“Clash of Civilizations”: Imperialism’s Justification for Permanent War

Gilbert Mercier

It is hard to contest that 9/11 was the opening salvo of  the notion of “clash of civilization”, a simple yet effective concept to justify a state of permanent war. Permanent wars against some elusive “enemies” generate a constant state of fear which in return allows governments to curtail some of the most basic liberties.   What is better than a concept such as the endless war on terror to justify any actions against any countries? If the narrative of “clash of civilizations” started 11 years ago, in the immediate aftermath of 9/11/2001, the recent events in the Middle-East show that we are still living in this nightmarish engineered reality. The notion of conflict of civilizations has a lot more in common with crusades or clash between religions than clash between actual cultures or people. It is concocted and fueled by the rulers of the global system to create conflicts between people who are intrinsically on the same side. It is the ultimate tool of repression invented by the global 1 percent to keep the 99 percent divided.

The irrational emotional components which come with the three main monotheist religions are great tools to manipulate people who strictly follow this type of belief systems. If 9/11 was a perfect excuse to attack and invade Afghanistan and Iraq, the recent events unfolding in the Middle-East provide the perfect rational for the Obama administration to deploy combat troops in Libya, Yemen and wherever else he will deem necessary in the coming days, to “protect US personals and facilities”. The troops are unlikely to leave anytime soon: once again the notion that we are in a state of permanent war can justify any/all imperialist actions.The current Muslim rage is creating fear is the West, which will conveniently prepare the public opinions in the United States and Western Europe that new invasions and wars- lets say against Iran- are needed.

In the past few days, anger directed towards the United States, Israel and Western Europe has exploded all over the Middle-East starting with Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen. It is now spreading as far as Bangladesh and Indonesia and also to Europe and any countries with a substantial Muslim community such as Australia.Demonstrations, some time violent, have spread like wild fire across the world in front of US embassies or consulates and also businesses symbolizing the United States. The spark was an obscure and very poorly made film, apparently directed by an Israeli citizen living in the United States, which depicts the prophet Muhammad as a womanizer and a child molester.

But the rage engulfing the Arab world and far beyond all of Islam goes a lot further than just this film. The wave of optimism which spread last year in the Middle-East has been replaced by deep frustration and a sense of alienation. The Arab people are realizing that they have been robbed of what they perceived as the unstoppable 2011 Arab revolution. Autocrats have been kicked out of power in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen, but they have been either replaced  by Islamist fundamentalists such as the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafis-all financed and acting on behalf of Saudi Arabia and Qatar-or directly disposed off-like Qaddafi in Libya and probably very soon al-Assad in Syria- by the United States and NATO. Overall, the United States, Israel and Western Europe are meddling even more in the affairs of the Middle-East than before the Arab Spring. The empire and its allies is actively promoting the Talibanization of the entire region with the enthusiastic support and complicity of the autocrats ruling Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Meanwhile, the Arab people, either Sunni or Shiites, and further all Muslims have come to the realization that, despite all the claims of the contrary, they are the pawns of a tragic geopolitical imbroglio where fostering conflicts-to justify invasions and resources grabbing- is always on the agenda. Syria is the perfect case study in this sort of exercise, but so was Iraq in 2003. The current alliance of Israel and Saudi Arabia is quite telling in this regard. The Saudis want a Sunni dominance in the Middle-East under their control, and they are just as eager as Israel to attack Iran to diminish the role of  Shiites within Islam. Saudis- as well as the Islamist fundamentalists on their payroll- and Israelis are only friends if friendship is defined by being the “enemy of my enemy”. In this case, it is of course the build up to attack Iran. The United States and the UK have been bringing even more military assets into the Straight of Hormuz which seems to indicate that a strike on Iran could be imminent. The tension in the region could give Israel a perfect excuse for a strike on Iran, and by doing so rudely disrupt the US electoral calendar.


One thought on ““Clash of Civilizations”: Imperialism’s Justification for Permanent War

  1. “Autocrats have been kicked out of power in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen….”
    I object to the notion, that in Libya an autocratic regime has been kicked out of power and I don’t see any change in Yemen.

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