NEW GAME, NEW RULES, NEW STRATEGIES
By Manuel Cereijo
Since the onset of the industrial revolution, when success came to be defined as rising material standards of living, no economic system other than capitalism has been made to work anywhere. No one knows how to run successful economies on any other principles. The market, and the market alone, rules. No one doubts it. Capitalism's nineteenth and twentieth-century competitors- fascism, socialism, and communism-are all gone.
Yet even as the competition fades into the history books, something new seems to be shaking the foundation of capitalism and democracy-asymmetric mega-multiterrorism. Historically, outside military threats, inside social unrest, and alternative ideologies have been used as justification for overcoming the vested interests in the status quo. They are what have allowed capitalism and democracy to survive and thrive.
The rich were smarter than Marx and Lenin believed. They understood that their own long survival depended upon eliminating revolutionary conditions-and they did. Socialism was invented shortly after capitalism as a remedy to the visible nineteenth-century defects of capitalism-widening inequalities, rising unemployment, a growing workforce of castoffs. To cure those defects, socialists believed, it would be possible under socialism to build a new human being-a "social individual", who would be the foundation stone of production and wealth.
Communism failed because no one succeeded in creating that new human being. It proved impossible to motivate most human beings to work hard for social objectives very long. In a long contest between individual values and social values, individual values won. But during the contest the outcome was not so certain. On December, 1941, when the United States entered World War II, the United States and Great Britain were essentially the only capitalistic countries left on the face of the world, and Britain was on the edge of a military defeat. All the rest of the world was fascist, Communist, or third world feudal colonies or countries. The capitalism and democracy that up to 2001 seemed irresistible could, with just a few missteps, have vanished.
We are involved in World War III. It started on 9/11/2001. A different war than any previous one. Asymmetric, terrorist battles, weapons of mass destruction, targeting civilians, innocent people. A war of civilization versus barbarism. However, since when was it planned? It all started in an Island in the Caribbean, Cuba. The First Tri Continental Congress, 1966.
The United States have the military power to do what they want, but they need a broad-base global coalition to back their action, preferably with military contributions as well as words. To get this kind of support is not easy. The danger is that they will insist of qualification of American action that will amount, in effect, to appeasement, and that this in turn will divide and weaken both the administration and U.S. public opinion.
Of serious concern today is the possibility of a terrorist group or nation acquiring a nuclear weapon or device. The focus of a more moderate concern in the 1990s was Russia.
It was not until people really became worried after the anthrax episode following 9-11 that the CIA suddenly produced a declassified portion of a study in which it states that there is no information of any nuclear weapon having been stolen from Russia or sold to the terrorists by some Russian organized crime "entity."
Likely, CIA director Tenet used the term "entity" to project the image of non-state involvement. The idea of a Russian non-state entity seems to have been introduced following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 as an artificiality used to raise and characterize the proliferation problem as rogue individuals and "criminals" taking advantage of the sorry economic plight of those people who were safeguarding the various stockpiles.
This scenario (deception?) was promoted by both sides to demonstrate our "working together" and to justify the movement of billions of U.S. dollars to Russia to help it thwart such activities.
But those U.S. voices involved in crying wolf failed to understand that such criminal "entities" have played an integral role in Soviet covert operations since the 1920s, as indicated earlier, and as such were thoroughly penetrated and carefully watched by the KGB.
Moreover, the organized crime entities that were suddenly given free rein when the Soviet Union became Russia more likely than not were merely adjunct KGB covering crime operations (that is, selected components of the traditional Russian underground mixed in with a number of KGB-run branches).
What is especially evident in the newly emergent organized crime and especially Russian banking operations is the clear and dominant presence of both current and former KGB officials. (See, for example, Yevgenia Albats, "The State Within a State," Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1994.)
But again, insofar as U.S. intelligence collection in the former Soviet Union was cut back to the bone, we are left mainly with information the Russians want us to have about what happened in Russia during and following its rebirth.
In this respect, extensive efforts have been expended to promote the Russian Mafia as an organized crime operation that the Russians disliked as much as other nations did. They said the Mafia was simply there and they were unable to control it any better than other nations were able to.
This argument depends for its credibility upon the continued silence (including poor memories) about the massive KGB-GRU state intelligence operations in organized crime, narcotics trafficking and terrorism that was initiated 35 years earlier at mid-century, and a traditionally inadequate Western understanding of Russian deception, which more than anything else remains guided by Lenin's directions to Dzerzhinsky: "Tell them what they want to believe."
The United States and, by extension, Europe are in a situation in which our main enemies' regimes (of over 80 years in the case of the former Soviet Union republics, 50 years in the case of China and 45 years in the case of Cuba) are pretty much as they were before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
All the former Soviet republics and most of the former satellites are run by former Communists. They are, in all but name, Communist regimes, and most still have control lines that run to Moscow.
They remain closely connected with terrorist groups and rogue nations, and thus have the capability of supporting or running catastrophic sabotage operations using weapons of mass destruction.
These would have enormous social, economic, and political consequences - all to the benefit of the hostile regimes, beginning with those in Russia, China, Cuba and the various totalitarian Islamist states.
What this means is that a skilled, professional intelligence service, with relative ease, should be able to execute an attack on the United States, or any of our allies, with weapons of mass destruction and get away without detection.
Operationally, the 9-11 attacks were far more difficult to manage and execute, but the consequences of a serious attack using weapons of mass destruction (particularly a suitcase nuclear warhead) likely would be far more devastating, without the attack being recognized as a state-directed attack.
This intelligence service could use a terrorist group as a surrogate or execute the operation so that it had all the accouterments of a terrorist operation.
Another critical yet overlooked facet of the terrorism problem was raised briefly during the recent Senate Intelligence Committee National Security Threat hearings. The key question was asked by Sen. Evan Bayh: "Are Russia, Cuba, and China involved with enabling evil?"
This question was highly relevant because certain facts with respect to China, Cuba, and Russia, both of which presumably joined us in the war on terrorism, have been missing in discussions about the war on terror.
It is well known that China has been one of the biggest supporters of Middle East terrorists and rogue regimes seeking to acquire long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction.
Even more involved has been Russia. In its former incarnation as the Soviet Union, Russia is the granddaddy of international terrorism.
Today's international terrorism is fundamentally the product of Russia's military intelligence, the GRU, and to a lesser extent its civilian intelligence, the KGB. Both the KGB and GRU are alive, well and more powerful today than they were under Communism.
Further, the greatest sources of potential weapons of mass destruction, missiles and submarine proliferation over the past decade have been the various Russian laboratories and organizations (e.g., military and intelligence).
Thus, the possible involvement of Russia, Cuba, and China should have been under intense CIA covert scrutiny for many years, and Sen. Bayh deserved an honest and straightforward answer. What he got was a near-incoherent response.
Consider Director Tenet's answer: "Well, sir, I would say that, first of all - and it's all separate. The reasons may be different. And at times we have distinctions between government and entities. And that's always - and I don't want to make it a big distinction, but sometimes you're dealing with both those things."
Translation: "Yes, Senator, we believe there is involvement, but we don't understand the role of those who are involved, whether they are independent 'entities' or government representatives. Obviously, because we are trying to build a friendship with Russia and because we would not know what to do if they were involved, we would rather not discuss this subject at this time."
It is very important that the United States sticks to the essentials of its military response and carries it through relentlessly and thoroughly. Although only Britain can be guaranteed to back the White House in every contingency, it is better in the long run for the United States to act without many allies, or even alone, than to engage in a messy compromised dictated by nervousness and cowardice.
That would be the worst of all solutions and would be certain to lead to more terrorism, in more places, and on an ever-increasing scale. Now is the ideal moment for the United States to use all its physical capacity to eliminate terrorism in all its forms.
The cause is overwhelmingly just, the nation must be united, and the hopes of decent, law-abiding men and women everywhere go with American arms. Such a moment may never recur. We are living in a period of punctuated equilibrium. We have lived under periods of punctuated equilibrium before. We have emerged with radically different structures that once again begin slowly evolving. During periods of fluctuated equilibrium everything is in flux, disequilibrium becomes the norm, and uncertainty reigns.
The resources of civilization are not yet exhausted. Those resources are largely in the United States hands, and the nation- "the last, best hope of mankind"- has an overwhelming duty to use them with purposeful justification and to the full, in the defense of the lives, property, and freedom of all of us. This is the central point to keep in mind when the weasel words of cowardice and surrender are pronounced.
It is a battle of civilization vs. barbarism, of dignity vs. immorality, of freedom vs. totalitarism ,of one man rule vs. democracy, of human rights vs. oppression.
All terrorist groups, and terrorist governments, should be destroyed and/or overthrown. Let us live a future of peace, freedom, and justice.