Update on UK Critical Alert & Responses to The Roots
of Terror contribution to ATCA by The Lord Desai
London, UK - 2 July 2007, 11:13 GMT
Dear ATCA Colleagues
[Please note that the views presented by individual contributors are not
necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. ATCA conducts
collective Socratic dialogue on global opportunities and threats.]
The UK's top counter-terrorism officer, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter
Clarke, of the Metropolitan Police, said the links between the three attempted
car bombings were becoming "ever clearer." He described the
investigation into the failed bombings as "extremely fast-moving."
He said forensic searches of vehicles were proving "extremely valuable"
and thousands of hours of CCTV were being sifted through. In other developments:
. Those arrested are believed to be of varying Middle Eastern nationalities;
. A controlled explosion was carried out on a car at the hospital where a
suspect is being treated. It is thought to have been connected to the failed
. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said it was "clear that we are dealing,
in general terms, with people who are associated with Al-Qaeda;"
. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said in a statement that he
"deplored" the attempted attacks and said he would discuss
them with Mr Brown when he visited London next week;
. US President George Bush said the failed bombings showed "the war
against these extremists goes on." He praised "the very strong
response" of the UK government; and
. UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith will make a statement on the situation in
the House of Commons today.
Crossing the Chasm: Evolution towards a Liberal Society; Role of Islam in
Politics; Avoiding Human Catastrophe
We are grateful to:
. Prof Jean Pierre Lehmann, Founder Director, Evian Group, based at IMD Lausanne,
Switzerland, for "Crossing the Chasm: Evolution Towards a Liberal
. HE Basil Eastwood, former British Ambassador to Switzerland & Liechtenstein
and Syria, for "Role of Islam in Politics;" and
. Florian Lennert, Director, Corporate Relations, LSE, from Kigali, Rwanda,
for "Avoiding Human Catastrophe;"
in response to The Lord Desai of St Clement Danes, based at the Palace of
Westminster, London, for his submission to ATCA, "The
Roots of Terror: Islam or Islamism? Distinguishing between Religion and Ideology."
Jean-Pierre Lehmann is Professor of International Political Economy at IMD
International -- Institute for Management Development -- in Lausanne, Switzerland,
since January 1997. His main areas of expertise are the socio-economic and
business dynamics of East Asia, the impact of globalisation on developing
countries and the government -- business interface, especially in respect
to the global trade and investment policy process. In 1994 he launched the
Evian Group, which consists of high ranking officials, business executives,
independent experts and opinion leaders from Europe, Asia and the Americas.
The Evian Group's focus is on the international economic order in the global
era, specifically the reciprocal impact and influence of international business
and the WTO agenda. Jean-Pierre Lehmann acts in various leading capacities
in several public policy institutes and organisations. He obtained his undergraduate
degree from Georgetown University, Washington DC, and his doctorate from St
Antony's College, Oxford University. He is the author of several books and
numerous articles and papers primarily dealing with modern East Asian history
and East Asia and the international political economy.
Prior to joining IMD, Jean-Pierre Lehmann has had both an academic and a business
career which over the years has encompassed activities in virtually all East
Asian and Western European countries, as well as North America. He was (from
1992) the founding director of the European Institute of Japanese Studies
(EIJS) at the Stockholm School of Economics and Professor of East Asian Political
Economy and Business. From 1986 to 1992 he established and directed the East
Asian operations of InterMatrix, a London based business strategy research
and consulting organisation. During that time he was operating primarily from
Tokyo, with offices in Seoul, Taipei, Bangkok and Jakarta and was concurrently
Affiliated Professor of International Business at the London Business School.
Other previous positions include: Associate Professor of International Business
at INSEAD (European Institute of Business Administration) in Fontainebleau,
France; Visiting Professor at the Bologna Center (Italy) of the Johns Hopkins
University School of Advanced International Studies; twice in the 70s Visiting
Professor and Japan Foundation Fellow at the University of Tohoku, Sendai
(Japan); and Founding Director of the Center for Japanese Studies at the University
of Stirling (Scotland), where he also taught East Asian history in the University's
History Department. From 1981 to 1986 he directed the EC-ASEAN 'Transfer of
Technology and Socio-Economic Development Programmes' held in Singapore, Bangkok,
Jakarta, Kuala-Lumpur and Manila. He writes:
Dear DK and Colleagues
Re: Crossing the Chasm: Evolution Towards a Liberal Society
Of course, one can only agree with the judicious comments of Lord Desai within
the ATCA Socratic Dialogue.
In the West, even supposedly educated people are unaware of the unfair imperialist
rulings the West imposed on the Arabs nearly a century ago. Sykes-Picot Agreement?
... ... What's that? Lord Desai rightly points out that such imperialist injustices
and treacheries were also imposed on the Indians, Chinese, and others, but
that they seem to have got over it. Yes, albeit for different reasons and
with a time-lag.
Is it humanity's fate that in order to gain a reasonably decent world, we
must first descend into hell? Of course one must hope not, but this does not
mean that these kinds of scenarios should not be considered. It may then be
more possible to think of effective ways of trying to avoid them than to engage
in wishful-thinking delusion.
HE Basil Eastwood was British Ambassador to Syria from 1996 to 2000 and to
Switzerland & Liechtenstein from 2001 to 2004. He was Director of Research
in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) from 1991 to 1996. As a member
of the British Diplomatic Service from 1966 he also served in Lebanon, Saudi
Arabia, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Germany, Sudan and Greece and was seconded to the
School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London from 2000 to 2001
as Project Director to launch the London Middle East Institute. He first served
in the Middle East, however, in 1962 as a student teacher in Lebanon. He studied
Arabic and Turkish at Oxford.
Since leaving the FCO, Basil Eastwood has worked as a consultant on Arabic
extremist websites, serves on the board of the International Institute for
Sustained Dialogue and takes part in the continuing series of meetings in
its Arab-American-European Dialogue. The western members of this are mostly
former senior government officials. The Arabs come from Egypt, Jordan, Syria,
Lebanon and, as a recent addition, Iraq. All are working for peaceful change
within those countries. Nearly all are senior Islamists, mostly active in,
or associated with, parties or organisations rooted in mainstream Islam. He
Dear DK and Colleagues
Re: Role of Islam in Politics
Discussion of the role of Islam in politics is complicated by the use of ambiguous
or subjective terms such as 'moderate', 'extremist' or 'fundamentalist'. Could
I suggest that in any correspondence inspired by Lord Desai's useful contribution
we seek to avoid these.
Clearly these distinctions can be blurred and sometimes for political reasons.
Moreover movements and individuals can move from one category to another --
as indeed Hamas has done in resorting to arms against fellow Palestinians
(while pleading provocation).
Florian Lennert is Director of Corporate Relations at the London School of
Economics and Political Science, coordinating strategic partnerships with
both business and government agencies, as well being responsible for international
business development. Previously, he was a Director the LSE Foundation, Inc,
in New York and Coordinator of the Centre for the Analysis of Risk and Regulation
at the LSE in London. He holds a BSc in Economics and a Masters of Public
Administration from the LSE. A native of Berlin, Germany, he has in the past
worked for the German federal privatisation agency, the Treuhandanstalt, as
well as the German Institute for Urban Research, where he managed development
projects in Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic on behalf
of the German Federal government. He writes:
Dear DK and Colleagues
Re: Avoiding Human Catastrophe
I would like to agree with and add to the comments by my distinguished mentor
at the LSE, Lord Meghnad Desai. His observation are made with the precision,
compassion and historical understanding that I have long admired.
I hope you can share this vision. We have many problems to solve. Let's finally
We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency
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