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The global clash of emotions by Dominique Moisi The International Herald Tribune

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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 02:57 PM
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The global clash of emotions by Dominique Moisi The International Herald Tribune
The global clash of emotions
Dominique Mosi
Thursday, December 14, 2006
The International Herald Tribune

"Thirteen years ago, Samuel Huntington argued that a "clash of civilizations" was about to dominate world politics. Events since then have proved Huntington's vision more right than wrong. It would be more correct, however, to speak of a "clash of emotions." The Western world displays a culture of fear, the Arab and Muslim worlds are trapped in a culture of humiliation, and much of Asia displays a culture of hope.

The United States and Europe are divided by a common culture of fear. On both sides, one encounters, in varying degrees, a fear of the other, a fear of the future and a fundamental anxiety about the loss of identity and control over one's destiny in an increasingly complex world.

In the case of Europe, there is the fear of being invaded by the poor, primarily from the south. Europeans also fear being blown up by radical Islamists or being demographically conquered by them as their continent becomes a "Eurabia." Then there is the fear of being left behind economically. Finally, there is the fear of being ruled by an outside power, even a friendly one (such as the United States) or a faceless one (such as the European Commission).

Some of the same sense of loss of control is present in the United States. Demographic fears are mitigated, but they are clearly present. Americans do not fear economic decay the way Europeans do (although they worry about outsourcing). Yet they, too, are thinking of decline in their bodies, with the plague of obesity; in their budgets, with the huge deficits; and in their spirit, with the loss of appetite for foreign adventures and a growing questioning of national purpose. And of course after 9/11, Americans are obsessed with security.


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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:14 PM
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1. Very succint explication of where efforts should really go
"... The challenge is not figuring out how to play moderate Islam against the forces of radicalism. It is figuring out how to encourage a sufficient sense of hope and progress in Muslim societies so that despair and anger do not send the masses into the radicals' arms. ..."

Hopefully our next president will recognize that, and have the integrity and the balls to move things in that direction, because this administration won't. Hopefully it won't have made things too astronomically worse.
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applegrove Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-01-07 03:18 PM
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2. Yes..the Middle East is a hornet's nest because that is what the neocons
Edited on Mon Jan-01-07 03:21 PM by applegrove
want..for people to be forced to choose war and violence or to reject the radical islamists. People are not black or white until they are very afraid. Look what happened to the Lebanese after their cedar revolution. As long as the jihadists are baiting Israel or any democracy movement to survive..I cannot see how democracy will break out all over the place. People will be afraid...which is how they end up supporting violent factions. * WH is nuts. Peace with Israel should be the first thing on the agenda. Then the radicals will not have a scapegoat to keep civilians busy with hate...and their attention will turn to their own problems & lack of democracy.
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