The Disappearing Appeal of Global NATO
While leaders of the “Global NATO” promise a continuation of the war in Ukraine “for as long as it takes” (Jens Stoltenberg on March 6) despite the bloodbath, and simultaneously attempt to expand in the Indo-Pacific area to counter China, the reality is that the Western world is quickly losing influence, as we have reported.
That was once again underscored at the G20 Foreign Ministers meeting on March 1-2 in India, where no joint communiqué could be issued, because the U.S. and other G7 member nations insisted it contain an attack on Russia and a defense of Ukraine. Indian Prime Minister Modi and other representatives wanted to focus the discussion on the development needs of the world’s most vulnerable countries. Even more strikingly, on the next day, at the meeting of the four member countries of the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (QUAD – U.S., Japan, Australia, India), the Indian government refused to sign any statement attacking Russia.
A feisty Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, remained in Delhi to participate in the prestigious Raisina Dialogue March 3, where he tore into the duplicity of the West’s attacks on Moscow, insofar as they criticize Russia for what NATO does openly. When asked by a provocative interviewer why Russia launched the military operation in Ukraine, he brought up NATO’s many wars of the past decades. “You believe that the United States has the right to declare a threat to its national interests any place on Earth, like they did in Yugoslavia, in Iraq, in Libya, and in Syria — 10,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean — it has the right to do so, and you do not ask them any questions.” But then everyone feigns surprise if Russia reacts to a danger on its borders.
We could mention a few of our own examples of the hypocrisy behind the “rules-based order”. The U.S. Armed Forces continue to occupy a crucial part of Syria, allegedly to protect the Kurds against the autocratic authorities in Damascus (cf. below). What about Russia protecting the people of Donetsk and Lugansk from the civil war waged by Kyiv, as mandated by the Minsk agreements? And what about Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity?
The United Kingdom claims the disputed Malvinas Islands cannot be returned to Argentina because the inhabitants chose to remain part of the U.K.. Are the inhabitants of Crimea and the eastern provinces of Ukraine allowed to decide their own future?
NATO proclaims that international terrorism must be rooted out and punished. Does that apply to those who blew up the Nord Stream pipelines? Not to mention the defense of free trade and open markets, except when such rules work to the benefit of China…
Such instances have not gone unnoticed in the Global South. As a result, they are turning increasingly to other international forums, such as the BRICS Plus, and are eager to participate in China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Europe and the United States could very well decide to join that new paradigm, instead of driving the world to war. The emerging anti-NATO movement is a step in the direction needed.