The Two Wise Men
Wednesday, October 17, 2007 10:49 AM
Since it was being put to work as such wonderful agitprop for the Ziocons, aka the “neocons”, I had assumed that “the clash of civilizations” mania springing from Harvard Professor Samuel Huntington’s 1996 book of the same name, was a “neocon” concept. My conclusion was admittedly a jump, but it seemed self-evident. After all, the phrase was first used by Princeton Professor Bernard Lewis in 1990 in the Atlantic Monthly article, “The Roots of Muslim Rage”. Lewis was to move on and became “perhaps the most significant intellectual influence behind the invasion of Iraq” and a recipient of the Irving Kristol Award.
But then I was informed that, no, “the clash of civilizations” is actually a paleoconservative idea, because paleocons are true blue advocates for the West, and the West is under assault at this point in time, post Cold War, by the civilization of Islam, according to Lewis and Huntington.
Being something of a super paleocon myself, this assertion seemed to have a whiff of validity, except that the purported clash is taking place primarily inside Europe, due to Muslim immigrants who were invited there to work. In other words, immigration to Europe was not a circumstance dreamed up by the alleged adversaries of the West, as a tactic to win a contest. Friction between the primary population of a country and its minorities is not exactly something new and startling.
However, after reading Uri Avnery’s most recent ruminations on the same general topic, it now appears that the “clash of civilizations” predates both the “neocons” and the paleocons and is--surprise, surprise--a Zionist concept from day one. Read what Israeli peace advocate Avnery says, and see if you do not agree. “The Clash” has been a very useful idea for the Zionists to justify their ongoing machinations, not just to their dupes and agents in Washington, but to themselves. Huntington universalized the idea. His highfalutin book--did anybody actually read it?--has been left behind, overtaken by the uses to which it has been put and the agenda it serves. Avnery now refers to “The Clash of Civilizations” as a slogan. Leave it to him to demystify and clear up confusion.
The same can be said in spades for William Pfaff in Paris, who is neither a “neocon” nor a paleocon, but just an honest, informed observer trying to make sense out of the passing scene when it comes to U.S. foreign policy. Not an easy assignment nowadays, of course, but he has had a lot of practice going back to the 1950’s, with no axe to grind. His most recent effort, “A Non-interventionist American Foreign Policy”, centers once more upon Iraq, which remains a nightmare from which there is no apparent escape.
What a better world it would be now if only official Washington had taken its cue over the years from Pfaff, instead of from puffed up establishment types like Bill Safire and Tom Friedman, not to mention Bernard Lewis and Henry Kissinger. Perhaps there would be no “clash of civilizations” at all. Actually, the real clash which counts is between the bogus wise men and the true wise men. Pfaff and Avnery are firmly in the latter camp. You will not find them as regulars on the Charlie Rose show. God bless Ex America.
--Copyright 2007 Patrick Foy--