In the 1990s, George Bush, then President of the United States, often spoke of a New World Order. The renowned political scientist Joseph Nye wrote that the "1991 Persian Gulf War was, according to President Bush, about ‘more than one small country; it is a big idea; a New World Order.'"
In a 1992 article in Foreign Affairs, ("What New World Order?") Nye wrote that there are two main approaches to world order. The first is that of the Realists. Richard Nixon and his National Security Adviser, Henry Kissinger, were realists; they perceived "international politics as occurring among sovereign states balancing each other's' power. World order is the product of a stable distribution of power among the major states."
The second approach in Nye's view is that of the Liberals, leaders like Wilson and Carter. Liberals interpret a larger order that is not based merely on states, but also among peoples. "They see order arising from broad values like democracy and human rights, as well as from international law and institutions such as the United Nations."
The reason that Bush talked about a New World Order was that after the Vietnam War, the U.S. needed new excuses to go to war. The excuse for the Vietnam War had been clear. To stop the frightful tide of Communism, which was sweeping the East, at whatever the cost. But the Vietnam War had been a failure, from every aspect. More than 50,000 American servicemen and women lost their lives in this vicious military action; human rights abuses were rife, and were being inflicted by all sides; Vietcong, the North Vietnamese army, South Vietnamese army and members of the U.S. armed forces. To fight the Communist North, the American administration was supporting what was little more than a dictatorship, and certainly a puppet government, in South Vietnam.
Corruption was rife, and the people were oppressed. The North, on the other hand, had one overriding aim - self-determination and unification. Communism for the North was more a vehicle than an ideology. And it was the North which won out in the end. They had the determination to never give up fighting the invading American forces. America finally removed its troops, all-out war broke out between North and South, and many more people died. Today Vietnam is a Communist country. What exactly did America achieve in Vietnam? Absolutely nothing that was positive.
So the Old World Order, which was Communism vs Democracy, no longer worked. The American people would not be fooled again. They had seen what happened. And they saw that it was futile. NATO, set up to keep the Communist threat in the East, and out of Europe, remained in place, but its significance was gradually changing.
In the 1990s, when America decided that they just had to invade Iraq, the U.K. was its willing accomplice. The excuse of removing weapons of mass destruction was just that, an excuse. No weapons of mass destruction could ever be found. But a dictator was brought down, and democracy could be introduced. At least that was the story that they were trying to sell the people.
The path for Iraq was not smooth. Certainly, in many ways the people of Iraq are better off today than they were under Saddam. But self-determination, something that every country really should possess, has not been easy for the Iraqis to gain. There are many who would argue that Iraq still has very limited self-determination. The real matter here is did the Iraqi people really need to go through bombardments, invasion and experiences like those revealed to the world in the Abu Ghraib prison? Surely there are other ways for countries to achieve self-determination.
The United Nations was originally set up to police the world. It was to make determine right and wrong when countries had differences. This is actually not a bad idea. The idea of a supra-power, one which can take action against states who torture, murder or oppress their own people is very important.
The United Nations was equipped with a Security Council; the main responsibility of the Security Council is "the maintenance of international peace and security. It has 15 Members, and each Member has one vote." However, only five of those members are permanent. The rest only have a say for two years. That is, only five really count. The Security Council also "takes the lead in determining the existence of a threat to the peace or act of aggression.... In some cases, the Security Council can resort to imposing sanctions or even authorize the use of force to maintain or restore international peace and security."
All very well and good. Such a body is necessary. When George Bush spoke of his New World Order, the idea was to strengthen the United Nations, and ipso facto, the Security Council; this is what he was referring to.
Well, that was years ago. Times have changed. Unlike his predecessors, President Donald Trump does not seem concerned with any type of order, let alone world order; that is, other than the world order according to Donald Trump. Donald Trump's Tweet Diplomacy has left the world stunned. He has alienated almost the entire world with phone-calls, handshakes or tweets.
Trump managed to alienate all of Africa; he abruptly departed from a G20 partnership session. Later, by removing his headphones when the President of Niger started to speak, he infuriated the member countries even more. That is, Trump managed to alienate an entire continent, not just a country.
Trump has managed to annoy Europe as well. Individually he has had contretemps with many European leaders. He didn't shake hands with Merkel, he had a wrestling match when shaking hands with Macron, he fell out with Boris Johnson and Theresa May. The long-standing special relationship between the U.K. and the U.S. today looks more like a special break-up.
Closer to home, Trump has targeted Mexico. From threatening to make the Mexicans pay for the border and imposing a 20 percent tariff on imported goods, Donald Trump has annoyed his southern neighbor. He even went so far as to mention to the Mexican President that they could send U.S. troops to Mexico to sort out their "bad hombres." It's just what any democratically elected president wants to hear from a neighboring country.
Annoying the Mexicans wasn't enough... north of the border high tariffs were announced for Canadian steel and aluminium. But again Trump went beyond mere economic insults and called President Trudeau "dishonest and weak."
Trump has targeted China in many of his tweets, and has accused the giant of currency manipulation. And he has told South Korea, a good friend to America, to "defend itself."
And then Trump set out to get at Australia. He called the refugees who are to be resettled according to an earlier deal between Australia and the U.S. illegal immigrants. This implies that Australia is trying to get one over on the U.S., to send unwanted criminals to the U.S. Nothing could be further from the truth. Australia is trying to find a new home for just over 1,000 refugees. Not a huge amount. And certainly not illegal immigrants. Of course, Trump's attitude did not go down well.
And then Trump has been active in the Middle East. By banning people from seven countries - Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen and Iran - Mr. Trump managed to enrage not only Middle Eastern countries, but more African countries. Not to mention moving the American Israeli embassy to Jerusalem. All but a few countries have condemned his administration for this move.
By withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal brokered by Trump's predecessor, Trump has managed to upset Japan, Canada (again), Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, Mexico (again) and Australia (again).
And there are more countries that he has upset. There will be more countries upset. Turkey isn't mentioned above. Of course, Trump has managed to anger Turkey; he has tried to damage the good will that traditionally exists between America and Turkey. Fortunately, there are wiser heads than Trump's, and the good will still exists. But by signalling out two ministers for sanctions Trump has succeeded in doing two things.
One, he has destroyed the pernicious thesis that is being propounded in the Western media that Turkey is a "one-man state," a "dictatorship." It is not the president who is responsible for putting parson Brunson
on trial. No, it is the minister of justice and the minister of the interior. That is, it is the process. It is for this reason that these two have been singled out by the sanctions.
This is the most accurate reflection of the reality in Turkey for a long time. Turkey has a judicial system that is independent and which operates according to the rule of law. The President cannot put anyone on trial for any reason he wants. A person is put on trial only if there is sufficient evidence that they have committed a crime. The trial will determine if the person is guilty or innocent. And this is the system in which pastor Brunson has found himself. He is accused of colluding with two recognized terrorist organizations. Brunson has been transferred to house arrest in consideration of his health. In short, the experience of pastor Brunson is more positive than that which many accused of terrorists acts have undergone in the West.
But beyond this, Mr. Trump has achieved something even greater. He has managed to bring the different political parties in Turkey together. The four major political parties, Republican People's Party (CHP), Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), Good Party (İP) and Justice and Development Party (AK Party), have condemned the American sanctions. This is the first time since the failed coup that the different parties have all come together. And they came together to condemn the sanctioning of Turkey's ministers.
There are a few countries Trump has not offended yet. Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are the most important among these. These countries are all on good terms with Trump and his administration. On the surface of it, Saudi Arabia and Israel agreeing on anything might seem surprising.
However, they do have something in common. A common "enemy." These three states and America are all ranged against Iran. They all want to see Iran's ability to maneuver limited, to see it punished and made impotent. Their rationales might be different, but sharing a common enemy means that they are willing to work together. These new allies seem intent on focusing their aggression on Iran, as well as on any country that sides with it, and more sinisterly, on any country that does not take a stance against Iran.
Turkey has never signed onto the Iranian sanctions. The results of this are being played out in the American courts. And now Europe has taken a stance to Trump's latest sanctions against Iran. They are standing up to the New Bullies. In short, a Brand-New World Order is happening, and it seems that Trump is not even aware of it.
The old world order after World War II was one in which Europe was being propped up by the U.S. The Marshall Plan helped to rebuild Europe. NATO helped protect Europe against the Communist threat.
But Europe is no longer willing to be Washington's lapdog. If they don't like the decisions made there, the Europeans are ready and able to act alone. NATO without Europe means America, Canada and Turkey. And Trump has alienated Turkey and Canada. At this rate, the future of NATO is neither bright nor rosy.
Without NATO, all that is left is the UN; the Security Council is the most important part of the U.N. China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the U.S. But can these five countries really constitute the world? Is this just? Is it realistic? Is it even workable?
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been stating for years that the World is Greater than Five. The five are the security council. And the world is greater than these five.
The world has a Brand New Order. America is steadily driving itself out of the top spot. Europe is no longer obediently heeling. Turkey has taken a firm stance, despite punishing currency rates. China doesn't really care and Russia will not abandon Iran.
If there is to be a body that decides when and if military action needs to be taken, if there is to be a body that is designed to restore international peace and security, it must be more representative than the Security Council. It cannot consist of a few European countries and China and America. South America, the Middle East, Africa and more of Asia need to be represented. The New World Order is not only no longer new; it is no longer functional. There needs to be a world order that is based on justice and true representation. The world is not only greater than five; most of the five who are currently representing the world's interests are irrelevant and one of them in particular seems to be heading into an uncontrolled tail spin.
The next few years will be an interesting time. One era is so clearly coming to an end; who will be the main players in the new era, what kind of justice will there be, will it be a fairer world, or just the same old thing with new players....all these questions wait to be answered. It is time for a Brand New World Order which recognizes that the old guard is just that. Old, and their era has passed.
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