This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Hong Kong threatened with riots as China reneges on democracy
- Coup possible in Pakistan after night of violence
- Russian troops threaten Ukraine’s entire coastline
- Colleges preparing to screen incoming students for Ebola
Hong Kong threatened with riots as China reneges on democracy
On 1 July tens of thousands marched against candidate restrictions in the territory. Tens of thousands held pro-Beijing rallies on August 17. (AP)
Tens of thousands of activists in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movementare threatening an “Occupy Central” civil disobedience protest onSunday. Threatened actions could include a boycott of universityclasses, wildcat street protests, strikes and a mass refusal to paytaxes.
They are objecting to China’s apparent reneging on the 1997 agreementunder which Hong Kong as a British colony reverted to Chinese control.The deal was known as “one country, two systems,” meaning that Beijingwould pursue Communism and Socialism, while Hong Kong would retain itsdemocracy, its capitalist system, and its way of life. According tothe agreement, this policy would be in effect for 50 years, until2047.
However, now China is demanding that the schedule 2017 elections betightly controlled. They will be “free” elections, but the onlycandidates who will be permitted to be run have to be approved acity’s population is split between the pro and anti-Beijingprotesters, which could result in violence. Thousands ofpolice are expected to be on hand on Sunday.
China says that it has “comprehensive jurisdiction” over Hong Kong,and that any attempt to implement “international standards” ofdemocracy would only cause economic and social chaos, without bringingany benefit to the interests of the Hong Kong people. Reuters and BBC and Xinhua (Beijing)
Coup possible in Pakistan after night of violence
Hundreds of people were injured in Islamabad on Saturday, as tens ofthousands of supporters of political opposition leaders Imran Khan andcleric Tahirul Qadri continued the protest that began several weeksago. ( “20-Aug-14 World View — Pakistan’s army called to quell massive anti-government protest”)
The protesters began by storming Pakistan’s parliament building, andthen changed directions towards the house of prime minister NawazSharif. At tis point, the police turned against the protesters, withthe result of the worst violence in Pakistan’s 67 year history.
It’s suspected, though not proven, that army chief Gen. Raheel Sharifis supporting the demonstrations. The army chief has publicly taken acentral role in the political crisis by offering to mediate, and thearmy chief is known to be furious at the prime minister for thelatter’s prosecution of former prime minister Pervez Musharraf forminister in 1999 by means of a coup that deposed and exiled thecurrent prime minister Nawaz Sharif. After Musharaff stepped down,Sharif became prime minister again and imprisoned Musharaff, who isstill under house arrest.
Saturday’s riots raise concerns that Nawaz Sharif will now be forcedto step down again, and the army will once again be in control ofPakistan’s government, in what would essentially be an army coup.BBC andDawn (Pakistan) and Guardian (London) and BBC
Russian troops threaten Ukraine’s entire coastline
Ukraine – thousands of Russian troops have crossed the border and appear poised for an attack on the port city of Mariupol. It’s feared that Russian troops will join with troops already in Crimea, continue all the way to Odessa, and connect with separatist Moldovans in Transnistria in eastern Moldova
Ukraine’s army is bracing itself for an assault by Russian forces onthe coastal port city of Mariupol. Russian separatist forces inUkraine, bolstered by an invasion of thousands of Russian soldiersthat have crossed the border from Russia, are established abouthalfway between Mariupol and the Russian border. Ukrainianforces are are reinforcing checkpoints and digging trenchesin anticipation of an attack.
With thousands of Russian troops already taking part, European leadersare warning about an escalation. Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenkocalls it a “full-scale invasion.”
Lithuania’s President Dalia Grybauskaite said, “Russia is at waragainst Ukraine and that is against a country which wants to be partof Europe. Russia is practically in war against Europe.” EuropeanCommission President Jose Manuel Barroso says that the situation “hasworsened considerably,” and added:
“We may see a situation where we reach the point of noreturn. If the escalation of the conflict continues, this pointof no return can come.”
However, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin appeared to be mocking andthreatening Europe with these comments on Friday when he said:
“Russia is far from being involved in any large-scaleconflicts. We don’t want that and don’t plan on it. Butnaturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggressiontowards Russia.
Russia’s partners … should understand it’s best not to mess withus. Thank God, I think no one is thinking of unleashing alarge-scale conflict with Russia. I want to remind you that Russiais one of the leading nuclear powers.”
Putin’s message is simple: Russian forces have already attacked andannexed Crimea, Russian forces are preparing to launch an attack onMariupol, and Russian forces will continue to whatever he wants themto do, and no one will stop them.
Barroso’s comment about a “point of no return” is quite real. Putinis crossing one red line after another, and keeps getting away withit. But if he keeps doing that, then at some point he’s going triggerwhat in generational theory is called a “regeneracy,” a kind of panicthat causes the population to put politics aside and unite, usuallybehind a military leader. A financial panic is similar. The panic istriggered because of a sudden fear that the society or its way of lifeis facing an existential threat that must be conquered.
This kind of panic could not have happened during the 1980s or 1990s,because survivors of World War II were still running the world, andwhen survivors of the previous generational crisis war are still incharge, then the society is resilient to this panic. But as the WW IIsurvivors disappear, the society becomes less resilient, and the rightkind of event can trigger a panic and a war. That will be the “pointof no return” that Barroso is referring to.
I used to think that it would be China or the Mideast that wouldtrigger the next world war. But as Putin crosses one red line afteranother in Ukraine and Syria as the world goes deeper into agenerational Crisis era, it may well be that Putin is the one thathistory will blame for starting World War III. CNN andBBC andReuters
Colleges preparing to screen incoming students for Ebola
Thousands of college students from West Africa, especially thecountries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, where theEbola pandemic is out of control in some areas, may be subjected toscreening for Ebola when they arrive at their colleges in the nextcouple of weeks. The odds any arriving students having Ebola, or ofinfecting anyone else, are almost nonexistent, but the screeningprocess is considered a necessary precaution. “Parents are comfortedto know that there is a screening process, that we are alert for it,that we are prepared for it,” according to one college official.AP and Boston Public Health Commission (PDF)
KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, Hong Kong, Occupy Central,Pakistan, Imran Khan, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri,Gen. Raheel Sharif, Pervez Musharraf,Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Mariupol, Odessa,Lithuania, Dalia Grybauskaite, Jose Manuel Barroso,Vladimir Putin, West Africa
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