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High Youth Unemployment in the Middle East fuels ISIS growth

High Youth Unemployment in the Middle East fuels ISIS growth | September 16, 2014
by John Brian Shannon John Brian Shannon

Unemployment among youth hits 70 percent in some Middle Eastern nations

It’s not a temporary situation, it’s the normal state of affairs there, and almost alone, is responsible for the rapid rise of terrorism and other crime since very high unemployment levels hit the region.

Young people without jobs and with few prospects for the future…

…inevitably end up becoming angry and seeking enablers to their fantasies of ‘getting back at the world’ for their perceived feelings of lost opportunity.

Extremist religious types — who were once openly laughed at for their ridiculous ideologies and who could barely attract five new followers per year — suddenly found themselves awash in donations and attracting large numbers of young followers.

Not that most of the followers were deeply committed, mind you

But with nothing to do and with nowhere else to be, youths gravitated toward locations where their desire to be heard and belong to a community (any community!) helped to strengthen their sense of identity and belonging.

If you’ve ever been to Saudi Arabia, you’ll remember this well. Just try to enter a shopping mall there without getting harangued by dozens or hundreds of youths, all milling about with nothing better to do than annoy shoppers. (The Saudi’s call them gorillas because of the feelings of fear and loathing that they engender among the Saudi population. In polite company, they are referred to as ‘the young lions.’)

God help you, if you’re a female (even if accompanied by an adult male) on her way to work in the mall

That female will face verbal attack from the time she enters the mall property, all through the workday until she leaves the mall property at the end of the day. Every day.

People who’ve never been to Saudi Arabia have all sorts of fanciful ideas about why this happens

The truth is, it has nothing to do with Islam, nothing to do with a ‘flawed society’ nor does it have anything to do with the colour of anyone’s skin.

What’s everything in all of this, is that millions of young men in the Middle East have no job, no hope of ever getting a job, and (the ultimate status symbol there) no hope of ever having a wife and family

Which makes ‘the angry young lions’ jealous of anyone with a job. They see anyone ‘with a job’ as the person who has ‘stolen their job’ and who has hijacked and ‘stolen their future.’

Whether that’s true or not, is irrelevant. That’s how they feel, therefore, that’s how it goes down. Hatred for those with jobs, doesn’t begin to describe it.

And whose fault is all of this?

Who cares? Let’s just solve the problem!

But why should we in the West want to solve this problem?

Maybe that isn’t the right question.

How about; Where did all these terrorists come from anyways?

Or how about; If all of these terrorists had jobs, would we have spent over a trillion dollars and lose brave people to fight two wars for us — that none of us wanted in the first place?

The huge uptick in terrorism wouldn’t have ever occurred if a majority of Middle Eastern youths had jobs.

How do we know this?

Easy. Look at the historical and present-day crime rates in countries with very low unemployment — particularly among youth — and you see a direct correlation between unemployment and crime. Low unemployment directly corresponds with a low crime rate. Particularly violent crime.

When we look at countries with medium unemployment rates we see a direct correlation to medium crime rates.

And in every nation with high youth unemployment, we see a direct correlation with high crime rates.

America’s inner cities are famous examples

High unemployment equals high crime rates.

Where organizations have stepped up and provided jobs to inner city youths, crime rates have plummeted. Nobody disputes this, the evidence is astonishingly clear. It’s beyond dispute.

People who are busy at work…

…don’t fall into the traps that eventually lead to crime.

People who have jobs and ‘have a life’ just don’t bother to endanger their life in order to go out and commit crimes.

Those people have something to lose — quite unlike the angry young lions that hang out at malls throughout the Middle East and who live to lay a beating on anyone with a job.

If all of these young lions were to suddenly have jobs, there would be no ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, or Al Qaida.

They’re only attracted to these organizations because they don’t ‘have a life’ to lose.

Belonging to an organization with the power to terrify even the mighty America gives them focus. They are thereby empowered to do all that it takes to aid the organization that has added significant meaning to their lives.

Unemployed Middle Eastern youth – a hypothetical example:

Let’s say for example there are one million of these angry young lions in a certain country — that are already a part of a terror entity or soon to become part of one.

If we gave every single one of them a paying job, it would be the death of ISIS and all other terror organizations in that country within a short time.

The question is; Should we spend another trillion dollars over the next ten years and sacrifice the lives of many of our youngest and finest to fight this new flood of terrorists — or spend much less to create viable employment for a cohort of one million?

You decide!

We will either spend the money to provide jobs for these unemployed youths — or we will be fighting these (1 million) youths, cum terrorists, until the day they die or become too injured to fight.

If only the number of these angry young lions was capped at 1 million!

I have news for you; There are more than that in each of the following nations; Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Nigeria, and many other countries.

Egypt alone has a population of 84 million people most of whom are under age 40. As opposed to Germany’s aging population of 84 million. That’s why Egypt will have 91 million people by 2020, while Germany will have only 81 million people by 2020.

By 2050, Egypt will have 121 million people, the vast majority of whom will be under age 40 — while Germany will have 72 million, most of whom will be over age 40.

That’s demographics for you

(From here on, we’ll be referring to ‘The NEET Rate’ which describes those people who are Not in Education, Employment or Training’ and describes those who’vegiven up’ looking for work)

The unemployment rate in Egypt (including NEET’s) is over 50% among youth because Egypt has a young population.

That’s a lot of angry young lions just waiting for a paid opportunity (a job) or an unpaid cause (an organization) to join — so that they can ‘have a life’.

MENA unemployment and not actively looking for work 2010

2005-2010 Middle East/North Africa people aged 15-24 who are unemployed or are Not in Education, Employment or Training. This chart was created prior to the Arab Spring — unemployment and NEET rates have skyrocketed since then.

Shall we discuss the future?

We’ve talked about Egypt, let’s talk about Nigeria.

A similar demographic exists there, but with even higher youth unemployment levels that hit 70% in rural areas.

Oh, one thing. Nigeria’s population is expected to hit 210 million in five years.

Nigeria’s population will hit 440 million by 2050, easily surpassing that of the United States with its (by then) population of 400 million.

How many angry young Nigerian lions do we want, all of whom may be jealous of the lifestyle that we in the West enjoy? The present unemployment rate among youth there is over 50 percent.

It appears that by 2040 we will have many angry young lions in Nigeria.

Anyone who thinks that we can just ‘wall off’ North America or Europe is living in a fantasy world!

Our trade is international. Our allies don’t all live on this continent nor do they all live on the European continent.

Our environment is a global environment. What happens elsewhere impacts us.

A crisis is coming to the world that will make the Cold War seem tiny by comparison

That crisis will involve millions of unemployed and unsatisfied young people who may be angry at our success and may be quite jealous of the Western lifestyle.

They’re people who’ve not had access to a high standard of education, they’ve missed out on many of the luxuries that we take for granted, they’re people who may be easy prey for seductive ideologies and calls to action by a small number of wealthy and educated warlords.

As big as the looming Egyptian and Nigerian unemployed youth problem is — it pales in comparison to the whole Africa, whole Middle East, or whole Asia problem of unemployed youth.

By 2020, more than half of the world’s population will be under age 40, unemployed, and living on less than $5.00 per day

Not only that, most of them will have a rudimentary education by Western standards and at some point they may become exploited and co-opted by those with poisonous ideology and ill-intent towards the West.

Buckminster Fuller

Buckminster Fuller says to build a better model.

Instead of the underwhelming approach that we’ve employed so far, the world needs to begin to formulate a plan — an effective plan, a plan that is orders of magnitude larger than the Cold War effort — to employ massive numbers of young people around the world.

If we don’t, it will eventually result in the collapse of our civilizational model, or at the very least, collapse of some societies within our civilization.

It’s not optional. It’s a must-do.





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