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How to Manage Savagery
Commentary Magazine ^ | September 2008 | Bret Stephens

Posted on 09/02/2008 9:31:39 AM PDT by forkinsocket

“Islam has bloody borders.” So wrote Samuel Huntington in “The Clash of Civilizations?,” his 1993 Foreign Affairs article later expanded (minus the question mark) into a best-selling book. Huntington argued that, eclipsing past eras of national and ideological conflict, “the battle lines of the future” would be drawn along the “fault lines between civilizations.” Here, according to Huntington, was where current and coming generations would define the all-important “us” versus “them.”

At the time of its writing, “The Clash of Civilizations?” had, beyond the virtues of pithiness and historical sweep, something to recommend it on purely empirical grounds. It seemed especially plausible as applied to the “crescent-shaped Islamic bloc” from the Maghreb to the East Indies.

In the Balkans, for example, Orthodox Serbs were at the throats of Bosnian and later Kosovar Muslims. In Africa, Muslims were either skirmishing or at war with Christians in Nigeria, Sudan, and Ethiopia. In the Caucasus, there was all-out war between Orthodox Russia and Muslim Chechnya, all-out war between Christian Armenia and Muslim Azerbaijan, and violent skirmishes between Orthodox Ossetia and Muslim Ingushetia.

In the Middle East, some 500,000 U.S. troops had intervened to expel Iraq from Kuwait. Israel had just endured several years of the first Palestinian intifada, soon to be followed by a fraudulent peace process leading, in turn, to a second and far bloodier intifada. Further to the east, Pakistan and India were at perpetual daggers drawn over Kashmir. There were tensions—sometimes violent—between the Hindu majority and the large Muslim minority in India, just as there were between the Christian minority and the Muslim majority in Indonesia.

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


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: clashofcivilizations; geopolitics; huntington; islam; mohammedanism; wot
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1 posted on 09/02/2008 9:31:39 AM PDT by forkinsocket
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To: forkinsocket

The left proposes to resurrect Cold War containment policies for terrorists and rogue states, but ignores George Kennan’s prerequisites. For him the Cold War would be struggle for world economic domination against the Soviet Union governing apparatus. The Marist/Leninist worldview mirrored traditional, instinctive Russian ruling class neurotic insecurities about retaining power despite archaic, fragile political systems. The Soviet Union would employ various strategies short of war to advance control internally, and to undermine Western nations. The Soviets would not pursue hazardous, systematic plans of a Hitlerite Germany, but seek opportunities. Therefore, the Soviet Union would not risk national resources and power against adversaries possessing sufficient power, and demonstrating clear readiness to use it.

Such parallels do not exist for the war on terror. Often there is no state to confront. The creative, massive, violent deaths sought through jihad provide Islamic fundamentalists both means and objectives for goals to establish the Caliphate or usher in the Twelfth Imam. Because pursuit of violent death dominates allegiance to family, tribe, or country, with no caveats for economic remnants, the deterrent quality of force is irrelevant.

Victory instead requires vigorous, costly engagement along the full spectrum of diplomacy, which includes applied military force. Engagement focuses continuous attacks against terrorist leadership, communications and support mechanisms. Engagement promotes representative governments such as in Iraq and Afghanistan, so Muslims expressing a creed of freedom, justice, mercy, and peace can assume prominent rolls promoting philosophical foundations of over a thousand years ago similar to Sufism, which coincided with Saladin and extraordinary Arab scientific advances.


2 posted on 09/02/2008 10:02:16 AM PDT by Retain Mike
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To: forkinsocket

Dr. Huntington passed away today.


3 posted on 12/27/2008 6:27:52 PM PST by rmlew (The loyal opposition to a regime dedicated to overthrowing the Constitution are accomplices.)
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