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This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • China’s military strength increasingly alarms neighbors
  • Fears increase over poor civilian control of China’s military
  • The disappearance of the ‘Long March’ generation

China’s military strength increasingly alarms neighbors

China's military
China’s military

China’s Defense Minister General Chang Wanquan was forced to respond to concerns from China’s Asian neighbors who are expressing alarms at China’s rapid military expansion and aggressiveness in the South China Sea and elsewhere. According to Chang:

The remarkable growth of China’s comprehensive national power, and the continued progress in national defense modernization, have become a focus of international attention in recent years. China has learned a bitter lesson from its wretched history [as a victim of aggression and the] practical need to secure its own territory.

As we’ve reported many times, the “practical need to secure its own territory” means using military power to confiscate and annex regions in the South China Sea that have historically belonged to Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and the Philippines. Channel News Asia/AFP and Reuters

Fears increase over poor civilian control of China’s military

Along with a simmering concern about China’s intentions in building a huge military machine, alarm bells have also been rung over whether China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) does what it wants with little civilian control by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). There have been a number of incidents where the CCP has been caught by surprise by PLA actions. One that got worldwide publicity occurred when the PLA ran a surprise stealth fighter test during a visit by then U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in 2011. Apparently the PLA wanted to send a message to both the United States and the CCP. A similar event occurred in September 2012, during a visit by Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta.

An analysis by Andrew Scobell finds a “civil-military gap” with two meanings:

  • “There appear to be significant differences … between the culture, values, and attitudes of Chinese soldiers and civilians. … A gap seems to manifest itself in the policy orientations of Chinese elites in uniform and those in mufti: Chinese soldiers tend to be more intensely nationalistic as well as more hard-line toward the United States and Taiwan.”
  • “In recent years Beijing’s civilian CCP leaders seem to have adopted a hands-off approach to the day-to-day affairs of the PLA.”

Members of the military are “tougher than … civilian officials” and more “hawkish” toward the United States and the international system. Much of this is related to the preoccupation with achieving unification with Taiwan, and the US military is the PLA’s likely adversary.

I would modify Scobell’s analysis to say that the gap between the CCP and the PLA is a generational gap, not a “civil-military gap.” The policy-makers in the CCP are survivors of Mao’s Communist Revolution (1934-49), while the military is filled with younger generations. We all know how, in the United States, many Millennials and Gen-Xers think that all Boomers are completely full of crap. The same thing is true in China, with the younger officers in the military thinking of the geezers in the CCP as hilarious and irrelevant.

The disappearance of the ‘Long March’ generation

In fact, Scobell himself gives a generational explanation. According to Scobell, the loss of CCP control over the military occurred with a generational change in the 1990s, when the generations of survivors of Mao’s Communist Revolution all disappeared. Scobell refers to these survivors as the “Long March generation,” referring to Mao’s Long March that started China’s civil war in 1934:

The disposition and background of the post-Long March generations of political and military leaders have altered the format of civil-military relations and structure of the mechanisms of control.

A core distinguishing characteristic of the Long March generation was the substantial overlap of political and military elites. Former top leaders Mao Zedong, who dominated the Chinese Communist Party from the mid-1930s until his death in 1976, and Deng Xiaoping, who was the paramount figure from the late 1970s until his death in 1997, were the most prominent members of this famous generation of leaders who had participated in the legendary 1930s trek that ensured the survival of the Communist movement. In fact, most leaders of this generation were both political and military elites.

By the mid-1990s, with the passing of the Long March generation, China’s civil-military relations had evolved. In subsequent generations, civilian and military leaders became more differentiated and distinct. At the highest echelon, elites such as retired top leader Jiang Zemin and current [2009] paramount leader Hu Jintao, while holding the position of head of the PLA in addition to their formal government and party posts, did not exert the same kind of influence in, or engender the same kind of deference from, China’s military. In the twenty-first century, China’s Communist Party leaders are civilian technocrats with little or no military experience or expertise. Twenty-two of the 25 members elected to the Politburo at the 17th Party Congress in October 2007 have no military experience, and two of the three remaining are PLA generals.

As I’ve written many times, it’s a core principle of Generational Dynamics that even in a dictatorship, major policies and events are determined by masses of people, entire generations of people, and not by politicians. Thus, Hitler was not the cause of WWII. What politicians say or do is irrelevant, except insofar as their actions reflect the attitudes of the people that they represent, and so politicians can neither cause nor prevent the great events of history.

With this generation gap between the PLA and the CCP, we can see how a war with China could start. We’ve already seen a number of aggressive moves by younger, more impetuous PLA members. These include, for example, provoking confrontations with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands, and provoking dangerous confrontation with U.S. surveillance planes flying over international waters in the South China Sea. One of these impetuous acts could quickly lead to miscalculations that spiral into a wider war. However it happens, the loss of CPP control over the PLA is a very dangerous situation. Diplomat and Andrew Scobell (2009)(PDF) and Foreign Policy (2013)

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, General Chang Wanquan, South China Sea, People’s Liberation Army, PLA, Chinese Communist Party, CCP, Robert Gates, Leon Panetta, Andrew Scobell, civil-military gap, Long March generation, Mao Zedong, Deng Xiaoping, Jiang Zemin, Hu Jintao, Japan, Senkaku, Diaoyu
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Obama Forces Chuck Hagel Out: ‘He Wasn’t Up To The Job’

by Breitbart Feed on November 24, 2014

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President Obama is forcing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel out of his administration after less than a year on the job according to multiple reports.

The New York Times broke the news early Monday morning, reporting that Hagel was resigning “under pressure” and was quickly confirmed by administration sources.

According to NBC News, senior defense officials said that Hagel was forced to resign.

“He wasn’t up to the job,” one senior official said.

Hagel took office in Feb 27, 2013 with heavy praise from Obama when he was first nominated.

“Chuck represents the bipartisan tradition that we need more of in Washington. For his independence and commitment to consensus, he’s earned the respect of national security and military leaders, Republicans and Democrats — including me,” Obama said after nominating Hagel in 2013. “In the Senate, I came to admire his courage and his judgment, his willingness to speak his mind — even if it wasn’t popular, even if it defied the conventional wisdom.”

Obama is expected to announce his decision at the White House State Dining Room at 11:10 a.m.




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China Makes Diplomatic Overture to Vatican

by Breitbart Feed on November 24, 2014

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In its bid for formal diplomatic relations with the Vatican, Beijing is now ready to offer a compromise in the contentious issue of how Catholic bishops are appointed in China. This represents an important departure from Beijing’s hardline position of “no interference” from the Vatican in religious affairs as a condition for relations.

Last February 18, responding to news that Pope Benedict XVI was retiring, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei reiterated that “China is willing to develop relations with the Vatican if the Vatican severs its diplomatic ties with Taiwan and refrains from interfering in China’s internal affairs… particularly the interference in the name of religion.”

There have been no formal diplomatic relations between China and the Holy See since 1951, when China cut off ties with the Vatican. Since then, the Holy See has had diplomatic relations with Taiwan alone.

Now, according to information “leaked” to Wen Wei Po, the Hong-Kong based Chinese newspaper with close ties to the Communist party, Beijing’s position toward the Vatican is thawing.

Beijing is offering two possible scenarios for the joint naming of Catholic bishops in China. In the first case, the candidate would be selected by the diocese according to the procedures currently in force, but would be consecrated only after obtaining the consent of the Holy See. In the second scenario, China’s State Administration for Religious Affairs (SARA) would propose the names of two candidates to the Holy See for each vacant post. And if neither received consent from the Vatican, the selection process would start over from scratch.

This compromise may be just what the Vatican was waiting for. Reports in August suggested that Beijing’s requirement of the Vatican’s severance of diplomatic ties with Taiwan might be the easier of their two conditions, with the appointment of bishops being the real obstacle.

In 2005, Hong Kong bishop Joseph Zen said that “the Holy See has been thinking of giving up Taiwan” in order to establish relations with mainland China, but also indicated that the Vatican expected something from China in return for severing ties with Taiwan, namely in the area of China’s accusations of “interference” in religious affairs.

The Holy See so far has not delivered denials or confirmations on the contents of the article, but a piece in the Global Times indicated that a response is expected in the first months of 2015.

A more serious problem in Sino-Vatican relations may be the issue of the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association (CCPA), an organ established by Mao Zedong in 1958 to control the Catholic Church within China. Mao expelled all foreign missionaries and imprisoned many bishops and priests with ties to Rome, setting up the CCPA in order to establish a Chinese Catholic Church independent of the Holy See, in conformity to Socialist Party ideals.

In a 2007 letter to the Church in China, Pope Benedict expressed his hope “that concrete forms of communication and cooperation between the Holy See and the People’s Republic of China may soon be established.” At the same time, he said that the “declared purpose” of the CCPA “to implement ‘the principles of independence and autonomy, self-management and democratic administration of the Church’ is incompatible with Catholic doctrine.”



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A self-described ISIS sympathizer and extremist threatened to behead former Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor to President George W. Bush and President of the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) Fran Townsend over social media site Twitter on Friday.

The news of the threat was provided to Breitbart News via a press release from CEP. The account belonged to Mujahid Miski; the name is believed to be the alias of a suspected American jihadist with the given name Mohamed Abdullahi Hassan. Hassan is wanted by the FBI and is considered to be a serious and credible threat to national security according to CEP.

His Twitter account has since been removed, but not before CEP put forth at least 12 days of requesting its removal with direct correspondences with Twitter. This is reportedly not the first time the terrorist has taken to social media with violent death threats; two accounts associated with him were twice before suspended before he returned to social media on Friday again threatening Townsend’s life.

In addition to numerous beheading and death threats, Miski (aka Hassan) had praised the gruesome slaughter of five Jews by two Palestinian terrorists at a synagogue in Jerusalem on Twitter. His tweet read, “Allahu Akbar, 5 Jews were sent to hell by two brave Muslims. Allahu Akbar, If only every Muslims could kill 1 Jew, everything would change.”

There are currently approximately 14 million Jews in the world compared to 1.6 billion Muslims. Muslims account for approximately 23% of the entire world’s population. 

CEP is a a bipartisan organization dedicated to identifying and combating global extremism in all its forms. They recently launched a Digital Disruption campaign, which seeks to find and expose extremist Twitter accounts. 

A link to tweets from their campaign can be found by searching Twitter under the hashtag #CEPDigitalDisruption.

Interact with Adelle Nazarian on Twitter @AdelleNaz




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A number of senior Labour figures including former cabinet members have come forward to criticise the “liberal, professional north London set” who presently dominate the party, at a time of unprecedented flight of traditional Labour voters to Euro-sceptic UKIP.

Speaking to the Independent in the wake of the instant defenestration of former Shadow Attorney General Emily Thornberry former minister Frank Field has blasted the elites who run his party, and who he believes have built a “wall” between Labour and working class voters.

His message comes after an apparently mocking tweet showing the modern terraced home of a by-election voter by Thornberry, and a by-election Labour vote collapse which almost rivalled that of the Conservatives. It is little wonder that the appearance of UKIP taking almost as many Labour votes as their rival Tories has senior figures rattled.

Field, who sat on the front benches in the 1980’s and 1990’s before falling out with then prime-minister Tony Blair said of the new Labour elite who prevented Labour reaching out to its traditional working class core: “It’s the north London set we’ve got to control. They are a Berlin Wall trying to prevent us reaching out to our voters, and like the Berlin Wall they’ve got to be demolished.

Speaking of Thornberry’s tweet Field said: “Ed’s trying to move us on immigration and welfare and with one blast of a tweet she wrecks that and puts us back to square one.” The condescending attitude of the “north London set” towards ordinary Britons and how that has been neatly encapsulated in the tweet and its reaction by a “furious” Ed Miliband has not been lost on Field who called it “the most serious thing that has happened” to Labour.

Field is not alone in his concern. Labour MP Simon Danczuk, who is thought to be Eurosceptic and had been rumoured to be a potential UKIP defector, said earlier this month that “it’s time working class communities were shown some respect”,  and was unimpressed by Thornberry. Breitbart London reported his saying she was “being derogatory and dismissive of the people”.

“Everyone will know exactly what she meant by that comment. I’ve talked about this previously. It’s like the Labour party has been hijacked by the north London liberal elite and it’s comments like that which reinforce that view”.  




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Obama: ‘I’ve actually been very restrained’

by Joyce Lambert on November 24, 2014

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Obama-Signs-Executive-Order

President Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he “bent over backwards” to give Congress leeway to pass immigration reform.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Obama said he has issued fewer executive actions than most former presidents “by a longshot.”

“If you ask historians, take a look at the track records of the modern presidency, I’ve actually been very restrained. And I’ve been very restrained with respect to immigration. I bent over backwards and will continue to do everything I can to get Congress to work,” Obama said.

President Obama said in an interview broadcast Sunday that he “bent over backwards” to give Congress leeway to pass immigration reform.

On ABC’s “This Week,” Obama said he has issued fewer executive actions than most former presidents “by a longshot.”

“If you ask historians, take a look at the track records of the modern presidency, I’ve actually been very restrained. And I’ve been very restrained with respect to immigration. I bent over backwards and will continue to do everything I can to get Congress to work,” Obama said.

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WaPo Fact Check: MSM Again Protects Obama from ‘SNL’ Skit

by Breitbart Feed on November 24, 2014

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Another example of just how good Democrats got it in the mainstream media arrived Sunday morning when no less than the Washington Post published a high-profile fact-check of a “Saturday Night Live” skit blasting Obama over his granting of amnesty to millions of illegal aliens through an unprecedented executive action. Needless to say, the Washington Post found the “SNL” skit dishonest:

This skit got a couple of things right, and a couple of things wrong. For starters, Obama didn’t sign an executive order. He is taking executive action, in particular by directing the Department of Homeland Security to expand programs that defer deportation for classes of undocumented immigrants — parents of U.S. citizens or permanent-resident children, as well as undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children. …

As to whether the executive action is unconstitutional? That’s a matter of debate, of course.

As you can see, in order to attack “SNL” as getting things wrong, the Washington Post highlights a distinction without a difference (signing vs. taking executive action) and a matter of opinion over the legality of the move.

The Washington Post isn’t looking to clarify anything, the left-wing outlet is just looking for an excuse to launch into the ether a narrative that claims the skit is dishonest. Simply put, the Washington Post is doing what it can to protect Obama from satire. It’s a smart move, too. Once the skit is labeled dishonest, news outlets have an excuse to not talk about or broadcast it.

The left-leaning “SNL” doesn’t go hard after Obama very often, but when they do the objective, unbiased, not-at-all liberal media is always right there to push back.

If you recall, CNN fact-checked a “SNL’ skit in 2009.

As unprecedented as Obama’s amnesty is, even more so is the idea of a media that poses as serious and objective fact-checking political satire — something I have never seen done to Jon Stewart of Stephen Colbert, despite their serial dishonesty. In fact, the Washington Post is a big fan of Stewart and Colbert and frequently aggregates the left-wing’s duos attacks against conservatives and conservative ideas.

Despites “SNL’s” frequent skewering of Republicans, a good faith search shows no record of either the Washington Post or CNN ever fact-checking those skits. The Washington Post and CNN do, though, love to re-broadcast those skits.

The mainstream media is well-aware of the power of satire. This is why, despite their marginal ratings, Stewart and Colbert are treated as god among a media elite that loves to promote their work.

But God help “SNL” when they dare treat Obama like they do conservatives. Stepping off the liberal plantation has a price — being branded a liar.  

The Washington Post didn’t fact-check “SNL,” they punished “SNL,” and also sent out a warning to anyone else thinking about doing the same.

John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC              




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wh

Are we a bilingual country or what!! Usually it’s some lower level functionary, but this morning the second most powerful person in the White House is speaking Spanish to America.

I feel so bad for my grandparents today. How is it that Roosevelt never gave one of his fireside chats in Yiddish? I mean, there were lots Jewish immigrants from the shtetls in the country at the time. I guess they had to learn English.

The translation is offered by President Obama, who served up the address in English. It includes this egregious little lecture:

We are only here because this country welcomed our forebears, and taught them that being American is about more than what we look like or where we come from. What makes us Americans is our shared commitment to an ideal — that all of us are created equal, and all of us have the chance to make of our lives what we will.

The subtext of the first sentence is that those who oppose Obama on immigration do so out of racism. That conservatives don’t want a bunch of Latinos running around ruining white America, and we’ve got to remember, that “being American is about more than what we look like or where we come from.”

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In the second major massacre in two days, Boko Haram radicals have killed as many as 50 fish vendors in Nigeria’s northern Borno State.

“Scores of Boko Haram fighters blocked a route linking Nigeria with Chad near the fishing village of Doron Baga on the shores of Lake Chad on Thursday and killed a group of 48 fish traders on their way to Chad to buy fish,” according to Abubakar Gamandi, the head of the fish traders association.

Though the violence occurred on Thursday, news of the attack took days to arrive due to the destruction of mobile phone towers in the area by Boko Haram in previous attacks.

Gamandi said the insurgents set up a barricade just over 9 miles from Doron Baga, and stopped a convoy of fish vendors, slaughtering some of them and drowning others in the lake.

He claimed that though the attackers were armed, they killed all of their victims without using their guns. “The attackers killed their victims silently without the use of the gun to avoid attracting attention from the multinational troops,” Gamandi said.

“The Boko Haram gunmen slit the throats of some of the men and tied the hands and legs of the others before throwing them into the lake to drown,” Gamandi reported.

Motives for Thursday’s attack are still unclear.

Just last Wednesday, Boko Haram gunmen stormed through the village of Azaya Kura, also in Borno state, killing at least 45 people. In this year alone, Boko Haram has killed some 2,000 civilians.

The style of this attack was very similar to Thursday’s. In both cases, victims’ hands were tied behind their backs and their throats were slit. This attack was apparently an act of revenge, since the community had identified four Boko Haram members to army soldiers, who shot them dead.

Repeated attacks from Boko Haram have disrupted fishing and farming along the shore of Lake Chad and locals from Doron Baga have been forced to abandon fishing and turn to importing dried fish from neighboring Chad.

Last December Boko Haram Islamists attacked Doron Baga during the night leaving at least seven fishermen dead and many homes burnt to the ground. In August, insurgents again raided Dogon Baga, kidnapping 97 people and slaughtering 28 villagers. The hostages, who included women and children, were loaded onto speed boats and taken across the Lake into Chad.




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Mitt Romney Leads GOP New Hampshire 2016 Poll

by Breitbart Feed on November 24, 2014

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Failed Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is still earning high marks from New Hampshire Republican voters.

A new Bloomberg Politics/Saint Anselm New Hampshire poll shows that Mitt Romney leads the 2016 field with 30 percent support.

Sen. Rand Paul comes in second with 11 percent, followed by Gov. Chris Christie at 9 percent, and Jeb Bush at 8 percent.

Ted Cruz comes in at 5 percent while Texas Governor Rick Perry comes in last at 2 percent.

But what if Mitt Romney does not run for president in 2016? Romney supporters would then turn to Christie first with a 22 percent margin, followed by Bush at 20 percent, then Rand Paul at 19 percent.




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