The appropriate goal of American foreign policy, therefore, isrnto preserve that hegemony as far into the future as possible.” Inrnsum, hegemony for hegemony’s sake: we are obligated to takernup the white man’s burden, to take on the Sisyphean task ofrnpreserving the existing international order, seemingly forever.rnIn fairness to the Republicans, it should be noted that there isrngreater uneasiness on the GOP right about this trend thanrnthere is on the Democratic left, whose noninterventionismrnseems to have evaporated with the demise of communism.rnNote the hiew York Times’ piece (December 19, 1996) onrnMadeleine Albright’s “Munich Mindset” by Owen Harries,rneditor of the National Interest. Harries takes Albright to taskrnfor her “enthusiasm for action [of an] apparently indiscriminaternnature,” her seeming to “favor intervention generally and onrnprinciple,” and her viewing the world as “an endless series ofrnMunich-like challenges.” Whatever one might think of ColinrnPowell, one can only agree with Harries that the question shernonce put to the general—”What’s the point of having this superbrnmilitary that you’re always talking about if we can’t usernit?”—is nothing less than simpleminded. Harries’ warning fellrnon deaf ears as Albright was unanimously confirmed as Secretaryrnof State by the Senate, 99 to nothing. For those whornlament the demise of bipartisanship: Madame Albright meetrnMessrs. Kristol and Kagan, or for that matter, Jeane Kirkpatrick.rnThis is now the norm—^Tweedledee Anthony Lewis, TweedledumrnWilliam Safire. Make no mistake, whatever ordinaryrnAmericans might think, the political, media, and intellectualrnelites, regardless of their party affiliation, are firmly behindrnAmerica’s global enterprise.rnIt is hard to believe that just a few decades ago, before 1914,rnthe Western World—Europe, Christendom—little doubtingrnits obvious superiority, cultural as well as technological, overrnall other peoples, exercised direct authority over virtually thernentire world, over all other civilizations. The only serious exceptionrnwas Islam, as represented by the Ottoman Empire,rnwhich was widely seen to be on its last legs; the Christianrnpeoples of the Balkans had lately thrown off the Turkish yoke,rnand prospects loomed for the reconquest of Anatolia and thernLevant.rnAll of this came crashing down in 1914. Due largely to thernsame arrogance that had fed the rush for empire, and which,rnwith little modification, impels our contemporary neoimperialists,rnthe European powers embarked upon an orgy of autogenocidernthat probably has never been equaled at any time on anyrncontinent. And not content with that, they gave it another gorn20 years later, and, at the conclusion of their second world war,rnthey embarked upon the Cold War. The result is a civilizationrnthat is a shadow of its former self, crippled, wounded—perhapsrnfatally—that is culturally, morally, religiously moribund. Perhapsrnmost telling, it is demographically moribund: when peoplernrefuse to produce offspring at even replacement level, this isrnsure evidence that the disease is terminal.rnWe are still living in the wreckage left from World War I. Itrnis generally acknowledged that among its results was the spawningrnof two very similar, crassly materialistic, antitraditional ideologies,rneach of which had found a home in one of the defeatedrnempires: Bolshevism in Russia and, largely a reaction torncommunism. National Socialism in Cermany. The activities ofrnthese two states—twins, in many ways—and the other powers’rnconcerns about them, were primarily the occasion of WorldrnWar II; the activities of the twin that survived and expanded itsrnpower in that conflict, the Soviet Union, were the occasion ofrnthe ensuing Cold War. This much is obvious.rnBut what is not generally acknowledged, and what perhaps isrnonly now becoming obvious, is that the war did not producern(and by produce I mean serve as a catalyst, not cause: the rootsrnare much deeper) just two such ideologies but three: the twinsrnwere actually triplets. While the third child of the war superficiallyrnresembled the old empires that had gone to war inrn1914—there was still a king in London, the Third Republicrncontinued to sputter along in France—what was missing wasrneven the pretense that civilization rested upon the old certainties,rnprimarily religious in origin, without which, it had been assumed,rnordered and moral life was impossible. Men were nornlonger ashamed to admit they were atheists; after all, if Cod reallyrnexisted, how could He have permitted that slaughter? Thernantitraditional impulse that had been growing for decades, perhapsrncenturies, before 1914, vastly accelerated after the warrnand, bit by bit, subtly but inexorably, established itself inrnacademia, the media, and in government. Today it holds untrammeledrnsway over virtually all formerly Christian countries.rnWhat had once been apostasy had become the ruling religion.rnWe have forgotten who we are,rnand when our hegemonistrnelites decide to bomb or starve somernother people, we do not know who,rnlet alone where, these people are.rnAs evidence, consider the celebrated article by SamuelrnHuntington, “The Clash of Civilizations?” in the June 1993 issuernof Foreign Affairs. Huntington’s thesis is that in the post-rnCold War worid the clash of ideologies (which had superseded,rnin turn, clashes among nation-states, dynasties, and religions)rnwould itself be superseded by a clash of civilizations, which herndesignates as Western, Islamic, Confucian, Japanese, etc. Despiternsome serious flaws in his presentation, I think the overallrnthrust is correct. Consider, however, what Huntington sees asrnthe distinguishing core concepts of the West: individualism,rnliberalism, constitutionalism, human rights, equality, liberty,rnthe rule of law, democracy, free markets, the separation ofrnchurch and state. These are criteria (identical to those assumedrnby Kristol and Kagan, and all of them amenable to manipulation)rnthat could not by any means have described Europeanrncivilization during most of its long history but are only applicablernto its current decrepitude. One would never know that Europeanrncivilization has been characterized, primarily, by thernChristian religion (though divided into a number of communions)rnand shared ethnic and linguistic origins, specifically thernvarious branches of the Indo-European family: a discernible localrnethno-religious culture occupying a defined homeland inrnthe Northern part of the planet.rnFinally, with regard to the post-Cold War worid, the powerrn28/CHRONICLESrnrnrn