Wednesday, 20 June 2012

'Old Empires Rise Again'


"... There are naturally rivalries and friction among and between these five states. Turkey and Russia compete for influence in Central Asia and the Caucuses. Russia continues to fear Chinese encroachment in Siberia. India and China watch each other warily across their common border, compete for influence in Myanmar and have conflicting relationships with Pakistan. Brazil and China vie for influence in Africa.

Nevertheless, all believe that the United States, and even more so Europe, no longer should monopolize decision making for the international community. They reject the post-World War II settlement as outdated and will not automatically accept American leadership on any given issue. It is noteworthy that Turkey is the only one of the five that has contributed to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and that none of the five contributed forces to the coalition in Iraq. Again, Turkey was the only one of the five to participate in any way in the Libyan operation, and its primary contribution, made with the utmost lack of enthusiasm, was to forego blocking the rest of NATO from mounting its offensive against Qaddafi.
There is no indication that the sense of empire, and of the entitlement that accompanies it, is waning in any of these five countries. On the contrary, it seems to get stronger with each passing year. Washington policy makers, currently obsessed with that other imperial legatee, Iran, would do well to recognize that there is more to these states than impressive economic growth, military expansion and political influence. Americans are known for their lack of historical sensitivity. They will need all the sensitivity they can muster in order to deal successfully with states whose claim to a greater role on the world stage is motivated as much by past glory as by present success..."

River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian  
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