5-Jun-11 World View — Terrorist Ilyas Kashmiri Killed

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

Generational Dynamics briefing at Fort Devens

On Saturday, I gave a 90-minute briefing at Fort Devens to a unit of about 40 people, US Army and Navy analysts and planners for the US Army European Command (EUCOM) J-3 Operations center, normally headquartered in Stuttgart. I was invited to give the briefing because “We’re all very focused on our jobs, whether it’s Russia, the Balkans, the Baltics, etc., and we don’t always know a great deal about what’s going on in the rest of the world.” I sometimes like to say that most people view the world at ground level, while Generational Dynamics views the world from the International Space Station, viewing attitudes and behaviors of large populations and generations around the world. This makes it possible to “connect the dots” between events in different parts of the world. The briefing was exciting for me personally it gave me an opportunity to speak to a group of people who could use these concepts in real time. For anyone interested, I’ve posted the presentation slides here: http://www.generationaldynamics.com/cgi-bin/D.PL?d=ww2010.p.p604

Top al-Qaeda commander Ilyas Kashmiri killed by drone strike


Ilyas Kashmiri
Ilyas Kashmiri

A U.S. drone strike in South Waziristan in Pakistan’s tribal areas has targeted and killed top al-Qaeda commander and chief of the Harkatul Jihad al-Islami (HJI), Ilyas Kashmiri. Moreover, an HJI spokesman confirmed that Kashmiri had been killed. Since 1994, when he organized kidnapping of foreigners in Delhi, Kashmiri has been one of the deadliest and most violent anti-India terrorists to come out of the insurgency in Kashmir/Jammu, the disputed region claimed by both Pakistan and India. Kashmiri has been directly or indirectly associated with many terrorist attacks, including the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl and the horrific 2008 attacks on Mumbai. Dawn (Pakistan) and Times of India

Apache helicopters strike in Libya for the first time

Two Apache helicopters, launched from the HMS Ocean off the coast of Libya, fired laser-guided Hellfire missiles to destroy a radar installation to the west of the oil port of Braga, then blew up an anti-aircraft gun before their two-man crews returned safely, despite coming under enemy fire from AK47s. The Apaches were sent to the theatre because the Libyan humanitarian mission was taking to long to reach its objective (though it’s not too clear what the objective is). Telegraph

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Hong Kong and Taiwan commemorate China’s Tiananmen Square massacre


Iconic photo of 'tank man' - student blocking row of tanks in Tiananmen Square
Iconic photo of ‘tank man’ – student blocking row of tanks in Tiananmen Square

On June 4, 1989, the Chinese government sent tanks and soldiers into the square in central Beijing to crush weeks of pro-democracy demonstrations by massacring hundreds of young unarmed protesters. The massacre launched the Falun Gong anti-government movement in China, and the Wild Lily pro-independence movement in Taiwan. On Saturday, thousands of people in Hong Kong and Taiwan commemorated the event with a candlelight vigil. VOA

DoD Secretary Gates promises to honor Asia commitments

At a 27-country Security Summit in Singapore on Saturday, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates promised that the U.S. will honor its commitments to Asia, by increasing its port calls, naval engagements and multilateral training with countries throughout the region. The remarks were apparently targeted at an increasingly militaristic China. Gates also said that it was urgently necessary for countries in the region to agree on a “multi-lateral mechanism” to settle territorial disputes with China. “I fear without rules of the road… that there will be clashes in the South China Sea,” VOA and AFP

France proposes to lead a new Mideast peace process

The peace process is dead! Long live the peace process! Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has accepted a French proposal to convene Israeli and Palestinian negotiators in Paris in July to discuss reviving peace talks. Israel is considering the proposal. (What’s that old saying about people who do the same things over and over, expecting different results?) VOA

Syrians, Lebanese cancel marches, while Israelis protest

As we’ve previously reported, Palestinian activists planned “Naksa Day” cross-border marches of Palestinian refugees and their descendants from Syria and Lebanon into Israel. Lebanon’s march was canceled yesterday, in the face of Lebanese government steps to prevent it. Now, in response to the “setback,” Syrian activists announced that their march will be postponed, and that rallies will be held instead. “Naksa Day” commemorates the 1967 six-day war. Jerusalem Post Update: With protests still going on, three protesters have been killed in the Golan Heights.

On Saturday, thousands of left-wing Israelis protested in Tel Aviv, chanting, “Netanyahu says no – we say yes to a Palestinian state.” The demonstration included members of The Labor Party, Meretz, Hadash and Peace Now. Jerusalem Post

While the speech by Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu infuriated Arabs and Palestinians, President Barack Obama’s two speeches on Mideast peace left them cold. They applauded Obama’s “direct and frontal assault on Netanyahu’s hard-line positions. But the failure of Obama to say anything to advance the peace process made the entire message fall flat. Arabs and Palestinians were already disappointed in Obama’s lack of action following his Cairo speech, and now they have given up. HuffPost/James Zogby

Palestinians storm gate at Gaza/Egypt Rafah Crossing

Egypt has permanently opened the Rafah crossing to allow travel back and forth between Gaza and Egypt, but the gate has been subject to frequent closures. On Saturday, Palestinians traveling to Egypt stormed a gate after waiting for hours in buses. They pushed through the gate, but Egyptians escorted them back into Gaza. CNN

Syrian protesters turn against Iran and Hizbollah

Up until now, Hizbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah was worshipped in the Arab world, because he was seen as a hero of anti-Israeli resistance, especially after he freed South Lebanon from Israeli occupation in 2000. However, Nasrallah’s full-throated support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad has turned Syria’s protesters against Nasrallah for the first time. France 24

Syria’s protesters are also turning against Iran, a month after a delegation of the Iranian police and Revolutionary Guards went to Damascus and advised Assad how to crush the protesters. Iran’s “method” for crushing protesters is very simple, according to the article: Do not fire into the crowd, but make targeted arrests of protesters who are then tortured. In short, it is to terrorize the demonstrators to avoid a bloodbath too conspicuous. (However, a number of recent news reports indicate that Syrian security forces have openly fired into the protesters’ crowds.) Nouvel Observateur / Translation

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