REVIEWSrnThe Fire Next Timernby Gregory D. PalmerrnTriumph of Disorder:rnIslamic Fundamentalism,rnThe New Face of Warrnbv Morgan NorvalrnBend, OR: Sligo Press; 306 pp., $25.95rnMorgan Norval shares with this re-rniewer one characteristic both ofrnus may soon have cause to regret: We livernnear Washington, D.C., one of the primerncandidates for a major terrorist attackrnwith unconventional weapons in thernnear future, an attack in which the victimsrnwill be numbered in the hundredsrnof thousands. Among those in the Washingtonrnapparat in the best position tornknow, a growing number talks sotto vocernabout getting out of town before it is toornlate.rnThe wake-up call should have beenrnthe World Trade Center bombing inrn1993. The meager death toll obscures arnkey fact that has received insufficient attenhon:rnThe United States already wouldrnhave suffered its first acknowledged foreignrnterrorist strike resulting in massrndeaths if the sodium cyanide plantedrnwith the conventional bomb had notrnburned but, as intended, vaporized asrncyanide gas.rnIn April 1995, the Baltimore Sun reportedrnthat federal authorities at Los AngelesrnInternational Airport had apprehendedrnhvo Japanese men believed to bernmembers of the Aum Shinri Kyo cult,rnwhich shortly before had killed severalrnpeople (again, far fewer than would haverndied if the attack had gone off as planned)rnin a sarin poison gas attack on the Tokyornsubway. According to the Sun, the menrnapprehended at LAX were carrying instructionsrnon how to make sarin andrnplanned to hit Disneyland during one ofrnthe fireworks displays on Easter weekend,rnwhen the crowd would have been at itsrnpeak. Tlie next day, the Justice Departmentrnclaimed the whole thing was a falsernalarm. “It just didn’t happen,” said arnspokesman. The Pentagon refused torncomment, and the Japanese National Policernchose “neither to confirm nor deny.”rnOne is left with the distinct impressionrnthat something very significant almost occurredrnbut that the authorities have aboutrnas much intention of letting the rubes inrnon this secret as on the persistent andrncredible reports of foreign (namely, radicalrnIslamic) connections to the 1995 OklahomarnCity bombing and the 1996rnlAVA 800 explosion. After all, as long asrnall terrorist actions or intentions can berntagged on American retrogrades, the onlvrnreasonable response is more federal “haterncrimes” legislation, more gun control,rnand maybe clamping down on talk radiornand the Internet. On the other hand, terrorism,rnif seen as an imported phenomenon,rnbecomes far more problematic forrnthe regime, an indictment both of Americanrnimmigration policies and of the glaringrnidiocies in foreign policy management.rn(With regard to the latter point,rnthe Cato Institute recentiy compiled anrnexhaustive report linking the increasedrnterrorist threat to Americans to our indiscriminatelyrninterventionist policies, AsrnC>ato notes, the link has been acknowledgedrnby both the Pentagon’s DefensernScience Board and by Bill Clinton.)rnMr. Norval is the executive director ofrnthe Selous Foundation, a Washingtonrnf).C.-based think tank concerned withrnunconventional warfare, terrorism, andrnthe collapse of societies and cultures. Hernhas written extensively on subversion andrnterrorism in southern Africa, a theaterrnthat in manv ways epitomizes the transitionalrnphase from the Cold War to therncurrent disorder, where the lines betweenrnstate violence and prixate mayhem,rnbetween warfare and crime, are increasinglyrnillusory. The African NationalrnCongress, now in power in the “new”rnSouth Africa largely because of the brutalrndeaths it inflicted on thousands of innocents,rnhas become the legitimating examplernfor such kindred groups as the KosovornLiberation Army, whose commandersrnare being welcomed to the United Statesrnfor “democracy training,” Ciinton-st)le.rnIn retrospect, the Persian Gulf Warrnmay have been the swan song of an internationalrnsystem characterized by confrontationsrnbetween industrial states fieldingrnmassed armies on a defined front.rnThe warfare of the future will increasinglyrnbe the province of non-state actorsrncompeting with both national governmentsrnand international entities like thernUnited Nations and NATO in their effortsrnto intimidate enemy populationsrnand to manipulate opinion through thernmass media—as we have already seen inrnthe Gulf War and the Balkan conflicts,rncourtesy of CNN. The result will be anrnintensification of the current internationalrnexperiment in chaos theory: “There isrna connection between the rise of terrorism,”rnwrites Mr. Norval, “the anarchy ofrnthe former Soviet Union, the riots in LosrnAngeles, Islamic fundamentalists poisedrnto take over Muslim countries, and thernlocal thugs who threaten your life andrnlimb.”rnAs the subtitle of Mr. Norx-al’s book indicates,rnthe forces of resurgent Islam willrnplay a major—perhaps decisive—role inrnthe unfolding era of turmoil:rnThe infidel—those that aren’t Muslimsrn—fit the bill for the militant Islamicrnfundamentalist. In thernminds of the radical fundamentalist,rnif one isn’t enlightened enoughrnto see the righteousness of Islam,rnthat person is a subhuman being.rnThe infidel is pictured as evil andrnloathsome, deserving to be killed asrnan enemy of God.rnJust as the gutters and back alleys ofrnWeimar Germany favored the hands —rnred or brown —tough enough to win arnno-holds-barred fight to the death, thern”triumph of disorder” will give a Darwinianrnedge to creeds that sanctify thernmost calculated application of violencernand terror: surival of the most ruthless.rnIt is only a matter of time before terroristsrnstrike enemy civilian populations withrnthe most fearsome weapons ever made,rnweapons which even the governmentsrnthat developed them have hesitated tornuse.rnThe opportunities for the use of suchrnweapons will rise as the population of thernThird World becomes increasingly mobile.rnAs Mr. Norval observes:rnThere are over ten million Muslimsrnin [Western] Europe and Islamrnhas become the second largestrnreligion in many non-Muslimrncountries. There are about fivernmillion Muslims in North America,rnand Islam is the second largestrnreligion in both the United Statesrnand Canada.. . . During the nextrnhalf-century, the world’s populationrnAUGUST 1999/33rnrnrn