This is the second part of a series examining USA’s stance of high-handedness in various situations. Find a link to the first part here: The USA—A History of High-Handedness
The Politics of Oil that soaked into the two superpowers, the US and the USSR, during the Cold War years has caused the pitiable political state of several Middle-Eastern countries. Oil has been a double-edged sword in the Middle East politics, conferring both power and conflicts to it. Political intrusion from either of the superpowers, disguised in the name of some form of shielding from the other, had the sole objective of extracting the land’s oil and mineral resources. This has caused intense political turmoil in the region, and the disruptions have encouraged the growth of menaces like terrorism, crime, narcotics mafia, etc. in these countries.
Terrorist organisations like ISIS, the Al-Qaeda-Taliban nexus, etc. that pose a threat to international peace and security today, have at different points been funded and encouraged by the superpowers to further their immediate objectives. These global biggies that talk so boldly of peace, security, cooperation and mutual respect, are the same ones who have caused the devastation of countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Vietnam, to name a few. Today, they have the audacity to condemn the inflow of refugees from these Islamic countries that seek asylum in the ‘developed’ West, when a great proportion of this ‘development’ has occurred at the cost of devastating the Middle-Eastern countries.
Politics around military strengths of countries have also involved multiple controversial areas like the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, etc. Despite the positive intentions, the NPT is an extremely unfair treaty that wants only those countries to possess nuclear weapons which have acquired them before 1st Jan, 1967. This category includes the US, UK, France and China, which are under no obligation to dispose their arsenals, while demand all other states to never indulge in acquiring nuclear weapons. The CTBT adopted by the UNGA in 1996 imposes a blanket ban on nuclear explosions.
This, after the US had already conducted over 2000 nuclear tests, Soviet Union over 700, and France over 200, and they probably did not feel the requirement to conduct anymore. The shift of the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (2015), after recognizing the latter as the capital of Israel, violated the UN Security Council’s resolution that Jerusalem would be the shared capital of Israel and Palestine, and led to the deaths of several protesting Palestinians. The US’s opportunistic withdrawal from the UN Human Rights Council, the UNESCO and the Paris Climate Accord (2015), have from time to time reinstated its high-handedness in responding to international affairs.
Another instance can be cited in the US’s withdrawal from the Iran Nuclear Deal, or the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (2015). Global powers act unaccountably, followed with an audacity to harass developing countries with negative sanctions if they do not conform to their pathways. India was in a similar situation with regard to its oil dealings with Iran, until the US waived the sanctions it had threatened to impose if India continued trade relations with Iran. The discussion above is very limited, given the broad picture of the US’s exploitative behaviour during and after the Cold War. Countries in positions of authority like the US have hitherto been more abusive than responsible.
The American civil society has played a positive role in assuring a check mechanism to the US’s irresponsible attitude in its global ventures in the past, say during the Vietnam war crisis (between 1955 to 1973). However, Global leadership is a concern that has assumed gigantic proportions in the present day. But this trend of inward-looking models of sustenance and growth for powerful countries is only becoming more and more visible by the day, China being a dormant volcano in this regard, which can be an impediment for harmony to prevail in such circumstances. Collective and constructive action on the part of other countries is extremely urgent at this point.
Picture Courtesy- Whatsupic