by Zafar Bangash (Editorials, Crescent International Vol. 39, No. 4, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1431)
Nature abhors a vacuum, especially a political vacuum. New players emerge to fill it in. The global order established by the victors of the Second World War is not only crumbling, it is almost dead; only its last rites need to be performed.
Nature abhors a vacuum, especially a political vacuum. New players emerge to fill it in. The global order established by the victors of the Second World War is not only crumbling, it is almost dead; only its last rites need to be performed. Into this vacuum has stepped in more confident and assertive new players: Iran, Turkey, Brazil and Venezuela. There are others on the scene: China, Russia and to a lesser extent India but just like the declining power they hope to replace, they too are predatory in nature and act much like the fading “superpower”.
The demise of the old global order began with the decline of the self-proclaimed “sole superpower”: the US. Two decades earlier, Washington had no rivals and leading hawks, better known as neo-conservatives (neocons), boldly proclaimed that America should not allow any power — friend or foe — to emerge to challenge its global dominance. Its hegemonic stranglehold was to be maintained through massive military spending and endless wars. These policy prescriptions were outlined in a document called the Project for the New American Century (PNAC). The neocons asserted that like the 20th century, the 21st century too must belong to America. To ensure this, the US must use lethal military force preemptively.
The end of the Cold War should have ushered in peace; instead the US has continued massive military spending, outstripping every other country’s budget. Today, its annual military spending at $750 billion, disingenuously referred to as the “defence” budget, is more than the rest of the world’s total military spending combined. The neocons got their wish: exorbitant military spending and endless wars, but they have run up against the steely determination of people not willing to bow to others. America’s first mistake was to invade Afghanistan, not to conquer but “liberate”, in American mythology. The overthrow of theTaliban was easy; after losing a mere 13 soldiers despite killing tens of thousands of innocent Afghans, butchered by 1,000-pound bombs dropped from a height of 40,000 feet, the Taliban were driven from power. The apparently easy victory puffed up US military and political planners so much that they started to believe in the myth of US invincibility. Plans formulated before George W. Bush entered the White House were now implemented. Iraq was the next target on the neocons’ wish list because of its vast oil reserves and existential threat to Israel’s security. Syria, Iran and Pakistan were to be sorted out next. All this was also intended to ensure Zionist Israel’s dominance in the region.
The only trouble with this scenario was that unknown to the Americans, both the Iraqis and the Afghans turned out to be far tougher and more resilient adversaries than they had imagined. Nine years later, Afghanistan has turned out to be the biggest disaster the US military has faced, even eclipsing Vietnam in terms of spending. The two wars have cost more than $2 trillion and rising; the crashing US economy is only being kept alive by massive borrowing.
The neocons’, most of them Zionists, wish for endless war has been fulfilled but at the cost of bankrupting the US. Its chances of recovery are slim. On the global stage the US no longer carries much weight. This is what the bold nuclear deal by Turkey, Iran and Brazil indicates. A number of South American countries are also now thumbing their noses at the US, something unthinkable merely a decade ago.
But the real change is in the assertiveness of Turkey, Iran and Brazil. The credit for this goes to Islamic Iran. Turkey under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also shown that bold leadership energizes people. He has won the respect and admiration of Muslims and indeed other people worldwide because of his bold stand against Zionist gangsterism.
This is how it should be. Courageous leadership can change the political landscape quickly. What is needed is for these countries to challenge the global order at a more strategic level. Anachronistic institutions like the UN Security Council must be abolished. It is unacceptable for five countries, all of them ruling with failed Western ideologies, to decide how the rest of the world should conduct itself.
The de jure new order must become de facto. Muslims must take the lead to implement a fairer and more equitable world order free from exploitation and oppression. A better world is possible.