Tracing the Dollars Behind the Terror Networks
Published on March 30, 2004 By Wahkonta Anathema In History
Recently There was a very good blog posted on the nature of "Terrorism". This was a fairly rare post in that it generated several insightful replies as well. Some discussed the economic motives of the participants in terrorism. This was an angle seldom thought of in the 'controlled-media'.
Here is a book out that is to be discussed on the Jeff Rense radio show tonight that also covers it. I have excerpted a few lines to explain the work and hope thoughtful people will be able to gain more information by it:
Excerpt begins:

The New Economy of Terror, the size of which she estimates to be approximately 5% of world GDP, is both the result of historical processes and a feeding structure that sustains and nurtures global terror. This new economy, she argues, has an interdependent relationship with western market economies but is, simultaneously, in a state of increasing tension with them. This irony is one of many developed in the book as we try to grasp a major contemporary conundrum.

The book is a time-tapestry in which state-sponsored terrorism during the Cold War evolves into self-financed armed groups relying on crime and then into organisations which use and manage sophisticated business techniques and financing vehicles in order to promote their goals. Some have established themselves as "state shells" with formal links to full nation states and their financial institutions and it is in this context that the New Economy of Terror exists in earnest.

A further and poignant irony emerges. The New Economy of Terror is in fact a product of globalisation and, in particular, of the rapid pace of globalisation that emerged after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Globalisation allowed non-state entities to promote a variety of liberal causes, social change and economic advancement but has also facilitated the networking of terrorist movements like Al Qaeda and the growing sophistication of the "terror economy". Privatisation, deregulation, openness, the free movement of labour and capital, technological advances - all hailed as the key ingredients of economic success in the last twenty years have been exploited by and adapted into the terror economy in a macabre form of geo-political ju-jitsu. In other words, the very strengths of legitimate economies have been turned into double-edged swords. Non-state organised, diffuse and decentralised economic networks might well be regarded as typically Reaganite or Thatcherite but for the fact that the subject matter here is the privatisation of terror organisations not telecommunications companies.

Loretta Napoleoni's New Economy of Terror could not have existed before the end of the Cold War. There are of course, many examples of local uprisings and terror campaigns, many of which proved successful against despotic or imperial powers. And they all needed money and some form of economic organisation to succeed. Ms. Napoleoni's central thesis about the global nature of the terror economy today is linked inextricably to the post-Cold War globalisation and, in particular, to the latter's mirror image of fragmentation. As the world has fragmented and broken up into smaller units of organisation, it has allowed groups - especially those with strong appeals to religious bonds and radical Islam in particular - to develop into state shells. These shells simultaneously substitute for the economic failures of legitimate states, for example by providing education and financial support and aspire to displace them. A further irony, of course is that many of the states that the terror economy seeks to displace are, themselves, the sources, directly or indirectly, of arms, logistics, refuge and, importantly, finance. The oldest adage in the world about money making the world go round finds a disturbing echo in this context. The US dollar, the world's reserve currency printed legitimately by the Federal Reserve is the terror economy's main currency. Western and, more recently, Islamic banks are the vehicles through which this currency is transacted. Small, informal businesses are often the agents. Progressive and more liberal laws pertaining to immigration and capital movement and ease of access to arms and ammunitions have clearly been available for exploitation.

Finally and fundamentally, the rhetoric of terror groups and their sympathisers may be no more than that. The real issue, according to Loretta Naoleoni, is the growing tension between a dominant western capitalist system and a populous Muslim nation in which an emerging class of merchants and bankers is finding development is checked or frustrated. A sort of twist, if you will, on medieval times in which a dominant Islam was challenged by the rising tide of a European economic class and ultimately the Crusades. There will inevitably be much more debate among economists and political scientists as to the legitimacy and implication of this assertion, Ms. Napoleoni's belief that this is what 'Modern Jihad' is about merits serious attention. It certainly jives with the consensus view, for example, that Al Qaeda's principal villain is not even so much US military and economic primacy, per se, as Islamic states with which it is in a state of ambivalent tension. For western nations, the implication is that the fight against global terror needs also to be waged increasingly on an economic front. This is one in which the role of the state must be bigger, the role of the market and vested interests smaller. It is one in which there may well be significant financial costs to those that have profited from 'new economy' links to the terror economy.

excerpt ends. clicklink for more information and copy verify.

"It certainly jives with the consensus view, for example, that Al Qaeda's principal villain is not even so much US military and economic primacy, per se, as Islamic states with which it is in a state of ambivalent tension. For western nations, the implication is that the fight against global terror needs also to be waged increasingly on an economic front. This is one in which the role of the state must be bigger, the role of the market and vested interests smaller."

I view this as a contradiction and indicates the author is not trying to really say what is on her mind for fear of upsetting a power that is. It is relevant for us to examine this issue on a deeper level than the 'good guy Vs. bad guy" fed by the media and propogandists. I will be listening this evening to see how she lays it down. It is a dynamic.

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