It's a wild world
Three loosely connected incidents underscore the "grassroots" nature of the current world crisis. The first was the bombing of an Army recruiting station in Times Square, New York. "The military's 1,600 recruiting stations nationwide were alerted and advised to use extra caution, said Douglas Smith, spokesman for the Army recruiting command." The attack was carried out by a hooded man on a bicycle, later abandoned on West 38th street.
The second incident involved an attack which killed 8 by an someone with an East Jerusalem residency permit on a seminary for high school aged students in Jerusalem. "It came on the same day as Egyptian officials were trying to mediate a truce between Palestinian militants and Israel."
Allison Kaplan Sommer at Pajamas Media described the succeeding tension. "Friday is never an easy day for security forces in Jerusalem, as Arabs gather at the al-Aksa mosque for prayers – this week, it will be more tense than ever. Police are expecting a long night, followed by an even longer day."
The third event was the complaint by Steve Aftergood, director of the Project on Government Secrecy, of "the danger to the freedom of the press" from "private citizens and organizations, those who feel themselves harmed by journalistic publications and commentators and who would therefore like to "limit the press' freedom."
Aftergood was reacting to a grand jury subpoena ordering James Risen of the New York Times testify in an ongoing investigation into who leaked information about a planned CIA and Mossad operation against Iran's nuclear program which compromised both. Risen wrote about them in his book: State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration.
Gabriel Schoenfeld, a senior editor at Commentary, has been claiming that liberal newspapers like The New York Times are actually engaged in unpatriotic activity. "In his articles and in testimony before a Senate committee that discussed the issue, Schoenfeld claimed that The New York Times reporters had revealed confidential material that weakened America's struggle against Al-Qaida. He calls for relinquishing the soft approach which he says the administration has taken against journalists in whose publications, in his opinion, America's security is harmed."
None of these incidents involved state or government action. All of them were carried out by civilians. Cyclists, 'militants' or journalists/editors. In fact the greatest potential security crisis facing Europe today is the projected release of a movie by a Dutch politician. Try explaining that to a military historian. Today's belligerents wear different livery from those of World War 2. In fact they wear no uniform at all and deny they are either engaged in war, war crimes or espionage. Far from it. They describe themselves as engaged in 'protest theater', 'rights of return' or 'patriotic activity'. So when Steve Aftergood complains someone from Commentary Magazine is on some journalist's case in order to chill "freedom of the press" its really a case of Welcome to the 21st century.
Today's businessmen like Tony Rezko, Nahdmi Auchi and Viktor Bout -- did I mention Viktor Bout? -- live in this subnational belligerent world. Like the cyclists, militants, journalista nd editors, guys like Bout are representative of the new way of warfare. Viktor Bout was recently arrested in Thailand, probably after running out ends to play the middle against. The Counterterrorism Blog has been on his case for ages.
Viktor Bout, the subject of my book with Steve Braun has been arrested in Thailand on charges of supplying weapons to the FARC in Colombia. ... It is a stunning blow to the world's "Merchant of Death," who has been responsible for fanning wars across Africa, as well as aiding and abetting the Taliban, and thus, indirectly, al Qaeda.
Of course, this may finally stop the U.S. from carrying on dealing with him, despite his being the subject of an Interpol red notice, an Executive Order signed by President Bush, and numerous Treasury Department sanctions. Despite all that, Bout aircraft flew hundreds of flights, as a sub-contractor, for the U.S military and its principal contractors such as KBR, Fedex and others.
The arrest is the result of a DEA sting operation focused on targeting suppliers of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), according to ABC News.
Viktor Bout's trial, if he lives long enough to see it, may eventually involve all kinds of names including American political candidates, leftist icons in South America and God knows who else.
The forty years after World War 2 were called the Cold War to distinguish it from the inferno of the conflict with Hitler and Japan. I think the current world crisis bids fair to be called the first nongovernment organization war in history. It's the War of the Communities. Or the War of the Tribes.
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