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Some Private Thoughts About Reign of Terror (and How To Stop It)
The hypothesis is proposed that we are facing diffuse terrorism mainly coming from Middle Eastern countries, and state terrorism on the part of the USA, in the form a new fascism ("MEIT", that stands for Military and Economical Integrative Totalitarianism). It is suggested that the self-propelling mechanism of both forms of terrorism are set in extremely high moral principles that preclude any resistance to its immediate implementation and any defence against its inhuman means. Some solutions are briefly proposed and attention of the reader drawn to purposefully extreme position taken in this text.
Warning: The arguments I am advancing below are bad, though not all. Some may
be good. I will be grateful to the readers if they helped me find those good ones.
However, the fewer good arguments we find, the better.
On the September 11 2001 we were all Americans. This is probably the greatest nation of all times, the very incarnation of our most noble moral aspirations, that suffered, and we could not feel otherwise. Nevertheless, the American administration has been filling us with serious concerns, worries, and profound doubt: is the ideal of justice, democracy, prosperity and humanism in danger? America, instead of saying that it will enter the 21st century with peace, has said it will enter with war. (Here, as elsewhere in this text, we mean governments and administrations and NEVER people.) A serious international crisis is, no doubt about this, in front of all of us, and we should face it together. Our purpose here is to state what we think the problem is and to try to present some of the most important factors that could be acted upon immediately. These factors have been largely neglected not because they were obscure and difficult to spot. They were neglected because some earlier measures that were undertaken and previously proposed measures that were meant to "solve" the problem have been the result of the basic problems themselves and not the result of metanalysis; as a result, the proposed measures risk to take us even deeper into the crisis. Since suggestions that will follow could be received as a surprise, we will give some evidence in favour of such suggestions. Our intention is to show only that although unexpected, the hypothesis proposed is highly testable and has been widely known, and still neglected.
2. The Problem
The recent tragic events, unconventional terrorist attacks on symbols of the Western and particularly American economic and military power made it clear that a serious international crisis and an imminent conflict with the entire Islamic world seem inevitable. To properly handle it we might look for its causes and probably would find them in unequal development of technology, economical imbalance, conflicts of interests, rapid increase of urban society, cultural conflicts due to increased speed of communications etc. To do something about these, and prevent further deleterious effects in an immediate future is illusory. Long-term co-ordinate measures, a fundamental social action, would be needed to solve such basic problems. However, those being probably the real causes, if we would have to take a temporary but immediate action, it would be better to identify the most prominent results of those general, structural factors, that could be acted upon and then hope to obtain more time to prepare and undertake necessary fundamental measures over much longer period of time.
Some words of precaution are needed though. The singular events will not be discussed here because their real nature is not known. However, it is clear that we live in the world of aggression and are almost not aware of it. In the last 20 years there has been so much aggression that we are even not seeing it any more. There is no longer need for a proof. Look at the news tonight. Aggression is today seen as normal behaviour. A new extreme of it is not shocking us any more, although it surely should. The quantity of aggressive "words" spoken every day by our leading politicians, with clear intention to kill other human beings, to kill other persons "out there" - is absolutely outrageous. In addition, there is a permanent war that is permanently justified (the USA alone fought 47 wars in the last 50 years).
It will help, probably, if we would point out also that there are about a couple of billion people in the world that do not have any notion of our aggressiveness, our wars and our desire to kill that we perpetuate in our media from early morning to late in the night. To learn then, all of a sudden, that their unknown head of state is guilty of something and has to be killed. They experience then that some of them are also killed on the way, their land destroyed, their generation dispersed. Their whole life is then annihilated and if they are lucky, very lucky, they will live long enough to see their land recover slowly, and come to the state it would have come to, may be even faster, in any case - at the end of their miserable life.
A second word of precaution is that what will be proposed below, is simply a hypothesis, as any other. It could be false, and we might be wrong all the way through. If it proves to be false, we would know at least that we made an effort to demonstrate legitimacy a difficult hypothesis. Here, of course, this is not pure exercise, but real life hypothesis. Our future could change for the worst if judged true but it is false, or inversely.
The hypothesis is as follows: We are facing diffuse terrorism mainly coming from Middle Eastern countries and state terrorism on the part of the USA, in the form a new fascism ("MEIT", as we will call it later, that stands for Military and Economical Integrative Totalitarianism). Both are imposing danger for peace and human existence. We will see later that this is of course neither fascism in a strict sense nor one strong form of MEIT (as we defined it). It will probably be correct to say that US displays a strong TENDENCY towards one specific form of political behaviour that we defined as MEIT. We will use this concept not as an exact description of US political practice but as a fairly convenient "ideal type” (after Max Weber) that serves to coherently outline the main characteristics of US politics. This also leaves a hope that a return to the traditional American democratic values is still possible
3. The World Picture Sketch
Following the fall of the Soviet Union and the appearance of the US as the only superpower allied with the West European countries, the New York terrorist attack made clear that the world is facing problems as never before. A conflict between poor and rich, between different ideologies and economical interests has been clearly defined. There is that kind of confrontation between not only former Eastern block countries and the West but literally all the southern part of the continent of Asia and the West. A conflict that becomes a military confrontation. That desperate act of 11th September was done by people who strongly believed that those were the only means available to them to fight against those they consider the cause of their misery. That act was at least conditionally approved by those people and could therefore been done by them, although we do not really know who did it. This may be seen as a criminal act, but in their eyes this was a courageous military action with the available means. The cruelty of that act is absolutely outrageous. Although they probably unrealistically believed that everybody would immediately understand their motives, this has not happened. It would be blindness not to see that they were certainly motivated by something that was real, although their response was deeply wrong.
Many states and individuals are facing today a danger to be either discriminated and suffer a shortage of the most essential elements for their survival, or to be annihilated. This does not necessarily put all humanity at risk of a world catastrophe, although this could not be excluded, but puts weaker nations in danger of further impoverishment and possibly annihilation.
4. The Causes
The driving force of Middle-East terrorism is a deep conviction of the non-western European World, and more precisely Muslim World that they are treated with hate and despised by the West and particularly the US. This feeling that dates many centuries back is linked to the western-European and American racism that culminates during the period after the WWII. The second part of 20th century represents an exacerbation of hate,of being despised and of unfair treatment of the non-Europeans of diverse religions, certainly Muslims and Arabs have been particularly targeted. American military presence in the region, alongside recent military actions and the maintenance of a state of war is the modus operandi of the US coupled with a willingness that the state of affairs is not resolved; multiple collaboration of the USA with terrorist groups of different and opposing interest justify that conviction. It is particularly obvious that unwillingness to resolve the problem of the Palestinian people is of very great importance. The ambiguous and often encouraging stance, particularly on the part of the US towards terrorism (training and support of Afghan terrorism, Albanian terrorism) and self-practice of it (assassinations, military interventions) had, as it is obvious now, deleterious effects. The recent arrogant position toward some essential needs of the Middle-East people (resolution of the Palestinian problem, Gulf war) contributed to the development of terrorism also. And finally, acquisition of Nazi minority policy by the West - encouragement of "human" rights and NOT "just state rights” - gave a signal that was interpreted with precision: all means to achieve political goals are possible. This was a precondition justifying military rebellion and it legalised terrorism.
5. Fascism and its Neo-Appearance
There are other similarities with WWII Nazis that could be listed. Fascism and Nazism are notoriously difficult to define and explain. Dictionary definitions are seldom suitable since they often do not leave the door open to the evolution of the term.
"Behemoth", an excellent study about Nazi ideology and practice was written during the WWII (1). We will make a comparative list of concepts to point out some differences but also striking similarities the US new fascism has with nazi ideology. Similarities are numerous, but differences seem to be not only in time but also in most important declared aims and certain methods. Although it may appear that we have very different things before us we will certainly be struck to discover that they resemble each other in their most important aspects: their magic attraction, brutality, destructiveness and lack of a real, universal humanism. For this purpose we will not call them "old” and "new” fascism. The term "MEIT" may be, for this occasion, appropriate.
A short account of chapter 5 from "Behemoth” is summarised in Table 1. Some other statements, terms, concepts and practices of National Socialism and MEIT that are generally known are also included. This will be a presentation of methods closely related one to another both having strongly correlated concepts and actions that offer a secure explanation. These strong correlations will enable a reader to come to an obvious explanation for the aggressive politics of the US - a new "fascist" MEIT ideology.
Table 1. Nazi terminology mainly according to :Franz Neumann: Behemoth, Structure and Praxis of National - Socialism 1933 - 1944, Oxford University Press, 1942; 1944.
Nazi terminology - NATO terminology
one Fuerer =- oligarchy
blitz Krieg - permanent war
time limited action - long term action
relies on collaborators - relies on terrorism (Mujahedins, UCK, Contras, etc.)
leading power acts first - leading power acts either first, induces, or goes with (J. Nye*)
brilliant past - no past
military treat - economical and military treat
no obvious cultural pressure - cultural pressure
predominantly occupying - not real occupation (collaboration)
change of government impossible – change of government still possible
high moral aims - same (selective human rights)
ends justify the means - same
technological superpower - same
power ground for exclusive rights - same
racism - no open racism, Anglo-Saxon chauvinism
strong nationalism - same
one party system - virtual "multy”-party system
strong national pride - same
anti-Semitism (Jewish) - anti-Semitism (Arabic)
Arian values - American values
human rights superior to state rights - same
space conquering forces - same (just potentiality)
popular conciseness of large spaces - same (just potentiality)
Central Europe (Mitteleuropa) - NATO Europe
federated super-state - NATO world
German spaces - NATO spaces
not internationalism - American interests, Amirican model
interests of Reich - American interests
no League of nations - UNO in the service of the USA
destruction of France and England - destruction of Eastern European Empire
master race - American nation
guardian of honour - guardian of human rights
new military technique - same
use of the arms of massive civilian destruction - same
use of illegal arms - same
massive civilian victims - same
increase of "defensive” force of our people - same
birth rate stimulation - same
new International law to be used "outside" only - same
space possessing powers in the East -cheap producing powers in the east
there is no place for neutrality - we decided to know everything or American interests are everywhere (Brzezinski)
world economic socialism - New World order
racial will - minority will
racial self-determination – minority self-determination
individual rights make up group rights – same (applied on minorities)
proletarian race against - free market against
plutocratic democracies - national economy
United Europe - United World Economy
common philosophy - common values
third Reich - NATO world
strong Reich - Strong America
incorporation into Germany - incorporation into NATO world of Europe
race is raw material - minorities are raw material
power should increase - same
political leader is one among many - same (political leader is a figure)
Versailles Treaty is invalid - Treaties are obsolete
loss of human lives is justified - same
killing children is justified - same (Albright)
propaganda - propaganda + media black-out
use of puppet Government - use of puppet Governments`use of terrorist CIA activity
assassinassions - CIA assassinassions
use of bombastic language - same
controlled police state - same
divide et impere - same
power justifies rights - same
war is the solution - same
kill prisoners - take no prisoners (Rumsfeld)
* Robert Keohane and Joseph Nye: Power and Interdependence: World Politics in Transition., Boston, Little Brown, 1977.
The number of cited similarities may help distinguish without much difficulties Fascism and US neo-Fascism from classical imperial wars. There is one concept that is behind most effective methods of both devastating ideologies and we will dwell around it for a little while. We have little doubt that American hawks of war from the Pentagon carefully studied Nazi methodology in order to use it when needed. There is evidence that Franz Neumann helped a lot about that matter, although, most probably, unaware of then remote consequences. Immediate promotion of the high human principle of "humanitarism" is now the main method that is used in destabilising and conquering other states. This is identical with Nazi methods. An early concept about the use of promotion of ethnic rights as the means to divide and subdue probably dates many centuries ago but a notorious example is a letter from the Prinz Max von Baden to the Reichkanzler Graf Hertling. Max von Baden explicitly suggest that the aggressive politics of the German Reich would not succeed if this would not be enveloped in a noble principle of promotion of minority rights (2, 3, 4). The methodological problems were thereby solved and Adolf Hitler accepts it with the words that "human rights braak State rights” (5). It become an accepted doctrine and is no wonder that Heinrich Himler would repeat it: "When handling the foreign people in the East we will have to take care as much as possible to recognise different kinds of people and to promote them. (...) I would like to say with this that we not only have great interest not to unite those people from the East, but on the contrary, to split them in as much as possible more small pieces.”(6).
Remarkable is also the observation that Herman Goering made when talking about the methods of how to persuade people to go to war (7). We have surprising similarity in the recent events:
"Why of course the people don't want war. Why should some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece? Naturally the common people don't want war: neither in Russia, nor in England, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
6. MEIT defined
We think we could now state the main characteristics of MEIT that stands for Military and Economical Integrative Totalitarianism. Let us have a look of the definition of fascism that is given below:
FASCISM A political doctrine opposed to democracy and demanding submission to political leadership and authority. A key principle of fascism is the belief that the whole society has a shared destiny and purpose which can only be achieved by iron discipline, obedience to leadership and an all-powerful state. Fascism first developed in Italy, under the leadership of Benito Mussolini (dictator of Italy from 1922 to 1943) and later influenced the development of German fascism in the Nazi movement led by Adolf Hitler (dictator of Germany from 1933-1945) . While fascism increases the power and role of the state in society and suppresses free trade unions and political opposition, it preserves private ownership and private property (8).
Although, as shown in Table 1. above, there are important differences – implying that the new concepts have to be defined, the characteristics given in a deffinition are also central for the US MEIT. That the US political system is authoritarian is not controversial, although if the term "totalitarianism" is employed it should be understood to include the political system as a whole - some kind of international totalitarianism. Its democratic structures although existent, are alienated from the citizens and we would prefer to use "democtratism" to denote it. Even number of American political theorists and politicians would admit that a "republic” is a better term to use. Suppression of individual liberties is not extensive but is open-ended and openly justified as well as is extensive propaganda and media control. The main characteristic of MEIT is a tendency to expand to unlimited international space, to impose or partially impose a particular goal on other communities, to force them to comply to the economical demands that are no subject to any negotiations. And if resistance is shown by the weaker state, military means are easy to employ and often are the first measures used. Contrary to all the declared principles, "undemocratic” states, as long as they would integrate into economical system, are tolerated. Permanent power growth is justified by the power itself. Similarity with Nazi ideology and practice is obvious.
The driving force of MEIT is their unparalleled military power (thanks to technological advances) that generates ambition to ensure submission of the whole world and assure the acquisition of surplus goods for itself as well as control of main energy sources. Imposition of Western values, as superior, serves to justify the actions. Western values are considered in turn to be superior because of unprecedented success of technology in the West, this of course being a circular explanation. Humanitarian actions are considered as justified even if they include highly inhuman methods and the just war (bellum justum) concept is in its unprecedented renaissance – to ignore jus in bello all together!. It is claimed that the US decisions are not a subject to democratic argument, since the US is a democracy itself. This undermines any need for UN consultation or any examination of the rightfulness of US decisions, as repeatedly declared by the most prominent US politicians. It is implied that power (Might) is generating not only Rights but also knowledge. This is absurd, of course. Increased knowledge about the physical world could teach us how to go around in relation to nature, but increased knowledge about the social world would not allow us ever to prescribe to others how they should organise their society; we would need first to explain the meaning of life itself, and we are far from this. US methods for achieving the mentioned targets are unlimited and its use of terrorism is justified by an entirely ambiguous objective to defend the "human rights” of ethnic minorities (except when they are turned against the US). The arms that the US is using are considered legal even if the other side does not have them, and the arms the weaker side might use in response, are considered illegal. Guided missiles are, for example legal, yet suicide bombers are not. The atomic bomb would be legal, but bacteriological war illegal, etc. These methods are identical with those used by fascists-nazis before and during WWII.
7. Some Aspects of MEIT - The New World Fascism
In all countries listed below (Table 2.) people love America, love American people - and hate the US. Because of obvious reasons. In how many countries is the US not liked? In too, too many. Why? The list is too long. We will try to give some reasons, but it should be clear that this is just the tip of an iceberg. As professor Bill Thomson stated (referring to the Americans in one letter on the Internet):
"We Americans, comprising some 4% of the world's population, consume approximately 40% of its resources. We appear to assume that the resources found in other parts of the world are somehow our birthright. Imagine how this is experienced in third world countries, many of whom have been the recipients of United States military attacks.
1. We maintain this consumption, in large part, because we have the most powerful military in the world, and since WW II we (the Americans; my note) have not hesitated to use it for political and/or economic gain in places like
El Salvador (1980s),
Afghanistan (1998) and
2. We have bombed each of these countries in turn, and in NO case did a democratic government, respectful of human rights, occur as a direct result. Through our weapons and/or proxies, innocent civilians of Indonesia, East Timor, Chile, Nicaragua and Palestine have also been victims of the United States. Is it any wonder that the level of hatred of the United States is so high? Former President Jimmy Carter stated, "We have only to go to Lebanon, to Syria, to Jordan, to witness firsthand the intense hatred among many people for the United States, because we bombed and shelled and unmercifully killed totally innocent villagers, women and children and farmers and housewives, in those villages around Beirut...as a result, we have become a kind of Satan in the minds of those who are deeply resentful. That is what precipitated the taking of hostages and that is what has precipitated some terrorist attacks." (New York Times3/26/89)
3. Forty-nine percent of our income tax dollar goes for present and past military-related activities. On April 16, 1953, former President Dwight Eisenhower noted that "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed." For the cost of a Stealth bomber, we could put an additional teacher or social worker in every middle and high school in the United States. The cost of the proposed missile defence shield would add several more. Which of these options would add most to our national security?"
We have to admit that to characterise the US in such a way must be extremely surprising to many, particularly to the Americans. The Germans were also surprised that such a noble task, that the Third Reich apparently declared on all levels, proved to be a real human catastrophe. Every single aggressive action of Germany were justified in a simple and convincing way. If we examine the list of the US wars – more then 47 in number, as some historians have stated – each was fought outside American territory, each had its justification coupled with ambiguity and almost all finished with obvious disastrous results: poverty, social destruction, injustice and misery. The number of wars, even if some were (for the sake of argument) fully justified is frightening and we have to be blind not to see in it the most aggressive foreign policy ever in history. Egoistic nation-centric optics of both Germany and the US disabled their own populations to view from a global perspective the real meaning of that deadly ambition. Both wanted to establish a kind of order - to bring a profoundly idealised world picture which did not count with the fact that the real world is populated with a milieu of peoples that have their own history, customs, traditions, life philosophy, preferences and limitations. The doctrine of sacrifice for the benefit of further generations was also characteristic of communist ideology. Today US ideology imposes that principle on others. The end of WWII already showed signs of that aggressive ideology in Japan (Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and in defeated Germany and many other countries (a list given above). Carpet bombing is an Anglo-American invention, introduced, presumably, by Air Chief Marshals Arthur Travers Harris and Charles Portal in WWII. Those criminal activities par excellence have nothing to do with people of America (similarly, the WWII crimes had nothing to do with German people). The macro factors, governments, state administrations and gross social structural factors are in the origin of the most important social events. As professors Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit state, macro factors "program” for the micro events (9). This would not completely eliminate the responsibility of all individuals but makes it negligible in comparison with the responsibility of particular individuals that take decisions and contribute directly to the character of macro factors. However, there is a dangerous catch there. Although the macro factors (governments in our case) evidently modulate public opinion, it is taken that in principle, and this is an invention that makes part of the American dream: every individual is a maker of his own success and happiness. In the other words, if we have bad politics, bad government – we are responsible (and not that government!). On our dispositions we always have democratic ways to correct those mistakes, choosing somebody else for the office; if the new man would fail, WE would in fact fail again! This is the perpetuum mobile of our western democracies. It seems to me that the communist governments lost because they openly claimed responsibility and then, when their politics failed, they had to take the consequences. In the western democracy we, the people, are always responsible. This is of course serious problem that could be solved if more responsibility would be claimed from the people who take decisions.
The algorithm of terror is simple. A high ethical principle is declared and its immediate fulfilment linked to aggression if necessary. This was also the method of the great German Reich when trying to establish a "higher" model of society. Today it is the high principle of "humanitarian rights". Both are not defined in concrete terms permitting their use for a given purpose that stays undeclared. If we would accept the principle, and since the principle is a high moral one, we would have to, then it is inconsistent not to accept the means. The higher the principal the more immediate aggression is justified. Our personal social experience contradicts this of course. In our closed world, we mean society, aggression does not pay off. It is however possible outside of our social circle. Criminals shrink their social circle and follow its moral rules perfectly well. State criminal activity takes place outside of its borders (as the US is doing) or inside its borders, but separating societies to which aggression is possible or forbidden (as in Nazi Germany where Jews were persecuted but not the "Aryans”).
Is the hypothesis here proposed sound? We would claim that it might be, without going further. We have nevertheless compared a simple explanation of the behaviour of the US, based on power driven illusion of superiority that justifies imposition of its own values with belicose means; an explanation that concurs with current explanation of policy that is based on complex concepts of actual foreign relations that is full of contradictions, unexplained actions and that is rich with ad hoc hypotheses. A simple theory that explains the majority of events against a very complex theory that fails to give satisfactory explanation without auxiliary means. That presented concept of MEIT may be false in some details and not accepting it as it has been given here is understandable. However, accepting delivered image of what is current policy in essence, is hazardous not only because it is delivered by the controversial actor itself, the US, but also because we see clearly, no doubt about this, that it contains blatant lies about its motives and moral concerns.
Yes, it is possible to kill off all who are on the "other” side (citing Mr. Rumsfeld, "not taking prisoners”). and create a "better”, uniform and obeying world. The Nazis failed though...
There is a solution to the problem. The single choice that we have today is not to accept, as an excuse for our indiscriminate immediate action, any high moral principle all together and to remember this in future generations. In the past a struggle for the highest general moral principles led to great tragedies. Fast arrival to the target was always declared as an obligation, since, as we said above, the goal was a high moral principle. Such was communism, such was National Socialism, and such is the New World Order. The self-propelling mechanism is set in extremely high moral principles that preclude any resistance to its immediate implementation and any defence against its inhuman means. (On the contrary, we are, of course, inclined to believe that Popper's piecemeal engineering strategy of human progress is a single possible way to a better world.)
We have to make clear that those are the means and not the ends that make our actions human or - miserable. Our means of achieving some not ambitious political aims if enveloped with high humanity will make us go further. Our great aims accompanied by faulty means will take us back in dark ages. We have at first to abandon the mad ambition to change the world in our lifetime, no matter how high the moral principles is leading us. If we, on the contrary, have an intention to bring IMMEDIATE "justice” to the whole world, we have to count that we would have to employ extreme violence to achieve that goal. This would be a secure reservation for Hell and we would certainly deserve it. If somebody would ask us to do or let him do something dirty, we should be sure that he would, in order to prevent us of stoping him to do this, give us the most noble reasons for his actions. More concretely, the long and tragic history of violence teaches us that, if someone, in order to persuade us to do something brings some Biblical high morality arguments, we should, even before he would even tell us what is this we should do, give him a strong kick in his as.
2. Immediate Action
Opposing terrorism and its specific form - US fascism (MEIT) - is of paramount importance and actions against them will have to be taken simultaneously. The reason why is quite obvious. Since the driving force of the first is the second, the task should be targeting the US fascism first. However, this being a long process, a trial to stop terrorism as such may be favoured also in the short run, and this must start immediately, until methods for global actions will be developed. Some actions against the US fascism are a conditional sine qua non for effective action against Middle-East Terrorism (MET). Middle Eastern countries are in absolute necessity to fight against MET. A global approach will help gain their confidence. Their taking part in anti MET could make of them a significant force for the fight against-MEIT, particularly in acquiring them as collaborators to the other Western countries that are not involved with MEIT. We will suggest some principles that are certainly not comprehensive.
1. It should be recognised that declaring a highest possible moral target and linking it with its IMMEDIATE fulfilment leads to a large human tragedy. We should develop means to prevent this happening again and stop its course today. This is nothing new, but we maintain this to be of utmost importance and have to repeat it: that if we set our moral target very, very high (we should, of course, but...) we may falsely also decide to arrive at it immediately. To do this we then have to disregard the means because such high moral target "justifies” (we could think) all the means – including killing other people. This is at least how the aggressive politicians explain, in principle, all the time their immoral actions. We might ignore this when it concerns the politics on the law level, local politics, where damage is not too important. But when human lives are at stake, we should have to do all we can to make clear what is the logic behind it and try to stop it.
2. Contrary to what Hitler declared in "Mein Kampf", it should be recognised that state rights are at least equal with human rights and that is a "just state” and not justice for ethnic minorities thatsupposedly must be protected first.
3.UN action, and not the US terrors must be used to destroy the terrorist organisations, in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
4. The US must not mimic the same terrorist actions that it condemns when done by others. Supposedly not "targeting" civilians is not enough - not hitting civilians while targeting terrorist is absolute must. Such terrorist activity on the US part is wrong -- both morally and strategically (since revenge would bring more revenge and would alienate the rest of the world). (This implying that even UN violent military antiterrorist action can hardly be ever employed.)
5. The US must consider the Palestinian problem and take immediate steps toward a solution. A lasting peace requires fair treatment for everyone.
6. USA has to bring to justice those Americans who
a. created and promoted international terrorism, were financing, training and helping in various ways terrorist movements all over the world, Al Quaida included.
b. pursue the politics of state terrorism, promote the breach of the International Law, neglect US obligations to the international community and to the UN.
Accepting these principles, the question is how we should proceed now? Certainly, all cited points have to be put to work immediately, publicly and SIMULTANEUSLY. There are some other solutions but these are linked with serious problems. Although this is quite unrealistic, we may decide to start acting in a just way right now. Can we start acting in a "just” way without repairing previous injustice? Under "repairing" we mean also to bring to justice and punish for wrong doings. If we cannot start acting in a just way without repairing previous injustice, how far in the past we should repair? For example, the Arabs would like to see a number of top politicians from the West being judged together with their own "terrorists" for previous crimes. A great majority from the Arab world is convinced that a couple of million Arab people died directly or indirectly because of diverse US activity in that region in the last 20 years. From their point of view the WTC disaster is a "minor" incident of terrible events that have happened, although it may be the first that hit the USA.
Many would not call the WTC disaster a terrorist act either. If war is accepted as a means to achieve some ends, and if we would also reject arbitrarily to decide what kind of arms could be used, then the means that terrorist use are not less legal then guided missiles, which they do not possess. If only the more powerful are to decide, then sophisticated arms will be accepted as legal and the other side will simply have to perish. This of course would make all such rules unacceptable in principle and invalid. We would then have to accept that, in principle, the more that means of massive destruction are developed, the greater chance we will see the so called "terrorist" methods at work.
If we can start acting in a just way without repairing previous injustice, this would mean that the US should not bring to justice those responsible for the disaster of WTC. Then, the Arabs and the other extreme Muslims, might, under these circumstances, accept to stop with killings now.
We think that none of these is realistic, that the first three points are the closest to how the real world looks like, but that each could be attempted and may be partially fulfilled, leaving the risk for more conflicts.
3. The instruments
This would be what concerns immediate action that is needed. A more basic approach is necessary in order to stop both deadly deviations. We do not doubt that a World initiative will be needed. The means are yet to be defined. An original approach, suited to the specific problem, is a must. Somme suggestions will follow..
a. The role of the UN should be examined and a commission formed that would examine its activity and status of the organisation with respect to its Charter and The International Law.
b. Formation of Alliance for Defence of State Sovereignty. That body should be at the initiative for all other listed actions. This is essentially a kind of "anti-NATO” alliance that would assemble particular states in opposition to the NATO Alliance (not excluding some NATO members also) with the precise goal to protect particular counties against attacks and pressures not in accordance with The International Law protecting states, their sovereignty and peace.
c. Muslim Conference. Solution of the Middle East problem has to be sought and terrorism as mean of achieving some ends discouraged and democratic peaceful solutions proposed.
d. World Peace Conference. This conference is urgent. It should examine recent events as well as status of UN and International justice.
e. Anti-terrorist Tribunal for US (point 4. above). An active US support of terrorism in recent decades should be examined and exposed. Its most deleterious effects have been seen all over the world and only recently within the US. Its exposure and condemnation will have a strong moral impact not only on the US but also a number of other countries that have supported terrorism.
f. Other measures
4. Answers to the four Common Sense Questions
We often face common sense arguments that look solid, but are faulty. Our present day media are full of them. In the last ten years we have been presented with such absurdities like this one: the situation is critical and we do not have a better choice then to go to war. The argument was always put forward by the war-makers themselves. All those questions are, more or less of the same nature: destined to distract us from freethinking and impose single-minded solutions. If we rejected them at start and tried to find the right solution we would not have been so deeply involved in crisis as we are today. Those questions are as follows.
1. If we are misinformed, do we have a right to act and in so doing make mistakes?
2. If all (authorities) hold an identical opinion, do we have to accept it also?
3. Do we have to tolerate the US aggressiveness?
4. Do we have a choice?
5. Are not all wars just the same?
These common sense questions often have to be answered in a non-common sense fashion. Otherwise we risk living our lives in common sense misery. The first question, however, may have a common sense answer. We ALWAYS have a duty, before acting, particularly if our actions have heavy ethical implications, to make maximum effort to learn all about the matter before action is taken.
The subject matter of this short text is such that we must learn much more about events in order to be able to accept or reject the stated rhetoric posited upon us. We can be assured to be able to do it easily.
The second question concerns obedience to authority (argumentum ad verecundiam). There are fields of our life where without obeying an authority we might face considerable difficulties. The cognitive authority is based on knowledge and we are seldom able to challenge it. On the contrary administrative authority could be challenged on the basis either of knowledge or common sense, since it is not based on expert knowledge. There are no experts on whether Afghanistan should be bombed or not, as there are certainly experts for molecular biology or fluid mechanics. This is not only common sense issue but also a moral issue. Again, the moral nature of an argument, obliges us to examine the argument itself. We doubt that our subject here could be left to rely on any authority whatsoever. The fact that a majority of Western politicians have a similar points of view should be meaningless to us. If anything, this should invite us to examine very carefully the arguments themselves. The foreign policy has, nevertheless, nothing to do with the knowledge of some foreign country since it will not be governed by the real needs of that country that is the object, but by the interest of the country that acts. Experts exist but are not heard insofar as their dissenting opinions challenge the interests of the politicians in question. Recall, for instance, that key American politicians did not know "how come the Serbs occupied Bosnia?”, (not knowing that they "occupied” it 13 centuries ago). One might have a similar experience if asking actual "authority” (that learned, we can assure you, exactly yesterday that Pashtuns lived in Afghanistan) what language it is that Afghans speak? for example
Would the world be Hell without the US? We believe that this is not the subject of the question the crisis of today raises at all. In any case, the randomly distributed power secured balance of power and relative stability in the second part of the 20th century. The nuclear deterrence, it may look absurd, secured stability. A power that has no opposition, as French political philosophers pointed some centuries ago, would lead inevitably to "absolute corruption” and terror. The Greeks know this as well and tried to limit in advance the length of the mandate of dictators that were sometimes needed in times of crisis. The World needs some guarantee of the International Justice and International Law. We do not seem to have it in the US, and we have to reconstruct these ideals, since we invested so much in the wonderful society of the New World. (If we do not, we are likely to have Hell but WITH US.) Or we will have to invent other ways that will assure the application of International Law.
Whether we do have a choice deserves a common sense answer: we always have a choice. Our very argument here should have shown that there is a number of alternatives. Equally, if we would look at the Table 1. we will realise that there is a significant difference between Nazi and MEIT wars, and the imperial wars. The majority of concepts from the table 1. are not typical for the imperial wars.
5. Not A Conclusion
We all want a better world, more justice, more rights, more freedom, and more humanism. We want it fast. The goals may be brilliant, but the means we use are - miserable. Humanism is losing. Decency should start with proper actuality. War advocates should be stopped at the gates.
Innocent people die in the havoc of wars and our obligation is to protect these people from the disasters of wars and to avoid wars at any price. But there are individuals who kill innocent people by their decisions. Such people are highly dangerous.. We should all attempt to protect society from such persons of inherent evil.
I do not think that we can conclude here. All problems of the society that existed centuries ago are still present. Couple of thousand of years of "civilisation” have been too short to solve even the essential controversies. Hellas, we have a false conviction that we have achieved quite much; in reality achievement is meagre. Our democracy seems to disappear as soon as we turn our regard away from it. We do not know enough about the other people desires, esteems, convictions and hopes and still believe that our values are better and try, insatiably to impose our customs to the others. We talk about progress and are forgetting that we kill people more then our ancestors did. We are convinced to be justified in doing this, forgetting that the "primitive” people from the past were equally convinced. It is not easy to make advances in the huge moral field if we falsely maintain that we already have achieved a state of justice and moral wisdom. Why should not we try to make the task easier, simpler and try just one single thing, one improvement only. If I am wrong all way through this essay, you will pardon me since I probably got too scared from the mounting violence without a real reason. Assuming that I were indeed wrong, there is a single but essential objection to the US and our Western society that is surely justified, that is contained in a simple question: "Why kill?” Hence, a small improvement could be at hand. The US has to try just this: stop killing people. This would certainly be a good start.
As we have come to the end, it is of utmost necessity to underline that number of arguments exposed here, have been pushed to the very extreme. This was done with the purpose to awaken us from the conformist slumber and force us to examine critically the problems of international relations. Indeed there is no need to be in despair. The world is certainly better then it seams to be if seen through these pessimistic glasses. But we could, if we tried to act more rationally, make it look quite desirable place to live even to those who have lost all their hopes.
1. Franz Neumann: Behemoth, Structure and Praxis of National - Socialism 1933 - 1944, Oxford University Press, 1942; 1944.
2. Die Denkschrift des Prinzen Max von baden uber den "ethnischen Imperialismus, In: Reinhard Opitz (Hrsg), Europastrategien des deutchen Kapitals, 1900-1945, Paul Rugenstein verlag, Koeln, 1977.
3. Some significant passages we could find in Mathisa Kunzel. Mathias Künzel: Der Weg in den Krieg:, Elefanten Press, Berlin, 2000, p 95-96: "Seit über achtzig Jahren wird Machtpolitik in Deutschland auf besonderer Weise verbrämt. Im März 1918 verfasste Prinz Max von Baden, der bald darauf zum Reichskanzler ernannt wurde, eine Eingabe an den Kaiser. Ihr Titel: DIE DENKSCHRIFT ÜBER DEN ETHNISCHEN IMPERIALISMUS" (In: Reinhard Opitz (Hrsg), Europastrategien des deutchen Kapitals, 1900-1945, Paul Rugenstein verlag, Koeln, 1977, S. 420-440).Behandelt wird darin eine Fragestellung von höchster Aktualität: Wie kann eine imperiale Machtpolitik so präsentiert werden, dass sie selbst "im Lichte der schärfsten Weltkritik, auf Zustimmung stößt". "Will der deutsche Imperialismus dem Ansturm der Demokratie mit ihrem Anspruch auf die Weltverbesserung Stand halten, so muss er sich ethnisch fundieren". Mit dem reinen Machtanspruch kann die Demokratie mühelos fertig werden...darum müssen wir allgemeine Menschheitsziele in unseren nationalen Willen aufnehmen."
4. As cited in Mathias Kuntzel: (Idem): Schon bei Baden werden jene "Menschheitsziele" aber volkisch definiert. Der Weltkrieg, der er den "Panzer" der früheren Weltordnung sprengte, habe die Geschicke ganzer Völker erneut zur Entscheidung gebracht.....Neu entstandene Staatengebilde bedürfen die Anlehnung und des Schutzes.... Wir sind ihre Nachbarn und Befreier.(p. 254)
5. Idem. Ein anderer Ideologe griff dies auf und gab diesem Gedanken eine Überschrift die auch heute nicht nur bei Konservativen, sondern auch im grün-alternatieven Lager auf Beifall stößt:" MENSCHENRECHT BRICHT STAATSRECHT" Der Autor dieser Lösung, Adolf Hitler, präzisierte diesen Gedanken wie folgt (" A.Hitler, Mein Kampf. Bd.1, 35 Auflage,München 1934,S.104.): "Wenn durch die Hilfsmittel der Regierungsgewalt ein Volkstum dem Untergang geführt wird, dann ist die Rebellion eines jeden Angehörigen eines solchen Volkes nicht nur Recht, sondern Pflicht...nicht die Erhaltung eines Staates, sei der höchste Zweck des Daseins der Menschen, sonder die Bewahrung ihrer Art ( ....) Dieser Vorstellung entsprechen wurde im Zweiten Weltkrieg sogenannte "Volksgruppen-Komandos" auf der Suche nach "Volksmischgebieten" durch ganz Europa gesandt, um dort den "Völkischen Selbsterhaltungstrieb"(Hitler) von staatlichen Minderheiten im ersten Schritt aufzuwiegeln, dann ihnen das Bedürfnis nach "Autonomie" anheim zu geben und drittens deren Staaten bei Bedarf auseinander zu sprengen. "In Frankreich sollten mehrere neue Staaten entstehen, für jede "Minderheit" einer. Die Bretonen, Burgunder oder das "Volk" von Savoyen rief die deutsche Zentralgewalt zum Kampf auf. Deutschlands Europapropaganda pries "Autonomie", "Identität"...., heizte den Separatismus an und spaltete die okkupierte Nationen. (See also Walter von Goldenbach and Rüdiger von Minov in a book Von Krieg zum Krieg, Köln 1999, p.6.
6. Heinrich Himmler (15. Mai 1940) (In: Reinhard Opitz (Hrsg), Europastrategien des deutschen Kapitals, 1900-1945, Paul Rugenstein Verlag, Köln, 1977, Teil IV: "Bei der Behandlung der Fremdvölkischen im Osten müssen wir darauf sehen, soviel wie möglich einzelne Völkerschaften anzuerkennen und zu pflegen, also neben den Polen und Juden die Ukrainer, die Weißrussen, die Goralen, die Lemken und die Kaschuben. Wenn sonst noch irgendwo Volkssplitter zu finden sind, auch diese.
Ich will damit sagen, dass wir nicht nur das grosste Interesse daran haben, die Befohlkehrung des Ostens nicht zu einen, sondern im Gegenteil in möglicht viele Teile und Splitter zu zergliedern.
Aber auch innerhalb der Völkerschaften selbst haben wir nicht Interesse, diese zu Einheit und Grosse zu furen, ihnen vielleicht allmählich nationalbewusstfein und nationale Kultur beizubringen, sondern sie in unzaelige kleine Splitter und Partikel aufzulosen."
7. Internet (reference unknown)
8. (Robert Drislane, Ph.D. and Gary Parkinson, Ph.D. The online version of this dictionary is a product of Athabasca University and ICAAP.)
9. As we have pointed out earlier (D. Pavlovic, Justice, tribunal et héritage helléniques "Dialogue”, No 18 (Editorial),. 1998): Quoi qu'il en soit, il ne sera pas simple non plus de partir de la responsabilité pour arriver à la culpabilité. Mais une telle approche, une approche structurelle globale, permettrait de mieux analyser le processus d'éclatement d'un conflit et satisferait en même temps au droit international. Ainsi condamner des crimes individuels prendraient son sens véritable et le tribunal sa pleine valeur juridique. D'ailleurs, la plupart des théories servant à expliquer les phénomènes sociaux ne tiennent pas seulement compte des facteurs micro (les individus) mais également macro (les institutions, les structures, les normes sociales).
La question du passage du niveau micro au niveau macro a été longtemps discutée et la littérature en sciences sociales continue à en débattre. Max Weber, en 1904, dans "De l'éthique du protestantisme et de l'esprit du capitalisme" (Max Weber, The Protestant ethics and the spirit of capitalism, Scribner's, 1958) en a donné un exemple classique en expliquant l'influence des valeurs sociales religieuses sur l'organisation économique de la société.
Passons maintenant brièvement aux explications théoriques. D'après certains théoriciens (ceux du holizam méthodologique, le point de vue prédominant), (i) les facteurs macro filtrent les préalables psychologiques des phénomènes, neutralisant tous ceux ne concernant pas ces phénomènes (Robert Nozik, Anarchy, State and Utopia, Basil Blackwell, 1988, p.22), (ii) les facteurs macro produisent les préalables psychologiques aux phénomènes (Louis Althusser, Reading Capital, New Left Books, 1970, p.180), ou bien (iii) les facteurs macro programment la réalisation des phénomènes en accroissant leur vraisemblance (Frank Jackson et Philip Pettit, "Structural explanation in Social Theory", in David Charles et Kathleen Lennon, Reduction, Explanation and Realism, Claredon Press, 1992). D'autres théoriciens (ceux de l'individualisme méthodologique) privilégient les facteurs micro (Jon Elster, Explaining Technical Change, Cambridge University Press, 1983). Enfin, certains chercheurs prennent en considération aussi bien les facteurs micro que macro et proposent une solution complexe de compromis (James Bohman, New Philosophy of Social Science, Problems of Indeterminacy, Polity Press, 1991). Le comportement agressif des groupes est un phénomène social qui, comme tout autre, peut faire l'objet d'une analyse des relations de cause à effet. Punir les crimes de guerre commis, bien que ce soit totalement justifié sur le plan moral, ne supprime pas la cause des crimes. Les conditions de guerre, qui d'un point de vue théorique correspondent au niveau macro, en sont une cause incontestable.