Most regions have fascinating tales: nights in Arabia, tales from the Don, midsummer dreams, Druid stones and Gothic tales; the Balkan badlands with their many ghosts, sacrifice of one, young and beautiful, for the sake of the whole; undoing by night, what was achieved in the day, tales of an empty church and a lamb that warned its master, the shepherd of a plot to end his life.
As I follow discourse on terrorism, not an imagined story another T slips back into my mind. I hear Trilogy tell me that even to imagine let alone plan an efficient and effective response to imminent disaster on a nuclear scale is far beyond any competence of any government or criminal organization. It requires a legitimate, powerful, effective and resourceful international body for regulation and resolution.
While no Aeschylus the Trilogy does provide some edge of ones seat reading as it moves with action to provide tentative answers of how to deal with the returning evil as terror and terrorism spread. It is an imaginative affair with central players carrying important roles. Norland an FBI agent ordered to find the terrorists responsible for attacks on US soil uncovers infected intelligence channels in the Balkans. It told him that he has to find his way to Macedonia. But which Macedonia? Samuelson a Swedish police officer discovers the presence of immigration moles from Macedonia in his country’s administration. His superiors decide that he must travel to Macedonia to tease out the details. Again the same question, whose Macedonia?
Xavier in France is at work uncovering a plot against his country with roots in Skopje and historical ties to an assassination in Marseille. The Frenchman believes that his unique knowledge can save the world. Kimon representing Greek intelligence is ordered to track down the criminal group that has executed bombing attacks in Greek cities. His excellent knowledge of the Balkan environment is a tremendous asset while his lack of a cautious temperament can compromise him. Maybe he is the academic on the move too fast to be tied down. Yuri still drinks Slivovitz as his only comfort. Norland finds Sasha real and drinks good wine with the Indiana basketball security chief. They all live between strange worlds, fuzzier than fuzzy logic, in and out of the Balkans now at the end of its tether with its growingbank of shifting terrorist cells.
T poses important questions such as are we doing everything we can to maintain and improve communications in order to restrain and stop evil wherever it pops up? Are the powers that be prepared to withdraw their fantasy plans for world domination to ensure the survival of mankind? The late Stephen Hawkins suggested that we should have our tickets ready for the flight of the phoenix to other worlds. Will the vulnerable be left behind?
Today the world needs a ticket to somewhere, to a beautiful world of somewhere. Not that this world lacks beauty! It has great beauty even as it runs down from pollution, melts from planetary warming, burns down from forest fires, its top soil swept away by erosion and runs the risk of nuclear meltdown. In a world of greed of a small few, the significant needs of the many with growing ugly inequality aided by a growing asymmetry as great wealth between is accumulated in a few pockets in America and Russia. Unfortunately, there are too many worlds going nowhere for far too many. We need a ticket to a fresh world series.
Fortunately, there are still unwritten places, unfinished symphonies, unmarked passages, some dreams to make come true before we reach our final resting place. It can only come from the human mind before it takes a plunge into a sea of social dementia.
Imagination is a product of our intelligence residing within the brain. Indeed all of man’s culture, all of the world’s intellectual constructs is products of his brain. Every thing that exists comes through the human mind. The problem is that human nature has many sides, wonderful and not so, a dark side, to which nationalism and para-militarism appeal and a light, bright and good side, altruistic. Our species has a genius for cooperation, which we see in the growth of culture. Our modern civilization has been built up by means of a worldwide exchange of ideas and inventions through a mixture of languages and by education that have precipitated great art, music and literature.
In my Balkan fantasy I have already told a telling tale. You might jump to the conclusion that it is part of the new era of disinformation, complex and mainly undetectable. Well it is and it isn’t. My fantasy resides in my imagination while the Trilogy on which it is based lies heavy on my desk. Outside of T, I am concerned that advances in artificial intelligence will not only drive robotics but will also control the news in fake. And the anchorman will tell us and that's the way the world is tonight. But it won't be anything like that. The West it seems to me should prepare better for the coming world of fakery and waves of a new quackery that artificial intelligence canl precipitate. Trilogy has already got its teeth into it and into me titillating my fancy and more interest in the Balkans.
Trilogy is a tale of unkept promises, promises made easily but never kept. We meet organized crime across the centuries, Alexander the Great’s intelligence tactics to identify criminals, malevolent groups from the Ukraine, Scythians, Eastern Slavs and religious Bogomils as well criminal elements lurking in the depths of international meetings, from Ohrid with attempts to resolve Slav-Albanian conflict and Islamic involvement presented with the orders of the Prophet. Two question pop up of how to protect Alexander's great legacy amid accusations of Iranian involvement and how he appears in the Koran.
Lessons leap from pages; there is nothing that a man can't achieve when life is at risk and he uses his brain, that the West is best when it comes to strength and intelligence but keep a better grip on both and if missions are to be accomplished in the Balkans, clearer goals are needed and much more accurate intelligence.
Trilogy tells us that to prepare for an imminent disaster on a nuclear scale is beyond the competence of any government and that no country can be fully prepared, no disaster management team can be sufficiently well organised. PMJ tells us that if old denominations and campaign plans are put into practice we should be prepared for the time when coffins return. Here, is made a direct reference to Viet Nam some years ago and to Turkey at war today with the Kurds today. Here he points to Einstein’s dictum that a higher analytical level of complexity is necessary than the conditions that set it in motion.
In the West many believe that evil has been contained but PM suggests that it is being looked upon too naively and that it all seems wrong. It seems that we are dealing with a beast that only sometimes sleeps, that all forms of evil are back penetrating our societies striking at democracy and that they don’t act alone but use willing accomplices. PMJ suggests that any involvement in Balkan affairs should be planned carefully before making action-oriented decisions. In such a historical region where politics and crime, history and war, conflict and religion are all strongly interconnected decisions may contain many ghosts.
America is being misled and intelligence channels are intentionally contaminated by moles. Fake news is leading leadership to huge policy mistakes. Moles penetrate American administration, Russian Spies penetrate US agencies and NATO is targeted. Sasa’s father failed to penetrate the Pentagon and in the name of his father he seeks revenge. Fortunately, his stash of slivovitz is almost done while Pilgrim is ever present and the Saracen will fail.
Can Trilogy’s prescriptions deal with criminal networks at war with fundamental rights, with enemies within, human trafficking and smuggling? I doubt it. It needs much more.
In Skopje we were dealing with the deterrence of terrorism through resilience building, the need to diminish abuse of power against victims and the improvement of governance to help countries prepare counterterrorism policies and to face inhuman terrorist strikes. Dominance of any kind, cultural, scientific has its origins in the brain and must be checked. Fortunately, there are still unwritten places, unfinished symphonies, much unrecognized talent and many unmarked resting places. Trilogy can make its mark with a tale well told.