USA, UK, Europe, India - a new Dark Age?
I -signs of beginning of a Dark Age- Iconoclasm
Is there not a general decline, erosion of confidence in all systems, system of administration, governance, financial systems, security system in practically all democratic countries? Rarely one sees such a strong lack of confidence in all systems. Almost every one in democratic countries now feels uncomfortable and insecure, with no clear idea about what future holds for them.
Think of a turmoil and it is there
Turmoil due to terrorism, extremism by extremist Muslims, Nuclear and Missile proliferation, financial turmoil due to foreign exchange manipulations and other financial games being played by some countries like China and some multinational corporates, resulting in outsourcing and unemployment, erosion of income even to support basic lifestyle for family, corruption and mind boggling money supply to politicians, corporate heads, media and press people, these are the issues on our mind, now a days all the time in our daily behavior.
Common pattern and linked forces of destruction
Signs are indeed quite similar to the period of beginning of dark ages in Europe (UK included). Though there are major differences also. On a careful analysis of all these aspects of decline one does see a common pattern and a set of quite a bit linked forces which are inflicting a sort of attack on all the systems in a methodical manner.
Who are leading these forces of destruction and why? When did it start? Where are we headed? Can it be prevented? These are the aspects, I plan to cover in this series of 3 or 4 articles. I follow regularly news and analysis in countries where you can get all information in English like India, UK, USA etc. So I will cover these issues via events in these countries. Though phenomena and analysis seems to be valid for all democratic countries.
What is dark
Dark ages is considered to be the period in Europe (UK included) roughly from 3rd century AD (after the fall of Roman Empire) to 10th-11th century AD (the so called middle ages period). It is a general feeling that during this period everywhere, there was a gradual decline of economic and social activities as well as destruction of infrastructure. This resulted in increasingly localized outlooks. Most of administrative machinery, army and law and order system had a complete breakdown, often very fast and dramatic. There was a collapse in trade and manufacturing for export. Major industries that depended on trade, such as large-scale pottery manufacture, vanished almost overnight in places like Britain.
Population of Rome declined from 450,000 to 20,000
For almost 1000 years until 1st century AD Rome was politically the most important, richest and largest city in Europe. It had a population of about 450,000 in 100 AD. It declined to about 20,000 during early middle ages.
Urban living declined and people moved to small towns and villages. There was also not much of the the building activity during this period. School system had collapsed and there was a rise of illiteracy even among the leadership. Quite a bit of knowledge and style of earlier period got destroyed. There are not much records of this period and some of earlier literature etc. also got lost. It created a big gap in the over all knowledge of this period as well as past.
Which is what perhaps led Italian scholar Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca) around 1330 to coin the term Dark Age for this period. Petrarch regarded the post-Roman centuries as "dark" compared to the light of classical antiquity. Catholic Church was the only central institution which survived during this decline. Petrarch spent much of his time traveling through Europe rediscovering and republishing classic Latin and Greek texts. Petrarch felt that the classic period of the Greeks and Romans, followed by a time of darkness of more than 900 years, in which he saw himself as still living. He wrote
"My fate is to live among varied and confusing storms. But for you perhaps, if as I hope and wish you will live long after me, there will follow a better age. This sleep of forgetfulness will not last for ever. When the darkness has been dispersed, our descendants can come again in the former pure radiance."
period followed the dark age
Petrarch's wishes were indeed fulfilled. The period after this dark age till 17th century is the opposite in Europe, the so called the renaissance period. It is perhaps among the best eras in European history. Its influence affected literature, philosophy, art, politics, science, religion, and other aspects of intellectual inquiry all over world.
It was also good period for Christianity. It was during this time that Christianity got a little away from usual dogmas associated with religious extremism. It may be noted that Renaissance humanists (at least of later era) did not reject Christianity. Quite the contrary, many of the Renaissance's greatest works were devoted to it. The Church actually patronized many works of Renaissance art. However, a subtle shift took place in the way that intellectuals approached religion and that was reflected in many other areas of cultural life.
Result was exceptional development in Art, Science and Technology, fruits of which we are enjoying today, all over world. We may have faced less problems than what we are facing today, if similar freedom had also developed in Islamic ideas.
flow in India
Coming from India I have always wondered about the dark ages in Europe. In India there has been no such period. There, civilization has followed for more than 5000 years almost a continuous steady path. There may have been declining periods but there is practically no such gap and destruction in any period.
Varanasi is among the oldest cities in India. It has been continuously a large urban area since 3500 years according to a legend, the city was founded by the Hindu deity, Lord Shiva, around 5,000 years ago. It is mentioned in Rigveda which was written at least 4000 years back (Shrutis the spoken form of it is perhaps much older).
History, Older than tradition- Mark Twain
Mark Twain once said about Varanasi "Benares is older than history, older than tradition, older even than legend, and looks twice as old as all of them put together."
It is a city which is considered Holy by all Hindus, Jains as well as Buddhists. Though I must say, in India one does not distinguish different religions in the style, common in other places. They were always considered to be philosophies "which are parallel paths to find truth (and you choose any one or more, suitable for you)". It has been part of culture in India, since ancient times to have "Sarva Dhrama Samana Bhava (have equal glance at all religions)." For more details about these aspects see links below "Truth what it is" and "Why I am vegetarian".
War and destruction for religion was unheard of in India until Muslims started attacking
War for religion was unheard of in India until, Muslims came to India around 10th-11th century and started destroying temples and forcibly converting. Lot of destruction was caused by them.
Later even quite a bit of Muslim style in India also adopted
via Sufism to Indian style and culture of "unity under
diversity". Mughal Emperor Akbar (Mughals were Muslims) in 16th
century even attempted to start a new religion Deen-E -Ilahi
based on Islam, Sufism etc. to make Islamic ideas cohesive
with over all style in India. But it did not succeed and the
next generation of Mughal rulers like Aurangzeb were much more
conservative, violent and very repressive and destructive.
People moved to villages in India too- but this was considered progress
Already by 11th Century agricultural society in India was well developed. Most people lived, just like Europe, in villages. These villages were sort of self sustainable independent entities. This development which allowed a group to live in a small units all by themselves, was in fact considered a big progress in India. Though there were also cities around the same time. Nothing seems to have destroyed.
Puzzle -How could there be a dark age?
Coming from such a region, I used to always wonder how could there have been dark ages. How could knowledge get destroyed? How could business, literature, trade, movement of people go on decline? How can a gap be created in such activities? In a small region such events can occur but how could that happen in a region as large as Europe?
Current events do
give a feeling -no doubt dark age is possible?
But now seeing the changes which took place in last decade, I am no longer so puzzled. We suddenly seem to be loosing a lot. Traveling is no longer that safe. In fact practically every where one has to worry about terrorists. Suddenly you also see personal freedom getting a bit lost for security reasons.
Place where I live is very close to downtown area of Mumbai but almost in a colony of Navy, Army etc. About 10-15 years ago we could walk freely every where here. But slowly they had to introduce some security checkings, identity cards, gates in the colony because of fear of terrorist attacks etc. Indeed 26/11 terrorists attacks in 2008 on hotels in Mumbai and a building inhabited by Jews, were not very far from our home.
India being on the boarder of countries like Pakistan, where such terrorists are trained has been affected much more than most other countries. Terrorist attacks started much earlier in India in early 90's, but now all over world one sees such changes taking place.
Added to this we have financial turmoil. In several countries in Europe, Japan, USA etc. population has started aging. Predictions are that many of them may have decreased population in near future (see link "population myth" below for more details).
Signs are indeed very similar to Dark Ages but hopefully it has not yet started in full force.
What happened during the Roman downfall
Let us see a few aspects of what rulers and others in Roman Empire were doing at the beginning of dark age. What made them incapable. Some assessments of experts are:
- War with Goths- immigrants created trouble with smuggled arms:
In 376, displaced by the invasions of the Huns - the Turkic warrior tribes, the Goths- the Germans, asked to be allowed to settle in the Roman Empire. Hoping that they would become farmers and soldiers, the emperor Valens allowed them. They were not supposed to bring their weapons, however many Goths bribed the Danube border guards into allowing them to bring their weapons. Once across the Danube
(and in Roman territory), the newcomers revolted after suffering many hardships. The result was the battle of
- War with Huns- better technology, discipline not necessarily a winner:
Roman Empire was also invaded by Huns. The Huns had mastered the difficult art of shooting composite recurve bows from horseback.
The discipline and organization of a Roman legion made it a superb fighting unit. The Romans preferred infantry to cavalry because infantry could be trained to retain the formation in combat, while cavalry tended to scatter when faced
- Lack of resources and will- bribing instead of fighting :
The empire lacked the resources, and perhaps the will, to reconstruct the professional mobile army that had been destroyed at Adrianople, so it was forced to rely on barbarian armies to fight for it. The Eastern Roman Empire actually bought off the Goths with tribute.
The patchwork of petty rulers was incapable of supporting the depth of civic infrastructure required to maintain libraries, public baths, arenas, and major educational institutions.
- Population decline:
Some historians have suggested a total European population loss of 50 to 60 percent between 541 and 700 (due to diseases miseries etc.).
Now look at what
is happening now
The attacks like 9/11 or explosions in London transport system were carried out by people who were sort of allowed to immigrate.
- Better technology not always most suitable:
American or British
defense forces are very disciplined and have all the best
instruments, even nuclear armaments. But all of them seem
useless in front this barbarian style of attacks by Muslim
terrorists, home grown or outsiders. As a result, the whole
society in all democratic countries seem to be loosing a lot,
freedom of expressions, privacy rights practically every basic right, very
dear to every one, seems to be getting curtailed (if you write some
thing about Muslim extremists or make just a picture for fun,
one gets worried about soldiers fighting in Afghanistan or
deaths in Muslim countries in processions, or you may get
death fatwa against you issued by some clergy from Iran, or
Pakistan or Saudi Arabia).
- Financial turmoil does indeed seem to create a little darkness.
Society seems to be moving from a very secure society in which most working people had enough to live with their families happily (at least in Europe, USA etc.) suddenly has started feeling insecure about every thing.
Bribing, buying rather than struggling against enemy seems to be the main strategy of US/Nato Forces and administration
There is a lack of resources and perhaps the will in democratic countries to fight the barbaric forces so they have started buying them to get security
- Bribing Taliban
Suddenly Taliban have become good Taliban! It is assumed that some of them can be bribed. Is it not almost similar to bribing attempts of Romans?. There reports that even locally inside Afghanistan soldiers of US/Nato teams often bribe local Taliban to buy security.
bribing in Iraq to save face-100,000 Sunni Gunman on
American pay role in Iraq now join Al Qaeda
The following is quoted from an article NY Times on 17th October 2010.
"Although there are no firm figures, security and political officials say hundreds of the well-disciplined fighters — many of whom have gained extensive knowledge about the American military — appear to have rejoined Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. Beyond that, officials say that even many of the Awakening fighters still on the Iraqi government payroll, possibly thousands of them, covertly aid the insurgency."
Earlier more exact figures were given in an article in Washington Post on September 27 which also tells more details of what actually happened.
"When Petraeus held the Iraq command, he put over 100,000 Sunni gunmen on the American payroll, offering them money and weapons to lie low for the interim."
So American tax payer's money was used to bribe these soldiers to save face of some army generals and administrators and may ultimately result in addition of 100,000 people to deadly terrorist force of Al Qaeda with a lot of knowledge of American arms and army style to create havoc. If past experience gives any indication, it may be in USA itself.
One does not need 100,000's. One such bribed person (by American agencies) can cause 100's of deaths
This is not that new. Some USA agencies, army officers and administrators have been responsible for pouring in billions in Pakistan, with full knowledge that it may go for creation of deadly terrorist forces. What type of havoc it causes, can be judged from the article in "FBI Was Warned Years in Advance of Mumbai Attacker’s Terror Ties" published recently by propublica (see link below), an interesting organization from NY. The article says
"The unusual circumstances of Gilani’s (David Hedley) departure for Pakistan reinforce the theory that he may have been working with the government (USA FBI, DEA etc.)in some capacity at that time. A federal court discharged him from probation in December 2001, well before the scheduled end date in 2004, court records show. Within two months he was training in Pakistan with Lashkar, which had just been designated a terrorist organization by the United States and Pakistan, documents say."
Bribe need not be in money terms, it can be in many other ways.
It is difficult to understand, why would American agencies ask for early discharge of a criminal, whose two wives told FBI in no uncertain terms that he is a terrorist. Release from jail of a criminal or terrorist can also be given as a bribe. It was given as a bribe to him, seems to be the only explanation.
Indian express report of 17th October 2010 says that not just FBI, even Indian agencies knew about it. Though there are also reports that FBI informed Indian agencies but deliberately did not give them the name of the person. Perhaps they valued their connections in Pakistani Army more than fear of a terrorist attack. He, it seems was one of the leaders of the terrorist operation in Mumbai responsible for killing more than 170 people from all over world. Strangely around the same time the law and order machinery of whole democratic world, specially USA, was ready to be charmed by him and ready to bribe him, knowing quite well that he is a terrorist and is getting trained by Lashkar E Toiba, the deadly terrorist organization of Pakistan.
USA fighting war from both sides
Hedley got paid perhaps US$ 25000 for his services of carrying out logistic supports for killings in those hotels of Mumbai by the Pakistani Spy agency ISI. ISI is a part of Pakistani army. USA essentially finances and arms Pakistani Army. Such trail of money, support or logistic support to army or feudal lords of Pakistan and other Muslim countries from USA now seems to be becoming a common phenomena in many instances. Thus money from USA finances terrorists and American soldiers are also fighting war with terrorists (see link below to the article "USA fighting in AF-Pak from both sides"). How can a country like USA get involved in war from both sides? Is this not a question every one should be asking.
One does not see much in dark
It looks like in dark one can not see much. Not many in American main stream political or media and press forums seem to be concerned. In One rare article on this topic in mainstream press in NY times on July 31, 2010, Thomas Friedman noted that USA finances operations involved in getting its own soldiers killed. But his over all tone is also sort of -Oh! it has to be this way, we are helpless. Is USA really that helpless? Here is quote from his article
"So we pay Pakistan to help us in Afghanistan, even though we know some of that money is killing our own soldiers, because we fear that just leaving could lead to Pakistan’s Islamists controlling its bomb. And we send Saudi Arabia money for oil, even though we know that some of it ends up financing the very people we are fighting, because confronting the Saudis over their ideological exports seems too destabilizing"
Oh! Come bull and attack me.
I am reminded of the above old phrase in India. It is not just money for oil, USA has recently announced that it is going to donate arms of 5-6 billions dollars to Pakistani army and it is going to sale arms worth 60 billion dollars to Saudi Arabia.
It does look like we are not too far from Dark Age?
Similarities are indeed quite striking from the Ancient Roman time of beginning of Dark ages. On the other, as I mentioned earlier there are many differences too, we will discuss them later. First let us try to identify what is getting destroyed.
What is the
intention of destroyers - Iconoclasm
Iconoclasm essentially is the deliberate destruction within a culture of the culture's religious icons and other symbols or monuments, usually for religious or political motives. It is a frequent component of major domestic political or religious changes. In past it was assumed that Iconoclasm does not include destruction by outsiders. But in today's free movements, a person who visits your country or even a far away person with network in your country is not really outsider.
Indian and neighboring country's history of last 1000 years is full of Muslim Iconoclast's destruction of Hindu/Jain Temples, Buddhists Stupas, Sikh Gurudwaras
Even in past this phenomena was more or less the same. For example Muslim attackers initially came to India from outside, later many in India were converted and often forcefully. They destroyed and looted 1000's of Temples, Stupas etc. in India. Three most famous examples of iconoclasm by Muslim extremist rulers are destruction of Hindu temples in Mathura (devoted to Krishna), in Varanasi (devoted to Shiva) and in Ayodhya (devoted to Rama) which had traditions continuing for almost 5000 years. The first two were destroyed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1700's and the last one by the first Mughal Emperor Babur.
Idols worship in Muslim mind was identified with Buddhism
The well known Indian reformer and politician, a Buddhist, Dr. B. R. Ambedkar had expressed the opinion "There can be no doubt that the fall of Buddhism (in India) was due to the invasions of the Muslims. Thus the origin of the word ["but", Persian for "idol"] indicates that in the Muslim mind idol worship had come to be identified with the religion of Buddha." The mission to break idols thus became the mission to destroy Buddhism. Islam destroyed Buddhism not only in India but wherever it went. Bactria, Parthia, Afghanistan, Gandhara and Chinese Turkestan, practically every country.
Christians and Muslim-sects also faced quite a bit of destruction by Muslim Iconoclasm
In 1801 and 1802, the Saudi Wahhabis under Abdul Aziz ibn Muhammad ibn Saud attacked and captured the holy Shi'a cities of Karbala and Najaf in Iraq, massacred parts of the Shi'a population and destroyed the tombs of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad, and son of Ali (Ali bin Abu Talib), the son-in-law of Muhammad. The "Edict of Yazīd," issued by the Umayyad caliph Yazid II in 722-723, ordered the destruction of Crosses and Christian images within the territory of the caliphate.
Certain Muslim denominations continue to pursue iconoclastic agendas even within Islamic Holi areas. Examples are reported on-going, destruction by the Wahhabist authorities of Mecca of historic buildings (not images as such) which they claim were or would have become the subject of "idolatry".
Another famous example of iconoclasm is the loss of the nose of the famous Egyptian statue Great Sphinx of Giza destroyed by Muhammad Sa'im al-Dahr in AD 1378, a Sufi Muslim from the khanqah of Sa'id al-Su'ada.
What it has to
do with today?
In the ancient times cultural symbols were statues, temples, kings, emperors, dynasties. Today cultural symbols have changed. There are no more, that many ruling kings, emperors or dynasties. Temples, Stupas, Churches still continue to be important symbols of culture.
Cultural symbols have changed -airports, trade centers, stock exchanges, transport systems
But there are many more new symbols of culture, which now play similar central roles as temples etc. Democratic traditions, freedom of press-media, peaceful atmosphere in cities or countries, trading centers in downtown areas, large airports, local transport systems in cities, trains, buses, metros, stock exchanges, currency exchange, secure communication tools, internet, personnel privacy laws, secure transport via air, sea of human beings as well as goods are some of these new symbols of culture.
Security symbols- nuclear and missiles deterrents
Nuclear deterrent or deterrent via missiles, to avoid a massive destruction are also symbols of culture and security. The deterrent here includes a drive not to use even threat to use these weapons (today even uttering such words is almost like attacking).
Biggest cultural symbol is the minimal life style for the family of any working person
Most important symbol of democratic culture and peace today, which is often neglected by many, is the availability of a minimal life style for the family of every working person in most democratic countries, like USA, most of Europe, Japan, Singapore etc. A minimal life style includes food, reasonable housing, freedom to visit any place in the country and outside, transport, communication and sanitation networks etc. By and large it is available to every one in countries, I mentioned above. In countries like India (with much better resources then some of above mentioned countries- see for details link on population myths) they were lost in quagmires, socialism or license raj etc. for about 4-5 decades. But they have also woken up a little to consider this, as an important part of culture and are trying to make up for the lost time.
Bukhe pet bhajan hoye na gopala (one can not sing a devotional song with empty stomach)
In India there are 100's of such phrases as one written above, many perhaps never mentioned in books. One learns them right from childhood from parents, grand mother, older people etc. These phrases teach you quite strong aspects of life. This one above is one of the best thing a manager or administrator should always keep in mind.
Satisfied people do not support unnecessary wars
Indeed one can not defend a cultural or democratic symbol with empty stomach. Many attribute, a relatively calm atmosphere, good law and order system and peace in western countries to politics and culture etc. or to army and defense technology etc. But I feel one of the biggest reason is this minimal life style, which is being provided. Satisfied people generally do not support unnecessary wars. It also brings in better criminal justice system, more active trade and commerce etc.
A police cop
in Mumbai, Delhi often lives in slums
A contrast one can see in India. It has a very active democracy, a very free society. But it did not pay much attention to bringing the minimal life style for family of every working person. It did not build infra structure of roads, transport etc. Result is that many cops for example live in slums in Mumbai or Delhi. What kind of drive a person will have to provide security to others, who does not have even basic sanitation facilities or enough water in his home (open gutters run just at entrance door of an apartment in such slums)? Result is -Criminal justice system is indeed just limping in India.
It is perhaps just style of culture and simple style of daily life, people live, which ensures security in India. Many of these police cops despite such a shabby life are very devoted. It is indeed a miracle and shows the strength of this simple life style.
Henry Ford, Garbage Trucks, Indian IT Companies
This minimal life style did not come to these countries, because of ideal administrators etc. It got built over decades as a part of culture, business proposition. Technologies and businesses developed with this idea in mind.
I often remember two examples from USA. When Henry Ford built his automobile company, he did not do it just by hoarding. He was first one to reduce working hours from 10-12 hours to 8 hours. He also started financial companies which gave loans to its own employees for housing, cars etc.
When ever I visit USA, I am amazed to see these garbage picking giant trucks. While one admires the technology behind all the gadgets in that truck, I admire much more the desire and concern for the driver or garbage pickers which must have inspired that invention. Idea must have been that driver is also a human being and try to make his life comfortable- in that hard winter, he does not have come out from his warm truck.
Another example I see in India. Big IT companies in India could have avoided paying very large salaries to Indian engineers (even 2000 dollars, a month is a lot of money for a young guy in India). They perhaps may have ended up making a little more profit in the short run. They preferred to not only pay them well but also tried to look after them well, provided them with good hostels in young days, on campus, helped them with expensive housing etc. Shopping malls which are being created in big cities adopted similar culture.
IT/Shopping malls forced even government to change salary patterns for its employees
Result of this style by IT and other companies was that, the government in India was forced to adopt to a much better salary pattern in a recent salary commission (India has a system of these salary commissions every ten years, which increase salaries to compensate for inflation etc.). Many government employees who have worked for 30-40 years, feel that this is first time in their life that salaries are enough to maintain their families.
These are the type of ideas which created not only money for business people but also this strongest cultural symbol of minimal life style.
Now look at what are things destroyed or attacked during last three decades
Most visible is of course 9/11 destruction of World Trade Centers in New York. London transport system explosions was another visible attack. There were explosions in Metro system earlier even in France. Israel faces terrorist attacks practically every day. Much before this in early 90's there were serial bomb explosions in Mumbai. The attacks were on Mumbai stock exchange building and in Kalbadevi, the area where mainly traders and shoppers live and do business and similar other places. Trains in Mumbai have been attacked several times. WTC in NY was attacked earlier also in 90's. Indian Parliament building in Delhi and Hotels in Mumbai have been attacked with brutal killings.
Temples have been attacked but cities, where they were symbols of culture
People who planned and implemented these attacks could have used this capacity to attack other crowded places. For example in Mumbai they could have attacked temples. Even very small temples or churches in India are generally quite crowded. But they preferred iconoclasm - destroy cultural symbols of Mumbai- trade, stock exchange building, trains-transport system, Hotels etc. Temples have been attacked with bomb blasts but in other cities, where they more represent the cultural symbols, like in Varanasi. Concentration is no doubt on iconoclasm.
Attacks on financial and security systems
One can see another form of iconoclastic attacks continued for last 3-4 decades. Proliferation of nuclear arms, missiles, specially in countries which were involved in attacks, I described above. Aim is to destroy the security system in world. Proliferation started in Pakistan, North Korea and seems to be spreading via them to Iran, Libya etc. The main backside player in proliferation has been China and recently Russia. USA has also played an important role in this proliferation. Again as in the case of terror turmoil, USA is also main supporter of these security systems via nonproliferation at the same time it also helped in proliferation. Some American Agencies were eager supporters of these proliferating by forcing others to keep silence about it. Only recently after 9/11 and terrorist turmoil, Americans have started worrying about it. Though still not completely. We will discuss in part II, what forces US administration to indulge in this duplicity and bring insecurity to its own people.
Foreign exchange manipulations and using it to force outsourcing of manufacturing is also a form of iconoclasm
Virus attacks on internet, emails, security systems -methodically spread are also attacks of similar type. Financial system has a big insecurity in USA, Europe etc., not just because of housing crisis but also quite a bit because of advantage being taken by countries like China of inappropriate implementation of WTO laws and foreign exchange manipulations and resulted forced outsourcing of manufacturing of routine items.
Forfeiting of currency
Forfeiting of currency in a country is being used as another form of attack on the system. This is happening in India for example, for several decades. All indications are that the people who are ruling over it are either members of spy agency ISI of Pakistan or smugglers like Dawood from India or Pakistan, who live in Pakistan and are protected by ISI. The same smugglers have also been reported to be involved in terrorist attacks in Mumbai. So iconoclasm is quite clear intention.
Attacks on visa-passport system, secure shipping routes
Many Indians involved in providing logistic support to terrorist attacks or smuggling, who were caught by police, have confessed visits to Pakistan via UAE for training for their criminal and violent activities. But their passports do not have stamps showing visits to Pakistan. So some involvement of Pakistani government machinery is more or less indicated.
Chinese seems to be on similar paths. It has started issuing visas to some people from India for visits not on passports but on separate papers so that their visits can not be recognized on passport.
Shipping routes are no longer that safe. One very visible problem is near Somalia. Again trouble makers have been reported to have traces of support from Muslim terrorist organizations. Another problem which time being not so serious but has potential to become serious enough is being created mainly by China in oceans surrounding Asia . The tool used is creating disputes about ownership of lands etc. India, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan almost every country in reason is feeling the heat, uncomfortableness with increasing incidents of this menace in making.
The most brutal is the iconoclastic attack is on the backbone of peace and culture in democratic countries - minimal life style for a family
People no longer feel safe about secure financial capacity to meet demands of minimal life style for family of every working person. That is as I mentioned earlier backbone of lot of stability and peace in whole democratic system. What causes it? There is no doubt that outsourcing manufacturing of routine items is one of main causes of erosion of this security. Chinese administration's dependence on foreign exchange manipulations, is indeed one of the main weapon of this attack. But there are other players too. Corporate world's drive in USA, Europe etc. to shift from manufacturing to financial games has been also a backer of this attack.
Attack on family-marriage system
Let me end this part I with quotes from an interesting article on "Income Inequality- to big to Ignore" by Robert Frank in NY times on October 16, 2010. Figures do speak a lot on this brutal attack and signs of beginning of Dark Ages. Last one also shows that this brutal attack is also actually attack on whole family and marriage system. These are figures from USA but disparity figures richest and others are not very different in other countries.
"During the three decades after World War II, for example, incomes in the United States rose rapidly and at about the same rate — almost 3 percent a year — for people at all income levels. America had an economically vibrant middle class. Roads and bridges were well maintained, and impressive new infrastructure was being built. People were optimistic. By contrast, during the last three decades the economy has grown much more slowly, and our infrastructure has fallen into grave disrepair. Most troubling, all significant income growth has been concentrated at the top of the scale"
"The share of total income going to the top 1 percent of earners, which stood at 8.9 percent in 1976, rose to 23.5 percent by 2007, but during the same period, the average inflation-adjusted hourly wage declined by more than 7 percent. "
"The counties where income inequality grew fastest also showed the biggest increases in symptoms of financial distress.
For example, even after controlling for other factors, these counties had the largest increases in bankruptcy filings.
Divorce rates are another reliable indicator of financial distress, as marriage counselors report that a high proportion of couples they see are experiencing significant financial problems. The counties with the biggest increases in inequality also reported the largest increases in divorce rates."
1. Wikipedia is one big source of information. Here are some of the links
2. Here are links some of my articles on hubpages referred above
3. An exceptionally well written article tracing rise of extremism among Muslims in Pakistan by Pakistani column writer
4. NY Times articles
The article about economic decline
The article about economic decline in Japan
Article by Thomas Friedman
5. Some other articles
Artilces on Hedley escape to Pakistan for terror
Obama Policy of giving arms donation to Pakistani army and pressurizing India to buy arms is noticed.
Currency war article
Pictures taken from the following sites