Theme: Dangers of the 21st Century
There is one aspect of western foreign policy since the end of the cold war which has, above all else, plunged us into a whole world of danger. This is the rehabilitation of the use of large scale conventional military force as a routine tool of foreign policy.
When the cold war ended I am the only person I know of who believed it would be the beginning of a much more dangerous period with increased international conflict. All politicians, defence analysts and other so-called ‘experts’ were gaily prophesying a rosy future. When I heard about ‘peace dividends’ and ‘the end of history’ I sneered contemptuously at the stupidity of such analysts. In my own view the post-cold war world would look a lot like the pre-World War I world. It would be a world of extreme danger and increased international conflict. I have been proved correct.
Why did I have such a pessimistic view of the new world order? It is better to ask why did these analysts all have such a falsely optimistic view? It all comes down to the biggest single threat to our survival, the almost total lack of self-knowledge of the western powers and their societies.
An objective view of history tell us that in the west we have a history of militaristic imperialism, encompassing the creation of the largest empires and most powerful concentrations of military force the world has ever seen. Expansionism and conquest are our political culture. Yet even to suggest such a plainly obvious fact is to invite ridicule in the universally self-serving world view of the majority in the west. They are incapable of objectively viewing their own actions or history.
Thus in a monopolar world with only America as a superpower I expected the west to begin throwing its military weight around the world to get its own way, being no longer scared of Russia, and fearing no real opposition. This is exactly what has happened.
They are fond of trotting out a tired series of self-serving explanations, or better to call them excuses, for the use of extreme destruction and slaughter. It is always for some higher altruistic good. It is never motivated by selfish power seeking or the desire to plunder weaker nations. Who though, would want to live in any of the countries we have helped after we’ve subjected them to our treatment? Certainly not any of the politicians who one day tell us they care so much about the fate of a country and it’s people that it is necessary for tax payers to stump up for massive programmes of military aggression and occupation. Soon afterwards all interest has been lost, that is once our leaders have succeeded in determining the future of some poor bloody nation for generations to come. For those we ‘help’ it’s a case of “with friends like these who needs enemies”.
The western powers have run around the world like a gang of pyromaniacs setting fire to other people’s houses. They give no thought for a moment that the many fires they set may one day turn into a massive conflagration they cannot control and which will consume their own homes.
The attempt to handle Russia over the current Ukraine crisis according to the same formula employed against weak, developing countries barely able to fight back, shows me that in the one hundred years since the outbreak of the First World War, western politicians have learnt nothing and are repeating the same mistakes with probably the same outcomes.