Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How to Win the Clash of Civilizations

Interesting article here by Ayaan Hirsi Ali on how to win the clash of civilizations. I suppose it would be a lot easier if our leaders were truly interested in winning this fight, or even recognizing that we are in a fight. Preemptive surrender seems to be their default position. But, Ayaan says,
The greatest advantage of Huntington's civilizational model of international relations is that it reflects the world as it is—not as we wish it to be. It allows us to distinguish friends from enemies. And it helps us to identify the internal conflicts within civilizations, particularly the historic rivalries between Arabs, Turks and Persians for leadership of the Islamic world.

But divide and rule cannot be our only policy. We need to recognize the extent to which the advance of radical Islam is the result of an active propaganda campaign. According to a CIA report written in 2003, the Saudis invested at least $2 billion a year over a 30-year period to spread their brand of fundamentalist Islam. The Western response in promoting our own civilization was negligible.

Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion.
I read Huntington's book a few years ago when it came out. It's a fascinating look at the world, and it seemed then and still seems that the paradigm he constructed is, if not absolutely correct, then a reasonable way to look at the current world situation. When I read reviews calling it racist, and insulting it because, like Ayaan says, it presents the world as it is, not as we wish it were, I liked it even more. Read it. It's good.

Oh, and I think we need new leaders.

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At 7:52 AM, Blogger Mrs. C said...

Oh, my goooodness. I read this and thought that it was so, so much more rational than the shrill stupidity I've been seeing on both sides of the mosque issue.

At 12:44 AM, Blogger MightyMom said...

new leaders....that'd be good.


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