Image: Ending War is Our Responsibility, by Steeper33, “If your neighbour was beating his child would you say or do anything? Most people would say yes but what’s interesting is that people would care if it’s happening beside them but they don’t care when it’s happening in the other side of the world in our name.
Resisting the “Clash of Civilizations”: The 10 year anniversary of the War on Terrorism is commemorated by non-violent grassroots occupations globally
By Lucid, WEARECHANGETORONTO.ORG
October 11, 2011
October 7th 2011 marked the end of the first decade of the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The Afghanistan invasion, led by Canada, the US and NATO, has been fought purportedly in retaliation for the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks, but with each passing year what becomes increasingly evident is that the “war on terrorism” with it’s manifold “humanitarian interventions” amounts to nothing more than a war of conquest, colonialism and crimes against humanity. To honour the somber occasion and to underline it’s significance, former Afghan MP, human rights activist Malalai Joya put out an impassioned plea to her Canadian supporters not to give up, as she had not given up, steadfast in her commitment for peace and security for her people in her country.
“Respected friends, 10 years ago the US and NATO invaded my country under the fake banners of woman’s rights, human rights and democracy but after a decade Afghanistan remains the most uncivil, most corrupt and most war torn country in the world.
The consequences of the so called ‘war on terrorism’ has only made more bloodshed, crimes, bible-ism, human rights and woman’s rights violations, which has doubled the miseries and sorrows of our people.
When Barack Obama first took office in 2008 his first promise to my people was more conflict and more war. It was during Obama’s administration that civilian deaths increased by 24 % and the result of the surge of troops of Obama’s administration is more massacres, more crimes, violence, destruction, pain and tragedy. That is why he proved himself a war monger, a second and more dangerous Bush”
Joya is not just another voice in the wilderness. She has travelled the world speaking at parliaments and universities to promote peace. She has earned wide recognition and respect and is titled among the top 10 most important thinkers alive today, alongside intellectual giants like Noam Chomsky.  It is because of her first hand experience combating corruption within Afghanistan, and her long crusade to create peace through speaking out that we should listen to her ideas. 10 years on in this war, Canadians really ought to reflect on it’s meaning. We should recognize it’s profoundly devastating impact upon the Afghan civilian population. The Afghan invasion was planned long in advance of 2001, but it’s significance and strategic value pales in comparison to the broader war agenda. Ultimately, our country’s military efforts to liberate Afghanistan from the Taliban regime is failing and perhaps there are other alternatives to peace and security.
The “Clash of Civilizations” thesis proposed at the end of the 20th century by Samuel Huntington, sought to shape the framework and historical context for debate around how and why America had to strengthen it’s military, in part due to what he saw as the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Mid-East and parts of Asia that could undermine democratic stability. His ideas were immediately with stern criticism from many scholars however, for a short time after the attacks of September 11th the thesis revisited as a valid and relevant.
The rhetoric of president George W. Bush concerning the Axis of Evil  in the the lead up to the 2003 Iraq invasion strongly echoed the sentiments of Huntington’s essay, The Clash of Civilizations – The Next Pattern of Conflicts. Huntington, a Harvard professor and national security adviser who wrote for Foreign Affairs magazine, predicted through his model of the evolutionary history of conflict, that the end of the “cold war” ushered in the need for a new order, one in which the ideology of nations would yield to cultural and civilization identities that would realign and reshape world politics. 
“It is my hypothesis that the fundamental source of conflict in this new world will not be primarily ideological or primarily economic. The great divisions among humankind and dominating source of conflict will be cultural. The “Clash of Civilizations” will dominate global politics, the fault lines between civilizations will be the battle lines of the future”, 
But as the invasion wore on, war atrocities came into being, the intentions of the Bush administration in fighting the war also came to be regarded as suspicious. Certainly “patterns of conflict” were evident, but not the kind that Huntington tried to put forth in his evolution of conflict model. Rather, since the dropping of the atom bomb over Hiroshima in 1945, the US has been embarked in a “long war” that has spanned the entire world. The “post war” era has been in-fact a period of continuous war and militarization. In total, the US has invaded, intervened in and sponsored wars and military coups and covert assaults in some 44 countries, leaving an estimated 10 million killed, (not accounting for other casualties indirectly attributed to poverty, starvation and disease, resulting from wars and other aggressive maneuvers such as sanctions and embargoes.) 
The clash of civilization theory is thus incredulous in it’s historical survey of modern politics and conflict, because it overlooks, or does not account for, policies and actions taken by the United States that have set the stage for a civilization sized conflict, a third world war.
Huntington and ideologues of similar stripes putting forth a “west versus the rest” theory ask their followers to go along in the assumption that the cause of division and conflict comes from cultural differences. Accordingly these differences are felt personally, such as religion, and supersede national or ideological interests. Huntington’s clash of civilization essay makes a number of good points but the premise it is founded upon is nothing but an elaborately constructed straw man argument and false historical interpretation, designed to prop up and support a justification for an economic and military campaign against targeted peoples.
The great literary critic Edward Said was quick to identify this and openly rejected Huntington’s ideas, clarifying this problem.
“Primitive passions and sophisticated know how converge in many ways that give the lie to a fortified boundary not only between “the West” and “Islam” but also between the past and present, us and them, to say nothing of the very concepts of identity and nationality about which there is an unending disagreement and debate. A unilateral decision made to draw lines in the sand, to undertake crusades, to oppose their evil with our good, to extirpate terrorism and in Paul Wolfowitz’s nihilistic vocabulary, “to end nations entirely,” doesn’t make the supposed entities any easier to see, rather it speaks to how much simpler it is to make bellicose statements for the purposes of mobilizing passions than to reflect, examine, sort out what we are dealing with in reality, the interconnectedness of innumerable lives, ours as well as theirs.” 
The rhetoric put forth in support of the “war on terrorism” is largely an adaptation, a resurrection of the “war on communism”. Huntington’s assertion that ideologies, though divisive among civil society, are not the precipitating forces that lead to war. Ideologies are used as justification but wars are fought for territory. Huntington, in order to support his premise, ignores the glaringly obvious historical facts that America had been actively reshaping and redrawing national maps in distant regions, supporting and toppling various regimes, and inflicting massive amounts of civilian casualties with a total disregard for international law.
Whereas the US and Western world combined account for only an approximate 4% of the total world oil reserves, the US led war in the broader Mid-East and Central Asia intends to take control of the greater portion of the Arab oil reserves, consisting of at least 60%, as well as territorial access to oil and natural gas pipeline routes out of the region. The largest share of the world ‘s oil reserves lie in the region from Yemen, north to the Caspian sea, from the eastern Mediterranean coast to the Persian Gulf.
Today the US and NATO forces are waging numerous wars on different fronts. Countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, now Libya and potentially Iran are where the conflicts are being waged most intensively. Yet despite the succession of numerous presidential administrations in the United States, the foreign policy agenda has carried through on a straight and unwavering path first set out at the close of the Second World War. The ideology that Huntington suggests be adapted for the “Bush doctrine” in 1998 were not fundamentally any different than the ideas that George F Kennan put forth for the “Truman Doctrine” in 1948, specifically to target regions that hold strategic value to further the interests of America’s foreign policy goals, economic and military supremacy. 
Ironically it has been the grassroots movement now empowered and connected through the internet who have become united in solidarity and common cause against the tyrannical regimes that divide them, through the creative adaptation of the occupation strategy. In idea so simple yet so profoundly effective that it gained the momentum of a preponderance of diverse supporters, prompting the rapid spread of solidarity events in capital cities around the globe. From Tahrir to Tel-Aviv, from Madrid to Manhattan, the people of the world are standing united as one. Their singular message is incontestable; the people want democracy.
Perhaps this will be the final nail in the coffin of the “Clash of Civilization” thesis. Civilization flourishes and thrives through it’s diversity. When cultures collide it creates a renaissance, not a bloody revolution. The notion given by the ideologues that support the war agenda, the notion that a third world war is immanent, is fraudulent. It is a notion that has been propped up by historically distorted premises that religions and cultural differences incite hatred and foster the entrenchment of hostility. 
The reality is that fundamentalist agitators, Islamic versus “Free Market” are a minority among the civilized world. Joya calls them the “dark minded” and she encourages that we become empowered against them through peaceful resistance;
“Democracy will never come by military invasion. Democracy without independence is meaningless. It is only the nations that can liberate themselves.
“I hope one day Afghanistan will also see the glorious uprising like other Middle Eastern countries. As of now we are witnessing small uprisings in some of our provinces which is a source of hope for the bright future of Afghanistan.
I would like to ask all peace loving justice seekers, anti-war movements and the democratic intellectual individuals around the world to join their hands with democratic minded people of our country who are able to fight against fundamentalism and occupation. Therefore my message to you is please empower educationally as I believe education is the key against ignorance and towards emancipation.” 
Further Reading: What is War and Globalization
 Malalai Joya, Malalai Joya’s Message on the Tenth Anniversary of Nato’s War and Occupation in Afghanistan, October 2011
 Malalai Joya & Noam Chomsky The Case for Withdrawal from Afghanistan, Haymarket Books, March 2011
 George W. Bush, State of the Union, January 29, 2002, University of Virginia, Miller Center, February 2002
 Noam Chomsky, Humanitarian Imperialism: The New Doctrine of the Imperial Right, September 2008
 Samuel Huntington The Clash of Civilizaitons, Foreign Affairs, 1993
 Michel Chossudovsky The Criminalization of US Foreign Policy, From the Truman Doctrine to the Neo-Conservatives, Global Research, February 2007
 Edward Said, The Clash of Ignorance The Nation Magazine, October, 2001
 Ibid, 6
 Ibid, 5
 Ibid, 1