In one of his latest remarks, US Secretary of State John Kerry compared the “cold war” era with the present day, saying the situation on a global level is much more complicated nowadays. The main reason is that there is no dominating power in the world today. The geopolitical dynamics is increasingly influenced by a couple of states, thus, thwarting some plans of Washington. John Kerry labeled this state of things as “bad” and compared it with what he calls a simple diplomacy used during the “cold war”. There is the serious need for analyzing the problem, which is topical for the world as a whole.
When the feeling of leadership is lost…
US Secretary of State has recently made a speech on the country’s diplomacy, touching upon some topical issues of the US foreign policy, and expressed his opinion on the important elements of the diplomatic activity. In particular, Kerry compared the “cold war” era with the present day. According to the experienced diplomat, the situation is much more complicated today (see: Remarks at the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) Launch / www.state.gov, 22 April 2014).
Why? Is it true that the tension in current international relations is higher than it was during the “cold war”? The Secretary of State answers these questions in his own way. The major problem is associated with the multipolar world. Several states can now have their own say in the global geopolitics. In addition, they hinder America from fulfilling its plans. It was not so some time ago.
Kerry is missing the bipolar world since “The choices were less varied, less complicated, more stark, more clear: communism, democracy; West, East; the Iron Curtain, the great line of divide. And many things were subsumed and quashed by that force of that bipolar world.”
The Secretary of State believes that the situation has changed. For example, the geopolitical situation in the Balkans and the Middle East is different today. Some political and ideological forces emerged. The radical Islam is among them, according to Kerry. It is obvious that the radical Islam is one of the factors complicating the situation in the world. We should pay attention to some issues that are peculiar in a geopolitical aspect to both the “cold war” era and the present stage.
The USA carried out military interventions in some countries in the second half of the last century. Much has been said and written about that. Some Latin American and Asian countries became victims of the American aggression. The processes that took place in Guatemala, Columbia, Korea, Vietnam, Iran and other countries are not forgotten. They all have their history. Their only “sin” is that they did not obey some demands of the USA (in energy field mainly).
Thus, the legitimate government in Iran was overthrown by riots because of the country`s intention to nationalize the energy industry. The same fate befell Panama too. As Mr. Kerry said, it was easy for America to do this in that era. No country except for the USSR could express its protest. The Soviet Union was not always able to resist Americans for some reasons. It means that nostalgia for the “cold war” emerged because America could do what ever it wanted then.
If it is not so, we cannot understand the state secretary’s following words, ”in the 1948, post-war, ’46 to ’50s and ’50s to the ’60s – we could make really bad decisions and still win because we were pretty much the sole dominant economic and military power around.”
Without exaggeration, I can state that this is an historical recognition of an American diplomat and statesman. Enslaving other countries is just “making bad decisions”. Mass killings of people, destroying state system, ruining countries (for example Vietnam) – are just ordinary consequences of false plans adopted in Washington! The main thing is that the USA have always won in the end, achieved their goals and no one could prevent them from doing it. This possibility no longer exists and that is why the “world became much more complicated!”
Complicated world or complicated politics?
Kerry`s complaint about the radical Islam seems to be illogical in the light of such discussions since if any state invades other states, interferes in their internal affairs, undermines stability, it will face harsh attitude too. On the other hand, historical factors indicate that these are special services of the western countries that created majority of “radical Islamic groups” of which western politicians often speak about. Realities confirm another issue.
The point is that radical religious groups currently suppress first of all their own fellow Muslims in the Middle East. Who are at war with one another in Syria? What are the reasons behind hostility among political forces in Iraq? Which of the Western countries are currently suffering from terrorist acts intensively? None. There are no radical Islamic groups in Ukraine too. Then, why are Muslims regarded as major source of terror?
It is difficult to say who will answer these questions, Mr. Kerry. The above-mentioned is the fact. The same approach is applied to Azerbaijan. As a result of the Armenian aggression, the Azerbaijani lands have been under occupation for over 20 years. The civilians were brutally killed and displaced in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh and adjoining territories. The attitude of the USA and European countries to this is obvious. The aggressor does not face any sanctions and the Armenian separatism is not prevented. Does this all mean the complicated world? What would the Department of State do if the same thing happened in America or any other European country? Of course the reaction could be harsh, and an aggressor would be bombarded. Then, they would openly declare “another victory of democracy.”
Former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul says with respect to the Ukrainian events: “I am very depressed today… aggression is paramount again. Shoring up vulnerable states, including first and foremost Ukraine, must become a top priority again for the US and Europe” (см.: Макфол подавлен: Возвращаются времена холодной войны / РБК, 16 March 2014 ).
Of course, aggression against Ukraine must be condemned. Azerbaijan also voted for territorial integrity of this country at the United Nations. I wonder why Mr. McFaul`s response to the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and adjoining areas and to the Khojaly genocide was different? Indeed, they express “regret” officially in words. Simultaneously, the separatists in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh get huge financial support and assistance. Perhaps, the modern world is complicated by such double standards?
Most likely, the West thinks differently. It can be seen in the words of Mr. Kerry on the ways out of the “complicated world”. He says: “So we – all of us – need to be thinking hard about how we project power. But not power for the sake of power – power to achieve great goals, power to leverage values and to protect our interests.”
But America has its own way. It regrets that the world is no longer passive as it was before. Not all bow the knee before America to ensure the protection of its interests. Today, peoples and states seek to safeguard their interests and struggle for this. For its part, Washington is reluctant to pursue a just and humane policy. It seeks the ways to be proactive and pre-emptive and bring the processes in line with its interests. Only the form has changed in comparison with the “cold war.” Washington gets down to more crafty methods in order to achieve its goals. Present-day Italian political scientist Danilo Zolo`s thought looks interesting. In his book Democracy and Complexity: A Realist Approach, Zolo says that it is the western politics itself that complicates the world (see: Democracy and Complexity: A Realist Approach, Publishing House of the State University. Higher School of Economics, 2010, p. 320). The political circles of America seem to disagree with Zolo.