As the unipolar world created by the West is slowly but steadily slipping into the abyss, it is becoming more and more obvious what kind of “hegemon” the United States is. At present, as well as in the past, this state does not comply with the decisions of international organisations created by it, resorting to solving any problems only with the help of brute military force. At the same time, Washington and its armed forces kill and maim hundreds of thousands of people around the globe with impunity and without any shame.
It is enough to remember what the “democratic” USA did during World War II in Japan and Germany, and after that in Vietnam, flooding the whole country with chemical weapons (defoliants). Suffice it to recall how the US military has committed crimes all over the globe, from Yugoslavia, Grenada, Panama, and Nicaragua, to Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. The UN General Assembly has recognised the US invasions of all of the above countries as unlawful and in flagrant violation of international law. Millions of people have suffered from these US actions. But they – the hegemon, or rather a gang of international terrorists and robbers – got away with it. As well as the unilateral withdrawal of the USA from numerous international documents and treaties concerning armaments.
More and more political scientists, diplomats and journalists are clearly aware of the perniciousness of such a US policy. And more and more articles are appearing in the press sharply criticising this policy and calling for the creation of a new multipolar world. In this regard, the article by Muhittin Ataman, Professor of International Relations at Ankara University of Social Sciences and Editor-in-Chief of Insight Turkey, is noteworthy. In particular, he correctly points out that after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Western countries began to attach less importance to international organisations and rules, or in other words, to simply ignore them if their decisions do not correspond to Western interests. After the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, especially after the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the US began to ignore international organisations, international law and international regimes and instead opted for unilateral policies. Since then, the more Western countries face challenges and problems in international politics, the more they ignore the decisions of international organisations and the principles of international law.
Finally, the moment came when international organisations created by Western countries began to serve not the interests of other states, but simply to limit their rights and national interests. The rise of the Global South and the increasing number of states in the world opposing Western policies changed the balance of power within international organisations. The US and other Western countries have been left in a minority both in the UN and in many other organisations. For example, Washington is unhappy with recent decisions and activities of the UN specialised agencies. The US withdrew from UNESCO membership because of some decisions concerning Palestinian cultural heritage sites.
While the states of the Global South are trying to solve international problems through international mechanisms and based on law, the Western countries persistently violate the principles and resolutions of international organisations, pursuing policies only in their interests.
The current criminal actions of Israel, its genocidal policies supported by the US and the EU, notes Professor Muhittin Ataman in the above article, “will be the final nail in the coffin of international organisations, mainly because of the policies of these states. First, Washington recognises the occupation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in violation of various UNSC resolutions and principles of international law. Next, Western countries transgress all possible red lines of the current international system and universal humanitarian values and show leniency to all Israeli crimes.
The author argues that the West has initiated a destructive period in international organisations, and it is impossible to shield a single region from it, as all are interconnected.
The West is unable to control this new round of violence. World governments, especially Western countries, need to return to the previously established norms and rules. At the same time, world public opinion, including public opinion in Western countries, must take urgent action against Israel and its patrons”.
Today, Israel, with the consent of the West, is doing everything it can get away with in the Gaza Strip. Through carpet bombing and the use of all kinds of the most advanced technological weapons, the Israeli armed forces are killing civilians, including newborn babies, children, women, the elderly, students, journalists and religious leaders. They bomb everything indiscriminately: flats, hospitals, ambulances, schools, mosques and churches. International organisations have never been so weak and ineffective. Even high-ranking officials such as UN Secretary-General António Guterres have failed to intervene and stop the genocide in Gaza. Sadly, no international organisation is able to prevent online live genocide against Palestinians. It seems that the relatively recently introduced “R2P (Responsibility to Protect) principle” will now take its place on the dusty shelves of history.
Apparently, in order to maintain “military form”, the Americans regularly launch missile strikes, albeit unsuccessfully, against the positions of the Houthis in Yemen. “No one authorised anyone to bomb Yemen. And the exculpatory statements coming out of Washington – they look somehow so very pathetic,” said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. It is difficult to make predictions about the possibility of dialogue between the Houthis and Washington. Now, and this is the opinion of many politicians, the most important thing is to stop the aggression against Yemen because the more the Americans and the British bomb Yemeni territory, the less willing the Houthis are to talk and conclude any agreements.
General Secretary of the Podemos party Ione Belarra accused Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of “involving” the country in the “war against Yemen”. According to her, this is how the position of official Madrid, which supported the operation in the Red Sea, which was launched by the United States and Britain against the Houthis, should be viewed. The sharp statement came during a demonstration in the centre of the Spanish capital in support of Palestine. According to the authorities, more than 25 thousand people took part in the protest in Madrid. At the same time, the rallies were held not only in the capital, but in dozens of other cities across Spain.
The entire West, with a few exceptions, fell silent about Gaza when the Israeli massacre began. Josep Borrell, the EU foreign policy chief, was one of those who broke the silence, saying, “I think that depriving civilians of basic services – water, food, medicine, everything – Is what looks like a violation of international law.” So what? Washington and Joe Biden himself began to explain to the world that it is only “Israel that has the right to self-defence”, while the same American president preferred to keep silent about the rights of peaceful Palestinians, sending more and more deadly shipments of weapons for Israeli bombardment of cities, settlements, refugee camps and humanitarian convoys for Gaza. Many American administrations have resorted to hypocrisy and perversion of obvious acts, but what the current Joe Biden administration is doing is simply off the charts.
Nigeria-born Udo Jude Ilo, executive director of Civilians in Conflict, is just one of the many African figures who have issued the warning. He said: “We are now in a situation where the identity of the aggressor or the identity of the victim determines how the world reacts, and you cannot sustain an international defence system if it is available à la carte.” As a result, he said, respect for international humanitarian law is coming to nought because of the policies of the West, especially the US.
On a calmer official level, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said: “The Global South is watching very closely the development of this conflict and others unleashed by the West, led by the US, and making comparisons. And I believe that it is losing confidence in the viability of the values that the Global North is projecting. This is a very dangerous situation because it could lead to the unravelling of the world order.” Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil and chair of this year’s G20, told the Voice of the Global South summit last November that it was necessary to “restore the primacy of international law, including humanitarian law, which applies equally to all, without double standards or unilateral measures, as the US is trying to do.”
Julien Barnes-Dacey of the European Council on Foreign Relations argues that the damage done to American credibility by the US itself may ultimately be felt most not in the Global South, but in the West itself.
The U.S. is today the verdict-makers of international law and treaties. They are fierce supporters of their enforcement and adherence. But they themselves are the main troublemakers. The Americans believe that if a treaty or an international document disturbs them, they have the right to remake it to their liking, or to terminate the document altogether. However, as Russian President Vladimir Putin noted, the world is undergoing fundamental changes. “The essence of the changes is that the former unipolar world system is being replaced by a new, fairer, multipolar world order. I think this has already become obvious to everyone. Naturally, such a fundamental process will not be smooth, but it is objective and, as I want to emphasise, irreversible.”
Victor MIKHIN, Corresponding Member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”