Clash of the civilization is a theory proposed by Huntington (1993) that cultural and religious identity of people will major source of conflict in post-Cold War world. According to Huntington (1993) during the history wars were between monarchs, their armies they want to expand their lands and finally they created nation states. Starting with French Revolution where monarchy headed by Louis XVI was overthrown and it was beginning of the war between nations.
There were many other revolutions, so 20th century began with World War I, and after Russian Revolution, and reaction for it conflict between nations was replaced by conflict of ideologies. This confrontation spread firstly among fascism, communism and liberal democracies, then after World War II between communism and West, those known in history like Cold War. During the Cold War this conflict was transformed to clash between two superpowers that defined their identity in terms of their ideologies.
Nowadays there are many different civilizations, which are big players in international arena, like China, West, and Islam World countries and in the same time there are subdivisions in these blocks. For example, West is divided to European countries and North America; Islam had Turkic, Arab and Malay subdivisions. Huntington (1993) proclaims that the differences between civilizations are basic. History, culture, language, traditions and religion have become a major source of conflicts between representatives of different civilization.
Also an economic factor is important, because of unfair distribution of resources and economic regionalism. World has became a smaller place, and in future it will be difficult to avoid such kind of interactions. Some people strongly believe that clash of civilizations leads humanity to destruction; however, lot of people think that clash of civilizations can bring the advantages to opposing sides. Firstly, clash of civilization divides people of different cultures. There are many unsolved issues between Muslims and Christians.
Today, as globalization increases power, and the geopolitical center is displaced to the east and, first of all, in Middle Eastern region, the problem of mutual relations of regional civilizations of the West and the Islamic world gets the extend urgency. It is confirmed with events of recent days. Revolutions in Tunis, Morocco, Egypt, Syria and Libya visually show not only instability of the given region, but also concentration of wars and attention of the international community (Steavenson, 2011).
Huntington (1993) confidently and not unreasonably declares old enmity of regional civilizations of the West and the Islamic world. On its party history: the Arabian expansion VII-IX centuries, crusades and a gain Osman Turks of the Byzantine Empire confirm this thesis. From the historical point of view one of major factors in development of relations between the named civilizations is the religion. Islam and Christianity, according to Huntington (1993), too different to each other, and they can’t coordinate in the same way.
According to Huntington (1993), the reasons of the renewed conflict lie in demographic, cultural and imperious spheres. Populations are growth in the Muslim countries and its increasing migrations to Europe and the USA and in same time radical Islam propaganda escalates national confidence in a power of their state. Also attempts of the West to impose all to the world, and Arabs in particular, West liberal “universal” values and disappearance of communistic camp as the general enemy for the West and Islam don’t add confidence in peace. All this dissimilarities can be a cause of a big conflict that will transform to the war.
Today Islam took a form of fundamental Islam, and radical followers of Islam think that all means are legal and everybody is a potential target (Cogen, 2005). According to Cogen (2005) today Islam is reformatting, and the dissociating from other cultures can be the reason that fundamental Islam can manifest itself in any time and any place. This kind of radical behavior causes the terrorist activities among Islam followers. And it happens not because Islam is a dangerous religion, but the Western aggressive and resources oriented politics, so radicalism became a defensive way of behavior.
There are many examples of bloody conflicts against Muslim and Christians; it’s Kosovo in former Yugoslavia where thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Serbs were killed during the conflict, genocide of Armenians in Turkey. So “As people define their identity in ethnic and religious terms, they are likely to see an “us” versus “them” relation existing between themselves and people of different ethnicity or religion” (Huntington, 1993, p. 29). Clash of civilizations can be in form of ideological confrontation.
The example is the Cold War period can be an example of division of people from different cultures. According to Huntington (1993) during Cold War the world divided into First, Second and Third World countries. First and the Second World countries were capitalist and communist regime countries and Third World counties were remaining countries. According to Waltz (n. d. ) first and next post-war decades have become history as the period of Cold War, the period of the sharp Soviet-American opposition time and not at once push the world on a side of “hot war”.
Cold War was a confrontation of Russian communist ideology and Western capital system. It is impossible to consider a situation of “cold war” as a situation unnatural, beyond normal historical development. Cold war – the natural stage of the Soviet-American relations generated in the conditions of post-war “sharing” of the world, aspiration to create “the zone of influence” on more as it is possible territory which represents economic and military interest (Waltz, n. d. ).
After the end of the Second World War countries of Western Europe and the USA had united against the USSR. Soviet Union, aspiring to secure itself, had created round the border some kind of the buffer, having surrounded itself with the countries in which upon termination of military operations the Prosoviet governments were generated. Thus the world was divided into two camps: capitalist and socialist. Both sides created so-called systems of collective safety – military blocks. After creation of the NATO and the Warsaw Pact in the world there was a bipolar system (Waltz, n. . ).
As Toal (2001) proclaims United States already began the program of arms scale. Soviet Union also started it. Gradually it has poured out in race of arms between two superpowers. It was a dangerous time because the two super powers with thousands of nuclear bombs were the main enemies in their warfare doctrines (Toal, 2001). And it was guarantee of destruction of whole countries if they will reach open warfare. And consequence was the “Iron Curtain” between camps. Both superpowers start propaganda against each other.
Also Cold War started many armed conflicts in Third World countries, called proxy wars, where Western block and USSR used third countries in substitution of direct conflict and establish their own regime. For example Vietnam War started in 1964 when USA supported South Vietnam and USSR supported North Vietnam, similar situation was in Korean peninsula in 1950. Clash between countries became a result of new way of thinking in minds of citizens of both camp, they became antagonist. The bright example is Berlin Wall, which was a symbol of separation of the World, in field of politics, and people minds.
So the clash of civilization can be in form of cultural confrontation like a religious rivalry between Muslim and Christians. Similarly it can be in form of ideological grapple such in time of Cold War. And these forms of the clash of civilization are challenge for peace and progress of humanity, and leads to physical and moral destruction. Secondly, clash of civilizations stimulates terrorist activities in a both sides. Some radical Islamic terrorist groups attract attention of the wide public by terrorist actions.
Majority of Muslims today thinking that United States it’s a last wall that stops Islam (Muhammad, Islam and Terrorism, 2005). Osama Bin Laden was single terrorist leader which declared jihad to United States and their allies (Praja, n. d. ). Also Bin Laden urges all true believers to take part in sacred war against the pro-American governments among the Muslim world and all upon not believers. “Permission to fight is given to those against whom war is made, because they have been wronged – and Allah indeed has power to help them” (Surra 22:40, Qur’an).
So jihad is not “holy war”, but “struggle” and “effort” (Praja, n. d. ). The jihad followers proclaim that they are victims of US hegemony. After that radical Islamist started using the terrorism as weapon against innocent people. There are many examples of using violence on innocent citizens: 9/11, train detonation in Madrid, explosion of London Underground, etc. All this events killed huge number of non-combats. September 11 event became an official start of Western so-called “war on terror” which as a matter of fact is state terror.
Nevertheless it was a terrible action killed thousands of people and was made by terrorist group Al-Qaeda under Osama Bin Laden command. This bloody event starts a fundamental change in the US foreign policy, begins a neoconservative agenda against Islam terrorism as a main threat to US national security (Salem, 2008). According to Salem (2008) this kind of policy led US to intervention of Afghanistan, occupation of Iraq; started to promote regime change in Iran and Syria, and pressure on allies with only “with-us-or-against-us” dilemma.
And also democratization agenda proclaims that terrorism originated in repressive states, and only transformation the dictatorship into democracy can bring stability, but this neoconservative US foreign policy brings indirect consequences- the empowerment of Iran, the eruption of Sunni-Shi’i conflict in Iraq, the resurgence of Kurdish ambitions, the flourishing of al-Qaeda in Iraq- it bring instability and additional opportunities to local countries (Salem, 2008).
Also US “war on terror” started the change in foreign policies of US allies in the region, like Turkey, Israel, made them more aggressive (Salem, 2008). For example Israel failure Camp David Summit between prime-minister of Israel Ehud Barak and leader of Palestinian Autonomy Yasser Arafat, and started two military campaigns: one in the summer of 2006 to eliminate Hezbollah in Lebanon and the other against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Also Turkey starts work more widely on Kurdish problem, and provides military help to US in Kurdish Iraq. After the US “war on terrorism” policy gives US right to made a terrorist actions against some countries, they start open military warfare in Afghanistan and Iraq not only against Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, but also against common citizens, and it’s similar with Islam fundamentalist’s which achieve their goals by any means.
According to Biddle (2005) “war on terror” is closer to “war on strategic bombings” or “war on amphibious assault” and this methods are not orthodox warfare strategy, and “one normally makes war on an enemy, not a method”. Nevertheless the major consequences of “war on terror” policy were an intervention to Afghanistan and Iraq. After September 11 Bush administration proclaimed a “war on terror”, and with support of NATO was deployed into Afghan territories to fight against terrorism and promote “freedom” (Mostad, 2008).
As Mostad (2008) says that it unclear what meant by “freedom”. According to Bush JR (2006) in his speech on global war on terror in 2006, says that there are two major goals of military presence in Afghanistan is to arrest terrorists responsible for 9/11 and to promote freedom in country. But today is 2011, US is under Obama administration, and billions of dollar are spending many of people are still dying, and terrorist responsible for 9/11 including Osama Bin Laden are dead or jailed, they are still trying to promote “freedom”. And it is not clear when it will be end.
On the eve of intrusion the official position of the USA consist that Iraq breaks substantive provisions of the resolution of the UN Security Council 1441 and is engaged in working out of weapons of mass destruction and that it is necessary to disarm Iraq in a power way. The USA and Great Britain planed to take voting in Security council under corresponding resolution developed by them, but had refused it as Russia, China and France had let know that they will put a veto for any resolution containing the ultimatum, allowing to use force against Iraq.
Having ignored this circumstance, United States had begun military operation early in the morning on March 20, 2003 (Iraq War: Prelude to War, n. d. ). The international coalition forces entered into Iraq, put the main objective overthrow of Saddam Hussein regime and formation in Iraq the capable government leaning against support of a considerable part of the population.
There were also two more declared purposes – detection and destruction the weapons of mass destruction and detection of the data proving that Saddam support the international terrorism. As a result already to the beginning of 2004 it became clear that the USA and their allies did not found any traces of weapons of mass destruction as it was not possible to prove charge in support by the Iraq regime of terrorism (Iraq War: Prelude to War, n. d. ).
Movement of the Iraq resistance not in a condition to achieve an overall objective to compel the USA to disengage armies from Iraq. Considering that the military service in the USA is carried out under the contract, the American public opinion was actually not in a condition to force the government to go on a withdrawal of troops – especially after George Bush’s re-election meant support of its policy by the population (Iraq War: Prelude to War, n. d. ). Much bigger results to guerrillas managed to achieve drawing of blows on allies of the USA.
For example after terrorist action in Madrid March 11, 2004 Spain had removed their military troops from Iraq. And there are many examples when after terrorist pressure or some ultimatums like taking hostages, allies of US deduced their military forces from Iraq (Global Terrorism after the Iraq War, 2003). So these military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan didn’t stop the terrorism and didn’t promote freedom, this conflict provides only death and budget deficit.
And the Western methods in Afghanistan and Iraq are the kind of state terror against countries citizens, because it damaged not only military infrastructure and army but also damaged peaceful infrastructure and citizens, that similar to fundamental Islam principles, that there are no bad methods in process of achieving a goal. However, other people think that “war on terror” is a very profitable campaign for “crusaders”. There are many military equipment and mass-media companies having huge benefits because of war.
According to Shah (2011), world military spending in 2010 reached 1. 2 trillion in current dollars and 42% of world total is money spent by US government. Defense companies, which provides equipment to aid governments’ efforts to defend national interest and people calmness, and they donate funds to contribute to economic growth and to philanthropy. For example Military Philanthropy Council gives money to charity organizations and promotes activities that supporting veterans and their families. Israel investing huge amount of money to military sector of economy but it have today highest number of scientists and engineers (Peled, 2001).
According to Peled (2001) the defense industry accounts for about 25% of industrial output in Israel, and about 20% of total employment in the industrial sector. Peled (2001) says that military spending have a positive impact on developing countries development. This impact provided by following channels: advanced security system increases social welfare, training of high skilled workforce, creating infrastructure, increasing technical progress and encouraging spin-offs.
According to (Terrorism and the Media, 2008) these horrible actions which terrorist organizations can provide is very localized and affect only few people, and media is like a “oxygen” for terrorist. Because they can spread fear and achieve their political goals much faster. And in the same time terrorism is “oxygen” for the mass-media. Also these conflicts provoke shockwaves around the globe, and mass media companies trying to help people to understand the events, analyze it and give understandings of ongoing conflicts (Shah, 2007).
By broadcasting these “hot news” media corporations increases their ratings and in consequence this raising their profits (Terrorism and the Media, 2008). For example people which watching news on TV or read it online see that their government spending their money to weapons and wars, their compatriots are dying in battlefields, their behavior will oppose government position in this question, that sooner or later will lead to end of military operations or will change the leading party. According to Soriano (2008) Al-Qaeda members used Internet to directly speak with their audience, and they get safe place to exchange with information.
In conclusion, there are many negative aspects created by clash of civilizations, but it also can gives good opportunities for the both sides. These phenomena lead to cultural misunderstanding, big conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and provide pressure to Iran and Syria regimes. Also consequence of the clash of civilization is terrorist activities among many countries. Majority of news are about terrorist bombers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and more rarely about terrorist attacks in developed countries, about hostages, etc.
But in other hand confrontation will proceed despite everything, because of state interest and still not achieved goals. But good point is that military companies make philanthropic activities- donate money to veterans, their families and other charity funds. Also defense corporations help economy because of investing billions of dollars to this sector which developing science, increasing number of high-skilled workers. Also mass media playing a big role in this question, because they make profits and become a tool for so-called “informational war” for both civilizations.