World View: Britain and America Commemorate War of 1812 with a 'Declaration of Peace'

This morning's key headlines from
  • Britain and America commemorate War of 1812 with a 'Declaration of Peace'
  • The War of 1812 and the 'Generation Gap'
  • Afghanistan military equipment may be given to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan
  • Ethnic tensions grow between Kyrgyz versus Uzbeks and Russians in Kyrgyzstan
  • Greece's Antonis Samaras appears close to a three-party coalition
  • Panic continues to grow in Europe

Britain and America commemorate War of 1812 with a 'Declaration of Peace'

On the 200th anniversary of the U.S. declaration of war on Britain and its colonies, representatives of the United States, Britain and Canada gathered at Fort McHenry to sign a "declaration of peace." The War of 1812 was the last conflict among the United States, Britain and Canada. The three nations were allies in both world wars, the Korean War and the Gulf War, and now fight side by side in Afghanistan. In a videotaped message, President Obama said the war gave the United States a sense of unity and independence, and made icons of the American flag and "The Star-Spangled Banner." Baltimore Sun

The War of 1812 and the 'Generation Gap'

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, the War of 1812 was an Awakening Era war for America (like the Vietnam War), brought about by a "generation gap" between the generations that survived the Revolutionary War and the younger generations that grew up afterwards.

The Revolutionary War was, after all, a civil war, since it was British versus British. It was a generational crisis war for the colonists, but not for the people of England -- which is why so many people in England were rooting for the colonists.

After the war ended, the survivors were determined that the British should not be provoked in any way, and that good relations should be maintained.

The heart of the generational conflict in America came with the Embargo Acts of 1806-08. These laws were intended to maintain neutrality between England and France (which were at war with each other), but they were repealed because they were extremely unpopular. In the meantime, the British abducted some 6,000 American sailors and forced them to serve in the Royal Navy.

This led to increased hostility between America and England, but there was a generational split. The older generations (survivors of the Revolutionary War) wanted to maintain strict neutrality with England, but the young "War Hawks" wanted to declare war, as many young people do. This resulted in the War of 1812, and the burning down of the White House in 1814. Francis Scott Key wrote the Star-Spangled Banner, which has become the national anthem.

Britain and America almost went to war again in the 1860s, when the British threatened to enter the American Civil War on the side of the South, but that was averted by hard diplomacy on the part of Abraham Lincoln, and the two countries have been at peace with each other since then. White House History

Afghanistan military equipment may be given to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

Reports in Russia's media say that the Pentagon is in talks with Central Asian states to leave behind military equipment, giving it to Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The equipment would include armored vehicles, tank transporters, prime movers, tank trucks, special-purpose graders, bulldozers and water trucks. The objective would be to avoid the exorbitant costs of bringing the equipment home, after US and NATO forces pull out of Afghanistan in 2014. However, these three countries normally purchase arms from Russia, and so the Russians are very unhappy about this development. Eurasia Net

Ethnic tensions grow between Kyrgyz versus Uzbeks and Russians in Kyrgyzstan

The people of Kyrgyzstan lived in relative peace until June, 2010, when an ethnic war broke out between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks, killing thousands, mostly Uzbeks. ( "14-Jun-10 News -- Kyrgyzstan civil war expands into genocide") Since then, the situation in southern Kyrgyzstan has changed enormously, with discrimination against Uzbeks increasing dramatically. Uzbeks can no longer run business or get jobs, and Uzbek imams have been dismissed and replaced by Kyrgyz imams. Mass arrests of politically active Uzbeks have been going on, leading to a backlash of radicalization. Hundreds of Uzbeks are now training in terrorist camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And now, the clashes between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz are spreading north, where there are also ethnic clashes between Kyrgyz and Russians. Tensions between Russians and Kyrgyz are especially dangerous for many reasons. First, Russians (12.5 percent of the republic’s population) are the second most numerous (after Uzbeks) ethnic minority in Kyrgyzstan. Secondly, Russia would inevitably involve itself in the conflict should a clash erupt between Kyrgyz and local Russians inside Kyrgyzstan. Jamestown

Greece's Antonis Samaras appears close to a three-party coalition

Antonis Samaras, leader of the New Democracy party that got the most votes in Sunday's election in Greece, appears close to forming a government. New Democracy by itself does not have a majority of the delegates in the legislature, but Samaras is apparently forming a coalition with two other parties, the Socialist PASOK party and the Democratic Left. What ties these three parties together is that they all support staying in the eurozone and accepting the bailout, even though it will require continued austerity measures. Other parties, led by Alexis Tsipras's hard left Syriza party, are advocating abandoning the austerity programs, even if it means leaving the eurozone. Kathimerini

Panic continues to grow in Europe

There was a brief sigh of relief in Europe when Antonis Samaras's New Democracy party got the most votes in Greece's election on Sunday, but the euphoria dissipated quickly when people realized that nothing had changed, and that Europe is still circling the drain. Spain's ten-year bond yields (interest rates) surged well into crisis territories at 7.16%, up from 6.8% on Friday. Spain's bonds are now in full-scale panic, and so a new bailout will have to be heading Spain's way very quickly. AFP


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