It's important not to make the same mistake as did Hannibal when he invaded the Roman Empire via the Alps. Hannibal went on to conquer small towns and villages, thinking that he would conquer Rome after having subdued all minor settlements. Military historians agree that he should have marched on Rome, the center, right away.
If we want to effect radical change, there is no point in achieving progress in the Ukraine, Uganda, or Uruguay.
If we want to change the world effectively, we only have to achieve change in one location: the United States of America. That country carries so much weight that any change achieved there will easily snowball to any other country.
I do not know what the ultimate aim is of Al Qaida? If the ultimate aim is to establish a geographical zone in which Muslims can live as pious as they want, in peace (as they proclaim), then it is a strategic error to attack the US in 9/11 style.
They had such a zone, in Afghanistan, and they could have established it in other parts of the Muslim world if they would not have chosen to attack the US so violently. For violence generates counter-violence, as is evident in Afghanistan and Iraq.
I am not an Islamist. I am very critical of the US but I don't go on a rampage. I indeed want to live in peace, with as little interference in my personal affairs by any state or religion.
If that is one's political wish, there are much more promising strategies to oppose US interference in other parts of the world than to fly planes into US targets.
The most promising strategy would be to change the political balance in the US.
The US is proud of their democratic tradition. But it's not that US presidents and US parliaments would represent actual majorities of US citizens. There are a number of reasons why they don't:
1. In the US political system, only around half of eligible voters do indeed vote. Those who do not vote, as majorities of inner city populations, do not feel that US presidents and parliaments represent their interest. They do not vote because they rightly believe that it doesn't make a difference whether public affairs are run by Democrats or Republicans.
2. Republicans and Democrats may differ on many policy issues, but they agree on a political system that keeps all other parties out. For this reason, they have a winner-takes-all election system (in Ohio in 2004, Bush received just two more votes than Kerry for the electoral college, but thereby carried the state). Voting districts often are not genuine geographical units, but gerrymandered in a manner that assures that either a Republican or Democrat will become a district's representative. This is sophisticated, but immoral electoral cheating. Nobody but the US gets away with that.
3. Elections in the US are publicity contests, decided largely by how much money an electoral camp has to run an advertising campaign promoting their candidates, and smearing opponents. Real political issues are less relevant than how skilled a candidate and his camp is in generating sympathy.
Because so much in the US depends on the media, and because the media is an open market in the US, it is much smarter to use one's war chest to influence US politics and public affairs through the media, rather than trying warfare with abducted planes and suicide bombers. Attacks with a large number of civilian casualties only push people one wants to convince of one's course into the opposite camp.
This is one thing the religious extremists of the Scientology sect have understood much better than the religious extremists of Al Qaida. But their metaphysical system is just as unconvincing.
Of course, the Scientologists, being US-based, are better positioned to employ the most promising tactics (e.g. creeping into Hollywood). But if we (talking on behalf of non-US based activists) know what camp in US elections we best support, even just 10 million US dollars can make a big difference. Ross Perot and Michael Blumberg spend around 70 million each on their political ego trips, and even though their personal ambitions were obvious to most voters in the elections they contested (for US president and New York mayor), they still captured a lot of votes (and Michael Bloomberg even won).
Non-US based entities cannot play a role in US elections as candidates or through their own parties or other organizations. But one thing non-US based entities can do is play the US media. This is possible in several ways:
1. As investors (if they have the means)
2. As advertisers. Newspapers in the US don't ask much who pays for political ads, provided their content is not questionable.
3. As authors, addressing, at least partially, the US public.
The next point on which a decision has to be made is what camp to support in US politics. It doesn't make much sense considering either Republicans or Democrats. Both are stacked with opportunistic career politicians, and for those who want to change the world, to support Democrats or Republicans would be a waste of money and resources.
But whom, then, to support? I would recommend the Libertarian Party [http://www.lp.org/], admittedly a small force in US politics. They claim that they are the third largest party in the US, but they are so far behind the Republicans and the Democrats that most people would not consider them a worthwhile alternative.
They won't win the 2008 presidential election, and not even the 2012 contest. But that doesn't matter. Lifting them to just 10 percent of the vote would have an enormous impact on the US public and political landscape.
Fact is that they really are different. While of course they are romantic illusionists as far as the practicalities of implementing their ides is concerned, their radicalism in matters of personal freedom is inspiring.
It is stupid to believe (as they do) that we could do away with most structures of states and governments and still have a pleasant world to live in. The result of dismantling states and government structures would be mafia types ruling it over peaceful citizens.
On the other hand, I share their high respect for personal freedom. What a person does to his own body, is the person's own business (e.g. in the case of drug use). Where there is consent between two people, and the matter does not affect other people, no government intervention is called for. These are essential ideas about personal freedom on which the Libertarian Party focuses more strongly than any other political organization in the US, and in this, they even express a common sentiment in the US.
Of course the Libertarian Party is wrong in one important, indeed very important aspect: because they want less government involvement in their personal affairs, they propagate weak government. Because they want less laws that interfere with their lives, they want a weaker congress.
But the best prospect for more personal freedom would not be a weaker government but a stronger one. A government of a single state party with a sound ideology of granting a country's citizens as much personal freedom as possible in an as save an environment as possible. A government that doesn't have to deal with any executive problem by first passing a generalizing legislation that covers not just the task at hand but many other possible cases the legislators have impossibly been able to think of. Because such legislation ad definitionem applies equally to all citizens, if forces behavioral patterns where for the citizen's safety, no such behavioral patterns would be needed.
For there are two important misconceptions at the base of Western political philosophy: 1. that the more direct democracy is practiced, the freer a people, and 2. that a rule of law, not of people, provides the most appropriate justice.
But let the US be convinced of these fallacies, because these convictions make them weak, and that's what we want the US to be.
There are two reasons why I advocate that those who want to change the world have a stake in the Libertarian Party.
One is that the Libertarian Party expresses a very valid concern: we want as much personal freedom as possible.
The second is more sinister: because of the many errors in the agenda of the Libertarian Party, to strengthen them will definitely weaken the US. And anything that weakens the US is welcome news for all who oppose a world order by US design.
For example, the Libertarian Party advocates self-determination for ever smaller social entities. OK, let them dismantle the central state, and the federal states. Mid-Western farming communities won't meddle on the world stage.
They support the right for everybody to be armed to the teeth. Great. Let them be consumed in community warfare. They will then be less inclined to send troops abroad.
The Libertarian Party anyway preaches almost total disengagement from world affairs.
Having a stronger Libertarian Party in the US, or more Libertarian philosophy in other parties, would benefit almost everybody who suffers or feels infringed because of US intervention around the world.
A content-wide beneficiary would be South America, which has been a playground for US imperialists and secret service agents since Walter Monroe formulated his infamous doctrine.
Muslims in other parts of the World who just want to be left in peace would benefit as non-interference is a cornerstone of US foreign policy as envisioned by the Libertarian Party.
Anybody in the world who is incarcerated for drug use because of US machination could pin some hope on the Libertarian Party, and so could all their relatives who want their family member back, for the Libertarian Party advocates the liberty to used drugs as one wishes, and the release of all who have been convicted in drug cases.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is no point in achieving progress in the Ukraine, Uganda, or Uruguay. Everybody who wants real change in the world will be more effective working for change in the United States. And supporting the Libertarian Party, or Libertarian ideas, offers considerable leverage. So, I call on all those who are interested in destabilizing the US while presumably supporting US political ideals to think of ways to support the Libertarian Party. I assume that more than anything else, financial help will do the trick.
Political machinations on par with the strategic considerations outlined in this article have so far been the realm primarily of the CIA. The CIA has long understood that in the worldwide political chess game, you can support organizations in a targeted country not so much because you share their vision but because of the net effect that supporting such organizations has on the political landscape.
The CIA has a long record of "peaceful" (mostly financial) undercover support for destabilizing forces in targeted countries. Such forces include pro-democracy activists, press-freedom advocates, religious lunatics, ethnic independence movements, and so on. Hollywood plays a part in the game, too, projecting an image in targeted countries that in America, everybody is rich, and that adopting an American system, and becoming an American ally, will allow the people of a poorer country to become rich, too.
The strategies of the CIA and other US institutions applying similar tactics have worked well time and again, and they did play a part in the demise of the soviet empire. More recent cases were the Ukraine and some former parts of the Soviet Union in central Asia.
Only on one target the strategy has so far not worked, and that is China. They do many things right in China, and indeed, China is by far the best candidate to be the world's number one player when the US will have succumbed. And by all indications, I will be happy with that.