly is. In Doctrinal Islam, God is
behind everything. In Alawism, everything is hidden behind God.

Our differentiation of Alawism from Shiism is not a shift from the
latter, nor an evolutionary act. It is a reverence to the primary
and original truth.

29: The fact that Alawism and Shiism share some formal religious
sources does not make Alawism a branch of Shiism. Since Shiism
until today allows for the constructive interpretation of
religious texts (Al-Ijtihad) it was merely an obligatory passage
for all those who wanted to restore or even revolutionize Muslim
thought."<END QUOTE>

The document also calls for integration with other religions:

<QUOTE>"35: Alawism incorporates elements of other monotheist
religions, most notably Judaism and Christianity. These elements
enrich Alawism and shall not be seen as marks of deviation from
Islam but as elements that bear witness to our riches and
universality."<END QUOTE>

Alawite Declaration of Identify Reform (PDF) and Telegraph (London) and BBC


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, NKB,
Serzh Sargsyan, Ilham Aliyev, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, Russia,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Alawite, Declaration of Identity Reform

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Post#3102 at 04-04-2016 09:49 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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5-Apr-16 World View -- Russia declared 'Mission complete' in Syria and withdrew

*** 5-Apr-16 World View -- Russia declared 'Mission complete' in Syria and withdrew, but the war rages on

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Russia declared 'Mission complete' in Syria and withdrew, but the war rages on
  • Bangladesh's Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) terror group targets 'atheist bloggers'


****
**** Russia declared 'Mission complete' in Syria and withdrew, but the war rages on
****



Syrian soldiers celebrate their victory against ISIS in Qaryatain, Syria, on Monday. (AP)

A limited cease-fire went into effect in Syria on February 27. Then,
on March 15, Russia's president Vladimir Putin announced that most of
Russia's forces in Syria would be withdrawn because "the objectives
set before the Defense Ministry and the Armed Forces have on the whole
been achieved."

The cease-fire had been mostly holding, despite some violations. But
now it may be collapsing. On Friday, jihadists working with rebel
groups scored a new victory over the army of Syria's president Bashar
al-Assad, by taking over the village of Al Eis 16 miles southwest of
Aleppo. According to the al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra
Front), al-Nusra Front militants deployed three suicide bombers and a
number of armored vehicles to breach the government’s defensive lines
and take over the village.

The capture of Al Eis is a strategic victory because it controls a
section of the M5 highway, a vital artery that serves as the backbone
of the country’s road system. The al-Nusra militias were aided by
militias from the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or
Daesh), as well as from some so-called "moderate" anti-Assad rebel
militias. The three groups have very different objectives, but they
have one objective in common: the defeat of Bashar al-Assad.

We might presume that al-Assad's army can pull together enough troops
and, with the help of massive bombing by Russian warplanes, can
recapture Al Eis. But the point of mentioning this victory by the
anti-Assad forces, even if temporary, is that the cease-fire, if it
ever existed, is collapsing.

As I wrote several times in February, the "cessation of hostilities"
( "12-Feb-16 World View -- US and Russia agree to a farcical 'cessation of hostilities' in Syria"
) and cease-fire had absolutely no chance of succeeding
for several reasons:

  • It does not apply to ISIS.
  • It does not apply to al-Nusra.
  • It does apply to the moderate anti-Assad rebels, but they've
    indicated that they would never accept any deal that didn't require
    al-Assad to step down.
  • It does apply Bashar al-Assad and his army, but he says that he's
    going to continue to bomb and massacre "terrorists," by which he
    includes innocent Sunni women and children.
  • It doesn't resolve the issue of YPG Kurds in Syria, who are allies
    of al-Assad and Russia, but who are considered by Turkey to be among
    the terrorists who are bombing civilians in Istanbul and
    Ankara.


There have been talks of a "political solution" in Syria for over a
year, and I always wondered what ISIS and al-Nusra would do when
presented with a "political solution," given that they aren't even
part of the peace negotiations in Geneva. When I wrote about the Geneva 'proximity talks'
in January, I had just heard a BBC analyst who gave an
answer to that very question. He said that once a political solution
was reached, then all the Sunni jihadists would leave ISIS and
al-Nusra, and go home, since the political solution would leave them
no more reason to fight, and then ISIS and al-Nusra would dissolve.

As I said at the time, this is the kind of Fantasyland and state of
total denial that the politicians live in. The fall of Al Eis is an
indication that the war will go on for some time, because none of the
major participants in Syria really wants it to end.

In 2003, the American military declared "Mission accomplished!" in
Iraq. Now Vladimir Putin has done the same in Syria. I would be very
surprised if Russia is really finished in Syria. LA Times and Reuters

****
**** Bangladesh's Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) terror group targets 'atheist bloggers'
****


A significant danger to Bangladesh and to the entire region is the
rapid growth of a new generation terror organization, the Ansarullah
Bangla Team (ABT), which particularly targets tech-savvy college
educated intellectual jihadists. It differs significantly from older
major militant Islamic fundamentalist groups because its main goal is
not fighting or influencing the political-administrative structures in
order to implement their Islamic fundamentalist ideology or to carry
out spectacular terrorist attack to discredit the state to gain
publicity.

Instead, their focus seems to be the eradication of secular or atheist
bloggers, or any other media people who they believe pose a threat to
their fundamentalist Islamic teachings and lifestyle. The main
targets are liberal, independent and secular academic and independent
intellectuals, bloggers and cultural personalities.

For example, on May 12, 2015, Ananta Bijoy Das (32), a progressive
writer, blogger, editor of science fiction magazine Jukti, and an
organizer of Gonojagoron Mancha (People's Resurgence Platform), was
hacked to death, using machetes, by four assailants. Earlier, on
March 30, 2015, another blogger and online activist Oyasiqur Rahman
Babu (27) had been hacked to death in broad daylight in Dhaka city for
his allegedly atheist views. In 2013, ABT had issued a list of 84
“atheist bloggers” on the grounds that "All of them are enemy of the
Islam."

ABT is distinguished from better known Islamist extremist groups in
Bangladesh by its propaganda and indoctrination capabilities. ABT
projects its doctrine of jihad through 117 web pages, including
Facebook and Twitter handles, and various blogs. Unlike older
jihadist groups, ABT is able to adapt quickly to new government
security measures, and so presents an enormous danger to Bangladesh
and the region. E-International Relations (30-Jan) and South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP - India) and The Hindu 24-Sep-2015


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Syria, Vladimir Putin, Bashar al-Assad,
Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh,
Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Nusra Front, Afghanistan, al-Qaeda,
Bangladesh, Ansarullah Bangla Team, ABT, Ananta Bijoy Das, Oyasiqur Rahman

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Post#3103 at 04-05-2016 12:07 AM by XYMOX_4AD_84 [at joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,073]
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04-05-2016, 12:07 AM #3103
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Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post
*** 1-Apr-16 World View -- China close to deploying very long range DF-41 missile

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • China close to deploying very long range DF-41 missile
  • China-US differences sharpen over South China Sea


****
**** China close to deploying very long range DF-41 missile
****



Mobile DF-41 missile

China is in the final phase of testing the world's longest range
missile, the DF-41, with an operational range of 14,500 km. It can
travel over the Pacific Ocean and strike any city in the western US,
or travel over the North Pole and strike any city in the eastern US,
in each case within about half an hour.

It's believed that each DF-41 is capable of carrying ten independently
targetable nuclear weapons. A typical Chinese Second Artillery Corps
(SAC) might have 12 missile launchers capable of launching two DF-41s
each, so a single SAC has the capability to target the United States
with 120-240 nuclear warheads."

The DF-41 is expected to be deployed by the end of this year.

I'm always somewhat bemused when people make comments that the
greatest existential threat to the United States is the so-called
Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), or even Iran. Either of
those threats is minuscule compared to the threat from China.

For years, I've been writing one Chinese missile system after another,
specifically designed to strike American aircraft carriers or American
cities. China has the manufacturing capacity to produce hundreds of
these missiles, and clearly is preparing for war and planning to use
them. Compared to China, ISIS really is junior varsity. South China Morning Post and Express (London) and China Topix

****
**** China-US differences sharpen over South China Sea
****


A meeting between president Barack Obama and China's president Xi
Jinping at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington on Thursday is
being called "constructive," and it was constructive, if by
"constructive" you mean that it provided a forum for sharp
disagreements bordering on military threats.

On Wednesday, prior to the meeting, a Dept. of Defense spokesman
announced that the US would not recognize an "air defense
identification zone" (ADIZ) in the South China Sea, in case China
decided to impose one.

The spokesman said that the US expects a ruling from an international
court within the next few weeks on a case brought by the
Philippines against China over its claims to the entire South
China Sea. The fear is that China would react angrily to an
adverse ruling, and try to impose an ADIZ in the South China
Sea, just as it did in the East China Sea near Japan in 2013.
The US refused to recognize that ADIZ either.

If an ADIZ in the South China Sea were recognized, then any foreign
aircraft would have to ask permission from China to fly through it.
US officials have repeatedly said that the US military would fly, sail
and operate wherever international law allows.

Xi responded by warning the US that China would not accept violations
of its sovereignty in the name of freedom of navigation. Xi is quoted
as saying, "The hope is that all parties will correctly view and
handle the South China Sea and adopt an objective and impartial
attitude ... particularly countries outside this region."

Some $5 trillion in trade passes through the South China Sea
on ships each year, including $1.2 trillion of US trade.

China had pledged never to militarize the South China Sea, but has
reneged on that promised, suggesting that nothing that China says is
to be believed. China has built several artificial islands in the
South China Sea and converted them into military bases with military
aircraft and advanced radar, the military force that would be used to
try to enforce an ADIZ. Reuters and The Hill and South China Morning Post


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, DF-41 Missile, South China Sea,
Japan, East China Sea, Air Defense Identification Zone, ADIZ,
Xi Jinping

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It's time to end the silly practice of having our land-based ICBMs in fixed silos that are sitting ducks. We need to match and eventually exceed the mobile land-based deployments fielded by Russia and China. Road mobility is a key survivability strategy. One nice thing about TELs is, you can roll them into planes and fly them anywhere in the world. Or, if preferred, the missile can actually be dismounted from the TEL whilst inside the plane, fitted with a drogue, then the drogue can be used to position the missile in midair, from which a midair launch ensues. This latter technique is actually rocket science and was demonstrated over 10 years ago during an exercise hosted by Vandenberg AFB.
==========================================

#nevertrump







Post#3104 at 04-05-2016 10:32 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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6-Apr-16 World View -- Radical Islamists finding a new home in Bosnia and Balkans

*** 6-Apr-16 World View -- Radical Islamists finding a new home in Bosnia and Balkan states

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Syrian jihadists shoot down regime warplane, capture pilot
  • Radical Islamists finding a new home in Bosnia and Balkan states


****
**** Syrian jihadists shoot down regime warplane, capture pilot
****



Ahrar al Sham (al-Nusra) tweet posted after the Syrian warplane was shot down, with a picture of the captured Syrian pilot (Long War Journal)

Syrian regime media are confirming that jihadists have shot down a
Syrian warplane with a surface-to-air missile launched by "terrorist
organizations," and that the pilot parachuted to the ground. A
furious Syrian regime field command is quoted as saying, “In the
imminent future, the fires of hell will open on the armed groups in
the north, south, east and west [of Aleppo]," adding that "devastating
battles" are planned in revenge.

Ahrar al Sham, an al-Qaeda linked group associated with Jabhat
al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front) has claimed responsibility, and says that
the Syrian pilot is in custody.

As we reported yesterday,
militias
opposed to the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad achieved a
strategic victory by capturing the village of Al Eis and taking
control of a portion of the country's vital M5 highway. Tuesday's
shootdown of the Syrian warplane apparently occurred during attempts
by the Syrian military to recapture the village.

Western governments have been reluctant to provide arms to groups
opposed to al-Assad or to the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or
ISIL or Daesh). They have been particularly reluctant to provide
anti-air missiles, out of fear that those missiles would fall into the
hands of jihadist groups.

This is the second Syrian warplane to be shot down. Syria says that
an anti-aircraft missile was also used to shoot down a warplane in
western Syria in March.

If it's confirmed that jihadists now have anti-aircraft missiles, it
would be a major escalation in jihadist weaponry. However, it's
possible that the warplane was brought down by artillery fire.
Daily Star (Beirut) and SANA (Damascus) and Long War Journal and Reuters

****
**** Radical Islamists finding a new home in Bosnia and Balkan states
****


A new sanctuary for fighters, planners and recruiters for the
so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) has been
established right in the middle of Europe. Some 200-300 Islamist
radicals have left Bosnia-Herzegovina to join ISIS or al-Qaeda in
Syria and Iraq, and as a share of population, more fighters from
Bosnia-Herzegovina have joined ISIS than from any other country in
Europe except Belgium. There are around a dozen places in Bosnia
where Salafists can train radicals, undisturbed by authorities. In
fact, the black flag of ISIS is even flown in some remote villages in
Bosnia-Herzegovina.

And it can be seen in other Balkan countries besides Bosnia.
According to research into six countries in the region -- Albania,
Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia -- about 877
nationals from the six states have traveled to Syria and Iraq. About
300 are believed to have returned home.

Most Balkan nationals travelled to Syria and Iraq during 2012 and
2013, with the highest numbers coming from Bosnia, Kosovo and
Macedonia. The numbers travelling to join jihadi groups declined
sharply in 2014, after most states adopted law reforms that
criminalize illegally fighting in foreign wars.

The origins of Balkan radicalization can be traced back at least to
the Bosnia war of the early 1990s. It was a three-way war, with the
Bosniaks [Bosnian Muslims] fighting against the Catholic Croatians and
the Orthodox Christian Serbs.

We've described many times how the Soviet Union's occupation of
Afghanistan in the 1980s triggered a flow of Sunni Muslim jihadists
from the Soviet Union to fight the Orthodox Christian invaders,
resulting in the formation of al-Qaeda and leading to the 9/11/2001
attacks. (See "12-Sep-15 World View -- Saudi Arabia's Grand Mosque, site of huge construction accident, has links to 9/11"
),

A related story can be told about the Bosnian war. Saudi Arabians and
other Arabs traveled to Bosnia and formed the Mujahideen Battalion in
Bosnia in 1992, to fight the Christian Serbs and Croatians. The
Mujahideen Battalion grew to hundreds of volunteers by the end of the
war. It's believed that the arrival of the Arabs was supported by
Bosnian politicians, in order to please wealthy Arab donors.

After the war, hundreds of Mujahideen Battalion members went from
Bosnia to Chechnya, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Among their alumni were
two of the 9/11 hijackers, and the murderer of American hostage Daniel
Pearl.

During the Bosnian war, hundreds of Arab volunteers came to join the
Mujahideen Battalion. Today, the flow of volunteers has reversed,
with Bosnian volunteers traveling to Syria to join ISIS.

According to Aimen Dean, a Saudi Arabian volunteer who went to fight
in Bosnia in 1994: "There is a war between the West and Islam. Bosnia
gave the modern jihadist movement that narrative. It is the cradle."
Der Spiegel (Germany) and Balkan Insight (30-Mar) and BBC (2-Jul-2015)



KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Aleppo, Al Eis, Bashar al-Assad,
Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh,
Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Nusra Front, Afghanistan, al-Qaeda, Iraq,
Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia,
Bosniaks, Serbs, Croatians

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Post#3105 at 04-06-2016 10:41 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
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7-Apr-16 World View -- In desperation, EU tries to overhaul its refugee asylum rules

*** 7-Apr-16 World View -- In desperation, EU tries to overhaul its refugee asylum rules

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • In desperation, EU tries to overhaul its refugee asylum rules
  • As migrants turn to the Libya route, Germany warns Italy not to wave migrants through


****
**** In desperation, EU tries to overhaul its refugee asylum rules
****



Migrant children from Syria pose in front of a Protestant church in Oberhausen, Germany, November 19, 2015 (Reuters)

Migrants who arrive in the European Union are required to register and
lodge their asylum requests in the country where they first arrive.
That country must then evaluate asylum requests, and either allow them
to stay in that country or else deport them back to their countries of
origin. The rules about registering migrants comes from the Geneva
convention, which was adopted by the EU in the "Dublin II" regulation
of 2003.

The Dublin system was already under severe pressure before the
migration crisis began. EU member states have been forbidden from
sending asylum seekers back to Greece since the European court of
human rights ruled in 2011 that conditions for refugees in Greece were
so bad they were tantamount to "degrading treatment."

In 2015, over one million migrants poured into Europe, a migration of
historic proportions. They arrived mostly into Greece and Italy, but
those two countries were unable to handle the volume, so the migrants
were mostly just waved through to travel north, usually to Germany.
Furthermore, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel announced last year
in August that Syrian refugees were welcome to stay in Germany,
essentially negating the Dublin II regulations, the asylum system
collapse completely.

European officials are now desperately trying to reform the asylum
system by proposing modifications to the Dublin II regulations, to
distribute the burden to all 28 countries in the EU. The
European Commission is making two proposals:

  • Completely scrap the existing Dublin system, and then have a
    mandatory redistribution system for asylum seekers based on a
    country’s wealth and ability to absorb newcomers. Migrants would be
    redistributed regardless of their country of entry.
  • Keep the existing Dublin system, but include a “Dublin plus"
    provision that would preserve the existing rules, except that it would
    include a corrective fairness mechanism" which would apply a mandatory
    redistribution system only at times of crisis, to take the pressure
    off of Greece and Italy.


Germany and Sweden, which absorbed most of the migrants last year,
are in favor reforming the Dublin regulations.

Both proposals involve a "mandatory redistribution" scheme similar to
the temporary migrant quota system that was enacted last year, and was
an almost total failure. That scheme, proposed last year in
September, was supposed to relocate 160,000 refugees from Greece and
Italy to other EU countries. Only about 1,100 refugees have been
resettled so far.

Hungary and Slovakia opposed the migrant quota system last September
but were outvoted, and they've filed lawsuits at the EU Court of
Justice against the quota system. Unsurprisingly, they're now
opposing the new mandatory redistribution reforms. The Czech
Republic, Poland and Romania have also voiced opposition.

Tomas Prouza, Czech state secretary for European affairs tweeted on
Wednesday: "Permanent quotas once again? How long will the EU
commission keep riding this dead horse instead of working on things
that really help?" AFP and Guardian (London) and EU Observer and EU Dublin II Regulations

****
**** As migrants turn to the Libya route, Germany warns Italy not to wave migrants through
****


On Monday, about 200 Syrian migrants that had arrived in Greece were
deported back to Turkey, under the EU-Turkey deal that was signed las
month. Under that deal, all "irregular migrants" arriving in Greece
after March 20 are to be sent back to Turkey.

However, that entire process has been stalled. The EU-Turkey deal
contains a bizarre "one for one" provision that specifies that for
every Syrian migrant sent back to Turkey, Turkey will select another
Syrian refugee from its refugee camps and send that refugee back to
the EU, to be settled in some European country. And just as in the
case of the mandatory redistribution proposals, there is no agreement
on how to distribute the refugees returned from Turkey on the one for
one deal.

Another problem is that any migrants arriving in Greece are to be
given hearings to determine whether they're qualified to
seek asylum. According to one report I heard, the Greek authorities
are only able to process about 20 asylum registrations per day --
and that doesn't even include the hearings, which can take weeks.

The situation is complicated even further by the fact that a majority
of the asylum-seekers in Europe are women and children, and nearly 10%
of the women are pregnant.

The EU-Turkey deal that took effect two weeks ago has slowed the flood
of migrants into the Greek islands from thousands per day to hundreds
per day. That's because the word has spread that the route from
Turkey through Greece and north through the Balkans to Germany is now
apparently closed permanently.

The fear is that there will be another million refugees entering
Europe in 2016, as happened in 2015. But since the Balkan Route is
closed, the migrants and human traffickers will choose other, more
dangerous routes.

It's estimated that up to 450,000 people will try to reach Europe
this year by crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya. The
EU has been focusing on the route through Turkey and Greece,
but the Libya to Italy route has been almost completely ignored,
because only 17,500 migrants arrived in Italy from Libya last
year. But with the Balkan Route closed, many people expect
the route from Libya will be used by hundreds of thousands
of migrants, with the flood beginning in the next month as
the weather warms.

However, Germany's interior minister Thomas de Maizière
warned Italy that its border with Austria, the Brenner Pass,
would be closed if Italy simply tried to wave the migrants through
to northern countries.

Many European officials are expressing the hope that the worst of the
migrant crisis has passed. However, that's what they always say,
whether it's Greece's financial crisis or the migrant crisis. The
Rube Goldberg EU-Turkey deal has no apparent chance of succeeding, and
desperate people will reach their desired destination or die trying.

The reality is that we're in a generational Crisis era in the midst of
a massive historic population migration of people from war zones in
the Mideast and Africa, and just putting up fences is not going to
solve the core problem. No one has predicted the crisis so far, and
the fact is that European officials have no idea what's going to
happen this year. Express (London) and International Business Times and Daily Mail (London)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, European Union, Dublin II regulations, Greece,
Italy, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Slovakia
Turkey, Tomas Prouza, Czech Republic, Syria, Libya,
Balkan Route, Thomas de Maizière, Austria

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
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Post#3106 at 04-07-2016 09:48 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-07-2016, 09:48 PM #3106
Join Date
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Location
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Posts
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8-Apr-16 World View -- Putin decrees Russian National Guard that can shoot on sight

*** 8-Apr-16 World View -- Putin decrees new Russian National Guard that can shoot or arrest citizens on sight

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Putin decrees new Russian National Guard that can shoot or arrest citizens on sight
  • Russia's National Guard thought to be preparation for September elections
  • 'Panama Papers' scandal may have triggered Putin's National Guard announcement


****
**** Putin decrees new Russian National Guard that can shoot or arrest citizens on sight
****



Putin decreed the establishment of a new National Guard on Thursday (Kremlin Press Service)

In a surprise announcement, Russia's president Vladimir Putin decreed
the establishment of a new National Guard force of 200,000 to 400,000
paramilitary security forces with the right to use physical force or
firearms on citizens, and the right to enter homes or check documents
and vehicles -- all without warning or giving a reason.

The text of the law, as posted on the web site of the State Duma,
contains the following:

<QUOTE>"Special powers (coercion): Detention, occurrence
(penetration) into residential and other premises on land and
territory; cordon (blocking) areas of land, premises, buildings
and other facilities. ...

The troops of the National Guard have the right to detain for the
police persons suspected of committing a crime or administrative
offense, as well as to detain in order to establish their identity
to the police of other persons, detained for a period of not more
than three hours and include office space troops of the National
Guard prior to the transfer of police officials, to encroach on
protected national Guard troops objects as well as objects and
possessions national Guard troops, facilities and property of
citizens and organizations regardless of their organizational and
legal form and form of property. ...

[In addition, they receive the right] to make a personal
inspection of the said persons, inspection of vehicles and the
things seized from them documents and items prohibited for storage
and use; make inspection of vehicles, water craft (vessels),
violated the rules established in the protected national Guard
troops objects."<END QUOTE>

According to a statement by Putin, the National Guard troops are
tasked with: "participation, together with Russia’s internal affairs
bodies, in enforcement of public order, maintenance of public security
and emergency rule, participation in the fight against international
terrorism and ensuring the legal regime of counter-terrorism
operation, participation in the fight against extremism."

However, many observers are claiming that the new National Guard is
Putin's person army designed to give him all the powers of a total
dictator. Moscow Times and Interfax (Moscow) (Trans) and Tass (Moscow)

****
**** Russia's National Guard thought to be preparation for September elections
****


At the end of 2011 and in spring 2012, rigged Duma elections triggered
mass antigovernment demonstrations in Moscow that had to be controlled
violently. Now that new elections are scheduled for September of this
year, it's thought that Putin announced the new National Guard in
preparation for even larger anti-government protests.

Indeed, Putin's presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
that "One can assume that, of course, [it will take part] in
[suppressing] unauthorized [actions]."

According to Nikolai Petrov, a professor of political science at the
Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia's ruling regime, led by
Putin, is at risk of collapse, mainly because its entire foundation
has been undermined by the massive fall in international oil prices.

Petrov says that Putin has gained electoral legitimacy by generating
nationalist feelings through his invasion of Ukraine and annexation of
Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Putin's actions in Syria and against
Turkey have also roused public response.

But what's changed in Russia is "the internal balance between the
ruling élite," because falling oil prices have squeezed Moscow's
budget:

<QUOTE>"Most importantly, shrinking government coffers have
prompted more intense infighting among the ruling clans as each
vies for their place in the sun. The problem is that the current
system is based on ever-expanding revenues that provide enough for
all. There is no functioning mechanism for resolving conflicting
interests and redistributing property and incomes among contending
groups. Each new situation requires an executive decision, which
increases the frequency of conflict among the elite spilling over
into the public eye — such as the sharp confrontation last spring
between the leadership of the Federal Security Service and Chechen
leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who heads his own siloviki force. Such
clashes strain the system at the seams.

The main goal of these struggles is access to the crisis-stricken
budget and the chance to curry favor with senior leaders.
Therefore, parliamentary elections in September will be held
against a backdrop of increased competition among the
elite."<END QUOTE>

In other words, when oil prices were high and everyone and all the
business leaders and regional politicians in the ruling élite had
access to unlimited amounts of money, there was little conflict at the
top. But September's elections will create candidates with loyalties
divided between Putin on one side and the élite business leaders and
politicians on the other.

Putin's approval numbers remain at record highs, despite the poor
economy and rapid growth of mass poverty. But Putin's creation by
surprise decree of the new National Guard gives the impression that
Putin believes that the internal threat to his regime is rising
rapidly, and that steps must be taken immediately to control the
threat. Tass (Moscow)
and Moscow Times (22-Jan) and Jamestown

****
**** 'Panama Papers' scandal may have triggered Putin's National Guard announcement
****


Vladimir Putin was not mentioned in the massive leak of 11 million
documents from a Panama-based law firm known as the "Panama Papers,"
and TV stations have shrugged off the entire scandal, so it was
considered surprising that Putin felt it necessary on Thursday to make
special mention of the Panama Papers and to mock them at a forum for
journalists in St. Petersburg.

Although Putin wasn't mentioned, some of his associates appeared in
documents, implicated them in an alleged $2 billion money-laundering
scheme. One of the names appearing in the documents is that of
cellist Sergei Roldugin, an old friend of Putin and reportedly a
godfather to one of his daughters. Media reports on the Panama Papers
have said Roldugin holds hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore
assets.

Another danger for Putin is that American officials are examining the
the Panama Papers to gather information on individuals who may be
helping Russia to bypass sanctions.

Putin responded to the accusations on Thursday:

<QUOTE>"Our opponents are above all concerned by the unity
and consolidation of the Russian nation, our multinational Russian
people. They are attempting to rock us from within, to make us
more obedient. ...

I am proud to have people like Sergei [Roldugin] as friends. He
has spent nearly all the money he has earned on buying musical
instruments abroad and he brought them to Russia.

We always welcome it when somebody does things like that, but he
has gone much further. I know that he has spent several months
already on efforts to have the instruments registered as property
of government-financed institutions."<END QUOTE>

Opposition leader Aleksei Navalny ridiculed Putin's defense of
Roldugin, saying that Roldugin's offshore companies reportedly engaged
in suspicious commercial contracts that netted him substantial
profits.

However, other government officials said that the Panama Papers story
was funded by the US Government and by George Soros, to attack Putin
personally and to destabilize Russia.

Vladimir Putin's National Guard announcement has surely been in the
works for some time, but the fact that the announcement came suddenly,
by surprise, suggests that Putin may have felt it necessary to make
the announcement earlier than planned. The event that might have
triggered that early announcement was the international "Panama
Papers" scandal, revealing enormous alleged corruption in Putin's
government, which could possibly result in much greater and much early
anti-government protests and riots. RFE/RL and Moscow Times and Russia Today and Moscow Times


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Vladimir Putin, National Guard,
Dmitry Peskov, Nikolai Petrov, Panama Papers, Sergei Roldugin,
Aleksei Navalny, George Soros

Permanent web link to this article
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Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal







Post#3107 at 04-08-2016 11:44 AM by XYMOX_4AD_84 [at joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,073]
---
04-08-2016, 11:44 AM #3107
Join Date
Nov 2012
Posts
3,073

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post
*** 8-Apr-16 World View -- Putin decrees new Russian National Guard that can shoot or arrest citizens on sight

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Putin decrees new Russian National Guard that can shoot or arrest citizens on sight
  • Russia's National Guard thought to be preparation for September elections
  • 'Panama Papers' scandal may have triggered Putin's National Guard announcement


****
**** Putin decrees new Russian National Guard that can shoot or arrest citizens on sight
****



Putin decreed the establishment of a new National Guard on Thursday (Kremlin Press Service)

In a surprise announcement, Russia's president Vladimir Putin decreed
the establishment of a new National Guard force of 200,000 to 400,000
paramilitary security forces with the right to use physical force or
firearms on citizens, and the right to enter homes or check documents
and vehicles -- all without warning or giving a reason.

The text of the law, as posted on the web site of the State Duma,
contains the following:
<QUOTE>"Special powers (coercion): Detention, occurrence
(penetration) into residential and other premises on land and
territory; cordon (blocking) areas of land, premises, buildings
and other facilities. ...

The troops of the National Guard have the right to detain for the
police persons suspected of committing a crime or administrative
offense, as well as to detain in order to establish their identity
to the police of other persons, detained for a period of not more
than three hours and include office space troops of the National
Guard prior to the transfer of police officials, to encroach on
protected national Guard troops objects as well as objects and
possessions national Guard troops, facilities and property of
citizens and organizations regardless of their organizational and
legal form and form of property. ...

[In addition, they receive the right] to make a personal
inspection of the said persons, inspection of vehicles and the
things seized from them documents and items prohibited for storage
and use; make inspection of vehicles, water craft (vessels),
violated the rules established in the protected national Guard
troops objects."<END QUOTE>

According to a statement by Putin, the National Guard troops are
tasked with: "participation, together with Russia’s internal affairs
bodies, in enforcement of public order, maintenance of public security
and emergency rule, participation in the fight against international
terrorism and ensuring the legal regime of counter-terrorism
operation, participation in the fight against extremism."

However, many observers are claiming that the new National Guard is
Putin's person army designed to give him all the powers of a total
dictator. Moscow Times and Interfax (Moscow) (Trans) and Tass (Moscow)

****
**** Russia's National Guard thought to be preparation for September elections
****


At the end of 2011 and in spring 2012, rigged Duma elections triggered
mass antigovernment demonstrations in Moscow that had to be controlled
violently. Now that new elections are scheduled for September of this
year, it's thought that Putin announced the new National Guard in
preparation for even larger anti-government protests.

Indeed, Putin's presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday.
that "One can assume that, of course, [it will take part] in
[suppressing] unauthorized [actions]."

According to Nikolai Petrov, a professor of political science at the
Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia's ruling regime, led by
Putin, is at risk of collapse, mainly because its entire foundation
has been undermined by the massive fall in international oil prices.

Petrov says that Putin has gained electoral legitimacy by generating
nationalist feelings through his invasion of Ukraine and annexation of
Ukraine's Crimea peninsula. Putin's actions in Syria and against
Turkey have also roused public response.

But what's changed in Russia is "the internal balance between the
ruling élite," because falling oil prices have squeezed Moscow's
budget:
<QUOTE>"Most importantly, shrinking government coffers have
prompted more intense infighting among the ruling clans as each
vies for their place in the sun. The problem is that the current
system is based on ever-expanding revenues that provide enough for
all. There is no functioning mechanism for resolving conflicting
interests and redistributing property and incomes among contending
groups. Each new situation requires an executive decision, which
increases the frequency of conflict among the elite spilling over
into the public eye — such as the sharp confrontation last spring
between the leadership of the Federal Security Service and Chechen
leader Ramzan Kadyrov, who heads his own siloviki force. Such
clashes strain the system at the seams.

The main goal of these struggles is access to the crisis-stricken
budget and the chance to curry favor with senior leaders.
Therefore, parliamentary elections in September will be held
against a backdrop of increased competition among the
elite."<END QUOTE>

In other words, when oil prices were high and everyone and all the
business leaders and regional politicians in the ruling élite had
access to unlimited amounts of money, there was little conflict at the
top. But September's elections will create candidates with loyalties
divided between Putin on one side and the élite business leaders and
politicians on the other.

Putin's approval numbers remain at record highs, despite the poor
economy and rapid growth of mass poverty. But Putin's creation by
surprise decree of the new National Guard gives the impression that
Putin believes that the internal threat to his regime is rising
rapidly, and that steps must be taken immediately to control the
threat. Tass (Moscow)
and Moscow Times (22-Jan) and Jamestown

****
**** 'Panama Papers' scandal may have triggered Putin's National Guard announcement
****


Vladimir Putin was not mentioned in the massive leak of 11 million
documents from a Panama-based law firm known as the "Panama Papers,"
and TV stations have shrugged off the entire scandal, so it was
considered surprising that Putin felt it necessary on Thursday to make
special mention of the Panama Papers and to mock them at a forum for
journalists in St. Petersburg.

Although Putin wasn't mentioned, some of his associates appeared in
documents, implicated them in an alleged $2 billion money-laundering
scheme. One of the names appearing in the documents is that of
cellist Sergei Roldugin, an old friend of Putin and reportedly a
godfather to one of his daughters. Media reports on the Panama Papers
have said Roldugin holds hundreds of millions of dollars in offshore
assets.

Another danger for Putin is that American officials are examining the
the Panama Papers to gather information on individuals who may be
helping Russia to bypass sanctions.

Putin responded to the accusations on Thursday:
<QUOTE>"Our opponents are above all concerned by the unity
and consolidation of the Russian nation, our multinational Russian
people. They are attempting to rock us from within, to make us
more obedient. ...

I am proud to have people like Sergei [Roldugin] as friends. He
has spent nearly all the money he has earned on buying musical
instruments abroad and he brought them to Russia.

We always welcome it when somebody does things like that, but he
has gone much further. I know that he has spent several months
already on efforts to have the instruments registered as property
of government-financed institutions."<END QUOTE>

Opposition leader Aleksei Navalny ridiculed Putin's defense of
Roldugin, saying that Roldugin's offshore companies reportedly engaged
in suspicious commercial contracts that netted him substantial
profits.

However, other government officials said that the Panama Papers story
was funded by the US Government and by George Soros, to attack Putin
personally and to destabilize Russia.

Vladimir Putin's National Guard announcement has surely been in the
works for some time, but the fact that the announcement came suddenly,
by surprise, suggests that Putin may have felt it necessary to make
the announcement earlier than planned. The event that might have
triggered that early announcement was the international "Panama
Papers" scandal, revealing enormous alleged corruption in Putin's
government, which could possibly result in much greater and much early
anti-government protests and riots. RFE/RL and Moscow Times and Russia Today and Moscow Times


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Vladimir Putin, National Guard,
Dmitry Peskov, Nikolai Petrov, Panama Papers, Sergei Roldugin,
Aleksei Navalny, George Soros

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal
Ever notice the similarities between Putin's anti-American agitprop in response to the Panama Papers and that of certain domestic US factions? Most especially, conspiracy theorists and those paranoid of the supposed "Bilderberg" cabal (Skousenites, JBSers, et al exhibit such paranoia), share much in common with Putin, Dugin and their apparent hatred of those whom they deem "Atlanticists." Of course, such paranoid tin foil inevitably always points to "an international cabal of [Jewish] banksters and Wall Streeters" ... this should be familiar territory for those who studied Nazi, Stalinist and even earlier Czarist agitprop of the past. In any case, the SVR have been infilitrating US based radical groups most especially those nominally on the extreme Right, ever since the apparent (feigned?) fall of the USSR.
Last edited by XYMOX_4AD_84; 04-08-2016 at 11:48 AM.
==========================================

#nevertrump







Post#3108 at 04-08-2016 10:22 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-08-2016, 10:22 PM #3108
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
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9-Apr-16 World View -- Legal problems, Erdogan's threats may collapse EU-Turkey deal

*** 9-Apr-16 World View -- Legal problems and Erdogan's threats may collapse EU-Turkey migrant deal

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • EU-Turkey refugee deal fraught with chaos and legal and political problems
  • Turkey's Erdogan threatens to terminate the refugee deal


****
**** EU-Turkey refugee deal fraught with chaos and legal and political problems
****



Informative leaflet in four languages to be handed out to migrants in Greece

Officials in Europe and Turkey are hailing the apparent success of the
first week of the implementation of the EU-Turkey refugee deal. The
number of migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey is down to hundreds
per day, rather than thousands.

Also this week, two boatloads of refugees from Greece have been
shipped back to Turkey -- 54 on Monday, 120 on Friday.

However, some analysts are saying that this is all symbolic, a
meaningless show. The reason is technical, but dispositive. All 54
of the migrants returned to Turkey on Monday were Pakistani. Most of
the migrants sent on Friday were Pakistani, and others were from
Egypt, Afghanistan, and Iraq. None of these migrants had applied for
asylum in Greece because their intention was to continue their journey
north to Germany or Sweden, and objective that is now denied to them
because the "Balkan Route" has been closed.

Now, the problem with this situation is that it was already perfectly
legal for Greece to deport these 174 "illegal migrants," even without
the EU-Turkey deal. Under a previous 2002 deal, Greece could have
returned them to Turkey. Even without that deal, Greece could have
deported them to their home countries. As things stand, Turkey will
now deport the 174 to their home countries -- the countries that
they'd already fled from at risk of their lives.

There are still more than 3,000 migrants on the Greek island of
Lesbos. In view of recent events, almost all of these have submitted
asylum applications. Once a migrant has applied for asylum, she
cannot be sent back to Turkey until she has been interviewed and had
an individual hearing, and then only if her asylum request has been
rejected. (The use of the feminine pronouns reflects the fact that
most migrants now are women and children.)

This asylum hearing process is an enormous logistical problem. It
requires police, case officers, judges, and language interpreters. It
can take weeks or months to reach a decision on a single asylum
application. Greece itself does not have the resources to implement
this process. The European Commission has promised that it would send
2,300 experts from other countries to help with the logistical
challenge, but those experts are still nowhere in sight.

The problems don't stop there, and get more complicated when refugees
from Syria are involved. There's a "one-for-one" provision in the
EU-Turkey deal that, for each Syrian refugee that Greece returns to
Turkey, Turkey will select a Syrian refugee from its refugee camps and
send that refugee back to the EU. These refugees will be distributed
to all 28 EU countries under a quota system. As we described a couple
of days ago, it will be almost impossible to get agreement on the
quotas. ( "7-Apr-16 World View -- In desperation, EU tries to overhaul its refugee asylum rules"
)

There may be still more problems. The 174 migrants who have already
been sent back to Turkey did not put up any resistance, but with 3,000
migrants to go, that may not last. There have already been riots and
confrontations between police and migrants in the Idomeni refugee camp
on Greece's border with Macedonia.

To try to head off more problems, an "informative leaflet" will be
distributed to refugees and migrants at Idomeni and in the Port of
Piraeus, starting on Monday. The leaflet is in four languages --
Arabic, Farsi, Greek and English:

<QUOTE>"Make sure that no violent incidents take place among
you. There is nothing to be divided. You all share common
problems. Hate and violence do not help in any way.

Do not lose your courage, we stand by you, we love you! ...

The port of Piraeus cannot host you anymore and you have nothing
to win by remaining here. Additionally, from now on the port of
Piraeus will have to service significant volumes of traffic of
vehicles and passengers. It is not possible for you to stay at the
port of Piraeus anymore. In a few days the port of Piraeus will be
emptied (evacuated)."<END QUOTE>

Whether this leaflet will soothe tempers or worsens them remains to be
seen. Daily Sabah (Istanbul) and The Atlantic and Der Spiegel and Greek Reporter

****
**** Turkey's Erdogan threatens to terminate the refugee deal
****


There are legal challenges being raised on both sides of the EU-Turkey
refugee deal.

European experts are arguing that Turkey does not meet the minimum
requirements to be "Safe Country of Origin." This concept has been
debated by the European Commission, but they have been unable to
precisely define what it means, or to produce a list of safe countries
of origin.

By agreeing to the EU-Turkey deal, the European Commission is deciding
by implication that Turkey is a safe country of origin, which means
that migrants can be sent back to Turkey, according to EU law. But
some human rights organizations are going to challenge that decision
in the European Court of Justice, based on the number of times that
the European Court of Human Rights has condemned Turkey for breaches
of human rights. The trial might delay further implementation of the
EU-Turkey deal, and if the ECJ rules that Turkey is not a safe country
of origin, then the deal may collapse completely.

On the other hand, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is warning
that the EU is already in violation of its side of the agreement, and
that if further steps aren't taken, then Turkey will terminate the
deal.

Erdogan is referring to the following EU commitments:

  • Visa liberalization: Turkish citizens will be able to travel
    in the EU without a visa by the end of June 2016.
  • The EU will pay Turkey 3 billion euros in aid for refugees,
    disbursed as quickly as possible, followed possibly by another 3
    billion. The EU was supposed to have already paid a portion of this
    aid, but hasn't.
  • The EU and Turkey will "reenergize the accession process" to make
    Turkey a member of the European Union.


In a speech on Thursday, Erdogan said:

<QUOTE>"There are precise conditions. If the European Union
does not take the necessary steps, then Turkey will not implement
the agreement.

Everything that has been promised [must be put into action by the
EU], everything that is specified under the accord.

[Referring to the aid for refugees], some three million people are
being fed on our budget. There have been promises [of aid] but
nothing has come for the moment.

We have received lots of thanks for our action on the refugees and
in the fight against terrorism. But we are not doing this for
thanks. Everything should happen in line with what has been
promised, what has been set out in the text."<END QUOTE>

There is a lot of opposition in Europe to approving the visa
liberalization, which would allow any Turkish citizen to travel freely
around the EU. This must be implemented by June, according to the
agreement. There is a lot of opposition in Turkey to taking back any
migrants from Greece. It's thought that the only reason that the EU
agreed to the deal is because the migrant situation has made them
desperate, and the only reason that Turkey agreed to the deal was to
get leverage to force the visa liberation and to force further steps
to be taken in the accession process (not to mention the six billion
euros).

For the time being, European officials are claiming that the worst of
the migrant crisis is over. If that's true, then we should know by
June, but it's far more likely that the entire deal will collapse by
then. EU Law Analysis and Hurriyet (Ankara)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Greece, Pakistan, Afghanistan,
Egypt, Germany, Sweden, Syria, Piraeus Port, Idomeni,
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

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Post#3109 at 04-09-2016 10:30 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-09-2016, 10:30 PM #3109
Join Date
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10-Apr-16 World View -- Egypt, Saudi Arabia to build a bridge where Moses parted sea

*** 10-Apr-16 World View -- Egypt, Saudi Arabia to build a huge bridge where Moses parted the Red Sea

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Egypt, Saudi Arabia to build a huge bridge where Moses parted the Red Sea
  • Saudi Arabia will no longer provide 'free money' to Egypt


****
**** Egypt, Saudi Arabia to build a huge bridge where Moses parted the Red Sea
****



Map showing the Red Sea, Strait of Tiran, and Gulf of Aqaba

Saudi Arabia and Egypt have announced plans to build the King Salman
Bridge, named after the current leader of Saudi Arabia, Salman bin
Abdulaziz al Saud.

The bridge will be an enormous project, 10-20 miles (16-32 km) long,
depending on its position, providing a land connection between Saudi
Arabia and Egypt.

The bridge is planned to cross the Strait of Tiran, at the same place
where the prophet Moses is said to have parted the Red Sea, in order
to bring his people out of slavery into the Promised Land.

Whether the bridge will actually ever be built remains to be seen.
The construction project could badly affect tourism at the Sharm
el-Sheikh resort on the Red Sea near the Strait of Tiran.
Furthermore, environmentalists are complaining that the construction
project would damage fragile sea life.

The Strait of Tiran has a more modern significance as well. For many
years after Israel's founding, the Suez Canal was closed to Israeli
shipping, so ships carrying goods to Israel had to pass through the
Strait of Tiran and travel up the Gulf of Aqaba to reach Egypt.

On May 23, 1967, Egypt's President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced that
the United Arab Republic would close the Strait of Tiran and Gulf of
Aqaba to all ships flying Israel flags or carrying strategic
materials. Israel had already warned that any such move would be
considered an act of war, and the announced did launch the 1967
Six-Day War between Egypt and Israel.

As part of the same announcement on Saturday, the countries agreed to
settle a long-standing dispute over the sovereignty of the Sanafir and
Tiran islands in the Strait of Tiran. Until now, they had been
Egypt's sovereign territory. After the Six-Day War, Israel occupied
the two islands from 1967 until the full implementation of the
Israel-Egypt peace treaty in 1982. Since then, and continuing to
today, there is a US-led "Multinational Force Observers" (MFO). Now
that control of the islands is being transferred from Egypt to Saudi
Arabia, it remains to be seen whether there will be any effect on the
MFO or on Israeli shipping. Egyptian Streets and Arab News and Ynet

****
**** Saudi Arabia will no longer provide 'free money' to Egypt
****


With the Arab world in continuing turmoil since the "Arab Awakening"
in 2011, the lengthy visit by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz
al Saud to Cairo and Egypt's president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi is
being described as historic. Egypt with nearly 93 million citizens is
the most populous Arab country, with the largest military in the
region, while Saudi Arabia is the leader of the Muslim world and has
the region’s largest economy. The two leaders have sign agreements 12
development projects in the Sinai, and other projects totally $22
billion.

When Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were the governing
party of Egypt in 2013, Qatar, which joined Turkey in supporting the
Muslim Brotherhood, gave billions of dollars in aid to Egypt. When
Morsi was deposed in an army coup led by Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi on
July 3, 2013, Qatar's aid to Egypt ended. After that. Saudi Arabia,
United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait starting giving aid to Egypt.

As part of this week's joint announcements, Saudi Arabia has said that
it will no longer give "free money" to Egypt. Instead, future aid
will be given in the form of investments and loans that will have to
be repaid.

There are two reasons for this change. One is that with the collapse
in oil prices, Saudi Arabia is not able to spend as much, and by
making loans and investments, the Saudis diversify their sources of
revenue.

The second is that Egypt's economy has been struggling since the
ouster of long-time leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011, and the current
president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi has been unable to turn the economy
around, or to deal effectively with the entrenched corruption.
Arab News and Reuters and Arab News


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud,
Egypt, Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi, Israel, Suez Canal, Red Sea,
Strait of Tiran, Gulf of Aqaba, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Six-Day War,
Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Qatar, Turkey, Hosni Mubarak

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Post#3110 at 04-10-2016 11:01 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-10-2016, 11:01 PM #3110
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*** 11-Apr-16 World View -- Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire holds, despite breaches

*** 11-Apr-16 World View -- Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire holds, despite hundreds of 'breaches'

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • 'Horrific' scenes as Macedonian police lob teargas into Idomeni refugee camp
  • Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire holds, despite hundreds of 'breaches'


****
**** 'Horrific' scenes as Macedonian police lob teargas into Idomeni refugee camp
****



An Idomeni camp refugee selling whatever he can (Deutsche Welle)

A scene described as "horrific" unfolded on Sunday in Greece along the
border with Macedonia. According to reports, five refugees from the
Idomeni refugee camp went to the border to negotiate with Macedonian
authorities. Thousands of people had come to the Macedonian border
because of rumors that the borders were going to be opened.

The Macedonians said that they were following European policy, and
asked the refugees to remain peaceful. One of the refugees is quoted
as saying:

<QUOTE>"We understand, and we want to be peaceful. But behind
me there are 10,000 people - refugees who are fleeing war - and
they have been here for months now. We want a
solution."<END QUOTE>

Ten minutes later, hundreds of refugees tried to cut the barbed wire
and break through the fence. The police responded by firing teargas
canisters, stun grenades, and rubber bullets at hundreds of refugees,
and kept firing for two hours. The teargas canisters went deep into
the Idomeni camp and reached women and children who were not taking
part in any protests. The refugees hurled stones at the Macedonian
police in retaliation.

There were hundreds of injuries, according to Doctors without Borders,
including two hundred with breathing problems, and 30 for wounds
caused by plastic bullets.

Problems are mounting for the EU-Turkey migrant deal, including the
following:

  • Greece's refugee camp at Idomeni is described repeatedly as
    vastly overcrowded, putrid and smelly.
  • The plan is for refugees to leave Idomeni for other locations in
    Greece. However, buses sent to transport refugees usually leave
    empty. For the last few days, more refugees have been arriving at the
    camp, driven by rumors that the Macedonian border was open.
  • Refugees are also supposed to be leaving the Port of Piraeus, but
    are refusing to do so.
  • As we wrote two days ago, the entire deal is threatened with
    collapse. ( "9-Apr-16 World View -- Legal problems and Erdogan's threats may collapse EU-Turkey migrant deal"
    )
  • In particular, June is quickly approaching, by which time the EU
    has agreed to remove visa restrictions, and permit any Turkish citizen
    to travel freely around the EU without a visa. There is strong
    opposition in the EU to this proposal, but Turkey as said that the
    EU-Turkey deal would be canceled if the visa restrictions weren't
    lifted.


Deutsche Welle and AFP and Greek Reporter (7-Apr) and Deutsche Welle

****
**** Armenia-Azerbaijan ceasefire holds, despite hundreds of 'breaches'
****


Azerbaijan media reports that the Armenians broke the ceasefire 125
throughout the day on Saturday, at various location in
Nagorno-Karabakh (NKB). It also reports that "Azerbaijani armed
forces carried out 125 strikes on enemy positions," although those
strikes are not characterized as "breaches."

Armenian media said that the cease-fire was "mainly observed," but
complained that Azerbaijani forces used "an 82-mm mortar and a 122-mm
D-30 howitzer" in norther NKB.

This is the way that the NKB conflict has been going for years,
with low-level violence characterized by sporadic mortars and
gunfire on both sides, and with both sides reporting breaches,
often hundreds per day.

This all changed on April 1, when suddenly the low-level violence
escalated into what appeared to be a major war. ( "3-Apr-16 World View -- Armenia-Azerbaijan escalating conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh threatens the entire region"
) A Russian-mediated cease-fire came
into effect last week on April 4, and it's most held since then.

Few analysts doubt that Orthodox Christian Russia is on the side of
Orthodox Christian Armenia, and not on the side of Azerbaijan, whose
Turkic ethnicity matches Russia's enemy Turkey. And there are reports
that many Armenians are bewildered why Russia hasn't been supporting
them in the war against Azerbaijan, instead of staying neutral.

Russia's prime minister Dmitry Medvedev has been openly critical
of the "Turkish factor" in the NKB conflict:

<QUOTE>"There is a host of forces that are closely looking
into the consequences of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for the
situation in the Middle East and on Russia. ... All conflicts at a
given time may in one way or another be a factor in political
decisions. So I do not rule out that there are factors that are
influencing the conflict from abroad. You mentioned the Turkish
factor. The Turkish factor probably exists, at least because
Turkey has expressed its position."<END QUOTE>

In fact, Russia has been criticized internationally for selling
weapons to both sides in the conflict, something that Medvedev
defends: "If we imagine for a minute that Russian Federation gives up
this role, we perfectly understand that this place won’t remain empty.
They will buy weapons in other countries, and the degree of their
deadliness won’t change in any way."

My own view of Russia's motivations is that Russia's president
Vladimir Putin fears blowback from a major Armenia-Azerbaijan war.
The South Caucasus region is the site of centuries of some of the
bloodiest religious wars in history between the Orthodox Christian
civilization and the Sunni Muslim civilization, and Generational
Dynamics predicts that the region is headed for another such war with
absolute certainty. I doubt that Putin has ever heard of Generational
Dynamics, but he knows the region's history and he knows intuitively
that that any South Caucasus war could spiral throughout the Middle
East or Russia, as suggested by Medvedev's statement quoted above.
For that reason, Russia is attempting to remain neutral for the time
being, rather than risk another extremely bloody war throughout the
region, a war that would lead to a world war. However, there are
massive generational and historical forces at work here, and no
polician either cause or prevent the war that's coming. AzerTag (Azerbaijan) and Pan Armenian and
Sputnik News (Moscow)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Greece, Idomeni camp, Macedonia,
Piraeus, Turkey,
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh, NKB, Russia,
Dmitry Medvedev, Vladimir Putin

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Post#3111 at 04-11-2016 10:46 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-11-2016, 10:46 PM #3111
Join Date
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Location
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12-Apr-16 World View -- Troubles mount for Afghanistan govt as US withdrawal looms

*** 12-Apr-16 World View -- Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • John Kerry instructs Afghanistan officials how to run their government
  • Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms


****
**** John Kerry instructs Afghanistan officials how to run their government
****



Unity government leaders President Ashraf Ghani, right, and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah (Reuters)

This is another one of those stories where all I can do is shake my
head because after seven years of being in office, President Obama
still thinks he's the smartest person in the room -- any room -- or the world,
but still has absolutely
no clue what's going on in the world. His Secretary of State John
Kerry believes that US armed forces are worse than Nazis.

So now John Kerry, who has stumbled from one foreign policy disaster
to another, paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Saturday. The
nominal purpose of the visit was to head off a political crisis that
could damage US withdrawal plans, so he demanded that the government
renege on a 2014 agreement to replace the current government in
September.

Afghanistan's presidential elections in 2014 resulted in bitter
disputes between the two leading candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah
Abdullah, including accusations of massive voter fraud on both sides.
The US brokered an agreement for a "unity government" of the two
candidates, with Ghani becoming president and Abdullah in the newly
created post of chief executive.

The text of the agreement called for a "loya jirga" (grand assembly)
to be called in September 2016, at the end of two years. The loya
jirga would decide the future of the government and amend the
constitution -- as such assemblies have done at key points in
Afghanistan’s recent history.

So the purpose of Kerry's visit to Afghanistan on Saturday was to tell
the Afghan politicians and the Afghan people that they should not hold
a loya jirga. He said that, despite the agreement calling for it, the
loya jirga was "a goal," not a requirement:

<QUOTE>"Let me make this very, very clear, because I brokered
the agreement, President Ghani signed it and Chief Executive
Abdullah signed it, and I was there to witness the signing, and I
had the privilege of joining them in announcing it. There is no
end to this agreement at the end of two years or in six months
from now. This agreement ends – this is an agreement for a unity
government, the duration of which is five years. ...

But we are – in no way does the agreement itself have some
particular termination. The constitution has elected a
president. The president has agreed to a unity government, and a
political agreement was made between Dr. Abdullah and President
Ghani for how they would go forward in a unity government. But it
is our understanding that that is a mandate for five years and
there’s no termination whatsoever in six months."<END QUOTE>

So there you have it. John Kerry brokered the deal, so he knows what
it means better than the Afghan politicians do, since they merely
signed it. We'll have to see whether Kerry's visit did the job, or
whether it infuriated the opposition so much that it made a loya jirga
even more likely.

Kerry also repeated an offer to the Taliban for peace talks, which is
laughable. LA Times and Washington Post (29-Mar) and BBC and Dept. of State

****
**** Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms
****


The fact that Afghanistan has had no government since 2014 is just one
of the country's problems. The economy has been sinking and, perhaps
worst of all, the resurgent Taliban are stronger than at any time
since they were toppled from power in late 2001.

In October of last year, President Obama reversed himself on the Afghanistan troop withdrawal.

Instead of a total withdrawal, he announced that a residual force of
5,500 troops would be left on a continuing basis. This was only the
latest of several similar reversals. He was forced into this because
many people believe that the Obama's total withdrawal from Iraq
squandered the victory won by President Bush via the 2007 "surge," and
because Obama's own "surge" strategy in Afghanistan has been a
failure, as I predicted in 2009 that it would be,
based on a Generational Dynamics comparison of Iraq
and Afghanistan.

Analysts give three reasons for the resurgence of the Taliban in 2015:

  • With the end of the US/Nato combat mission and the withdrawal
    of most foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban could
    move much more freely in Afghanistan with no fear of being bombed or
    raided. They've used this freedom to overrun military bases and to
    seize weapons, Humvees and police vehicles from Afghan forces.
  • Also in 2014, Pakistan's military launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb,
    which attacked Taliban militants hiding in the tribal region
    (FATA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This forced militants in the
    FATA to flood into Afghanistan.
  • Afghan security forces are poorly trained and lack equipment,
    especially air power and reconnaissance that was previously provided
    by Nato forces.


The viability of Afghan's military is further in doubt as a new report
by CNN that desertion is rife, as Afghan soldiers defect to the
Taliban. According to one deserter: "I decided to leave the army when
my dead and injured comrades lay in our base, and nobody took them to
hospital. My army training is very useful now, as I am training
Taliban fighters with the same knowledge."

Government troops suffered huge losses in 2015. U.S. officials
estimate that 5,500 Afghan security force members died that year
alone, far more than the 3,500 Nato lost in its entire decade-long
campaign. As the "fighting season" approaches in the summer, the fear
is that losses in 2016 will be even greater.

The remaining Nato forces are increasingly being deployed in battle
zones to support Afghan forces fighting the Taliban. Afghanistan's
government is requesting (perhaps begging) that the US cancel its
withdrawal plans, or even to bring in new troops. With President
Obama concerned with little else beyond his legacy, this is something
that he is unlikely to approve, unless the situation in Afghanistan
gets so bad over the summer that he has no choice. That may in fact
happen. Reuters and CNN and BBC (5-Jan)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Afghanistan, John Kerry,
Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, Taliban, Nato

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal







Post#3112 at 04-12-2016 11:39 AM by XYMOX_4AD_84 [at joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,073]
---
04-12-2016, 11:39 AM #3112
Join Date
Nov 2012
Posts
3,073

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post
*** 12-Apr-16 World View -- Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • John Kerry instructs Afghanistan officials how to run their government
  • Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms


****
**** John Kerry instructs Afghanistan officials how to run their government
****



Unity government leaders President Ashraf Ghani, right, and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah (Reuters)

This is another one of those stories where all I can do is shake my
head because after seven years of being in office, President Obama
still thinks he's the smartest person in the room -- any room -- or the world,
but still has absolutely
no clue what's going on in the world. His Secretary of State John
Kerry believes that US armed forces are worse than Nazis.

So now John Kerry, who has stumbled from one foreign policy disaster
to another, paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan on Saturday. The
nominal purpose of the visit was to head off a political crisis that
could damage US withdrawal plans, so he demanded that the government
renege on a 2014 agreement to replace the current government in
September.

Afghanistan's presidential elections in 2014 resulted in bitter
disputes between the two leading candidates, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah
Abdullah, including accusations of massive voter fraud on both sides.
The US brokered an agreement for a "unity government" of the two
candidates, with Ghani becoming president and Abdullah in the newly
created post of chief executive.

The text of the agreement called for a "loya jirga" (grand assembly)
to be called in September 2016, at the end of two years. The loya
jirga would decide the future of the government and amend the
constitution -- as such assemblies have done at key points in
Afghanistan’s recent history.

So the purpose of Kerry's visit to Afghanistan on Saturday was to tell
the Afghan politicians and the Afghan people that they should not hold
a loya jirga. He said that, despite the agreement calling for it, the
loya jirga was "a goal," not a requirement:
<QUOTE>"Let me make this very, very clear, because I brokered
the agreement, President Ghani signed it and Chief Executive
Abdullah signed it, and I was there to witness the signing, and I
had the privilege of joining them in announcing it. There is no
end to this agreement at the end of two years or in six months
from now. This agreement ends – this is an agreement for a unity
government, the duration of which is five years. ...

But we are – in no way does the agreement itself have some
particular termination. The constitution has elected a
president. The president has agreed to a unity government, and a
political agreement was made between Dr. Abdullah and President
Ghani for how they would go forward in a unity government. But it
is our understanding that that is a mandate for five years and
there’s no termination whatsoever in six months."<END QUOTE>

So there you have it. John Kerry brokered the deal, so he knows what
it means better than the Afghan politicians do, since they merely
signed it. We'll have to see whether Kerry's visit did the job, or
whether it infuriated the opposition so much that it made a loya jirga
even more likely.

Kerry also repeated an offer to the Taliban for peace talks, which is
laughable. LA Times and Washington Post (29-Mar) and BBC and Dept. of State

****
**** Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms
****


The fact that Afghanistan has had no government since 2014 is just one
of the country's problems. The economy has been sinking and, perhaps
worst of all, the resurgent Taliban are stronger than at any time
since they were toppled from power in late 2001.

In October of last year, President Obama reversed himself on the Afghanistan troop withdrawal.

Instead of a total withdrawal, he announced that a residual force of
5,500 troops would be left on a continuing basis. This was only the
latest of several similar reversals. He was forced into this because
many people believe that the Obama's total withdrawal from Iraq
squandered the victory won by President Bush via the 2007 "surge," and
because Obama's own "surge" strategy in Afghanistan has been a
failure, as I predicted in 2009 that it would be,
based on a Generational Dynamics comparison of Iraq
and Afghanistan.

Analysts give three reasons for the resurgence of the Taliban in 2015:

  • With the end of the US/Nato combat mission and the withdrawal
    of most foreign forces from Afghanistan in 2014, the Taliban could
    move much more freely in Afghanistan with no fear of being bombed or
    raided. They've used this freedom to overrun military bases and to
    seize weapons, Humvees and police vehicles from Afghan forces.
  • Also in 2014, Pakistan's military launched Operation Zarb-e-Azb,
    which attacked Taliban militants hiding in the tribal region
    (FATA) between Pakistan and Afghanistan. This forced militants in the
    FATA to flood into Afghanistan.
  • Afghan security forces are poorly trained and lack equipment,
    especially air power and reconnaissance that was previously provided
    by Nato forces.


The viability of Afghan's military is further in doubt as a new report
by CNN that desertion is rife, as Afghan soldiers defect to the
Taliban. According to one deserter: "I decided to leave the army when
my dead and injured comrades lay in our base, and nobody took them to
hospital. My army training is very useful now, as I am training
Taliban fighters with the same knowledge."

Government troops suffered huge losses in 2015. U.S. officials
estimate that 5,500 Afghan security force members died that year
alone, far more than the 3,500 Nato lost in its entire decade-long
campaign. As the "fighting season" approaches in the summer, the fear
is that losses in 2016 will be even greater.

The remaining Nato forces are increasingly being deployed in battle
zones to support Afghan forces fighting the Taliban. Afghanistan's
government is requesting (perhaps begging) that the US cancel its
withdrawal plans, or even to bring in new troops. With President
Obama concerned with little else beyond his legacy, this is something
that he is unlikely to approve, unless the situation in Afghanistan
gets so bad over the summer that he has no choice. That may in fact
happen. Reuters and CNN and BBC (5-Jan)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Afghanistan, John Kerry,
Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, Taliban, Nato

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal
Those two Afghan dudes giving each other the side eyes in that pic ... reminds me of something from a comedy flick ... 'cept, it ain't no flick ... real world!
==========================================

#nevertrump







Post#3113 at 04-12-2016 11:58 AM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-12-2016, 11:58 AM #3113
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

Quote Originally Posted by XYMOX_4AD_84 View Post
> Those two Afghan dudes giving each other the side eyes in that pic
> ... reminds me of something from a comedy flick ... 'cept, it
> ain't no flick ... real world!
Yeah, when I saw that pic yesterday I had to use it. To Western eyes,
it's hilarious. That's what happens when cultures mix.







Post#3114 at 04-12-2016 09:59 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-12-2016, 09:59 PM #3114
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
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13-Apr-16 World View -- EU migrant crisis moves to Italy as Austria begins closing bo

*** 13-Apr-16 World View -- EU migrant crisis moves to Italy as Austria begins closing border

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • EU threatens to impose travel restrictions on US/Canada visitors
  • EU migrant crisis moves to Italy as Austria begins closing border
  • Austria begins construction on border controls with Italy


****
**** EU threatens to impose travel restrictions on US/Canada visitors
****



An Iraqi Yazidi girl waves from a bus as she and her family leave the Idomeni refugee camp and head for another camp in Greece on Tuesday (AP)

The European Commission (EC) on Tuesday asked the Council of Ministers
and the European Parliament to consider imposing travel restrictions
on visitors from the United States and Canada. The EC had to make the
request, because it was required to do so under European Union
regulations.

Most EU citizens can visit the United States with no visa
requirements. And US citizens can visit most of Europe with no visa
requirements. But the United States requires visas from citizens of
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania. Because of this
requirement, the EC is required under its own regulations to pursue a
reciprocal regime.

Under those regulations, the EC 24 months ago issued a formal notice
to the US State Dept. asking that the visa requirements be lifted for
those five member states. That notice has now expired, so the EC,
under its own regulations, was forced to take the next step on April
12. A similar situation applies to Canada and Brunei.

This issue is caught up in Europe's security problems. The State
Dept. isn't likely to agree to reduce any visitor restrictions after
the terror attacks on Paris and Brussels. In fact, the US tightened
restrictions on all EU countries last year by requiring visas for all
all dual EU-Syrian nationals or all EU nationals who recently visited
Libya.

If the EU goes ahead with its via restrictions, then starting in
October, US citizens would have to obtain visas before traveling to
Europe. Many European officials are stridently opposed to imposing
the visa requirements, because it would be devastating to Europe's
economy, especially after the US retaliated by imposing its own visa
restrictions on Europe. eTurbo Travel News and EU Observer and Canadian Broadcasting

****
**** EU migrant crisis moves to Italy as Austria begins closing border
****


Italy's Coast Guard, supported by ships from EU's Frontex
organization, rescued 2,154 migrants traveling from Libya on a single
day, Tuesday. The were found on 16 rubber dinghies and one boat.

In a typical situation, a dinghy is crammed with 100-200 people in
Libya and pushed out into the Mediterranean Sea. The migrants are
instructed to watch for an Italian coast guard ship and ask for help.
In some cases, the migrants purposely sink the dinghy so that the
coast guard ship will be forced to take them aboard.

As expected, the warmer weather is causing an increase in the number
migrants who pay human traffickers to cross the Mediterranean to
Europe from Libya. Now that the "Balkan Route" from Greece through
the Balkans to Germany has been closed, migrants are paying human
traffickers to transport them via other routes. Many people think
that the hundreds of thousands that have been prevented from taking
the Balkan Route will now travel via Libya to Italy.

Meanwhile, there are more than 53,000 migrants are trapped in Greece,
many in filthy refugee camps, and the process of returning them to
Turkey is floundering. ( "9-Apr-16 World View -- Legal problems and Erdogan's threats may collapse EU-Turkey migrant deal"
)

Things have been going so slowly in Greece that the European
Commission is issuing a threat to Greece to report how it plans to
tightenc control of its border, or be shut out of the visa-free
Schengen Zone. AP and Kathimerini

****
**** Austria begins construction on border controls with Italy
****


Fearing a massive influx of migrants from Italy, Austria has begun
construction work at the Brenner Pass Alpine crossing, the main
highway that connects Italy and Austria. Austria will introduce
tougher border controls starting on June 1 at the latest. There are
no plans right now to build a border fence, but that could change if
the stream of migrants becomes large enough.

The Austrian plans are raising objections among EU leaders.

Natasha Bertaud, a spokesman for the European Commission said: "The
Commission is very concerned. If these plans were to materialize then
we would have to look at them very seriously. The Brenner Pass is
essential for the freedom of movement within the European Union."

Alev Korun, member of the Austrian Parliament and spokesman for the
Green Alternative party, said: "We are against the militarization of
borders and the building of fences on the borders. Nationalistic
measures like these only speed up de-solidarization within the EU."
Euro News and Independent (London) and Sputnik News (Moscow)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, European Commission, Canada, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Romania, Italy, Austria, Brenner Pass,
Libya, Greece, Balkan Route, Schengen Zone, Natasha Bertaud, Alev Korun

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal







Post#3115 at 04-13-2016 12:52 PM by XYMOX_4AD_84 [at joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,073]
---
04-13-2016, 12:52 PM #3115
Join Date
Nov 2012
Posts
3,073

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post
*** 13-Apr-16 World View -- EU migrant crisis moves to Italy as Austria begins closing border

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • EU threatens to impose travel restrictions on US/Canada visitors
  • EU migrant crisis moves to Italy as Austria begins closing border
  • Austria begins construction on border controls with Italy


****
**** EU threatens to impose travel restrictions on US/Canada visitors
****



An Iraqi Yazidi girl waves from a bus as she and her family leave the Idomeni refugee camp and head for another camp in Greece on Tuesday (AP)

The European Commission (EC) on Tuesday asked the Council of Ministers
and the European Parliament to consider imposing travel restrictions
on visitors from the United States and Canada. The EC had to make the
request, because it was required to do so under European Union
regulations.

Most EU citizens can visit the United States with no visa
requirements. And US citizens can visit most of Europe with no visa
requirements. But the United States requires visas from citizens of
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania. Because of this
requirement, the EC is required under its own regulations to pursue a
reciprocal regime.

Under those regulations, the EC 24 months ago issued a formal notice
to the US State Dept. asking that the visa requirements be lifted for
those five member states. That notice has now expired, so the EC,
under its own regulations, was forced to take the next step on April
12. A similar situation applies to Canada and Brunei.

This issue is caught up in Europe's security problems. The State
Dept. isn't likely to agree to reduce any visitor restrictions after
the terror attacks on Paris and Brussels. In fact, the US tightened
restrictions on all EU countries last year by requiring visas for all
all dual EU-Syrian nationals or all EU nationals who recently visited
Libya.

If the EU goes ahead with its via restrictions, then starting in
October, US citizens would have to obtain visas before traveling to
Europe. Many European officials are stridently opposed to imposing
the visa requirements, because it would be devastating to Europe's
economy, especially after the US retaliated by imposing its own visa
restrictions on Europe. eTurbo Travel News and EU Observer and Canadian Broadcasting

****
**** EU migrant crisis moves to Italy as Austria begins closing border
****


Italy's Coast Guard, supported by ships from EU's Frontex
organization, rescued 2,154 migrants traveling from Libya on a single
day, Tuesday. The were found on 16 rubber dinghies and one boat.

In a typical situation, a dinghy is crammed with 100-200 people in
Libya and pushed out into the Mediterranean Sea. The migrants are
instructed to watch for an Italian coast guard ship and ask for help.
In some cases, the migrants purposely sink the dinghy so that the
coast guard ship will be forced to take them aboard.

As expected, the warmer weather is causing an increase in the number
migrants who pay human traffickers to cross the Mediterranean to
Europe from Libya. Now that the "Balkan Route" from Greece through
the Balkans to Germany has been closed, migrants are paying human
traffickers to transport them via other routes. Many people think
that the hundreds of thousands that have been prevented from taking
the Balkan Route will now travel via Libya to Italy.

Meanwhile, there are more than 53,000 migrants are trapped in Greece,
many in filthy refugee camps, and the process of returning them to
Turkey is floundering. ( "9-Apr-16 World View -- Legal problems and Erdogan's threats may collapse EU-Turkey migrant deal"
)

Things have been going so slowly in Greece that the European
Commission is issuing a threat to Greece to report how it plans to
tightenc control of its border, or be shut out of the visa-free
Schengen Zone. AP and Kathimerini

****
**** Austria begins construction on border controls with Italy
****


Fearing a massive influx of migrants from Italy, Austria has begun
construction work at the Brenner Pass Alpine crossing, the main
highway that connects Italy and Austria. Austria will introduce
tougher border controls starting on June 1 at the latest. There are
no plans right now to build a border fence, but that could change if
the stream of migrants becomes large enough.

The Austrian plans are raising objections among EU leaders.

Natasha Bertaud, a spokesman for the European Commission said: "The
Commission is very concerned. If these plans were to materialize then
we would have to look at them very seriously. The Brenner Pass is
essential for the freedom of movement within the European Union."

Alev Korun, member of the Austrian Parliament and spokesman for the
Green Alternative party, said: "We are against the militarization of
borders and the building of fences on the borders. Nationalistic
measures like these only speed up de-solidarization within the EU."
Euro News and Independent (London) and Sputnik News (Moscow)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, European Commission, Canada, Bulgaria,
Croatia, Cyprus, Poland, Romania, Italy, Austria, Brenner Pass,
Libya, Greece, Balkan Route, Schengen Zone, Natasha Bertaud, Alev Korun

Permanent web link to this article
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I've skied off piste across borders in Europe, at the time, there was no specific check point. I did see some Italian border police eating in a resto on one of the mountains and presumably, Swiss, Austrian and French counterparts are out and about. Still, there is no effective way to seal borders in The Alps. Of course, one must be a reasonably competent skier and at least have enough cash or credit to rent some skis.
Last edited by XYMOX_4AD_84; 04-13-2016 at 12:54 PM.
==========================================

#nevertrump







Post#3116 at 04-13-2016 01:04 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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Quote Originally Posted by XYMOX_4AD_84 View Post
> I've skied off piste across borders in Europe, at the time, there
> was no specific check point. I did see some Italian border police
> eating in a resto on one of the mountains and presumably, Swiss,
> Austrian and French counterparts are out and about. Still, there
> is no effective way to seal borders in The Alps. Of course, one
> must be a reasonably competent skier and at least have enough cash
> or credit to rent some skis.
So that girl in the picture had better hurry up and start taking
skiing lessons.







Post#3117 at 04-13-2016 10:21 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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14-Apr-16 World View -- Japanese warships visit Vietnam, as China moves warplanes

*** 14-Apr-16 World View -- Japanese warships visit Vietnam, as China moves warplanes into South China Sea

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Japanese warships make historic port call to Vietnam
  • China deploys fighter jets to South China Sea
  • Russian fighter 'strafing runs' at US ship in Baltic Sea called 'showboating'


****
**** Japanese warships make historic port call to Vietnam
****



Japanese ambassador to Vietnam Hiroshi Fukada (1st L, front) inspects a guard of honor on Tuesday at Cam Ranh Bay seaport.

Japan on Tuesday sailed two warships, the guided-missile destroyers JS
Ariake and JS Setogiri, carrying 500 crew members, into Vietnam's Cam
Ranh Bay seaport. The visit is considered historic, since it's the
first such visit since Japanese occupation of Vietnam ended at the end
of World War II.

Cam Ranh Bay opens out into the South China Sea, and the visit by
Japanese warships to Vietnam is clearly directed at China, and is an
attempt to react to China's belligerence. Japan's constitution
permits the military to be used only for self-defense, and these ships
are part of the "Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force" (MSDF). But
the concept of "self-defense" has recently been reinterpreted by
Japan's government to permit "collective self-defense," which would
allow the Japanese military to fight in a foreign in defense of an
ally whose defeat could threaten Japan.

A statement by Japan's Minister of Defense Gen Nakatani said that he
expected defense collaboration with Vietnam to grow and that Japan
would work with other major powers such as the United States to ensure
peace and stability in the South China Sea. Japan Times and Vietnam Net and The Diplomat

****
**** China deploys fighter jets to South China Sea
****


China plans for military control of the South China Sea has taken a
big step forward, according to satellite imagery from April 7. Two
Chinese Shenyang J-11 fighter jets have been deployed to Woody Island.

China is claiming the entire South China Sea, and is using its massive
military force to confiscate regions that have historically belonged
to other nations, especially Vietnam and the Philippines. China is
building artificial islands and converting them to military bases with
advanced missile and radar systems. ( "23-Feb-16 World View -- China's military buildup neutralizes America's aircraft carriers"
)

It's possible that the new deployment of jets was purposely timed to
coincide with the port call of the two Japanese warships to Vietnam.
Fox News and Sydney Morning Herald

****
**** Russian fighter 'strafing runs' at US ship in Baltic Sea called 'showboating'
****


Russian jets appeared to be attacking the USS Donald Cook, sailing in
the Baltic Sea. A U.S. official described the Russian maneuver as
"strafing runs" without firing any weapons. The Russian aircraft were
unarmed, but swooped in over the deck in the same flight profile that
would have been used if an attack was underway. They buzzed the USS
Cook 11 times, at one point within 30 feet of the ship.

This appears to be one of the political relations games that Russia's
president Vladimir Putin is playing to show how tough he is. The Navy
didn't shoot down the Russian planes because they weren't a credible
threat according to Capt. Rick Hoffman, and they were visibly
unarmed.

According to Hoffman, the Russian "simulated attack" was
nothing but showboating:

<QUOTE>"Well, we’re not at war with Russia. It would be one
thing to be operating and have a threatening attack profile from
someone who might not recognize me — that’s not the case here."

You don’t get to kill people just because they’re being
annoying. ...

It would be real interesting to see what shows up in the Russian
papers in the morning, how they play it. It's not that different
from North Korea. He does something and then he plays it
domestically however he needs to play it for the purposes of
getting his people energized."<END QUOTE>

When Russian warplanes in Syria repeatedly violated Turkey's airspace
last year, the Turks finally shot one down, creating an international
incident. However, it's believed that Russian warplanes no longer
violate Turkey's airspace. CNN and Navy Times and YouTube


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Japan, JS Ariake and JS Setogiri,
Vietnam, Cam Ranh Bay, Gen Nakatani, China, South China Sea,
USS Donald Cook, Russia, Rick Hoffman

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Post#3118 at 04-14-2016 09:41 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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15-Apr-16 World View -- Russians brag about 'aerobatic skills' of Russian pilots

*** 15-Apr-16 World View -- Russians brag about 'aerobatic skills' of Russian pilots buzzing US ship

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Nigeria's Boko Haram releases 'proof of life' video of abducted Chibok girls
  • Russians brag about 'aerobatic skills' of Russian pilots buzzing US ship
  • US Navy conducting joint patrols with Philippines in South China Sea


****
**** Nigeria's Boko Haram releases 'proof of life' video of abducted Chibok girls
****



Screen grab from Boko Haram video. I think that this is the saddest picture that I've ever posted. (CNN)

This is two-year anniversary of the abduction by Boko Haram of 276
girls from their college dormitory in the village of Chibok in
Nigeria. Boko Haram has now released a video of 15 of the girls, shot
on Christmas day 2015. The video provides "proof of life" in order
for Boko Haram to gain negotiating leverage in its extortion
negotiations with the government,

Parents who viewed the video confirmed that they were the Chibok
girls. Those who saw their own daughters were relieved that their
daughters were alive, but distressed at the circumstances.

It's unlikely that all 276 girls could ever be returned, as it's
thought that some have been sold as slaves and others have been used
as suicide bombers.

But most of all, the video has caused renewed outrage in Nigeria at
the way the government responded to the abduction. For a couple of
weeks after the abduction occurred, it seemed that nobody particularly
cared, not the government of Nigeria, and not the international
community. (See "2-May-14 World View -- New car bombing in Nigeria, while 200 kidnapped girls are still missing"
) Then an international campaign began, with
Michele Obama's participation. But now, two years later, no girls
have been recovered, and some people in Nigeria have stated in the
past that Nigeria's government was so incompetent at dealing with Boko
Haram that it's possible that some government officials are Boko Haram
supporters. Other analysts claim that any attempt to rescue the girls
could have gotten many of them killed. CNN and AFP

****
**** Russians brag about 'aerobatic skills' of Russian pilots buzzing US ship
****


As we reported yesterday,
Russian
jet fighters pretended to be attacking the USS Donald Cook in the
Baltic Sea, buzzing the USS Cook 11 times, at one point within 30 feet
of the ship.

According to Secretary of State John Kerry, the US might have
shot the Russian jets down:

<QUOTE>"We condemn this kind of behavior. It is reckless. It
is provocative. It is dangerous. And under the rules of engagement
that could have been a shoot-down.

People need to understand that this is serious business and the
United States is not going to be intimidated on the high seas
... We are communicating to the Russians how dangerous this is and
our hope is that this will never be repeated."<END QUOTE>

Everyone remembers that Turkey last year shot down a Russian jet under
almost similar circumstances, and since then Russian jets no longer
violate Turkey's airspace.

In this case, however, Russia's state media bragged about the
incident:

<QUOTE>"The aerobatics skills of Russian pilots over the US
destroyer Donald Cook in the Baltic Sea left the Pentagon and
other US official running for cover in Washington over “aggressive
close interactions” with Russian fighter jets. ...

Judging by the videos released by the US Navy, the sailors were
nonplussed by the Russian aerobatic skills. They gathered on the
top deck of the destroyer to watch the Russian pilots. ...

At least on the video no one can be seen running for
cover."<END QUOTE>

The Russians should remember a previous incident: an April 2001
encounter, when the pilots of a Chinese F-8 interceptor were playing
games and exhibiting similar "aerobatics skills" to harass a
U.S. surveillance aircraft in international waters in the South China
Sea. The Chinese were internationally humiliated as total idiots when
the Chinese aircraft smashed into the US aircraft. The Chinese
aircraft crashed into the sea, and its crew were killed. The U.S.
plane made an emergency landing on China's Hainan Island, and the
idiot Chinese got even by imprisoning the 24 crew members for 10 days.
Guardian (London) and Russia Today

****
**** US Navy conducting joint patrols with Philippines in South China Sea
****


The United States on Thursday revealed for the first time that
American ships have started conducting joint patrols with the
Philippines in the South China Sea. At the same time, Defense
Secretary Ash Carter announced that the US will be keeping nearly 300
troops, including Air Force commandos armed with combat aircraft and
helicopters, in the Philippines through the end of the month.
Philippines Defense Minister Voltaire T. Gazmin said wishfully that
the U.S. presence "will deter uncalled-for actions by the Chinese."

This is part of the continuing military buildup in the South China
Sea, triggered by China's use of its massive military force to
confiscate regions that have historically belonged to other nations,
especially Vietnam and the Philippines. As we reported yesterday,
Japanese warships are visiting
ports in Vietnam, while China is deploying warplanes onto Woody Island
in the South China Sea. NBC News and CNN


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Nigeria, Boko Haram, Chibok girls,
Russia, USS Donald Cook, John Kerry, Turkey, China,
Philippines, South China Sea, Ash Carter,
Voltaire T. Gazmin, Vietnam, Japan, Woody Island

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Post#3119 at 04-15-2016 10:06 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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16-Apr-16 World View -- Egypt-Saudi deal for Red Sea bridge triggers massive protests

*** 16-Apr-16 World View -- Egypt-Saudi deal for Red Sea bridge triggers massive protests in Cairo

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Egypt-Saudi deal for Red Sea bridge triggers massive protests in Cairo
  • Migrant traffic from Libya to Italy surges
  • Czech Republic debates adopting the short name 'Czechia'


****
**** Egypt-Saudi deal for Red Sea bridge triggers massive protests in Cairo
****



Egyptian protesters hold a sign that says 'Awad sold his land', an old proverb expressing the shame of giving up two islands to Saudi Arabia (VOA)

Thousands of Egyptians demonstrated in central Cairo on
Friday against president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi in the biggest
anti-government protests since al-Sisi's coup that ousted
the Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammed Morsi.

The trigger for the riots was the joint plan by Egypt and Saudi Arabia
to build a bridge across the Red Sea, but the riots were not triggered
by the bridge plan itself, but by other terms of the same deal that we
described in "10-Apr-16 World View -- Egypt, Saudi Arabia to build a huge bridge where Moses parted the Red Sea"

The part of the deal that's triggering the demonstrations was that a
long-standing dispute over two islands in the Strait of Tiran, the
Sanafir and Tiran islands, was resolved by Egypt giving up sovereignty
and turning the islands over the Saudi Arabia.

At the same time, Saudi Arabia agreed to invest $22 billion in
development projects in Egypt to help its ailing economy, though Saudi
Arabia is not offering "free money" this time because Saudi Arabia's
economy is also ailing because of collapsing oil prices.

Protesters on Friday chanted, "Awad sold his land!", an allusion to
the villagers' taunts in a popular 1960s radio play of a man who sold
his plot of farmland — an act that in the past was equated with
dishonor in rural Egypt.

Egypt's best known political satirist, self-exiled Bassem Youssef,
mimicked the shouts of Egyptian street hawkers selling souvenirs to
foreign tourists by tweeting, "Here, here, Pasha, one island for a
billion, a pyramid for two and I will throw two statues on top,"

However, the chants by the protesters went beyond the island issue to
calling for the downfall of the government. Egyptians had hoped that
al-Sisi's presidency would bring an economic upturn, but the economy
has continued to worsen. The protests weren't as big as the 2011
protests that brought down Mubarak, but they're similar, and new
protests are planned for April 25. The crowds dispersed later in the
day, although Egyptian security forces detained about 50 protesters.
Al-Ahram (Cairo) and AP and AFP

****
**** Migrant traffic from Libya to Italy surges
****


Only a few hundred migrants entered Europe via Greece this week, but
almost 6,000 migrants and refugees have sailed from Libya towards
Italy in the past three days in what appears the start of a wave of at
least 100,000 and "possibly many, many more" this year, the
International Organization for Migration said on Friday.

The Italian Coast Guard has become extremely efficient at saving
migrants from drowning, and some people are complaining that it's
become so efficient that many more migrants are encouraged to make the
trip, thus making Europe's migrant crisis even worse. Reuters

****
**** Czech Republic debates adopting the short name 'Czechia'
****


After years of debate, leaders of the Czech Republic are supporting
"Czechia" as the shortened name for the counted. According to
President Milos Zeman in 2013, "I use the term Czechia because it’s
shorter and not so cold like the term Czech Republic."

Other politicians object to the name for several reasons, including
the fact that the new name will be confused with the name "Chechnya,"
one of Russia's provinces in the Northern Caucasus.

In fact, even without the new name, that's exactly what did happen in
2013 after the Boston Marathon bombing. The two Boston Marathon
bombers had origins in Chechnya, but many bloggers got confused, as I
reported in "21-Apr-13 World View -- American bloggers confuse 'Chechnya' with 'Czech Republic'"
.

In order to allay the confusion at the time, Czech Ambassador Petr
Gandalovic posted the following message on the web site for the Czech
embassy in Washington:

<QUOTE>"As many I was deeply shocked by the tragedy that
occurred in Boston earlier this month. It was a stark reminder of
the fact that any of us could be a victim of senseless violence
anywhere at any moment.

As more information on the origin of the alleged perpetrators is
coming to light, I am concerned to note in the social media a most
unfortunate misunderstanding in this respect. The Czech Republic
and Chechnya are two very different entities - the Czech Republic
is a Central European country; Chechnya is a part of the Russian
Federation.

As the President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman noted in his
message to President Obama, the Czech Republic is an active and
reliable partner of the United States in the fight against
terrorism. We are determined to stand side by side with our allies
in this respect, there is no doubt about that."<END QUOTE>

Now, with regard to adopting the short name Czechia, one opposition MP
said: "It is certainly not a good idea. I think that we are known as
the Czech Republic, though for some further away its still rather
often Czechoslovakia in spite of the fact we are now the Czech
Republic." Radio Prague and Washington Post


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Saudi Arabia, Egypt,
Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi, Bassem Youssef,
Red Sea, Strait of Tiran, Gulf of Aqaba,
Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood, Hosni Mubarak,
Libya, Italy, Greece,
Czech Republic, Czechia, Chechnya, Boston Marathon,
Petr Gandalovic, Milos Zeman

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Post#3120 at 04-16-2016 09:38 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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17-Apr-16 World View - Saudi Arabia threatens economic retaliation if blamed for 9/11

*** 17-Apr-16 World View -- Saudi Arabia threatens economic retaliation if blamed for 9/11 attacks

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Cuba's reactionary Raúl Castro tries to hold back the 'restoration of capitalism'
  • Saudi Arabia threatens economic retaliation if blamed for 9/11 attacks


****
**** Cuba's reactionary Raúl Castro tries to hold back the 'restoration of capitalism'
****



Fidel Castro

Cuba's president Raúl Castro admitted Saturday that micro, small and
medium-sized private companies have proliferated since Cuba's 2010
economic reforms, but warned that this does not in any way imply the
"restoration of capitalism." In making this announcement, Castro is
trying desperately to hold back the tides of history, an attempt that
will surely fail.

In 2010, Cuba's president Fidel Castro announced that Cuba's
bureaucracy had become so bloated that the government would lay off
500,000 workers in the public sector. According to the announcement:

<QUOTE>"Our state neither can nor should continue to burden
companies and productive organizations with services and inflated
budgets that weigh down the economy, are counterproductive, create
bad habits and distort the behavior of workers."<END QUOTE>

Those workers would have to form private businesses or work for other
people's private businesses. The announcement was effectively the end
of socialism for Cuba. (See "16-Sep-10 News -- Cuba's seismic shift has global implications"
)

Now, over five years later, those 500,000 laid off workers did create
numerous private businesses, many of which are succeeding. So
Castro's announcement on Saturday is not only anti-historical, but
silly.

Karl Marx's theories said that capitalism had built within it the
seeds of its own destruction, and that it would also be replaced by
the dictatorship of the proletariat, and then by socialism. Not only
has that never happened, but the opposite has happened. Whether in
East Germany, Russia, China, North Korea or Cuba, socialism has always
been imposed over a river of blood and thousands of millions of dead
bodies of people who had to be killed to create the socialist
paradise. As the communists like to say, you have to break a few eggs
to make an omelet.

In fact, it's socialism that contains the seeds to its own
destruction. In recent times, we've seen a total collapse of
socialism in East Germany and Russia, and in China a collapse into
"capitalistic socialism," which is actually Fascism.

As I wrote in my 2010 article,
one
can prove mathematically that socialism much always fail as population
grows. If you're a serf lord or a war lord and you control a couple
of hundred people, then socialism is easy. You just appoint your son
to be chief bureaucrat, and have him monitor all commercial
transactions. But as population grows exponentially, the number of
transactions that have to be monitored grows exponentially even
faster, and so the number of bureaucrats required to enforce socialism
grows faster than the population. That's why all the socialist
countries in the last century got stuck in the 1950s, and why North
Korea today is still stuck in the 1950s.

Cuba was stuck in the 1950s, as was apparent from the fact that all
the cars in Cuba were 1950s cars from America. The number of
bureaucrats necessary to enforce socialism had grown so large that it
was getting out of control. That's why the 2010 announcement was that
500,000 people would be laid off and allowed to create their own
private businesses.

In country after country where socialism has been tried, it's been
accomplished by means of huge bloody massacres in generational Crisis
eras, and in the countries we've mentioned it's collapsed bloodlessly
during generational Unraveling eras. Cuba is in a generational
Unraveling era today. The only thing holding socialism together today
is that Fidel and Raúl Castro are still alive and still running
things. But Raúl Castro is 84 years old, and he's promised to retire
soon, so socialism will not last much longer in Cuba. Agencia EFE (Madrid) and Cuban News Agency (ACN)

****
**** Saudi Arabia threatens economic retaliation if blamed for 9/11 attacks
****



New York's World Trade Center, prior to the 9/11 attack

Saudi Arabia is threatening to sell of hundreds of billions of dollars
worth of American assets if a bill becomes law that would allow the
Saudi government to be held responsible in U.S. courts for any role in
the September 11, 2001, attacks.

The 9/11 Commission Report, published during the Bush administration,
found "no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or
senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization." That
very careful wording leaves open the possibility that some
less-than-senior Saudi politicians supported or funded the 9/11
attacks.

However, the final chapter of the report, now known as the mysterious
"28 pages," was left out of the public version of the support, for
reasons of "nation security" that both the Bush and Obama
administrations have supported. Activists are claiming that the "28
pages" contain evidence of the guilt of the Saudi government, and
they're demanding that they be declassified.

Families of the victims are going further and demanding that Congress
pass a bill that would permit them to sue the Saudi government and
recover damages for the 9/11 attacks. Congress is now debating such a
bill, though it's opposed by the Obama administration.

The Saudis are threatening revenge, saying that if that bill becomes
law, then they'll sell of $750 billion in American treasury securities
and other US assets. They have threatened to do this quickly, before
the US courts could freeze these assets. Selling the assets would, in
effect, immunize the Saudis from the lawsuits, or at least from having
to pay damages if they lose the lawsuits.

This is just one more thing that's worsening relations between Saudi
Arabia and the United States. Relations have been worsening ever
since President Obama took office, especially when Obama appeared to
throw Hosni Mubarak under the bus during the 2011 Arab Awakening.
(See "21-May-11 News -- Saudi Arabia advances Gulf Cooperation Council, further cuts U.S. ties."
)

As I've been writing for years, Generational Dynamics predicts that in
the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, the US, India, Russia and
Iran would be allies opposing China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the
Sunni Muslim countries. CNN and The Sun (London) and The 9/11 Commission Report (PDF)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Cuba, Raúl Castro, Fidel Castro,
Karl Marx, Russia, East Germany, China, North Korea,
Saudi Arabia, 28 pages, Egypt, Hosni Mubarak

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Post#3121 at 04-17-2016 09:10 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
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18-Apr-16 World View -- Latest Syria 'peace process' collapses

*** 18-Apr-16 World View -- Latest Syria 'peace process' collapses, as chemical weapons kill Hezbollah militias

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Massive earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador are linked by the Ring of Fire
  • Syria chemical weapons accidentally kill Hezbollah militias
  • Latest Syrian 'peace process' appears near collapse
  • Saudi Arabia ends oil summit negotiations as Iran fails to show up


****
**** Massive earthquakes in Japan and Ecuador are linked by the Ring of Fire
****



The Ring of Fire (US Geological Survey)

Japan and Ecuador are oceans apart -- in fact they're separated
by the entire Pacific Ocean. But in the last week, they
have something in common: massive earthquakes.

On Saturday, a magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck southern Japan,
after another earthquake struck the same region on Thursday night.
Three people were killed and hundreds were injured.

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake, six times as powerful as the Japan
earthquake, struck Ecuador on Saturday, killing hundreds of
people and injuring thousands.

What these earthquakes have in common is that they're all on the "Ring
of Fire," a long chain of volcanoes and other tectonically active
structures that surround the Pacific Ocean. The chain runs up along
the western coast of South and North America, crosses over the
Aleutian Islands in Alaska, runs down the eastern coast of Asia past
New Zealand and into the northern coast of Antarctica.

There are more than 450 active and dormant volcanoes located within
the Ring of Fire. Approximately 90% of the most powerful volcanic
eruptions and about 81% of the world’s largest earthquakes have
occurred along the Ring of Fire. Earthsky Communications and BBC and Reuters and Earthsky Communications

****
**** Syria chemical weapons accidentally kill Hezbollah militias
****


According to a diplomatic source quoted in Kuwaiti media, dozens of
fighters in Hezbollah militias were killed last week when the Syrian
air force warplanes, under the command of Syria's president Bashar
al-Assad, bombed the Hezbollah fighters with chemical weapons.
According to the report, those Hezbollah fighters who survived had
chemical burn marks on their bodies. The report does not specify what
chemical weapons were used. The regime war planes undoubted had
intended to target women and children in Sunni neighborhoods, but
accidentally targeted the Hezbollah militias.

According to the diplomatic source:

<QUOTE>"It is not the first time that coordination problems
have arisen between the military police and the Russian military,
Hezbollah and Iran. Incidents like this have happened repeatedly
since the Russian forces entered into the conflict.

What happened in Aleppo demonstrates an impending problem in
regards to cooperation on the ground and the incident again brings
up the issue of attacks on innocent people with unconventional
weapons.

The lack of coordination between the supporting forces and Syrian
President Bashar Assad's forces is troubling to Russian President
Vladimir Putin, who was not updated about the
incident."<END QUOTE>

President Obama had once said that a "red line" would be Bashar
al-Assad's use of chemical weapons. After al-Assad used Sarin gas and
Obama flip-flopped, there was a face-saving measure to get an
agreement to remove all of al-Assad's chemical weapons from Syria.
Nobody seriously believed that al-Assad wouldn't find a way to retain
a secret stockpile of chemical weapons, and that clearly happened.
Al-Assad's air force has regularly used barrel bombs indiscriminately
dropped on Sunni neighborhoods. The barrel bombs contain explosives,
metals and chemical weapons, and are designed to inflict as much pain
on civilian neighborhoods as possible. This new report confirms that
al-Assad is using chemical weapons freely, every day, and with compute
impunity, fully supported by Russia and Iran.

Bashar al-Assad has repeatedly humiliated and made a fool of President
Obama, but I suppose that one could enjoy a little Schadenfreude now
that al-Assad's chemical weapons have now been used on his own allies.
Jerusalem Post and Jewish Press

****
**** Latest Syrian 'peace process' appears near collapse
****


Members of the "moderate" Syrian opposition to the regime
of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday
that since the Syrian army was not honoring what is supposed
to be a cease-fire, then rebel groups should not do so either,
and they urged rebels to strike back against the Syrian
army. The so-called "cease-fire" was never more than a ruse
by the regime and the Russians as a cover to continue fighting
and gaining ground, and now even the pretense of a cease-fire
is apparently at an end.

I've been writing about various peace plans and peace talks ever since
the conflict began in 2011. The following is what I wrote on March 12, 2012
:

<QUOTE>"It's becoming increasingly apparent to everybody that
Bashar al-Assad has made fools of the Arab League, the U.N. and
the west in general, by succeeding in killing, mutilating and
exterminating thousands of his own innocent Arab civilians under
the everybody's noses, and they couldn't do a damn thing about it.
Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, runs
around like a chicken with his head cut off, saying, "This has got
to stop! This has got to stop." He's been parroting those words
for a year. And Kofi Annan, the virulently anti-American former
Secretary-General of the United Nations from Ghana, sounds like an
idiot when he travels to Damascus and tells everyone in the West
to leave poor Bashar alone, or he'll make things worse for
everyone. The U.N. sent their emergency aid chief, Valerie Amos,
to Syria to check out Homs, which has been the subject of a full
scale army attack on residential neighborhoods for the last few
weeks. Al-Assad's troops cleaned up the dead bodies and debris
from the portion of Homs that they wanted her to see, and she said
how "concerned" she is about what happened to the people.
Activists ridiculed her visit and one said, "To tell the truth, we
know that Valerie Amos is useless. We have had one year of
killing, shooting and bombing and nobody has moved a
finger.""<END QUOTE>

Annan formulated a farcical six-point 'peace plan'
which said absolutely nothing, but which al-Assad used
as a cover to continue exterminating innocent Sunni women and children
with impunity. After Kofi Annan was repeatedly humiliated by Bashar
al-Assad, the UN appointed a new Syria peace envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi,
to replace Kofi Annan. Brahimi
wasn't as much of an idiot as Annan was, but he still resigned in disgust in May 2014,
after
it became clear that al-Assad really had no desire to do anything but
exterminate Sunni civilians. After that, Secretary of State John
Kerry stumbled around the Mideast, making one idiotic SNL-worthy
speech after another.

This year, after the Russians intervened militarily, there have been
several new attempts at peace plans. But as I've written several times,
these peace plan made
absolutely no sense whatsoever for obvious reasons -- Russia and Syria
will continue bombing what they claim are terrorist groups, which are
pretty much all Sunnis in Syria, and the plan would not apply to the
so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) and the al-Qaeda
linked Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front). In fact, the peace plans
have actually worsened the hostilities, since they provided cover for
substantially increased bombing and fighting from all groups.

There's a very good reason why one peace plan after another fails.
And that's because Bashar al-Assad is a psychopathic genocidal monster
whose objective is to exterminate all Sunni Muslims as if they were
cockroaches. These are almost his own words. He's repeatedly said he
will never step down, and that he will continue to exterminate all
"terrorists" -- by which he means all Sunnis. ( "12-Feb-16 World View -- US and Russia agree to a farcical 'cessation of hostilities' in Syria"
)

The conflict in Syria is one of the greatest humanitarian disasters of
recent times. According to a recent report by the Syrian Center for
Policy Research, an independent think tank, about 4,700,000 Syrians
have lost their lives due to the war, directly and indirectly, so
far. Around 45 per cent of the country’s population of 23 million have
been displaced, 6.4 million internally and more than 5 million
abroad. In all, 11.5 per cent of Syria’s population has been killed or
injured since the crisis erupted in March 2011.

None of this really mattered to the West, as long as the refugees were
pouring into neighboring states -- Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey. But
now there's a lot of desperation in Europe because of the Syria war,
mainly because over a million of those refugees have flooded into
Europe. That's why Western government was grasp at almost any hope,
no matter how tenuous, that the Syrian war can be resolved with "peace
talks" in Geneva. But as long as Bashar al-Assad is in power and able
to exterminate Sunni civilians with impunity, then there will never be
a solution. Reuters and Indian Express and Huffington Post

****
**** Saudi Arabia ends oil summit negotiations as Iran fails to show up
****


An oil summit in Doha by members of the Organization of Petroleum
Exporting Countries (OPEC) was supposed to come to an agreement to
limit production of oil, in order to force oil prices to increase.
Iran has repeatedly said that it would not limit its own production,
as it's only recently had sanctions lifted. The sanctions restricted
Iran's oil production.

Oil prices (futures) plunged 5-6% immediately on early trading in
Asia on Monday morning, news, from around $40 per barrel to around $38
a barrel.

Oil prices last year fell below $30 per barrel, for two main reasons:
reduction in demand from China, and the shale oil production boom in
the United States. The fall in prices has caused many shale oil rigs
to shut down, and oil prices have been rising for the last nine
months. Even so, the world is still producing about 1.25 million
barrels of oil per day more than required, and so oil prices may fall
sharply again in the next few weeks. Market Watch and Reuters
and Bloomberg


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Japan, Ecuador, Ring of Fire,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, chemical weapons, Hezbollah,
Russia, Kofi Annan, Lakhdar Brahimi,
Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh,
Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Nusra Front, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey,
Saudi Arabia, Iran

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Post#3122 at 04-18-2016 10:25 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-18-2016, 10:25 PM #3122
Join Date
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Location
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19-Apr-16 World View -- In a new catastrophe, hundreds of migrants drown

*** 19-Apr-16 World View -- In a new catastrophe, hundreds of migrants drown in the Mediterranean Sea

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Israel's Netanyahu vows revenge for terrorist bombing in Jerusalem
  • Mahmoud Abbas lobbies to revive international interest in Palestinians
  • In a new catastrophe, hundreds of migrants drown in the Mediterranean Sea
  • China's bond market starts to unravel


****
**** Israel's Netanyahu vows revenge for terrorist bombing in Jerusalem
****



Two burnt out buses following terrorist explosion in Jerusalem on Monday

The first Jerusalem terrorist bus bombing in year injured at least 21
people, two seriously, on Monday during rush hour. Police confirmed
that a bomb exploded in one bus carrying passengers. It set a car and
a second empty bus on fire, injuring more people.

The police did not disclose whether the explosion was caused by a
suicide bomber or by a planted device. No terrorist group has claimed
responsibility.

Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed revenge:

<QUOTE>"We will find out who placed the bomb, we will reach
those who dispatched them and we will also get to those who stand
behind them, and settle the account with these
terrorists,"<END QUOTE>

Attacks on Israeli buses by suicide bombers, many of them claimed by
Hamas, occurred frequently during the Palestinian intifada between
2000-2005, but have been rare since. The last one was carried out in
2012 in Tel Aviv. Times of Israel and Vice News

****
**** Mahmoud Abbas lobbies to revive international interest in Palestinians
****


For years, the major international news stories were about the
conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, whether it was a war in
Gaza, endless rounds of peace talks, or new Israeli settlements in the
West Bank. These stories eclipsed almost everything else.

Then the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh) came on
the scene, beheading people, destroying ancient art, or perpetrating
terrorist acts in Europe, and since then, the Palestinian-Israeli
issues have all but disappeared from the international news pages,
frustrating Palestinian leaders.

In an interview conducted prior to Monday's bombing in Jerusalem,
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinian issue
must be solved, because terrorists use the issue as a cover for their
terrorist attacks in Europe and elsewhere. With regard to Palestinian
attacks on Israelis, he blames them on "violence" by the Israelis:

<QUOTE>"Of course we notice that the instability of the whole
region is having an effect on interest in the Palestinian
issue. But the world must not forget us. The Israeli-Palestinian
conflict should be solved first. Many terrorists use the conflict
as a cover. They claim that they are supporting our struggle. But
this is not true. We condemn their deeds. But if we don't find a
solution to the conflict soon, I fear the violence of these
terrorists groups will spread and affect us in our territories and
in Israel. ...

This is not an intifada. We have to understand why these young
people are committing such attacks. This generation experiences
the violence and humiliation of the occupation on a daily
basis. And they experience how more and more settlers are coming
to occupy their land. If Israel stops this, no child will take a
knife to attack Israelis."<END QUOTE>

It's not clear to me what the "this" is that Israel can stop, yielding
the result that "no child will take a knife to attack Israelis," but
that's completely untrue. From the point of view of Generational
Dynamics, what we're seeing is that young Palestinians see Mahmoud
Abbas and others in his generation as being full of crap, in the same
way that young people in America think that everyone in my generation
is full of crap. There is nothing that Israel can do to stop the
knife attacks, and the only reason that they haven't yet grown into a
larger conflict is that 81 year old Abbas has been able to use his
influence to control the situation. Once he retires, and someone from
a younger generation takes power, things should become much worse.

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, I wrote in May 2003
in "Mideast Roadmap - Will it bring peace?" that Generational Dynamics predicts that Arabs and
Jews would be refighting the 1948 war that followed the partitioning
of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel. Der Spiegel

****
**** In a new catastrophe, hundreds of migrants drown in the Mediterranean Sea
****


It's believed that up to 500 migrants died during the night early
Monday morning, when their boat capsized in the middle of the
Mediterranean sea. There have been various stories about how the
human traffickers transferred 200 migrants from one sinking boat into
another boat that already contained 350 migrants. The second boat
capsized in the middle of the sea, leaving only 41 survivors. The
survivors are from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan and Egypt. They were
taken on a cargo ship to Greece, but according to some reports, they
did not want to leave the cargo ship in Greece, because they wanted to
go to Italy.

A year ago, I wrote "20-Apr-15 World View -- Europe considers military action in Libya as migrant drownings accelerate"
, in which I wrote:

<QUOTE>"It seems that every three or four days there's a new
catastrophe in the Mediterranean Sea, involving migrants traveling
by boat from Libya to Italy. On Tuesday, 400 migrants drowned
when their boat capsized. On Thursday, 41 more drowned after a
shipwreck. And late on Saturday, 700 people may have drowned when
a small fishing boat capsized 60 miles south of the Italian island
of Lampedusa."<END QUOTE>

Those drownings were earth-shattering for European Union policy, as
they prompted EU government to take action to stop the drownings, and
to stop the uncontrolled flows of refugees across the Mediterranean.

Now that a year has passed, and the problem has not been solved, and
has gotten worse. In March 2015, 2,283 migrants made the sea crossing
from Libya to Italy. In March 2016, the number of 9,600, more than
four times as many.

A year ago, there was talk of EU military action in Libya. Such
military action didn't take place because it would have required
either a Security Council resolution or an invitation from Libya's
non-existent government, neither of which was available.

The rise of ISIS in Libya has made EU military action more urgent.
David Cameron's government in Britain has announced that it will send
1,000 troops to Libya as part of an EU force, even if it's opposed by
Parliament. Italy, Libya's former colonial power, has said publicly
it is willing to send some 5,000 personnel to Libya. Any EU military
action would require US intelligence and logistics. BBC and Reuters and Telegraph (London)

****
**** China's bond market starts to unravel
****


I've always liked to point out that as bad as America's economy is,
China's is far worse, thanks to huge debt-funded bubbles that could
implode at any time, creating a chain reaction of bankruptcies.

During the past ten days, there's been a massive selloff in China of
corporate bonds denoted in China's yuan currency. Local issuers have
canceled 60.6 billion yuan ($9.4 billion) of bond sales in April
alone, while Standard & Poor’s is cutting its assessment of Chinese
firms at a pace unseen since 2003.

China's government always responds to every financial problem in the
same way: "Print" massive amounts of new money by purchasing debt from
companies. But that solution is running out, as seven Chinese
companies reneged on bond obligations this year. Three of those were
part-owned by China’s government, seen not long ago as a provider of
implicit guarantees for bondholders.

Bond yields (interest rates) have been increasing rapidly in the last
few days, though still below historical levels. However, increased
bond yields mean that new debt is more expensive, making it harder and
harder for a Chinese CEO to use his MasterCard to pay his Visa bill.
Bloomberg


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Israel, Jerusalem, Benjamin Netanyahu,
Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine,
Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh,
Libya, Britain, Italy, France, China

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Post#3123 at 04-19-2016 10:38 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-19-2016, 10:38 PM #3123
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
4,012

20-Apr-16 World View -- Afghan Taliban launches 'Spring Fighting Season' with massive

*** 20-Apr-16 World View -- Afghan Taliban launches 'Spring Fighting Season' with massive Kabul explosion

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Afghan Taliban launches 'Spring Fighting Season' with massive Kabul explosion
  • China tests its DF-41 long-range nuclear missile with multiple warheads
  • Turkey threatens to cancel migrant deal unless visa restrictions are lifted by June
  • Violence surges in Syria as 'peace talks' collapse becomes official


****
**** Afghan Taliban launches 'Spring Fighting Season' with massive Kabul explosion
****



Aftermath of Tuesday's terror bombing in Kabul Afghanistan

Afghanistan's Taliban announced last week the beginning of its "Spring
Fighting Season," and launched it on Tuesday with a massive attack on
a government security agency on Kabul. The attack combined a suicide
car bomb with gunfire, killing 28 people and wounding at least 327.

The attack comes with Afghanistan's government in total chaos, because
of the bitter feud between President Ashraf Ghani and the country's
chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah. Last week, US Secretary of State
John Kerry made a surprise trip to Kabul to instruct Ghani, Abdullah,
and the other the politicians on how to run their government. ( "12-Apr-16 World View -- Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms"
)

Putting the best face on it, Ghani said the attack "clearly shows the
enemy's defeat in face-to-face battle with Afghan security forces."
However, those results have clearly been fixed, with the Afghan
scoring military successes in the northern part of the vast country,
while the Taliban have been gaining ground in Helmand Province.

For American policy and President Obama's administration, there is one
major conundrum: Does the US continue its policy of withdrawing forces
from Afghanistan, risking a total collapse in security as happened in
Iraq? Or does the US reverse policy and add forces to Afghanistan,
thus reneging on Obama's previous commitments? AP and Daily Times (Pakistan) and AFP

****
**** China tests its DF-41 long-range nuclear missile with multiple warheads
****


China conducted another flight test of its newest and longest-range
intercontinental ballistic missile last week. The flight test of the
new road-mobile DF-41 missile took place Tuesday with two multiple,
independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. This means that
a single missile could deliver a nuclear weapon to two separate
targets.

As we wrote three weeks ago ( "1-Apr-16 World View -- China close to deploying very long range DF-41 missile"
), it's believed that a fully-deployed DF-41
will be able to carry up to 10 MIRVs. A DF-41 can travel over the
Pacific Ocean and strike any city in the western US, or travel over
the North Pole and strike any city in the eastern US, in each case
within about half an hour. China has the manufacturing capacity to
produce hundreds of these missiles, and clearly is preparing for war
and planning to use them. Washington Free Beacon

****
**** Turkey threatens to cancel migrant deal unless visa restrictions are lifted by June
****


Tensions are increasing quickly over a crucial provision of
the EU-Turkey migrant deal, whose purpose is to slow the flow
of migrants traveling from Turkey to Greece by means of a provision
that permits Greece to return migrants back to Turkey.

In return for the migrant deal, the EU made several commitments
to Turkey:

  • Visa liberalization: Turkish citizens will be able to travel
    in the EU without a visa by the end of June 2016.
  • The EU will pay Turkey 3 billion euros in aid for refugees,
    disbursed as quickly as possible, followed possibly by another 3
    billion. The EU was supposed to have already paid a portion of this
    aid, but hasn't.
  • The EU and Turkey will "reenergize the accession process" to make
    Turkey a member of the European Union.


The June deadline for visa-free travel is quickly approaching.
On Monday, Turkey's prime minister Ahmed Davutoglu bluntly warned
that the migrant deal will be off if visa liberalization is not
implemented:

<QUOTE>"This is a mutual commitment.

If the EU cannot take the necessary steps required of it then of
course it cannot be expected of Turkey to take these steps.

I maintain my belief that, God willing, we will have the visa
exemption in June. In the absence of that, then of course no one
can expect Turkey to adhere to its commitments."<END QUOTE>

Turkey must meet 72 criteria by May for the visa liberalization
to be granted. Davutoglu says that 44 of the criteria have
already been met, and the rest will be met by May.

However, a new report by the European Parliament appears to contradict
Davutoglu's claim. The report is extremely critical of the situation
of basic rights and freedoms in Turkey. It is also heavily critical
regarding a number of other significant issues, including the
situation in Syria, rule of law, the situation with the armed Kurdish
opposition, the negotiations on Cyprus, independence of the judiciary,
freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and the normalization of
relations with Armenia.

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the report:

<QUOTE>"The European Union needs Turkey more than Turkey
needs the European Union.

Three million people have been looked after in this country so
they don't disturb the Europeans. Is there anything about this in
the report?

At a time when our relations with the European Union are in a
positive phase regarding the migrants... it is provocative to come
out with a report like that."<END QUOTE>

There's a great deal of opposition in the EU to visa-free travel by
Turkish citizens, so this issue is expected to become a crisis next
month. Hurriyet (Ankara) and Daily Sabah (Istanbul) and AFP

****
**** Violence surges in Syria as 'peace talks' collapse becomes official
****


"Moderate" rebel groups opposed to Syria's president Bashar al-Assad
have once again said that they will not negotiate on a "political
solution" unless al-Assad is to be removed from power. They
made this official on Tuesday by pulling out of the Geneva
peace talks.

There was supposed to have been a cease-fire since February 27, but
firing never actually ceased, and now violence is escalating sharply
in several regions, especially around Aleppo, which the Syrian army is
attempting to recapture from rebels with the help of massive
airstrikes.

Before the Russian military intervened last year, Syria's army was
close to defeat for several reasons, but especially because of large
numbers of defections and desertions. This situation has not changed,
even with al-Assad's own Alawite sect. ( "4-Apr-16 World View -- Syria's Alawites threaten to abandon Bashar al-Assad"
)

Now that much of Russia's military has withdrawn, there are reports
that al-Assad's army is again losing ground in some regions. Al-Qaeda
linked militias, the Islamic Party of Turkestan and Jund al-Aqsa, on
Monday captured strategic positions in Syria’s central province of
Hama. Vice News and ARA News (Syria)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, Taliban,
China, DF-41 Missile,
Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ahmet Davutoglu,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Alawites,
Islamic Party of Turkestan, Jund al-Aqsa

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Post#3124 at 04-20-2016 11:03 AM by XYMOX_4AD_84 [at joined Nov 2012 #posts 3,073]
---
04-20-2016, 11:03 AM #3124
Join Date
Nov 2012
Posts
3,073

Quote Originally Posted by John J. Xenakis View Post
*** 20-Apr-16 World View -- Afghan Taliban launches 'Spring Fighting Season' with massive Kabul explosion

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Afghan Taliban launches 'Spring Fighting Season' with massive Kabul explosion
  • China tests its DF-41 long-range nuclear missile with multiple warheads
  • Turkey threatens to cancel migrant deal unless visa restrictions are lifted by June
  • Violence surges in Syria as 'peace talks' collapse becomes official


****
**** Afghan Taliban launches 'Spring Fighting Season' with massive Kabul explosion
****



Aftermath of Tuesday's terror bombing in Kabul Afghanistan

Afghanistan's Taliban announced last week the beginning of its "Spring
Fighting Season," and launched it on Tuesday with a massive attack on
a government security agency on Kabul. The attack combined a suicide
car bomb with gunfire, killing 28 people and wounding at least 327.

The attack comes with Afghanistan's government in total chaos, because
of the bitter feud between President Ashraf Ghani and the country's
chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah. Last week, US Secretary of State
John Kerry made a surprise trip to Kabul to instruct Ghani, Abdullah,
and the other the politicians on how to run their government. ( "12-Apr-16 World View -- Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms"
)

Putting the best face on it, Ghani said the attack "clearly shows the
enemy's defeat in face-to-face battle with Afghan security forces."
However, those results have clearly been fixed, with the Afghan
scoring military successes in the northern part of the vast country,
while the Taliban have been gaining ground in Helmand Province.

For American policy and President Obama's administration, there is one
major conundrum: Does the US continue its policy of withdrawing forces
from Afghanistan, risking a total collapse in security as happened in
Iraq? Or does the US reverse policy and add forces to Afghanistan,
thus reneging on Obama's previous commitments? AP and Daily Times (Pakistan) and AFP

****
**** China tests its DF-41 long-range nuclear missile with multiple warheads
****


China conducted another flight test of its newest and longest-range
intercontinental ballistic missile last week. The flight test of the
new road-mobile DF-41 missile took place Tuesday with two multiple,
independently targetable reentry vehicles, or MIRVs. This means that
a single missile could deliver a nuclear weapon to two separate
targets.

As we wrote three weeks ago ( "1-Apr-16 World View -- China close to deploying very long range DF-41 missile"
), it's believed that a fully-deployed DF-41
will be able to carry up to 10 MIRVs. A DF-41 can travel over the
Pacific Ocean and strike any city in the western US, or travel over
the North Pole and strike any city in the eastern US, in each case
within about half an hour. China has the manufacturing capacity to
produce hundreds of these missiles, and clearly is preparing for war
and planning to use them. Washington Free Beacon

****
**** Turkey threatens to cancel migrant deal unless visa restrictions are lifted by June
****


Tensions are increasing quickly over a crucial provision of
the EU-Turkey migrant deal, whose purpose is to slow the flow
of migrants traveling from Turkey to Greece by means of a provision
that permits Greece to return migrants back to Turkey.

In return for the migrant deal, the EU made several commitments
to Turkey:

  • Visa liberalization: Turkish citizens will be able to travel
    in the EU without a visa by the end of June 2016.
  • The EU will pay Turkey 3 billion euros in aid for refugees,
    disbursed as quickly as possible, followed possibly by another 3
    billion. The EU was supposed to have already paid a portion of this
    aid, but hasn't.
  • The EU and Turkey will "reenergize the accession process" to make
    Turkey a member of the European Union.


The June deadline for visa-free travel is quickly approaching.
On Monday, Turkey's prime minister Ahmed Davutoglu bluntly warned
that the migrant deal will be off if visa liberalization is not
implemented:
<QUOTE>"This is a mutual commitment.

If the EU cannot take the necessary steps required of it then of
course it cannot be expected of Turkey to take these steps.

I maintain my belief that, God willing, we will have the visa
exemption in June. In the absence of that, then of course no one
can expect Turkey to adhere to its commitments."<END QUOTE>

Turkey must meet 72 criteria by May for the visa liberalization
to be granted. Davutoglu says that 44 of the criteria have
already been met, and the rest will be met by May.

However, a new report by the European Parliament appears to contradict
Davutoglu's claim. The report is extremely critical of the situation
of basic rights and freedoms in Turkey. It is also heavily critical
regarding a number of other significant issues, including the
situation in Syria, rule of law, the situation with the armed Kurdish
opposition, the negotiations on Cyprus, independence of the judiciary,
freedom of assembly, freedom of expression and the normalization of
relations with Armenia.

Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the report:
<QUOTE>"The European Union needs Turkey more than Turkey
needs the European Union.

Three million people have been looked after in this country so
they don't disturb the Europeans. Is there anything about this in
the report?

At a time when our relations with the European Union are in a
positive phase regarding the migrants... it is provocative to come
out with a report like that."<END QUOTE>

There's a great deal of opposition in the EU to visa-free travel by
Turkish citizens, so this issue is expected to become a crisis next
month. Hurriyet (Ankara) and Daily Sabah (Istanbul) and AFP

****
**** Violence surges in Syria as 'peace talks' collapse becomes official
****


"Moderate" rebel groups opposed to Syria's president Bashar al-Assad
have once again said that they will not negotiate on a "political
solution" unless al-Assad is to be removed from power. They
made this official on Tuesday by pulling out of the Geneva
peace talks.

There was supposed to have been a cease-fire since February 27, but
firing never actually ceased, and now violence is escalating sharply
in several regions, especially around Aleppo, which the Syrian army is
attempting to recapture from rebels with the help of massive
airstrikes.

Before the Russian military intervened last year, Syria's army was
close to defeat for several reasons, but especially because of large
numbers of defections and desertions. This situation has not changed,
even with al-Assad's own Alawite sect. ( "4-Apr-16 World View -- Syria's Alawites threaten to abandon Bashar al-Assad"
)

Now that much of Russia's military has withdrawn, there are reports
that al-Assad's army is again losing ground in some regions. Al-Qaeda
linked militias, the Islamic Party of Turkestan and Jund al-Aqsa, on
Monday captured strategic positions in Syria’s central province of
Hama. Vice News and ARA News (Syria)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, Abdullah Abdullah, Taliban,
China, DF-41 Missile,
Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ahmet Davutoglu,
Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Alawites,
Islamic Party of Turkestan, Jund al-Aqsa

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail
Contribute to Generational Dynamics via PayPal
By definition, ballistic missile trajectories are great circle routes. Great circle routes from places like Guangdong to the Western US barely touch the Pacific, way up by Alaska. Ones further inland or further North would miss the Pacific completely, crossing the Date Line over the Bering Sea or even closer to the North Pole. Yes, the Pacific is that large! We're at 120 W here in CA. The coast of China is 115 E. The North Pacific spans more than 120 degrees of longitude - over 1/3 of the Earth at the equator! When I fly to Seoul from SFO, the route is along the West Coast, then cutting across much of Alaska, then over the Bering Sea and thence over the Eastern extremity of Siberia.
Last edited by XYMOX_4AD_84; 04-20-2016 at 11:13 AM.
==========================================

#nevertrump







Post#3125 at 04-20-2016 09:34 PM by John J. Xenakis [at Cambridge, MA joined May 2003 #posts 4,012]
---
04-20-2016, 09:34 PM #3125
Join Date
May 2003
Location
Cambridge, MA
Posts
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21-Apr-16 World View -- Saudi King Salman snubs Obama - again

*** 21-Apr-16 World View -- Saudi King Salman snubs Obama - again - as he arrives for Saudi Arabia summit

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Saudi King Salman snubs Obama - again - as he arrives for Saudi Arabia summit
  • President Obama to 'clean up leftover messes' in the Mideast


****
**** Saudi King Salman snubs Obama - again - as he arrives for Saudi Arabia summit
****



President Obama and Saudi King Salman in the Erga Palace in Riyadh on Wednesday (AP)

In May of last year, President Obama invited the leaders of the Arab
nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to a meeting at Camp
David. Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud snubbed Obama
by not attending the meeting. ( "15-May-15 World View -- Obama repudiates the Carter doctrine at bizarre GCC meeting"
)

Now King Salman has snubbed Obama once again, this time in an even
more embarrassing manner, as Obama arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday on
Air Force One. King Salman was not there to greet him. Instead, a
lower-level official greeted him. Saudi state television did not show
Obama's arrival live, but did provide live coverage of the arrival of
other Gulf nation leaders -- being greeted by King Salman.

Relations have been worsening ever since President Obama took office,
especially when Obama appeared to throw Hosni Mubarak under the bus
during the 2011 Arab Awakening. (See "21-May-11 News -- Saudi Arabia advances Gulf Cooperation Council, further cuts U.S. ties."
)

Last year, Obama referred to Saudi Arabia as a "so-called ally,"
because of its opposition to the Iran nuclear deal. Recently, the
Saudis were deeply offended when Obama character some of his allies as
"free riders." ( "15-Mar-16 World View -- Saudi's Prince Faisal sharply rebukes Obama's 'free riders' accusation"
)

No one should be surprised at all that the Saudis have snubbed and
embarrassed Obama twice in two years. Washington Times and CNN

****
**** President Obama to 'clean up leftover messes' in the Mideast
****


According to a WSJ article that I quoted in July of last year,
Obama saw the deal with Iran
as a kind of "gateway" to solve all the problems in the Mideast:

<QUOTE>"The White House is crafting a Middle East strategy
for the remaining 18 months of President Barack Obama’s term that
would more forcefully address conflicts in Iraq, Yemen and Syria
amid tensions over the conclusion of talks with Iran. ...

[S]enior administration officials said the president is intent on
cleaning up leftover messes in the region before leaving office in
2017, including relations with key allies that have been strained
by the Iran talks."<END QUOTE>

And this is no joke. Just last week, US Secretary of State was in
Kabul Afghanistan, lecturing government leaders how to run their
governments. That was just a couple of days before the massive
terrorist explosion in Kabul. ( "12-Apr-16 World View -- Troubles mount for Afghanistan government as US withdrawal looms"
)

So President Obama has been in office for 7-1/2 years, and he
apparently believes that he's been so skillful in governing American
that he now feels qualified to lecture leaders of any country in the
world on what they're doing wrong.

According to reports, that's what he did on Wednesday in his meetings
with King Salman in Saudi Arabia. Reports indicate that Obama raised
the following issues:

  • Learn to "share the neighborhood" with Iran.
  • Accept the nuclear deal with Iran, even though it was negotiated
    in secret with Iran, with no consultations with the Gulf states.
  • Exit the war in Yemen.
  • Do more the fight the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL
    or Daesh) in Iraq and Syria.
  • End executions of alleged terrorists. Obama is said to be
    particularly critical of the execution in January of 47 people who had
    been convicted of terrorism -- 46 alleged Sunni terrorists and one
    alleged Shia terrorist, Mohammad Baqir Nimr al-Nimr, a cleric well
    respected in Iran. The execution triggered mass Shia protests
    throughout the Mideast and the firebombing of the Saudi embassy in
    Tehran.


People always criticize me when I criticize Obama, but if these
reports are true, then this is about the dumbest thing I've
every seen.

The Saudis see Iran as an existential threat. As we've been pointing
out for two years, analysts note that the Saudis feel surround by the
"Shia Crescent," with Iran dominating control of four capitals --
Tehran Iran, Damascus Syria, Beirut Lebanon (thanks to the
Iran-sponsored terror group Hezbollah), and Sanaa Yemen. A fifth
under partial control is Baghdad Iraq. Telling the Saudis to "share
the neighborhood" with Iran is absurd and offensive.

From the point of view of the Saudis, every one of Obama's
"suggestions" makes the situation much worse. The nuclear deal with
Iran has removed sanctions and given Iran hundreds of billions of
dollars more money to use in sponsoring wars and terrorist acts.
Exiting the war in Yemen would give complete control to the
Iran-supported Houthis. Apparently Obama has no grasp of any of this,
as shown by the fact that the Saudi king has repeatedly snubbed Obama.

Obama supposedly believes that this trip will soothe Saudi-US
relations, but it will probably only make relations worse. The Arab
world is furious at Obama. Obama's "free riders" statement alone
sparked hundreds of scathing articles against him in the Gulf press.
Well, we'll be watching to see which country and which leader Obama
will be lecturing to next.

However, from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, this growing
US-Saudi estrangement is exactly consistent with what Generational
Dynamics has been predicting for years, as I explained in detail in
"15-Jul-15 World View -- Arab views of Iran nuclear deal"
: In the coming Clash of
Civilizations world war, the US, India, Russia and Iran would be
allies opposing China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the Sunni Muslim
countries. BBC and
Washington Post and Bloomberg and Memri


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Saudi Arabia, Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud,
Iran, Afghanistan, John Kerry, Mohammad Baqir Nimr al-Nimr,
Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh

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