World View: Signs of Major Political Crisis Emerge in China's Leadership

World View: Signs of Major Political Crisis Emerge in China's Leadership

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • U.S. accuses Syria’s Assad of lying about army pullbacks
  • Dissent begins to grow among al-Assad’s Alawite supporters
  • Signs of a major political crisis emerge in China’s leadership

U.S. accuses Syria’s Assad of lying about army pullbacks

The U.S. has released satellite surveillance photos that show that claims by Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad that he’s pulled back forces were lies in many cases, as some troops and armored vehicles were kept in place or simply shifted around. America’s ambassador to Syria, Robert Ford, posted a statement:

“This is not the reduction in offensive Syrian government security operations that all agree must be the first step for the Annan initiative to succeed. …

The regime and the Syrian people should know that we are watching. The regime cannot hide the truth.”

Everyone’s waiting to see what will happen on Tuesday, which is the day on which al-Assad has “promised” to cease all violence. It’ll be interesting to see what spin he gives for not doing so. AP

Dissent begins to grow among al-Assad’s Alawite supporters

The strongest supporters of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad are Alawites, followers of a variant of Shia Islam. Al-Assad’s army is populated by Alawites, and the Alawites receive governmental favors, discriminating against the larger Sunni Muslim population. But there are reports that even among the Alawite community dissent is growing. According to one Alawite activist, “People are saying, ‘how long will we have to bear this’, more and more army families are wondering what they are sacrificing their children for, they are starting to say ‘where are the martyrs from the Assad family?'” One elderly Alawite widow, at her son’s funeral, said, “You Assads have taken my whole family, and all for nothing.”

It’s hard to know whether these reports represent a real trend, or if they’re wishful thinking. But from the point of view of generational theory, this change is not surprising. Syria is in a generational awakening era, and as in America’s last generation awakening era in the 1960s, anti-war sentiment is very likely to grow. Pundits are still talking about a major civil war in Syria, but that’s impossible, since major (crisis) civil wars never occur during generational awakening eras. There are two possible scenarios. One is a “velvet revolution” that brings down al-Assad with no significant additional violence. The other is that al-Assad will crush the opposition thoroughly, but it will rise again after a lull of a few months or years. But a major civil war is not coming. The National (UAE)

Signs of a major political crisis emerge in China’s leadership

Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials have ordered the shutdown of several pro-Maoist web sites (perhaps because they were “too Communist”). At the same time, the People’s Liberation Army is warning troops to ignore rumours and remain loyal to the Communist Party. A statement says that troops should “resolutely resist the incursion of all kinds of erroneous thoughts, not be disturbed by noises, not be affected by rumors, not be pushed by any undercurrent.” This comes shortly after rumors of a coup had been spreading over the internet three weeks ago. The increase in the number of “mass incidents,” the collapse of the housing bubble, and the increasing weakness of China’s economy are causing the same kinds of political conflicts that we’ve been seeing in Washington and Europe, though in Beijing we’re liable to see them backed up with tanks. The trigger for this political crisis was the purging in mid-March of a highly charismatic regional politician, Bo Xilai. Bo was a pro-Maoist populist, and used to be considered a likely candidate for top CCP leadership. But he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth, leaving behind competing factions in China’s leadership. AP


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