This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Volgograd suicide bombing heightens xenophobic tensions in Russia
- Iranians commemorate 34th anniversary of storming U.S. Embassy
- Israeli officials says U.S. will ‘force’ peace deal with Palestinians
Volgograd suicide bombing heightens xenophobic tensions in Russia
Female suicide bomber Naida Asiyalova (R), 30, and her husband Dmitry Sokolov, 22 (RT)
The October 21 Volgograd suicide bombing by female bomber Naida Asiyalova that we reportedlast week has heightened tensions between mostly Orthodox Christianethnic Russians and the mostly Muslim residents of the North Caucasus,Russia’s southern provinces. Russia is continuing to turn into twoseparate nations, one of ethnic Russians, one of Caucasians.
A few days after the Volgograd bombing, ultra-nationalist VladimirZhirinovsky, a close associate of president Vladimir Putin and theleader of Russia’s nationalist LDPR party, said on a television talkshow debate that the whole Caucasus region should be fenced off withbarbed wire, and that birth control should be enforced on theentire population of the Caucasus. Despite the characterization ofhis remarks as “fascist,” viewers voted for Zhirinovsky over hisopponent by a ratio of 3.5 to 1.
Zhirinovsky didn’t back off. On October 31, he expressed concern thatethnic Russians were living in a “humiliated” state while the Caucasusprovinces have excessive autonomy. He said that in order to strengthenthe country, the ethnic republics within Russia should be disbandedand non-Russian languages outlawed.
Vladimir Zhirinovsky (RT)
At other times, Zhirinovsky’s remarks might simply be ignored, but inthe current inflamed climate they’re sharply dividing public opinion.This presents the Kremlin with a dilemma. Some officials would liketo bring criminal charges against Zhirinovsky for inciting hatred. IfMoscow reprimands Zhirinovsky, thereby supporting the NorthCaucasians, it will face a backlash from ethnic Russians. If Moscowdoes not react to Zhirinovsky’s tirade, it will disappoint the NorthCaucasians and undermine the positions of the governors in the region.
The Volgograd suicide bombing was not an isolated incident. OlderCaucasians had organized communities to preserve Soviet-era policies.But in the last 15 years, younger generations of Muslims have beenincreasingly supporting Salafist interpretations of Islam, and nowviolence in the Caucasus is almost a daily occurrence. Among Russianofficials, the biggest concern is that there will be a terroristbombing during the Sochi Winter Olympics to take place in February; for that reason, Russia’s security forces are going toextraordinary lengths to lock down the Caucasus. Russia Todayand Jamestown and EurasiaNet
Iranians commemorate 34th anniversary of storming U.S. Embassy
Tens of thousands of demonstrators chanted “Death to America!”outside the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran on Monday, as theycelebrated the 34th anniversary of Iran’s takeover of the embassy in1979. This was the beginning of the hostage crisis, an event stillimprinted on many American minds, as 52 Americans were held for 444days. At the time, evening network newscasts would begin with wordssimilar to, “This is day number 298 that Americans are being heldhostage in Iran.” Thanks to Iran’s actions in holding dozens ofAmericans hostage for over a year, there has been a deep rift betweenIran and America since then.
Today, Iranians chanting “Death to America!” is as fashionable and asmuch de rigeur as someone from Boston yelling, “Go Red Sox!”November 4 is celebrated each year as “the National Day ofConfrontation with Arrogance.” But this year the crowds were thelargest in years because of the critical generational battle beingfought in Tehran between the older generations of survivors of theGreat Islamic Revolution and the younger generations growing upafterwards. (See “2-Nov-13 World View — Growing power struggle in Iran may make Rafsanjani the Supreme Leader”)
Today’s crowds of hardliners may have been expressing opposition toAmerica, but they were actually expressing opposition to the plans ofthe new president Hassan Rouhani to conduct nuclear negotiations withthe West. Al Jazeera
Israeli officials says U.S. will ‘force’ peace deal with Palestinians
Zehava Galon, the head of Israel’s far-left Meretz party, is sayingthat U.S. officials would present an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan inJanuary, 2014, and impose the plan on both sides by force. Under theimposed plan, Israel’s boundaries would move back to the 1949Armistice lines. There’s no word on what form the force would take. Israel National News
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Russia, Volgograd, Sochi,Naida Asiyalova, Dmitry Sokolov, Vladimir Zhirinovsky,Iran, Death to America,National Day of Confrontation with Arrogance,Zehava Galon, Israel