|Ken Novak's Weblog
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Friday, March 14, 2003
Arnaud de Borchgrave Clash of Civilizations or New World Disorder?: Crusty editor-at-large for UPI, Newsweek's Chief Foreign Correspondent, prominent at the magazine beginning in 1950. Long, provocative rant on future terrorism:
- All I can say with a reasonable degree of certainty is that the world today is a lot safer than it will be in 10 years from now, as the forces of nationalism, fundamentalism, globalism, and increasingly transnationalism sort themselves out.
- With the advent of nanotechnology – a field that I have been fascinated with for several years – the world of the invisible, we will see more change during the next 10 years, than what we have witnessed over the past 100 years... The future is extremely difficult to forecast, but recall when the Wright Brothers had their first flight in 1903. Just 66 years later, we were landing on the moon. What is 66 years in terms of history – not even a fleeting second. Use this as a base to imagine what will happen in the next few years.
- Those policy makers who imagine Iraq to morph into a democratic Garden of Eden, and then become the lone-star of the entire region, are victims of self- delusional mirages. There is little realization in Washington, which has become a bilingual city where truth is the second language, that democracy emerging from free elections would make the region even more anti-American than it already is, by giving free reign to the fundamentalist extremists, and one person, one vote would soon become one person, one vote, one time.
- Out of 6.3 billion people, 2 billion of them are 14 years of age or less. Terrorism is the weapon of choice of the weak against the strong and has been for time immemorial. Let us also remember that the totalitarian temptation has also existed from time immemorial.
- My first experience with transnational terrorism goes back to the days of the Cold War when I had to cope with the Red Brigades of Italy, the Bernard Meinhof Gang in Germany, fighting communist cells in Belgium, Accion Direct in France. At the time, when some of us wrote that the KGB was directly involved with this terrorism, we were dismissed as ‘people smoking something'. However, now we know from the KGB archives and from Marcus Waltz memoirs, the former East German Intelligence Chief, that they were indeed in touch with them and there was a place in the then Czechoslovakia called Kaliopi Bari, where all these groups could go have rest and recreation. How is this relevant today? Well, it is evident that if Al-Qaeda operatives were to ask a favor from Islamic Jihad or Hezbollah, or any Palestinian groups, or Iraq, or Iran, they would be offered a safe haven. This represents a certain amount of solidarity between people who are quite willing to commit suicide to assert their cause.
- We do have an imperial [US] congress that manages to micro manage everything into one workable policy. Today, we have roughly 72 countries on the list of one kind of U.S. sanction or another.
- I have learnt the hard way that before you criticize someone you should always walk a mile in their shoes because that way when you criticize them you're a mile away and you have their shoes.