India Uncut

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Monday, July 18, 2005

In the world of Hobbes (not Calvin's friend)

Ian Buruma writes in the Financial Times:
Just imagine the results if the advocates of immediate western withdrawal from the Middle East got their wish. There would be a Hobbesian mayhem of battling warlords in Afghanistan and an all-out civil war in Iraq. This might well enable a small number of bloodthirsty religious fanatics to achieve what has so far eluded them, namely to grab the power of a major Arab state, with all its resources, to carry on their holy war against all those who do not submit to their totalitarian fantasies.
Yeah, and the Taliban would probably say: been there, done that. Buruma's piece, "Homeland insecurity", is a superb analysis of how difficult fighting extremism will be for the West. He avoids simplistic traps and explores the nuances of the issue quite well.

Also, in case you haven't already read it, do check out his fine book (co-written with Avishai Margalit) "Occidentalism: The West in the Eyes of Its Enemies".
amit varma, 11:06 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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