12-Dec-11 World View — Huntsman: China's Fifth Generation Will Have 'Nationalistic Impulses'

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

* NATO vacates the Shamsi air base in Pakistan

* Islamic Jihad challenges ‘moderate’ Hamas in Gaza

* Israel to expel tens of thousands of illegal African immigrants

* Huntsman: China’s Fifth Generation will have ‘nationalistic impulses’

* Power grid becomes more and more vulnerable to cyber attack

* Euro Zone leaders just have to pray for luck now

* Proposed S. Korean towers resemble exploding World Trade Center

NATO vacates the Shamsi air base in Pakistan


 A US helicopter flies near Shamsi air base in Pakistan (AFP)
A US helicopter flies near Shamsi air base in Pakistan (AFP)

NATO has vacated the Shamsi air base, as demanded by Pakistan, following the unintended killing of 24 Pakistani soldiers by a drone strike several weeks ago. Shamsi was used as a base to launch drone strikes. In an interview, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said that the U.S. and Pakistan do not trust each other, and it may be weeks before Pakistan once again permits NATO to use the Khyber pass to supply troops in Afghanistan. There is a possibility that Pakistan will close its air space to NATO, making all such drone attacks impossible. BBC

Islamic Jihad challenges ‘moderate’ Hamas in Gaza

Islamic Jihad, a small Gaza terrorist group linked with Hamas but unwilling to make the same compromises as Hamas, is leaping ahead in capabilities and military infrastructure, presenting a major challenge to Hamas’s authority. This was caused by Iran’s decision to divert funds traditionally allocated to Hamas to Islamic Jihad instead. And that decision, in turn, was caused by Hamas’s decision to abandon Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and begin the process of moving its headquarters out of Damascus and Syria. With Hamas out of its orbit, Iran has upped its support of Islamic Jihad, which, according to some estimates, has a rocket arsenal that competes in its quantity and quality with that in Hamas’s warehouses. Jerusalem Post

Israel to expel tens of thousands of illegal African immigrants

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he will visit several African states with the intention of expelling tens of thousands of African illegal immigrants that have crossed the porous border with Egyptian Sinai to seek work in Israel. There have always been a few such immigrants, but there has been a surge in recent years. Netanyahu said that Israel plans to build a fence along the border with Syria, and his government would also increase fines on employers who hire the border jumpers. Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Huntsman: China’s Fifth Generation will have ‘nationalistic impulses’

Jon Huntsman was interviewed on CNN on Sunday. Huntsman is the former U.S. Ambassador to China, and he was commenting on China’s direction. Here’s an excerpt:

The political dynamic is a very interesting one, and that is, the 18th Party Congress is around the corner. We forgot sometimes, we have elections here next year. They have leadership changes.

You’ll hear politics play out because of those elections. You’ll hear politics play out in China because of those leadership changes. They are sweeping, and they are significant.

If you stop to ponder that 70 percent of the top 200 leaders are turning over in China, including seven of the nine members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, I can’t remember a time since 1949 when this significant, this comprehensive a change has occurred in – in senior leadership in China.

The Fifth Generation is coming to the forefront. I know many members of the Fifth Generation, as I did the Fourth and some in the Third. They have a different view of the world. It’s based more on a nationalistic set of impulses.

They don’t necessarily remember the Great Leap Forward, ’60 to ’64. They barely remember the Cultural Revolution, ’66 to ’76. They do remember 30 years of blue sky, eight, nine, 10 percent economic growth. That has informed their view of the world. They think their time has arrived.

This is the generational change that I’ve referenced a number of times. Huntsman provides a nice description of it. This is a generation completely untouched by the genocidal Communist Revolution and its bloody aftermath in the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. They’ve had a good life, an easy life, and believe that China should take its place as the leader of the world, replacing the United States, which they see as in decline. And they’re willing to go to war for it. CNN

Power grid becomes more and more vulnerable to cyber attack

With all the news about Stuxnet and cyber attacks, you would think that people in charge of the American electrical grid would be working to make it safer and trying to find ways to protect it from hacker attacks. But you would be wrong. The power grid is actually becoming more and more vulnerable to attack. The reason is that millions of new “smart meters” and associated sensors and communication devices are being connected to the grid. These components come from hundreds of manufacturers and software developers, and each new device represents a potential new vulnerability to cyber attack. CS Monitor

Euro Zone leaders just have to pray for luck now

Friday’s 26-nation deal to save the euro will require months to implement and does nothing in the meantime to alleviate the crisis. Thus, if the euro is to be saved, then a lot of luck will be required. The following must happen if the plan is to succeed: (*) investors will avoid dumping European debt; (*) S&P will hold off with threatened downgrades; (*) foreign governments will provide cash to the European Central Bank (ECB) to prevent a bond panic. The first test will come soon, as S&P decides whether to go ahead and downgrade the AAA ratings of Germany and France. Bloomberg

Proposed S. Korean towers resemble exploding World Trade Center

Left: World Trade Center on 9/11; right: proposed design of Seoul towersLeft: World Trade Center on 9/11; right: proposed design of Seoul towers

Talk about poor taste! A Dutch architectural firm has unveiled pictures of the luxury residential towers scheduled to be built in Seoul, South Korea. The towers include a so-called “cloud” feature connecting them around the 27th floors, resembling the World Trade Towers in the process of collapsing following the 9/11 attacks. I suppose if you lived in one of those “cloud” apartments, then you’d have a spectacular view, but you might be bothered by 3,000 ghosts. Weekly Standard

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