9/11 Anniversary PassedBombs Still Ticking.
No Time To Rest
Another 9-11 Without Major Surprises. It's been a week since the 9/11 anniversary, and the world is still standing. Indeed, although the MH370 situation could (possibly) have been connected to an anniversary of the 2010 killing of Osama bin Laden, there has remained a deceptive calm in the large scale. But let's reexamine this theme.
Islamic Terror Movement Growing World-Wide. In the larger picture, it is amazing to reflect how ISIS/L had not even been heard of as a global phenomenon when I published my Jack Dorsey novel Vanished Flight 777, a Thriller and Thought Experiment in June of this yeara mere three months ago. Wikipedia has a good summary of how ISIS/L grew out of the Syrian civil war. You'll notice I don't dignify them with their recently elevated title (a Caliphate, or Islamic State) declared in June 2014. This is despite their newly formed quasi-nation state. It is beyond our scope on this site to delve into deep dynamics and fine points. We can be at war with either a legitimate nation-state (people, territory, history, culture) or a rogue state (oligarchy whose minority hold the general populace hostage either to greed or a fanatical minority belief). There is zero possibility that the region's various ethnic tribal and national governments will recognize a sectarian (radical Sunni) terror group that has momentarily cashed in on civil war paralysis to wave its daggers and show fierce tonsils. I believe ISIS/L as we see it is a momentary cavitation that will implode under the thermodynamics (force engenders equal and opposite force) of its own unreality. It is a kind of children's crusade by hormone-crazed young psychotic men, manipulated and controlled by the types of Machiavellian cynics who lead all such movements. What will continue to grow, however is a global psychosis that will seep and sicker into every corner of every nationincluding the United States, Canada, and the rest of what de Gaulle called the First World. Consider this insane plot by Australian Muslim radicals to randomly seize and behead ordinary citizens on Australian city streets.
A few months ago, when I entertained the possibility that the MH370 disappearance might be a hijacking, we were all still focused on the long-standing threat of Al Qaeda. It is now clear that the enemies of civilization have spread and entered a new phase. Essentially, this new phase takes the abstract rhetoric of bin Laden and his nominal successor and phony doctor (Ayman al-Zawahiri) to a more grounded level of reality. According to Wikipedia, "A caliphate was proclaimed on 29 June 2014, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi—now known as Amir al-Mu'minin Caliph Ibrahim—was named as its caliph, and the group was renamed the Islamic State."
Thus, in an explosive quantum change, a powerful rogue quasi-state has suddenly erupted from the long festering Syrian civil war. This is the new reality. Whether we want to bandy words or not, the world's oil supply is once again in a choke hold. Last time it was Saddam Hussein, and Bush 41 gathered a phenomenal alliance of over 100 nations to force Hussein to relinquish his grip on Kuwaiti oil. The hundred nations understood Saddam thus had a choke-hold on the throat of the world economy. We are once again in, or close to, such a situation. While a feeble Iraqi government struggles, the Kurdish reality holds Kirkuk, and the Shi'a reality holds Basra. There are complex layers of regional geopolitics here. Over the Kurds looms the shadow of Turkish and Iranian opposition to Kurdistan independence (a shoe that will drop as soon as a new Western alliance sorts out the ISIS/L mess). Over Basra looms the radical Shi'a regime of Iran. And over the Sunni center in Mesopotamia looms the peninsular shadow of Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
The Two-Step, A Deadly Dance. I'll have more to say about all this, including the lingering possibility that MH370 (or, my point: the next one if not this one) may yet suddenly one day sail out of a cloud and annihilate some precious Western landmark (see my novel). In the big picture, we are being dragged into a new dance which, like all nightmares, has no resolutiononly awakening if we survive the night. The first step in this dance will be a second massive coalition of world powers, led by the United States (even weakened by our internal power struggles). That will be the relatively easy step. The second, much more complex dance step will be the settling of scores, evening of playing fields, and thankless removal of external forces from the regional geopolitical game sphere. For the West, this will be a moment of surprises unless we relinquish the blinders of long-standing misunderstanding and understand that, at the core, it's really about local Arab populations finally achieving true self-governance on their own termsfree of the Ottomans, the oil companies, the Soviets, the Westerners, and the various puppet tyrant dictators, kings, sheikhs, emirs, grand muftis, and other grand poobahs installed by foreign powers under guise of Islamic piety. For the Arabs, however, there will be an equally great awakening in the realization that the Jews, the Kurds, the Yazidi, the Chaldeans, and other groups have been there as long as they have, and in some cases longer, and therefore have a right to stay there. Eye-opening times are in store for for all.
What Tacitus Wrote About This Nearly 2,000 Years Ago. Cornelius Tacitus (c. 55 to after 117 A.D. or C.E.) was one of Rome's greatest historians. An aristocrat, he moved amid the ruling circles of power and personally knew many of the players. His vivid description of Rome under the Stalinesque terror of Nero following the failure of the Pisonian conspiracy in 65 CE is heart-wrenching and terrifying. Here is a brief excerpt of his description of the Roman invasion of Judea under the Emperor Vespasian by Vespasian's son the general and future Emperor Titus in 70 CE. The Second Jewish War (a colonial revolt against Rome by the Jews) had been going on for some years, and Titus' invasion (commemorated in a surviving arch just east of the Palatine Hill in Rome) would lead to the destruction of the city and its Temple. Titus, a talented general, marshaled three legions in Judaea (the V, X, and XV) plus the XII from Syria, some troops of the XVIII and III from Alexandria in Egypt, plus allied and auxiliary forces including (here is the point I want to make amid this vivid recap of events that would be as real today as they were then): "...a strong contingent of Arabs, who hated the Jews with the usual hatred of neighbors..." [et solito inter accolas odio infensa Iudaeis Arabum manus]. This speaks for itself on many levels. My contention is that people will do the right thing if led by the right leaders. The right thing is that everyone lives together in peace and mutual respect. The right leaders are those of each ethnic group who understand that peace for one or the other means peace for all (or nothing). The wrong leaders are everyone from Arafat to the current Palestinian leadership, and regionally the entire invasive, fumbling West, plus all the externally installed kings, emirs, sheikhs, muftis, mullahs, and other self-serving, cynical oil czars and power brokers who seek only their own wealth and power. It's time for a change, if everyone will finally let it happen. That includes the West (whose ignorant czar Bush 43 stupidly declared a 'Crusade' as he invaded the region on false pretenses; which was like rubbing salt into the region's wounds, and inflamed passions against the West even further). We had a U.S. brigadier general on route to take up a command in the region, who had to be pulled off the plane and relieved on the spot for declaring he was going to be a Crusader (the dirtiest word you can use in the region, for obvious historical reasons). This is a true instance of the dictum that those who do not learn from history are condemned to relive it (and our innocent, well-meaning troops have already suffered it for over a decade while the fat cats' drunken daughters are being busted for having fake I.D. in Dallas bars rather than putting their worthless lives on the line; but why would they, when none of their elders, e.g. the pompous Gingrich, ever saw the inside of a military uniform? and the likes of Dan Quayle and W served in fake reserve units to avoid going in harm's way?).
Copyright © 2014 by John T. Cullen. All Rights Reserved.