Dawid Kaczmarek: Changing the Rules of the Game
When, at the beginning of May of this year, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, withdrew his country from the nuclear agreement with Iran, the whole world held its breath for a moment, not sure of what actual changes this move would entail in terms of global policy. The aforementioned agreement, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, was concluded on July 14th 2015 in Vienna, between Iran and a group of six world powers from around the world, including five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (USA, France, Russia, Great Britain & China) as well as Germany. Officially, its objectives were to lead to the loosening of American economic sanctions on Iran, in exchange, guaranteeing to the international community the restriction of Iran’s nuclear industry and establishing an efficient monitoring system over its nuclear program.
This contract, in essence one of the greatest textbook achievements within the cannon of modern-day diplomatic accomplishments, became in one moment, through a unilateral decision, trampled and torn to shreds. Crossed out. And by who? By the man embodying all of the worst possible traits and flaws of America: tractability and confidence in one’s own superiority.
The show delivered by Trump and his partners was a classic display of hypocrisy, to which we unfortunately have had the time to grow accustomed in the recent years of the dominance of Pax Americana. It was a display of hypocrisy and of moral double-standards, a spectacle where one global world power, without consideration for consequences and for the opinions of other countries, brutally pushes a war of agression. A war without principles. A war all the more heinous for it is planned, not in the name of border or citizen defense, but in the name of international financial interests and domestic arms tycoons who profit from death and destruction. Why must we perish and suffer once more because of such sordid affairs? Can’t we afford to do better?
Again, as ordinary people and attentive observers, we are capable of seeing with our own eyes what the uniqueness of the times we live in is based upon. We must be conscious that we will soon be dropped right in the middle of a media swamp of propaganda waged on all sides of the world. Its aim is but one: to convince us to accept and support the interests of Big Brother – are we ready for such a situation? How shall we respond to it? Will we oppose it or will we once again be blindly preoccupied with Western standards which don’t exist and to which the West doesn’t itself adhere? Iran, whether we want it or not, will soon become the point of ignition on the map of the modern world. Eastern Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Iraq, the South China Sea – each place where empires hostile to one another stand on opposite sides of the barricades, not caring about the fate of ordinary people, act as a rift that further destabilizes the whole structure of international relations. It makes it susceptible to dynamic transformations and modifications. The character of building relationships and links in such a situation becomes much more unpredictable.
What conclusions can we draw from it? First: once again, the rivalry between global powers as well as their destructive influence on our surroundings, leads us to a clear conclusion concerning the necessity of raising or developing a completely new and avant-garde way of thinking about international politics. What we are talking about is the need to find and implement some type of Third Way: a coherent and realistic alternative, clear as well as doctrinal, which will allow both the European countries and countries of the Middle East and Asia to conceptualize their own existence and development, far apart from the influences and interests of world powers and empires. The spitefulness and foolishness of the United States should be opposed by a united bloc of countries who wish to live in peace and to develop. A unity against imperialism, regardless of its hue or political affiliation. A unity that is the key to everything. It is the foundation for a better world for us all.
Secondly: every such situation often entails the burning temptation to claim that the events of which I am writing here should not be of any concern to us and that ordinary people like us don’t have any influence. However, what is happening around us entails tremendous obligations. A call to responsibility and judiciousness. A call to be alert to not only what is happening in our own countries but also beyond them. A call to discern complicated procedures. We must teach ourselves to react. To adjust our methods to new challenges and problems, which we did not have to face until now. Trump’s decision, even if it didn’t formally change the rules of conducting this game, certainly will in coming years. Are we ready?
Global destabilization cannot be unequivocally described as a positive or negative phenomenon. A patient and insightful analysis of world history leads us to conclude that it is inevitable. It is up to us, free people, not only of Europe but also from around the world, that this change of direction will depend on. What world will we wake up to in some time?
Only a fool will participate in a game with new rules while adhering to the old ones. We are not allowed to do this. Let us be different. We must be!
Translation: Michał Szymański