This morning's key headlines from
- 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)
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.
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.
Spain's euro crisis continues to worsen, even as bailout is approved
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.
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."
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.
Permanent web link to this article
Subscribe to Generational Dynamics e-mail