Skip to comments.A New World Order
Posted on 04/18/2003 6:07:57 AM PDT by Cathryn Crawford
A new world order
Apr 17th 2003
From The Economist Global Agenda
The shape of international relations after the war in Iraq is still unclear. Will there be a complete break with the past?
"THEY just need to co-operate". When he used that menacing phrase, President George Bush was referring to Syria, and the allegations that it had provided help to Saddam Hussein's regime during the war in Iraq. But Mr Bush's confrontational attitude towards states he sees as hostile to America and its interests appearsto some, at leastto signal a seismic shift in American foreign policy. Ever since the terrorist attacks of September 2001, Mr Bush has tended to argue that those who are not with America are against it. It is an attitude which partly reflects his strong Christian beliefs. But to the extent that the president intends what he says to be taken literally, it is an illustration of how much the world has changed.
How it has changed, and how international relations will evolve in the aftermath of the war in Iraq, is far more difficult to judge. As always with Mr Bush, it is as important to watch what he does as it is to listen to what he says. In the end, America did go ahead and invade Iraq, in the face of considerable international opposition. But the administration in Washington also displayed far more patience in its attempts to secure broad support for its stand at the United Nations than many had expected. The language recently used to warn Syria to behave has led some observers to infer that the regime in Damascus might also face an attempt to overthrow it. But America has said it has no such plans. In practice, there is little sign that even the Bush administration's most hawkish members are pushing for further military intervention in the Middle East. What happened in Iraq should, for now, be enough to make rogue states very nervous. It may even already have had an effect on the North Korean regime, which has toned down its fiery rhetoric and agreed to discuss its nuclear programme with America and China.
The White House posts statements by President Bush and posts the National Security Strategy, which set out Mr Bush's policy on pre-emptive action. The US State Department posts information on America's foreign relations. The EU outlines its external relations and posts information on the common foreign and security policy. The positions of Britain and France epitomise the foreign-policy differences within Europe. The Council on Foreign Relations posts research and commentary on global foreign policy. The Centre for European Reform analyses the diplomatic divide within Europe and between Europe and America.
This, of course, is what has become known as the doctrine of pre-emption. America now seems to be ready to strike at any potential threat to its interests, before that threat is realised. As the world's only superpower, it is easy to see why such an approach makes sense in Washington. America has now clearly demonstrated its convincing military superiority. If anyone doubted that America could wage war successfully in more than one place at a time, and do so with a relatively light force, the events of the past few weeks will have forced a rethink.
But being a superpower does not bring complete immunity from attack, as the destruction of the World Trade Centre showed. Nor does it mean that America can act without any regard to the interests and wishes of others. America needs good relations with the rest of the world, and especially with its key strategic allies. The political philosophy which underpins its constitution and its economic success ultimately depends on vigorous interchange with other countries and full participation in the world economy. The fact that some parts of American business, not to mention Congress, are instinctively protectionist does not mean that America would be a more successful economy without free trade. Any one sector in any one country can usually benefit from subsidies and restrictions on foreign competition: that does not mean that the economy as a whole would register similar gains.
For those non-superpowers who are nevertheless accustomed to wielding considerable influence in international affairsFrance being the obvious examplethe shift in the balance of power that has taken place in the past couple of decades is bound to be frustrating. The days of the cold war made it much easier for America's strategic allies to punch above their weight. In diplomatic terms, Europe benefited enormously from its proximity to the Soviet empire. For America, the continent was an important buffer, worth the great expense. For Europe, this meant influence and, even more important, someone to pick up most of the tab for defence.
Even in those days there were tensions. In principle, America liked the idea of the European Union. For Washington, it should have simplified doing business with a disparate group of countries. In practice, it often made it more complicatedwho spoke for Europe was never wholly clearand America resented European attempts to take an independent line just as much as Europe resented being told what to do. Since 1991, though, with the cold war over, America has perhaps started to mind less what Europe thinks.
This more disdainful mindset perhaps reached its apogee in the painful arguments that took place at the United Nations before the invasion of Iraq. The Bush administration made it clear that while it was prepared to try for agreement on a new UN resolution, it was not prepared to be deflected from its chosen course by France, Germany or Russia. The Bush administration is probably more suspicious of Europe than its predecessorsbut that is probably simply a question of degree. Most American policymakers regard the European Union as hidebound, protectionist and, at worst, inclined to appeasement. That is why the support of Britain's prime minister, Tony Blair, was so important in Washington.
American suspicions about Europe will not fade now that the campaign in Iraq is drawing to a close. Nor will European resentment at the all-powerful upstart from the New World be any more subdued, at least in private. Yet efforts are already under way on both sides to ease the tensions. America has gone a long way towards accepting a UN role in post-war Iraq, although the terms of this role remain usefully vague. European opponents of the war have also been at pains in recent days to strike an emollient note.
Transatlantic relations remain at the heart of American and European foreign policy. The two continents are too closely bound together for that to change in the short term. Talk of the Pacific century, implying a westward shift of America's focus, turned out to be premature, partly because of the economic mess Japan got into, and partly because relations with China remain prickly. So how America and Europe patch up their differences will largely determine the future shape of international relations.
America wants Europe to face up to its responsibilities: to raise defence spending, to disavow protectionism in favour of free trade, to reform its creaking economic structures, and to recognise that appeasement rarely buys more than time. Europe, in turn, would like to see America play a more co-operative role in world affairs, to be more willing to participate in global efforts to control global warming, to support the International Criminal Court, and so on. The balance of power makes it realistic to assume America will continue to get more of what it wants. Ultimately, Europe may have to take it or leave it.
Europe, in turn, would like to see America play a more co-operative role in world affairs, to be more willing to participate in global efforts to control global warming, to support the International Criminal Court, and so on.
The War in Iraq has forced the Europe's dirty little secrets out into the open. It's peace-mongering turned out to be a cover for arms sales. The UN Oil-For-Food program is now revealed as a billion dollar scam run by Kofi Annan to funnel Euro-denominated purchases from Saddam to France, Germany and Russia and the UN itself. And the sanctions a piece of blackmail to ensure that France and Germany get every euro in back payments for weaponry delivered. It was all about money, dirty money at that. Blood for oil: American blood for French oil, to be precise. So Americans might be forgiven for looking a little more closely at the notion of a Belgian court trumping the US Constitution and the greenly packaged bundle of regulations which not so coincidentally confers economic advantages on Europe while penalizing America.
Kiss and make up? Maybe, but the Pandora's box, now opened, is not so easily shut. The day when America took Europe's word unquestioningly are over. From now on, the Soviet Rules apply. "Trust, but verify."
This phrase says it all. They see us as having become too powerful, too quickly, and they hate us for it.
Okay, if George Bush
speaks of "co-operation,"
it is "menacing."
use the word, it's all flowers
and bunnies. Got it.
"Immunity" of course is difficult to achieve no matter what, but merely having the capacity to behave as a superpower confers no benefit at all... unless the capacity is occasionally used. The 9/11 attack was only the most recent in a series of bombing attacks against our embassies, our ships, our troops, and even a prior attack on the World Trade Center itself. The responses made to those attacks by the Clinton Administration were not those of a superpower; they were symbolic acts that were interpreted not as evidence of power, but of weakness and an unwillingness to defend.
We shall see in time whether this new, more robust doctrine of flattening regimes that sponsor terrorism produces the desired change in attitude on the part of our enemies. The previous approach obviously did not.
Do you know how chilling that statement is? The statement of acceptance of the NWO? Sorry, it literally felt like someone threw ice water on me.
We have a democracy - it is a lot like Christianity - it must be chosen. It can't be forced. If other countries want democracies, let them form them. But believe me democracies are not made because you wish for them or because you purchase them or because you have a bigger army and can force them. They are formed because people are willing to work and sacrifice and live that democracy each and every day.
We can show the world democracy - we cannot force it on them. We have already lost our original form of government now have a sort of democracy ourselves.
That's overstating things a bit, because "interests" is a pretty inclusive word. A more accurate description is that "America is now ready to strike at any potential deadly threat to its civilian population, before that threat is realized."
The old policy formulation, where one could reasonably ask, "But what have they ever done to us?" has to be tempered by the realization that today, waiting until someone else attacks first could mean that a nuclear bomb has gone off in New York, Chicago, or Washington... or maybe all three on the same day. Waiting for that to happen is neither wise nor praiseworthy. It is irresponsible.
It used to be that such weapons could only be produced and used by a fairly well-organized military, headed by people with some education and worldliness -- and only in a manner that would identify them as the perpetrators if they ever did it. Now they can take some camel jockey out of the desert, whose only schooling has been at the hands of the Mullahs, and send him over here to blow up himself and one of our cities in the name of Allah -- leaving no suspects or witnesses. That's a different world, and it requires different notions of what constitutes "self defense." Yes, such ideas are tricky and scary in execution, but the alternative is the surprise killing of millions of our civilians. That's not an alternative we can -- or are going to -- accept.
I just am not ready to admit it yet. Don't know how old you are - but I have seen what we have lost. A lot of young people never knew it -
Well we agree on that and it is something I have been saying since 9/11. Now this is where we will probably part company. Why, then, are we not cleaning out this country. Why are we not shutting our borders to the illegals and yes, we know ME men are coming over here through the Mexican border. They aren't paying 30,000 to get here to work at the 7-11. We are going around the world to fight when the danger is possibly right here among us already. But we do nothing - less than nothing. Why are we allowing the Muslims to get more and more influence? Why is President Bush so set on leaving the border open and kowtowing to the Muslims? Why?
I am afraid that won't be the case, the rest of the world, and many in this country would prefer the communistic version.