Kishore Mahbubani has amongst others, for example with his book “New Asian Hemisphere”, pointed out that the supremacy of the West is coming to a close. A unipolar world order cannot be sustained in the long run – since, as Martin Kriele has noted in his book “Die demokratische Weltrevolution” (the democratic world revolution), the idea of the basic equality of men and its effect on human consciousness can no longer be stopped. It simply corresponds to human nature.
More urgent than ever is the question whether the transition to a universally accepted multipolar world order can take place halfway peacefully, or whether a nuclear catastrophe threatens us – in other words, whether in the West and specifically in the USA the forces of reason prevail, who also consider the well-being of their own people, or whether this are the exponents of the sole predominance of the Indispensible Nation by any means, which includes nuclear war.
We know at least since the Cuban crisis in 1962 that such a war cannot be waged. In the face of strong demands by American neoconservatives for absolute superiority and nuclear first-strike capability, the former US defense minister Robert McNamara warned against such ideas a few years ago (see Current Concerns No 7, 7 Feb 2005) in remembrance of this crisis, and said: “We just lucked out”. At that time the government wanted to know from the army leadership whether it could guarantee that no bombs would hit America in a nuclear strike against Russia. They could not – and no atom bombs fell on Russia.
The article on the military defense strategies of Russia and China also points precisely in this direction because it shows that both are not prepared to tolerate a nuclear attack on their territory. The intention is clear: Whoever wants to attack us – even nuclear – will pay dearly for it, and such an attack would inevitably lead to the most serious casualties in the USA. Since Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we know what nuclear pollution means. Otherwise, the “cities for peace”, which were created in 1982 at the initiative of the mayor of Hiroshima, can be recalled.
Power politics, however, sometimes pursues its own, in itself perhaps rationally calculated, but not long-reaching rational patterns of thought. Elitist power arrogance sometimes comes very close to insanity, in which action, by misjudging essential aspects of reality, can assume extraneous and self-destructive forms. The US may lack the historical experience: they have never had the war in their own country. This is quite different in Russia, as travelers in this country repeatedly point to: here the Second World War is still very present to the people. The 26 million dead are not forgotten in Russia; the victims, who demanded the defense of the then invasion, are remembered with respect and seriousness. And Russia makes it clear that it will not tolerate another destructive war on its territory.
Neither will China. Instead of practicing in pseudo-moral hypocrisy, the West would do better to take note of the fact how many millions of people in this country – it is said 400 million – have been able to work their way out of poverty. It is regrettable that China has also spent large sums of money on the development of its armaments and army, but this does not diminish the accomplishment and is comprehensible given the geopolitical disputes about a new, multipolar world order. China also makes no secret of the fact that it will not allow any interference with its internal affairs.
However, it would have something else to offer. For example, the offer of the president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, Fu Ying, which she published in “Foreign Affairs”: Partnership and Cooperation instead of Major Conflicts and War. As she writes, a win-win situation for all stakeholders. A voice of reason.
In the meantime, the Syrian war threatens to become the famous spark in the powder barrel. The demand for a flight ban is, according to the experience in Libya, simply a declaration of war. It is to be hoped that in the background there are many voices of reason which work in the sense of a diplomatic solution. Willy Wimmer’s warnings are part of the efforts to support such a solution and bring the warring sentiment down to earth. It would take many of them.

Erika Vögeli

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