World View: Large Car Bomb Explodes in Pro-Hezbollah Area of Lebanon

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Afghan Taliban closes its Qatar office as negotiations fail
  • U.S. is considering the 'zero option' for Afghanistan pullout
  • Pakistan warns of protracted civil war in Afghanistan
  • Japan accuses China of using military force over Senkaku islands
  • Large car bomb explodes in pro-Hezbollah area of Lebanon
  • Bond market appears to be collapsing

Afghan Taliban closes its Qatar office as negotiations fail

Afghan Taliban office in Doha, Qatar (Al-Jazeera)
Afghan Taliban office in Doha, Qatar (Al-Jazeera)

On Tuesday, the Afghan Taliban finally closed its office in Doha, Qatar, which was supposed to be used as the site of "peace negotiations" with the U.S. and the government of Afghanistan. The office opened on June 18, and negotiations were to start with a couple of days. But the negotiations collapsed the next day, because Afghan president Hamid Karzai was furious that the Taliban displayed a plaque calling it the office of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan," and displayed the Taliban flag. Qatari officials demanded that the plaque and flag be taken down, but then the Taliban were angry. So now the office is closed.

Recall that the U.S. Administration was so desperate to get the Afghan Taliban to have peace talks, they dropped the preconditions announced last year by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: They must forego suicide attacks and violence, they must sever ties with al-Qaeda, and they must accept Afghanistan's constitution, including protections for women and minority. The Taliban rejected all of these demands, and the Administration have acquiesced. So, while all this talk about "peace negotiations" has been going on for the last few weeks, the Taliban have been bombing innocent people in Kabul, Afghanistan's capital.

As I've written dozens of times in the last few years, there is no chance of a "peace process" in Afghanistan. The easiest way to see that is a comparison with Iraq, where President George Bush's "surge" was a factor in the successful peace treaty that allowed the U.S. to withdraw. Iraq's last generational crisis war was the Iran/Iraq war, climaxing in 1988 -- an EXTERNAL war, where the Iraqis, Sunnis and Shias alike, united to fight the Iranians. But Afghanistan's last crisis war was the genocidal civil war of 1992-96 -- an INTERNAL war, pitting the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan against the the Northern Alliance, an alliance of Tajiks and Hazaras in northern Afghanistan. Furthermore, the Taliban are Sunni Islamist Pashtuns, occupying a large region starting in Afghanistan, through the tribal area, and deep into northwestern Pakistan, which is in a generational Crisis era. These are major differences that make an Afghanistan peace process impossible, and the whole attempt to negotiate peace with the Taliban a farce.

Nonetheless, the State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki made another ridiculous statement on Tuesday:

"We believe that misunderstandings that arose in the context of the opening [of the office] should not stand in the way of moving forward on reconciliation if the Taliban wishes to do so. We'll continue to support and reiterate our call for that process to move forward."

Well, Jen, you just go ahead and keep on reiterating that, and let's see if the process moves forward. Al-Jazeera and VOA

U.S. is considering the 'zero option' for Afghanistan pullout

The White House says that President Barack Obama is considering the "zero option," pulling all U.S. forces out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, rather than leave a small residual force behind to help prevent a Taliban takeover. According to reports, Obama and Afghan president Hamid Karzai are in such vitriolic disagreement that Obama has decided to threaten the zero option.

As I wrote in "Barack Obama in Berlin calls for greater European militarism" during his 2008, Obama made a victory in Afghanistan a big part of his plan:

"This is the moment when we must renew our resolve to rout the terrorists who threaten our security in Afghanistan, and the traffickers who sell drugs on your streets. No one welcomes war. I recognize the enormous difficulties in Afghanistan. But my country and yours have a stake in seeing that NATO's first mission beyond Europe's borders is a success. For the people of Afghanistan, and for our shared security, the work must be done. America cannot do this alone. The Afghan people need our troops and your troops; our support and your support to defeat the Taliban and al Qaeda, to develop their economy, and to help them rebuild their nation. We have too much at stake to turn back now."

Well, it looks like we're going to turn back now. VOA

Pakistan warns of protracted civil war in Afghanistan

Unnamed Pakistan officials criticized Hamid Karzai's handling of the so-called Taliban "peace negotiations," and warned that Afghanistan would plunge into a prolonged civil war if the negotiations failed.

This is completely wrong. Afghanistan is entering a generational Awakening era, and so a new crisis civil war is impossible or, if one begins, it will fizzle quickly. Afghanistan had a crisis civil war from 1991-96, and there are too many survivors who lived through the massacres and atrocities committed to and by their families and friends, and will not allow anything like that will happen again.

What appears to be on the horizon is a disaster similar to America's withdrawal from Vietnam in 1974, when Viet Cong forces overran South Vietnam, causing America's first defeat in war, and leading to the massive "killing fields" holocaust in Cambodia. The situation in Afghanistan is made worse by the fact that it's apparently going to be impossible for America to remove ten years of weapons and supplied from Afghanistan, because the country is land-locked, so some of those weapons may well fall into the hands of the Taliban.

But there won't be a civil war. The Taliban will take over in Afghanistan, and there'll be no one there to stop them. After that, Afghanistan's war will become a proxy war, pitting fighters from Pakistan and Central Asia. Pakistan Today

Japan accuses China of using military force over Senkaku islands

Japan's Defense Ministry issued a white paper for 2013 accusing China of air and sea activities the Senkaku / Diaoyu islands that are "dangerous actions that could cause a contingency situation." The statement reflects widespread concern that a miscalculation by either Japan or China could spark a nationalist response that could lead to a wider war. The white paper also mentions the threats from North Korea in the form of nuclear missiles that could reach Japan or the U.S. mainland. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government is facing elections in two weeks, and Abe is supporting revisions to Japan's pacifist constitution to allow for a more aggressive Japanese military. Japan Times

Large car bomb explodes in pro-Hezbollah area of Lebanon

Over 50 people were injured on Tuesday when a massive car bomb explosion hit a pro-Hezbollah Shia suburb south of Beirut in Lebanon. Sectarian Sunni versus Shia violence has been increasing in Lebanon, ever since Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Iran-backed Hezbollah terrorist group, announced that Hezbollah fighters would aggressively support the regime of Syria's president Bashar al-Assad in the over two-year old civil war / proxy war. Nasrallah's announcement has triggered rising sectarian Sunni versus Shia throughout the Mideast. Daily Star (Beirut) and Al-Manar (Beirut)

Bond market appears to be collapsing

Bond market collapse (Bloomberg)
Bond market collapse (Bloomberg)

The above chart shows that money has been flowing out of stocks into bonds for the last five years. But the red bar on the far right shows that the bond market has been collapsing in the last month, but the money is NOT going back into stocks. This reflects the fact that bond yields (interest rates) have surged in the U.S. and in eurozone nations since May 1.


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