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.One editor's note for Ayaan Hirsi Ali--It's not just the Saudis. For decades, the US government has been subsidizing Islamist, fundamentalist, extremist ideology in the former Soviet Union, former Soviet bloc, China and elsewhere. To learn more, read Ian Johnson's A Mosque in Munich to learn how the CIA hired Tariq Ramadan's grandfather and sponsored Muslim Brotherhood operations around the world...so Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's US State Department sponsored trips to raise funds for the NYC Bloomberg Ground Zero Mosque are in line with a long tradition of Islamism as official US policy. Just take a look at the US-approved constitutions of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Iraq. The US put the Islam in...IMHO, if only to keep communism out.
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.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
From today's Wall Street Journal: