The Next War
© 2001 Macroknow Inc. All Rights Reserved.
"Is there a single word such that one
could practice it throughout one’s life?" Zigong asked Confucius.
Confucius' answer: "Reciprocity perhaps? Do
not inflict on others what you yourself would not wish done to you."1
What did Confucius mean? He meant this: good begets good, and evil begets
Now, listen carefully to Osama Bin Laden’s
words on October 7, 2001: "And to America, I say to it and to its
people this: I swear by God the Great, America will
never dream nor those who live in America will never taste security and
safety unless we feel security and safety in our land and in
Bin Laden may be the most hated man in
America, but his message is a simple
application of the law of reciprocity
(albeit with an emphasis on evil begets evil). If Arabs are not secure and safe in
their land -- if Palestinians are not secure and safe in Palestine --,
then those who are causing this state of affairs will also be insecure and
unsafe in their own land. Like it or not, millions of Arabs who abhor
terrorism believe that the lack of Arab security and safety – physical,
political, and economic – will recoil back on the perpetrators.
Western governments may destroy Bin Laden,
but they better heed Confucius’ advice, or they will suffer a nasty war
– not in Afghanistan, but right here in North America. Reality has often
been filled with terror; unfortunately, it can be filled with even more
terror. The little Palestinian boy you see on TV stoning Israeli tanks --
because his home was demolished or stolen, because his father cannot make a
living, because his family has been oppressed for more than fifty years by
foreign occupiers, because his brother was killed by weapons made in
America, because justice has been maliciously perverted in God's land, etc.
-- may be the one who will activate, ten or twenty years from now, the
nuclear or biological device that will obliterate New York or Washington.
But angry Arab youths are not my concern
here. Right now I am concerned about the many millions of people in North
America and around the world who are a few paychecks away from ruin. I am
concerned about what they may do if the noose is squeezed on them.
The asymmetries in the "rule of
law" which favor lenders over borrowers can no longer be concealed from
the masses -- the monstrous global public and private debts make this
impossible. If the noose is squeezed by global
millions of debtors around the world will not only demand reciprocity, they
will declare all unfair contracts void ab initio -- and Capitalism
will collapse spontaneously.4
The rebellions in Seattle, Washington, Quebec City,
Gothenburg, and Genoa against the "usury elite" and the
globalization agenda are a potent sign of things to come. So far, the
rebellious spirits have been sprayed with tear gas and summarily dismissed.
The focus of people's consciousness has been successfully shifted to
Afghanistan -- and other countries that "harbor terrorists." But
governments ignore or mask the plights of millions of debtors at their own
The September 11
attack on the World Trade Center and on the Pentagon showed how vulnerable
America can be. It showed how a few "religious
students" armed with a belief in their ability to "strike terror
into the enemy of God"5 can wreak havoc upon the most
powerful country in the world. Most important, it demonstrated the power of
the Koranic scripture (and its biblical homologue, Leviticus 26:7-8): "Prophet, rouse the faithful to arms. If there are
twenty steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish two hundred; and if
there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are
devoid of understanding."6
My advice to G8 governments, the
International Monetary Fund, The World Bank Group, the World Trade
Organization, and multinationals, if they want to avoid the next war, is
simple: Remove the net advantages of lenders over
borrowers in the "rule of law" -- or the next war may move to our
Edward E. Ayoub
1 Confucius. The
Analects. Translated with an Introduction and
Notes by Raymond Dawson. Translation, Editorial material, Raymond
Dawson, 1993. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, [15:24].
2 Osama Bin Laden: America
'filled with fear', transcript of Bin Laden's translated statement,
Cable New Network LP, LLLP, October 7, 2001, http://www.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/central/10/07/
ret.binladen.transcript. Bin Laden's speech was first broadcast on the
al Jazeera network in Qatar.
3 The September 11 attack appears to have foiled an attempt by
legislators to pass a bill that would have increased the advantages of
lenders over consumers. See Riva D. Atlas, Bill to Alter Bankruptcy Seems
to Stall, The New York Times on
the Web, Business, New York, NY, October 9, 2001, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/10/19/business/19DEBT.html.
Edward E. Ayoub, The High Noon of Capitalism: The
Overthrow of the Advantages of Lenders Over Borrowers in the 'Rule of Law,'
Mind Hat, September 27, 2001.
5 The expression "strike terror into the enemy of God"
is taken from The Spoils in The Koran. The Koran. Translated,
with Notes, by N.J. Dawood, 1993. London, England: Penguin Books Ltd., p.
6 The Spoils, verse 8:65, ibid., pp. 131-132. Note that
this Koranic verse is the homologue of Leviticus 26:7-8: "And ye shall
chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of
you shall chase an hundred, and an hundred of you shall put ten thousand to
flight: and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword."
Posted November 16, 2001.
Updated January 10, 2002.