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Clash of Civilizations

April 3, 2008

HOUGHTON — In a lecture Monday evening, journalist Mark Seddon covered a wide swath of American foreign policy.

Early on, the diplomatic correspondent for Al Jazeera English and former editor of the London Tribune pointed out the irony he perceives among certain elements in American politics that look forward to a future of the United States being an imperial power.

“I think the people who have talked about America as an empire and look at it as a good thing don’t understand America’s history,” he said, remarking that it was in breaking away from the imperialism of his home country, Great Britain, that the United States became a nation.

In his lecture titled “The Clash of Civilizations: Will the 21st Century Really Be America’s Century?,” Seddon said it is only within the latter portion of the last century that American primacy emerged in the world.

He said while the United States might not have to give up power in the 21st Century, the country may need to get used to the idea of sharing it as other powers emerge.

“I think in many ways this will be America’s century, but it will also be the century of India, China and Europe,” Seddon said.

The combination of politics, global threats and environmental meltdown will require sharing global resources. Common ground must be found, for world powers to be effective addressing the coming decades. Together, the global community can make survival possible. This is a monumental task that requires forward thinking leaders and a lot of re-education. World leaders must make lifestyle changes possible for their populations. World economies are intertwined and should be cared for as different parts of the same body. Results of the coming elections in the US and many major countries will determine if future survival of our species.

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