When the Soviet Union collapsed, there was a brief period when some of us hoped for a ‘peace dividend’. With the ‘enemy’ gone, we thought global events might proceed on a more peaceful course. It was not to be, and instead Washington launched a broad new program of interventionism. As seems apparent from these reports, we’re getting our peace dividend now, 23 years late:
Iran has been eager all along for some kind of reasonable agreement. The only thing that’s changed is that the US is now willing to talk. Rouhani will be giving a speech at the UN, and in this political climate he will be listened to with considerable respect. We see the NWO theme continuing to play out – breakthroughs in diplomacy and international cooperation, resolving crises that were created by the US in the first place. The elevator pitch for this story would be: Shock Doctrine meets Hegelian Dialectic.
Obama also made this very interesting suggestion:
The time is now ripe for the entire international community to get behind the pursuit of peace. Already, Israeli and Palestinian leaders have demonstrated a willingness to take significant political risks.
In the context of this unfolding political climate, I think we can take the phrase ‘now ripe’ as being significant: we can expect something real to change, not just more promises and more Israeli stonewalling. It is also significant that Obama talks about the ‘entire international community’ as the forum for resolution, rather than ‘talks between Israel and the Palestinians’. The ‘entire international community’ is a clear reference to the UN, and in particular the Security Council. The US veto has time and again protected Israel from sanctions in the Security Council; Obama may be hinting that the US will begin voting with the majority on such matters.
While we’ve been seeing new cooperation between the US, Europe, Russia, Syria, and Iran, we have not seen Israel included in this cozy family of reconciliation. In fact, Israel has maintained official silence on many recent developments. In the case of Iran, Israel is taking a clear position, in direct opposition to the rest of the international community. In this video, Netanyahu says he will take his message to the White House and to the UN General Assembly:
In quick succession the UN General Assembly is hearing speeches from Obama, Lavrov, Rouhani, and Netanyahu. Netanyahu will end up isolated, a lone voice, sticking with intransigence while everyone else is bubbling over with flexibility and with hopes for a better future. For Netanyahu to allow himself to be drawn into this public debate, and for him to describe his mission as ‘rebuttal’, implies that he will in some sense be bound by the outcome of the debate: a debate he cannot possibly win.
In the eyes of much of the world, Israel is a criminal nation – a one-stop international crisis. It threatens and invades its neighbors; it lies and deceives; it treats Palestinians inhumanly; it has a nuclear arsenal; it’s leadership is infected by dangerous paranoia, and it has violated more UN resolutions than any other country. And all the while the US has been protecting and funding Israel, even seeming to put Israeli priorities ahead of its own interests.
If the US were to distance itself from Israel – as Obama is hinting – and if Israel were to be ‘tamed’ by the Security Council, this would be seen by much of the world as a ‘crisis resolution’ of the highest order. And again, this is a crisis that the US was largely responsible for creating.
It seems that we will indeed be getting a peace dividend, and it will include resolutions of the conflicts within Syria and Israel, and the international conflict between Iran and its detractors. That’s a big dividend that will be widely heralded. But it comes at a price.
This leads me to a final point: there will be times when the breakdown of societies is so great, and the violence against civilians so substantial, that the international community will be called upon to act. This will require new thinking and some very tough choices. While the U.N. was designed to prevent wars between states, increasingly we face the challenge of preventing slaughter within states.
Which really mean: the UN must be empowered to intervene whenever it deems a nation’s internal situation to be unacceptable. How does one define ‘substantial violence’? I’d say Western treatment of protestors is ‘substantial violence’. And how does one decide when society-breakdown is ‘so great’ that intervention is required? How about Greece? How about most of Africa? Once a central authority has the charter to ‘maintain order’, then it will inevitably become a government that manages everything, in the way governments always do.
The price of the peace dividend is a one-world-government new-world-order.
We might ask, why weren’t we offered this package 23 years ago, when the Soviet Union collapsed? The answer is that there weren’t enough failed states yet. Globalization caused many to fail, particularly in Africa; US intervention caused others to fail, as in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Syria. And of course the 2008 collapse has created more failed states, with Greece being the poster child.
It took 23 years to create enough failed states so that the world would be grateful for a central government to straighten things out.
PS: Thanks to Bob Ocegueda, I now know of one other observer who appreciates the Hegelian nature of the transition we’re going through:
Has America Been Set Up As History’s Ultimate Bumbling Villain?