"WARS AND RUMORS OF WARS"
S. R. Shearer
Samuel P. Huntington, Eaton Professor of the Science of Government
and Director of the John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies at
Harvard University, says that "... world politics are entering
a new phase ... (in which) the great divisions among humankind and the
dominating source of conflict will be cultural ... The clash of civilizations
will dominate global politics ..." 
What's more, this clash will dominate global politics not just as
a struggle between civilizations, but as a struggle within civilizations
- that is, as a struggle to "purify" or "cleanse"
each respective civilization of "foreign elements." And it
is this precise struggle that minorities, liberals, gay rights activists,
etc. are now beginning to encounter in the United States as whites (specifically
and most especially, white, middle-class Christians) increasingly bestir
themselves "to take the country back." Taken to its extreme,
this kind of "purification" or "civilization cleansing"
can lead to what has happened in Yugoslavia.
Huntington defines eight major civilizations: (1) Western - which
includes Western Europe and North America; (2) Slavic-Orthodox; (3)
Islamic - which includes three subdivisions: Arab, Turkic and Malay;
(4) Latin American; (5) Hindu; (6) Confucian; (7) Japanese; and (8)
Huntington says that "The fault lines between civilizations will
be the battle lines of the future." He continues, "Over the
centuries ... differences among civilizations have generated the most
prolonged and the most violent conflict"  - more so even than
ideological conflict. The reason? - because differences between civilizations
"... are far more fundamental than differences among political
ideologies and political regimes ..." And the evidence for Huntington's
assertion is easily discernible in what's going on in the former Yugoslavia.
Indeed, it's only in "civilization" (or religious) terms that
any sense can be made of the alliance structures that have grown up
as a result of the conflict: Germany, France and Austria (and, as a
result, the E.C.) favor Slovenia and Croatia (which are Catholic and
Western Christian); Russia and the "Eastern Slavs" favor Serbia
(which is - like the rest of the Slavic states - Orthodox); and Turkey
and Iran favor the Muslims of Bosnia (which are Islamic). Indeed, the
Balkans have been a tinderbox of conflict for hundreds of years precisely
because they lie at the convergence of three major civilizations (or
religions) and the cultures which these religions undergird: Western
Christianity (Slovenia, Croatia, etc.); Orthodox Christianity (Serbia,
Bulgaria, Russia, etc.); and Islam (Turkey, Albania, etc.).
Robert D. Kaplan, author of the Arabists: The Romance of an American
Elite and Balkan Ghosts: A Journey Through History, and a contributing
editor to the Atlantic Monthly, believes that America's present
cultural elite is having a very difficult time coming to any
meaningful understanding of what's happening in the Balkans
today, gripped as it still is by the illusions of multi-culturalism
(as are the European elites - though certainly to a lesser extent
than their American counterparts). Kaplan believes this is
especially evident in America's narrowly directed policies favoring
the so-called multi-ethnic state of Bosnia (which today, as
a result of more than three years of ethnic strife, is no longer
a multi-ethnic state, but an overwhelmingly Muslim one).
Kaplan is sensing the same thing Huntington has already discovered:
the earth is no longer being driven so much by ideology as it is by
religion and culture - by "civilization identity." Kaplan
continues, "While this might shock (the State Department's multi-cultural)
policy wonks, it won't surprise historians ... The murder of 12 Bosnians
and Croats, all of them Christians, by Muslim militants in Algeria last
December (1993) went virtually unnoticed in America, but it was a wakeup
call to Europeans about the link between religious wars in the Balkans
and those in the Middle East." Kaplan goes on to say that all this
may be leading to a three-way "civilization war" centered
- at least to begin with - on the Balkans, one which involves the Western
World, the Orthodox World and the Islamic World, and one with the potential
of spreading to the Caucasus region, Central Asia and eventually into
the Middle East itself. As it spreads, it will draw in Europe, and through
Europe, America; the Turks and eventually the other Muslim nations of
the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia; and finally the Orthodox
World and Russia. And as it expands, it will intensify as the hostility
of the one plays off on the fury of the others - barbarity begetting
barbarity as each civilization's radical "champions" feed
off the frenzy of the others - ratcheting each ever upward in a spiraling,
widening circle of violence leading to further radicalization of each
respective civilization - and finally to catastrophe. This is the nightmare
that Kaplan, Huntington and the others fear.
Written By S. R. Shearer
- Samuel P. Huntington, "The Clash of Civilizations," Foreign
Affairs, Summer, 1993, pg. 22-25.
- Ibid., pg. 22-25.
- Ibid., pg. 22-25.
- So out of touch has America's multicultural elite become with America's
white (i.e., of European extraction) middle class on the issue of
multiculturalism and economic globalism that a growing number of very
reputable scholars [e.g., William Greider (formerly an editor with
the Washington Post and author of Who Will Tell the People); Robert
W. Merry (executive director of the Congressional Quarterly); Donald
Bartlett and James Steele (both of the Philadelphia Inquirer and authors
of America: What Went Wrong?); Lester Thurrow (Head to Head); Professor
George Kennan, etc.] are fearful that it is in danger of being swept
aside over these issues.
- George Kenny, a consultant to the Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace and who was - until 1993 when he resigned in protest of U.S.
policies in the Balkans - the State Department's Yugoslav desk officer,
writes, "Let's not kid ourselves ... about the nature of the
Bosnian government. It used to be a moderate, inclusive regime that
enjoyed substantial support from the Bosnian Croat and Serb communities.
Bosnian Croats and Serbs held key positions. Over the past year, however,
under the pressure of the war, it became a 95% Muslim entity ..."
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