4 October 2019 — Strategic Culture Foundation
The US and its Western allies are creating more international tensions and instability in a futile bid to carve the globe into “spheres of interest” and “exclusivity”. That’s the way Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov views it, and few objective observers of international relations could disagree with his admonishment.
Russia’s top diplomat says the only way forward is for multilateralism to prevail and for all states to abide by the principles of the United Nations’ Charter, to which they are signatories.
A prime example of the destructive US-led Western policy is seen in the Persian Gulf where tensions have reached an explosive pitch which could trigger an all-out war across the Middle East, possibly embroiling the entire world.
There can be little doubt that the precarious situation in the Gulf is extant because of Washington’s irresponsible provocations towards Iran. The unilateral abrogation of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord by the Trump administration and the militarization of an already dominant US presence in the Gulf over recent months is a brazen case of Washington going it alone in contravention of international law and norms. (Alas, has the US ever been different?, one might demur.)
In its unilateral initiative, the US has cobbled together a clique of nations to support its presumed military right to act as a policeman in the Persian Gulf: Britain, Australia and Saudi Arabia have indicated they are willing to join a US “coalition” to purportedly safeguard “freedom of navigation” through the vital chokepoint in global oil trade.
Declared intentions aside, the problem is Washington’s attempt to demarcate a “sphere of influence” in the strategically important Middle East. No matter, it seems, that this action is seriously aggravating tensions and instability in the region. Iran has every right to protest what it sees as a US-led campaign of aggression, piled on top of Washington’s bad faith regarding the UN-endorsed nuclear accord.
However, by contrast, a viable way out of the dead-end that Washington’s policy of unilateralism has created is the formation of a multilateral naval security system, which involves all nations in the Persian Gulf, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and others. Extra-regional nations can also be involved, including China, India, Japan, the European Union, as well as Russia and the US.
Such a proposal has been submitted to the UN by Russia earlier this year. This week during a meeting with Sergei Lavrov, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif gave his full support for such a multilateral security mechanism. The initiative is consistent with UN principles of respecting national sovereignties and non-aggression. It obviates the notion of nations presuming to have “spheres of influence”. The latter concept is a relic of colonialism and imperialism, and should be obsolete in today’s world.
Another contemporary example of destructive unilateralism is the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The country has been trapped in a nearly five-year war in which civilians in the eastern Donbass region have suffered greatly. Western governments and media accuse Russia of meddling in Ukraine. But the reality is that it was Washington and European states that interfered by illegally overthrowing an elected government in Kiev with a violent CIA-backed coup in February 2014.
Ukraine has been turned into a failed state because Washington and its Western allies wanted to impose a “sphere of influence” on Russia’s border.
It is patently obvious that such unilateral policy is a violation of international law and democratic principles. It is a criminal assertion of geopolitical “interests” and “objectives”. Moreover, such misconduct inevitably leads to a morass of conflict, destruction and immense human suffering.
The disgraceful irony is that while Russia is constantly accused, without evidence, of interfering in other countries, the abundant, irrefutable proof is the opposite: Washington and its Western allies have an incessant habit of violating and destabilizing nations and regions in presumed zero-sum geopolitical games.
For the sake of world peace and progressive development, all nations must adhere to the concept of multilateralism, mutual respect and genuine cooperation, free of stereotyping and demonizing others for propaganda gains.
The question is though: can US corporate capitalism and its militarist machine abide by that reasonable, minimal demand for international cooperation?
If not, then the American political system and its coterie of Western minions are driving the world into an abysmal dead-end.
The views of individual contributors do not necessarily represent those of the Strategic Culture Foundation.