World View: Violence in Afghanistan Surges in September

World View: Violence in Afghanistan Surges in September

This morning’s key headlines from

  • Leaders of Greece’s Golden Dawn ‘criminal organization’ arrested
  • Number of violent incidents in Afghanistan surge in September

Leaders of Greece’s Golden Dawn ‘criminal organization’ arrested

Pavlos Fyssas, or Killah P, rapped against racism (BBC)
Pavlos Fyssas, or Killah P, rapped against racism (BBC)

In an extraordinary move, Greece’s police have arrested the leader ofthe neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, Nikolaos Michaloliakos, and formallycharged him with belonging to a criminal organization. Dozens moremembers have been arrested as well, including four MPs (holding seatsin Greece’s parliament). The charges include homicide, attemptedhomicide, money laundering, blackmail, grievous bodily harm, and otherserious crimes.

Not since the end of Greece’s military dictatorship in 1974 has therebeen a mass arrest of MPs. Due to the nature of the charges, it’sclear that the government has been preparing for this day for a longtime, but has been reluctant to take steps for fear of a politicalbacklash.

Nonetheless, there may still be a backlash. Because of the financialcrisis, hundreds of thousands of Greeks have indicated in polls thatthey wanted to vote for Golden Dawn, even though Golden Dawn partymembers have openly assaulted immigrants and other people that theydon’t like, and called for deportation of even Greek citizens who arenot pure ethnic Greeks. The Greek public only turned against GoldenDawn on September 18, after self-identified Golden Dawn membersmurdered a white Greek civilian, Pavlos Fyssas, or Killah P, whorapped against the kind of racism that Golden Dawn practices. Thatkilling shocked the Greek public, and allowed the government to goahead with the arrests of Golden Dawn members, but with Golden Dawn sopopular in the past, a backlash is still feared as the memory of thedeath of Killah P recedes. Kathimerini and BBC and Kathimerini

Number of violent incidents in Afghanistan surge in September

As Nato and American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, the dreamy hopeis that the amount of violence will go down, sort of like whathappened in Iraq before the American forces were withdrawn in December2011. But a new report shows that the number of security incidents –bombings, shootings and other violent attacks — has been increasingand surged significantly in September. The table of monthly securityincidents is as follows:

Month            Number of incidents---------------  -------------------Mar               167Apr              1145May              1363June             1317July             1466Aug              1205Sep to 26 Sep    1724

President Barack Obama adopted a “surge” strategy in Afghanistanbecause he was hoping to repeat the enormous success of PresidentGeorge Bush’s “surge” strategy in Iraq. But as I wrote at the time,from the point of view of Generational Dynamics, there are significantdifferences between Iraq and Afghanistan that make a surge strategy inAfghanistan very unlikely to succeed, even though it worked in Iraq,and it has to do with the fact that Iraq’s last generational crisiswar (the Iran/Iraq war, 1980-88) was an EXTERNAL war, while forAfghanistan it was a bloody internal CIVIL war (1991-96). (See “2-Sep-12 World View — U.S. decision on Haqqani Network will affect Pakistan relations”)

When a country unites to fight a foreign enemy in a generationalcrisis war, then that feeling of unity survives through thefollowing Recovery and Awakening eras. But when a generationalcrisis civil war splits a country, that split survives intothe following Recovery and Awakening eras.

So forget about generational theory, and just imagine what’s beengoing on in Afghanistan. The civil war pit the Pashtuns in southernAfghanistan against the the Northern Alliance, an alliance of Tajiks,Hazaras and Uzbeks in northern Afghanistan. Each of these two sidesraped, mutilated, tortured and massacred people on the other side,there are many people alive today who remember those horrors. Sothere’s no way that these ethnic groups are going to get along, evenas well as they do in Iraq. In Iraq, the main instigators of violenceare Sunni jihadist foreign fighters, but in Afghanistan, it’s theAfghan people themselves.

Some analysts are talking about a “Pashtun uprising,” pointing to thefact that the Taliban are jihadist Pashtuns, implying a renewal of the1990s civil war. This is impossible in a generational Awakening era.There will be no new civil war, but there will be an increase inas the American and Nato forces leave. KGS Night Watch

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