Ukraine Crisis Highlights Crisis of New World Order

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Since the end of World War II, the US and its allies have been directly responsible for 81 percent of all unjust wars, illegal occupations of countries, civilian deaths, violations of human rights, destruction of entire nations like Vietnam, Cambodia, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and many more. So, the most embarrassing question for the US and its allies is this: Do they have any moral ground to condemn Russia for its latest aggression in Ukraine? Ukrainian crisis exemplifies the New World Order, which is neither new nor relevant to the world order. It is also a continuation of the gunboat diplomacy Western nations have used worldwide since Columbus’ time. Considering the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia, it’s time to ponder whether the crisis is merely another conflict between two neighbours or whether there is more to read and elaborate on the whole situation!

Is it Ukraine Crisis or the crisis of the New World Order? The New World Order of Bush Sr., intended to prevent foreign invasions of countries – such as Saddam Hussein’s invasion and annexation of Kuwait to Iraq – has paradoxically led to even more unjust wars and invasions, and millions of unarmed civilian deaths. The so-called New World Order appears to be a safe haven for invaders, destructors of civilizations, human rights, and dignity, but only if the invading nations are from the West, and the victims are from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Let’s look at the apparent reasons of the Ukraine-crisis. The country was a part of the Soviet Union until its disintegration in 1991. In 2014, Vladimir Putin invaded and annexed Crimea, which Soviet Prime Minister Khrushchev had formally ceded to Ukraine in 1954. On 24th February, Putin again invaded Ukraine apparently to stop it from joining NATO. This has triggered vociferous condemnation by America and its allies. They have demonised Putin as another Hitler and have imposed multiple sanctions against him and his country. Meanwhile, we are getting mixed signals from Russia and Ukraine. While the two countries have agreed to talk about resolving the crisis, Putin is said to have mentioned the nuclear option in order to resolve the issue.

It is condemnable if Putin really referred to the nuclear option. However, although Putin has condemned “illegal sanctions” of the West, and its belligerence against Russia, he has never used the expression “nuclear option” at all. He simply asked his generals to keep “other modes of military options” ready. The deliberate lie in Western media about Putin’s so-called reference to nuclear weapons shows, once again, that the West has some hidden agenda against Russia and the entire region. In a region where autocrats are prolific, the West’s “penchant” for democracy and order is at best a bad joke, and at worst an attempt to achieve a hidden agenda.

Meanwhile, no one can absolve the NATO custodians of pushing Ukraine into the fold of the alliance that was formed solely to keep the West safe from communist aggression during the Cold War. And it’s relevant to mention the stubborn US opposition to the installation of any Russian military base in Cuba in 1962, which Khrushchev was forced to abandon following Kennedy’s clear and unambiguous threat of retaliation. As a Russian base in Cuba would pose a security threat to the US, why would a NATO base in Ukraine not do the same to Russia? Since Russia doesn’t pose any existential threat to the West, why can’t the West dismantle NATO following the example of the Warsaw Pact? Hasn’t NATO outlived its utility after the collapse of the Soviet Union and communism in Europe? By expanding NATO in the region instead of dismantling it altogether, is the West interested in reenacting the misadventures of Napoleon and Hitler in Russia by invading the behemoth using other means? Only honest answers to the above questions can help us understand the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe and beyond.

The West must realise that just as colonialism is over, so are the days of postcolonial Western hegemony everywhere. It should also stop dreaming of the unipolar world under US tutelage. Regional powers such as Russia and China already possess weapons, technology, and money to challenge the shrieking Western hegemony around the globe. Instead of dismissing Putin’s demands for Ukraine’s total “de-militarization” and “de-Nazification” (a term for saving Russian speaking Ukrainians from neo-Nazi vigilantes), the West and its allies should pay attention to these demands for durable peace under a New World Order, in the full sense of the term.

Now, understanding the Ukraine Crisis requires looking at the contemporary history of Russian and Western diplomacy vis-a-vis Ukraine and its disputed territories in Donbas (in the east) and Crimea (in the south). This helps us figure out who is at fault: Putin, Obama, or Biden!

Obama Administration pressured Ukraine to join NATO. Ukraine’s pro-Russian president Viktor Yanukovych – who opposed NATO membership and wanted Russian as the second official language – was forced from power in February 2014 through a pro-Western coup, and he now lives in exile in Russia. Interestingly, French President Macron also opposes Ukraine’s entry into NATO. Petro Poroshenko, a pro-Western billionaire businessman, succeeded Yanukovych in June 2014. Meanwhile, days before Poroshenko became the President, by referendum, the majority (Russian-speaking) in Donetsk and Luhansk in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas subregion on 11 May 2014 had voted on whether to remain in Ukraine. They opted for independence. No government, including those of the United States, the European Union, and Ukraine, recognized the results favoring the independence of the entities. Some countries, including the US, Germany, France, and Britain, branded the referendum unconstitutional and illegitimate. On 20th May 2019, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, a comedian-turned-politician, succeeded Poroshenko as President. Avowedly pro-Western Zelenskyy favours Ukraine joining NATO.

It’s noteworthy, the Putin Administration expressed its “respect” for the results of the referendum and called for a civilized implementation, and later announced its recognition of the Republics on 21 February 2022, becoming the first UN member state to do so. The referendum was very similar to one held in Crimea in February 2014, which supported the peninsula’s joining the Russian Federation. Russia invaded Crimea and on 18 March 2014, formally annexed the peninsula. During 2014 and 2015, two rounds of trilateral talks (“agreements”) among Russian, Ukrainian, and OSCE representatives over the status of the Donbas subregion in Ukraine failed to yield results. No party was sincere about ensuring human rights, freedom of expression, and fair elections. Putin declared on 24th February (the day Russia invaded Ukraine) that the Minsk Agreement did not exist, just three days after recognizing the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk.

In light of the above and the recent Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, we know as always that truth has been the first victim of war. The Western media, Joe Biden, and other Western leaders started sabre-rattling in the weeks prior to the invasion, warning of dire consequences for anyone daring to invade Ukraine. Within minutes of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Western leaders and media began spewing poison against Putin and his supporters. Through them, we learnt how Western and global sanctions would cripple Russia. The same people who were directly or indirectly responsible for killing millions of innocent civilians in Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Palestine, Indonesia, Iraq, Chile, Nikaragua, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Sub-Saharan Africa since 1945 call Putin a war criminal and demonize him as another Hitler.

It is interesting that neither the United States nor any of its allies has participated in the war against Russia in defence of Ukraine. No wonder Zelenskyy lamented after the Russian attack: “We have been left alone to defend our state!”. But why? Tulsi Gabbard, a former US Congresswoman from Hawaii, and former Democratic presidential candidate in 2020 answered the question. She told Tucker Carlson of Fox TV on 25 February that Biden could have stopped the invasion of Ukraine by “guaranteeing that Ukraine wouldn’t become a member of NATO”, but he decided not to intervene for the benefit of the US Military-Industrial Complex; and that Biden actually wanted Russia to invade Ukraine so that the US Military-Industrial Complex would benefit from the new cold war. Furthermore, the West understands that a war with a nuclear-armed Russia is unwinnable and that an attack on Russia would most likely ensnare China, North Korea, and perhaps Iran as well. Putin and Xi Jinping are likely to have a tacit understanding of this whole issue. There is no windfall waiting in the wings for the West as there was after the First Gulf War in 1991 since Putin is not another Saddam, neither is Russia another Iraq or Ukraine another Kuwait.

In conclusion, one believes that in the end, Putin will have accomplished his main objectives in Ukraine. He will separate Russian-speaking Donetsk and Luhansk from Ukraine, eventually transferring them to Russia. Also, Zelenskyy will abandon his ambition of making his country a member of NATO. In a matter of days, Russia would decisively defeat Ukraine, as the West and its allies knew before Russian tanks rolled into Ukraine. Due to its air force being completely disabled, Ukraine will be forced to negotiate its total surrender with Russia. A different outcome is unlikely. Other consequences of the invasion will also be unpalatable to the West. Putin has proved once again that might is right is at the heart of the New World Order. As a consequence, the West in the coming years will again behave like a sitting duck following the most likely occupation of Taiwan and territories in the northeast of India by China. Nobody in the East or the West has ever fought for lofty ideals (democracy, freedom, and human rights, for instance), and no one in the East or the West minds doing business with nasty dictators anywhere in the world, including Eastern Europe. In reality, neither Russia, Ukraine, nor Belarus – among others – are democracies in the neighborhood. Who gives a damn? No one will challenge a nuclear-armed China, just as no one will challenge Russia today. This is the new normal under the New World Order!

There’s no reason to believe what Joe Biden told his “patriotic” countrymen during his State of the Union Speech this Tuesday about effective and complete sanctions on Russia until Putin withdraws his troops from Ukraine. Sanctions do not hurt superpowers. Napoleon’s Continental System (sanctions against Britain) would have worked otherwise. Excluding Russia from the SWIFT interbank payment system is likely to backfire too. Eventually, China, Russia, and their allies will have their own global orders, economic, political, and military. Their own United Nations, perhaps, with equal voting rights for each member nation! As opposed to overreacting to conflicts between rogue regimes and even violations of international law (as Putin has done in invading Ukraine), the West should reflect on its genocidal invasions of Palestine, Indo-China, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and scores of other countries (too many to mention here), since the end of World War II. Furthermore, the West must realize that just as colonialism is gone, so too are the days of neo-colonialism vanishing fast. Since the onset of the New World Order (which was meant to protect Western interests only), we have known non-Western nations occupying countries (with big repercussions in the West) much like the United States, Great Britain, and France did in the past. Clearly, this development points to the crisis of the New World Order. Thus, there is a dire need for a “new” New World Order for every nation and race.

Dr Hashmi is a retired Professor of History and Security Studies at the APCSS in USA. He is an author, columnist, and commentator on international affairs. His major publications include Pakistan as a Peasant Utopia (Westview and Routledge), Women and Islam in Bangladesh (Palgrave Macmillan), Global Jihad and America (SAGE), and Fifty Years of Bangladesh, 1971-2021 (Palgrave Macmillan).


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