Washington: “I don’t Want this War to End!”
The perpetuation of the clashing means delaying declaration of the victor! This is what Washington is working on today, and we can clearly observe this behavior if we perform a panoramic mapping of its global behavior.
One has to be completely blind, deaf, and clueless not to recognize that we are living a historical phase of change in the international balance of powers, which will likely result in shifting from the unipolarity of US hegemony to a new world through a transitional phase of multipolarity. This is not going down well with the US, and the West at large, as it will mean redistribution, redivision, and reshaping of the spheres of influence whereby the “current pole” will lose at least portions of its influence to the other emerging pole or poles. As a result, we are starting to see more blatant efforts by the US to maintain the status quo, and this is being manifested in different ways that have a common theme: create enough chaos to prevent or at least delay the inevitable change.
The US efforts are based on a rule that is perhaps the simplest, clearest, and most shameless: as long as war is raging – even if it is an indirect war, sheds the blood of others, and on others’ lands – then it no one can be declared victorious nor defeated. Additionally, the victor cannot celebrate his victory and the defeated cannot count his losses. So, let there be war, let there be destruction, and let there be hell on Earth. The important thing is that the inevitable does not occur, and the “beautiful” American world does not reach its end.
Following World War II, a new international balance emerged that created massive shifts and transformations in the world, with the US as one of its poles and the Soviet Union the other. This balance started getting clearly disrupted in the mid 1970s, ending with the Soviet Union dissolving in late 1991. Since then, the US monopolized the world stage and we saw a shift to a new era dominated by unipolarity. The US foreign policies since that shift have been all directed at perpetuating the state of unipolarity, which was translated into turning everyone to mere servants for US interests so that Washington can maintain its hegemony in all existing international forums. Nevertheless, it was abundantly clear from the outset that a unipolar world is a lopsided one and thus is not sustainable.
Washington’s Role as a Spoiler
With the world moving away from the unipolarity – a reality that the greatest majority of the world recognizes – and the US realizing that it no longer can retake control or rely on the tools it had used to control the different systems and international bodies in the same ways or to the same degrees as before, it found itself before very limited options. The common idea for all these options was to sabotage from within to cause enough chaos to keep the world busy enough to delay the ongoing international movement. Thus, Washington took on the spoiler role in the international community, particularly as “friends” and “foes” alike showed increasingly lesser inclination to be bullied into submission and less fear of US threats.
The aforementioned “spoiler” role is being exhibited in many different forms and with increasing frequency that it has become important to monitor US behavior in different international forums to be able to keep up with all the fronts on which the US is launching attacks against the world. Theoretically, it seems that the US today has two choices: either accept the new reality and declare its defeat or use whatever influence it still has to punish those no longer accepting to take orders from it, mainly by creating enough problems to get everyone to fight everyone and at all levels – economic, militarily, diplomatically, politically, legally, etc. – because the continuation of these battles delays declaring the victor and the defeated, that is, delays the emergence of the new reality. It seems that the latter is Washington’s choice.
On the Economic Front
The US has been able to maintain a certain high level of economic control worldwide due to several factors including the Bretton Woods Agreement (1944), centralization and control of petroleum as a major energy source, and ties thereof with the US dollar, which has enjoyed several decades of hegemony as the major currency for trade worldwide. This has enabled the US to have the greatest ability to influence economies all over the world, even when not directly involved.
Today, however, things are different as more countries are conducting trades using other currencies. One very recent example was when the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) announced realization of its 2019 agreement with the People’s Bank of China according to which the Chinese Yuan (CNY) would be used in trade between the two countries. What makes this even more significant is that Turkey is a member of the NATO alongside the US, which while a military alliance, but has had effects on other aspects of the relations among its member states, which Washington always perceived as being “under its wing” and “against” powers like Russia and China.
Russia and China have also signed an agreement in 2019 according to which national currencies would be used in mutual trading to reduce the use of the dollar between them to decrease dependence on the dollar. Indeed, the share of the dollar use in total trade between Russia and China decreased from the 90% level that it had previously maintained for several years to 46% in the first quarter of 2020.
This de-dollarization seems to be picking up some momentum among the BRICS countries as well, which is worrying the US, and justifiably so, especially when these accelerating changes are getting to the arenas where the US has had a great (or sometimes even sole) dominance for a long time, such as the IMF, which included the Chinese currency in its official foreign exchange reserve database starting 1 October 2016. While the US remains the most dominant in both the IMF and the World Bank, the increasing leverage for China in both over the last decade has become a source of concern for the US, which has used its influence to block assistance from the two institutions, the latest of which was assistances to mitigate the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Thus, we are sure that the US will use any leverage it has within these economic bodies to halt any movement in a direction of which it does not approve. When these efforts prove to be fruitless, we can expect the US to threaten to withdraw from these institutions, taking with it all the funding and support it contributes to them, as a measure of last resort to cause their collapse and failure. One good example of this is Washington’s threats of withdrawal from the WTO, which as one could easily guess is connected to China’s increasing share of the world trade market.
In this context, another recent example is Washington’s withdrawal from the World Health Organization as a result of its failed attempts to punish China and blame it for the spread of the virus. When it became apparent that the WHO was not going to perform the task assigned to it by the US, its response was to withdraw and thus pull its sizeable funding, which will have catastrophic repercussions on the organization’s ability to provide support to billions worldwide.
This withdrawal behavior may in essence reflect another aspect of the same issue. For an international organization to practice behavior that the US is not satisfied with while it is still a member of that organization is a translation of the new international balance within the organization, so withdrawing and fighting that organization from outside changes the coordinates of the issue and keeps Washington in the center of influence and action, even if it is screaming, shouting, and punishments.
The Diplomatic and Legal Fronts
There are many examples of the US’s spoiler role at the diplomatic and legal levels through relevant organizations and bodies like the UN Security Council and other UN bodies, and through US foreign policy around the world.
Recently, on 31 August 2020, there was an example of that at the UN Security Council, where the US vetoed against the other 14 member states a proposed resolution for measures to deal with foreign Islamic State fighters. A mere two days later, the US imposed sanctions on ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, who was probably one of the main forces behind broadening ICC investigations to look at potential war crimes in international conflicts, based on which an investigation was initiated by the ICC of possible war crimes in Afghanistan, committed by the US military and other actors in the conflict.
This new low that the US has reached is not surprising, especially that the US has never been a fan of the ICC or international law in general. In fact, one could say the US has been hostile towards international law and the ICC in particular (note: the US signed the Rome Statute in December 2000, and later declared that it would not ratify). The Trump administration has been the most blatantly hostile towards the ICC, because of the aforementioned investigation in addition to one relating to Palestine and “Israel”, and as a result, Trump issued Executive Order 13928, enabling sanctions against “ICC officials, employees, and agents, as well as their immediate family members.” The issuance of this executive order have been widely criticized and sanctioning two top ICC officials will certainly not be well-received worldwide.
The US thinks that its behavior should not be subject to review or investigation, even though it did not have a problem with the ICC investigating conflicts in which US forces were not involved. However, once its own armed forces were under investigation, it proceeded as noted above. In this manner, the US thinks that it can do as it wishes without any repercussions or questioning, which is understandable and expected behavior by the world’s most involved country (possibly throughout human history) in illegal wars and all sorts of violations of laws.
Another example is the US’s withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council in June 2018, because it was unhappy about the Council’s criticism and reporting of human rights violations of states and entities that the US considered above the law. The US did not hide that the main reason behind this withdrawal was the Council’s “chronic bias against Israel.”
The aforementioned is not meant to be an objective evaluation of the ICC, international law, or the effectiveness of these and any other international legal platforms in bringing justice. What is important here is exhibiting US behavior within the international system, in which it has long seen itself as a sole decisionmaker and having the final word, and the different ways and evidence by which Washington is exhibiting signs of denial and unacceptance of the inevitable historic change the world order is going through, in which the US is no longer able to steer even its closest historical allies whichever way it wishes.
Political and Militaristic Turmoil, a “Washington Favorite”
It is nearly impossible when looking at hotbeds of conflict and political turmoil to find one in which the US does not have a hand. A closer look will provide enough evidence to prove that the US is one of the reasons (if not the only one) that the political turmoil not only remains unresolved, but also continuously escalating. In nearly all such examples there is an armed side to the conflict, which feeds into the political one and vice versa.
We do not have to go too far to see examples of this, it is sufficient to look at US behavior in Syria, for example. US policy when it comes to Syria has been nothing short of undermining the popular movement that started in 2011, with policies that ensured the prolongation of the crisis and pushed things to the worst on all levels – militarily, economically, politically, and socially. While publicly supporting the political solution, the US has not taken any steps that could have a positive effect on the political process, quite the contrary, all the programs and support it provided politically, militarily, and even at the civil society level have had a negative impact on the political process and pushed towards increasing fissures among Syrians, and even attempts to perpetuate fragmentation of Syria. We do not even need to analyze too much US policies and actions in Syria to understand US behavior, as it is sufficient to recall US envoy, James Jeffrey, saying in one of his appearances that the goal of US policy is to make Syria a “quagmire” for Russia.
On the regional level, where US has intervened politically and militarily to create conflict or escalate ongoing conflicts, whether in Iraq or Turkey or elsewhere, which has created a state of instability that carries with it delay in imminent change in world order.
Unsatisfied with the Russia-Turkey relationship, the US has tried to undermine despite this collaboration’s role as a safety valve for many of the hot issues in the region. One can see, for example, the US attempts to cause internal political problems in Turkey, and its negative role externally in the currently ongoing problem in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey on one side and Greece and Europe on the other.
Another example is US policy with regards to the Zionist Entity, the latest of which was the so-called “Deal of the Century”, which is a recipe for ensuring that this part of the world continues to be unstable enough to prevent it from having a key role in the new world order.
Where the US cannot continue to dominate the decision and have the number one or only role and influence, it will create just enough chaos to keep the world preoccupied with unnecessary wars, and at all levels. Nevertheless, it has become more evident that the US ability to influence and guide decisions globally is sharply declining, which it is working hard at slowing down or stopping. The US is creating and escalating problems by initiating (or helping initiate) wars. For Washington, the continuation of war is the only guarantee to prevent declaring a victor or loser, where everyone continues to fight with everyone else, which will allow the US to protect its hegemony, which is fading away and ending sooner or later. A true worldwide peace based on a more balanced world system, means the end of US dominance, control, and exploitation of the world’s human, financial, and natural resources, so to think for even one second that the US is interested in having peace in any spot of the world, would be foolish, to say the least.