New World Order does not seem working for a better Middle East
The decade of the 1990s gifted the world unipolarity. United States of America emerged as the sole cultural, political, and economic influencer. Many theorists joined the race of predicting the future of the New World Order. Where two of them emerged as the most prominent ones; Samuel P. Huntington and Francis Fukuyama. Fukuyama claimed this Liberal World Order with the inclusion of Capitalism as the ‘End of History’. He picked the opinion that this is the right order for Slave mentalities and as well as for those who want to dominate others, the master mindset. The American political scientist is suffering to figure it out whether what made him claim that. Whereas Huntington’s soul must be witnessing his theory of ‘Clash of Civilizations’ being true to a great account. Middle East is a practical ground to witness the clash as American adventurism of imposing democracy in the region has created more mess than before. And her watchdog, Israel has been proved a major ally in a real sense, in contributing to such ambitious plans of her master state.
It has been three decades since the disintegration of the former USSR and US is no more the sole exerciser of power. The world we are living in is no more unipolar. Instead, it a multipolar world with the emergence of other mighty states, China being on top of it. But it does never mean that America has lost hope. Huntington’s claim that Western Civilization will be resisted by the Islamic Civilization and Confucius one, is actually happening. For instance, though Turkey is a secular state and a major ally in NATO Forces, but it does not mean that she can happily intervene in Libya, Syria, or Azerbaijan. How can Erdogan challenge the Western, or more particularly, the American designs in these states! How dare him! In this regard, I remember the claims of a Pakistan cleric Late Dr. Israr Ahmed (1932–2010) who believed that Western Civilization will never allow any other civilizational order to intervene and make attempts of proving its system better than the existing one. He did not stop here, claiming that Greater Israel will be realized at the cost of Arab lives. It seems true as Palestine is no more on the map of the globe and Gaza, the only territory left for the Palestinians has been hit 300 times by Israeli missiles and rockets in 2020 alone. Furthermore, the late cleric also emphasized that the Arab nations will be obedient to the Jewish State, and back to back the normalization of ties with Tel Aviv seem mounting proves in this regard.
Huntington’s claim of the emergence of Islamic Civilization against the current world order has also been proved true. America and its allies have made every possible effort in these three decades to snub such resistance and they have been successful to a great extent. For instance, Islamophobia has become a trending trend in the West generally and in the United States particularly, targeting Islam, insulting Islam’s prophet, Muhammad (PBUH), introducing a new version of Jihad, and attacking the characters of the companions of Muhammad (PBUH). In the meanwhile, Confucius Civilization was neglected and was not counted as a real threat. This gained time for the People’s Republic of China. She emerged as an economic giant and now enjoys the status of the second most powerful state on the planet Earth.
What awaits the Middle East?
The Middle East has witnessed a bad time since the emergence of the unipolar world or the New World Order. In the very year of 1991, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, compelling the United States to intervene. Consequently, a chunk of lives was lost and another chunk suffered heavily. Soon, Baghdad was punished by imposing sanctions on it and the Iraqis suffered heavily. In 2003, American adventurism took a twist and invaded Iraq with heavy might. Though she met with minute resistance but millions of Iraqis suffered and suffering to this day. The American invasion created more mess, making room for the emergence of self-claimed Islamic State. But in the meantime she did not step in to stop IS from taking over Mosul in Iraq and Al-Raqqah in Syria. This gave a gigantic opportunity to Tehran to intervene in the internal affairs of Iraq. To this day, Iran controls Iraq’s commerce, Shia majority territory, politics, and to a great account its economy too. Baghdad has become a sandwich between Washington and Tehran, and the killing of Major General Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad is a fine argument in this regard. Hence, Iraq without the intervention of Washington is imaginable but it is not easy to figure out the ground realities and calculate whether Tehran will leave sooner or later intervening in Iraqi affairs.
Syrians are paying the price of demanding democracy. Syria remained the chessboard of the last decade with many powers involved in the state. Aleppo, Homs, and Idlib are the most damaged parts of the country. Promising New world order has failed miserably to oust the Syrian despot despite intervening in Syria for over years. Millions of Syrians are suffering either directly or indirectly, whereas hundreds of thousands have been killed since the eruption of the Syrian Civil War. Israel has hit 50 targets in Syria in 2020 alone. The international community and the international law both seem incompetent to ask Tel Aviv about such hostility. Russia and Iran have God-like influence in Damascus, drawing the attention of their rivals like the United States, Saudi Arabia, and few non-state actors, etc. In short, the New World Order could not change much for Syria and its people. Two dictators, Hafez Al Assad and his successor Bashar Al Assad emerged above the promising system in the world. Passive peace seems promising for Damascus, but the accurate calculation of time is far now.
Iran does not seem even near to coming down to its knees. Instead, the newly elected US president Joe Biden has signaled to rejoin the Nuclear Deal. The rivalry between Iran and Israel seems lasting this decade too. Washington’s new president might not favor Israel as much as his predecessor is doing but that does not mean Biden will sacrifice Tel Aviv for Tehran. Saudi Arabia’s influencing nations recognizing Israel and then allegedly Netanyahu’s secret meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman is a great indication that Saudi Arabia might bargain her ideology for getting nearer Washington but will never leave room for Tehran to do so.
Iran seems to build better ties with China and Russia. She is involved in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon, and pretty much in Afghanistan making her a valuable ally for major powers. Though the United States enjoys a huge stage in global politics but Washington and Tel Aviv both seem weaker than Tehran in the region of the Middle East. Because Iran enjoys a better status in the region than America. It is because Iran is supported by the Shia community in the mentioned states and the region, whereas America and Israel are seen as infidels in front of the commoners and most of the politicians or public figures of the region, including clerics also keep sour tongues against Americans and Jews, making it harder for Israel and America to snatch the current status of Iran from her that she enjoys in the region. Things may improve with the entry of Biden in the White House, but the Iran-Israel rivalry seems more souring with every new sunrise.
Though Saudi Arabia hosts two major Muslim holy sites as Makkah and Medina, but her recent efforts of pushing her allies to normalizing ties with Tel Aviv has proved one fact that Riyadh is never afraid of losing Ankara or Kuala Lumpur. Turkey and Malaysia are two mighty Muslim states that are economically not dependent on Saudi Arabia. Whereas many other nations, specifically in the Middle East are under high influence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, due to their weak economies, Pakistan, the only Muslim nuclear state is not an exclusion. Almost every nation in the world including in the West knows about the inhumane activities of Saudi Arabia, particularly against the Shia minority. Plus, the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate speaks a similar story of brutality, but here the international community, the flag bearers of the New World Order does not seem interested as KSA is an American ally, purchasing millions of dollars of arms from the United States every year. Whereas the hijacking of the platform of the OIC by Saudi Arabia and meagerly by Iran is also unnoticed by the other Muslim states. Though not related to the topic.
Israel’s policies were never as clear as these were in these three decades. She pushed America hard to never return to the dialogue table with Tehran and for that her lobbying services were most on the ground. In the efforts of isolating Tehran, Tel Aviv gained much more than she might have expected. The American hand in supporting Israel everywhere in the region and opposing Iran in one way or the other made Israel mightier every next day. Today, almost all the Arab states are nearer Tel Aviv in one way or the other. Once again, the clash of civilizations being witnessed as ‘West versus Rest’ seemed prominent, West being in the favor of the only Jewish state in the world. But the point of view of the Pakistani philosopher and cleric Late Dr. Israr Ahmed appears more dominant. He had claimed that it is Israel who controls the White House and American foreign policy through its banking system and the mantra of secularism is of Jews and not of Christians. There are still Christians who claim Jews to be the murderer of Jesus (PBUH) and the rising anti-Semitism in Europe is a fine example in this regard. The recent joys of self-claimed ‘Deal of the century’ and the Arab countries normalizing ties with the Tel Aviv, America neglecting the International Law and the international community looking numb, are pretty much the same things supporting the ideas and prophecies of the mentioned Pakistani philosopher.
To conclude, three decades of the New World Order offered meager pluses to the Middle East. China is bestowed with a gigantic economy due to capitalism, whereas American tariffs on Chinese goods are opposing America’s own suggested world order. Though there are many other factors and states with multiple events that can be included in this article but that will need a mighty length, which might cross the length of a reasonable number of words in an article. Whereas the fate of the Middle East mostly depends upon the mentioned states as many states of the region are either weak to cause any possible change and those who have power, haven’t shown changing results or consequences in the region. Therefore, it can be concluded that these thirty years of the New World Order brought no major improvement in the Middle East and the New World Order does not seem working for the region.
Note: Pictures’ / cartoons’ courtesy does not belong to the author.