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 airport bombing;

. 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 Society;"
. 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.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

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.

Best wishes


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 writes:

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.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

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).

Basil Eastwood

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.

[CONTINUES] [ATCA Membership]

I hope you can share this vision. We have many problems to solve. Let's finally start.


Florian Lennert


We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views. Thank you.

Best wishes

For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance (ATCA)

ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001 to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies -- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource shortages; pandemics; financial systems and systemic risk; as well as transhumanism and ethics. Present membership of ATCA is by invitation only and has over 5,000 distinguished members from over 120 countries: including 1,000 Parliamentarians; 1,500 Chairmen and CEOs of corporations; 1,000 Heads of NGOs; 750 Directors at Academic Centres of Excellence; 500 Inventors and Original thinkers; as well as 250 Editors-in-Chief of major media.

The views presented by individual contributors are not necessarily representative of the views of ATCA, which is neutral. Please do not forward or use the material circulated without permission and full attribution.

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