Existenz Menu
An International Journal in Philosophy, Religion, Politics, and the Arts

The Looming Clouds of A Stateless Totalitarianism of the Spirit


ABSTRACT: Since al-Qhaedeh's surreal attacks on American soil on 9/11, its rise and expansion has been the subject of much debate, at times suggesting that it is totalitarian and stateless, albeit with no theoretical support. The two presuppositions can be very disturbing, especially when combined with the introduction of contagious, incurable biological weapons. This essay throws light on the terrorist quasi-organization al-Qhaedeh by hypothesizing that its marked features are indeed totalitarian and stateless. To test the first conjecture, it refers, by comparison, to the works of Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers, who were deeply concerned with and wrote extensively on totalitarianism. To test the second conjecture, it compares al-Qhaedeh to the elements of "state" in political theory, and demonstrates some of the difficulties to defeat a stateless, invisible, deadly enemy pursuant a perpetual state of asymmetrical war. As for totalitarianism, this essay contends, by analogy, that Jihadism, like National Socialism and Bolshevism, relies on the Unity of the Goal, Oneness of the Book, Certainty of the Utopia, and necessity of Singular Leadership to structure and shepherd its cause as a united front to withstand the overwhelming pressures of international community. Other characteristics of totalitarianism are the use of brute force, militarism and paramilitarism, propaganda and indoctrination, youth schools, suicidal loyalty, purging and liquidating, and secrecy and rituals. Nonetheless, in spite of sharing all these features with National Socialism and Bolshevism, al-Qhaedeh lacks statehood: it is not planted in any specific piece of land, does not depend on any particular population, and technically has no government. Thus, it is irrelevant to any notion of sovereignty. This ghostlike, seemingly invincible condition becomes an evermore serious threat when armed with nuclear and biological weapons. Particularly with regard to "black biology," it is conceivable that a bio-suicide terrorist can self-infect with an incurable contagious "binary," or "designer," or "zoonotic," or asymptomatic "stealth" silent killer, and consequently bring the human species to extinction. Can a rift of light appear in these looming clouds of a stateless totalitarianism of the spirit?

The precipitous fall and disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 occasioned no victory march and no festivals or parades in the Western street. Calculated cautiously by the G. H. W. Bush administration and reported lethargically by the mainstream Western media, this low-key approach to the demise of the superpower adversary was prudent; for it prevented offending the pride of the Russian people and hence prevented slowing or reversing this extremely favorable, rapid chain of events for the trans-Atlantic alliance. However inconspicuous it was to the general public, some low-circulated professional journals and conservative think-tanks began to use terms like "American hegemony," "uncontestable superiority," "absolute supremacy," and "the new world order" to describe this sudden rise of the incredible fortune for the United States to be able single-handedly to determine the destiny of the earth. In less than a year, the global village woke up and realized that a total collapse of the international balance of power had indeed occurred, and that this phenomenon had left the planet with a single superpower.(1)

Then, suddenly, many newspaper columnists, radio and television commentators, political scientists and historians rushed to the conclusion that this historic event was indicative of the final victory of democracy over tyranny. Interestingly, these euphoric announcements came two to three years after some writers had already had anticipated this victory and gone even farther by heralding the end of history.(2) About a decade later the survivors of the terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon reported also that they saw the end of history, but to them it was Armageddon! Millions of others who watched the surreal collapse of the World Trade Center buildings on live television probably had similar impressions. The organization that committed these acts and was becoming known to the world as al-Qaeda (ﻩﺪﻋﺎﻗﻟﺁ al-Qhaedeh), had been originated from an Islamist resistance movement at the end of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1988 and, interestingly enough, was now replacing the Soviet Union in challenging, head-to-head, the United States.(3) This rapid adversarial succession conformed to the classical theory of "the balance of power," according to which any major power-vacuum in international relations is to be filled by a new power of different origin. Strange, though, was the nature of this new power in that it appeared very different from the one it had succeeded, and was in fact infinitely different from any kind of global power that ever existed. For this new contender had no defined territory and was not representative of any nation-state; its membership and operational range were transnational; it had no jurisdiction and no sovereignty as a political unit; it abided by no international rules whatsoever and relied on no traditional economic, political, and military means. Perhaps the most disturbing element of all of this was to learn that it took only nineteen of its paramilitary suicidal operatives with box-cutters to hijack four civilian airliners to function as cruise missiles and thereby to kill about three-thousand people, to terrorize millions more, to damage billions of dollars and to bring the nation's volatile economy virtually to a standstill. By all counts, this was the most destructive and humiliating attack ever to take place on American soil.

It is now evident that the success of this spectacular assault and the failure of the G. W. Bush administration to root out al-Qaeda from Afghanistan and quickly to capture or kill its leader, Osama ben Laden (ﻦﺪﺎﻟ ﻦﺒ ﻪﻤﺎﺴﺍ), and the decision to wage, instead, a distractive and miscalculated war in Iraq with numerous casualties and fatalities, have all but exposed the illusion of U. S. military invincibility and have helped considerably the recruiting of a new generation of terrorists in the Moslem world. Now, even if ben Laden is captured or killed, the genie is out of the bottle as hundreds of young megalomaniacs are prepared to take his place and numerous new terrorist cells are springing up all over the world. Given the strong desire of al-Qaeda and its growing terrorist allies to acquire and to use the weapons of mass destruction (WMD) on the United States, it is no longer inconceivable that a group of suicide bombers should enter this country through, say, the Mexican borders and simultaneously should detonate tactical nuclear weapons in New York, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. In case of a coordinated attack of such magnitude, it is questionable what would be left of the United States as a nation-state. For example, would the then stronger southern states return to their old secessionist policy and this time easily achieve independence; or would they try to simply dominate the northern territories, expel people of African and Latin descent and establish, say, an authoritarian Baptist republic? In the face of these difficult questions, it is doubly hard to predict what the rest of the world would look like after such a catastrophic attack. Could Russia and the former Soviet Republics be the next victims? Would the People's Republic of China (PRC) become the world's dominant power decades sooner than expected? A more troubling question is, could al Qaeda finally acquire and unleash an incurably contagious, genetically altered biological agent from a former Soviet Republic, and bring to extinction the human species?

This essay seeks to explore the present Jihadi (ﻯﺩﺎﻬﺠ Jehadi) challenge by hypothesizing that its marked features are "totalitarian" and "stateless."(4) To test the first conjecture, it refers, by comparison, to the works of two celebrated philosophers, Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers, who wrote on totalitarianism. To test the second conjecture, it bears upon the elements of the "state" in political theory, and should the result be warranted vis-à-vis the concrete Jihadi movement, it furthers the investigation into the current and foreseeable state of affairs. Even though in the course of this study the difficulties of throwing light into those dark caves may abound and uncertainties about the destiny of those ghostly nemeses linger to the end, it is to be understood from the outset that, in view of the ever-growing gravity of this ominous threat to international peace and security, any attempt at unraveling this subject-matter should not be utterly an unworthy enterprise.(5)

To start with, by saying that al-Qaeda and its likeminded Jihadi allies are totalitarian is to suggest that their leadership exercises total control over every aspect of its subjects and tolerates no other political system or social way of life. This means that, like National Socialism and Bolshevism, Jihadism relies on the Leadership Principle (das Führerprinzip) by which the shepherd, say, ben Laden (like Hitler or Stalin), is guiding the flock of believers to a purportedly ideal pasture (like an Aryan Garden of Eden or Communist Utopia or Heaven itself).(6) Furthermore, this ideal is promised in the Book (Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto, The Koran, etc.).(7) What it would take, then, is a totalistic ideology with a global mission to reach this goal at all cost, the ideology whose tree is to be watered with blood and fertilized by self-sacrifice. In this simplistic and yet grand vision, "personhood" is an illusion. For, as brute force and violence become necessary in securing the actual path to the ideal goal, the life of the individual loses its meaning and becomes completely valueless. The suicidal loyalty of the warriors for the cause and the effective use of terror and brute force to intimidate and eliminate the external and internal enemies are necessary for tactical and strategic advantage. In this case, the trinity of the Goal, the Book and the Leader mesmerizes the subjects, converts more people, and recruits more paratroopers, more apparatchiks, more secret police, more spies, more assassins, more explosive experts and more foot soldiers to annihilate any foreign or domestic opposition. And in this cosmic battle, if everyone should die, then everyone shall die! Of course, bravery and self-sacrifice have always been praised in nearly every culture. Here, however, against the overwhelming pressure of international politics to halt its unending appetite for absolute world domination, the Leviathan must even cannibalize its own children for its survival and growth. Here, the symbols rule over lives. Red flag for the blood of global revolution. The tools: hammer & sickle. The energy of swastika (Hakenkreuz, "hooked-cross") for Aryan supremacy. The new moon for the latest religion. Martyrdom, the way to go. Feast your soul in the hall of Valhalla! Blessed are the self-immolated. Get slain in slaying! Better yet: Explode yourself so you may kill many! The common cause infatuated with a morbid cult of the dead. The Totalist Rule: Macabre! Ghostly and ghastly proving, once more, to be indeed the same.

This is not to ignore the major atrocities committed by the democratic states.(8) The point, however, is that in contrast to liberal-democracy, which at least values the lives of its own citizens, in totalitarianism lives are valued only as long as they are at its service and sacrificiable for its global ambitions. The Third Reich fought to the very end in the rubble of the Chancellary Building over the Hitler bunker, and the Soviet Union brought all life to the brink of total extinction over installing some nuclear missiles thousands of miles from its own territory, in Cuba. Today, suicide bombing has become an equal opportunity practice for the Jihadists, including the pregnant ones, thus taking the lives of the mother and her unborn by a blast up to Heaven! Or, probably, consigning them both to nothingness!

In all these extreme measures of peril and death, the unaccountability of the leadership and effectiveness of mass propaganda are two conspicuous characteristics of totalitarianism. In The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt states:

The supreme task of the Leader is to impersonate the double function characteristic of each layer of the movement — to act as the magic defense of the movement against the outside world; and at the same time, to be the direct bridge by which the movement is connected with it. The Leader claims personal responsibility for every action, deed, or misdeed, commited by any member or functionary in his official capacity.... The Leader cannot tolerate criticism of his subordinates, since they act always in his name; if he wants to correct his own errors, he must liquidate those who carried them out; if he wants to blame his mistakes on others, he must kill them.(9)

In this sense, the Leader's "personal responsibility" obviously does not mean that he acts responsibly like a true leader; rather, it means that he is the one who takes full credit for every major policy regardless of the consequences and who admits, never, to any mistakes. Since he is the personification of the common cause, his actions entail no personal responsibility for the lives or deaths of others, be they his followers or foes.(10) The latter must die while the former, if necessary, must die as well. This generalization of the totalitarian ruler does not exclude al-Qaeda leader, for he has always taken full responsibility for the deadly campaigns of his operatives. For example, in less than five months after the August 7, 1998, coordinated truck-bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam (that killed a total of 224 people, including 12 Americans, and injured about 5000 African Moslems), in an ABC News interview ben Laden said: "[W]hen it becomes apparent that it would be impossible to repel these Americans without assaulting them, even if this involved the killing of Moslems, this is permissible under Islam." He then, with a messianic tone, added that if the act of Jihad against the Jews and the Americans "is considered a crime, let history be a witness that I am a criminal."(11) Likewise, three months after the 9/11 attacks and on the eve of the invasion of the coalition forces to topple the Taliban regime and to capture or kill him, on a videotape in a house-visit with a Saudi sheik (ﺦﻴﺸ shaykh), ben Laden appeared chuckling and admitted that he initially thought that the planes would destroy only the floors above their impacts and that it never occurred to him that they would bring down the entire World Trade Center structures. Then, he and the sheik gave thanks to Allah. In addition, in a videotaped message on the second anniversary of 9/11 that was televised by the Arabic-language satellite network Al-Jazeera (ﻩرﯾﺯﺠﻠﺍ), ben Laden in the company of his chief lieutenant, Ayman al-Zawahiri (ﻯﺭﻫﺍﻮﺯﻟﺍ ﻥﻣﻴﺍ), praised the suicide-hijackers, particularly their ringmaster, Mohammad Atta (ﺎﻃﻋ ﺪﻣﺤﻣ). Likewise, on the eve of the 2004 United States presidential election he addressed the American people and advised them "about the ideal way to avoid another Manhattan...."(12) In these as well as other appearances, he publicly admitted leadership responsibility for the terrorist operations that brought the loss of thousands of lives, and showed absolutely no regret even for the lost lives of his operatives, or for the lives of innocent Moslems that were and are yet to be lost in the crossfire of his previous and future battles. Interestingly, though, like most totalitarian leaders, ben Laden does not appear as a tyrant insofar as he is greatly admired by his comrades and is generally popular among the numerous members of his religious sect throughout the world.

Liquidating once useful and later unreliable or undesirable comrades is a symptomatic feature of this leadership style. Arendt's examples are the assassinations of Ernst Roehm (Röhm) and Leon Trotsky.(13) Similarly to Roehm and Trotsky, Ahmad Shah Massoud (ﺪﻭﻌﺴﻤ ﻩﺎﺷ ﺩﻤﺤﺍ) had once been an ally of the Jihadists and their leader, ben Laden, in their war effort against the Soviet occupiers in Afghanistan. However, after the Soviet withdrawal, Massoud, as the commander of the Northern Alliance, had faced a new enemy in the south: the fundamentalist Taleban (نﺎﺒﻠﺎﻂ) government of Mullah Mohammad Omar (ﺭﻣﻋ ﺪﻣﺣﻣ ﺎﻠﻣ). Meanwhile, Omar had invited and welcomed ben Laden back from the Sudan. At this point, beyond Massoud's enmity to Omar, ben Laden suspected that Massoud had been receiving military and intelligence assistance from the Iranians and the CIA. Ben Laden therefore decided to eliminate Massoud. In the morning of September 9, 2001, Massoud was preparing to fly over the northern outskirts of Kabul to assess the Taleban lines when an aide told him that two Arab journalists had been waiting for days to interview him. He reluctantly returned to his office for the interview. While seated on a cushion to ease his chronic back pain, he noticed that the journalist with the camera had been struggling to place the tripod pretty close to his chest. Massoud's friend and ambassador to India, Massoud Khalili (ﻰﻠﯿﻠﺨ ﺪﻮﻌﺴﻣ), jokingly asked whether the man was a cameraman or a wrestler. Steve Coll writes: "The visiting reporter read out a list of questions while his colleague prepared to film. About half his questions concerned Osama bin Laden. Massoud listened, then said he was ready. The explosion ripped the cameraman's body apart. It smashed the room's windows, seared the walls in flame, and tore Massoud's chest with shrapnel."(14) Massoud had no chance to survive the blast.

With regard to propaganda, Arendt views it as a "fictitious explanation of the world" to capture and brainwash its audience.(15) As a psychological tool, propaganda gives the followers an assurance that the worldview that they have come to believe is the sole truth and that, if the outside world does not share this, that is because of its sheer ignorance. So, in addition to their being ensured of an intellectual superiority, they have the feeling of having a global mission to persuade others to convert to their creed. This was true even for the National Socialists insofar as they hoped that other Aryan nations (e.g., the Celts, Nords, Anglo-Saxons) would finally recognize their own higher station in the global racial hierarchy, and the non-Aryan lot, too, would accept their lower rank to the benefit of all.(16) Hitler never understood why the British were fighting the Germans instead of joining them against the supposedly inferior Latin and Slav types. Similarly, Bolshevik propaganda was based on a dogmatic historicism that prophesied the final outcome of world history wherein communism would be the last and highest stage of development. It seems that in all such cases the "us versus them" notion is common, where "them," i.e., people of the uninformed or inferior kind, will inevitably be enlightened or eliminated. This bipolarity combined with the dogma of historical necessity are to be found in the writings of Gobineau and Chamberlain, as well as of Marx and Engels.(17) Today, the Aryan/non-Aryan and Bourgeois/Proletariat polarities have been replaced by the Jihadists' Moslem/Infidel version. In this simplistic but seriously deadly worldview the Jihadist, like his predecessors, is convinced that there is a "global conspiracy" against his way of life, and that the world is split into two parts: his, which is the right one, and theirs, which is conspiring to destroy his.

An important part of the totalitarian propaganda is the parades, marches, uniforms and display of striking flags, insignia, symbols, and signs. In Mein Kampf, Hitler acknowledges that in Munich, he learned from the Marxist parades the psychological significance of grandiose demonstrations, and he tells how meticulously he chose the party's colors, insignias and flags. To him, they symbolized the movement's "external point of view," the "outward sign" of a "common bond."(18) Of course, the Soviets continued their military parades with pomp every year in Red Square, commemorating the Great October Revolution, and displayed their fearsome intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) to demonstrate their military and technological might. They exploited their space exploration for propaganda, thereby attempting to prove the superiority of socialism over capitalism. The Islamist terrorists, on the other hand, do not have the luxury of having grandiose parades in broad daylight. For being in a permanent state of war with technologically superior enemies, they know that they can be targeted by cruise missiles or precision bombing by satellite guided missiles. Still, they have their own way of attracting the domestic and of frightening the foreign audiences, via satellite television and websites. Their black balaclavas and bandanna headwraps as well as solid white coveralls function for protecting their anonymity, instilling terror in their enemies, and fascinating and recruiting the young Arab viewers. In Islamic tradition, black symbolizes death, while the white coveralls shown on these "news breaks" are the same winding-sheets for the corpse in burial. The gruesome acts of beheading the captives against a backdrop of Koranic verses written in white on satin drapes of solid green (the prophet's tribal color) and black ("death") as backdrops are intended for the maximum effect.

In this connection, "secrecy" and "rituals" play important parts. According to Arendt,

Perhaps the most striking similarity between the secret societies and the totalitarian movements lies in the role of the ritual.... In the center of the Nazi ritual was the so-called "blood banner" [Blutfahne], and in the center of the Bolshevik ritual stands the mummified corpse of Lenin, both of which introduce a strong element of idolatry into the ceremony.... The "idols" are mere organizational devices, familiar from the ritual of secret societies, which also used to frighten their members into secretiveness by means of frightful, awe-inspiring symbols.(19)

Because terrorism functions mainly by secrecy, and because in its Islamist version the rituals are supposedly performed in accordance with the traditions of an ancient religion, the Jihadis need not be innovative with a new set of rituals. Enigmatic to the outside world are their rituals, which are normally in the Sunni manner, including praying toward Mecca (ﻪﻛﻣ Makkah), with folded arms, five times a day, fasting during the Ramadan (ﻦﺎﻀﻣﺭ Ramezan), congregating for the Koranic recitals mainly on jihad and martyrdom, washing and wrapping corpses in winding-sheets before burial, attending the memorials that spare no indignity for unavailable corpses of suicide bombers and other martyrs, participating in brutal corporeal punishments, etc. Sociologically, these rituals have the function of integrating and uniting the membership. Since the Jihadists make up a tiny minority of a billion Sunnis, the question is why they enjoy so much support from the larger community. While the answer may range from poverty and the powerlessness of the populace in relation to their financially and socially corrupt pro-Western governments, or from their frustration from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to their anger over the U.S. policies in the Middle East, it is crucial to notice the existing walls that protect the militants from the external world. For Arendt, "Just as the sympathizers constitute a protective wall around the members of the movement and represent the outside world to them, so the ordinary membership surrounds the militant groups and represents the normal outside world to them."(20) For example, somewhere in the Spin and Safed ranges of Tora Bora on the Afghan-Pakistani border where ben Laden's inner circle and his elite militant fighters are presumably hiding out, they must be surrounded by ordinary al Qaeda members who supply them with weapons, ammunition, food, heating fuel and other necessities, and these members in turn receive support from the sympathizers in nearby villages and the wider communities. There are therefore at least two protective walls separating the militant core from the outside world, which has so far frustrated all the U.S.-Pakistani efforts to find the hideouts of al-Qaeda leadership. Of course, no terrorist leader or leadership is guaranteed to remain elusive and to survive military and assassination operations forever. Nevertheless, locating this leadership has been unsuccessful due to these protective barriers.

This brings the discussion to the significance of the training schools designed to safeguard the future of a totalitarian regime. In a passing remark, Arendt mentions the importance of the "Ordensbergen for the SS troops, and the Bolshevik training centers for Comintern agents."(21) But one must understand that in Germany, for example, these elite centers were actually receiving students from the newly "reformed" nationwide system of the Gymnasium, and the latter, from preparatory schools with the fundamental goal of early childhood indoctrination. Essential for the nurturing of these schools was the larger educational environment generally known as the youth movements, themselves considered by the officials as a limb (Gliederung) of the National Socialist Party. The Führer himself set up two separate branches, one for boys (Hitler Jugend or "the Hitler Youth") and the other for girls (Bund Deutscher Mädel or "the League of German Girls").(22) The eventual goal of the Hitler Youth was to rear a violent and brutal force for the SA and, after the Blood Purge (Die Nacht der langen Messer or "Night of the Long Knives") of 1934, for the SS and Wehrmacht. The subsequent conjoining of the military and police cultures occurred by the promotion of Heinrich Himmler (as Reichsführer in 1936) to head both the SS and the Gestapo. In contrast to this process, in the Soviet Union the guardian forces of the revolution did not originate from a military culture but came from the secret police that employed the same techniques as the police apparatus. The result, however, was the same. For in this case, the Bolshevik schools for the future Comintern members accepted applicants normally from the most promising students of major Russian cities and, in the same fashion, the leading loyalist Comintern agents went on to join the Politburo, which had control over the military. Hence, in both the German and Russian models the military and police academies were joined under a single bureaucracy for command and control. Meanwhile, because party loyalty was essential for longevity and expansion of total rule, a major part of the propaganda and indoctrination was aimed at the young children.(23) This educational scheme exists, also, in the present Jihadist movement. Worrying to the Western governments is the madrasah (ﻪﺳﺮﺩﻤ), which nurture young children the extremist Islamic texts in countries as diverse as Egypt, Pakistan, England, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Algeria, and Indonesia.(24) Financed by Islamic charities and organizations like the Moslem World League and the Moslem Brotherhood, these schools are designed with a curriculum carefully crafted to instill absolute devotion and martyrdom at a tender age. Al-Qaeda's arm, the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, with direct links to the Moslem Youth Organization, is a fertile ground for financing and training a new generation of warriors against modernity. Since 9/11, the United States and its allies have tried to crack down on these schools. Yet this pressure has in fact made the Wahhabi ideas more attractive for Moslem youth than ever, and the Jihadists are its main beneficiaries, as the National Socialists and Bolsheviks were from their youth schools.

As Arendt's account of the totalitarian characteristics appears to apply to the Jihadis, it is important to ask whether Jaspers' description of totalitarianism would also apply to them and, if so, to what degree. At first glance it seems that this is a complex question, for it involves Jaspers' view in relation to both the Jihadist phenomenon and Arendt's account of totalitarianism.(25) To somewhat untangle this complexity from the outset without compromising the two Existenzen, it must be acknowledged that their historicities (Geschichtlichkeiten) are quite similar. But, of course, similar does not mean the same. Both being born and raised during Germany's stormiest era and witnessing the ominous rise of Hitler with loathing and dread, their wartime anxiety as to what a final German victory would bring upon their lives and to the world, their fear and anguish at the emergence of nuclear Stalinism in the heart of Europe, and their affections for democracy and the United States, were their paralleled living experiences. However, their authenticity and their individual proclivities, as well as one being a Jewish woman while the other being married to one, and one choosing to migrate to America and the other deciding to stay at home, among other things, gave them separate and unique historicities. When Jaspers states that "The nature of total rule has been brilliantly analyzed by Hannah Arendt, and I am following her exposition...,(26) it is true to a large extent. A part of it, though, is a reflection of his typical modesty as well as of his solidarity with and sweet sentiment for the one-time student and a lifelong friend, who occasionally was his houseguest spending hours of communication on issues in philosophy, religion, politics, education and psychology. Of primary interest here are Arendt's and Jaspers' uses of "terrorism," her usage being exclusively in the context of domestic politics, while his is seldom domestic and often international.(27) In the second sense Jaspers says:

Totalitarianism...wants to coerce. It seeks world peace by conquest.... Not a league of free nations but total rule by terroristic subjection. The remaining nations constitute the arena in which the two great principles of freedom and totalitarianism contend.(28)

This context is relevant to al Qaeda and other Jihadis, since the primary interest of these groups is to terrorize the international community much like the previous totalitarian regimes. However, in the following instance his usage is domestic.

The form of totalitarian rule is terror...requiring constant purges and persecution of alternating groups, new power concentrations or class structures — in the army, in police, in industrial management, in the peasantry, in the party machine itself.(29)

In spite of its parochial elements, this passage applies, also, to the Jihadis, since they do terrorize individual members of their own community for security reasons, and anybody suspected of contemplating betrayal or desertion will be shot, beheaded, or stoned to death. In this connection, a former Iraqi insurgent follower of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (ﻱﻮﺎﻗﺭﺯﻠﺍ ﺐﺎﺴﻤﻮﺒﺍ) is quoted as saying: "There are only two ways to leave that organization.... You die in battle, or they kill you."(30) Obviously, one's learning and telling other members of this policy would make them so frightened that any inkling of doubt about fighting for or remaining loyal to the cause becomes unthinkable. In a "motivational" tape al-Zarqawi himself has said: "It is either dignity or the coffin."(31) Similarly, purges, persecutions, summary interrogations, lack of due process, torture and murder were common in the Third Reich and the Soviet Union.

Yet, again, Jaspers' primary concern is terrorism in an international context. He speculates that, even in an event of a final democratic victory over totalitarianism, the vanquisher would have no choice but to rule by terroristic means.

A victorious totalitarian world would stabilize its terrorism as the only means of quieting the constant desperate discontent of men. But even if the free world were to prevail in the last conflict – and if a part of mankind should survive – the result would be almost the same terrorism. For, in the course of that war, the all-embracing power organization required to fight the dragon would have made a dragon of the very champion of freedom.(32)

First, in the event of a totalitarian world conquest it is not too difficult to imagine that the shadows of its internal terror will extend more vigorously over the conquered peoples. Easier still is to imagine how the international community would be treated under ben Laden's Pax Islamica. Historically, one need not be reminded of the anguish and humiliation that the people of Czechoslovakia experienced by the marching German troops in 1938, the terror that the Polish population had to come to grips with by the Russo-German non-aggression pact of 1939, which led to the violent invasion of that nation, the Blitzkrieg in the West that petrified the Dutch, Belgian and French nationals in 1940, or the Red Army's bloody suppression of the Hungarians in 1956 and of the Czechs in 1968, and so on. In each of these examples, the invader continued the brutality and violence to frighten and control the conquered people. In this case, wars of aggression and terrorism, and national freedom and independence from foreign tyranny, are interchangeable.(33)

Second, even if in an all-out nuclear war a portion of the Western democracies survive and be victorious, Jaspers is insisting that the war machinery that had made this victory possible would, like all bureaucracies, attain a life of its own and, like an organism with the primary instinct of self-preservation, resort to purging the undesirables, liquidating the critics, and terrorizing the population at large. In the wake of 9/11, many civil libertarians are fearful of a shrinking of the Bill of Rights, even though no nuclear world war has yet been waged to be won or lost. Moreover, one ought not be forgetful of McCarthyism in the face of the Soviet threat of international communism, or Franklin Delano Roosevelt's imperial presidency during World War II. These temporary setbacks, relative to the dramatic scale of war as speculated upon by Jaspers above, are drops in the buck. As the old saying goes, "When there is war, democracy has to wait!" In the above passage, democracy may have to wait forever.

Third, regardless of which side will be the winner of such a catastrophic nuclear warfare, Jaspers seems to be suggesting that terroristic dictatorship will persist because in the absence of a balance of power, the victorious power will impose its national, cultural and ideological prejudices upon others. Freedom and tolerance, on the other hand, are each other's eternal companions, for those who are intolerant of other ways of life cannot let others be free to choose the life that they want to live. This is why, in spite of his boundless cosmopolitanism, Jaspers' desire for the preservation of a pluralistic global democracy compels him to oppose a single world government.

Even the abstract illusion of a world government set up by treaty, with a central police force to keep the peace, could not fail at some time to lead to the tyranny of those in power. Whatever combines all forces in one hand will soon crush freedom.... [F]orce must remain plural.... Peace lies in the freedom of confederation.... Confederation can be made effective only by treaties between nations living under free constitutions, with unlimited freedom of speech and the desire to preserve that freedom jointly.(34)

While the plurality of power keeps the channels of international interests flowing freely, the concentration of power in one person or a single body of persons, which is symptomatic of total rule, would keep these channels closed. Contrary to pluralism, which is accommodative of different needs and interests, totalitarianism imposes conformity and uniformity and rejects authenticity and individuality. Total rule hammers out policies so intrusive that they would interfere with nearly every aspect of one's public and private life. The singularity of its principle finds expression in its pointed apex. Philosophically, it is monistic, holistic and dogmatic. The Oneness is the core and immanent principle of totalitarianism. It is its Absolute. Therefore the National Socialist slogan: "Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Führer!" Alternatively, in Arabic: "al-Tawhid" (ﺩﻴﺤﻮﺘﻠﺍ), the unifying "Oneness" that is normally reserved for Allah. For Jaspers, "Total rule allows no parties. It is based upon a single party.... The rule of the party knows no legal opposition.... Any division of power is abolished in favor of the one guiding power of the party...."(35) Thus, the National Socialist Party of the Third Reich, the Communist Party of the USSR or, say, the Hezbollah (ﷲﺍ ﺏﺯﺤ "Party of God").(36) For Jaspers, the single-party system is a concrete application of the very oneness that is intolerant of and opposed to diversity and plurality, individuality and authenticity, liberty and democracy.

In Jihadism, the God of Abraham is as heavy-handed as He was in the Middle Ages. Even though the Crusaders themselves were jihadis of a sort, it is obvious that the countries of their origin have since been changed drastically. The present Jihadis, on the other hand, have gone back to live in the medieval past and wish to think of themselves as purists. Deeply disturbed by what they see as modernity's deviation from the ways of Moses and Jesus, groups of them have the conviction that it is their duty to rid the world of the Jews and Christians who are not truly Jewish or Christian. This attitude leads to some serious questions. Because, whether this is their true feeling or it is politically motivated to endorse an indiscriminate killing of non-Moslems, one may wonder why peoples of other cultures should not be allowed to think and to live the way they want. If God does indeed exist, why should it not be left to Him to judge them? Perhaps the modern Christian is in essence anti-Christian, like the Jews in The Koran who, in reference to the Scriptures, were easily swayed against Moses by worshipping the Calf and became sinful rebels against God.(37) So whose earthly business is it to decide who are or are not the true followers of this or that prophet, and then kill those whom he decides are not? There are still other, more fanatical groups of Jihadis who would kill any Moslem who is not a Sunni, or would kill even any Sunni who is not a Wahhabi or a Salafi. Generally, it is clear that absolutism, dogmatism, fanaticism and self-righteousness breed extreme intolerance, belligerence and oppression. By placing the monotheistic God of their sect at the head of their relentless acts of violence, the Jihadists are committing kidnappings, suicide bombings, mass executions, and televised beheadings in His name. Jaspers, as a theist, and Arendt, as a Jewish thinker, never went far enough to speak of monotheism critically in this context and to address its intrinsic tendencies toward total rule. Nevertheless, given their pro-democracy and pro-Israeli sentiments, it is not hard to imagine that had they lived to see the Jihadis' acts of terror against the Jews, Israel and the United States, how they would have reacted against their religious zealousness and its application in their politics and violence.(38) Incidentally, there are photographs of the Croat Muslim SS units (12. Waffen-Gebirgs-Division der SS Handschar) engaged in the battlefield as well as their reading the pamphlet, Islam und Judentum.(39) When asked why an SS division had a religious basis, Himmler replied that "Islam [is] a good religion for warriers."(40)

In summa, the characteristics of totalitarianism, namely, the centrality of Oneness (One Goal, One Book, One Leader), totalistic ideology with a universal mission, terrorism and brute force, militarism and paramilitarism, propaganda and indoctrination, youth schools, suicidal loyalty, purging and liquidating, and secrecy and rituals, all and all, exist in the Jihadi movement. Nevertheless, in spite of sharing these characteristics with the totalitarian systems of the past, this movement is still quite different from them, and it is, in fact, different from any global power that ever existed. This distinct difference is due to its stateless status. To be stateless means to lack at least one of the following essential elements of the state, namely, land, population, government and sovereignty. Within these elements, the state may be defined as "a specific land inhabited permanently by a population that is ruled by a government that has sovereignty."(41) First, in contrast to the nation-states as well as national liberation and separatist guerrilla combatants, the Jihadis do not consider any particular piece of land to be theirs, and in fact operate in the territories of different countries. Islam (like Christianity) is cosmopolitan, and the Islamic fundamentalism adamantly rejects patriotism and nationalism, considering them as forms of idolatry. Second, with regard to population, the Jihadis live and blend with different peoples but have no concentrated or specific population of their own in a normal sense. Third, the Jihadis do have a definite ruling body with organization and hierarchy. Yet this is technically not government, since their organization has no cabinet, lacks formal governmental departments (or ministries), and functions only as a loose paramilitary entity. Fourth, in lacking land, population and government, they have also no sovereignty. Nor do they believe in it. To them, only Allah is sovereign! As a result of these considerations, had they lacked only one of the four elements of the state, they would have been stateless. But the fact that they lack all the four makes them all the more so.

Statelessness is not disadvantageous for the Jihadis, as it has actually worked quite well for them. Soon after the 9/11 attacks and before and during the coalition campaign to topple the Taliban regime in 2001, the American and British leaderships repeatedly claimed that they were going to "smoke the terrorists out of their caves," but in effect, they smoked them into their caves or into new caves. At any rate, the outcome of this low-intensity war showed that a conventional military action, including the preemptive option, which is as old as the history of warfare, is ineffective in eradicating the Jihadis, and the Afghan campaign has in fact made them more insidious and pervasive in the world at large. True, the return of wealthy ben Laden to an impoverished Afghanistan in 1996 appeared at first to be beneficial for both al Qaeda leadership and the Taliban government. However, this once ostensibly mutual benefit now appears not to have been absolutely essential for the survival of either of the two, since al Qaeda, as the presumed "parasite," has continued its life after the collapse of its organic Taliban "host," and the Talibans, too, have remained menacing to the Karzai (ﻯﺍﺰﺭﺎﮐ) government to the extent of reducing the capital Kabul virtually to a walled city-state. As indicated above, unlike the national liberation guerrilla fighters or separatist terrorist groups, the transnational Jihadis make up a cosmopolitan movement that is fighting for nothing less than an Islamic world government. This ambition is unnegotiable to them, and irreconcilable to all governments on earth. However absurd this ambition, their stateless quality has proven vital in their perpetual war against the world. It has now become clear that Jihadism is more than just terrorism. It is a movement and a way of life. It has a peculiar mindset. Its global dispersion and loose and semi-independent operational cells are offset by the universality of their monotheistic faith, singularity of The Koran, absolutism of the code law, namely the shariah(ﻪﻌﻴﺮﺸ), and the hadith(ﺙﯾﺩﺤ), words and deeds of Mohammad. To give a glimpse of this mindset, the following tales depict a day in the lives of two jihadis, one in Afghanistan and the other in Iraq.

In a low intensity battle zone like Afghanistan, a Jihadi lives like Jesus, spending much time in the wilderness, praising God, rejecting the material world, and believing in afterlife and the divine judgment. But unlike Jesus, who often spoke of love and peace, the Jihadi is obsessed with battling the infidels, killing them, and with being a martyr and thus hastening to meet his Maker. Everyday he wakes up at dawn, performs his ablutions and prays toward Mecca. He does not know the meaning of the Koranic words he is murmuring in his prayer, for he speaks only Pashtun (ﻥﻮﺗﺷﭙ). He eats a moderate breakfast (normally bread and cheese with tea), takes his old AK-47, leaves his hut and walks or rides on a donkey to the nearby village where he converses with the elders about religious politics, righteousness and falsehood, and at the end of each phrase he praises Allah by pronouncing ﺭﺑﮐﺍ ﷲﺍ ("God is great!"). During today's conversation he is advised by a white-bearded elder to take Hajji Mustafa's youngest daughter, Zaynab, as a third wife. He utters, ﷲﺍ ﺀﺎﺸﻧﺍ ("God willing!"). At noon, he goes to the village mosque, performs his ablutions and prays toward Mecca. He does not know the meaning of the Koranic words he is murmuring in his prayer, for he speaks only Pashtun. There he listens carefully to a sermon in Pashtun from the shariah on the female modesty and chastity. He praises Allah! Soon after, he is approached by the mullah (ﻼﻣ, "village parson") who gives him some afghanis for his weekly expenses from the general fund collected from the faithfuls' zakāt (ﺖﺎﻜﺫ).(42) So he praises Allah! In the nearby dusty alley, he meets with five comrades to organize a plan of action for the next day to bomb a gendarmerie station seven leagues away. Their small number insures that no enemy informer can learn their chain of command or discover the whereabouts of their local commander. After working out the details of tomorrow's attack, they go to a secret location for target practicing and bomb-making. Subsequently, they perform their ablutions and pray toward Mecca. They do not know the meaning of the Koranic words they are murmuring in their prayer, for they speak only Pashtun. Then they go hunting some snow-rabbits to grill for lunch. Shortly after finishing their meal, they shake hands and say "So long!" On his way back, the Jihadi visits the flea market, haggles over prices and at each interval he praises Allah! Near the sunset he is back to his hut. He performs his ablutions and prays toward Mecca. He does not know the meaning of the Koranic words he is murmuring in his prayer, for he speaks only Pashtun. Subsequently, he sits and crosses his legs, murmurs some words of The Koran without knowing what they mean. He then imagines tomorrow's firefight, thinks about martyrdom and praises Allah! And before sleep, he performs his ablutions and prays toward Mecca. He does not know the meaning of the Koranic words he is murmuring in his prayer, for he speaks only Pashtun. He then falls asleep and dreams in Pashtun, and sometimes murmurs in Arabic without knowing what the words mean.
In a high intensity urban war zone like Iraq's Sunni triangle, the Jihadis live a faster life. Somewhere in the city of Ramadi (ﻯﺩﺎﻤﺮ, population 350,000) in the Anbar (ﺮﺑﻧﻋ) province a Jihadi rises up at dawn, performs his ablutions and prays toward the Mecca. He thinks he knows fully well the meaning of the Koranic words he is murmuring in his pray, for his mother tongue is Arabic. In spite of resenting all kinds of patriotism, most of all Arab-nationalism, he cannot help being proud of speaking the very words that God revealed to the Prophet Mohammad through the Angel Gabriel. He has come all the way from Tunisia to perform his God-given duty of rushing the infidels to Hell. After the prayer he joins his comrades who share the same sense of duty. They are sitting on the floor and eating bread and butter with dates while sipping hot tea from small clear glasses. They do not use silverware. They smash the butter and spread it on the bread by their thumbs. They are in the habit of placing a sugar-cubic in the corner of their mouths and let the hot liquid dissolve it down their throats. The ringleader is from Qatar, one is a Sudanese, another is a Yemeni, and there are two brothers from Syria. After finishing his brief breakfast, the Jihadi gets up and praises Allah! Others immediately respond by praising Allah! Then they open their laptops to send email and visit some Islamic websites. But he must run some errands. He gets ready. Before leaving, he looks at his Kalashnikov that is leaning against the wall. But today he does not need to take it with him. He just picks up a cellphone and leaves the safehouse. Out in the ally, a group of barefooted children who always get fascinated by his gear, see no Kalashnikov in his hand and no ammo-belts hanging over his shoulders. But they still show their admiration by shouting with one voice, "God is great!" He reminds them of the insurgents they see every night on Al Arabiya (ﻪﻴﺒﺭﻌﻠﺍ) satellite TV. They want to be like him when they grow up. He walks to the pickup truck that was donated to his cell by a former Ba'athist captain who converted to their movement and was recently killed by an Apache's missile. He drives to the bazaar where he visits with a teenage-member of a group that participates in the insurgency. The boy's job is vigilantly putting an ear on the asphalt to hear the coming of coalition convoys so that when he is hearing them coming, he would immediately yell, and in a person-to-person chain of yelling they quickly relay the information all the way to a roadside bomber who is waiting to press the car-alarm remote control button to detonate the improvised explosive device (IED). After a little chat with the teenager, the Jihadi meets with a demolition Saudi whose expertise is to equip cars for suicide missions. Then the Jihadi goes back to his truck and drives to the main mosque in downtown, walks to its courtyard, sits by the turquoise-colored mosaic pond and performs his ablutions by washing his hands, face and feet with the clear water. He then notices the muezzin standing on the minaret's high balcony and, with both hands behind his ears, calling to prayer. So he joins the mass and prays with them toward Mecca. After the prayer he seeks and finds his mentor, a zealot sheik, and humbly follows him to a quite corner in the courtyard where under the cool shadow of the great dome the sheik reviews his previous lessons on the immortality of the soul and divine justice. The sheik promises him that soon after expelling the American infidels and before destroying the Zionist state, the Shi'ites will be dealt with, for the last time. In this connection, the Salafi sheik stresses the Oneness (al-Towhid) of God, the Oneness of the Word, and the necessity of emulating the way of God's last and greatest Prophet. The sheik concludes by reminding his disciple of God's demand for self-sacrifice in Jihad against His enemies. The Jihadi praises Allah! He then drives back to the safehouse. He knows that this is his last return to this place. He feels totally uplifted! It is about two months now that he has been waiting for tomorrow — the day to meet his Maker.

The above caricatures are not entirely fictitious. Islam's rejection of tribalism and modern nationalism is exemplified by the Battle of Badr (ﺭﺪﺑ) in 624 in which Mohammad, as the commander of the Moslem army, crushed the tribe of his origin, the Quraysh (ﺶﻳﺭﻘ, Qhoraysh). Islam contends that patriotism is instinctual, animalistic, and totally unworthy of true humanity; one fights only for Allah! This is why the Jihadi is indifferent to the land he is fighting on or to the inhabitants who may perish in the crossfire. This radical cosmopolitan valuation leads to the transnationality of membership in Jihadism. The Afghan Jihadi above would have fought anywhere outside of Afghanistan, should it have been a higher priority for Islam and if he had the means to travel there. In the second story, too, the Jihadis will not be forced out of Iraq as long as there is some support from the general population. To die out, they must first lose the Arendtian "walls of protection," but even then, they would go fight elsewhere as opportunity arises in a seemingly unending quest to defeat their enemies or to die as martyrs. In either case, they think they will be the winner. This transnational tradition, which was revived during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, conforms to the stateless characteristic of this movement. A typical newspaper report: four men suspected of being members of Jema'ah Islamiah were brought before the court in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in December 2004. One of them was from Egypt, two from Cambodia, and one from Thailand. Their group, Umm Qura, was running a Saudi-funded madrasah while the suspects were plotting to car bomb the British Embassy.(43)

Even though the Jihadis' cosmopolitan transnationality is a revival of earlier Islamic history, their present statelessness is an entirely new phenomenon. Islam's initial rise to power took place in the Arabian Peninsula, and the consequent Islamic Empire ruled over an extensive landmass. The present stateless totalitarianism, on the other hand, could not have been possible without modern technology and modern means of transportation, telecommunication, electronics, and cyber space. The Jihadi hijacks an airliner to terrorize and to make a radical political point, communicates by cellphone and emailing with his fellow Jihadis, terrorizes on websites and propagandizes via the satellite dish, and fights with remote-control devices, missiles, automatic firearms, RPGs and IEDs. Yet he is equipped with no tanks, has no air force, and needs no navy. Since he lives on no particular land, has allegiances to no nation, and is dependent upon no economic infrastructure, he can dodge more bullets and spend hardly any money. Because of his deep desire for the ultimate self-sacrifice, he has reduced himself into a mere cellular existence to function in an organic landless totalitarian whole. Because of his suicidal fanaticism for an ancient religion and living in a stateless, spaceless condition, the transnational Jihadi is an alienated contender of globalization. He is living in and for a bygone past, and in and for the future, which does not exist by definition.

Historically, while the concrete geophysical base was essential for the previous totalitarian regimes to exist and thrive, this was also disadvantageous for them since, as a confining factor, it defined and exposed them to either direct military attacks or indirect financial strangulation. It is well known that fascism and National Socialism were in the end defeated militarily on their own turfs. Likewise, the Soviet Union was restricted to its physical boundaries, and even though its superb nuclear and delivery systems deterred any military assault on its territory, its eventual collapse, nonetheless, had to do with a physical geography that, under the pressure of a costly arms race, eventually brought its demise by braking down its infrastructural foundations.(44) For being completely pervasive, Islamist totalitarianism is free from any physical geographical restrictions and is therefore uncontainable. The tactical necessity of being inconspicuous and undetectable in an open-ended stateless atmosphere has allowed them to be invisible. Their operating in the shadows in more than sixty countries across the globe – as diverse as Algeria, Singapore, Albania, Oman, Kyrgyzstan, England, Somalia, and Indonesia (with all its 17,000 islands) – protects them from the traditional military and economic retributions. This statelessness, in addition to Islam's strong sense of spirituality and certainty of afterlife, has given them an eerie, ghostlike existence. One cannot simply defeat an enemy who is everywhere and nowhere. Nor is it possible to make them disappear when they are already invisible, and whenever they become visible they blow themselves up into fiery pieces and disappear again, only to reappear shortly before vanishing in another blast, and so on. And, all these occurring and recurring episodes are stemming from a population boom with an inexhaustible supply of appearing, disappearing, and reappearing guerrilla fighters and suicide bombers. They are numerous, ferocious, uncompromising, and live only to be martyred.(45)

This spooky threat becomes evermore frightening when the weapons of mass destruction are actually introduced to it. The odds support the idea that this is inevitable. For as long as military force cannot eliminate these phantom warriors, or their leaders be not willing to compromise or negotiate, or it be not possible to bribe their stoically Islamist ethos, or it be not possible to blackmail the shadows who have nothing to be blackmailed for, and given their obsession with acquiring the nuclear weapon, it is only a matter of time that al-Qaeda or its like-minded terrorist allies attain and detonate series of atom bombs in urban areas and destroy millions of lives. When asked, "Do you think a terror group actually has a nuclear device?" the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Mohammad el-Baradei (ﻰﻋﺪﺍﺭﺑﻠﺍ ﺩﻣﺤﻣ), replied: "Remember after the cold war, there was a period of time when lots of nuclear material was not adequately protected in the former Soviet Union." And to the question, "Has Al Qaeda acquired these weapons?," he replied: "We know they were interested in acquiring nuclear weapons. In Afghanistan there were documents looking at the possibility of developing or acquiring a nuclear device." Lastly, "Didn't you warn the [Bush] administration about the disappearance of the explosives HMX and RDX in Iraq, and do you know where they are?," el-Baradei responded, "No, we don't. They are high explosives that could be used for nuclear detonations — 350 tons were missing...."(46) With regard to al-Qaeda's other possible sources of obtaining these weapons, one must refer to the 600 tons of unsecured nuclear materials in the former Republics of the Soviet Union.(47) The real concern is not the so-called "dirty bombs" that could radioactively kill only tens or hundreds and scare millions, but it is the bombs that are each capable of destroying an entire metropolis, killing millions in a blink, and terrorizing the rest of the world indefinitely. Yet, this could only be the beginning. For instead of insurgent attacks in one country exploding conventional bombs in several towns, there could be atom bombs exploding in several cities on a single day. Even worse, the petrified leftover of the global village would be watching on their nightly television news several mushroom clouds devouring nations day after day. A terrorist leadership, like al Qaeda's, would not hesitate to unleash its suicide nuclear-bombers to annihilate country by country and threaten to exterminate the entirety of humanity, unless the surviving population convert, genuinely and convincingly, to Wahhabism. In fact, this threat of convert-or-die is reminiscent of the medieval Islamic warriors who slashed their way through numerous nations and established the rule of fear-and-pray. In view of its bloody heritage and recent revival, its weapon of choice has changed from the curved Arabian sword and double-edged Damascus daggers to the RPG and IED, and now to obtain and to use the WMD. Words like "indiscriminate killing," "mass homicide" or "genocide" do not mean much to the Jihadi, who is absolutely convinced that living on earth is a temporary test for one's virtue, that the material life is inherently unclean, that death is only a beginning, and that the ideal way of dying is by martyrdom.

These looming clouds of a stateless totalitarianism of the spirit make the Cold War era look like the good ol' days. In that period, for both the NATO and Warsaw Pact governments, the existence of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) armed with multiple nuclear warheads guaranteed a peaceful coexistence under the dark shadow of the Balance of Terror. The existence of Strategic Missile Forces (SMF) was in fact a guarantor for deterrence through the doctrine of mutual assured destruction (MAD). In this Cold War spirit, Jaspers stated that

Both Russia and America, the two great powers with large stocks of atom bombs, can destroy each other's cities and industrial centers with hydrogen bomb-carrying guided missiles — each from her own territory or bases.... But they cannot thus win a war, for each would expose herself to the same destruction by an instantaneous counterblow.(48)

This view was true and will always be sound as long as the two parties are rational and confined by international boundaries. It is clear, however, that the MAD doctrine is inapplicable to the mad Jihadi. He would in fact welcome this mutuality, believing that his enemies will be sent to Hell and he, himself, will be hasten to Haven.(49)

As if suicidal nuclear bombing is not horrible enough, suicidal bioterrorism can be far more devastating. For, in this case, the Jihadi needs no bomb, no detonator, and no suicide vest. All he needs to do is to shave-off his beard, get himself infected with an incurable, contagious bio-cocktail (blended strains), and enter the country of his most preferred choice, America, as a tourist, and associate with the people. By the time of his death (normally a week or so), and the first noticeable symptoms of his victims, it is already too late for a quarantine to protect the rest of the nation, as an unknown number of recently infected individuals show no signs of the disease while thousands upon thousands show some symptoms and begin to die. When the news of this mysterious, incurable pandemic is nationally broadcast, the panic will quickly spread internationally. At this point, not only the best of lovers begin to mistrust each other about being a carrier of the disease, but also nobody would want to be in public places. As the death toll continues to snowball everywhere, the scared employees and managers do not show up at work. This includes the healthcare professionals. The closure of stores, markets, banks and postal service, and stoppages of the food and fuel supply will soon make the remaining population homebound. Then, within a week death from a different source, starvation will ensue. This will make some to scavenge or consume the fresh corpses in their neighborhood, while others may resort to homicide for cannibalizing their victims and extending their lives for a few more days. Meanwhile, the international travelers who had reached their destinations a week ago are already dead or dying, and the pandemic is now killing the rest of humankind. The only unworried individuals are the remaining Jihadis in rural areas of the devastated global village who continue to praise God, perform their ablutions and pray toward Mecca until the disease reaches them and they die, too. Strangely, while no human has survived in this process, every human construct has remained intact.

Can this doomsday scenario become real? Could a single bioterrorist bring the human species into a complete extinction? Suppose the answer is negative. Surely, though, if number matters here, what if, instead of one, several contaminated Jihadis simultaneously passed through different international entry-points in the United States and begun the epidemic in different locations. Now, would this not be enough? It definitely would. But, still, even one infected Jihadi could be enough to bring about the human extinction. This, of course, will depend on what the "bio-cocktail" really is. To answer this, it must be realized that during the Cold War the clandestine operations known as Biopreparat, which spread across the Soviet Union and employed well over thirty thousand biotechnologists, managed to genetically alter and blend varieties of viruses in order to make them considerably more lethal and their vaccination impossible.(50) Some of these bioweapons are reportedly so incredibly powerful that only one particle of them is sufficient for the victim's quick death.(51) Consequently, their contagious quality would wipe out the entire population of the primates on earth. Known as "black biology," the production of these weapons included "binary" (bio-chemical combinations) and the more exotic varieties like "designer" (combining genes and viruses with grown organisms as well as "chimeras," which mingle existing agents), "neo-zoonotic" (animal viruses genetically altered to become human), and "stealth" (unsymptomatic, silent killers).(52) The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of some of these bio-weapons in the former Soviet republics, in addition to the proximity of Afghanistan to three of these republics and particularly the intelligence and terrorist activities of al-Qaeda's arm, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, in that region, are reasons to fear. Equally troubling is the question concerning the whereabouts of most of those thirty thousand plus biotechnologists, who became unemployed and needy in the wake of the collapse and disintegration of the Soviet Union. It is staggering that the totalitarian National Socialist challenger of the international system that was interested in biology primarily for racial reasons was succeeded by a totalitarian Soviet regime that took over this science from the ruins of Berlin and weaponized it for the next world war, and that now, from the remnants of this bio-weaponry, a third totalitarian contender, al-Qaeda, is intending to acquire and to use it in a jihad against humanity. As suggested thus far, a resolution to defeat this latest totalitarian force is not in sight. Jihadism, because of being in a perpetual state of war and continuously thriving and uncompromising, is bound to obtain and use nuclear and biological weapons.

It has been frequently stated that the human animal is the only species capable of bringing itself to extinction by a world war. The advent of modern science and technology and their impact on weaponry and warfare have evoked deep concern in peace activists and moral philosophers. Perhaps several thousand years after a virological catastrophe some advanced visitors to this planet will be bewildered as to what happened here and raise questions similar to the ones we ask when staring at the ruins of the Incas. If the evolution of the species has not been based on accidents but it is pressed on by an infra-conscious force, then this force, in the aftermath of the extinction of present primates, will have to redirect its creative energy toward another genus as it apparently did when it found enough room for the mammals in the aftermath of the failed dinosaurs. Experience has shown that nothing remains unchanged and everything has an ending. The weapons of mass destruction may indeed bring an apocalyptic ending to the human domination of this planet.



(1) This situation has been unprecedented since the reign of Achaemenid Empire, which directly ruled nearly the entire known world for more than two centuries (550–330 BC). In contrast, Alexander's untimely death cut short his plan to consolidate his conquests; the Romans were rivaled by the Parthians (217 BC–226 AD) and Sasanians (226–641); the Arabs-Berbers' formidable forces finally learned the bitter taste of defeat (by Charles Martel at the battle of Tours, 732) and were completely expelled from France (759); Spain and Portugal had to recognize each other as superpowers and agreed to divide the globe (Treaty of Tordesillas, 1494); the Ottoman advances in Europe were reversed by the Austrians (aftermath of the siege of Vienna, 1683) and in the east halted by the Safavids (1500–1737); the British had to recognize the colonial territories of France, Holland and Belgium, among others, and during the Cold War the USA was counter-balanced by the USSR. Therefore, now after twenty-five hundred years in world history the United States is the sole superpower in international relations. text»

(2) An example of this historicist perspective was Francis Fukuyama's essay, "The End of History?," The National Interest, No. 16, Summer 1989, pp. 3–18. This issue includes "Responses to Fukuyama" by Allan Bloom, Pierre Hassner, Gertrude Himmelfarb, Irving Kristol, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, and Steven Sestanovich, pp. 19–35. See also Fukuyama's "A Reply to My Critics," ibid., No. 18, Winter 1989/90, pp. 21–28. text»

(3) Of course, these attacks were not al-Qaeda's first encounter with the United States. The bloodiest examples before 2001 are listed later in this paper. text»

(4) Here the term "Jihadi" refers to those violent members of Islamic terrorist organizations who see the "holy war" (Jehad ﺩﺎﻬﺠ) as the only way toward establishing an Islamic world-state. For a listing of the Jihadi terrorist organizations in contradistinction to regional and national terrorist groups, see note 41 below. Also, the terms "Jihadi," "Jihadist" and "Islamist" are used interchangeably in this paper. text»

(5) The initial formation of this plan of work is indebted to Alan Olson during a coffee-break chat in the Pacific Division meeting of the American Philosophical Association in Pasadena, California, March 2004. Nonetheless, this writer is fully responsible for content of this paper. text»

(6) The term "totalitarianism" was first used by political theorists in 1920's to describe the fascist system of Italy. Subsequently, this term was extended to include the National Socialist regime in Germany. The marked difference between the Italian and German models was that the latter radically emphasized racism (Aryanism and Anti-Semitism). "Totalitarianism" was later applied also to the USSR and PRC. The obvious difference between these two and the fascist kinds was that they were Marxist and hence denounced the extreme nationalism of the fascists in general and the German racial ideals in particular. In spite of these differences, their inclusion under the same rubric, "totalitarianism," is justified because of their many shared "totalitarian" characteristics, which are indicated below. text»

(7) It is to be noted that while Mein Kampf remained in its entirety the guiding principle of the Third Reich throughout its relatively short life, The Communist Manifesto (as well as other works of Marx and Engels) and, to a larger extent, The Koran, have been narrowly interpreted to fit the ideological designs of the Communist and Jihadist leaders, respectively. text»

(8) In this connection one cannot forget the Allied firebombing of Dresden, which killed thousands of children, artists and retirees in the closing weeks of the European theater, or the US nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which annihilated hundreds of thousands of civilians and blackmailed the Japanese government to surrender. The similarities between the latter and terrorism's coercive tactics to force governments to change their national strategies are staggering. For the notorious difficulties in distinguishing war from terrorism, see Virginia Held, "Terrorism and War," The Journal of Ethics, Vol. 8, No. 1 (2004), pp. 59–75. Also, inid., "Terrorism, Rights, and Political Goals," in R. G. Frey and Christopher W. Morris (eds), Violence, Terrorism, and Justice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 59–85; Benjamin R. Barber, "Beyond Jihad vs. McWorld," The Nation, (21 January 2002); Noam Chomsky, Power and Terror (New York: Seven Stories Press, 2003), to name a few. text»

(9) The Origins of Totalitarianism (New York: Harcourt, Brace & Company, 1951), p. 362. text»

(10) For example, in the beginning of World War II when the German Blitzkrieg was achieving astonishingly speedy victories in the western and eastern fronts, Hitler took the credits and was hailed by his people as the greatest conqueror in history, but later when his campaigns took a downturn, he executed many of his generals. He never admitted that he made catastrophic mistakes. Stalin, too, as the original architect of totalitarian socialism, always boasted about his economic planning, and for whatever that went wrong, he liquidated some officials and sent other scapegoats to the Siberian camps to disappear. text»

(11) ABC News, "Terror Suspect: An Interview with Osama Bin Laden, " December 22, 1998. text»

(12) "In Video Message Bin Laden Issues Warning to U.S.," The New York Times, Saturday, October 30, 2004. In this message, he said that "Despite entering the fourth year after Sep. 11, Bush is still deceiving you and hiding the truth from you, and therefore the reasons are still there to repeat what happened." He subsequently added, "As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon [by the Israeli missile attacks], it occurred to me to punish the unjust the same way — to destroy towers in America.... " text»

(13) The Origins of Totalitarianism, pp. 351–2, 361, 368. It is common knowledge that after his arrest and imprisonment ordered by Hitler in mid-summer 1934, Roehm, the popular commander of the SA (Sturmabteilung), whose service was no longer needed, was becoming more than just a nuisance; he was arrested, imprisoned, and given a pistol in his cell to take his life honorably and, when he refused to do so, was executed by a firing squad. This event coincided with a shooting and bombing campaign against the Roehm loyalists, followed by the absorption of the SA by the SS (Schutzstaffel) under Himmler. Similarly, when Trotsky opposed Stalin's doctrine of "socialism in one country," he was expelled from the Politburo in 1926, expelled from the Soviet Union in 1929, and, after taking refuge in Istanbul and Norway, found his way to Mexico City; there the KGB agents finally assassinated him. In January 1937 Piatakov, Radek and other prominent Bolsheviks, and in March 1938 Bukharin, Rykov and Yagoda, among other party leaders, were accused of "bourgeois conspiracy" and were consequently convicted and executed. During the National Socialist and Bolshevik reign of terror, thousands of party members and millions of citizens were exterminated, mostly in the death camps. text»

(14) Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, From the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (New York: The Penguin Press, 2004), p. 575. text»

(15) The Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 355. text»

(16) One interesting point, of course, was the place of the Japanese allies who were given an "honorary Aryan status" by the Führer during the second half of World War II. This was a significant revision of the Führer's earlier view (as in 1927) that the Japanese and other "East Asians" had a second-class status as the "preservers" and not "creators" of culture. Mein Kampf (München: Zentralverlag der NSDAP, 1943), pp. 318–9. text»

(17) See Count Arthur Joseph de Gobineau, Essai sur l´ inégalité des races humaines (1853–55), trans A. Collins as The Inequality of Human Races (London: Heinemann, 1915); Houston Stewart Chamberlain, Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, trans J. Lees as The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century (London: Lane, 1912). In The Communist Manifesto, for example, Marx and Engels say, "Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat." Manifesto of the Communist Party, Samuel Moore [1888] trans. (Harmondsworth, England: Penguin Books Ltd., 1967). This writer has no dispute with the idea that in capitalism there is an inherent tendency toward a growing split of income between the owners of the mode of production and the rest of the society, the so-called haves and have-nots; nor with the existing tendency of capitalism toward monopolies. The point, however, is that these Marxian insights conform with Arendt's description of the totalitarian worldview. Historically, the Soviet officials' claim of being on the side of the international working class enabled them to separate their regime in principle from the capitalist West and thereby to justify their worldwide confrontation. text»

(18) Mein Kampf, pp. 551–7. text»

(19) The Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 365. It is important to correct two slight errors with regard to this quotation. First, the military and paramilitary rituals during the National Socialist rule were not Nazi inventions but were inherited from the "pagan" Aryan traditions as well as medieval German culture, many of which being revived in the nineteenth and early twentieth century Austria. See Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, The Occult Roots of Nazism: Secret Aryan Cults and Their Influence on Nazi Ideology (New York: New York University Press, 1992). Second, it is problematical to refer to "the mummified corpse of Lenin" as "a strong element of idolatry." Displaying the corpse of Lenin was designed to indicate an eternal respect for the founder of the Soviet Union, but it was certainly not supposed to frighten the people of the atheistic state of the supernatural, as Arendt claims. text»

(20) Op. cit., p. 356. She rightly says that the term "total" does not mean party membership for the entire population, since the majority in fact remains only as a mass of sympathizers and a recruiting source for military service (op. cit., pp. 354–5). text»

(21) Op. cit., p. 372. text»

(22) Louis L. Snyder, Encyclopedia of the Third Reich (New York: Paragon House Publishers, 1989), pp. 161–2. For a detailed account, see Howard Becker, German Youth: Bond or Free (New York: Oxford University Press, 1946). text»

(23) It is noteworthy that Hitler and Stalin did not grow up in a totalitarian state, nor did they go to elite schools. Yet Stalin, who had a humble background in the Georgian peasantry, managed to rise fast in Russian politics, and to defeat and eventually to assassinate the more refined and educated Leon Trotsky. So, too, Hitler, with a humble Austrian background, rose to be the supreme commander of aristocratic Prussian generals. text»

(24) According to Steve Coll: "The Saudi clergy follow[s] an unusual, puritanical doctrine of Islam often referred to as 'Wahhabism,' after its founder, Mohammed ibn Abdul Wahhab [ﺏﺎﻫﻮﻠﺍﺪﺒﻋ ﻦﺑﺍ ﺪﻣﺤﻣ], an eighteenth-century desert preacher who regarded all forms of adornment and modernity as blasphemous. Wahhabism's insistent severity stood in opposition to many of the artistic and cultural traditions of past Islamic civilizations. But it was a determined faith.... [With the petro-dollar flowing from the Arabian Peninsula, it] endowed mosque construction across the world and forged connections with the like-minded conservative Islamic groups from southeast Asia to the Maghreb, distributing Wahhabi-oriented Islamic texts and sponsoring education in their creed." Ghost Wars, p. 26. text»

(25) It is must be stressed once more that Arendt and Jaspers are among the very few major philosophical figures who wrote on totalitarianism. See Karl Jaspers, Die Atombombe und die Zukunft des Menschen (München: R. Piper & Co., 1958), trans. E. B. Ashton as The Future of Mankind (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1961). Hereafter all references are to this translation. This book was intended to elaborate the author's radio broadcast of 1956. For multiple perspectives on totalitarianism, see Carl J. Friedrich, ed., Totalitarianism (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1954). text»

(26) Op. cit., p. 104. text»

(27) As in The Future of Mankind, pp. 96, and The Origins of Totalitarianism, p. 399. It is to be noted that Arendt's exclusive focus on the state's domestic terrorism seems to reflect her ethnicity, as her general notion of "state power" appears as though it were solely a terrorizing force against herself and the minority Jews in Hitler's Germany. In fact, two-third of her voluminous book has nothing to do with totalitarianism, but it is about the unfortunate plight of the Jewish people, race thinking, racism, anti-Semitism, and the European upper-class bigotries (op. cit., pp. 1–298). text»

(28) The Future of Mankind, p. 98. text»

(29) Op. cit., p. 105. For a related work, see Karl Jaspers, Die Schuldfrage (Heidelberg: L. Schneider Verlag, 1946 and Zürich: Artemis Verlag, 1946), trans E. B. Ashton as The Question of German Guilt (New York: Dial Press, 1947). text»

(30) "Face of Terror," Time, December 27, 2004/January 3, 2005, p. 100. text»

(31) Ibid. text»

(32) The Future of Mankind, pp. 96–7. text»

(33) This is not a place to show the notorious difficulties of separating war from terrorism. For discussions on these difficulties, see the journal articles indicated in footnote 8 above. text»

(34) The Future of Mankind, p. 97. text»

(35) Op. cit., p. 104. text»

(36) The Hezbollah gained national reputation by expelling the Israeli army out of the Lebanon, despite its vision being, at least in principle, cosmopolitan. text»

(37) Thus speaks Allah to the Jews: "Children of Israel, remember the favour I have bestowed upon you. Keep your covenant, and I will be true to Mine. Dread My power. Have faith in My revelations, which confirm your Scriptures, and do not be first to deny them. Fear Me. Do not confound truth with falsehood, nor knowingly conceal the truth.... Would you enjoin righteousness on men and forget it yourselves? Yet you read the Scriptures. Have you no sense?... We made a trust with Moses for the fortieth night, and in his absence you took up the calf and thus committed evil. Yet after that We pardoned you, so that you might give thanks.... We gave Moses the Scriptures and the knowledge of right and wrong.... Moses said to his people: 'You have wronged yourselves, my people, in worshipping the calf. Turn in penitence to your Creator.... That will be the best for your Creator's sight.'" From "The Cow" (ﺓﺭﻗﺒﻟﺍ, "the female calf"), 2:39–2:54, trans N. J. Dawood (London: Penguin Books, 1999). It should be noted that "The Cow" and "The Table" reflect Mohammad's wars against the Jewish tribes of al Nadir (626 A.D.), Qurayzah (627) and Khaybar (629), each of which ended with the Jews being either expelled or destroyed. text»

(38) In defending Israel, Jaspers even attacks President Eisenhower's policy in the Egyptian-Israeli war of 1956 by saying that "It is frightening to observe Russia's success in increasing her power by the ancient maxim of 'divide and rule,' used by every unscrupulous conqueror. The present success of this policy is purely the fault of the West, of the free nations' pursuit of their own selfish interests — eventually to the grotesque extent of America, because Egypt, teaming up with Russia, ordering Britain and France to withdraw from Suez, allowing Bulganin to threaten their capitals with atom bombs, and thus making them yield. A Russo-American alliance prevailed over free nations, and Eisenhower proudly declared that America, for the first time, had made herself independent of British and French Asian policies! Let us admit: it was the most foolish and the most disgraceful moment of contemporary Western politics" (The Future of Mankind, p. 91). This is obviously a naive and mistaken view of what had become the new reality in international relations, that the United States was now the leader of the Free World, and that this fact had to be spelled out to the defiant, former European empires. Other notable examples of Jaspers' partisan view of Israel and the Jews in The Future of Mankind are on pp. 122–6. Moreover, Jaspers and Arendt seem unwilling to acknowledge and recognize the historical reasons behind the violent reactions of Arabs against the Jewish state. A criticism of Arendt's Zionism, which seems to be the main factor for her work on totalitarianism and the Middle East, deserves a separate discussion. text»

(39) Two of such pictures are printed in E. W. W. Fowler, Nazi Regalia (Secaucus, New Jersey: Chartwell Books Inc., 1992), pp. 98–9. text»

(40) Op. cit., p. 98. text»

(41) This definition applies to all kinds that have been called "state" in history, i.e., tribal-state, city-state, empire-state, and nation-state. One must draw a demarcation between the cosmopolitan Jihadists and the national liberation groups. The reason for the rise of the latter groups and their use of terroristic tactics is their initial inability to establish a sovereign government of their own by peaceful means and the powerlessness that leads them to resorting to unconventional and brutal employment of violence. What such groups therefore aspire to is Statehood (or independence from a foreign occupier). Historically, the Zionists in Palestine in the 1920s; the French Résistance against the German occupiers, 1940–44; the Irish Republican Brotherhood opposing the British rule in Ireland (1915) and nationalistic struggle of its political arm, Sinn Fein (est. 1916), leading to the formation of Irish Republican Army (IRA) to oppose the Protestant domination of Northern Ireland that has existed since 1925 and IRA's terrorist attacks in British cities (1960s–1990s); the separatist Free Aceh Movement in Indonesia; Tamil secessionist group in Sri Lanka; the Symbionese Liberation Army; the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia; the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), Islamic Jihad, and Hamas fighting the Israeli occupation of Palestine; Hezbollah of Lebanon initially formed to repel the Israeli army from their country; the Basquè Separatists against the Spanish rule; the Chechen and North Ossetian Separatists fighting the Russian rule— all have resorted to terrorism for gaining statehood, self-rule or an independent government from Western domination. In this regard, the nature of these national liberation organizations is not very different from that of the Minutemen of America's Revolutionary War of Independence, whose unconventional guerilla tactics, lack of military uniforms and blending with the civilian populace made them seem to be criminals by the British colonial rulers. In addition, there are a variety of political groups and cults that have allegedly resorted to acts of terror, including bio-terrorism, like the Red Army Faction in France, Red Brigades of Italy, Rajneeshee cult, Aum Shinrikyo in Japan, Minnesota Patriots Council, Counter Holocaust Lobbyists of Zion, etc. In contrast to all these groups, the transnational Jihadists have waged a "holy war" against the world in order to establish an Islamic rule on earth. In no particular order they are: Moslem Brotherhood, the Islamic Group, Islamic Salvation Front, Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, Jema'ah Islamiah, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyef Brigade, Ansar al-Islam, Ansar al-Sunna, al-Qaeda, and many more. Since al-Qaeda has close contacts with nearly all of these organizations and it has had the most spectacular and deadliest attacks on record in far corners of the world, it is by far the most dangerous group in the history of terrorism. Furthermore, by applying and seeking the most effective means to wage "asymmetric warfare" (i.e., traditional guerrilla tactics together with WMDs), the stateless al-Qaeda is becoming the deadliest force in the contemporary world, equalizing or even surpassing the technological and military might of the United States. text»

(42) It is the duty of every Moslem to pay khoms (ﺲﻤﺨ) and zakāt (ﺕﺎﻜﺫ), the former being 1/5 (payable to the government as taxation) and the latter 1/8 (to Islamic charities, a local mosque or the village headman) from one's annual income. Zakāt, as a general community fund, is for assisting the widows, orphans, the disabled and impoverished individuals, as well as for supporting those who risk their lives in defending the faith and protecting the community. text»

(43) "Terror Case Against 7 Men Underway in Cambodia, " Los Angeles Times (December 29, 2004, p. A7). text»

(44) More specifically, as the First World continued its prosperity, maintained its industrial supremacy and kept its military edge throughout the Cold War – partly by exploiting nearly the entire Third World's markets and trade, and partly by utilizing almost all of the world's natural and intellectual resources – the Soviet adversary and its Second World satellites were in effect bypassed and kept under a de facto commercial sanction that led to their bankruptcy and disintegration. Hence, Russia's Afghan war became the last straw on the camel's back, as the consequent conflict in Chechnya is further exposing Moscow's frailty in a tragic struggle to hold on to an old province inside its own border. Noteworthy about this conflict is the US support of the Islamist Chechens by collaborating with the Georgian government. text»

(45) For instance, about al-Zarqawi, a US general in Iraq has said "The stories about him are almost like he's a ghost." "Face of Terror," Time (December 27, 2004/January 3, 2005, p. 100). text»

(46) "Strains With America," Newsweek (February 7, 2005, p. 33). Similarly, in The New York Times el-Baradei wrote: "The supply network [of clandestine nuclear weapons program] will grow, making it easier to acquire nuclear weapon expertise and materials. Eventually, inevitably, terrorists will gain access to such materials and technology, if not actual weapons" (February 12, 2004, p. A23). text»

(47) It is to be noted, that the concern over the "loose nukes" in the mid 1990s was largely due to allegations of security breach at the nuclear plants in such former Soviet Republics as Belarus, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. To stop the smuggling of these dangerous materials via the Caspian Sea, for example, the United States (since 1995) and Germany (since 1996) have been delivering a number of advanced patrol boats to Kazakhstan. According to the Jane's Fighting Ships 1997 yearbook (p. 391), "This latest Dauntless class was built for the US Defense Nuclear Agency and is to be used by Kazakhstan as a command vessel for the interdiction of nuclear materials being smuggled across the Caspian Sea." Also, see Jane's homepage. However, one must understand that what prompted these deliveries was the nuclear material trafficking apparently already going on for sometime on the Caspian, as detected by the US satellites. text»

(48) The Future of Mankind, p. 59. Consequently, Jaspers refers to some prominent physicists of the time: "According to Baron Manfred von Arden, a German physicist working with the Russians, an atomic blitzkrieg can never prevent retaliation but it is bound to bring it about. Hans Bethe put the situation thus: 'If two opponents armed with hand grenades face each other in a six-by-nine-foot cellar room, how great is the temptation to throw first?' Max Born stated the prevailing view: 'We believe that a war between great powers has become impossible, or will at least become impossible in the near future'" (Ibid.). Needless to say, this general view remained unanimously agreed upon for the rest of the Cold War. For example, "[N]uclear warheads are not weapons, as one normally understands the term. No nation can use them to achieve a political end, since if its bluff were called, it would be left with the option of capitulating or committing national suicide. Nuclear warheads are unusable to halt a conventional attack since their use would almost certainly lead to an all-out nuclear exchange and the destruction of all that we were trying to protect. Nuclear weapons are useful only in a canceling-out process — to deter the other side from using them." George W. Ball, "Sovietizing US Policy," The New York Review of Books, Vol. 31, No. 1, February 2, 1984, p. 34. text»

(49) In the midst of this intellectually challenging situation, the G. W. Bush administration has ordered the development of a "more usable," "new family" of nuclear weapons, which "blur the line between conventional and nuclear weapons." One cannot stress enough how much Osama would love to join this "new family," get at least a handful of these "battlefield nuclear weapons," and pack them in his suitcases. The estimated cost of this "new family" is $96.4 million of the $6.6 billion 2005 budget for the National Nuclear Security Administration. See http://www.mbe.doe.gov/budget/05budget; "Questions Raised About Bomb Plan," Los Angeles Times (11 March 2004); Alliance for Nuclear Accountability, Analysis of FYE 2005 Budget. Amazingly, this same budget has cut funding for the detection of "loose nukes" and biological weapons in the former Soviet Republics. This reduction is about $41 million — a 10% cut. Also: http://www.defenselink.mil/comptroller/defbudget/fy2005/. text»

(50) For a thorough discussion of this serious threat, see Steven M. Block, "The Growing Threat of Biological Weapons," American Scientist, (January–February 2001). Block concludes this article by an admonitory ethical note to the bioweaponeering scientists. This reminds one of Jaspers' prescriptions, "The Scientists and the 'New Way of Thinking'" and "The Power of the Ethical Idea" in The Future of Mankind. The present problem, however, is that the bioweapons have already been made, the Jihadis have a separate set of ethical idea, and they will acquire and use nuclear and biological weapons eventually. This is just a matter of time. text»

(51) See Richard Preston, "Annals of War – The Bioweaponeers," The New Yorker, 9 March 1998, pp. 52–65; or http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/6583/project346.html. text»

(52) Steven M. Block, op. cit., p. 11. text»

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