World View: Tens of Thousands of Syrian Refugees Pour into Neighboring Countries

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees pour into neighboring countries
  • Vitriolic U.N. meeting continues with 30-day extension of Kofi Annan plan
  • Spain's euro crisis continues to worsen, even as bailout is approved
  • Anti-austerity riots turn violent across Spain
  • China to deploy a military garrison in South China Sea

Tens of thousands of Syrian refugees pour into neighboring countries

Sunnis in northern Lebanon celebrating the bombing of Damascus.  That poor guy on the bottom looks like he's about to throw up.  (Reuters)
Sunnis in northern Lebanon celebrating the bombing of Damascus. That poor guy on the bottom looks like he's about to throw up. (Reuters)

Wednesday's bombing in Damascus, Syria, has triggered a massive refugee crisis in neighboring countries, as tens of thousands of civilians flee to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. As many as 30,000 have poured into Lebanon in the last two days alone, increasing sectarian animosity. Lebanon is wary of setting up refugee camps, since the "temporary" Palestinian refugee camps that they set up decades ago have turned into permanent slums. Turkey is already housing some 40,000 Syrian refugees in tent camps, but now thousands more are continuing to cross the border seeking safety. Armenia is also seeing an influx of ethnic Armenians who have lived in Syria for generations, but are now fleeing. BBC and Irish Times


Back in 2003, when I was first developing Generational Dynamics as a theory, I met with Professor Peter Turchin of University of Connecticut, who has done a great deal of work on Population Dynamics which is highly relevant to generational theory. Most academics that I've approached have simply blown me off, but Professor Turchin was kind enough not only to meet with me but even to listen to me and critique Generational Dynamics.

Professor Turchin rejected generational theory, and gave me the following counterexample: There was an extremely bloody crisis war around Rome in the decades of the 80s BC. Professor Turchin produced a study of "buried Roman coin hoards" during various time periods. People tend to bury their gold coins for safety during times of war, often they're forgotten until they're discovered by archaeologists years later. By looking at the dates stamped on the coins, it's possible to estimate when they were buried. The study showed that there were huge findings of coin hoards from the 80s BC war, and then again the 40s BC. This showed that the 80-year cycle was violated.

At that time, I didn't have an answer for him, since I was just getting started, but the solution became apparent later. During the 40s BC decade, there was great fear of a civil war, especially when Julius Caesar "crossed the Rubicon" in 49 BC, and then again when Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC. There was great FEAR of a civil war, so people buried their gold coins, but there was no ACTUAL civil war that lasted more than a brief period.

I believe that something similar is happening in Syria today. There was an extremely bloody civil war that climaxed in 1982 with huge bloody massacres across Syria, and people living today remember that. They FEAR that there's going to be a repeat, and so they're fleeing across the borders in great numbers. In actual fact, there's fighting in Damascus, but there's little fighting across the country, as far as I can tell, so the fear is unfounded. And, in fact, a crisis civil war is impossible during a generational Awakening era.

Vitriolic U.N. meeting continues with 30-day extension of Kofi Annan plan

The bitter shouting that occurred in the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, when Russia and China vetoed a Western resolution that would call for sanctions if Syria did not pull its heavy weapons out of civilian neighborhoods echoed on Friday. The U.S. and Europe had threatened to refuse to renew the 300 man U.N. observer mission in Syria that was part of Kofi Annan's peace plan, on the grounds that they couldn't do anything anyway since it was too dangerous for them to venture from their barracks. Russia called that threat "blackmail" last week, so there was a sort of compromise on Friday. The observer mission would be extended, but only for another 30 days, to give it time to wind down for an "orderly withdrawal." Russia and China want to continue the observer mission, known as UNSMIS, indefinitely. Al-Jazeera

Spain's euro crisis continues to worsen, even as bailout is approved

Spain 10-Year bond yields at 7.27% on 20-Jul-2012
Spain 10-Year bond yields at 7.27% on 20-Jul-2012

The EuroGroup of euro area finance chiefs agreed to a bailout of 100 billion euros ($122 billion) for Spain's banks on Friday, but that had no apparent effect whatsoever on the Spain's problems, which are rapidly shooting up into full-fledged crisis levels. The yields (interest rates) on Spain's ten-year bonds jumped to a historic high of 7.27%, indicating that investors are betting that Spain's government is going to default. The adjoining graph shows an inexorable climb in bond yields that is very similar to what happened to Greece, at the time that European officials were saying that everything is OK and Greece had no problems. As we've said many times, there is NO SOLUTION to the euro crisis, and to Spain's crisis in particular. Investors were not impressed by Friday's huge bailout agreement with Spain because, at the same time, Spain's Valencia region said that it would need an 18 billion euro ($22.1 billion) bailout. Reuters

Anti-austerity riots turn violent across Spain

It looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer in Spain. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse crowds in cities across Spain, with more than 100,000 attending a rally in Madrid's main Puerta del Sol square. With Spain's unemployment rate at 25% Treasury Minister Cristobal Montoro said that "there is no money" to pay civil servant wages. He added, "It is time to call a spade a spade. Financing public services with more deficit and more debt will doom us." Telegraph (London)

China to deploy a military garrison in South China Sea

China's central military authority will deploy a military garrison in the Spratly Islands, whose sovereignty is disputed. The garrison command will be responsible for managing the city's national defense mobilization, military reserves and carrying out military operations. China has been occupying the Spratly Islands pursuant to its claim to have full sovereignty over the entire South China Sea, including areas historically belonging to other countries. Xinhua

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