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The Clash
NY Times ^ | January 6, 2008 | FOUAD AJAMI

Posted on 01/24/2008 12:23:54 PM PST by forkinsocket

It would have been unlike Samuel P. Huntington to say “I told you so” after 9/11. He is too austere and serious a man, with a legendary career as arguably the most influential and original political scientist of the last half century — always swimming against the current of prevailing opinion.

In the 1990s, first in an article in the magazine Foreign Affairs, then in a book published in 1996 under the title “The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order,” he had come forth with a thesis that ran counter to the zeitgeist of the era and its euphoria about globalization and a “borderless” world. After the cold war, he wrote, there would be a “clash of civilizations.” Soil and blood and cultural loyalties would claim, and define, the world of states.

Huntington’s cartography was drawn with a sharp pencil. It was “The West and the Rest”: the West standing alone, and eight civilizations dividing the rest — Latin American, African, Islamic, Sinic, Hindu, Orthodox, Buddhist and Japanese. And in this post-cold-war world, Islamic civilization would re-emerge as a nemesis to the West. Huntington put the matter in stark terms: “The relations between Islam and Christianity, both Orthodox and Western, have often been stormy. Each has been the other’s Other. The 20th-century conflict between liberal democracy and Marxist-Leninism is only a fleeting and superficial historical phenomenon compared to the continuing and deeply conflictual relation between Islam and Christianity.”

Those 19 young Arabs who struck America on 9/11 were to give Huntington more of history’s compliance than he could ever have imagined. He had written of a “youth bulge” unsettling Muslim societies, and young Arabs and Muslims were now the shock-troops of a new radicalism.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: book; civilization; clash; islam
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1 posted on 01/24/2008 12:23:55 PM PST by forkinsocket
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To: forkinsocket

Rock the casbah


2 posted on 01/24/2008 12:28:39 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Oh, am I hijacking your rant?)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Should I stay or should I go now?


3 posted on 01/24/2008 12:31:29 PM PST by Pylon (Remember boys, flies spread disease, so keep yours closed.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

LOL. I was wondering why they would be in the news.


4 posted on 01/24/2008 12:31:53 PM PST by mrsmel
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To: mrsmel

Londons Burning


5 posted on 01/24/2008 12:32:53 PM PST by ToryNotion
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To: Pylon

Degenerate the faithful, with that crazy casbah sound.


6 posted on 01/24/2008 12:33:08 PM PST by mrsmel
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To: mrsmel

sharif don’t like it


7 posted on 01/24/2008 12:36:40 PM PST by keeper53 ((I still like Fred))
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To: keeper53

he thinks it’s not kosher


8 posted on 01/24/2008 12:37:26 PM PST by mrsmel
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To: mrsmel

you know he really hates it.


9 posted on 01/24/2008 12:38:18 PM PST by love n hate tattoo
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To: love n hate tattoo

fundamentally he can’t take it


10 posted on 01/24/2008 12:39:07 PM PST by mrsmel
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To: ClearCase_guy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJkGQps1lrs


11 posted on 01/24/2008 12:40:04 PM PST by najida (I am so grateful that stupid isn't contagious.)
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To: ToryNotion

And I live by the river.


12 posted on 01/24/2008 12:41:09 PM PST by dfwgator (11+7+15=3 Heismans)
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To: dfwgator

I live in a van down by the river — but that’s another story.


13 posted on 01/24/2008 12:47:27 PM PST by ClearCase_guy (Oh, am I hijacking your rant?)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Speaking of vans,
Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
packed up and ready to go


14 posted on 01/24/2008 12:54:59 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: najida

OK, that was cool.


15 posted on 01/24/2008 12:55:32 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: FreedomPoster

Thank you :)


16 posted on 01/24/2008 12:59:19 PM PST by najida (I am so grateful that stupid isn't contagious.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Drop the bombs between the minarets


17 posted on 01/24/2008 1:00:47 PM PST by KC_Conspirator
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To: forkinsocket

18 posted on 01/24/2008 1:01:37 PM PST by trumandogz (Whichever Way the Wind Blows Willard 2008)
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To: forkinsocket
A thought-provoking article, and thanks for posting it.

There was no “universal civilization,” Huntington had observed; this was only the pretense of what he called “Davos culture,” consisting of a thin layer of technocrats and academics and businessmen who gather annually at that watering hole of the global elite in Switzerland.

I hadn't heard it called that, but it fits. Huntington and Fukuyama seem to have settled in as the two poles of the historiography wing of that magazine and it may be this is the resolution that Fukuyama was originally envisioning in The End Of History. It'd be an easy mistake to make.

Huntington, for his part, was deliberately drawing with such a broad brush that a finer assessment of the splintering of the West is rather difficult. The "Davos culture," however, seems to manifest itself both in economic globalization and in an internationalist political approach - we see its practitioners in the UN and in NGO's on a regular basis. Huntington implies that this veneer is too thin to shield the West from Islamism and events seem to bear him out. Moreover, its membership is quite as easy to subvert or intimidate as any other organized group with a vested interest and a lot to lose from conflict.

One should not, therefore, hope for a resolution from that culture. Its reliance on negotiation between parties each of whom has something to lose is a false premise in the face of an opponent that intends to lose nothing and gain everything through domination.

It isn't going to come to a fight, it already has. If certain cultural figures in the West have entered the ring with a self-imposed bag over their collective head one shouldn't blame their opponent for gleefully using it as a punching bag.

19 posted on 01/24/2008 1:02:23 PM PST by Billthedrill
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To: najida

That was neat!


20 posted on 01/24/2008 1:03:25 PM PST by Harmless Teddy Bear (A good marriage is like a casserole, only those responsible for it really know what goes into it.)
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To: najida

Lock the cashbox!


21 posted on 01/24/2008 1:13:22 PM PST by mrsmel
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To: najida

22 posted on 01/24/2008 1:15:21 PM PST by trumandogz (Whichever Way the Wind Blows Willard 2008)
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To: mrsmel

“There’s a bathroom on the right” ;)


23 posted on 01/24/2008 1:21:40 PM PST by najida (I am so grateful that stupid isn't contagious.)
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To: mrsmel; najida; KC_Conspirator; dfwgator; love n hate tattoo; keeper53; ToryNotion; Pylon
OK, since we've already badly hijacked this thread:

For the nerds out there. ;-)

On the real topic, anyone paying attention knew this was a real issue within days of 9/11. Months at worst.

Within days, my stock comment was:

We're dealing with an evil, totalitarian, dictatorial, murderous political system masquerading as a religion. Just the treatment of women in Islamic societies should tell you all you need to know about this "culture". Add in their intolerance of non-believers, and it becomes obvious what a rational tolerance policy might look like.

Personally, I will become tolerant of Islam when there are churches and synagogues in Mecca, Medina, Riyadh, Islamabad, Karachi, Cairo, Khartoum, and similar locales, and the locals aren't trying to burn down the structures and kill the attendees.

24 posted on 01/24/2008 4:06:00 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: FreedomPoster

Speaking of vans...I had the checkerboard ones...

The only skater punk in 1980’s Douglas co.


25 posted on 01/24/2008 4:18:13 PM PST by Vigilantcitizen (Gone fishin.)
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To: Vigilantcitizen

Heh! My son likes plain black Vans and Adidas Sambas.


26 posted on 01/24/2008 4:19:38 PM PST by FreedomPoster (Guns themselves are fairly robust; their chief enemies are rust and politicians) (NRA)
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To: ClearCase_guy

ROTFL. I thought the same thing.


27 posted on 01/24/2008 4:20:13 PM PST by ShadowDancer (Alcoholism is a disease, but itís the only disease that you can get yelled at for having.)
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To: FreedomPoster

The graphic—kewl!


28 posted on 01/24/2008 8:29:14 PM PST by mrsmel
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