World View: Venezuela's Economy Approaches Full-Scale Hyperinflation

This morning's key headlines from

  • Venezuela's economy approaches full-scale hyperinflation
  • Russia-spawned Al-Muhajireen terrorists fight Russia's allies in Syria
  • Ex-Guantanamo prisoner dies fighting Assad in Syria

Venezuela's economy approaches full-scale hyperinflation

Venezuela's Amuay Refinery explosion, August 25, 2012
Venezuela's Amuay Refinery explosion, August 25, 2012

According to the latest figures, inflation in Venezuela reached the hyperinflationary level of 45.4% in August. Since the bolivar currency was introduce in January 2008, total inflation has been 323%. The country is plagued by shortages of everything from milk and cooking oil to toothpaste and toilet paper. The hyperinflation is thought to be caused by the extravagant spending and vote-buying by the late president, Hugo Chávez. However, the astronomically high inflation of the past few years turned into hyperinflation this year because of an August 2012, explosion at the government-owned Amuay Refinery, killing 42 and reducing Venezuela's oil exports by 25%. 

From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, full-scale hyperinflation happens, with very few exceptions, in generational Unraveling eras. Venezuela is currently in a generational Unraveling era (see "Students riot against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela" from 2007). Germany's famous Weimar hyperinflation occurred during an Unraveling era, as did Zimbabwe's hyperinflation. In America, there was 30% inflation from 1977 to 1980, near the end of America's Awakening era, but this was well below the "hyperinflation" level. 

Today, America, Europe, and much of the world are in a generational Crisis era, a period when the bills come due for all the excesses of the previous Unraveling era. Although America did not have hyperinflation during the 1990s, it did have the huge tech stock market bubble that led to the Nasdaq crash in 2000 and eventually to the current financial crisis (which is far from over). There is no hyperinflation during generational Crisis eras, because when the bills come due, people stop spending money and society goes into a deflationary spiral. World Socialist Web Site and Venezuelanalysis

Russia-spawned Al-Muhajireen terrorists fight Russia's allies in Syria

There's increasing evidence of the violent blowback threatening Russia that Russia's policies in Syria are creating.

Russia's policy of providing support for and supplying weapons to Syria's psychopathic president Bashar al-Assad has spawned a major new al-Qaeda linked jihadist group, Jaish al-Muhajireen wa Ansar (the Army of the Immigrants) in Russia's own North Caucasus provinces that is fighting against al-Assad in Syria. The group reportedly has over 1,400 Russian members, most of them with past military experience in the North Caucasus, and is headed by a commander from Chechnya, Abu Abdurakhman. According to one Russian official, young people from Chechnya first travel to Azerbaijan, from where they travel to Turkey and then on to Syria: 

"Young people are lured there by allegations that there is ‘jihad’ going on [in Syria] and that there is a fatwa by famous Islamic scholars about that. So they think that participating in the Syrian war is the direct obligation of every faithful Muslim."

Chechen jihadists in particular are attracted to the fight in Syria, according to another official, because of the two wars between Russia and Chechnya in the 1990s: 

"People here know that the Russian government supports Bashar Assad’s regime, so participation in the hostilities against Syrian authorities is for them a continuation of the war with Russia."

But jihadists outside Russia are joining al-Muhajireen as well. Citizens of Tunisia, Libya, Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan have also gone off to Syria to join their Russian brethren's fight against al-Assad's regime. 

Another reason for jihadist interest in Syria is because of the connection to the jihad against Russians in Afghanistan in the 1980s. 

These jihadists are getting training and developing skills in in fighting Russian weapons and Russian tactics in Syria. When the war ends, they'll have to go somewhere to use all those new skills, and that might be any country. 

As I wrote in "18-Sep-13 World View -- Russia and Vladimir Putin pursue a disastrous Syria policy", Russia's policies not only harm the United Nations but also are inflaming Shia/Sunni fault lines throughout the Mideast, which will inevitably lead to a wider war. Jamestown and BBC

Ex-Guantanamo prisoner dies fighting Assad in Syria

A jihadist group in Syria has posted the video of a former Guantánamo prisoner who was released by the Bush administration and who went to Syria to fight the jihad there. At the funeral, another former Guantánamo prisoner delivered the eulogy: 

"He went to the jihad in Afghanistan with his family and children to aid the downtrodden in the name of God. 

He went through hardship for the sake of God in the prison of the Americans in Guantánamo for five years and he was patient through his plight and he did not change, waited until God lifted him and he was released. 

He then went to the land of al Sham (Syria) ... He saw death and dispossession and destruction, so he went in response to God. ... 

I knew him, God have mercy on his soul, one of the best youth of the community of believers. He was pious, devout and honest and had God on his tongue at all times. In his heart he had a love for God and Muslims."

People talk about Guantánamo prison as a "recruiting tool" for al-Qaeda, but that's nothing compared to Syria as a recruiting tool for all kinds of jihadists. Miami Herald

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Venezuela, Hugo Chavez, Weimar hyperinflation, Zimbabwe hyperinflation, Jaish al-Muhajireen wa Ansar, the Army of the Immigrants, Russia, Syria, Bashar al-Assad, Chechnya, Abu Abdurakhman, Guantanamo, Afghanistan 

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