Mohsen Abdelmoumen: In your opinion, what are the real issues of rapprochement between Turkey and Russia?
Michel Rogalski: It is a temporary alliance that perhaps will not stand the test of time, even if a dimension of the alliance focuses on sustainable aspects, as the energy chapter that assumes a long industrial cooperation to succeed. The two countries need to get out of their relative isolation, so all pushes them for now to get closer. Determined from longtime, the Erdogan’s visit to Moscow was « boosted » by the coup attempt in Turkey and not much solidarity reaction of Western countries or of European Union and NATO. Russia can so take again its gas pipeline plan to southern Europe and associate Turkey to it, by means of some advantages. The military component is a real innovation. For the first time, a country of NATO which plays a role that is not erased, buys Russian arms and enrolls in a military-industrial cooperation. It’s an unprecedented that confirms the margin of autonomy of Turkey in relation to his traditional allies. For Russia, this allows it to consolidate its presence in the Middle East and assert itself more strongly as a key player in the search for a solution both military and political in the conflicts in the region. Turkey sees confirm its right to the territorial integrity, so a permit to harden its position against the Kurds who appear as victims of Turkish-Russian rapprochement. On the other hand, Erdogan will have to soften his hostility to the Assad regime and have to resign himself to accept his presence for some time and at least support him throughout the negotiations. As long as Turkey will not too ostentatiously display its sympathy for Islamist forces in the region, it can maintain good relations with Russia. This also applies to the Western countries.
Don’t you think that Europe that wanted to isolate Russia by adopting the American choices is isolated itself, to the extent that Russia has won a strategic ally with Turkey?
It would be an exaggeration to say that Europe is isolated. Europe is confronted with a partner – Turkey – that regained margins of freedom, and will therefore be less docile on the records it manages with the European Union, particularly the displaced people from the Middle East who want to reach Europe. The association’s record to the EU remains for now totally blocked but the enthusiasm of both parties was sweetened over the years. And Europe no longer has a regional ally that can be easily mobilized in the Syrian conflict. This also applies to the United States. The anti-Assad coalition strongly supported by Europe will be weakened because of the greater autonomy of the Turkish regional ally.
Can the Syrian crisis be resolved militarily or the only option is it eminently political?
Between the Syrian factions the return to peace necessarily involves a political agreement in which the United Nations involvement must be very strong. For the dimension of the conflict regarding the jihadists no negotiations are planned – because there is nothing to negotiate – and the confrontation will remain military and is not limited to the Syrian territory.
What do you think of the Algerian position which is against the intervention of foreign powers in Libya and for a resolution of the Libyan crisis through a political solution? According to you, does Algeria remain a major key in the resolution of the Libyan crisis?
Algeria very much fears the rise of an Islamist wave in Libya. Its long border makes it quite rightly fear the possible contagion effect. And it no longer wants to dive back into the bloody Decade of the 1990s, where it had been faced with the GIA. That is why, wary by the chaos that followed the Western intervention in Libya, it fears any new military conflagration and pushed for a political resolution of the Libyan crisis. Through its history, its extent, its experience, Algeria is an important player in the evolution of the Maghreb and the Sahel area. Its anti-jihadist commitment had led it to authorize flights over its territory during the French intervention in Mali. This commitment is a constant in its diplomacy.
The American intervention in Iraq in 2003, product of the policy of George W. Bush and Tony Blair, and then the intervention in Libya, product of Sarkozy’s policy, don’t they constitute major historical facts that may lead the neocons’ administration and their allies to the ICC rather than see in this organization small African dictators?
Never the United States or their citizens will not be brought in the ICC because they have been careful to not join the ICC and it has no jurisdiction to try them. And when they intervene in a country, they demand of this country that their nationals are beholden only to American justice. A US soldier depends only on the justice of his country and thus escapes to any other national or international court. It’s one of privileges of the power. Your remark about the « clientele » of the ICC is right and is the subject of debate in various African authorities. But today the withdrawal of African countries – sometimes proposed – from the ICC would kill it, and would be the signal of a « license to kill » for African dictators.
I follow regularly your works, including a recent search where you have established a convergence between tax havens, corruption, mafias and organized crime. What do you think about attempts made by ideologists and other capitalism’s theorists who want to reform it while one of its consequences is to have created a mafia system? Does this mafia power that you describe feed, among other things, on international terrorism? And can we say that the world is run by Mafiosi?
The works accumulate that show all a development of corruption, mafias, criminal economy, and tax havens. These aspects, by their importance, cannot be presented as anomalies and slag that should be eliminated in order that everything comes back to normal. Evidence has emerged that all of this makes system and that the proper functioning of liberal globalization requires such faults. Having learned very quickly to tame globalization, mafia networks have organized themselves and now connect over the planet by defying boundaries and the legislation’s differences. They knew take as model the way the transnational firms preceded them on this matter. Taking advantage of the opportunity presented by the explosion of liberal and financial globalization since some decades, these networks have used all the machinery and have become, through vast laundering, quasi-official interlocutors. Because it is necessary to enjoy what was generated by its crime and use legally what was acquired illegally. Thus financial liberalization allows to the winners of the last wave of globalization to get closer in a mutual benefit, allowing to some to enjoy their package for a reasonable tithe and to others to increase profits and be able to benefit from a dubious windfall that will inflate their treasury already comfortable.
Few areas escape these mafia activities. Trade and illicit trafficking have historically accompanied drugs and weapons and have generated huge profits reinvested immediately and extended to other lucrative sectors such as real estate or tourism. Prostitution, whose profits were used to fuel the money of banditry and gang, get organized in international networks practicing humans trafficking. The dislocation of the Balkans and the convulsions of Eastern Europe have thus boosted prostitution networks on the continent, as well as those engaged in arms trafficking. Some areas have found specializations related to their natural resources such as heroin in Asia, cocaine in Latin America, hashish in the Maghreb. Others took advantage of the windfall to be on useful routes and have collected tithes generating corruption and mafia economy. Migration flows were immediately « accompanied » by smuggling networks and by suppliers of false documents both during the journey and on arrival. Candidates for exile and migrants are now delivered to this racketeering, which is organized in networks. Rarities, regulations, price fluctuations appear to be bargains in which rush traffickers of all kinds, metal, human organs, works of art. Counterfeiting is out of its traditional field of luxury goods flooding the market of fake medicines, causing victims among the poorest populations. Major sporting events and major sports clubs are openly suspected of corrupt practices. Computers and internet networks have become holders of criminal activity which the authors always have a step ahead of their parry. Tax havens are certainly getting better identified and gradually yield to international pressure, but still be active in the service at the same time of thugs, firms, a minority of the richest, banks and states with the greatest jealously protect theirs, saying they are necessary for their economic prosperity.
Offshore financial centers – tax havens – have proliferated and are the arrival point of these criminal activities. Everything converges there, hides, blurs the tracks, and goes to assault of new businesses. The worst is that most of these activities comply with the legal rules and are recommended by many law firms who quickly saw a vein of specialization, to the point of being become the annexed organic workings of the implemented system. Today, it can be argued that the forms taken by globalization have become criminogenic.
Interview realized by Mohsen Abdelmoumen
Who is Michel Rogalski?
Michel Rogalski, an economist at the CNRS (The National Center for Scientific Research), is director of the magazineRecherches Internationales (International Research) in Paris. He taught at the University of Paris I and the School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences, and was scientific director of the Franco-Belgian magazine Worlds in Development founded by François Perroux. He received a decoration of Algeria for the help provided in its fight for independence.
Published in American Herald Tribune, September 12, 2016: http://ahtribune.com/politics/1196-michel-rogalski.html
In French in Palestine Solidarité: http://www.palestine-solidarite.org/analyses.mohsen_abdelmoumen.130916.htm
In French in Arrêt sur Info: http://arretsurinfo.ch/michel-rogalski-les-formes-empruntees-par-la-mondialisation-sont-devenues-criminogenes/