World View: Pakistan's Taliban Names 'Butcher of Swat' as Leader

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com:
  • 'Butcher of Swat' Fazlullah named as new chief of Pakistan's Taliban
  • Fazlullah rejects peace talks with Pakistan's government
  • European Central Bank cuts rates to fight deflationary spiral

'Butcher of Swat' Fazlullah named as new chief of Pakistan's Taliban

Pakistan's citizens are expressing dismay that Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP - the Pakistan Taliban) on Thursday selected Mullah Fazlullah as their new leader. 

Fazlullah has gotten the name "Butcher of Swat" because he led the Taliban in 2007-2009 to create rivers of blood with terrorist acts and a reign of terror in the Swat Valley of northwestern Pakistan, which used to be a beautiful tourist and ski resort. Finally, in 2009, Pakistan's army was able to drive Fazlullah and his terrorists into the tribal areas, and then across the border into Afghanistan. 

Fazlullah led a campaign to end a United Nations program to vaccinate children against polio, by murdering doctors and nurses who administered the vaccines. The result is that polio is endemic in Pakistan, as well as in Afghanistan and Nigeria. 

Fazlullah earned international notoriety for ordering the November 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, a teenage girl from Swat who had campaigned against the TTP's bombing of schools. She narrowly survived after being airlifted to the United Kingdom for specialist medical treatment. She has since been feted across the world for her bravery, narrowly missing out on the Nobel Peace Prize. McClatchy and BBC

Fazlullah rejects peace talks with Pakistan's government

TTP's previous leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, was killed by an American drone strike, as we reported last week. The drone strike triggered an angry reaction from some Pakistani politicians, who claimed that Mehsud was about to enter into peace talks with the government. 

Imran Khan, the former cricket superstar turned anti-American politician, said one Wednesday that America launched the drone strike on purpose to prevent peace in Pakistan: 

Absolutely deliberate - this was a deliberate targeting of the peace process. The US clearly knew what was going on and everyone in Pakistan knew what was going on. 

We'd been waiting for two months for this peace process to start and then finally when everyone had come to a consensus for peace, they destroyed the peace process. 

The people of Pakistan want peace so we will do whatever is in our hands - which is to block the supply to put pressure on the US to stop this madness, because all it's doing is fanning fanaticism.

The last sentence is a threat by Khan to close the Nato supply lines from the port of Karachi through Pakistan and across the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan. The government opposes this plan, but Khan threatened to ask his supporters to block the supply routes unless the U.S. ends the drone strikes permanently. 

The selection of Fazlullah as the new TTP leader confuses the picture substantially. For one thing, Fazlullah has always rejected any talk of peace plans, and he immediately repeated that rejection on Thursday: "Holding off peace talks is not even an issue to discuss – this government has no authority, it is not a sovereign government, it is a slave, a slave of America. Holding peace talks is a waste of time."

However, other changes may be in the works. The choice of Fazlullah was a surprise to a number of analysts because they had expected the the new TTP leader to be another "Mehsud" -- that is, another member of the Mehsud clan which has led the TTP in the past. The choice of Fazlullah, who lives in Afghanistan and who is more bloody and hardline than previous TTP leaders, may signal that the entire TTP organization is becoming even more bloody and hardline than in the past. Some analysts have suggested that the selection of someone other than a Mehsud indicates that the TTP is splintering into groups that are more moderate and more violent. BBC and AFP

European Central Bank cuts rates to fight deflationary spiral

For years, Generational Dynamics has been predicting a deflationary spiral (as opposed to inflation or hyperinflation predicted by so-called experts). The Fed has been fighting off deflation by means of zero interest rates and $85 billion per month of "printed money" in the form of quantitative easing. 

Mario Draghi, the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has been firm in denying that the ECB would follow the Fed's example, saying that deflation was not a danger in the eurozone. So the financial community was shocked on Thursday morning when Draghi announced a reduction in interest rates to 0.25% from 0.50% because of a fear of inflation. According to one analyst: 

"The ECB had to do something. The rise of the euro was becoming deflationary and threatening to choke off growth. It is very rare for a central bank to change its policy so dramatically from one month to the next so something profound must have happened."

The "something profound" that happened was that the inflation rate in the eurozone plummeted to 0.7% in October, far below the ECB's target of 2%. And the fall in the inflation rate has been so rapid for the last six months, that Draghi feared that the euro was in a full-fledged deflationary spiral. 

Mainstream economists have predicted that the global financial crisis has ended, but Generational Dynamics predicts that it's far from over. Generational Dynamics predicts a global financial panic and financial crisis, accompanied by a worldwide deflationary spiral. Telegraph (London)

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