Let's hear it for Paul Rogers

Anthony Barnett
Anthony Barnett
8 October 2002

Paul Rogers has become a companion, carefully walking us through the minefield some call world government.

He has been writing his global security column for a year. All fifty are listed in the Authors Index.

It’s worth saying again. In effect, Paul’s column started six months prior to 11 September when he and Scilla Elworthy talked to a private London gathering. Paul warned us that the future would be marked by terrorism, high-technology warfare and massive unrest. If we are not careful, he continued, global warming will ensure it gets worse not better for a good half-century.

I said I was not convinced. Compared to the other processes of globalisation, the threat of terrorism seemed to me to be trivial.

After 9/11 I realised that Paul had understood something I had missed completely. His warning was not the sound of a vacuous leftist alarm clock trying to wake the masses from the dreams of capitalism.

He had measured the gathering clash.

What he saw coming was not only al-Qaida but also the likely scale and character of America’s response. He was well ahead.

In October 2001 his first openDemocracy column assessed the likelihood of an American assault on Iraq. You read it here first.

Why this should make me feel good, I don’t know. Perhaps pride, that readers round the world, including some in high places who ought to know, turn to Paul to learn what is going on.

Despite our commitment to contested debates, no one has yet come forward with a critical rebuttal of his assessments. Very soon openDemocracy will have a wonderful new website which will make it much easier to post your disagreements and debate the issues Paul - and our other authors - raise.

We will leave the Pilot behind and go over to the full model. As we do so we will have more columnists. Last week we started one from New Delhi. Rajeev and Tani Bhargava will be writing once a month. The idea is not that they report on India. We have asked them to address the world from their vantage point at the centre of the world’s greatest democracy.

This week it’s the turn of Globolog. Caspar Henderson is our globalisation editor. When he joined the team a deluge of witty links and sharp alerts filled our inbox. We asked him to make them public. Even if he cannot entirely prevent it, I believe that if any one person can cool down global warming through global warnings, it is Caspar Henderson.

Don’t leave him to do it on his own, though. The temperature’s rising… send your inside story to his Globolog.

Anthony Barnett

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