RealClearPolitics – Articles – Will the West Stumble?
Originally posted on http://eric-odessit.spaces.live.com/.
Will the West Stumble?By Victor Davis Hanson
What a stupid question. By any benchmark of economic prosperity, military power, and political stability, Western civilization–in the United States, Europe, and the former British Commonwealth–has never been stronger. Globalization has become a euphemism for Westernization, an apparent unstoppable juggernaut.
So how could the lingua franca of English, uniform international travel, or worldwide commerce ever falter–given that American-style material bounty is spreading among billions the world over?
But the global sale of PlayStation 3 or a world in Levis is only the glitzy veneer of civilization. That shared taste almost unnoticeably hinges on a powerful and liberal United States that keeps the peace and remains the spiritual and intellectual fountainhead of an entire global system–one ultimately dependent on American core ideas like freedom and tolerance. What pressures China to liberalize, protects the creativity of Japan, assures Europeans they can be postmodernists in safety, and guarantees that the world commerce is protected from both old and new piracy is a confident and strong United States.
In contrast, grant a jihadist his 7th-century dream world, and within months even he wouldn’t have a cell phone signal to call in an IED explosion.
There is a sick ingenuity of a sort that can disguise terrorists as state policemen in Baghdad to kidnap and torture the innocent, and outwit Humvees with land mines. The improvised explosive device, with help from Iran, gets ever more complex. And there is a great deal of mental energy, time, and money that went into making rockets and suicide belts or even the graphics on a bin Laden infomercial.
How odd that Iranians cannot design a car or computer, but can with the proper instruction manual spend millions of hours putting together Western-designed centrifuges, like the stamped lettered-parts of a build-it-your-self intricate model toy.
This is just a teaser. Read the whole thing.
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