AfroIslamic Gap v. New Core, Reloaded

Earlier, after terrorists exported trouble from Pakistan to India, I urged readers to view the event through PNM Theory and particularly the PNM/tdaxp synthesis that sees the world divided into several zones

1. The Old Core (North America, Western Europe, Japan)
2. The New Core (Brazil, India, China, etc)
3. The Seam (Cuba, South Africa, Philippines, etc.)
4. The Non-Integrating Gap (Congo, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, etc)

The higher your country up in this list, the nicer your citizens’ lives are, the less likely they are to die of starvation, the less likely your women are likely to be raped as a tool of warfare, the less likely your child will die of starvation. All in all, it’s fantastic to be born in the Old Core, pretty good to be born in the New Core, somewhat acceptable to be born in the Seam, and a Hobbesian nightmare in the Gap.

A State in the Hobbesian Gap

Part of the Terror of the Gap is that it exports terrorism, death, and disease from the Gap to the Seam and the Core. Lebanon’s Civil War’s envelopment of Israel is yet another example of this example. We are not seeing in Lebanon “collective punishment” or a “lethal care wreck.” We are seeing something that has always existed in the world: the attempted destruction of the good by the bad. Lebanon’s export of violence and death to Israel is analogous to Afghanistan’s export of violence and death to America, or any of the other recent acts of terrorism against civilized countries.

Fortunately, the success of global capitalism teaches us how this will end: the spread of the Core to the four corners of the world, and the eradication of war as we know it. Between now and that end of history good decisions can be made, and the nature of that final peace can be tweaked this way and that. Much work is to be done, and billions of lives hang in the balance.

Yet when we see specific cases like the current Lebanon-Israel conflict, we know what’s going on: the Gap is exporting violence to the Core. If you want a true end to this mess, don’t worry about shuttle diplomacy and magic bullets. Instead: Shrink the Gap, primarily through structural economic and security connectivity.

6 thoughts on “AfroIslamic Gap v. New Core, Reloaded”

  1. Interesting but you're assuming a few things that are far from concrete.

    – IRAN & SYRIA are exporting instability to Israel through the proxy they largely created and support, Hezbollah.
    – Thus Lebanon is a “pawn”, and especially for Iran & Syria, it has a restless population of Shia who by and large support Hezbollah, which is far more than a terrorist group and not much less than a full blown nationalist movement (with their convulted vision of what they “want” Lebanon to be).
    – You overlook the impact of history and the recent actions of Israel, which has had a negative impact on creating security connectivity over the last 30 years with the exception of peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt. Israel fails to understand that without providing some semblance of security for the rest of its neighbors, it will never have full security.

    Lastly, was not Beirut a post-war economic hub of activity, diplomacy and trade? I see IAF aircraft DESTROYING the very infrastructure that Lebanon (or any other GAP sector) needs to become a SEAM state. Airports, major highways, bridges, etc etc…. they're all being hit by IAF bombs and rendered useless. Billions of dollars of damage… how is this building connectivity and security?

  2. A beautiful illustration of the intellectual impoverishment of politico-military “theory” (aka whanking trying to pretend to be analysis a la actual sciences).

    I would, however, suggest that a modicum of understanding of the Indo-Pak conflict (just to take your completely idiotic opening) would be advised – both historical and current.

  3. “IRAN & SYRIA are exporting instability to Israel through the proxy they largely created and support, Hezbollah.”

    It sounds like IRAN and Syria have their own PNM theory. They are shrinking their gap (western influence, non islamic friendly states).

  4. Yes Louns, we need to better “understand” the reasons why terrorist kill innocent people in commuter trains. How insensitive of us Americans to dare voice our opinions about misunderstood Islamists who blow up people on their way to work. I'll read up on the India-Pakistan conflict to finally understand why would someone would be driven to blow up hundreds of civilians. After all, these extremists are just victims of our misunderstanding and our ignorance, right?

  5. Eddie,

    Your first two listed “assumptions” are either self-evident or meaningless. On a state level of analysis, obviously Iran and Syria export instability to Israel — they dislike Israel. One a system level of analysis (which I find more meaningful) Iran and Syria export instability as they are in the Gap and Israel is New Core. They are different kinds of states. It is not a matter of fault, morality, or any of that.

    Israel signing a treaty with Egypt doesn't export security to Egypt — friendship with the United States exports security to Egypt. If you are advocating Israel export security to her neighbors, you are demanding that Israel use its military to reduce the sovereignty of her neighbors. Leaving aside that this would be very unpopular with the neighboring Arab states or their populations, American foreign policy over the last 50 years has been skeptical of such actions by smaller countries. (The last serious attempt by Israel to export security was in the Suez Crisis. She had international allies in Britain and France. Recall America's reaction.) (Ironically, if you count Israeli intervention in Lebanon's civil war as that sort of security export, your opposition to the action is puzzling!)

    If instead you mean that Israel should act as just another regional deputy of the United States (say, another Britain, or Australia) you underestimate the nature of Israel's neighborhood. Israel is a completely front-line state against the Gap. She is under regular attack. It would be responsible for both Israel and the United States to expect the Jewish state to primarily be a platform from which to launch American actions.

    Or perhaps you mean that Israel should not attempt an interventionist foreign policy (The first option), or a multilateral foreign policy (the second option), but instead try to contain the Gap outside her borders. This would involve Israel disengaging from the Gap wherever possible, and meeting force with counterforce to prevent Gap incursions. This is the majority of the Sharon/Omert policy.

    Arguing that “Beirut was a local hub, so cannot be part of the Gap” is like saying “Bangkok is a local hub, so cannot be part of the Seam.” (I'd also question you on the nature of damage — recall that the KSA is a major investor in Lebanon and has been generally supportive of the intervention.) (Also, the obvious answer is “by militarily destroying the only local opponent of connectivity.)


    Your commentary is not Leftist, but nor do they deserve reply.


    Iran definitely wants to build an alternative political core, but that is not a “Core” in the sense that the Global Core is. The United States protects a global economic system with a common security force. Iran is attempting to build a regional security area with oil revenues. The Islamic Republic's creation is infinitely poorer, and less sustainable.


    They do those actions for the same reason we do are actions — to win. We should be empathetic — but there is no need to be sympathetic to monsters.

  6. Dan,

    My comments were made tongue in cheek. Regardless of what Lounsbury said, I don't think I need to have extensive knowledge of the India-Pak conflict to come to the conclusion that a terrorist attack against civilians in a train is morally wrong to say the least. I would much rather be an intellectual idiot than a moral idiot.

  7. Well, Danny boy, your impoverished commentary ain't me primary problem, but it remains fucking moronic.

    Primo, no fucking question of “excusing” fuck all (and I may add Sonny's comment is in the same vein as your own, ignoramus navel gazing whinging), rather the idea of “exporting” is idiocy from the start.

    Ind-Pak seperation began with a mutual blood-bath and the story has continued since. Only an ignoramus would qualify the continued bomibings as “exporting” – it is bloody part and parcel of their sad relationship.

    I leave aside the moronic pseudo-theorising re Core or blah blah, it has about as much merit as the bloody whanking on by the Lit Crit people, insofar as you have about the same level of understanding of the relevant actors factors, and you impose you own “theory” assumptions to create “explanations” — whanking the lot of it. Whanking by bloody graduate students w/o bloody real sense of what the bloody fuck they are dealing with.

  8. Sonny,

    Even tongue-in-cheek, your comments are more substantive than a few others I've read. 🙂


    It's great to have a troll. Welcome aboard!

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