Monday, March 07, 2005

Spengler, a writer in the Asia Times here on the chances for peace with Islam. Suffice it to say, he isn't optimistic.

One can destroy collective identity by main force, as US occupiers did in the former Axis countries, or batter it down by external pressure, as in the case of the Cold War. Whether the adversary society resists to the end, as in the case of Germany, or gives up without a shot, as in the case of the Soviet Union, is a matter of happenstance. In either case the result has been to push these societies down the road to extinction.

The United States has sufficient power to persuade Iraq's religious and tribal leaders to march their people to the polls as a condition for sharing power in a new government (The dotage of Iraq's democracy, February 2), or for that matter to extort a gesture toward multi-party elections out of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. But I do not believe that the Islamic world will abandon its long-developed sense of collective identity in favor of US-style democracy without tragic consequences.

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