By Sergei Kurginian;
Interview by Eugeny Chernyh (Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia)
Kurginian: The global architecture is changing. The first phase of the change happened at our expense. The fall of the Berlin Wall was the symbol of that phase. Did Obama liken the events in Egypt to the fall of the Berlin Wall? He did! And that was not by chance. The second phase of global restructuring has begun. The previous systemic architecture, the “modern” world order, is going into the dustbin. It started forming in the mid-16th century and took its final shape after the French Revolution. It was based on the belief that all peoples have the right to develop to the level of the so-called advanced nations. That right is not granted in the new global architecture.
How the globe is divided
Kurginian: Malthus warned as early as in the end of the 18th century: There were not enough resources for everybody. The Club of Rome laid that out in its report “The Limits to Growth” in 1972. Hence the idea of the world elites: Why develop all peoples? Naturally, the idea is not declared officially, but it is really starting to peep through.
Correspondent: The doctrine of the notorious “golden billion”?
Kurginian: One could call it that. A certain portion of humankind has passed through the door of modernization. All the rest are going to be halted, the door slammed in their faces.
Correspondent: There’s never enough sweet cakes for everybody?
Kurginian: There’s really not enough of them. Ask yourself a simple question. If China and India became as developed as America, where everybody has a cottage, two cars and all the rest of the perks of civilization, how much electricity, gas and other “sweet cakes,” i.e. material resources, would they consume? And for how long would humankind survive that level of consumption?
Correspondent: Vysotsky* joked in his song, “The end of our era is near. The Chinese are going to finish up the Earth’s atmosphere in a few years.”
Kurginian: A wise song, albeit a joking one:
“And so our small little globe
Got divided into three huge wedges.
A billion of them, a billion of us,
And the Chinese all the rest.”
Now, barely half a century later, the globe is divided into three different parts. There is no more “us,” meaning the USSR and the socialist camp. The question is no longer whether it’s going to be us or the Chinese, as it was in the recent times of Vysotsky. It’s how soon Russia is going to be overtaken by Vietnam. Yes indeed, do not be surprised! I frequently go to China. Everybody can see what’s going on there. It is an empire, a billion-strong civilization. As to Vietnam, it is smaller than Russia — a mere 90 million people against our 140. But soon there’s going to be more of the Vietnamese than of us. I have just recently returned from there. I was hugely impressed, even though I’m not new to traveling the world. Enormous assembly plants of the world’s leading companies are growing on the outskirts of Hanoi. Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon, is turning into something like Hong Kong practically before our very eyes. One sees millions of people on mopeds eagerly tearing toward prosperity!
Correspondent: They used to be rickshaws. We used to support them only recently.
Kurginian: And now they are overtaking us, under the leadership of the same old Communist Party, with their mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh. The Communist Party realizes that if it doesn’t achieve eight percent economic growth, that is going to be the end of it! Therefore, it ensures that the rich produce that level of growth and share with the poor. In our country, the rich aren’t producing anything. Their best claim is that they have somewhat patched up the Soviet industrial base. They are not creating any new wealth and do not intend to share with the poor. And we don’t have a party that would enforce the sharing.
Correspondent: Is that a dig at our government; are you nostalgic for the Communist Party?
Kurginian: Deng Xiaoping said: “What does it matter what color the cat is as long as it catches mice?” We see modernization under communist leaders (Vietnam, China), strict authoritarian rulers (Singapore, South Korea), and rather “soft” political institutions (India). The important thing is that all those cats do catch mice. The East today is the source of rapid growth. Peasants and rickshaws are striving for prosperity, because the lower layers of society are living in such poverty that those working at a factory for 250-300 dollars are considered lucky. The East is selling to the world its cheap, disciplined, energetic work force derived from an agrarian society. That is the essence of modernization and industrialization.
The other part of the world is the West. The West is no longer modern. It doesn’t have a traditional society, it doesn’t have its own source of disciplined and cheap labor, and it lacks a strong motivation to work. Hence switching from industrial development to financial transactions and all kinds of ways of making money out of thin air. It is a postmodern society, a society of consumption, flaccid pluralism, demographic decline, loss of moral values, prevalence of sexual pathologies and drugs. The West today is a new Rome in its period of decline.
The third part is the South — camels and tents. “We do not need your filthy progress. Life should be clean, clear, proper, religious. Any dissent from that is sin.” That is counter-modern, the New Middle Ages.
Correspondent: In short, Islam.
Kurginian: I’d rather say Islamism. Islam is a great world religion that used to be ahead of the West back in the 11th and 12th centuries. It was a very enlightened religion then, associated with the Greek pre-Christian era, permeated with great discoveries and possessing a huge potential for development. Europe used to learn from Islam.
Why is Islam being trampled?
Correspondent: I agree, Islam used to be enlightened. But it stopped being that a long time ago, in the Middle Ages.
Kurginian: What stopped Islam then was the great mystery of History. In our times the South is trying to become modern. Whether by moderate Islam coupled with development (for example, in Tunisia), or by creating purely secular states (Nasser, Sadat in Egypt, the Shah of Iran, the Turkish Kemalists), the Islamic world seeks progress. But the West destroys these efforts and helps the enemies of progress in those countries win. Islamism is a peculiar religious subculture that developed with the direct involvement of the West. Of course, there are some internal forces in Islam itself that work against progress, mysterious forces. But besides them, the Western influence can be clearly glimpsed.
Correspondent: Colonel Lawrence of Arabia, the main hero of the Great Arab Revolt against the Turks in 1916?
Kurginian: Lawrence is more of a movie hero. Look deeper. For example, consider the Berings, the famous bankers in the zone of the Suez Canal. Lord Cromer from the Bering family was appointed Consul General of Great Britain in the zone at the turn of the 20th century. He had been practically the ruler of Egypt for a quarter of a century! That was where Islamism was fostered. That was the cradle of the influential Muslim Brotherhood, who will soon reap the full benefits of current events in Egypt. Hassan al-Banna created that organization with unbelievable speed. Clearly, he had help. There is substantial evidence in history to prove how “Islamism” or “radical Islam” was cultivated.
Correspondent: What was it cultivated for?
Kurginian: For attacking the countries the West didn’t approve of. Islamism was used to blow up the Ottoman empire. It was directed against the Russian empire in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Later it was used against the USSR and the moderate leaders of Pakistan. Remember the unfortunate Bhutto family. The fact that radical Islamists, fostered by Americans, attempted to kill pro-Soviet Nasser is understandable. But the same Islamists killed pro-American Sadat, Mubarak’s predecessor. And they did that with the American blessing. Read the former CIA director Robert Gates, the current Secretary of Defense. The United States had started heating Islamism up in Afghanistan six months before the Soviet invasion, in July 1979. Brzezinski** confirmed that by explaining in detail his efforts at directing Islamism against the USSR. If we had let the radical movements in Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan unite at out southern borders then, that whole mass would have flooded us in the early ‘80s. The history repeats itself today. The entire South is pushed toward Islamism by the West. They want it to reject progress, to turn into an aggressive writhing mass saturated with terrorism, a mass that can be thrown anywhere they need.
Correspondent: Do they want to throw it at us, again?
Kurginian: We are no longer the main target. Now it is the East, with China in first place. American politics consider any country whose power comes close to that of the United States to be their number one enemy. From that perspective, the processes in the far East, the growth of its economy, are terribly dangerous to the current global leader. Imagine the Chinese in five years, politely producing the debt obligations that the Yankees are not going to be able to pay. The dollar will collapse!
Correspondent: Charles de Gaulle had once asked to pay for the accumulated green paper with gold. The United States refused and soon afterward defaulted.
Kurginian: These days, America is even closer to defaulting. The Celestial Empire will soon get ahead of the U.S. in many respects and become the first economy in the world. While we discuss what Skolkovo*** should be like, the Chinese have built 1,200 innovation centers and are luring our scientists there. India is also growing rapidly. The law of uneven development has never been canceled. According to that law one can’t make a capitalist pay several thousand dollars or euros to a capricious woman protected by a trade union in Europe or America when he can hire an unquestioning, industrious Chinese or Vietnamese woman for 10 times less money. The main factors are the price and the quality of labor. Everything is shifting to the East, making it the greatest threat to the current leader. Therefore, the U.S. will try to blow the competitor up.
The arc of fire
Correspondent: How are they going to do that?
Kurginian: Through organized conflicts. There are Uighur separatists, there is Indian Islamism and much more of that kind in store. One just needs to light the wick. Look at the map. The unrest in Algeria, where Islamism has always been strong, is understandable. But Tunisia? That was an almost secular country, proud of its dissociation from Islamism, relatively well-to-do. It had always been a barrier in the way of formation of a large Islamist arc from Morocco to Indonesia. Now the barrier has been swiftly destroyed. Egypt is being set on fire before our eyes. Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain and Jordan are all centers of new unrest.
Correspondent: Even Libya is messed up!
Kurginian: This wave will continue to roll to Syria and Saudi Arabia. Turkey is ready to fall into the embrace of Islamism. Iraq has been trampled and transformed into an appendage of Iran. Iran is never an obstacle to radical Islamism. That means that the fire will spill over into Pakistan, which is already restless enough. The situation in Afghanistan is well known. Throwing the fire over to Malaysia and Indonesia is just a technical matter. An uninterrupted Islamist arc of fire from Indonesia and Malaysia to Morocco is being created. Naturally, it’s not going to catch fire all at once, but it will not take too long. We are talking about a fundamental restructuring of the world, in which the principle of “modernization for all” is replaced by a triad of “postmodern, modern and counter-modern.”
Correspondent: Could it all be much simpler? Could it be that last year’s drought made the grain expensive, and that made hungry Arabs rebel against the corrupt rulers?
Kurginian: My “Experimental Creative Center” is an associate member of the UN Department of Public Information. We are constantly engaged in dialogues with China, India; we are visited by Americans, Europeans, Israelis. Believe me, I can distinguish a real process going on in the world from conspiracy fantasies. It is true that all of the regimes that are being overthrown are internally afflicted by corruption and inability to achieve high growth rates. But in addition to that, they are being undermined from the outside. They are being swept away. And don’t tell me fairy tales about hunger riots in Tunisia and Egypt turning into revolutions. Revolutions can be even worse than the regimes themselves. It could be that the events in Egypt were not initially orchestrated from the outside; perhaps it was the free will of the masses to rise to a higher stage of development. The masses, tired from Mubarak’s and his elite’s tyranny, had a perfect right to protest. But their protest was swiftly directed into a desirable channel, then ElBaradei and the other leaders promptly arrived and everything was coordinated. In any case, it is impossible that people in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Yemen and Syria all just happened to come out to the streets simultaneously. The facts show that the process was prepared in advance. Read WikiLeaks.
Correspondent: Is it a reliable source of information?
Kurginian: I will agree that it contains some intentionally inserted blows and whistles. But if you learn to read it, disregarding certain exoticisms, separating the wheat from the chaff, it is obvious that the U.S. has long planned for a shift of power in Egypt in 2011. The process started exactly as described, after WikiLeaks published these secret American dispatches. The U.S. is not even hiding anything anymore, playing with an open hand!
Correspondent: In that case, why are they still trying to arrest Assange?
Kurginian: Assange alone could not organize such a leak. There is a very serious group of people behind him. This is a war of intelligences, elites, world orders. Some Americans are still clinging to the possibility of a new world order at least formally associated with global modernization. Others are dreaming about something completely different. These others are with Obama. It is impossible to ignore that Obama passionately supported the Egyptian “revolution” from the very first hours, that he pressured Mubarak, criticized the Egyptian military, flirted with the Egyptian public.
Correspondent: It is indeed strange. Mubarak used to be a U.S. ally; he helped them in the war against Saddam Hussein. And the Yankees played such a mean trick on him!
Kurginian: The Egyptian military was capable of suppressing the revolt immediately, but American allies didn’t allow them to do that. I don’t see anything strange in that. Speaking in Cairo shortly after his inauguration, Obama, then a novice president, made it clear that he was extending a hand of friendship to Islamists. Read that speech, it was all there. There were far reaching reverent gestures towards Islam (“Islam is a part of America,” “In Ankara, I made clear that America is not — and never will be — at war with Islam.” There were assurances that the troops were going to be withdrawn from everywhere, including Afghanistan. There was a revision of U.S.-Israeli relations. There was a new concept of democracy in the Islamic world. The last one was probably the most important. Because in some countries, that new concept means Islamists coming to power.
But even before that, Condoleezza Rice started sending messages concerning a global restructuring of the world order. So it’s not all about Obama. Bush defeated Saddam Hussein, but what did he build? There used to be a balance between the not-at-all secular Iran and the relatively secular Iraq. It would seem that Americans should have understood the difference, should have protected the balance and the potential of secularism in the region. Sure, Saddam Hussein’s regime was unpleasant, but it did represent a potential for secularism (modernization). One example of that, and not the only one, was the Baath party. But no! They have blown all that up. A piece of Iraq ricocheted into Turkey, which is supposed to be an American ally.
Correspondent: Iraqi Kurdistan?
Kurginian: Yes, the Kurds. It is now a hot area. In the very middle of Iraq there is now a Sunni nest, compared to the radicalism of which bin Laden is a mere baby. And the majority of the Shiites were thrown at Iran’s feet. That’s what Americans did under Bush! Why? Were they too dumb to understand what they were doing? No chance! The theory of balance is what American special services and diplomats learn by heart at college and then keep polishing throughout their lives.
The East is being blocked by the Islamist arc of fire I described before, stretching from Indonesia to Morocco. There is going to be a bloody showdown in the region. All the current bombings, all the terrorist attacks are but the first harbingers of what is yet to come, as sketched by Brzezinski’s hand, I’m ashamed to admit.
Correspondent: Don’t you think you are demonizing him too much?
Kurginian: I do not think that the world is governed by Brzezinski or the Bilderberg Group, an organization with a budget slightly bigger than that of my center. There are other structures that are much more powerful and that do not fit into our Russian patriots’ classic frame of mind. Nearby in Europe, inconspicuous people come to provincial hotels and really do divide the world. But they do not belong to any Masonic Lodges or Bilderberg Groups. Brzezinski simply senses which way the wind blows. He has been faithfully and for a long time working for a certain world order based on a deep partnership between the United States and radical Islam. He has done a lot for that project, and he understands that now the wind is blowing into his sails. He was always close to the Democrats who favor the world order based on the existence of a large Islamist arc. Brzezinski was important in Carter’s time, and he is important now, with Obama. However, there is no need to discuss individuals. Brzezinski is only one of the most prominent figures insisting on the necessity to create the big Arc, the big South. When I say “Brzezinski”, I mean “elites.”
Correspondent: In that case, who set Egypt, along with Tunisia on, fire and who keeps fanning the flames?
Kurginian: I think it was initiated by American emissaries working in a deep connection with the Islamist underground. And the organizer of the fire is John Brennan, the former deputy director of the CIA, now Obama’s adviser on homeland security and counter-terrorism. The Middle East has been his specialty for a long time. Some very large groups are behind the process. The principal player is a transnational drugs and arms consortium with a strong terrorist streak. Heroin production has increased by 30 times in Afghanistan. The drugs are usually paid for not with money but with arms. Arms are in demand when there is conflict. Therefore, terrorists are needed to fan the conflict. Elite security forces are actively involved in the process, specifically the part of them that had began the transition to self-financing in the ‘50s. The pioneer of that was Ted Shackley in Southeast Asia, who was in charge of CIA non-budget monetary sources. Later the self-financing program went out of control. Shackley’s pupils are now primarily working for themselves, but they do some work for the U.S. as well. According to my estimates, the consortium operates around a trillion-dollar sum. There are other players who want to restructure the world to their advantage. And let me repeat: some very obvious signs are in plain view. American Democrats have always flirted with Islamism. They did so under Carter and under Clinton. Obama continues the tradition. Incidentally, he is going to seek a second presidential term. He has clearly outlined his position by supporting the revolution in Egypt. In fact, he is a new Carter with a new Brzezinski — Brennan.
Poor little Israel is going to be left for the wolves
Correspondent: But this arc, or even just the victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt alone, is going to harm Israel. Would America allow that?
Kurginian: When the Soviet Union controlled the Arab world, America badly needed Israel as their unsinkable aircraft carrier in the Middle East. The Cold War has long ended. Why would Americans need Israel now? It is an obstacle on the way to unification of the United States and Islamism. I know some American politicians who plainly admit in private conversations that without Israel, it would be much easier to manage the world. The love American Jews have for the Promised Land is greatly exaggerated. David Axelrod can’t stand it, and he is Obama’s chief adviser, the creator of his first victory in the race for the White House, beginning to organize the second election campaign. Is Brzezinski fond of Israel? What about his partner, George Soros, the sponsor of the Democrats? If these people loved Israel, they would not allow Obama to pressure Tel Aviv, forcing it to make endless concessions to Arabs. Instead, they demand that the president pressures Israel even harder. They congratulate themselves, observing the triumph of Islamism. They actively contribute to that triumph, politically and financially. And there is one more factor. The Republican Bush administration had done a lot of damage to relations with Islamists. Israel is the perfect bone to throw them to repair the damage.
Correspondent: But don’t they understand that flirting with Islamism is dangerous? Surely they learned something from the explosions on Sept. 11?
Kurginian: A part of the elite does understand that, of course. Republicans do. But right now they are not at the wheel. And the logic of Obama and the elite players behind him is quite transparent. The main rival today is the East. It must be neutralized at all costs. A direct military confrontation with China or India would be dangerous. It would be better to use somebody else’s hands to strike.
Correspondent: Like in World War II. The U.S. had won it without having any battles on their territory.
Kurginian: An analogy to the ancient world is more suitable. Rome ruled the world by setting up its garrisons everywhere.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new conservatives of Bush Jr. had tried to establish a new American world order. They invaded Iraq and prompted the colored revolutions along the borders of Russia. That plan didn’t seem to work. Now Democrat Obama is withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. American emissaries have lost the elections in Ukraine.
Obama realized that it is no longer possible to uphold the supremacy of the U.S. on the planet by sheer military force. He decided to act similarly to ancient Carthage: “destabilize and conquer!” The U.S. is shifting from the doctrine of the new American world order to the principle of controlled chaos on the planet. It is no accident that the theory of controlled chaos in application to politics has long been researched at the Santa Fe Institute.
Correspondent: I understand now that it was not by chance when the influential Senator McCain threatened Moscow and Beijing the other day with a repetition of Egyptian events. Is it the final verdict then, this Islamist arc of fire that is going to keep the East from being modernized and keep it burning? Is there any escape from that?
Kurginian: Like I said before, this is a phased restructuring of the global architecture. Whether Obama succeeds in creating the arc depends on many factors. One is the behavior of the Egyptian military. Another is the actions of Mubarak’s colleagues still ruling the neighboring countries in the region. Are they going to keep their power, defeat corruption and other sins, offer their peoples programs of equitable social development, raise the quality of life? Or are they going to surrender to the mercy of the Muslim Brotherhood? There would be no mercy in that case; blood would be shed.
China is a very hard nut to crack. There is only one Islamist hotbed of tension within it, the Uighurs. Chinese authorities are very tough and their actions are effective. They are going to be able to cope for quite a while, suppressing the Uighurs, raising living standards in Xinjiang, pushing Islamism out to a foreign territory. The situation in India is going to be much more difficult with their Islamic and Hindu populations, the castes, the tribes. That could lead to horrendous conflicts.
Correspondent: What do you think is going to be Russia’s place in the coming New Carthage?
Kurginian: I am afraid we will be the second bone the U.S. throws to Islamism, after Israel. Islamists are going to deal with us even before they touch India. We have very little time left.
Correspondent: Can Russia avoid trouble?
Kurginian: Perhaps. But that’s a subject for another long talk.
* Vladimir Vysotsky, an iconic Soviet-Russian singer and songwriter. – YC
** Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski, an influential Polish American political scientist, geostrategist, and statesman. – YC
*** A high technology and business innovation center planned to be built at Skolkovo near Moscow, Russia. – YC