(…the American flags are on fire today all over the Middle East, and it is not about money, or political ideology, it is Culture -with the big “C”….!)
Right now, my friends, the world is irrupting on fire against the U.S.A. from the British embassy in Tunisia to Bangladesh and all over the Islamic Middle East with more than 20 nations accounted for and burning thing up, killing and vandalizing anything that resembles U.S. Western culture. None of this will bring anything good for the forth coming years in U.S. Foreign Policy. Whoever takes the White House after Nov 6, 2012 will have a full plate.
In view of the Middle East U.S. dilemma and the upcoming election, it might be a good time to revisit the incredible writing and historical legacy of Samuel P. Huntington: The Clash of Civilizations? 1996, first edition.
Samuel Huntington told us, he advised us to be preventive in foreign affairs when geopolitics deals with distinctive cultures. Anyone who has read the book knows that we’re beginning to see that Samuel was right on target.
It is not my intention to dramatize the issue here but I believe that The Four-Horsemen of The Clash of Civilizations was unleashed four days ago with unpredictable fury. It was fueled by culture-religious and ignorance; whether it be by the ill-rage, extremist, hatred of the Islamic radicals or by the stupidity of a of dope head in California’s film portraying an “insane-sex-maniac Mohammad” that went spiraling across the Middle East.
We must remember that the killing, riots and ill-hatred for the U.S. is all culturally man-made as Samuel’s geographical lines tell us the separation between “us” and “them” is a sharp and clear distinction. There are no divine or green alien entities here no matter how much the main-stream-media butters up the issue. It is all about cultural-construct ideas as to how the world must be whether for peace progress or war. Of course, the U.S. is the richest country in the world (despite the fact that we still have third-world-countries in our own backyard) yet we own the responsibility of worldwide order.
So what we’ve seen these past days shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone; the attacks against the U.S. is here to stay and will continue to come by peoples’ rage, hatred, or envy. The U.S. geopolitics is at the mercy of the very humanness intolerance because of its own secular deeds as a bastion of freedom and democracy around the world. Despite its responsibility, the U.S. still is an independent nation and has the right of sovereignty to take care of its national interest around the world as other nations have their own rights. Of course, because of this wealth, we get the biggest invoice bill in the world.
Let’s see now what the man has to say about this new rivalry that has emerged recently in Clash of Civilizations and were all of this will take us:
“World politics is entering a new phase, and intellectuals have not hesitated to proliferate visions of what it will be-the end of history, the return of traditional rivalries between Nation states, and the decline of the Nation state from the conflicting pulls of tribalism and globalism, among others. Each of these visions catches aspects of the emerging reality. Yet they all miss a crucial, indeed a central, aspect of what global politics is likely to be in the coming years.
It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. Nation states will remain the most powerful actors in world affairs, but the principal conflicts of global politics will occur between nations and groups of different civilizations. The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics. The fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future.” ( Huntington, Pp. 22-23)
What Samuel is saying here is precisely what we’ve seen these past days and it’s beginning to have a nasty effect between the Cultural-axis that divide geographical civilizations, particularly, the oldest civilizations of the Middle East against Western’s culture civilization.
Let’s remember for a moment that after Russia fell and the disintegrated socialist blocks of Eastern Europe left the U.S. alone with no ideological competitors. The neoliberal model that won the battled and the ideological-communist fight of Cold War, no longer applied to us. Now, the cultural-fault-lines of civilization is drawn today by extremism and muslin terrorist organizations becoming the substitute for the cold war.
Radical muslin faith put a big bite on us and lefted a horrid footprints in the fatal attack of 9/11. And readers must understand that the U.S. is no longer fighting communism but something a lot more powerful, which is deep-rooted in the psyche of cultural-Islamic faith. Don’t take my word for it, take Samuel’s who spend a life time on the subject.
Census indicates that about 23% of the world population is Muslims. Of these 1.6 billion, 62% live in Asia-Pacific, 20% in the Middle East-North Africa, 15% in Sub-Saharan Africa, around 3% in Europe and 0.3% in the America. Of course, with such a large population there is discontent among Islamic population.Although, I must say I don’t see Christians lunching a worldwide jihad-crusade against the muslin world other then to eradicate dictators, purged terrorism and then turn back the keys to their rightful owners.
In view of the past world’s history and looking at the increasing Muslin- population all over the world, there is a great deal of concern for increasing basic necessities amongst the haves and haves nots. For example, the Middle East, South Africa and impoverish Asian countries of the Pacific Gulf as well as dozen of leftist Latin-American countries.
Scarcity of goodies such as food, schooling, technology, jobs for social mobility became more acute in impoverish countries and when religious faith is the ultimate comfort it also does a great deal of damage. Syria-as other countries- proves to be deadly on this with already more than 20 thousands deaths by its government and going up in numbers as we know that Bashar al-Assad and his minority Alawite-faith is an offshoot of Shia Islam. Shia Iran has been Mr. Assad’s staunchest ally supporters as Iranians admitted openly days ago with no shame of the massive killing.
In the Middle East the players are divided into sectarian tribal groups: Sunnis, Shia, Alawite, Ismailis as many others and they all relied on their Islamic faith for comfort. As the poor revolutionaries of Centro America did once in the eighties, not because tribalism, but because their fervent faith on Liberation Theology leaving a trail of more than a millions death.
We see that social change does not come solely because of politics or propping socialized revolutionary government for social improvement in the Middle East, but it is also religious faith. We have witnessed this faith at work during the past days that a stupid symbolic insult to their Mohammed prophet was enough to spark rage against Western secularized-culture.
One can say that the Western hemisphere today is divided between Social-humanism, distribution of government wealth -such as most Europeans nations, and Pragmatic-liberalism as Canada and United States were economic distribution is measured by social stratifies needs. Whereas, the Middle East and its theocratic societies plays its own political games between the haves and haves not’s based first, on religious-faith then politic.
But in contraposition to these two western model, curios enough, the richness of Saudi Arabia shows the opposite direction were modernization, politics and religion are fused into one for the upper class/middle class do to the excess of crude-petro oil. However their Islamic religion still plays the most important role in everybody’s life.
Below is another interesting quote of Samuel’s clash that outlines some of his points that I have touched upon. And also, I’m living a PDF reading of The Clash of Civilization if interested in doing more reading about fault-lines of civilization:
“Some Westerners… have argued that the West does not have problems with Islam but only with violent Islamist extremists. Fourteen hundred years of history demonstrate otherwise.” ― Samuel P. Huntington
“The West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion, but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do.” ― Samuel P. Huntington
“Islam’s borders are bloody and so are its innards. The fundamental problem for the West is not Islamic fundamentalism. It is Islam, a different civilization whose people are convinced of the superiority of their culture and are obsessed with the inferiority of their power.” ― Samuel P. Huntington
“Expectations should not always be taken as reality; because you never know when you will be disappointed.” ― Samuel P. Huntington
“In the emerging world of ethnic conflict and civilizational clash, Western belief in the universality of Western culture suffers three problems: it is false; it is immoral and it is dangerous.” ― Samuel P. Huntington
“Collective will supplants individual whim” ― Samuel P. Huntington
Samuel Phillips Huntington was an influential American political scientist whose works covered multiple sub-fields of political science. He gained wider prominence through his Clash of Civilizations thesis of a post-Cold War new world order.
- The Clash of Civilizations Revisited (counterpunch.org)
- The Middle East Mess Part One: Over There (blogs.the-american-interest.com)
- Anti-American Protests: Cutting Through Media Propaganda (empirebytes.com)
- Is This the Clash of Civilizations? (slate.com)
- Tony Burman: Arab protests aren’t about a ‘clash of civilizations’ (thestar.com)
- Civilizations Clash in Cairo (ireport.cnn.com)