This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.
- News alert: North Korea’s president Kim Jong-il is dead
- Egyptians shocked by video of army beating veiled woman protester
- Hamas moves away from violence in deal with Palestinian Authority
- Rumors abound that Turkey’s Erdogan is seriously ill from cancer
- Iraq’s government destabilizes after Americans’ departure
- American withdrawal from Iraq widens rift between Turkey and Iran
- Iraq headed for further political chaos
- China announces restrictions on Cantonese broadcasts
- Video of Egyptian woman beaten in Tahrir Square
News alert: North Korea’s president Kim Jong-il is dead
The South Korean military is calling a military alert with the announcement of the death of North Korea’s president Kim Jong-il at age 69. The anointed successor is his son, Kim Jong-un, but the death will trigger trigger a succession fight that may destabilize the entire government and lead to civil war, or a panicked attack on South Korea. Any major North Korean crisis will also send millions of refugees pouring into China. Yonhap
Egyptians shocked by video of army beating veiled woman protester
Photos and videos are spreading on the internet of Egyptian troops brutalizing women with metal poles, while kicking them, tearing their clothes, and stomping on their breasts. Protesters have been calling for the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), which has been governing Egypt since Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down in February, to step down and turn the government over the civilian control. However, Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzuri raised tensions on Saturday by accusing the protesters of being counter-revolutionaries and denying security forces had opened fire:
“Those who are in Tahrir Square are not the youth of the revolution. This is not a revolution, but a counter-revolution.”
This has angered protesters, and the videos of army violence have infuriated protesters. The complete video of the beaten woman is at the end of this World View report. AP
From the point of view of Generational Dynamics, Egypt is different from Syria and Iran. The latter two countries are in a generational awakening era, when a civil war is impossible, so any regime change is expected to generate only short-lived violence that should fizzle quickly (as happened in Iraq in 2006-7). But Egypt is in a generational crisis era, so that increasing violence could spiral into a crisis civil war.
Hamas moves away from violence in deal with Palestinian Authority
Hamas has confirmed that it will shift tactics away from violent attacks on Israel as part of a rapprochement with the Palestinian Authority (Fatah). According to a spokesman, “Violence is no longer the primary option but if Israel pushes us, we reserve the right to defend ourselves with force.” This may surprise some people, but it’s quite natural as the Hamas leadership grows older. But as we’ve reported recently, a more violent group, Islamic Jihad is led by a younger generation and is growing quickly in capabilities and military infrastructure. This presents a major challenge to Hamas’s authority. Hamas and Fatah will try once again to reconcile and form a unity government, but they failed at that several times already. Guardian
Rumors abound that Turkey’s Erdogan is seriously ill from cancer
Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was reported to have undergone abdominal surgery on November 26. Turkish officials denied rumors of cancer and insisted that he was in good health, but new reports have emerged that he entered the hospital again on Sunday, suffering from Rectosigmoid cancer, though it’s not known how advanced it is. Erdogan has been the leading political figure in the Mideast for a couple of years and his disappearance would add to the general destabilization of the entire region, which seems to be getting worse every day. Debka
Iraq’s government destabilizes after Americans’ departure
As the last American soldiers leave Iraq, old sectarian rivalries are beginning to reemerge. Saddam Hussein’s government was Sunni-led, and its treatment of the majority Shia population was brutal. The American-led war has put Shia officials in charge, and created an uneasy alliance between Shia and Sunni, with American troops providing the glue. Now the glue is gone, and the government is becoming unstable. Two Sunni provinces are withdrawing from the government, saying that they want to declare themselves as autonomous regions like the Kurds in the north. There’s also a widespread conviction that with the Americans gone, Iranian influence will spread. BBC
American withdrawal from Iraq widens rift between Turkey and Iran
As we recently reported, Turkey’s Supreme Military Council has announced that it has reviewed Turkish Armed Forces preparedness for war, without specifying what threats it’s preparing for. However, it’s assumed that Turkey is preparing for war in Syria, and possibly its main supporter, Iran. The American withdrawal from Iraq opens a new area of competition between Turkey and Iran, with the possibilities that Turkey will be aligned with the Sunnis in the west, and Iran will be aligned with the Shias in the east. Iraq’s Shia-led government is demanding that Turkey stop interfering in Iraq, and has welcomed a closer relationship with Iran, something that’s sure to make Iraq’s Sunni minority increasingly nervous. Zaman (Istanbul)
Iraq headed for further political chaos
During the period 2003-2008, when I was writing a lot about the Iraq war, the mainstream media articles, quoting so-called experts in Washington, were almost entirely fatuous ideological nonsense, written by people who knew little more about Iraq then how to spell it. It was a great shock to me to learn how abysmally ignorant the Washington politicians, journalists, analysts and “experts” are about even the simplest facts about the Mideast.
Articles in Congressional Quarterly and other publications showed that politicians and journalists were totally ignorant about Iraq, not knowing even the simple fact that al-Qaeda is a Sunni organization. Nancy Pelosi indicated she was completely unaware that al-Qaeda was even in Iraq. And this isn’t a one-sided appraisal; Republicans and Democrats were equally ignorant. Generational Dynamics is the only methodology that produced correct predictions about Iraq, and my web site was the only one in the world that tells you what’s going on in the world, and what’s going to happen. In particular, my 2007 article, “Iraqi Sunnis are turning against al-Qaeda in Iraq,” was the best analytical article on what was happening in Iraq than any article on any other web site or publication in the world.
In that article, I pointed out that if you want to understand Iraq today, then you have to understand Iraq’s history at least as far back as the Great Iraqi Revolution of 1920. In particular, you have to look at Iraq in the 1930s, Iraq’s last generational awakening era prior to the current one. The main point is utter political chaos, and that’s what we can expect today. But the history of Iraq also shows that Iraq’s Sunni and Shia populations are highly nationalistic, and consider themselves to be Iraqis first, and Sunnis or Shias second. This indicates that they’ll unite if threatened by Iran, Turkey, or anyone else.
China announces restrictions on Cantonese broadcasts
China has announced that all television and radio stations must broadcast only in the Mandarin (Putonghua) language. The requirement is particularly targeted at Guangdong province in the South, where the indigenous population speaks Cantonese. When China announced this policy a year ago, it triggered a series of mass demonstrations by furious Cantonese speakers, causing Beijing to back off. The new announcement says that the law will come into effect on March 1. South China Morning Post (Hong Kong)
Video of Egyptian woman beaten in Tahrir Square
The following video (or a different video with additional footage) is extremely graphic, and should be viewed only by people with strong stomachs. Helmeted officer charge toward a veiled woman in Tahrir Square, drag her on the ground, beat her with clubs, kick her in the head, stomp on her, and drag her by her hair. One soldier even pulled her veil over her head stomps on her breasts.
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