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Shamil Sultanov: War of Civilizations

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    War of Civilizations Started Today they have been talking about religious fundamentalism as of a negative phenomenon, meaning extremism and terrorism behind
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 4, 2004
      War of Civilizations Started

      Today they have been talking about religious fundamentalism as of a
      negative phenomenon, meaning extremism and terrorism behind religious
      symbols. But for a believer the very definition of 'fundamentalism'
      is more of a positive concept, proceeding from the etymology of this
      word: allegiance to fundamental basics of the doctrine, i.e. to the
      Word of God. And when we are talking about 'revival of spirituality'
      in Russia today, we mean the people's need to return to the
      foundations, i.e. to the basics of the religious faith, while totally
      rejecting any manifestations of extremism.

      Conversation with Shamil Sultanov, political analyst

      War Between Americans and Americans

      The first direct clash between two civilizations inside the United
      States in the new century happened on September 11, 2001: between the
      center of the new global empire, -- the so-called 'world government',
      represented by supranational structures and organizations, -- and
      American national forces, -- rightwing American fundamentalism, which
      already has quite a few supporters in the US. Some estimates say that
      there are at least 250 –280 rightwing radical organizations that are
      known, which have about a million members (other figures say there
      are 2 to 2.5 million members). One of the traits of these
      organizations like Michigan Militia, Branch Davidians, etc.
      is that they are militarized. The example of Timothy McVey is pretty
      demonstrative, since the core of American fundamentalist
      organizations consists of people who have military and technological
      experience, as well as their own ideology and mentality. These people
      have a lot more negative attitude towards the American way of life
      than many open opponents of the United States on other continents do.

      September 11 is birthday of Timothy McVeigh. He was executed on June
      11, 2001. He was sentenced to death for organizing the Oklahoma City
      bombing, but the Democrats would not cross all T's for quite a while.
      For there is confrontation between fundamentalist radicals and
      Democrats inside the US first of all. Bush could have sentenced
      McVeigh to life in prison instead of death. But why he did not do it?
      Being held in prison, McVeigh would have become a sort of a national
      hero for American fundamentalists, even because after seven years in
      confinement he would not turn in any of his companions, even though
      he was undergoing all kinds of mental and physical interrogations and
      tortures. On June 11 many websites of American rightwing radicals
      published warnings that Washington would not get away with McVeigh's
      execution. You can say that September 11 was some sort of a
      specific beginning of fundamentally new model of a civil war inside
      the United States.

      Right now the American system has no enemies on the outside. Russia,
      China or separated Muslim world are posing no threat to the US.
      Russia's gross domestic product is almost two times lower than GDP of
      the State of California. But the history shows that in the conditions
      of monopolies the main enemy of organized systems is always coming
      from the inside.

      American Democrats, Bearers of Antinational Ideology

      What should the White House have done right after the September 11
      attacks? To put it bluntly, the American society is splitting up.
      What happened in the end of the year 2000 during the presidential
      elections virtually showed that the split started emerging to the
      surface already. But the September 11 showed that the split is much
      deeper. And the American establishment is not ready to overcome this
      split and change its strategy; nor it is ready for a radical change
      in the economic system, which actually made the US the only
      superpower today.

      Thus, the global clash of civilizations started inside the United
      States from the head-on collision of American fundamentalists and
      Democratic establishment with the 'world government' behind it.
      Similar processes are going on all around the world. Confrontation
      between the fundamentalist tendencies and the official system,
      created in the image and likeness of the Western democracies as a
      rule, is present in virtually each country.

      At the same time some changes have happened in the US for the past
      thirty years, when Islamic fundamentalism, Latin American
      fundamentalism, etc. started increasing along with the Anglo-Saxon
      fundamentalism, i.e. US national interests are absorbing a wider
      spectrum of various movements.

      Religious Factor in War of Civilizations

      War between civilizations today is not confrontation between habitats
      of civilizations or groups of certain countries. First of all, it is
      what's happening inside these countries. At the same time, the
      spiritual component, the factor of faith, is brought to the
      forefront. The US is number two in the world to show conflict of
      civilizations inside. Muslim regions are number one. Because most of
      the so-called Muslim regimes are not Muslim de-facto. On the other
      hand, such confrontation is a lot more dramatic in the Islamic world,
      since fundamentalist tendencies here are much stronger. There are
      several reasons for that.

      1. Strategic factors. First, it is Islam. In my point of view, Islam
      is the only religion in the world that has maintained its energy as
      the religion of unity of the sacred and the social. Islam did not
      degrade or assumed some masscult form. Remember, Spangler said that
      Christianity died by turning into art.

      2. Meaning of a personality. This is where a pretty interesting and
      paradoxical moment is present. In the modern world of technologies
      the meaning of human factor is increasing. On the one hand they say:
      progress are machines, automatic equipment, technological processing
      chains, etc. But on the other hand, human factor turns out to be most
      important. The logic of material development seems to be pushing
      towards the creation of corporate and bureaucratic anonymous
      structures. Nevertheless, the meaning of creative personality is
      constantly increasing. If in the West the development of personality
      used to be spurred by Protestantism exclusively, today, once the
      Christian religion turned into one of the branches of show business,
      Islam is ahead of everybody else with its rational ethics, and Islam
      is stimulating the development of strong and free personality, a
      fearless hero of the new generation.

      The dynamics of modern capitalism is determined first of all by the
      people, who due to their thinking and due to their creative potential
      end up in the right place at the right time. For example, Bill Gates
      is a self-made man. But let's take a look at it from the other
      perspective: in the final analysis, modern technological systems are
      based on a certain aggregate of fundamental scientific discoveries.
      Proper concentration of creative people and search for proper
      progressive ideas sooner or later opens up entire economic epochs. In
      the final analysis the technological Western civilization of
      consumers is based on fundamental discoveries of the 1920s-1940s.

      Contradictions Within Society of Consumers

      Pretty substantial contradictions are arising: the entire Western
      system per se is aimed at forming a total consumer. On the other
      hand, this civilization is advancing only by creative people. In
      other words, the Western system needs Gates as some special creative
      function, and not as a personality. But within the idea of Tawheed
      (Monotheism) the human factor plays a fundamentally different role.
      Splitting of a personality into functions contradicts Islam, since
      Islam demands all-encompassment and total faith. There was a time
      when Sartre said about personality in the Western civilization: «A
      person is totality that constantly gets detotalized». Contrary to
      this, you can say that an Islamic personality is totality that
      constantly overcomes degrading influence of the Western values and
      strives towards the complete life and faith.

      Today the Islamic region is in borderline situation. On the one hand,
      it has something to do with economic and geopolitical factors, and
      with oil first of all. And this is why the dependence and the
      ambitiousness are growing higher, as well as proper geopolitical
      scope and everything else. On the other hand, the level of education
      has been rising for the past 20-30 years with generations of people
      who graduated from Western universities but still remained Muslims.

      The Islamic factor has a unique feature: it is a mighty and unifying
      basis. In Islam you can encounter greatly educated people as well as
      totally illiterate ones. This is a sort of proto-society, where
      certain ideas are circulating, and these ideas are really ready for
      social experiments. For example, Palestinians are one of the most
      educated nations in the world. Palestinians are ahead of Russia in
      the number of students per 1,000 people. And in the Middle East their
      level is close to the level of the Israelis.

      When we are talking about the Islamic phenomenon as an alternative to
      the Western society, another feature must be stressed: due to certain
      reasons Islamic fundamentalism is more powerful than fundamentalism
      in any other country, -- both quantity-wise and quality-wise. Some
      estimates say that in Muslim states 35% are ready to sacrifice their
      own lives for sake of the Faith. It actually means that there are two
      civilizations existing within the Islamic region: the fundamentalist
      one and the traditional one. And this fact is pretty noticeable.

      A whole number of Western fundamentalist trends, which today are
      still marginal in their areas, are in touch with the Islamic
      fundamentalists. They really are marginals because in the West 90% of
      radicals belong to the middle class. On the one hand, they do not
      represent the destitute classes, and on the other hand there are not
      representatives of the elite either. In this sense Islamic
      fundamentalism is something fundamentally different, since it is
      capable of uniting the middle classes, the illiterate parts of the
      poor, and various elite groups.

      So who really attacked W.T.C. in New York City?

      On September 11, 2001 Osama Ben Laden announced that he had nothing
      to do with the terrorist acts, and that these attacks were conducted
      by the right wing, who are against the sway of Jewish bankers. There
      is a good trustworthy chance that he really did not participate in
      these terrorist acts, but due to some reasons (maybe secret services
      played a certain role in it), he to a certain extent funded the
      American fundamentalists. So, there must have been some contacts with
      terrorists, if you take into account financial capabilities of the
      Saudi millionaire.

      Ben Laden is a very complex figure. To a certain extent he is playing
      a game. And another question is to what extent the US and Pakistani
      intelligence contributed to his career. International terrorism is
      always created by secret services. Moreover, international terrorism
      and secret services are twins. When the two superpowers were in
      confrontation, the US would support those who fought against pro-
      Soviet regimes. The USSR had its radicals too; sometimes they were
      called national liberation movements.

      The question is that it is hard to control such entities all of the
      time. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia had no time for
      control. The US has another problem. America does not understand the
      East. It could be evident from the events that happened in Iran in
      1978. That's where the largest regional center of the CIA in the
      Middle East used to be located. They had good salaries and good
      bonuses. But 95% of the CIA agents stationed there could not even
      speak Farsi. They were hanging out with the Shah and
      releasing 'optimistic' reports.

      The US does not have enough experts on the East, but the British do.
      The British know the East well. So why are the Americans and the
      British not cooperating? The problem is that business is business,
      including political business. Everything else is put on the back

      Will Ben Laden Ever Get Caught?

      I don't think he will. Here is only one example: blasts in Tanzania
      and Kenya were blamed on him. That's when he became allegedly one of
      the main terrorists in the world. And then everything subsided.
      Nobody knows anything. The question is: according to the official
      version, how could the CIA let Ben Laden put himself together, muster
      up his strength and organize and carry out something comparable to
      Pearl Harbor, or even more terrible by its psychological effect?

      The question is always being asked: why Ben Laden's financial links
      could not be traced for so many years? But was it supposed to be
      done, proceeding from the theory that international terrorism is a
      combined product of activities by secret services? Another thing is
      that it cannot be fully controlled. They were trying to do the job
      for their own selves, but something else came out of it. It seemed to
      the US that it was recruiting Ben Laden, but on the other hand Ben
      Laden said many times that he is the one using the US.

      Why Islamic Fundamentalism is Dangerous for Western Liberalism?

      The US has concentrated on Islamic fundamentalism, because Islamic
      fundamentalism is different from other fundamentalist trends. You can
      even say that before the September 11 American fundamentalism was
      controlled by the US official system to a certain extent. But Islamic
      fundamentalism is something else. Not because it is an existing
      phenomenon, but because it is an objective prerequisite for something
      different. It is a living boiling mass, where more and more new
      people are ready to sacrifice their own lives for the sake of the
      Faith. And it is out of the control of US intelligence services,
      which means that it is strategically dangerous for America from
      their viewpoint. After the collapse of the USSR Islamic
      fundamentalism became a US adversary as a civilized alternative.

      Today Islamic fundamentalism is not just a countertendency of
      development. It is a real foundation for political counter-elite to
      be formed, which the 'world's rulers' are afraid of the most, while
      keeping the elites of all even tiny countries under their watchful
      eye. This is where the Iranian example is very graphic.

      In the beginning of 1978 during Shah Iran had an organized political
      elite loyal to Shah: tens of thousands of people plus hundreds of
      thousands of the middle class. And who was against them? Some Mullahs
      who had no economic or political resources, who had no links to the
      army, and who could not even oppose to Shah's secret services. But it
      turned out that after Shah's successful economic transformations were
      made in Western manner, multitudes of peasants headed for the cities
      and that's when the conflict of basic values had started, and that's
      when clerical and political counter-elite was formed as part of this
      entire tendency.

      In Egypt, for example, there are several mosques on each street. And
      there is a number of mosques where charismatic mullahs are preaching.
      A large number of people gather to hear their speeches. The tension
      is so high that the people remain excited after listening to their
      sermons. And the authorities always tighten security around such

      Even though such charismatic leaders systematically get removed, the
      example is what's important. The religion only gets stronger with the
      blood of martyrs. One such person makes tens and thousands of
      potential Shaheeds (martyrs). He sets up a model of heroic behavior
      for the society, which is clear to ordinary people. Islam and Islamic
      fundamentalism, which have gotten stronger from the confrontation
      with the Western globalism and overall degradation of culture
      worldwide, is the only socio-cultural, religious and spiritual
      phenomenon, where a model of heroic personality can be shown.

      It forms a personality that can never be integrated into the Western
      system of values. There cannot be a heroic personality in the West,
      where it is not needed. In the West heroes only exist in Hollywood
      dreams, created to make Western citizens blow off some steam, while
      they are still yearning for an image of a superman. They are not real
      heroes. But Islam creates a model of a real heroic personality. The
      criterion is: you are a hero if you are ready to sacrifice your own
      life for your beliefs. Then you are not a hypocrite (a Munafiq), but
      a real Shaheed (a martyr) who defeats death.

      Clashes of civilizations are a conflict between types of a heroic
      personality. If some civilization wins, it destroys any alternative
      models of heroic personality. Western heroes are mechanical robots,
      cyborgs or terminators who defend economic interests of the 'world's
      government'. Heroes of Islam are fighters for the triumph of God's
      justice for all people.

      Why the US concentrated on Afghanistan? The problem is not Ben Laden.
      The problem is the Taliban. Because concerning an institutional state
      entity, the Taliban is representing a mature fundamentalist form from
      a geopolitical perspective. What the West succeeded interrupting in
      Algeria and crushing in Sudan, had sprung up in Afghanistan. But
      there is yet another aspect.

      Saudi Arabia and Pakistan started fearing radicalization of the
      Taliban regime more and more. There are various reasons for that.

      The current US Administration had an agreement with Abdallah Ibn Saud
      that the Saudis would support Bush at the elections by raising the
      oil prices first of all. If the prices did not go up, Gore would have
      been elected President. For the US it is not typical that an average
      American votes against the ruling administration during an economic
      rise. Back then the Saudis organized two economic crises.

      There is also another moment in politics: you must always create a
      coalition. If you will all by yourself, then you will end up making a
      large number of enemies. There already were some prerequisites for
      this kind of a coalition in Afghanistan. The Taliban got in the way
      of Pakistan and the Saudis by becoming independent, even though the
      Taliban was created on the Pakistani soil. Moreover, Pakistan kept
      supporting the Taliban thereafter. And it is understandable. Any
      country is supposed to take care of stability around it. If you have
      a strategic opponent by your side, then you are interested in having
      peace at your other borders. But it doesn't matter much. The Taliban
      is a composite phenomenon. It is an element of Pashto energy, as well
      as an element of the Islamic energy. It is a sort of a
      proto-ideology. It implies formed fundamentalist principles and an
      elite recruited in a certain way. It also implies national goals.

      Objectively, the Taliban is the force that virtually managed to
      complete the mission of unification of Afghanistan. It is a national
      goal, which they almost attained. Sure, such a force does not come
      from thin air. Of course, Pakistan and the US helped them at a
      certain stage. But they helped them out of their own interests.

      Concept of Controlled Conflicts

      Concept of controlled conflicts is based on the principle of not
      letting chaos happen. Control of territories by your enemy is the
      number two dangerous thing; number three is when your territory is
      controlled by a coalition: your friends and your foes. The best
      option is when your territories are controlled by your supporters.
      But chaos is the most unacceptable option. Because chaos in
      Afghanistan will be posing a threat to the situation in Pakistan. But
      there is China right behind Pakistan. Clash between China and India
      in the conditions when China will not let Pakistan be eliminated is a
      threat of a spontaneous Third World War when nuclear weapons will be
      used. The question number two is: what is a country with 20 million
      of population, but where there is no power? A drug supplier at best,
      guilty of deaths of many Americans and Europeans?

      The Taliban was being accused of drug trafficking. But the Taliban
      started actually fighting against drugs, out of religious beliefs.
      Another thing is that they did not always succeed in doing it. East
      is East. In reality there were compromises involved on many
      occasions. On many occasions chiefs of Pashto tribes would sell drugs
      in exchange for loyalty to the Taliban regime. And until the Taliban
      got consolidated, they could not take any radical measures. But
      leaders of the Northern Alliance were the ones who profited from drug
      trafficking the most.

      The real head of Saudi Arabia today is Prince Abdallah. He is much
      more of an Arab nationalist than Fahd is. But fundamentalism is an
      enemy of the Saudi ruling regime. Especially that Osama Ben Laden is
      from Saudi Arabia originally. Right now he is a hero for many
      ordinary Saudis. Osama is a self-made man, who brought America down
      on its knees. Why is there a serious coolness in the relations
      between the Saudis and the Americans today? While the US is taking
      its time in Afghanistan, hundreds and thousands of new Ben Ladens are
      being born in Arab states, even the ones who are given the same
      name. At a certain stage the Taliban started playing their own
      strategic game. On the one hand unification of Afghanistan is good,
      but on the other hand it is a problem for Pakistan. Pakistan is
      supposed to be coordinating its position, while considering the
      position that it is in at this moment. And the Taliban has started
      making statements in support for Chechnya, they also started
      threatening Central Asia and Musharraf personally.

      When fundamentalist regime of the Taliban started playing not by the
      Western rules, it became a threat to all of them and for Russia, -
      and that's the prerequisite for creating a coalition. But the fact
      that Osama Ben Laden transferred a million dollars to the Michigan
      Militia to organize terrorist acts was only a pretext for a big game.
      Hardly anybody knows about it, but the wife of Deputy Secretary of
      Justice was on board the Boeing that was shot down by the US Air
      Force. She made two phone calls when she said that the plane was
      seized by ordinary Americans.

      The logic of what is going on in the US is that there is an enemy,
      and it is not some mythical international terrorism. The enemy is
      Islamic fundamentalism. But nobody is going to say 'fundamentalism'.
      They would rather call it 'extremism' or 'terrorism'. This is how the
      entire system is united and placed on a new level: the new world
      order. The new world order is supposed to have an enemy. There was a
      time when the US set the rest of the world against the Soviet Union.
      And right now a new structure must be built: the new strategic order
      is for 5-10 years ahead. Unlike Moscow, they are thinking a few moves
      ahead. The US has determined its strategic enemy: Islamic
      fundamentalism, which must be destroyed from Washington's standpoint.

      Which Fundamentalism Will Win?

      There are some parallels with the confrontation between the USSR and
      the world of capitalism. But the USSR was a state entity, and Islamic
      fundamentalism is not. Is it a strength or a weakness? It is both
      strength and weakness. In Algeria they cannot handle things, nor can
      they solve any problems in Palestine.

      Can fundamentalists win? What is victory? For me the victory is that
      a radical change has happened in the minds of the Turkish students
      for the past 15 years. 90% of Turkish students are viewing themselves
      as Muslims first of all. What is victory? To seize the telephone and
      telegraph station…? Just like Bolsheviks did?

      No, in the context of today's global transitional period victory is a
      process. A true victory is fundamentalist reorientation of the mind;
      it is a radical overcoming of hypocrisy from both inside and outside.
      Students of today are the elite of tomorrow. Today's Turkish or
      Egyptian students are the future elite of these countries. Which way
      will they go?

      But there are complicated processes going on inside today's political
      elites as well. For example, the things that Musharraf did when some
      top officials were removed from the political establishment. It can
      be viewed as a clash between clans, but you can also assume that no
      radical purging has been done, and that there was some kind of an
      agreement involved. And the traces of that agreement can still be
      seen, when the Taliban leadership were brought out of Qunduz, when
      the Northern Alliance did not call the Taliban 'captives', but they
      called them 'guests' instead. Musharraf is not a dictator. He just
      would not have been able to deal with his opponents. Then there must
      be certain people inside the Pakistani elite, who stick to the
      fundamentalist views.

      Victory means winning the people first of all, which implies forming
      a model of certain type of behavior. A hero is not the one who jumps
      on an embrasure screaming 'Allah Akbar!' ('God is Great!') and blows
      his enemy up. A hero is first of all the one who creates a real model
      of behavior and sets an example for hundreds and thousands of others.
      The weakness that the US has is that virtual heroes cannot have any
      effect on people's minds, but they only influence the emotions.

      In reality many experts agree that Hollywood is playing the global
      cathartic role for the Western civilization. Like, a person with some
      tendencies towards violence comes to see a movie and blows off his
      steam. But there is a flipside as well. Multiple use of
      the 'Hollywood syndrome' creates a civilization of cowards with split
      double-sided consciousness. An ordinary American watches a movie and
      feels like he is Schwarzenegger, for example. Then he comes out of
      the movie theater, and somebody comes up to him and says, «'Give me
      your money man, or I'm gonna bust your ass». The model of his
      behavior changes right away: he would put his hands up andcompliantly
      say, «here is the money, take it». The Western civilization has
      technologies, science, material achievements, but it has no heroes.
      The syndrome can be seen from how long the Americans were discussing
      Vietnam. Vietnam was being discussed from several different
      perspectives, and this is why America lost its heroes as a result, --
      and this is one of the key moments for the American right wing. The
      American society acknowledged the war as being unnecessary and
      crossed out the lives of thousands of people, -- the American
      commandos, who were fighting the war and risking their lives. On the
      one hand, there is human capital, and on the other hand, there is
      fundamentalist civilization, which has Islamic fundamentalism in its
      vanguard, which totally rejects the society of consumers: the cult of
      things, the cult of stomach, the cult of material wealth, -- anything
      which is against the faith, the religion, spirituality or fundamental
      values. This is where the entire society is being formed: the group
      of people ready to sacrifice, -- the heroes whose number increases
      each day.

      On the one hand, the Western civilization will no longer be able to
      ever give birth to heroes. Soviet writer Gorky once said, «And you
      will be living in the ground like blind worms do. Nobody is going to
      write legends or sing songs about you».

      On the other hand, getting some technologies is a matter of time for
      the fundamentalists, even though the West is still ahead. Some time
      ago the US was seriously discussing the use of nuclear weapons in
      Afghanistan. That's nonsense. As soon as the US uses nuclear weapons,
      it will mean that the US agreed to uncontrolled use of nuclear
      weapons. And where will the US go then? They have been saying that
      the Taliban vanished and disappeared. But the Taliban did just what
      true Muslims, true fundamentalists were supposed to do. Pakistan has
      closed its borders and virtually assumed a hostile position, and
      Afghanistan was getting supplies through Pakistani territories. And
      starvation has started in the country. Millions could have died.
      Would it be a blow to the cause of Islam? Yes, it would. And smart
      people from the Afghan government decided to disappear. But actually
      the war in Afghanistan is only starting.

      Afghanistan is the center of the East. And the East is the home of
      Wisdom. There are certain agreements and expectations. And there are
      agreements at a certain level.

      Right now the Afghans are in an ideal position: they received weapons
      from Russia, and the US is giving them money. There are various ways
      they are getting money from them. As long as there is money,
      everything will be all right. Problems will start when a real
      distribution of power starts and when money supplies will be cut:
      this is when the problem will be about «who will have the upper
      hand». And there are all prerequisites ready for it: Tajiks have
      tanks, warplanes and proper field commanders in Tajikistan; and Uzbek
      leader Karimov is on the side of Dostum. According to some scenarios,
      it may lead to further explosion in Central Asia, but this time
      without the Taliban, but because the Taliban left. However strange it
      may sound, the Taliban were some sort of a stabilizing force in this
      kind of situation. Some field commanders are already saying that an
      unjust thing happened back in the 1920s.

      Many Tajiks were listed as Uzbeks in 1930s. And it cannot be
      forgotten. As long as there is money, everybody is calm. But when the
      money runs out and somebody will be short of something, that's when
      distribution will start. People are already armed. There can be no
      coalition government in the East: either strict dictatorship under a
      charismatic leader, or chaos, when everybody is fighting against
      everybody. In Afghanistan chaos may be created artificially.

      What will Russia be left with? Why is Russia helping the
      antiterrorist coalition? Just to solve the Chechen problem?

      The US tricked Putin. Russia has virtually parted from China. Moscow
      joined the pro-American coalition because Russia is weak. Weakness
      means that there are dozens of ways to affect the situation in
      Russia, to destabilize its domestic situation, its establishment, and
      its economy. Due to the fact that the transitional period in Russia
      was not completed, Russia is more dependent on external factors than
      even Saudi Arabia is, let's say. Today Saudi Arabia is integrated
      into the Western economic mechanism. But its integration has the
      nature of interdependence. And Russia depends on the West, but the
      West does not depend on Russia. In this sense China depends on the US
      in the need to provide its economic growth. China depends more on the
      Western markets, technologies and capital than the West depends on
      China. But the West still depends on China substantially as well.

      China made a move to distance from the policies of the US and the
      West. Because the Chinese are in a much better position than Russia
      is. Today there are only two self-sufficient states on our planet:
      the US and China. China can even be ruled out. Its domestic
      development can be hindered, the country may get starved, but it can
      never be destroyed or destabilized to such an extent when
      irreversible processes can get started. But Russia can be. You never
      know if the present-day situation with oil prices is not a game
      between the US and the Arab regimes against Russia. Free Western
      capitals still need to get access to Russia's hydrocarbon reserves.

      I think that Putin's attempt to make some strategic move is really
      obvious: if you can't win in a direct clash, then you have to give
      in. This is how it goes: Putin went to America so that Bush could
      give him a carte blanche to play against the Yeltsin Family. Because
      the problem is to really build the Putin regime. And today on the one
      hand there are elements of the Putin regime, but on the other hand
      real power belongs to the Family. Until September 22 Putin's
      positions were pretty tough, and Russian Minister of Defense Sergei
      Ivanov was saying that no military bases would be provided. Then the
      US started sending some signals: «We could give you some
      information». Putin had to seize the real power from the Family and
      to give key government posts to his people. Putin needed a carte
      blanche, but he did not get one. He needed a joint statement on the
      fight against terrorism plus corruption. But the latter was only
      mentioned in passing. From the American standpoint everything is
      clear: Putin gave away all of his bargaining chips. Had his visit
      taken place in early October, then he may have gotten something. But
      once everything was already done, the plan of relations with Pakistan
      was already developed and pressure was already put on India. And
      now it makes no sense to be giving any bargaining chips to Putin,
      from the American standpoint.

      What can the Islamic Ummah oppose to the US?

      There are really no civilizations on our planet. Capitalism at the
      stage of globalism has virtually annihilated all civilizations. The
      only stronghold of possible variety of civilizations is Islamic
      fundamentalism and fundamentalist elements in various countries, both
      in underground and in semi-underground forms. It is not the matter of
      a clash of civilizations, but rather some head-on collision of
      fundamentalism and Western technological quasi-civilization. And
      variety of civilizations can be revived after such a clash.

      Islamic fundamentalism started getting stronger back in the 60s. Only
      30-35 years went by, and today there are hundreds of millions of
      fundamentalists who are not afraid to die. And they are opposed with
      2-3 billion cowards. When we are talking about annihilation of
      civilizations by globalism, it implies deaths of nations and deaths
      of people. But it is the work of Satan. The Koran says that the Most
      High made the people into nations and tribes, so that they could come
      to know one another. But now hundreds of nations and cultures just
      ceased to exist. Deaths of civilizations and cultures is the work of
      Satan. Fight between fundamentalism and the Western civilization is
      the fight between the Ummah (Nation) of Allah and Satan.

      Allah promised victory to the forces of Good. We the Muslims are
      saying: «The true reality is only the existence of Allah». Virtual
      world of the West is the work of Satan. I do not see Allah in
      Hollywood's symbols. I do not see the love of the Most High in the
      propaganda of same-sex love. There is no reality in total hypocrisy.
      And since it is no reality, then it's illusion. Illusions inevitably
      lead to Satan. When you encounter an illusion, you must eliminate it.
      Not the reality, but the illusion must be eliminated. There is no
      straight way to Allah without it.

      Shamil Sultanov, political analyst, Candidate of Historical Sciences
      From the text of Mr. Sultanov's interview to All About Islam
      newspaper, published by Ansar.ru Internet edition
      Translated from Russian by Kavkaz-Center

      2004-05-05 10:52:45



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