14-Dec-16 World View — US’s Samantha Power makes excoriating attack on Syria’s al-Assad, Russia, Iran

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Syria’s Al-Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah score victory in Aleppo
  • US’s Samantha Power makes excoriating attack on Syria’s al-Assad, Russia, Iran
  • Human Rights Watch reveals more ethnic cleansing imagery from Burma (Myanmar)

Syria’s Al-Assad, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah score victory in Aleppo

A family of Sunni 'terrorists' flee the fighting in Aleppo (Reuters)
A family of Sunni ‘terrorists’ flee the fighting in Aleppo (Reuters)

It took four armies, but Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad is claiming victory in recapturing Aleppo from anti-Assad rebels. A year ago, al-Assad himself said that his army was close to being defeated. But then his three allies stepped up their military support with people, weapons and bombs, and al-Assad is finally able to declare victory.

According to Matthew Rycroft, the UK ambassador to the UN:

“Al-Assad’s forces, propped up by Russia and Iran, have once again redefined horror. They have gone from siege to slaughter.

Today the United Nations has received reports that pro-government forces have been entering homes in Eastern Aleppo. They have been going door to door, executing people on the spot. 82 people murdered. 13 of whom were women. 11 were children. None were terrorists.

We have heard reports of women committing suicide, in order not to be raped. We have heard reports of people being burnt alive. We have heard reports that hundreds of men have disappeared fleeing Aleppo, taken by the regime. All these reports evoke the darkest days of the history of the United Nations.

When it happened before, we said never again. Well, it is happening again, today.”

As I’ve been writing for a long time, Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad is the worst genocidal monster so far in this century. He continues a line of monsters from the previous century that include Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, and others.

The civil war in Syria was caused by al-Assad when he unleashed his army and air force against peaceful protesters in 2011. Up to that point, Turkey and Saudi Arabia were friendly with al-Assad. Things really turned around in August 2011, when al-Assad launched a massive military assault on a large, peaceful Palestinian refugee camp in Latakia, filled with tens of thousands of women and children Palestinians.

This attack alone shows that al-Assad’s fight is not with “terrorists,” but with innocent Sunni civilians. Al-Assad is a member of a Shia Alawite clan that has historically fought many wars with Sunnis. To al-Assad, Sunni civilians are nothing but cockroaches to be exterminated.

Al-Assad’s genocidal extermination campaign on these “cockroaches” has been a geopolitical disaster. Tens of thousands of young Sunnis traveled to Syria to fight al-Assad, creating the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh). Syrians themselves formed the “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA), or else joined al-Qaeda linked Jabhat al-Nusra (al-Nusra Front, now Jabhat Fateh al-Sham or JFS). Millions of Syrians were killed or displaced, and well over a million of them have fled to Europe to escape the violence.

Bashar al-Assad has the delusional view that after capturing Aleppo, the war will quickly end. Al-Assad required three other armies to capture Aleppo. Al-Assad started the civil war not because rebels were taking up arms, but because civilians were peacefully protesting. If civilians begin peacefully protesting again, will al-Assad attack them again, and ask those three other armies to come back? UK Government and ARA News (Syria)

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US’s Samantha Power makes excoriating attack on Syria’s al-Assad, Russia, Iran

Many people, especially in the Mideast, blame al-Assad’s geopolitical disaster on inaction by the Barack Obama administration, especially Obama’s “red line” flip-flop on intervening when al-Assad used Sarin gas on his own innocent civilians. It’s impossible to know what the outcome of intervention at that time would have been, but many people believe that the worse of the genocide would have been avoided.

In fact, the Obama administration and many Western administrations went farther, and avoided saying anything that might appear as a criticism of al-Assad, Russia or Iran. However, several years of built-up anger seemed to explode at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, with the excoriating remarks of American’s UN ambassador Samantha Power:

“To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, three member states, behind the conquest of and carnage in Aleppo. You bear responsibility for these atrocities by rejecting UN ICRC evacuation efforts, you are signaling to those militia who are massacring innocents to keep doing what they are doing. Denying or obfuscating the facts, as you will do today, saying up is down, black is white, will not absolve you. When one day there is a full accounting of the horrors committed in this assault of Aleppo – and that day will come sooner or later — you will not be able to say you did know what is happening, you will not be able to say you were not involved.

We all know what was happening, and we all know you were involved. Aleppo will join the ranks of those events in world history that define modern evil, that stain our conscience decades later. Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica, and now Aleppo.

To the Assad regime, Russia, and Iran, your forces and proxies are carrying out these crimes. Your barrel bombs and mortars and airstrikes have allowed the militia in Aleppo to encircle tens of thousands of civilians in your ever tightening noose.

It is your noose. Three member states of the UN contributing to a noose around civilians. It should shame you. Instead, by all appearances, it is emboldening you. You are plotting your next assault. Are you truly incapable of shame? Is there literally nothing that can shame you?

Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child, that gets under your skin? That just creeps you out a little bit? Is there nothing you will not lie about, or justify?”

Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vitali Churkin, responded as if he were talking about another place altogether:

“The vast majority of the former members of the illegal armed groups that have handed themselves over to the authorities as a result of the amnesty and have gone through the procedures have been returned to their families. The most important thing is, the counterterrorist operation in Aleppo will conclude in the next few hours.”

In fact, as the previous quote from Matthew Rycroft indicates, reports reaching the BBC and other media sources say that Sunnis who “hand themselves over” to the Syrian army authorities are most likely to be immediately shot. In fact, we can’t believe any garbage that comes out of the mouths of Vitali Churkin, Bashar al-Assad, or Vladimir Putin. Middle East Eye

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Human Rights Watch reveals more ethnic cleansing imagery from Burma (Myanmar)

In the past few months, satellite photography provided by Human Rights Watch has documented that 30,000 ethnic Rohingyas living in Burma’s (Myanmar’s) Rakhine state have been left homeless after their homes and villages have been systematically burned down.

Few people doubt that the perpetrators are Burma’s army, conducting ethnic cleansing . The BBC has broadcast footage of an undercover road trip through the region, including interviews who says that their husbands were burnt and killed by soldiers, and that they were repeatedly raped by soldiers.

Burma’s government has been making the ridiculous claim that the Rohingyas are burning down their own homes and villages to embarrass the government. This is the kind of garbage that we always get from Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin, and now from officials of Burma.

So Human Rights Watch has released new imagery that shows a village being burnt down as multiple military transport vehicles and the periodic landing of military helicopters move about.

Nobel prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, who is the de facto leader of Burma, is losing her luster as a human rights icon. So far, Western leaders and media have given her the benefit of the doubt, suggesting that she was unable to control the army.

But more and more, the question is arising whether she’s a full participant in and supporter of the ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas, having the same hatreds as other Burmese leaders. Human Rights Watch

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Syria, Aleppo, Bashar al-Assad, Josef Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Russia, Vladimir Putin, Iran, Hezbollah, Matthew Rycroft, Samantha Power, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, JFS, Front for the Conquest of Syria, Free Syrian Army, Russia, Vitali Churkin, Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica, Burma, Myanmar, Rohingyas, Rakhine state, Aung San Suu Kyi
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16-Dec-16 World View — India-Pakistan tensions rise as India celebrates 1971 victory over Pakistan

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • India-Pakistan belligerent war of words continues to escalate
  • World Bank declines to mediate Pakistan-India water dispute
  • India celebrates its 1971 victory over Pakistan

India-Pakistan belligerent war of words continues to escalate

India celebrates its victory over Pakistan on December 16, 1971
India celebrates its victory over Pakistan on December 16, 1971

India and Pakistan continue on the path to war with new belligerent accusations.

The two countries maintained a veneer of civility for a few years, but it fell apart on January 2 of this year when there was a terrorist attack on an Indian air force base in Panthankot, Punjab. India blamed the attack on Pakistan, and Pakistan said that India has staged the encounter to defame Pakistan.

The most explosive event of the year occurred on July 8, when Burhan Wani, the leader of a separatist group in Kashmir, was killed by Indian police fire. Massive riots in Kashmir began the next day. Indian police responded with rubber bullets, leaving many protesters wounded or killed or blinded by the pellets, and that kind of violence has been an almost daily occurrence since then. India has accused Pakistan of actively supporting the riots, while Pakistan has incited further violence by glorifying Burhan Wani.

On September 18, terrorists made a major attack on an Indian army base in Uri in Kashmir. There was a five-hour firefight, and at least 17 soldiers were killed, as were the militants. This was the worst militant terrorist attack in Kashmir in years. Once again, India blamed Pakistan.

So this week, the war of words took another spike. India’s Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said:

“Pakistan is conspiring to divide India on religious lines, but it will not succeed. We were divided in 1947 on a religious basis. We have not been able to forget that… All Indians are brothers, whether they are born from the womb of a Hindu mother or a Muslim mother. … Pakistan came into existence [in 1947] after India got divided on religious lines, but it could not keep itself united.

Pakistan was divided into two countries in 1971. If it does not stop cross-border terrorism, it will soon be in 10 pieces.”

The interpretation of Singh’s remarks is as follows:

  • In 1947, the Indian subcontinent was partitioned into India and Pakistan along religious lines, Hindu and Muslim, respectively. This triggered the Partition War, one of the largest and bloodiest wars of the 20th century. Kashmir was the epicenter of the Partition War.
  • After the 1947 partitioning, Pakistan was in two parts — West Pakistan, which is the Pakistan we know today, and East Pakistan, which was at the opposition end of India, and is today’s Bangladesh.
  • In 1971, there was an extremely bloody war in East Pakistan between the Bengali-speaking Bengalis and the Urdu-speaking Biharis who were from India. Pakistan was on the side of the Biharis, and India was on the side of the Bengalis. Finally, Pakistan and the Biharis were forced to surrender, and the state of Bangladesh was formed. This is what Rajnath meant when he said that Pakistan was divided into two countries.
  • Finally, Singh concludes with some hyperbole, saying that Pakistan will be broken up into 10 pieces unless it controls cross-border terrorism.

These remarks were interpreted by Pakistani officials as being a threat.

Nafees Zakaria from Pakistan’s foreign office responded by saying that Singh’s statement was an admission that India was involved in terrorism in Pakistan:

“Pakistan strongly condemned the absurd remarks of the Indian Home Minister [which were] in complete violation of all diplomatic norms, UN Charter and other international instruments. …

These remarks vindicate Pakistan’s long-standing position that Indian government and its intelligence agencies are involved in subversive and terrorist activities and terror financing in Pakistan to fuel tension and destabilize the country. The international community must take notice of such irresponsible statements and India-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan.”

Indian Express and Daily Times (Pakistan) and New Indian Express

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World Bank declines to mediate Pakistan-India water dispute

As we recently reported, India is threatening to divert water currently flowing from India to Pakistan back to India’s farmers, in violation of the Indus Water Treaty, signed by the two countries in 1960.

The Indus Water Treaty is considered a model, because it was mediated by the World Bank and it has survived despite several wars between the two countries. In September, India and Pakistan separately asked the World Bank to mediate the current dispute. The World Bank agreed at that time, but has now “suspended” its mediation efforts until at least February, with the following statement:

“We are announcing this pause to protect the treaty and to help India and Pakistan consider alternative approaches to resolve conflicting interests under it and its application to two hydroelectric power plants. This is an opportunity for the two countries to begin to resolve the issue in an amicable manner and in line with the spirit of the treaty rather than pursuing concurrent processes that could make the treaty unworkable. I hope the two countries will come to an agreement by the end of January.”

It’s really not surprising that the World Bank is trying hard to wash its hands of this matter. One has to laugh at the suggestion that India and Pakistan will “resolve the issue in an amicable manner.” This is just one more issue leading India and Pakistan to war. The Nation (Pakistan) and First Post

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India celebrates its 1971 victory over Pakistan

India on Friday is celebrating its victory over Pakistan in the India-Pakistan War of 1971, and Pakistan’s surrender on December 16, 1971, creating the country of Bangladesh.

The United Nations partitioned the Indian sub-continent following World War II into separate countries for Hindus and Muslims, India and Pakistan, respectively. What we now call Bangladesh was the eastern region of Pakistan. However, East Pakistan’s mostly dark-skinned Bengal population (language: Bengali) was in constant friction with West Pakistan’s more multiethnic population (language: Urdu). East and West Pakistan never really got along, and the fact that East Pakistan was more populous than West Pakistan meant that in Pakistan’s democracy, the Bengalis would dominate Pakistan’s parliament and government.

In 1971, Pakistan’s army attempted to bring East Pakistan’s Bengalis under control, triggering a war. Pakistan was supported by Urdu-speaking Biharis from India, while India supported the Bengalis, and won the war.

Today, with India gloating over the 1971 victory, that war is just one more issue driving India and Pakistan to a new war today. International Business Times and First Post and Dawn (Pakistan, 10-Dec-2012) and Kashmir Watch (Pakistan)

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, India, Pakistan, Kashmir, Burhan Wani, Rajnath Singh, Nafees Zakaria, Indus Water Treaty, World Bank, West Pakistan, East Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bengalis, Biharis
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15-Dec-16 World View — Greece financial crisis threatened after Tsipras announces new spending program

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Greece financial crisis threatened after Tsipras announces new spending program
  • IMF says that Greece’s budget must be ‘more growth-friendly’

Greece financial crisis threatened after Tsipras announces new spending program

Alexis Tsipras in Athens on November 28 (Reuters)
Alexis Tsipras in Athens on November 28 (Reuters)

A new disagreement between Greece and Greece’s three creditor institutions — the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Commission (EC), the European Central Bank (ECB), formerly known as the “troika” — is threatening to catapult Greece into a major new financial crisis by Christmas.

This has been going on for years, and as we’ve written many times in the past, there is no solution to Greece’s financial crisis. It’s not that no one has been clever enough to figure out a solution. It’s that no solution exists. Greece’s government accumulated an enormous amount of debt in the 2000s decade by repeatedly lying about its income and expenses, and ever since the day of reckoning, it’s been clear that Greece will never be able to repay its debts.

If Greece declares bankruptcy, leaves the euro currency, and returns to its original drachma currency, it will be a financial disaster for the Greek people. And so, the three institutions have been kicking the can down the road by repeatedly providing money, and by requiring Greece to make various cuts in government programs, in order to give the appearance of forcing some discipline on the government, even though they know it will make little difference. Officials in Greece make arguments that boil down to the following: We all know that Greece is going to go deeper and deeper into debt anyway, so we might as well just keep spending more money on social programs.

On December 5, the three institutions reached an agreement to a bailout loan with enough more money to allow Greece to meet its next debt repayment and avoid having to declare bankruptcy. At the same time, they insisted that Greece’s government adopt more reforms, thus playing their part in the game. But Greece’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras didn’t play the game. He announced that instead of reforms, he would grant a pre-Christmas bonus to poor pensioners. In addition, he will keep in place a discount in valued-added tax, to eastern Aegean islands whose tourist industries have suffered because of the crisis of refugees crossing from Turkey to Greece. He had previously promised to scrap that discount as one of his commitments in return for the latest bailout. Apparently he believes that he can get away with this because of Greece’s central role in the refugee crisis.

This sudden announcement has caused the December 5 agreement to fall apart. The Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers issued a statement saying that Tsipras’s announcement appeared “to not be in line with our agreements.” The bailout loan has been put on hold, and the institutions will now put into place a full investigation of Greece’s fiscal plans, before it will be reinstated. Kathimerini and Bloomberg

IMF says that Greece’s budget must be ‘more growth-friendly’

Left: Greece's tax collections have fallen sharply; right: More than 50% of Greece's household are exempt from paying any income tax at all (IMF)
Left: Greece’s tax collections have fallen sharply; right: More than 50% of Greece’s household are exempt from paying any income tax at all (IMF)

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is being blamed by many people for demanding more austerity from Greece and threatening Greek people with starvation.

The IMF is responding that it’s not demanding any additional austerity at all, but instead is asking that the public sector be restructured to make it “more growth-friendly.” The IMF makes the following points:

  • Over 50% of Greek households are exempted from paying any income tax at all (versus 8% average for the rest of the eurozone).
  • As a result, less than half the households must pay extremely high tax rates, which makes it very difficult to raise taxes any further.
  • Greece’s social payments are so high that little is left for investment in Greece itself. As a result, decaying infrastructure is hampering growth and the delivery of basic public services such as transportation and health care is being compromised.
  • A better solution, according to the IMF, would be to spread the tax burden to more people, so that tax rates can be lowered. Lower tax rates would be friendly to growth.
  • Greece does not have the kind of unemployment compensation and other well-targeted social benefits that are commonplace elsewhere in Europe and that are critical for broad social support in a modern market-oriented economy.
  • As a result, Greece has outdated laws restricting layoffs. Rather than provide unemployment benefits for laid off workers, the government restricts the ability of firms to lay the off, which inhibits growth. Allowing layoffs and providing unemployment benefits would be growth-friendly.
  • Greece has no basic welfare benefits, which means that poor people cannot get welfare.
  • But Greece has unreasonably high pensions, paid to the elderly. The result is an implicit transfer of money from the most vulnerable members of the working age population to older Greeks.

The IMF recommends that the authorities should further reduce current pensions while increasing spending on a modern and well-targeted welfare system to protect those that are most in need. More should be spent on other essential public services and key public investments too. IMF and IMF (PDF) and Newsweek

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Greece, Alexis Tsipras, International Monetary Fund, IMF, European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB), Turkey, Eurozone
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13-Dec-16 World View — Italy’s bank crisis seems likely to cost thousands of people their savings

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Egypt’s Christians demand revenge after Sunday’s church bombing
  • Italy’s bank crisis seems likely to cost thousands of people their savings

Egypt’s Christians demand revenge after Sunday’s church bombing

Egyptian Christians shout slogans in front of riot police outside a Cairo church on Monday (Reuters)
Egyptian Christians shout slogans in front of riot police outside a Cairo church on Monday (Reuters)

Egyptian Christians are blaming the government for Sunday’s suicide bombing that killed 24 people and injured 49 in a chapel adjacent to St. Mark’s Cathedral, Cairo’s largest church and home of Coptic Pope Tawadros II. Some are demanding the fall of the regime.

According to witnesses, the police didn’t perform the usual checks and searches of people entering the Church. According to one witness, “There were police cars stationed in front of the church gates. … They were too busy eating breakfast and drinking tea and soda. They weren’t doing their job.”

Egypt’s president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi blamed the Muslim Brotherhood. However, the Muslim Brotherhood has denied this, and no one has claimed responsibility, but the only people celebrating on social media were supporters of the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), who wrote, “God bless the person who did this blessed act.” Al Arabiya and Reuters and AFP

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Italy’s bank crisis seems likely to cost thousands of people their savings

We’ve been reporting Italy’s banking crisis for a while now, and there’s always been uncertainty about which of several paths it would take. After the events of the last week, a lot of that uncertainty has vanished, but the result isn’t what would be hoped.

Italy held a referendum last Sunday on a change to the constitution that would make Italy’s government more stable. Prime minister Matteo Renzi had promised to resign if the referendum was defeated. Italy’s Banco Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS), founded in 1472, and the world’s oldest operating bank, was hoping that the referendum would pass, since they believed that would make it more likely that investors would lend the bank 5 billion euros to make a debt repayment and avoid a bank crisis for a few more months.

Well, the referendum was voted down. Renzi resigned, as promised. Italy has a new prime minister, the outgoing foreign minister, Paolo Gentiloni, who took office on Monday. But whether investors would lend MPS 5 billion euros is still in doubt, and considered less likely. Hope is not dead, as there’s still a chance that Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, will lend MPS one billion euros, and that will encourage other investors to provide the other four.

Failing that, Italy’s government will have to bail out MPS. Under European Central Bank (ECB) rules that were imposed because of Greece’s banking crisis, a government bailout of MPS would require a “bail-in” of MPS’s bond holders.

For almost all banks, the bond holders are sophisticated investors who purchased bonds issued by the bank as an investment. But MPS is unique, in that thousands of ordinary people, including many elderly savers, who wanted to deposit their money in savings accounts instead were sold bank bonds by the bank’s staff. The result is that a “bail-in” of supposedly sophisticated investors will actually cause tens of thousands of people to lose their life savings.

MPS asked the ECB for a few more weeks’ time to get the loans, but the request was rejected by the ECB. As a result, either MPS must get its loans this week, or else the new prime minister Paolo Gentiloni will have to authorize a government bailout by next weekend. Guardian (London) and AP

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Egypt, Cairo, St. Mark’s Cathedral, Pope Tawadros II, Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi, Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Italy, Matteo Renzi, Paolo Gentiloni, European Central Bank, Banco Monte dei Paschi di Siena, MPS
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12-Dec-16 World View — Terror bombing of Coptic Christian church in Cairo Egypt kills 25

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Furious Turkey vows revenge, as PKK/TAK takes credit for Istanbul bombing
  • Terror bombing of Coptic Christian church in Cairo Egypt kills 25
  • Europeans call Cairo bombing ‘terror’, but not the Istanbul bombing

Furious Turkey vows revenge, as PKK/TAK takes credit for Istanbul bombing

Aftermath of terrorist double-bombing in Istanbul on Saturday (Hurriyet)
Aftermath of terrorist double-bombing in Istanbul on Saturday (Hurriyet)

The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a terrorist offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), has claimed responsibility for the double bombing in Istanbul on Saturday. At least 38 people were killed, and 155 were injured.

The TAK has already taken credit for a February 17 attack in Ankara, killing 28 people, a March 13 bombing in Ankara that killed 37 people, and a June 8 attack in Istanbul that killed 11 people. There were at least three other terror attacks in Turkey this year, perpetrated by the PKK and by the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), and there was also the July 15 coup attempt.

The Turkish people feel vulnerable and afraid, and a furious president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed revenge:

“They should know that we won’t leave them unpunished. They should know that they are going to pay a heavy price. My people should have no doubt that we will carry out the struggle against terror until the very end. We wore our burial robes when we took this road. …

No one should have any doubt about our fight against terrorism. We are the owners of this country and will not leave it to those scum if they aim to scare us with such attacks.”

Interior minister Süleyman Soylu said:

“Sooner or later, we will have our vengeance. This blood will not be left on the ground, no matter what the price, what the cost.”

Hurriyet (Ankara) and Guardian (London)

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Terror bombing of Coptic Christian church in Cairo Egypt kills 25

At least 25 people were killed and 49 others injured on Sunday morning in a terrorist explosion in the chapel of St Peter and St Paul (El-Botroseya) adjoining Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo Egypt. No one has yet claimed responsibility.

Cairo has not yet had a chance to recover from two terror attacks on Friday. First, an IED placed next to two security roadblocks in Giza killed six security personnel, and injured three others. Next, also on Friday, one civilian was killed and three security personnel were injured by a bomb in Egypt’s Kafr Al-Sheikh governorate.

Sunday’s explosion took place during Sunday prayers. In these services, the men site on one side of the church, and the women sit on the other side. Apparently the bomb was brought in by a woman, and so most of the casualties were women.

A furious president Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi called the Sunday attack a part of “a war against the great Egyptian people,” and he vowed to put on trial all who have “incited, facilitated or participated” in the terrorist attack.

Orthodox Copts, who comprise about 10 percent of Egypt’s 90 million people, are the Middle East’s biggest Christian community.

Violence in general has been growing in Egypt since the “Arab spring’ in 2011 that resulted in the ouster of long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak, either because of terror attacks by al-Qaeda or so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh), or because of clashes between different groups of Egyptians, including clashes between the army and peacefully protesting civilians. This has included sectarian violence between Muslim and Coptic Christians.

The worst attack on Copts occurred several weeks before the Arab Spring, with an explosion in the Two Saints Church in Alexandria on New Year’s Day 2011, killing 23. There was also a bloody massacre of Coptic Christians in November of that year, and there has have been several minor attacks on Coptic churches since the ouster of Mohammed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government in 2013. Al-Ahram (Cairo) and Daily News Egypt and Reuters

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Europeans call Cairo bombing ‘terror’, but not the Istanbul bombing

According to Egyptian media, European governments have been falling all over each other saying that they would stand by Egypt after this terrorist attack, and support Egypt’s fight against terrorism. Such remarks were issued in statements by France’s president François Hollande. Germany’s foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, UK ambassador to Cairo John Casson, among others.

However, Turkey’s media points out that statements by European officials refuse to use the word “terror.” Martin Schulz, president of the European Parliament, said, “My thoughts & solidarity with Turkish citizens, with families of victims of Istanbul attacks. I wish speedy and full recovery to the injured.” Other officials made similar statements.

However, there was one exception. Tomas Zdechovsky, a Czech member of the European Parliament, said that the terrorist group PKK must be banned from Europe. “There is no difference between Istanbul and Paris, Brussels attacks targeting civilians. Terrorism never succeeds, terrorists never win,” he said. Al Ahram (Cairo) and Anadolu (Ankara)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, TAK, Süleyman Soylu, Egypt, chapel of St Peter and St Paul, El-Botroseya, Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Abdel al-Fattah al-Sisi, Hosni Mubarak, Mohammed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood France, François Hollande. Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Britain, John Casson, Tomas Zdechovsky
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11-Dec-16 World View — Erdogan says some Greek islands should really belong to Turkey

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • A new terrorist bombing in Istanbul Turkey kills dozens
  • Erdogan says some Greek islands should really belong to Turkey
  • Greece delays extraditing Turkish officers implicated in coup attempt

A new terrorist bombing in Istanbul Turkey kills dozens

Turkish man with four wives has his 32nd child.  (Hurriyet)
Turkish man with four wives has his 32nd child. (Hurriyet)

At least 29 people were killed and another 166 were injured on Saturday because of two terrorist bombings near a soccer stadium in central Istanbul. The first was a car bomb. The second was a suicide bomber who detonated the bomb 45 seconds after the car bomb. It’s believed that the intent was to maximize casualties.

Turkey has been plagued in the last year by a series of terrorist bombing and gun attacks by the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and by the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS or ISIL or Daesh).

The last major attack on Istanbul occurred on June 28 with three coordinated suicide bombings at Ataturk National Airport, killing at least 36 people. That attack was blamed on ISIS. Since that time there have been at least two terrorist attacks in southeastern Turkey, thought to be perpetrated by the PKK.

In addition, the government is still in crisis following the July 15 coup attempt. As ordered by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, well over 100,000 people have been fired or jailed as a result, including military officers, government officials and schoolteachers.

Turkey has placed a gag order on reporting Saturday’s attack. No one has been publicly blamed, but it’s thought that ISIS was responsible. Hurriyet (Istanbul) and Reuters and AP

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Erdogan says some Greek islands should really belong to Turkey

For several months, Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been complaining about the Lausanne Treaty that was signed on July 24, 1923. On September 27, he said:

“They (threatened) us with [the Treaty of Sèvres] in 1920 and persuaded us to accept Lausanne in 1923. Some tried to deceive us by presenting Lausanne as a victory. At Lausanne, we gave away the (Greek) islands that you could shout across to. We are still struggling about what the continental shelf will be and what will be in the air and land. The reason for this is due to those who sat at the table during that treaty. Those who sat there did not do us justice and we are reaping those troubles right now. If the (recent) coup had succeeded, they would have given us a treaty that would have made us long for Sèvres.”

Erdogan’s remarks have been heavily criticized by Greece. Perhaps more surprisingly, the comments were also criticized by the opposition party in Turkey.

An official of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Gülsün Bilgehan, said that the Lausanne Treaty was the title deed of the Turkish Republic:

“Erdogan can learn the importance of Lausanne from the cabinet meetings which he chairs these days. Because Lausanne is the title deed of the Turkish Republic and a certificate of honor for those who signed it as Mr. Erdogan said in his message. In his speech today, he said ‘They cannot make us take one step back even if the whole world comes together.’ I invite him to read a real history book based on documents telling about Lausanne and Ismet Pasha [Inönü] to learn how it was made.”

Greece’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement two days ago saying that the sovereignty of Greece over its Aegean islands “is unquestionable and guaranteed by international law. Irresponsible reports to the contrary are challenging because the status of the islands and islets of the Aegean is clearly determined by a number of International Agreements in the last century.” Greek Reporter and Hurriyet (Ankara) and History of Lausanne Treaty and Yeni Safak (Ankara)

Greece delays extraditing Turkish officers implicated in coup attempt

Since July 15, Turkey has been demanding the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to northern Greece after the coup. The eight soldiers, included two commanders, four captains and two sergeants, had escaped to Greece on a Sikorsky helicopter and landed in Alexandroupolis. The soldiers denied involvement in the coup, but said that they would not receive a fair trial in Turkey.

Greece has refused to extradite them without an appropriate court hearing. On Monday of last week, a Greek court ruled that three of the eight Turkish soldiers should not be extradited. On Tuesday and Thursday, the same court said that the other five SHOULD be extradited. Officials in both Greece and Turkey say that they are puzzled by these seemingly conflicting rulings.

All of these decisions will be reviewed by an appeals court, and a final decision may not be made until March. This delay is expected to increase tensions between Greece and Turkey.

Wars between Greece and Turkey go back millennia, even celebrated in Greek mythology in the story of the Trojan Horse and the fall of Troy. In 1974, the countries fought a war over the island of Cyprus, with the result that the small island is split between a Greek portion and a Turkish portion. Cyprus unification talks are scheduled to begin soon, but with tensions growing between Greece and Turkey, they are unlikely to succeed. Daily Sabah (Ankara) and Kathimerini (Athens) and Anadolu (Turkey)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Islamic State / of Iraq and Syria/Sham/the Levant, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, Greece, Lausanne Treaty, Treaty of Sèvres, Republican People’s Party, CHP, Gülsün Bilgehan, Cyprus
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10-Dec-16 World View — EU agrees to grant visa-free travel to people of Ukraine and Georgia

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Ukraine still on track to host Eurovision song contest in 2017
  • Ukraine war: fighting just to carry on fighting
  • EU agrees to grant visa-free travel to people of Ukraine and Georgia

Ukraine still on track to host Eurovision song contest in 2017

Jamala, after winning the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (DPA)
Jamala, after winning the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest (DPA)

The European Broadcasting Union (EBU) announced on Thursday announced, “Contrary to media reports, we can confirm there are no plans to move the 2017 Eurovision Song Contest to Moscow.”

Ukraine won the 2016 Eurovision contest in May, and according to rules, will be the host of the 2017 contest. However, Russia is objecting that Ukraine is too financially strapped to be able to host the multinational spectacle. Russia is also objecting that Ukraine is threatening to forbid attendance by anyone who supported Russia’s invasion and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula.

The core of the dispute is that the Ukraine singer Jamala (actual name Susana Jamaladinova) won the contest in May with an extremely emotional song called “1944” that appeared to allude to Russia’s 1944 deportation of 240,000 ethnic Tatars from Crimea to Siberia and Central Asia. Jamala herself is an ethnic Tatar, whose great-grandmother was deported, along with five children.

Thursday’s announcement by the EBU is intended to reassure the public that the issues have been resolved, and that the 2017 contest will be held in Ukraine. Deutsche Welle and Telegraph (London, 11-May-2016) and Youtube – Jamala’s performance at Eurovision

Ukraine war: fighting just to carry on fighting

According to France 24’s Ukraine correspondent Gulliver Cragg, there is no sign that the war in Ukraine is ending, but it’s not going anywhere either. The two sides are just fighting because of the political benefits that they gain as long as the war continues.

In 2014, Russia invaded Ukraine, with troops and equipment to support separatists who wanted to break off the entire eastern portion of Ukraine and annex it to Russia. That hasn’t happened, but Russia also invaded Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and annexed it made it part of the Russian federation.

However, the war in eastern Ukraine between the Ukrainian army, supported by the government in Kiev, and the Russian separatists, supported by Russian troops and equipment. The following interview excerpts occurred on RFI (my transcription):

“I don’t see very many signs of things changing in any major way in the near future in the east. It’s important to stress this war is very much ongoing. People are being killed everyday pretty much.

It pales in comparison to what’s going on in Syria – the death toll is far far lower, thankfully, and civilians are bearing less of the brunt of it than they were in 2014-15. The casualties tend to be military casualties on both sides.

And there’s no clear sign of what people are trying to do. There’s no evident attempt to take more territory by either side. It seems like, in a lot of ways, and I think there’s quite a lot of evidence for this, they are mostly just carrying on fighting in order to carry on fighting.

The separatists need an excuse as to why life in the areas they control is so bad – why they aren’t managing to build these pseudo states properly, and the easy thing to do is to blame the Ukrainians “who keep bombing us.”

The Ukrainians find the war — this is perhaps a cynical analysis — but I think that there is an extent to which it’s true — the Ukrainians — although and I would always stress that they did not start this war — but now there’s a situation where the more it goes on, they don’t have to face the impossible task of applying the Minsk peace agreement which was signed in February 2015, which is actually basically impossible for Ukraine to comply with. They could never get the vote in parliament needed to pass the measures that they promised Russia they would pass. So as long as the fighting goes on, they don’t have to do that.”

RFI video

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EU agrees to grant visa-free travel to people of Ukraine and Georgia

France 24 Ukraine correspondent Gulliver Cragg went on to say that what the Ukrainian government wants most of all from the EU is visa-free travel for Ukrainians throughout the Schengen zone. (This is the same issue as with Turkey, which wants visa-free travel for Turkish citizens throughout the Schengen zone.)

In fact, the European Parliament on Thursday reached an agreement to grant visa-free travel to the people of Ukraine and Georgia. Under the terms of the agreement, visa-free travel can be quickly terminated after an investigation following a request by an EU nation. The deal still needs to be officially approved by the entire European Parliament, which is expected next week.

However, Cragg adds that visa-free travel won’t be of much use to Ukrainians:

“That’s the one small piece of good news — that they’re gonna get this visa-free travel, but it’s not really gonna impact that many Ukrainians because they can’t really afford to travel to Europe most of them. So there are those who will find it a bit easier to go to Europe and work illegally on short term temporary contracts, in Poland and Italy and things like that – that will make their lives a bit easier — but they’re still gonna be working illegally, because this visa-free access doesn’t allow them to work.”

If approved, then Ukraine and Georgia will join the United States, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Israel, and Japan as countries having visa-free travel. Foreign Policy and European Parliament

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Ukraine, Eurovision, Russia, Crimea, Jamala, Susana Jamaladinova, 1944, Tatars, France24, Gulliver Cragg, Georgia
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9-Dec-16 World View — China says its South China Sea military buildup is a boon to the world

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Philippines to reject US use of its bases for South China Sea patrols
  • China says its South China Sea military buildup is a boon to the world
  • Vietnam and Australia reject China’s claims

Philippines to reject US use of its bases for South China Sea patrols

Chinese army soldiers plant vegetables on Fiery Cross Reef, which China has illegally annexed (Global Times)
Chinese army soldiers plant vegetables on Fiery Cross Reef, which China has illegally annexed (Global Times)

Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said that the country would not allow the US military to use its base in the Philippines for its freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea. In the past, some US aircraft and ships stopped in the Philippines on the way to the South China Sea patrols, but Lorenzana says that the US can now instead use its bases in Guam or Okinawa.

The awkward statement comes from the policy of new Philippines president Rodrigo R. Duterte. He announced a cutoff of relations with the United States first by calling President Obama the “son of a whore,” and then he traveled to Beijing and sucked up to China’s president Xi Jinping.

China’s claims to the South China Sea were eviscerated by a ruling of United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague in July. In particular, the Tribunal said:

“[The Tribunal] FINDS that Scarborough Shoal has been a traditional fishing ground for fishermen of many nationalities and DECLARES that China has, through the operation of its official vessels at Scarborough Shoal from May 2012 onwards, unlawfully prevented fishermen from the Philippines from engaging in traditional fishing at Scarborough Shoal.”

Apparently Duterte ceded the Scarborough Shoal to China in their meeting, but he was rewarded when China graciously decided to allow Philippines fishermen to fish there again, as they had been doing for centuries prior to 2012.

The new announcement by Lorenzana is consistent with Duterte’s policy of submission to China, but it seems unlikely to be popular with the Philippines people who, as I’ve previously reported, have a 92% favorable view of the US, but only a 44% favorable view of China.

The mutual xenophobia between the Chinese and Philippine people is substantial, and it would take just one accident or unpleasant incident to stoke nationalist feelings in one country against the other, and force Duterte to change his submissive policy. As I’ve written many times, from the point of view of Generational Dynamics it’s the masses of people, the generations, not the politicians, who decide a country’s policies. Philippines Star and International Business Times

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China says its South China Sea military buildup is a boon to the world

A Chinese military newspaper says that China’s vast military buildup in the South China Sea is a boon to everyone in the region, and to the whole world. “China’s construction in the South China Sea has turned its islands into the best-equipped, most advanced bases in the region with airports, hospitals, agriculture and 4G mobile signal.” Furthermore, there are more than 20 scientific research projects, dealing with issues such as seawater desalination, refuse disposal, and marine ecology protection.

However, the paper adds, “So this region is advantageous geographically, and when conflict begins, who controls this region will dominate.” It also quotes a Chinese joke: “When the US sends their warships to scare us, we just fill in one or two more islands to make ourselves calm down.” Global Times (Beijing)

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Vietnam and Australia reject China’s claims

The Vietnamese are not buying the message that China’s annexation of the South China Sea is a boon to the world.

Satellite imagery shows that Vietnam has begun dredging operations in Ladd Reef in a corner of the Spratly Islands that China is now annexing, along with the rest of the South China Sea. Although the purpose of the dredging cannot yet be determined, it appears to similar to China’s activities in creating artificial islands and military bases. However, the Vietnamese efforts are minuscule compared China’s vast militarization efforts.

Vietnam has also fortified five of its bases in the Spratly Islands with rocket launchers — a move described in August by China state-run media as “a terrible mistake.”

Vietnam has its own historic claim to the South China Sea. In 1836, the King of Hue began dispatching soldiers once a year to the islands, hunting for pearls, giant clams and salvaged treasure from passing boats, often European, which sank on treacherous reefs. This regal connection is significant. According to a Vietnamese official whose family settled the islands in the 1600s, “Vietnam is the rightful owner of the Paracels and Spratlys.”

Australia is also not buying China’s claim that its vast military expansion in the South China Sea is a boon to the world. According to one Australian analyst:

“China has built six large islands — three substantial air bases and three sizeable electronic surveillance installations. With this, China effectively has moved 1100km south towards Australia and deep into the geographic heart of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN].

The new facilities’ size allows China to deploy off northern Borneo an air combat force larger and more capable than any current ASEAN air force. China can easily enforce an air defense identification zone across the South China Sea.

More worryingly, China for the first time poses a realistic air threat to Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and all of Borneo. With these new air bases, China today militarily dominates the central ASEAN region.”

The analyst recommends that Australia, the US and ASEAN “build regional resilience to Chinese threats.” Empty words, since no such resilience is possible, short of full-scale war. Australian Broadcasting and The Australian

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, Philippines, South China Sea, Delfin Lorenzana, Rodrigo R. Duterte, Xi Jinping, United Nations Permanent Court of Arbitration, Scarborough Shoal, Spratly Islands, Paracel Islands, Vietnam, Australia, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, ASEAN
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8-Dec-16 World View — Venezuela’s currency becomes worthless, as Zimbabwe introduces new currency

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Venezuela to print 20,000 Bolivar note as currency
  • Zimbabwe introduces a new currency, ‘bond notes’

Venezuela to print 20,000 Bolivar note as currency

This entire pile of Venezuelan currency is probably worth less than one American dollar.
This entire pile of Venezuelan currency is probably worth less than one American dollar.

The hyperinflation of Venezuela’s currency is accelerating so rapidly that the money printing presses can barely keep up.

After a 180% inflation rate in the year 2015, Venezuela in December was forced to begin printing 500 and 1000 Bolivar bills, while phasing out the 2 and 5 Bolivar bills.

The larger currency not only did not solve Venezuela’s hyperinflation problem, it actually exacerbated it, by providing the means for prices to accelerate even more rapidly. In just one month, November of this year, the inflation rate was 67%.

This evokes memories of the stories of Germany’s Weimar republic, where the inflation rate reached 1000% per month by November 1923, with iconic tales of ordinary people buying a loaf of bread with a wheelbarrow of money. Venezuelans have already begun carrying bags of cash for every day transactions.

That 1000 Bolivar note, issued in February, that was supposed to solve Venezuela’s currency problems is now worth about 20 American cents. So Venezuela is now issuing 5,000, 10,000 and 20,000 Bolivar notes, which will be available from banks on December 15. So the 20,000 Bolivar note is worth about $4 today, and probably will be worth about 4 cents within a few more months.

Venezuela used to be a wealthy country, thanks to oil exports, which are the country’s only major source of revenue. The charismatic leader Hugo Chávez wasted the oil revenue on pet projects, on buying votes, and on supporting Cuba’s failing economy. Today, Hugo Chávez is dead and oil prices have crashed. The current president, Nicolás Maduro, is increasingly using military power and violence to keep the population under control as the currency collapses. The new hyperinflated 20,000 Bolivar notes will give a boost to the economy that will last about a nanosecond, and then they’ll trigger even more hyperinflation and more shortages.

Debt-ridden Venezuela may be forced to officially default in mid-December. Venezuelanalysis (22-Feb-2016) and International Business Times and CNN Money

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Zimbabwe introduces a new currency, ‘bond notes’

In a sense, Zimbabwe is a few years ahead of Venezuela. Zimbabwe has already gone through its hyperinflation phase.

As recently as the 1999, Zimbabwe was a breadbasket of Africa, exporting up to 500,000 metric tons of surplus food. By 2003, Zimbabwe was starving. What happened during those three years was a Marxist socialist “land reform” program by Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe that confiscated 4,500 white-owned commercial farms and redistributed the property to his own Shona ethnic group.

After 2003, more and more Zimbabweans have been dying of starvation, because Mugabe has destroyed the farm infrastructure. By 2008, the official rate of inflation was 231 million percent. By 2009, 35 quadrillion Zimbabwe dollars were worth just one US dollar. Zimbabwe began to use the dollar, the rand and the euro as its official currency.

Now Zimbabwe has introduced a new currency called “bond notes,” each one of which is said to be equal in value to one US dollar. The given reason for introducing the bond notes is that there are not enough US dollars in circulation, causing hardship for the people.

The reason that there aren’t enough US dollars in circulation is because Mugabe has destroyed the economy and there aren’t enough exports. Exports would be used to bring US dollars and other foreign currencies into the country.

Incredibly, Mugabe is continuing is destruction of the economy. The word “indigenization” is used by Mugabe to describe confiscating a farm owned by a white farmer and giving it to one of Mugabe’s Shona tribe cronies, probably someone who doesn’t even know how to farm. That’s how Zimbabwe turned from the breadbasket of Africa into a major food importer.

So now Mugabe is extending his “indigenization” program from farms to all businesses, requiring all businesses to be majority owned by Zimbabweans, again mostly cronies from Mugabe’s Shona tribe. Zimbabwe continues to shut down businesses, including foreign banks, that do not comply with the indigenization requirements.

So anyone can see that this will end badly. The destruction of more businesses means that there will be fewer products available. In the meantime, the bond notes will have the same effect that the 20,000 Bolivar note is having in Venezuela — more bond notes for fewer products. It looks like Zimbabwe is on its second round of hyperinflation. Reuters and New Zimbabwe and Independent (South Africa)

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, Hugo Chávez, Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, bond notes, indigenization
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7-Dec-16 World View — Asian jihadists become radicalized by Burma’s (Myanmar’s) Rohingya slaughter

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Evidence of Burma ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas continues to mount
  • Burma’s Rohingya attacks generate calls for military action in Malaysia
  • Jihadists become radicalized by the Rohingya slaughter

Evidence of Burma ethnic cleansing of Rohingyas continues to mount

Rohingya boat people fleeing from violence in Myanmar (Burma)
Rohingya boat people fleeing from violence in Myanmar (Burma)

According to the International Organization for Migration, around 21,000 ethnic Rohingyas from Myanmar (Burma) have fled across the border from Rakhine state to Bangladesh to escape violence by Burma’s army.

As we’ve been reporting, Human Rights Watch has posted satellite images that show that villages of Rohingya Muslims are being systematically burned down. Some 30,000 Rohingyas have been displaced. Myanmar officials continue to make the laughable claims that the Rohingyas are burning down their own homes to embarrass the government. Burma’s government is refusing to allow journalists into the region where the violence is taking place, but the BBC World News has broadcast footage of an undercover road trip through the region, including interviews who says that their husbands were burnt and killed by soldiers, and that they were repeatedly raped by soldiers.

The root of the violence is xenophobic attacks by Buddhists led by Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu and his “969 movement,” against the Rohingya Muslims, including rapes, torture and other atrocities committed by Buddhists, targeting the Rohingyas. The Rohingyas have a darker skin than Burmese, and they speak a Bengali dialect. They are, for all practical purposes, a stateless ethnic group, living on the Bangladesh-Burma border for generations, but rejected by both countries. In fact, Burma refuses to identify the Rohingya as a unique ethnic group, preferring to call them Bengali, and referring to them as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. In the last few years, large mobs of Buddhists have massacred entire neighborhoods of Muslims in various regions of the country, mutilating, raping and killing hundreds, and displacing thousands from their homes.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has been praised in the past for her support of human rights, but she is losing her luster as an international superstar as she is being increasingly condemned for refusing to speak out to condemn the current Buddhist violence against the Rohingyas. Under international pressure, Suu Kyi has formed a special committee to investigate the violence, but the committee is headed by an army general for the same army that’s committing the violence, so the investigation is not considered credible. Deutsche Welle and AFP and Bangkok Post

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Burma’s Rohingya attacks generate calls for military action in Malaysia

It’s a rule of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that member states are forbidden from interfering in each other’s internal affair.

So Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak violated that rule on Sunday, when he spoke to thousands at a pro-Rohingya rally in Kuala Lumpur. He questioned Aung San Suu Kyi’s Nobel Prize, given her inaction, and said to thousands of Malaysians at the rally:

“The world cannot sit by and watch genocide taking place. The world cannot just say ‘look, it is not our problem’. It is our problem.”

Buddhist monks in Myanmar, from the Nationalist Monk Association, led a protest of about 150 people in Yangon, holding banners and chanting. An official in Myanmar said that Najib is wrong:

“What he said in Malaysia is not true. We’re trying to solve (this) with the international supporters. But it’s our choice, no other country can make (a) decision about our country.”

He accused Najib of stoking religious extremism in order to score political points in Malaysia.

In Malaysia, hundreds of people from the hardline Islamist group Hizbut Tahrir, marched to the Defense Ministry, and demanded that Malaysia’s army conduct a jihad against Burma. According to the group’s statement:

There is no other solution to save Rohingyan Muslims except mobilizing the army to Myanmar, because the reality is the Arakan [Rakhine State] Muslims are being pummeled by Myanmar’s infidel army.

“The Armed Forces is obliged to help the Rohingyan Muslim by accepting the Allah’s call for jihad at the kafir harbi [infidels] country.”

BBC and Channel News Asia and Malaysia Mail Online

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Jihadists become radicalized by the Rohingya slaughter

The Somali-born student who launched a car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University this week reportedly protested on his Facebook page about the killing of minority Muslims in Myanmar. And last weekend, Indonesian authorities arrested two militants who were allegedly planning to attack the Myanmar Embassy in Jakarta.

Online extremists in Indonesia have expressed their desire to mount “jihad” on behalf of the Rohingya, with some supporters hoping that the ‘mujahidin’ will be able to smuggle into Myanmar. The Rohingya crisis has become a rallying cry for jihad. Some social media users in Indonesia have gone to the extent of declaring their readiness to be suicide bombers for the sake of the Rohingya. The Rohingya issue is fast developing into a security threat that would have an adverse impact on peace in the region. VOA and RSIS (Singapore) and The Statesman (India)

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KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Burma, Myanmar, Rohingyas, Bangladesh, Ashin Wirathu, 969 Movement, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nationalist Monk Association, Malaysia, Najib Razak, Hizbut Tahrir
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