The late Michael Krecas article The Needless US Pacific War with Japan, posted on LRC today, begins like this:
East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet… Rudyard Kipling
When Kipling penned those immortal words during the height of Pax Britannia in the 19th century, he believed East and West were so different in their respective civilizations and outlook that there would be no basis for any real understanding between the two hemispheres. True or untrue, at the times they each have met, it has often sadly been in the cauldron of warfare …
Okay, but two quibbles. First, the East in Kiplings poem refers to the Muslim world, not to East Asia; and second, the whole point of the poem is to deny that there is no basis for any real understanding between the two cultures instead, the reiterated message of Kiplings poem is that there is neither East nor West, border, nor breed, nor birth, when two strong men stand face to face, tho they come from the ends of the earth.
(Needless to say, Kipling is not exactly consistent in maintaining this attitude of equality and mutual respect between cultures; indeed hes probably best known for his jingoistic imperialist side. But he had other sides as well.)