Monday, August 27, 2007

Terrorism, Profit and Otherwise, and World Without the West Update

Monday morning roundup of the weekend's news--and where and how TNI editors and contributors have laid down the analysis:

1) For Profit Terrorism, Pakistani links to terror:

Recently, Justine Rosenthal had noted:

Terrorists have always needed to finance their violence, and considering the fact that they function at the fringes of society, this funding has often come from illegal enterprises. But now that money can become such a temptation it can often override ideological motivations. Such groups continue to use their ideological rhetoric to mask their drive to profit both because it can help them continue to recruit and because it can help them avoid being persecuted and prosecuted as criminals.

The UN report on drugs and Afghanistan confirms her analysis. Today, Helmand province in Afghanistan is now the single biggest drug-producing region of the world. And almost of all opiates on the streets around the world flows out of Afghanistan.

Also backing up her analysis, reports coming in from Iraq that the prospect of cash is what often attracts young men to the militias and insurgent groups.

Meanwhile, the latest terror attack in India is said to have Pakistani connections.
"There were Bangladeshi and Pakistani connections to the twin bomb explosions that rocked Hyderabad on Saturday leaving 40 people dead and 54 injured. The Karachi-based terror outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami, which originates from Bangladesh, is the mastermind of the blast," said Y.S. Rajshekher Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh state, where the bombing occurred.
Trends that Alexis Debat has been tracking for years.

2) World Without the West update

I raised last week at a farewell dinner for Anatol Lieven a question that I have been thinking about recently--whether "Euro-Atlantic solidarity" holds together vis-a-vis China, or whether Europeans would be more comfortable with the notion of a Chinese sphere of influence in the world that interacts with Europe. Well, Xinhua reprints an article from China's former ambassador to Germany (on the occasion of Angela Merkel's visit to Beijing) where he says: "China and Germany have great influence in their own regions and in the world at large as well" and puts forward the idea of a German-Chinese dialogue as a better way for the West to address concerns than the approach taken by certain other unnamed countries.

And by the way, two Chinese warships arrived on a friendship visit to St. Petersburg today.

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