Global terrorism, its cause, prevention
STJEPAN MESIĆ Former President of CroatiaWe live in turbulent times, not just dynamic, but almost chaotic ones. It is a time of, whether we are aware of it or not, parting with the world we were familiar with, and finding ourselves at the gateway to a new system of international relations, a system nobody can vouch for or predict, with any certainty, what it will function like.
There is a constant, a permanent feature that crosses over from the old world we are saying farewell to, into the new one we are just entering. It is the reason why I decided to speak about a topic unrelated to economics at an event dedicated primarily to business and economics-related issues. The absence of this phenomenon would make our lives better. However, it is present, and it influences upon our lives to such an extent that it cannot be ignored.
The phenomenon I am speaking of is that of global terrorism.
Terrorism is, strictly speaking, unrelated to economy. That is so, however, only strictly speaking and at a first glance. If we objectively think about the causes of global terrorism, if we assess things and do not turn away from our own errors and omissions, we shall end up with economy as the answer.
First of all, we shall get to the policy of the developed world towards the developing countries, or the underdeveloped. That is a policy, which is called neocolonial by some analysts who have sufficient acceptable arguments. It is a policy which deepens the chasm between the small layer of the wealthy and a huge majority of the poor; a policy which takes away from the poor even the barely existing basics, forcing them to join the river of refugees, searching for salvation in the developed world.
Secondly, we shall come to the policy which has one objective: that of conquering and taking over energy resources, and main energy lines. In order to attain this goal it establishes the so-called movements against dictatorships and human rights denial, which are actually aimed at toppling regimes, which are resented by those who draw the political and economic map of the world. Terrorists are a product of both these policies.
They are recruited from the ranks of desperate, impoverished people who are at the very brink of existence and full of wrath towards the developed ones who they consider to be the main cause of the situation they are in, mostly for a good reason. We should not underestimate the fact that they also come from the ranks of religious fanatics, as well as from those who, mostly for the reason of money and power promised to them, and for a smaller part, due to their ideals, are ready to bring down regimes in their countries, in order to get into internal conflict afterwards, and finally turn against those who created them.
Al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State are the best examples and the evidence of what I am describing.
If politics is the source of global terrorism, which hides under the shroud of religion in order to gain followers, then the reply to the question how to suppress it is crystal clear. It is the only possible answer: politics needs to be changed. Easier said than done - I know all too well. I am a former head of state and as such I have the privilege of speaking without the restrictions of current politics, global or national. I should say that these were my positions when I was at the head of the Republic of Croatia. It is, alas, a small country, too small to make any of the big players interested in what I had to say.
I shall take the opportunity of participating in this significant gathering to reiterate my firm conviction that the fight against global terrorism will not and cannot succeed if we do not tackle its causes. Even if the use of military power is inevitable at this point in time, if that is all we do, there will be new terrorists coming and the world we live in will gradually become a less safe place.