A Heretical Contribution towards A New World Order!

This whole divide between neocons and realists, between democracy-advocates and engagement-advocates is in fact quite meaningless and rather beside the point.For neither side has what it takes to make a difference in the problems of our beleaguered region, not to mention the world, or to make any serious progress in the war on terror. Both sides tend to recommend policies that are in essence nonsensical and will pave the way for further deterioration of the situation not only in our part of the world, but everywhere.

This split reflects a serious identity crisis that plagued and continues to plague the US in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of what I would call Phase I of the Cold War, since I believe that the Cold War is still very much with us having only transitioned from a mostly bipolar to a clearly multi-polar confrontation, involving the EU, Russia, China, and to an extant Japan, on the global stage, various regional powers, such as turkey, Iran, Indonesia and India, and the continuingly enigmatic Canada and Australia, still in search of global role and identity.

For, indeed, the identity crisis seen in the US has its equivalent elsewhere in the world, and not only among First World states, but also throughout the “nether” regions of the world, with Islamic terrorism being one manifestation of it. And all sides are, in effect, busy exporting their particular identity crisis and many of its necessary consequences to the world at large. In the absence of the institutional framework upon which the emerging New World Order can be based, this export commodity is having a devastating effect upon the peoples of the “nether” world.

The need for launching new processes and embarking on building a New World Order was considered in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq in 1990. It is very telling, however, that the US administration at that time was unwilling to pursue its victory to topple Saddam Hussein’s regime for fear that this will create serious problems and rifts within the international coalition that was established at the time. This was symptomatic of the fact that while the world could agree on a coalition to return to a certain status quo ante, it would have major problems when force is used to effect regime change, regardless of the justifications involved. There was something missing in the existing equation, the rules of the UN themselves, to allow for that, and no one wanted to venture something new.

The peace process launched in the Madrid conference in 1991 and which lasted until 2000 was another way for trying to create new realities in the Middle East that ended up in failure, for a variety of reasons. But one of the most important reasons, yet least studied ones, is the fact that Europe, Russia, and the US have failed to cooperate together effectively in this matter, and occasionally seemed to compete and to undermine each other’s various initiatives. This helped drag out the talks and gave much leeway for radical forces and spoilers to intervene. The reasons for this inability to coordinate between even allies, old and new, was the fact that similar processes or need for such processes to take place existed elsewhere in the world, and the interests of the various international powers involved often conflicted and the UN, in its current format, did not provide the adequate avenue for arbitration between the different parties.

For this reason, different powers acted, directly or inadvertently, as spoilers with regards to each others ambitions and designs. The US and Europe opposed Russia in Chechnya, and competed with Russian interests elsewhere in the Caucasus and Central Asia, so Russia opposed US and European plans in the Middle East. China wanted the world to agree with its stance with regard to Taiwan and to accept China as a new superpower and all the trimmings involved, the US and the EU are having a hard time accepting this with all its ramifications, so China opts to act as a spoiler on a variety of issues.

Different powers have long staked their territories long before the emergence of China, but now, China wants in. China wants a share of the spoils and of the international decision-making process. This situation is eerily reminiscent of the position of Germany in the early 20th Century, but there are many differences as well. The current forms of hegemony and territoriality are fare more subtle than they used to be, and China’s role as a spoiler is also more subtle.

The failure of existing international institutions to help provide a new way for the international decision-making process and international arbitration encouraged recourse to such new institutions as the G8 summits or expanding old ones such as NATO. It also encouraged the formation of temporary coalitions and recourse to unilateral actions when a situation warranted.

Obviously this state of affairs is creating many problems and is impeding the resolution of so many conflicts around the globe. What the world today needs in order to create a New World Order worthy of the name is to create the suitable conceptual and institutional framework for it. Indeed, before we can speak about new Marshall plans for this or that region, or new Madrid or Barcelona processes, not to mention effectively contemplate engagement processes that can actually deliver the desired fruits and not backfire and blow up in all our faces, the world needs a new world conference similar to the ones that took place of yore at Versailles and Yalta.

The conference should focus on the need to agree on a new set of rules, arrangements and institutions that can help establish the overall framework of the desired and needed New World Order. We cannot keep on stumbling on from one crisis to another in this manner. This state of affairs does not augur well for the future at all, and will not hold for long. Indeed, the conceptual vacuum that exists today in the realm of international affairs will surely pave the way for large-scale confrontations, several of which are bound to take place in our region, and one seems to be in the offing indeed for the very near future. Nuclear weapons and the greater subtlety of contemporary politics notwithstanding, world wars are not completely out of the equation yet, as we like to believe, so we cannot yet afford to rest on our laurels. Hell, when it comes to peacemaking, we don’t really have that many of them.

10 thoughts on “A Heretical Contribution towards A New World Order!

  1. I see a different transformation. Nation states are no longer the only, or the main, players on the world stage. Increasingly, power is being exercised by smaller movements within states – ireland, spain, sudan, etc. – and, more importantly, across states – international socialism, al quaeda, etc.So the issues of the 21st century are qualitatively different from those of the 19th and (at least the first half of) the 20th.The solutions are, as yet, unclear. I don’t think they’ll emerge from a new compact between nations. Fighting fire with fire would seem to imply something more along the lines of a morally-based police force, acting across national boundaries.Right now, I’d regard the us special forces as the best approximation to this.

  2. One world (new world order?) or not.Here are my observations:.1) Unipolar, bipolar and multi-polar power structures are all problematic.We already tried the bipolar. The two countries are so powerful that they don’t dare fight each other, which is great. But they went for the next best thing: the endless cold war.Today’s unipolar experiment is proving to be a disaster. Moving to a multi-polar structure …There will be no easy way to come up with any compromise, UN based or not, on which all the relevant powers smoothly agree. The security council has the 5 permanent members, but today, India, Japan, Germany, and Even Iran believe they deserve to play more prominent roles at the international organization. Where do you draw the line in including the “most powerful” countries into some new VIP club? announcing intentions to reform the security council could quickly invite each potential candidate country to go on an international campaign designed to demonstrate to the rest of the world just how significant they are.I don’t know what Ammar was referring to when he called for an institutional framework upon which the emerging New World Order can be based. But whatever it is, the fact will remain that there will always be one or more super power that will continue to make decisions based on its own selfish interest no matter what new framework you decide on. Why?Because as long as democracy says that an elected leader is fully accountable within his own borders, but when it comes to playing on the world stage, national ego becomes more of a motivator than the need to be fair to others, then we will have much more of this.As I said here few weeks ago, there is something wrong when Americans are the only ones allowed to elect the president of the Untied States, yet people in the Middle East perish on a daily basis because of this decision by American people to elect that specific president and Administration. How many people int eh Middle East and Europe felt frustrated in 2004 when they found out that the American people voted to keep the same administration? Another example would be how Israelis feel threatened by the extremist Iranian president who was solely elected by Iranians… you think Israelis do not dream of a way they can reverse the decision of Iranian voters?These frustrations often translate to anger, and then to support or participation in violent actions.We need to educate the citizens of the unipower to care about Iraqi children as much as they care about American soldiers. Then we can live happily with an American unipower that will not bend international rules in its favor without much regard for other countries and other people.If America did not mix its Oil interests (and the interests of Israel, and the need to punish Saddam for trying to assassinate president Bush Sr.) with the “helping the Middle East become democratic” then maybe we would have drawn different conclusions today.

  3. Hello all, especially, Ammar, Alex, Zenobia (BTW, the hommos recipie was very helpful, my wife sends her regards), and….I didn’t die yet, well, it was a coma. And I am still a novice in English, really 🙂 at least compared to you :)well…I think this needs more words than I have time for this minute, but just let me say: since we all know that any world order is going to -allways- represent what the more powerfull countries want, then we have no hope of a just, trustful, neutral one will emerge in the end. and even a large population country like India for example -not to mention the satate of palestine!- will not have a chance to decied, or even participate in the making of this NWO.And not to forget to comment on the real terrorism that the world is suffering form, which might be carried out by the “super powers” them selves, or “The only Super Power” that exists now. not the “Islamic Terrorism” which is a direct reaction of a small, angry, frostrated group of people, who don’t represent “Islamic” thought or Islamic faith.I think, Ammar, you can earn more credibilitiy among your own people -which is the real important side I believe- is far more important than talking the same language the “Real Terrorists” prefere to hear, unless you are fighting a different battle that I don’t know about.Alex, Please don’t decied to retire from commenting on this post, it will make it “unilatteral” should you decied to do that. 🙂

  4. I’m here Hammam! … I very much liked this new post from Ammar. At this point, with everyone stuck with no clue how to solve all those conflicts they got into, they need to start asking the right questions, like the ones Ammar posed here.And I think we can also learn alot from the much simpler and more direct question posed by a number of western Newspapers (British, Canadian, Mexican …) about who poses the greatest danger to world peaceWhy is it that Israel is the only place where there is a majority who feel that the US president is not a threat to peace? How could logical people in England see things in a way that is totally the opposite to the way the corresponding set of logical people in Israel see it?Perhaps it is time to admit that for the past few years, the level of hypocrisy and misinformation in some democracies (you know which ones) have gotten dangerously close to matching the best Arab dictators’ favorite ruling party newspapers.Here are the full results of the international poll.

  5. Welcome back Hammam. This post has generated some interesting private correspondence. Indeed, a real good friend of mine has sent a link to an interesting article on his organization’s site “The United Nations and the Principle of Sharing.” But the article describes an ideal that will take a while to fulfill. When it comes to the UN, I have indeed a very specific suggestion:Indeed, the Security Council should be abolished and all countries should be allowed to vote an issue, but I do not advocate an equal voting system, as this will not differentiate between small states and large states, and between dictatorships and democracies. I advocate the notion of weighted voting where each country’s vote will be commensurate with two factors: its GNP and its Freedom Index (a special index that takes into account of issues such rule of law, electoral system, transparency, freedom of expression, gender equality, etc.). This is not a perfect system, and it does indeed discriminate against small states. But it also encourages small states into forming alliances, along regional lines or on the basis of the issues involved. It also encourages states to tackle their developmental problems and their freedom deficits in order to gain more weight for their vote. Once the states and peoples know that they do indeed have a say and a stake in the system, they would do all they can to maximize their influence. This system will give them a constructive way for doing that. Indeed, the system is not perfect and can be abused and will be abused. The superpowers will always find way to manipulate small states. Still, the system does provide a realistic basis for the emergence of a world democracy of one sort or another, and for continuing to perfect it by further redefining the voting mechanism proposed. The indices suggested can be calculated on an annual basis or even a quarterly basis. In time they could indeed be done on a daily basis. Unless we begin to think along such lines, no matter unlikely they might appear at this stage, then we will continue to stumble along without a vision, – a very dangerous thing to do in a world full of so many conflicting and interlocking interests.

  6. What i see happened after the colaps of the soviet union that Nato and Warsow moved from competing for the love of the third world countries to cooperating in robing and killing the third world ,the only solution for world terror is to have Global law that all nations will abide with and where solving dispute will be done in international court not on the batlefeild then and only the the weak will know that they can get their rights by peacfull means and there is no reason to seek terror as a way to get their rights and there is no need to seek weapon of mass detruction to prevent an attack by a superior nation ,Unfortionatly i am not that optimestic that supperior nations will abide by a global legal system.

  7. The UN problem was in giving equal moral authority to non-democracies with democracies.Done for the realpolitik reason of having peace between the USA and the USSR — which essentially worked, despite the proxy wars, like Vietnam & Afghanistan, and many other de-colonization and commie aggression wars.The World is not big enough for both 1) Free Religion and Free Speech (as in Human Rights), and2) Gov’t enforced Sharia suppression of Free Religion and Free Speech.The cash from oil sales is going to fund the anti-freedom forces, who are willing to kill and die for the victory of their anti-freedom ideology.The US needs to join with India, especially, and Australia, Japan, and maybe UK/ EU/ Nato countries in creating a Human Rights Enforcement Group, composed of democracies only, with free speech and free religion.This group needs to become an optional world “vigilante posse”, to impose regime change on non-democratic gov’ts who violate their own people’s rights.Tiny typo, fare >> far : “territoriality are fare more”

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