September 11: Alternatives to Terror,
Global Business and Religions

by Luc Saner


Is September 11. a turning point in the history of mankind? Not at all.
Under the banner "War on Terrorism" the old struggle to control resources continues. Oil and armament economies may well be the real driving forces.

Following Established Patterns
For the purpose of rearrangement in energy and armament economics the world is divided into Good and Evil, in step with reliable religious models.
The Western interpretation defines the Good as the terrorist fighters and the Evil as the terrorists. The Good include US troops in Afghanistan, who have killed about 5 000 civilians during their crusade against Evil. These victims must be attributed to carpet bombing, misguided missiles, bomb drops from great altitude and wilfully false target instructions by the Northern Alliance. The Evil include the Taliban and al Qaeda, made responsible for the attacks of September 11 in the USA, in which over 3 000 people lost their lives.

Brzezinsky and the Carlyle Group
Results from this campaign against Evil are disillusioning. Afghanistan's president Karzai has to be protected by US-troops as one attempt of murder on him and his government follows another. Afghan men grow beards again, their women still hide under the Burka, opium is produced extensively and al Qaeda continues its destructive operations.
The fight against terrorism has failed, but other aspects appear in the foreground. In his book The Grand Chessboard - American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives, former US Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzenzinski presents an informative graphic showing a pipeline running North to South. It is to transport oil from the Caspian Basin to the Indian Ocean. Other economic interests follow, extending all the way into the periphery of president Bush (Junior). In this context the Neue Zürcher Zeitung recently referred to the "Carlyle Group", a private equity group presided by the former US secretary of defence Frank Cartucci. Among the group's partners one finds top politicians like ex-president Bush (Senior), former secretary of state James Baker and the former British premier John Major. According to its home page, Carlyle intends to become the world's leading private equity group. At the present time more than 535 investors from 55 countries make up their clientele. Investments are carried out in the sectors of armament and energy. Carlyle has been widely critizised to exploit its political network by purchasing unstable weapons industry, providing them with government commissions and then reselling them with profit. Until recently Carlyle, which is not accessible to the public due to US secutity laws, has been linked to the Saudi family bin Laden.

The True Backgrounds
Developments like the Carlyle story could easily be complemented by dozens of facets. They did and still do take place all over the planet. Not even September 11. has changed this situation. But are such developments really necessary for all times? Or might there be alternatives? I think yes, there are. To present the alternatives I shall propose five areas of conflict, which in my esteem are the true backgrounds of the September 11 tragedies:

1. Misinterpretations on both sides of the relevance of their religions, i.e. Christianity, Judaism and Islam;
2. Population growth, in particular in context with the depletion of resources by the West;
3. The focusing of Western politics and economics on the play of market forces and the globalisation of ideas by the instruments of the WTO;
4. The intransparent side-by-side of official and private world politics;
5. The clandestine activities of intelligence agencies, in particular the CIA and the hysteria of terrorism.

Misjudgment of Christianity, Judaism and Islam
The values of these and other religions lie less in the answers they provide than in the questions they ask. Questions involving god, creation, the end of our earthly existence, death and rebirth, behavioural codes and the prophets. The answers given are widely divergent. That alone gives rise to doubts as to the content of truth in religions. None of the three religions offers more truth than the others. What they do have in common is that they are not god-given but man-made. Moreover, they closely follow the contemporary view of the world in which their progenitors lived. The Bible, Talmud and Koran, being far older than 1 000 years, are anchored to antiquated concepts of the universe. In particular the anthropocentric view, a fossil in the face of cosmic dimensions of time and space. What we know today makes it highly improbable that the universe was created for the sake of mankind. Therefore the existence of a personal god, as postulated by Christianity, Judaism and Islam, is unlikely. In a more realistic vein, mankind must be seen as both consequence and part of the process of evolution in progress since 15 billion years. According to scientific findings now generally accepted, this process began with the Big Bang, which created more than a hundred billion galaxies with hundreds of billions of suns in each and brought forth life on our planet four billion years ago. Our religious trenches could be filled, if questions of faith were guided to answers on the basis of evolutionary theories. In this context it is worth noting that some religiously motivated states in the USA have banned the teaching of Darwin's theory of evolution in their schools, because it contradicts the Bible.

Sustainable Development
Any sustainable development requires a stable balance between population growth, use of resources and environmental stress. The Western world with its exorbitant waste of resources is far removed from obtaining such a balance. Already in 1991 David and Marcia Pimentel, working at Cornell University in New York, found that - based on its native, renewable resources - the United States can only maintain its present level of energy consumption, standard of living and wealth, if a total population between 40 and 100 million is targeted instead of the present 285 million. The American transport sector alone uses more than the national production of fossil oil provides. However, instead of communicating this situation to the public and instead of establishing the needed steps to limit the world-wide population growth, the USA in particular strive to secure their dominance over world resources. A lasting conflict is thus unavoidable.

Market and Globalisation
In step with this ideology of growth and in lack of an all-encompassing long-term view of world affairs "The Market" is upgraded to a world religion and big business becomes its holy grail. Under the framework of the WTO the idea of The Market is exported on a global scale. Ideological monocultures of this kind are bound to fail. Humanity would be better off, if the market theory prevailing in the West were replaced by a more general world philosophy, based on established theories involving cosmic, biological and human evolution. Perhaps the armaments industry could be won to foster the scientific part of this new philosophy. The arms branch is currently at the scientific forefront in many areas with a bearing on evolutionary theories, such as aerospace, information and nuclear technologies as well as basic research in physics, chemistry and biology. To develop the humanities part of the new ideology, religious organisations may play a role, falling back on their theological, philosophical and organisational competence. Many jobs could be saved in this way, making the loss of old tasks easier. Moreover, hundreds of billions of dollars could be made available for research into the evolutionary process. World-wide annual armament costs alone will break the "sound barrier" of one thousand billion dollars soon.

Official and Private World Politics
Closely linked to the idea of market economy we find the idea of private world politics. Corporate world affairs strongly influence governmental policies. The roots of corporate politics go back to England's "Glorious Revolution" in 1688, when limits to the power of the state and protection of private property were institutionalised. John Locke worked out this political revolution in his publication "Two Treatises of Government". This ideology of corporate world politics found its organisational expression with the Freemasons, the Rhodes-Milner group of the 19th, the Council on Foreign Relations of the 20th century, the Bilderberger Conferences, the Trilateral Commissions and, finally, the World Economic Forum.
The WEF has become the world parliament of global corporate enterprise. Although private "Think Tanks" and world-wide expansion of market economy as such are to be commended, the governmental level must not be controlled by a few corporations with unilateral optics. The suggestions given above may serve to equalise the weakness of the official vis-a-vis the private world politics.

Intelligence Services and Terrorism
With its covert activities and its misinformation politics, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), certainly the most important secret service world-wide, regularly violates those values held high by the Western world, namely the constitutional state, freedom and self-determination. The attitude of the CIA also violates the foremost principle of good governance: guidance by credible example. The whole situation is not at all improved by the fact that the United States and the CIA with their behaviour are not alone.
Terrorism, despite lofty goals is nothing less than the spitting image of the governmental attitudes just outlined. Intelligence services would do well to honour exemplary guidelines while exercising their functions. In principal, the CIA should limit its activities to the gathering of relevant information.

New Guidelines are Needed
I am convinced that the measures proposed above represent a better guidance into the future than terror, big business and religions clashing in the process. In memory of all the victims left in the wake of these attacks and wars, the least we can do as human beings is to make an effort re-thinking ancient reflexes and find our way in a new direction.

All rights reserved, 2002, Luc Saner, Basel, Switzerland.
Translated by Felix Voirol

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