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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Sanctions on Russia pit the West against the world

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The American writer Walter Russell Mead considered that the sanctions imposed on Russia have put the West in confrontation with the rest of the world, since Washington’s rapprochement with Moscow does not reduce the gap between the countries of the East and the West, and the United States does not help in the maintenance of world peace and security.

This does not mean that the West is wrong to oppose Putin’s war, but the task of safeguarding world peace is more difficult and more complex than many of the new and fervent warriors of the Cold War understand.

Mead wrote, for the American newspaper, “The Wall Street Journal”, that to face the war in Ukraine, Western countries have never been more allied; NATO allies, as well as Australia and Japan, are uniting in their “disgust” with the Russian war, cooperating with the most extensive sanctions since World War II.

World countries support China’s approach

But the rest of the world does not share the same, as “the world supported China’s approach of resisting Western efforts to punish Russia, in a development that suggests trouble ahead.”

While South African President Cyril Ramaphosa blamed NATO for the war, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro refused to condemn Russia. As for India and Vietnam, the two main partners in any US strategy in the Indo-Pacific region, they are closer to China than to the US in their approach to war.
Mead considered that the lack of enthusiasm of the countries for the American approach to the war is a phenomenon that American politicians ignore, just as Western politicians have not noticed the evolving gap between the West and the rest of the world that threatens to present new powers with great opportunities. in the next years.

He added that the administration of President Joe Biden does not understand the gap between Washington and the so-called Third World, nor the degree to which its policies contribute to the divide, nor the opportunities that gap creates for China.

While the West hoped that world public opinion would strongly oppose the Russian war against Ukraine and that China would pay a high political price for not joining the anti-Russian movement.

But what Washington and the West wanted did not happen. Some countries, such as frustrated US allies in the Middle East, are wary of supporting Washington’s diminishing role in the face of Russia’s rise. Others are balancing their hatred of the Russian invasion of Ukraine with other concerns.

A weapon they fear
Many non-Western countries fear the consequences of Western reactions to Russia’s behavior more than Moscow itself. Nor does he trust the West’s willingness or ability to manage the economic consequences of the war in a way that protects its interests. They were shocked by the imposition of sanctions on the Central Bank of Russia, a weapon they fear will one day be leveled against them.

While Western liberals welcome the imposition of sanctions on Russia, the growing desire by Western powers to weaponize the global economic system terrifies many countries that believe the West is indeed powerful.

He said that Putin’s claim that the authoritarian West seeks to use its economic and institutional influence to impose a radical worldview on the rest of the world is considered “self-serving propaganda” by Western liberals, but his (Putin’s) arguments resonate more widely. that most liberals understand.

A threat to the independence of post-colonial countries

The imposition of harsh sanctions against Iran by the administration of former President Donald Trump raised international awareness about the power of the world economic system in the United States, but at the same time it aroused Democrats who use economic sanctions to impose their views on climate, gender, and other less welcome topics in many countries.

As for those who share this perspective, the United States, whose actions are unpredictable, poses a greater threat to the independence of many post-colonial states than Russian or even Chinese ambitions. Therefore, Chinese propaganda about the need for alternative economic arrangements that limit Western power is more effective now than it was a month ago.

It’s harder to protect the peace
This does not mean that the West is wrong to oppose Putin’s war, Mead stressed, but rather that the task of safeguarding world peace is more difficult and more complex than many of the new and fervent warriors of the Cold War understand.

He explained that the so-called “global South” does not always share the priorities and views of the West. Neither Donald Trump nor the Awakened Left inspire confidence around the world, and that the American political system, apparently doomed to oscillate between them, will not indefinitely maintain the leadership on which American peace and security depend.


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