World View: Violence in Afghanistan Surges in September

This morning's key headlines from

  • Leaders of Greece's Golden Dawn 'criminal organization' arrested
  • Number of violent incidents in Afghanistan surge in September

Leaders of Greece's Golden Dawn 'criminal organization' arrested

Pavlos Fyssas, or Killah P, rapped against racism (BBC)
Pavlos Fyssas, or Killah P, rapped against racism (BBC)

In an extraordinary move, Greece's police have arrested the leader of the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, and formally charged him with belonging to a criminal organization. Dozens more members have been arrested as well, including four MPs (holding seats in Greece's parliament). The charges include homicide, attempted homicide, money laundering, blackmail, grievous bodily harm, and other serious crimes.

Not since the end of Greece's military dictatorship in 1974 has there been a mass arrest of MPs. Due to the nature of the charges, it's clear that the government has been preparing for this day for a long time, but has been reluctant to take steps for fear of a political backlash.

Nonetheless, there may still be a backlash. Because of the financial crisis, hundreds of thousands of Greeks have indicated in polls that they wanted to vote for Golden Dawn, even though Golden Dawn party members have openly assaulted immigrants and other people that they don't like, and called for deportation of even Greek citizens who are not pure ethnic Greeks. The Greek public only turned against Golden Dawn on September 18, after self-identified Golden Dawn members murdered a white Greek civilian, Pavlos Fyssas, or Killah P, who rapped against the kind of racism that Golden Dawn practices. That killing shocked the Greek public, and allowed the government to go ahead with the arrests of Golden Dawn members, but with Golden Dawn so popular in the past, a backlash is still feared as the memory of the death of Killah P recedes. Kathimerini and BBC and Kathimerini

Number of violent incidents in Afghanistan surge in September

As Nato and American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the dreamy hope is that the amount of violence will go down, sort of like what happened in Iraq before the American forces were withdrawn in December 2011. But a new report shows that the number of security incidents -- bombings, shootings and other violent attacks -- has been increasing and surged significantly in September. The table of monthly security incidents is as follows:

Month            Number of incidents
---------------  -------------------
Mar               167
Apr              1145
May              1363
June             1317
July             1466
Aug              1205
Sep to 26 Sep    1724
President Barack Obama adopted a "surge" strategy in Afghanistan because he was hoping to repeat the enormous success of President George Bush's "surge" strategy in Iraq. But as I wrote at the time, from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there are significant differences between Iraq and Afghanistan that make a surge strategy in Afghanistan very unlikely to succeed, even though it worked in Iraq, and it has to do with the fact that Iraq's last generational crisis war (the Iran/Iraq war, 1980-88) was an EXTERNAL war, while for Afghanistan it was a bloody internal CIVIL war (1991-96). (See "2-Sep-12 World View -- U.S. decision on Haqqani Network will affect Pakistan relations")

When a country unites to fight a foreign enemy in a generational crisis war, then that feeling of unity survives through the following Recovery and Awakening eras. But when a generational crisis civil war splits a country, that split survives into the following Recovery and Awakening eras.

So forget about generational theory, and just imagine what's been going on in Afghanistan. The civil war pit the Pashtuns in southern Afghanistan against the the Northern Alliance, an alliance of Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. Each of these two sides raped, mutilated, tortured and massacred people on the other side, there are many people alive today who remember those horrors. So there's no way that these ethnic groups are going to get along, even as well as they do in Iraq. In Iraq, the main instigators of violence are Sunni jihadist foreign fighters, but in Afghanistan, it's the Afghan people themselves.

Some analysts are talking about a "Pashtun uprising," pointing to the fact that the Taliban are jihadist Pashtuns, implying a renewal of the 1990s civil war. This is impossible in a generational Awakening era. There will be no new civil war, but there will be an increase in "security incidents" and low-level violence of all sorts, particularly as the American and Nato forces leave. KGS Night Watch

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