World War III?
(July 28, 2006)
the violence in
what are those sides? Many,
especially the radical Islamicists, see it as a clash of civilizations: Islamic
versus the Jewish-Christian cabal that has invaded their territory. Certain it must look like that to
them. The recent call by Dr.
Zawahiri -- Osama bin Laden's strategy theorist -- to kill the infidel
"crusaders" everywhere and to restore the Muslim empire from Iraq to
Spain is a clear reference to long-past Islamic glory. However, that Zawahiri curiously left
Granted that all of us are "conservative" when it comes to protecting our own skins or pet interests. But what most characterizes modern Western civilization is its liberal secularity. We see individual freedom -- "libertas" in Latin -- as the paramount value, and have, one nation after another, repudiated the once close ties between Church and State that once characterized medieval civilization. No doubt we have overdone it at times, confusing the institution of an official church with religion in general.
the Islamic world, the ideal is completely different. The ideal Islamic nation
is one where there is really should be no distinction between the two even if
there is such, to some extent, in practice. We see this particularly in Wahabist
However, the fact that it really all boils down to a war between modern secular liberalism versus a radicalized religious conservatism should make us think twice before we launch out on any new "crusades" in defense of "Christian" civilization. While there are some religious nuts, especially in the USA, who believe in bringing on a "Armaggdon" is just what the world needs (so that Christ can come a second time, such thinking, like Zawahiri's call for a restoration of medieval Islam, especially in this nuclear age, is a sure road to disaster.