World View: Politicians Declare a 'Sea Change' in Mideast Negotiations

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Giddy politicians declare a 'sea change' in Mideast negotiations
  • Pakistan government ignores terrorist extermination threats to Hazara Shias
  • Eurozone receives another disastrous unemployment report

Giddy politicians declare a 'sea change' in Mideast negotiations

Arab League meeting in Washington D.C.  on Monday (AP)
Arab League meeting in Washington D.C. on Monday (AP)

The Arab League, meeting in Washington DC, of all places, had a "very positive, very constructive discussion ... with positive results," according to Secretary of State John Kerry and VP Joe Biden. The Associated Press, which is totally in the tank for the Obama administration, gushed that it was a "sea change" in Mideast negotiations. What was this result that will change the face of the world and bring joy and happiness to all? Well, the Arab League amended its 11-year-old "Arab Peace Initiative," that calls for complete Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, making east Jerusalem the capital of Palestine. The "sea change" is that the Arab League will now permit "minor land swaps" as part of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement. I'm not kidding. That's the "sea change." Get ready to pop the champagne corks. Jerusalem Post and Associated Press

Pakistan government ignores terrorist extermination threats to Hazara Shias

As we reported in February, the al-Qaeda linked terror group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), an offshoot of the Taliban, has claimed credit for massive horrific slaughter in Quetta, Pakistan, of hundreds of Shias from the Hazara ethnic group by huge truck bombs. A week ago, a truck bomb killed 6 people and wounded dozens others when it was stopped at a checkpoint en route to another Hazara terrorist target in Quetta.

According to an earlier LeJ statement:

"Our mission [in Pakistan] is the abolition of this impure sect and people, the Shias and the Shia Hazaras, from every city, every village, every nook and corner of Pakistan. Like in the past, [our] successful Jihad against the Hazaras in Pakistan and, in particular, in Quetta is ongoing and will continue. We will make Pakistan their graveyard-- their houses will be destroyed by bombs and suicide bombers. ... Jihad against the Shia Hazaras has now become our duty. ... We will rest only after hoisting the flag of true Islam on the land of the pure -- Pakistan."

Despite these often repeated and brazen threats, neither Pakistan's government nor the provincial governments are taking any steps to prosecute LeJ leaders. Even when an LeJ leader is arrested, the prosecutors make no attempt to collect sufficient evidence for a trial, and the criminal has to be released, to conduct new terrorist acts against the Hazaras. These developments give credence to allegations that the Hazara Shias in particular and Shias at large, like other minorities across Pakistan, are persecuted with connivance of the state. South Asia Terrorism Portal

Eurozone receives another disastrous unemployment report

Eurozone unemployment rate, 2000-2013.  Unemployment fell sharply during the giant credit bubble of 2000-2007, and has been rising steadily since the bubble burst. (eurostat)
Eurozone unemployment rate, 2000-2013. Unemployment fell sharply during the giant credit bubble of 2000-2007, and has been rising steadily since the bubble burst. (eurostat)

Unemployment rose for the 8th consecutive quarter in the eurozone, reaching 12.1%. In Greece and Spain, it was 27%. Among people under 25, the unemployment rate in Greece was up again to 59.1% and 55.9% in Spain.

As bad as these figures are, the really important point is the trend, and the fact that unemployment continues to worsen. All the "kick the can down the road" moves that eurozone politicians made in 2010, 2011 and 2012 were with the expectation that the economy would be growing by now. The fact that the economy continues to collapse means that all of those decisions were based on faulty assumptions. As we now think back to that famous utterance by former Eurogroup chairman Jean-Claude Juncker, who said, "When it becomes serious, you have to lie," we can now conclude that all those lies were of no use, and didn't change the outcome we're seeing now. On the day of President Barack Obama's latest press conference, we might hope (in vain) that all the politicians in Washington learn a lesson -- whatever is going to happen is going to happen, and telling one lie after another won't change that. Eurostat (PDF) and Economist


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