World View: Turkey, Syria Exchange Fire Across Border
This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Turkish army returns fire after Syrian shells kill five in Turkey
- Iran's currency crash brings riots and government crisis
Turkish army returns fire after Syrian shells kill five in Turkey
The Syria conflict took a substantial escalation on Wednesday, after
Syrian army mortar shells traveled across the border to the border
town of Akcakale, Turkey, killing a woman and her three daughters,
along with another woman. Turkey's army struck back at targets inside
Syria, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a statement:
Our armed forces in the border region responded
immediately to this abominable attack in line with their rules of
engagement; targets were struck through artillery fire against
places in Syria identified by radar.
Turkey will never leave unanswered such kinds of provocation by
the Syrian regime against our national security.
It's not known what Turkey's targets were inside Syria.
A Syrian mortar barrage struck inside Turkey last Friday, damaging
homes and workplaces, but causing no casualties. Turkey's response at
that time was to deploy dozens of armored vehicles to the Syrian
border, and issue a statement threatening military action: "I would
like the public to know that if such breaches towards our borders
continue we are reserving our rights and we are exercising our
It was believed that Friday's incident was an accident by Syria,
but there are unproven suspicions that the new incident was
intentional, and the town may have been targeted. This would
be consistent with the vitriolic criticisms of Turkey by
Syria's president Bashar al-Assad for aiding and training
the Syrian opposition.
Erdogan is under intense domestic nationalistic pressure to do
something about the Syrian situation, particularly since Turkey is
hosting over 90,000 Syrian refugees, with hundreds more crossing the
border every day. However, it's not believed that he wants to get
involved in Syria militarily, and so today's respond may have been
just for domestic consumpsion. Zaman (Istanbul) and Bloomberg
Iran's currency crash brings riots and government crisis
Iran's currency, the rial, has lost 40% in value against the dollar
in the last few days, and a catastrophic 80% of its value since
2011. This has dramatically affected the lives of ordinary Iranians,
as most imported goods, including things as varied as meat, oil,
sugar, tires and car parts have doubled in price in the last few months.
This triggered riots in Tehran, but these were different than the
riots that occurred in 2009. In those riots, students were
demonstrating against the political system that reelected Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad as president. Today's riots are political, not
generational. The protesters today are not students, but they're
merchants and money changers from Tehran's sprawling Grand Bazaar.
The standard response of the Iranian regime to any problem is to blame
it on the Great Satan (the U.S.), and Ahmadinejad has been struggling
to find ways to point the blame at America. However, this trick
has stopped working, and the Iranian people are blaming Ahmadinejad
for the failure of the financial crisis. Although Ahmadinejad is
blaming the U.S.-led sanctions, many people are blaming Ahmadinejad
for adopting policies that don't respond properly to the sanctions,
such as by spending money supporting terrorist activities by
The merchants and money-changers are closely allied with the Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, who last year had a vitriolic
split with Ahmadinejad. So these riots serve Khamanei's purpose in
deflecting criticism away from himself.
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Iran is in
a generational Awakening era, just one generation past Iran's
last generational crisis war, the 1979 Great Islamic Revolution
and the Iran/Iraq war that climaxed in 1988. We're now seeing
a transition in Iran that also occurred in America at the same point
in its generational Awakening era of the 1960s-70s.
In 1967, America had a huge student-level protest in the form of the
"Summer of Love." (From 2007: "Boomers commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Summer of Love.") This was the height of the "generation gap" that
separated the young Boomer generation from their parents. But
a generational split of this type forces everyone in all generations
pick sides, and so the generational split morphs into a political
split, as it did in America in the early 1970s. The result was
the Awakening era climax, when President Richard Nixon was forced
to resign in 1974.
Now we see the same thing happen in Iran. The generational split of
2009 is now morphing into a political split. As Iran's Awakening era
progresses, we would expect the political split to lead to some kind
of Awakening crisis, quite possible the hoped-for "regime change."
And of course if regime change occurs, then whoever is the
U.S. President at the time will take full credit. Independent (London) and Tehran Times and US News
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