This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

August 13, 2008

The Danger of Ignorance

In his landmark monograph released earlier this year, Professor John Alexander, with the United States Joint Special [Military] Operations University, outlines the threat of ignoring the widespread political and social unrest in Central and South America. The document titled "Intelligence Scotomas [Blindspots] in Central and South America" details country-by-country the lack of security and sounds an alarm for the developed world to take notice.

From Brazil's drug gangs in and out of prisons to the corruption and violence in Paraguay, from the outright terrorist attacks in Argentina, to the kidnappings in numerous countries including Columbia, criminal activity with ties to Islamic terrorism is a growing threat.

Alexander points out numerous ties between illicit activities and terrorist groups, citing specifics, e.g., a US State Department report affirms "The United States remains concerned that [Hezbollah] and HAMAS were raising funds in the TBA [infamous Tri-Border Area of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil] by participating in illicit activities and soliciting donations from extremists with in the sizable Muslim communities in the region..."

According to Alexander, "Aggressive application of American foreign policies has alienated large segments of the world's population. . .[and] in reality, there are no simple solutions". One solution he proposes is to stop "the biopiracy". (Biopiracy is the theft by Big Pharma of indigenous plants for their curative values from the native peoples and forests.) By eliminating the theft of this intellectual property and rewarding the countries of origin appropriately, the resources for development would be available.

Second, Alexander suggests "Land Reform versus Agribusiness", choosing to distribute wealth more equitably, by giving landless peasants a fighting chance at subsistence and moving away from the growth of products used to make biofuels. Though opponents argue that this redistribution of land might result in increased deforestation for agriculture, "the problem is not hunger, but poverty". Presuming the current trend toward populist control continues, greater restrictions on extensive corporate land development are likely.

Expect more segments of the population to influence social and economic developments. Another continuing concern for the region will be competition of low-cost labor between Latin American and Asian countries. The developed world can not afford to ignore these connections.

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