Are We in a Clash of Civilizations? Congressman Ron Paul
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.