The New American Century and Growing Challenges and Doubts about the Future Effectiveness and Credibility of the United Nations: Who Needs the United Nations More?
By Dr. Maru Gubena | January 8, 2007
Everyone in the developing world and even a good number of Europeans are convinced that the United States today poses a great, incalculable danger to world peace. The peace of developing nations is more in danger than at any time since the end of the Second World War, and their future has become more and more uncertain and gloomy.
Yes, while you and I are calmly and quietly engaged in our day-to-day existence and family responsibilities, the world is changing dramatically, to a degree unknown in recent history. Indeed, many unexpected, daunting trends and processes are in the making. A good number of experts on current US foreign policy on Africa and the Middle East have convincingly argued that in less than half a decade, selected potentially wealthy countries in Africa and the Middle East, with enormous natural resources but technologically backward and militarily underdeveloped and defenseless, will be under the direct or indirect rule of the United States, with or without the cooperation of some proxy individuals and allies.
Under the new Republican doctrine, the United States appears to be enthusiastic, determined and ready to spend billions of dollars to continue waging its violent, cruel and inhumane war that it believes will help to establish and expand its presence so to solidify and safeguard its long-term political and economic interest throughout the globe. Although in the nineteenth century the expansionist behaviour of the United States ““ the incorporation of others’ territories by means of annexation and conquest, or sometimes through treaties ““ was limited to the continent of North America, the policy of the current Republican leadership seems an obvious attempt to revive its past imperialist, expansionist, violent culture and rules. Also ““ as emphasized by the wholehearted cooperation of the motherland, Britain, in almost all areas, including invading and occupying the land of others ““ one is pushed to argue vigorously that the contemporary engagement of the United States demonstrates a profound nostalgia and desire to replace and reshape the past imperial power structures, domination and rules of the Old Britain. What is more terrifying is that the huge threat of contemporary US domestic and foreign policy, which is seen by a considerable number of people as anti Black and anti Arab/Muslim countries and peoples, comes from the most powerful nation on earth. The rest of the international community is weak and militarily incapable of preventing either the further expansion into the territories of other wealthy countries or the continuing destruction of countries and peoples. It has also been said that by employing the September 11 attack as a timely opportunity, the Bush administration strategy has been fully directed at uprooting those countries or individuals with opposing, critical views or cultures that it dislikes, and bringing targeted African Arab/Muslim countries under the new American order.
The September 11 Attack as a Key, Opening the “Door of Opportunity to Extend America’s Hegemony Across the Globe”: The Uncertain Future of Wealthy Countries
One can recall the fears and anxieties expressed by Professor Samuel Huntington about possible “clashes of civilizations;” just a few years after the end of the Cold War, he alerted us to possible future confrontations and conflicts between Islamic values and cultures and those of western countries. But no one thought or predicted at that time that a country in Asia, the Middle East or Africa would be attacked, invaded and occupied by a western country, and certainly not by the United States. As far as we can recall, not a single conscious person had the slightest idea that the United State would be a threat to world peace, stability and the day-to-day survival and security of non-whites and non-Christians around the world. It is certainly difficult if not impossible to believe that such ideologies, strategies and policies were in the making in a country whose previous leaders said repeatedly that the United States is a protector of the weak and helpless all over the world, or that it would be so determined and insist on forcefully imposing what it calls its “democratic values” and consumption habits, including its greedy life styles and cultures throughout the world.
The entire strategy of the US administration, especially the philosophy of the Project for the New American Century, whose founders include the current US Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and Defense Policy Board member and former chairman, Richard Perle, was crafted to accelerate the process of globalization of power. Former Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, a radical anti Muslim, along with former and current Pentagon officials and other important figures in the Bush administration, is said to be the ideological father of the New American Century. The Project for the New American Century, a Washington based think-tank founded in 1997, openly demands intervention by US forces anywhere in world and the immediate “establishment of a global American empire to bend the will of nations” and argues that the 21st century belongs only to the United States, its people, its consumption habits, life style and culture, but not to the international community. It is currently the most influential organization for US foreign policy makers, and, together with the Heritage Foundation, is the cornerstone of the administration, and of the Bush doctrine in particular. Most Republican conservatives and hard liners believe strongly that it was the Americans themselves, more specifically the administration of President Roland Reagan in the 1980s, that brought down the oaks of the Cold War and did away with its yokes, managing to silence the voice of everyone with socialist and communist views throughout the globe. In other words, after almost a half century of wrangling and a number of frightening prospects for a third world war with the former Soviet Union and its allies, it was the United States that was tirelessly engaged, with all its mighty efforts and money, in digging the graves of socialist and communist leaders, along with their social, cultural, political, economic and military philosophies, and finally succeeded in eradicating the competing political and military power, along with its ideology. Others that the US considered potential enemies were also eliminated. The hard liners insist proudly and arrogantly that the United States, because of the multiple efforts it made to eradicate its long time enemy, the former Soviet Union and its allies, through secretive, enormously organized undercover diplomatic wars and by creating and training hostile movements and political organizations within the former East Block countries – eventually enabling the US to emerge as the only power on earth – deserves to be the new empire, and that the new century belongs “only to us;” this ideology or philosophy is not negotiable. Such ideologies and developments in a country with such abundant military powers and other resources are, to most of us, certainly unanticipated and shocking.
The New American Century think tank proudly and enthusiastically states that the September 11 attack can be seen as a key, opening the “door of opportunity to extend America’s hegemony by force of arms across the globe”¦..” Indeed, the September 11 attack on America by a group of young Middle Easterners was welcomed wholeheartedly by the Bush administration team, influential organizations such as the New American Century and the Heritage Foundation, expansionist American corporations, and by lobbyists for Israel as an opportunity and a critically important tool to limit the role and power of the United Nations and to freely invade and control wealthy countries.
Africans, Arabs/Muslims and other non-white peoples across the globe with painful, unforgettable experiences of past oppressions, centuries of slavery, endless humiliations and the extortion and total control of their lands and properties by previous imperial powers are presently in a state of shock and confusion, frightened and in complete disbelief regarding the arrogance, destructive and controlling behaviour of the newly emerging empire – the United States. The speed with which the army and government of the late Saddam Hussein of Iraq were defeated also came as a shock and surprise to a huge section of people in the Arab/Muslim world, Asia and Africa.
Thousands of Arab/Muslim children have been killed and others who managed to survive will spend the rest of their entire lifetime without hands, legs, or eyes. Such terrifying and atrocious crimes have been committed, not by an African, Arab/Muslim, or Asian power-thirsty dictator, or by a greedy national monarchy, but by the powerful bombs of the newly emerging empire – the United States – whose leadership is determined to control and exploit the natural resources of their countries by force; to exploit the cheap human capital of the potentially wealthy and resourceful countries in Africa and the Middle East; to build new houses, create new jobs and new lives for American citizens and the citizens of its proxy allies; to impose the will of the United States, its capitalist economic system, American consumption culture and habits and life styles upon those selected countries, which are technologically backward and militarily underdeveloped and defenseless; and to rule them for unspecified decades or centuries.
Although the killing of so many innocent African and Arab/Muslim children, women and the elderly, and the destruction of historical assets and property including houses and other means of survival, are inflaming anger and hostility towards the United States and have become a contributing force in tarnishing the image of the new empire throughout the international community, not a single country or human rights organization, or even the United Nations of which the new empire is a founding member, dares to make a verbal or written protest against the violent and atrociously committed crimes of the US. Everyone, even Amnesty International and other human rights organizations, are so frightened that they have not even stood up to make their opposition public and send an official letter of protest to the State Department and the international media.
It is interesting but sad to note that the sort of opposition and complaint that can expressed by western human rights organizations does not go beyond expressions against measures undertaken by some socialist/communist and developing countries. Imagine now if Amnesty International, or Africa Watch and other American and British mouthpiece human rights organizations, were to be asked or told to protest about human rights violations in China, or Cuban, or even against a country with a weak, fragile economy and destabilized political structure or non-existent government such as in Somalia or Afghanistan: then the leaders of those organizations could have produced a huge number of reports and could have appeared on internationally known TV channels and in newspapers and local media. It seems that the Western human rights organizations are interested in issues and enjoy articulating and hammering them primarily for the sake of maintaining the existence of their organizations and their relations with political parties and political leaders.
Although the politics and mighty military powers of the United States are exclusively focused on wealthy nations with undesired religions and cultures, and primarily on these accused of providing assistance and working in hand in glove with, for example, Al Qaeda or Palestinian freedom fighters, everyone, including leaders and peoples in African, Asian, and even certain sections of Latin American countries remained uncertain, terrified by the accelerated course and processes of the new, expansionist American empire around the globe, which is making all possible efforts to get a foothold everywhere, to become established and see that everything is in line with US interests.
All leaders of non-white countries, especially those who are not “with the United States and its long term ally and mouthpiece, Britain” are asking themselves and their advisors when it will be their turn to be attacked, crushed to the ground and ruled by the new empire. Some Arab/Muslim and African leaders who, unfortunately missed the boat of the past five years, which had carried a golden opportunity to some countries to cultivate a patron – client relationship with the United States in general, and the Bush administration and the Israeli government in particular, are indeed frightened, and are also counting the days and hours until the United States election of November 2008, which might possibly provide solace and comfort by sending the anti-Black and anti-Arab/Muslim President George W. Bush back to his Texas fortification forever.
The End of the Cold War and the Emergence of Differing US-European Visions and Perceptions Towards the Problems and Solutions for African and Middle Eastern Countries
The end of the Cold War has become a source of confusion and division among European countries and a creator of political crisis not just between Europe and other long time allies, but more especially and nostalgically, with the land of Europe’s “grandchildren,” the United States. Given the family ties, history and linkage of cultures, cooperation, long standing political and economic bonds and many other essential relationships between Europe and the United States, it is somehow difficult to consider the current tensions and the misunderstandings that emerged during the period of preparation before the war against Iraq as serious problems or a substantial obstacle to future alignments, political and economic relations, or military cooperation between Europe and the United States.
It is however true that despite having the European Union as a potential collective face and voice for all member European countries, and NATO as a political and military power that joins Europe (and the United States), the challenge of developing a united, strong European political voice remains difficult to embrace the views and desires of all member countries and to reshape either the union or the individual countries of Europe to match the newly envisioned needs and frameworks.
It is also true that the current crisis and challenges are more obvious than any practical immediate solutions. The differences in views and ideologies in today’s world, including the question of either short or long term solutions to the multiple problems between Europe and the United States, are something new, and cannot be bridged simply. These differences can be quite frustrating, especially given family ties and the many other attachments. The US, for instance, strongly believes, as always, in its military muscle as the main solution to the complex problems of the world, including even environmental issues, while Europeans tend to rely primarily upon rationality and diplomacy. Further, human rights and peace movements in Europe are more abundant and effective, and are more influential in the formulation and outcome of government policy than their counterparts in the United States.
It is nevertheless now obvious that the US attack ““ outside international law ““ on Iraq has shown not only the weakness, but in fact the powerlessness of Europe, not only in terms of unity among member countries but rather in real military power. Consequently, European countries were so weak and helpless that they could not even consider either collectively or individually the possibility of providing any political or diplomatic protection to the victim countries, which are still badly in need of such protection.
There are urgent needs to reassess and reexamine the current political crisis, economic recession, military and power structures, including the obstacles that stand in the way of creating a united voice and establishing a European Rapid Response Force. It is nevertheless extremely necessary to hasten the collective efforts to craft a new direction conducive to creating a united voice and economic and military power within a united Europe. This will be helpful not only for Europeans, but also will help in envisioning new structures, new and strong rules and systems for the United Nations, and in creating and strengthening cooperative political and economic relations with the developing world, especially Africa and the Middle East.
Existing Problems, Newly Emerging Challenges and Doubts about the Future Effectiveness and Credibility of the United Nations: Who Needs the United Nations More?
It has recently been argued that enormous dark clouds are hanging above the United Nations. Although their voice is often silenced by the power of the western media, African and Arab/Muslim intellectuals are debating the future relevance of the United Nations to the vital interests of their countries, and to the developing world at large. It has been angrily discussed in some astonishment that the United States often appropriates and employs the many rules, norms and patterns of the United Nations only when it comes to its own vital interests and those of its so called allies, of the “willing,” while neglecting or ignoring the loud collective interest, voices, legal codes and social arrangements of the organization whenever objections are presented to oppose its aggressive, expansionist measures and behaviours.
Consequently, the political and economic power of the United Nations continues to weaken day by day. The huge respect the international community had for this international body is vanishing from the minds and hearts of blacks and Arabs/Muslims. The multiple projects and responsibilities the organization once proudly and respectfully carried out in villages throughout the developing world, mainly in countries facing internal and external armed conflicts and economic hardships, have been made ineffective and even in some cases non-operational by the violent, anti world community forces of the Bush team and its foreign and war policy makers. The Bush administration has not left any stone unturned to weaken the United Nations, marginalize and make it meaningless, a paralyzed talking shop, not just by withdrawing long-standing power elements and structures from the organization, but also by forcing many of its employees to disengage from their jobs and leave their workplace at UN Headquarters after being charged with creatively invented statements about being a danger or trying to cause direct and substantial damage to the multiple, complex interests and security of the United States. According to Republican ideologies and current Bush doctrine, the United Nations is irrelevant because it has little or no political and economic capacity or power to accommodate and manage the complex, expanded and growing concerns, interests and needs of the United States. For these reasons, and despite the desire and respect that the rest of the international community has for the United Nations, the organization must be incapacitated and kept inactive with respect to its much desired roles in issues of development, refugees, peace keeping and human rights. Additionally, the United States has been cleverly successful in discrediting the United Nations by rejecting the resolutions passed by its collective voice and then going to war to destroy an entire country with it huge cultural and historical goods and properties; and by constant, aggressive and disparaging false charges and remarks towards the organization, intended to incapacitate it. Time and again the Bush administration has accused the United Nations of being a platform for third world dictators and a tool for expression by communist black Africans and Arab/Muslim terrorists and terrorist sympathizers. The leaders of the developing world now argue that they see no need to respect the rules of the United Nations or the organization itself, since it has already been made irrelevant by the direct threats and repeated deceptions of the most powerful nation in the world and its motherland, Great Britain.
Dr. Maru Gubena, from Ethiopia, is a political economist, writer and publisher. Readers who wish to contact the author can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org