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Are We In A Clash of Civilizations?
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The credibility of all American politicians now requires acknowledging that America is engaged in a great war for survival – “the war against Islam.” Fear of “radical Islamic terrorists” requires our undivided attention. We’re to believe that the ugly and vicious violence of a very small percentage of the 1.7 billion Muslims around the world, without an army, navy, or air force, is on the verge of engulfing America and Western civilization. The claim is that the Western concept of Christianity, liberty, and free markets is threatened. If this is so, it speaks more about the weak support for these values than for the strength of a small group claiming to speak for all of Islam. It may not make much sense, but it provokes the fear required for war-mongering.

The popular belief that a gigantic clash of civilizations explains today’s conditions fits well into the propaganda efforts of the neocon inspired American Empire. One cannot deny that a group exists that associates itself with Islam and preaches violence in combination with extreme religious beliefs. Al Qaeda and ISIS do exist. Claiming that they alone are responsible for the great “clash” is purposely misleading. That misunderstanding is required by Western propagandists to gain public support for their wars in the Middle East, and for a continuation of the American Empire. Unfortunately, so far it has worked pretty well.

Fear is the tool used to galvanize a people into supporting war while sacrificing liberty. Exaggerations and propping up groups who falsely claim to represent 99 percent of Muslims, serves the interests of those in the West who want the clash of civilizations for their own selfish purposes. Current US and Western support for ISIS in Syria, even though it’s denied, is designed to remove Assad. This policy is in the tradition of our foreign policy of recent decades. Aligning ourselves with the creation of Hamas and the mujahedin (Taliban) is well documented.

The emphasis on a clash of civilizations is more about ruthless pragmatism than it is of a great battle of two civilizations. Promoters of war must first find or create an enemy to demonize in order to gain the people’s support for stupid and illegal preemptive wars. The Iraq war was built on lies and fear-mongering. US leaders, prodded by the neoconservatives, continue to propagandize for a “crusade” against Islam in order to justify rearranging the Middle East according to their desires. Disregarding all previous failures in this effort is not a problem if the people can be convinced that the enemy is grotesque and threatening our way of life.

It’s strange, but 130 people killed in Paris has served the purpose of throwing reason to the wind, and the majority of Americans have become anxious for a showdown with Islam no matter how many lies have to be told and people killed.

If what is said by the neoconservatives about Islam is true, nuking Indonesia would seem logical. Two hundred and three million Muslims could be wiped out rather quickly. What many fail to admit is that ISIS deliberately manipulates Islam to inspire violence by some, which helps them gain recruits for their cause. This is not a reflection of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world. It’s like claiming that the KKK represents sound Christian theology. Many evangelical Christians support preemptive war in the Middle East, but that doesn’t mean that Christians must give up the notion that, as Jesus said, “Blessed are the Peacemakers.”

Both sides of this huge so-called clash of two civilizations benefit from allowing fringe elements of both religious cultures to support the hypothesis. Both sides need the fear associated with a clash of civilizations to motivate the masses to fight a war that Western leaders have initiated. It may be a hoax, but such a war is still very dangerous and can easily spin out of control.

The death of 4 million Muslims in the Middle East over the last 14 years, since Western foreigners moved in, has rearranged the political power structure of the region. This cannot be ignored. The deliberate killing of innocent civilians and retaliation lays claim to the reality of a clash of civilizations rhetoric.

The US can’t be serious in this clash of civilizations, which is used to radicalize both sides. Our ally Turkey playing games with ISIS hardly convinces us that ISIS will bring our civilization to its knees and destroy our way of life. The United States is a loyal supporter of Saudi Arabia, a nation noted for its ruthless enforcement of Sharia law. This hardly suggests our political leaders are at war with Islam. The neoconservatives, perpetrators of the clash of civilizations rhetoric and a war against Islam, aren’t advocating bombing Saudi Arabia even with evidence of their involvement in 9/11 and the recent shootings in California.

Our foreign policy makers, both Republicans and Democrats, remain obsessed with overthrowing another secular Muslim country: Syria. That policy did not work out well in Iraq and elsewhere, and so far it has only made the Middle East an ever more dangerous place. The harder we work at remaking the Middle East, the worse the conditions become, with an ever stronger and more dangerous Al Qaeda and ISIS.

The more violent our military response is to ISIS, the easier it is for more jihadists to be recruited to its cause. And the greater the violence and political demagoguery, the more gullible Americans join the ranks of supporters for expanding this so-called “holy” war.

Republicans have a knee-jerk explanation for the violence in the Middle East which is now spreading into Europe: It’s simply “Obama’s fault.” He hasn’t killed enough Muslims fast enough. It may not be the “clash of civilizations” that many describe, but Islamic terrorism confronts a Western crusade against Islam inspired by radical minorities on each side. Neocon radicals are the greatest domestic threat to liberty here at home — not foreign invaders.

Many Americans fervently believe that our policies represent “American exceptionalism” — democracy, freedom, generosity, and a willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of mankind. They accept the notion that we have a responsibility as the world’s policeman to thwart evil. The recipients of our “largesse” and interventions don’t see it that way. They understand exactly what encroachment of empire means to them. It is understood that our presence has nothing to do with spreading humanitarian American goodness and values. Instead, the people of the region see us as invaders: stealing their oil, while corrupting and bribing puppet dictators to serve our interests. The response should never surprise us. Blowback and unintended consequences should be easily understood and anticipated.

The answer we get from those most angry with our plunder and killing comes in the form of inspired radical Islamism that pretends it speaks for all of Islam. The radicals of neither side really speak for a “civilization.”

The influence and profiteering of the military-industrial complex is never criticized by the neocons. Never do we hear an honest debate by the politicians regarding the immorality of the Bush/Cheney doctrine of pre-emptive war that was soundly repudiated in the 2008 election. Memories are short, and demagoguery is a team sport by politicians.

Transparency — and a little history — should convince the people that the clash of civilizations rhetoric is only war propaganda. The idea of the clash of civilizations is not new or unique. Samuel Huntington responded to Francis Fukuyama’s 1992 book “The End of History,” and addressed this issue. Huntington was allied with neoconservative guru Bernard Lewis and the American Enterprise Institute. The origin of this recent use of the term should tip one off as to the motivation for popularizing the idea of the “ clash of civilizations.”

Huntington, in his 1996 book “The clash of civilizations,” encourages the notion that Western Christian civilization is destined to be in conflict with the Muslim world of the Middle East. Almost at the same time, in 1997, the neocons released their plan “For a New American Century.” Philosophical support for the war between the East and the West was especially helpful to the neocons after 9/11. It served to deflect any consideration of blowback being a contributing factor to the attack on the US on September 11th. Our instigators for war and empire have worked diligently to place the blame for the violence in the Middle East on Islam itself, with which we are now said to be at war. To suggest anything else today is “blasphemous” to the concept of “American Exceptionalism.”

Huntington’s thesis is that ideology and economic conditions are no longer important in world conflicts. That age, he claims, has ended. The world is now moving back, according to Huntington, to a more “normal” state of cultural and religious conflicts and away from state versus state in conventional war.

But it’s not quite so simple. Diminishing the importance of the state should always be helpful since less big wars and central powers would result. But that’s not their plan. World government is what the neocons and many other world leaders seek.

Espousing correct ideology and real economic understanding are the only answers to unwise cultural and religious clashes, or clashes between various governments. My sense is that although most wars have many components to them, economic conditions are always important. A healthy economy usually results from a decent respect for economic liberty, and establishing conditions that encourage peace over war. International trade diminishes prospects for war as well. Inflation and hunger encourages civil strife and violent overthrow of incompetent governments.

The argument that cultural and religious wars occur when there is an absence of an ideology and economic policy is not a reasonable explanation. It’s my opinion that ideas and economic conditions override cultural and religious differences. When economic conditions deteriorate and cultural differences arise, religious beliefs are used to mobilize people to hate and start killing each other.

Economic ideas that encourage empire-building and resentment are what hurts the economy and encourages war. Instead of understanding how free markets, sound money, property rights, and civil liberties lead to prosperity and peace, the explanation is that the ensuing wars are explained by a “ clash of civilizations” stirred up by racial tensions and religious differences. This is something that always ends badly.

Here is the sequence: First, it’s the powerful financial interests that initiate empire building and control of natural resources. Second, the people’s response is to resist, and the occupying forces compensate by establishing puppet dictators to keep the peace by force. Third, when resistance builds, preemptive war is used to circumvent national and international restraints on initiating wars. Fourth, both sides develop reactionary groups, motivated by anger, cultural, and religious differences, and a desire to expel the foreign groups that occupied their land.

Today in the Middle East it’s the various uprisings over economic conditions, plus other concerns, that prompt a struggle to push governments to reflect the people desires rather than the dictates of foreign occupiers and their stooges. Witness the growth of Al Qaeda, ISIS, and other terrorist groups that currently saturate the entire Middle East.

In the United States, the “ clash of civilizations” is manifested by a contrived anger directed toward Islam, immigrants, and a worsening of wealth inequality. The latter results from a flawed economic policy and an ideology of entitlements.

Nearly everyone senses that there is grave danger on the horizon. This leads to an aggressive populism with an appeal to a broad spectrum of society. Note that numerous black ministers now claim they support billionaire Donald Trump’s promise of making everything right with America, delivered with an authoritarian confidence that the people welcome – a bit unusual for a Republican candidate for president.

This is a perfect set up for a clash between ISIS, inspired by a group of radical Islamists, and a tough and energetic populism promoted by Donald Trump. The ideology that encourages the use of force is engulfing the world and many are anxious to bring on the clash of civilizations for their own selfish purposes. Rough days are ahead, but ending an era of bad economic policy and lack of respect for liberty opens the door for the growing interest and understanding of liberty by a new generation. Voluntarism is far superior to the authoritarianism offered to the world today.

What seems to be support for constant escalating wars can all be reduced by replacing the bad policies of state-ism with a simple and easily understood philosophical principle: “The rejection of all aggression as a method for individuals or governments to alter society.” In spite of the chaos the world is now facing, the solution is not complex. As the state entities continue to fail, a little common sense could go a long way in advancing the cause of liberty, peace and prosperity.

(Republished from The Ron Paul Institute by permission of author or representative)
 
• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: ISIS, Islam, Terrorism 
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  1. Tom_R says:

    THE REAL CLASH—THE BARBARIC CRIMINAL AFRICAN CULT OF JUDAISM VERSUS CIVILIZATION.

    Thanks for the interesting article, Sir. We would not have had a conflict with Islam were it not for the Judaists, who want to import Muslims to promote “multiculturalism” and the Middle East wars they want us to fight for Israel.

    This is because many Judaists believes they are a “special race” called “Jews” (in reliance on the Torah, (Old Testament, OT 1-5) and derivative works), though they are mostly whites whose ancestors converted to Judaism in the Middle Ages. (See the book: “Invention of the Jewish People” by Sholomo Sand). They believe they are children of Abraham, who was a pimp who sold his wife/sister to an African (therefore black) Pharaoh. They worship a mass murderer Moshe (who was so black, the black Pharaoh assumed he was his grandson) as a prophet.

    This is despite the fact that the vile Torah is a “forgery” (-McCabe) and was fabricated by mentally deranged black criminals, who were basically “human animals” (Jewish writer Hitchens). But the white Judaists, totally brainwashed by this negroid forgery, become mentally deranged, start having delusions that they are “Jews”, “diaspora of Israel”, degenerate into criminality and necrophilia that manifests itself as alienism, importing blacks and Muslims from 3rd world countries (despite the fact that the latter would wantonly rape and kill Jewish females), etc. This mentally deranged African criminal cult of Judaism does not belong in a civilized society and must go.

    This the real clash of civilizations.

    • Replies: @Thirdeye
  2. Thirdeye says:
    @Tom_R

    You just made Donald Trump look sane by comparison.

  3. In find it interesting that Ron Paul, now that he’s safely out of Congress, is still unable to say the words “Jew” and “Israel”; as a Libertarian, I guess he’s just unable to grasp the fundamental importance of race in culture and politics. At any rate there is indeed a “clash of civilizations”, but it’s only tangentially “Islam” vs. “Western Civ”. It’s actually the Universalist Tikkun Olam Ashkenazic Jews – both neo-con globalist Warmongers & collectivist globalist State-mongers – against White Western Nations…the Muslims are, along with invasive Blacks, mestizos, and Asians, simply stormtroops for both tentacles of Organized Globalist Jewry. RP calls these “immigrants”, and in this he’s full of it, blinded by libtard fantasies of docile cheap labor; 25% of the city of Brussels is now an Islamic no-go zone, and such tumors are metastizing all over western Europe. Same thing in America where the festering Black urban blight zones and burgeoning latino barrios are equally lethal for Whites

  4. Jim says:

    The West and Islam have been in conflict for almost 1400 years. But until quite recently in history the West had a strong numerical advantage. So in the past the fighting was mostly over the exact boundary between the two. The core of the West was pretty safe. The difference now is that the West no longer has a strong numerical advantage. The population of Moslems adjacent to Europe is now about as large as the European population and is much younger. So unlike the situation in most of the past since this conflict began the West is now in mortal danger of being overrun and destroyed.

  5. Jim says:

    Ron, libertarianism like socialism is an ideology that ignores the biological reality of human nature. The libertarian utopia is no more likely than the socialist utopia. It’s just as pointless to argue that all our problems would be solved if we behaved according to libertarian precepts as to argue that all our problems would be solved if we flapped our arms and flew off into the air.

    Humans are biological organisms and as such they are the product of an extremally complex and totally amoral natural process of evolution. Expecting humans to transcend their biological nature is like expecting tigers to become vegetarians.

    • Replies: @WorkingClass
  6. @Jim

    Ron Paul is a Jeffersonian and an advocate for sound money, personal liberty and the rule of law. Ian Rand’s Objectivism is crap in my opinion. But that mantle does not fit Ron Paul.

    I wasted a lot of time trying to persuade “progressives” of the wisdom of supporting Ron Paul at least in the primaries if not in the general election. They would predictably repeat the lie that Ron Paul is a racist and/or they would attack him as a Randroid. The later is a straw-man argument.

    Yes. Human beings are biological organisms. But if you think that’s all they are you are strapped into an ideology more ridged and confining than Objectivism.

    • Replies: @Jim
  7. Jim says:
    @WorkingClass

    Biological organisms are exactly what humans are. Humans are not transcendental beings. Ideologies like socialism or libertarianisms are fantasies divorced from reality.

  8. Very well. I have long believed that humans were insufficiently evolved to live together in peace. But not all humans. It is the psychopaths who are without conscience and who ultimately rise to positions of power who make peace and general prosperity impossible. Can we identify them in the womb so that they never see the light of day?

    • Replies: @Jim
  9. Tony says:

    Paul is clueless. What about the no go zones in Europe. They cant assimilate or maybe its the racist white man’s fault. Muslims dont get along with anybody, even other muslims. All over the world they are in conflict with others. Try building a church in a muslim country. Convert or die is the muslim way.

  10. Priss Factor [AKA "The Priss Factory"] says: • Website

    Paulibus makes some good points, but he is wrong that the interventionists are the ones who are making the clash-of-civilizations argument.

    That argument is more often made by ‘isolationists’ like Buchanan.

    Isos believe that the two cultures are very different. Therefore, Muslims should stay out of the west, and the west should not intervene in the middle east.

    It is the interventionists who say there is no clash, that muslims are welcome in the west, and that the west should stick its nose in the middle east because we all aspire to ‘universal values’.

  11. Anonym says:

    Mr Paul, have you ever bothered to wade through the Koran? If you haven’t, I suggest you do.

  12. Jim says:
    @WorkingClass

    The evolution of psychopathy follows a hawk-dove or predator-prey dynamic. A society cannot be composed exclusively of psychopaths just as an ecology cannot be composed exlusively of predators. On the other hand ecologies without predators or societies without psychopaths are evolutionary unstable. The fewer psychopaths or predators there are the more advantageous it is to be one.

    On an isolated island a population of living things placed there without any predators might exist in that state for some time. But ultimately predation will evolve there or predators will be introduced from outside. Once predation starts in an ecology it never goes away.

    The Edicaran biota show almost no signs of predators. They were among the first multicellular organisms. But the Edicaran predator-free paradise did not last long.

  13. Humans are already the dominant predators on this planet. Are you saying we need super predators (psychopaths) to prey on their own kind? Or rather that the process of evolution requires them? It seems to me that you are explaining your ideology rather than answering my questions about policy that stems from it. Is there a connection between what you believe to be true and how you go about solving problems or providing for human needs? Is there a political aspect of human bio diversity. If not why are it’s proponents participating in political discussion? If so how is it not an ideology.

    A am aware that I must seem very dense to you. But I am doing my best to understand your point of view. I hope you will come back one more time.

  14. Jim says:

    I’m not saying that we need psychopaths anymore than rabbits need foxes. But the psychopaths or other predators will always be there. Just like infectious organisms never go away. Our immune system constantly evolves to defeat infectious organisms but that doesn’t mean that we ever completely defeat them because the infectious organisms evolve to overcome our defenses.

    Similarily rabbits( as a species) evolve to become better at escaping from foxes. They become more alert, with sharper senses and able to move faster. But they never become completely safe from foxes because the foxes (as a species) also evolve to become better at catching rabbits.

    Psychopaths rely on deception. Normal people in general evolve to better detect deception. But at the same time psychopaths evolve to become better at deception. The result is a fluctuating balance in an ecology between prey and predators or in a society between “normal” and psychopaths.

    Evolution is not a process which is heading toward any utopia whether socialistic, libertarian or otherwise. It is “a tale told by an idiot – full of sound and fury – signifying nothing”.

    • Replies: @another fred
  15. Thanks Jim. I appreciate your answering my questions.

  16. Huntington, in his 1996 book “The clash of civilizations,” encourages the notion that Western Christian civilization is destined to be in conflict with the Muslim world of the Middle East. Almost at the same time, in 1997, the neocons released their plan “For a New American Century.” Philosophical support for the war between the East and the West was especially helpful to the neocons after 9/11.
    ——
    I love Ron Paul, but really now? How obvious does it have to be that The Neocons were behind 9/11?

    9/11 is the biggest lie of your lifetime!!

  17. @Jim

    Humans are biological organisms and as such they are the product of an extremally complex and totally amoral natural process of evolution. Expecting humans to transcend their biological nature is like expecting tigers to become vegetarians.

    Evolution is not a process which is heading toward any utopia whether socialistic, libertarian or otherwise. It is “a tale told by an idiot – full of sound and fury – signifying nothing”.

    Would you agree then, that we are headed for a population collapse?

    • Replies: @Jim
  18. Rehmat says:

    I’m afraid Ron Paul has long lost his political credibility Cynthia McKinney – thanks to AIPAC, ADL and AJC.

    On August 20, 2013, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the US-based Jewish civil liberty group, condemned former US Rep. Ron Paul for agreeing to be the keynote speaker at a conference sponsored by Canadian Fatima Center. The Catholic group, has long been designated by Jewish groups as “radical Christian” and “Jew-hater”. Incidently, Mel Gibson’s father Hutton Gibson is contacted with the group.

    The conference was titled ‘Fatima: The Path to Peace’ – calling for the merger of the Church and State in the world government. The conference was held at Niagra Falls’ Scotia Bank Convention Centre from September 8-13, 2013. In addition to Ron Paul, the other notable speakers included Roberto Fiore, former EU member from Italy and John F. McManus, president of John Birch Society. McManus is linked to E. Michael Jones, editor of Culture Wars monthly Catholic magazine. All these three dudes are well-known “antisemites”, according to the SPLC……

    http://rehmat1.com/2013/09/03/splc-ron-paul-mingles-with-canadian-jew-haters/

  19. Jim says:
    @another fred

    Oh sure. Not necessarily uniformly all over the world at the same time. But certainly in many different places at different tines.

  20. I agree with Ron Paul that the military actions in Syria, Libya, and most of all Iraq were bad ideas and did more harm than good.

    But inviting mass numbers of Muslims to Europe+US+Canada+Australia seems like its a very bad idea for the host population. There is a clash of cultures in many societies where this was practiced and I don’t think it’s reasonable to blame it all on foreign policy and western military action.

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