In an article Palestine and the War of Civilisations, inspired by the current events and the death of Samuel Phillips Huntington (December 24, 2008), the author of The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order, Jonathan Power, notes that the idea of the Clash of Civilizations played an important role in the West's current wars and that:
"All might have been different if the West had remained true to the precepts of its own Greek and Christian founding and the wise notions of the philosophers of the Enlightenment."
The idea that the "West" (USA, Britain, France, ...) has lost its principles, which once made it lead the world, is not unique to J. Power, but has been repeatedly expressed by western public figures. And calls have been made for the West to return to these old values, and to fill the "moral vacuum" in which it finds itself.
But, how can it do it?
The last vestiges of "Greek and Christian founding" had vanished from "the West" around the middle of the 20th century.
Today "the Western Civilization" is lead by failed pop-stars turned Prime Ministers, half-reformed alcoholics who can't even write their own speeches elected as Presidents, and ex-communists turned small-c conservatives (preserving their own political careers), who see themselves as "The Establishment".
To these people any mention of morality, raises a frightening question: "Where would we have been, if government were moral (i.e. just, competent and honest)?".
Nor can these "foundings" be re-established, even if there would arise people who would want to do so.
Few people in the West can read Classical Greek, or would see that ancient culture relevant to the modern world. And can the central belief of Christianity in the "divinity" of Jesus (and all the "theology" built upon it) be reconciled with the current state of the Human Knowledge? And do they have the time to read all those philosophers of the Enlightenment, while entertainment is abundant and drugs and alcohol are cheap?
Neither the old values, nor the past Imperial Glory can be restored, and the lost sense of direction makes the Western Establishment feel insecure. Their dominance is collapsing and they are afraid. They feel surrounded by threats - threats from Other Civilizations.
And this is why the idea of a Clash of Civilizations has been so eagerly absorbed by the Western Mind.
But the danger to the West does not come from any foreign "invaders", Muslim, Russian, or Chinese, but from its own progressive moral decay, which is being followed by economic decay, as the wealth inherited from the past is being squandered away. While the Other Civilizations are re-discovering themselves and are on the ascend due to their superior morality.
Apart from occasional violent reactions to the "policies" of the West (like the 9/11), the Other Civilizations would be willing to cooperate with the West, learn from the West, and absorb and put to good use, whatever good (science, technology, ...) is still left, but they want to be treated as equals and this is what the West cannot accept. It still deludes itself, believing in its superiority, leadership, values. But the superiority is only military, and the "values" are nothing but corruption and decay.
So, when the West tries to assert its "leadership" and promote its "values" relying on its "military superiority", the Others baulk and reject such advances.
This can be observed in the relationships of the West with post-Communist Russia, China, and the Arab and Muslim world.
So, what shall halt this progressive decay?
It is the disasters that the West's leaders are bringing upon their own countries and the rest of the world, that shall eventually halt this process and the people of that geographical area shall recover their moral direction with the help of and as a result of their contact with the other morally superior civilizations.
The War of Civilizations is not a war of the West with Other Civilizations, but a war of the West with its own Civilizational Decay.
But the end of this war shall not be a restoration of the West's former dominance over the Other Civilizations. One single Human Civilization shall emerge. And no tribe, country or continent shall dominate the rest, but all human relations shall be based on the three simple principles: Truth, Honesty, and Justice.
As far as Palestine is concerned. It is just a dispute about land, which can be resolved by turning a land grab into a land purchase. And, had the West "retained its Greek and Christian values", or simply learnt to be just and honest, and its governments had not been taken over by one of the disputing parties which uses the West's military might to retain and increase its land conquests at the expense of the other under the slogans of War on Terror and "Clash of Civilizations", this would have been done long ago.