7-Dec-11 World View — Afghanistan Shocked by Coordinated Suicide Attacks Targeting Shias

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

* A day that will live in infamy

* China’s Hu Jintao tells navy to prepare for military combat

* Afghanistan shocked by coordinated suicide attacks targeting Shias

* Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claims credit for Kabul attack

* Greece’s bank run is accelerating

* Britain’s David Cameron threatens to torpedo eurozone crisis resolution

* Sarkozy tries to halt spread of ‘Germanophobia’ in France

* Generational Dynamics podcasts

A day that will live in infamy


The battleship Arizona belches smoke as it topples into the sea
The battleship Arizona belches smoke as it topples into the sea

On December 7, 1941, the United States naval base at Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese planes launched from six aircraft carriers. Four U.S. battleships were sunk, and four others damaged. Over 2,400 Americans were killed, including 1,177 on the battleship Arizona.

On December 8, 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt started his famous speech:

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: Yesterday, Dec. 7th, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

Within an hour, Congress passed a declaration of war against Japan.

In generational theory, this was a “regeneracy event,” an event that ended the political bickering and unified the country behind the President. It only took 24 hours for the nation to go from a peaceful Sunday to World War II. LA Times

China’s Hu Jintao tells navy to prepare for military combat

China’s president Hu Jintao addressed the powerful Central Military Commission on Tuesday, and said:

[The navy should] accelerate its transformation and modernization in a sturdy way, and make extended preparations for military combat in order to make greater contributions to safeguard national security.

Our work must closely encircle the main theme of national defense and military building.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao last month warned against interference by “external forces” in regional territorial disputes including those in the South China Sea. News reports indicate that the Dept. of Defense is playing down these remarks, but can you imagine the international uproar if President Bush or President Obama ever made remarks similar to President Hu’s? AFP and Xinhua

Afghanistan shocked by coordinated suicide attacks targeting Shias


Twin blasts in Shia shrines in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif
Twin blasts in Shia shrines in Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif

58 people were killed and over 150 injured on Tuesday from coordinated suicide bomber attacks in Shia Muslim shrines in two Afghanistan cities, Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif. The suicide bombings attacked Shia worshippers during Ashura, one of Shia Muslim’s holiest celebrations. The bombings are thought to be related to a key international conference on Afghanistan in Bonn, Germany, which just agreed to extend international support for Afghanistan to 2024, following the scheduled withdrawal of all foreign troops by the end of 2014. Many analysts expressed fears that this would launch a new series of sectarian Sunni vs Shia attacks. Nation (Pakistan)

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi claims credit for Kabul attack

We’ve written about Lashkar-e-Jhangvi several times in the past — a terrorist group that targets Shia and Sufi shrines in Pakistan, and who has been responsible for hundreds of deaths of worshipers. In addition, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is connected to Jundullah, a terrorist group that has perpetrated major attacks on Shia mosques and Revolutionary Guard stations in southeastern Iran. It’s now considered possible that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi is extending operations into Afghanistan. Washington Post

News stories are reporting Sunni/Shia violence in Afghanistan as “rare,” and even President Hamid Karzai is quoted as calling the new attacks “unprecedented.” These are people with short memories. There was a large, extremely bloody, genocidal civil war in Afghanistan in the years 1991-96. That was considered mainly an ethnic war, fought mainly between the Hazaris in the north and the Pashtuns in the south, but the Hazaris are Shia and the Pashtuns are Sunni. That war climaxed in 1996, and Afghanistan entered a generational Recovery era, which is just ending now. What we’re seeing are the first signs of a generational Awakening era, as the children who grew up after the end of the civil war are now getting old enough to avenge the atrocities committed on their parents’ generation. As usual in an awakening era, there is a “generation gap,” and the children are acting against their survivor parents’ wishes, and indeed the Taliban leadership on Tuesday put out a statement strongly condemning the attacks. Some analysts fear a new civil war in Afghanistan, but that’s impossible because the survivor generation won’t permit it. But that won’t stop terrorist attacks of the kind experienced on Tuesday.

Greece’s bank run is accelerating

Many Greeks are draining their savings accounts because they are out of work, face rising taxes, or are afraid the country will be forced to leave the euro zone. At the start of 2010, savings deposits totalled €237.7 billion. Since then, they fallen by €49 billion, and in the last couple of months the withdrawals have increased dramatically — €5.4 billion in September and by an estimated €8.5 billion in October. In August, unemployment reached 18.4%. Many Greeks now hoard their savings in their homes because they are worried the banking system may collapse. Spiegel

Britain’s David Cameron threatens to torpedo eurozone crisis resolution

Britain, which is not part of the 17 nation eurozone and still uses its own currency, the pound sterling, has threatened to prevent the “solution” advanced by France and Germany to be implemented, unless the proposals contain safeguards for Britain. In fact, some of the proposals will require changes to the Lisbon treaty, which is the current agreement among all 27 European Union countries. Britain’s prime minister David Cameron is the leader of the Conservative Party, which opposes transferring more sovereign powers to Brussels. Many party members want to ditch the EU altogether. According to Cameron, who is increasingly considered by many eurozone leaders to be an annoying jerk, “Eurozone countries do need to come together, do need to do more things together — if they choose to use the European treaty to do that, Britain will be insisting on some safeguards too. As long as we get those, then that treaty can go ahead. If we can’t get those, it won’t.” AP

Sarkozy tries to halt spread of ‘Germanophobia’ in France


Greek protesters carry a sign comparing Germany's actions in 2011 to Hitler's actions in Dachau in 1933 (Spiegel/DPA)
Greek protesters carry a sign comparing Germany’s actions in 2011 to Hitler’s actions in Dachau in 1933 (Spiegel/DPA)

Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy shrugged off anti-German sentiments expressed by some opposition leaders in France when they met in Paris on Monday. Some Socialist Party leaders in France accused President Sarkozy of pandering to Germany’s “Bismarck-like policies,” and obeying its “diktat” in solving the region’s crisis. The charges led Sarkozy’s governing party to attack what it said was “irresponsible Germanophobia.” Leftwing Parisian MP Jean-Marie Le Guen said Sarkozy’s meeting with Merkel was like French prime minister Edouard Daladier’s role at the 1938 Munich Conference when Daladier, Neville Chamberlain and Italy’s fascist leader Benito Mussolini appeased Hitler. Sarkozy said Merkel should know “so as not to be hurt”, that these anti-German sentiments “are not held by those in charge” in France. Bloomberg and Guardian

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