Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Interviews: me, Langewiesche
Meanwhile, I wanted to post a link to my NewsQuake interview with William Langewiesche. Unfortunately the author of The Atomic Bazaar wasn't able to furnish a photo of himself playing a cherry-red Epiphone electric, but he did talk extensively and provocatively about nuclear proliferation, A.Q. Khan, and the need for a foreign policy based on dried-eyed pragmatism. Here's a sample exchange:
Langewiesche: Look, most governments today tend to look at the world in purely governmental terms. Fifty years ago, when much of the world was purely governmental, that made sense. But now you see a world in which the nation-state means less and less, and is increasingly a formality. We have a very difficult time acknowledging that.
Netscape: Certainly your last two books have described a borderless and (in some sense) lawless world.
Langwiesche: Oh, we don't have a difficult time acknowledging the lawlessness of the world--we're much concerned by it. What we're really conducting, in fact, is a global War On Disorder. But here's the confusing part: many of these disorderly places are not actually disorderly. They're just non-governmental. With the exception of a few weeks here and there, during periods of acute revolution and turmoil, there is some sort of organic power structure in place. It can be nominally criminal, or ideological, but it's always there. There's always something. And we do have the ability to tap into these power structures and work with them, even if we don't like them.