ePaper

Sunday, June 24, 2018

World worries over US unilateralism

  • Print

The vanishing multilateralism in international relations is paving the way for an uncertain future - and riskier environments around the world.

US President Donald Trump's decision to scrap the Iran nuclear agreement, a document that was negotiated for 12 years and signed by the United Nations Security Council members plus Germany, is not the only irrational behavior from a US president who is keen on dismantling his predecessor's achievements.

It is a sad reflection of what is also taking place on the economic side: the abandonment of any multilateral protection for the weak to the sole benefit of the stronger who can impose his views.

If anyone honestly believed that reneging on a formal commitment would bring peace, they are wrong. Who can trust a person who has not respected his word? "My word is my bond" has become "my tweet is my impulse of the day".

The Iranian nuclear issue leads to a situation that has never been seen before with the US threatening to punish European firms doing business with Tehran.

At a time when Washington has crippled non-US firms by banning trade with Iran, Trump has ramped up the advantage of American firms by raising taxes on steel or car imports and threatening to boycott firms working on the Nord Stream II Pipe Project to boost the sale of US gas.

There is some confusion surrounding the actions of the US and Israel over what was initially a purely 'nuclear' issue. Building ballistic missiles and other conventional arms is part of a country's standard activity.

Developing nuclear arms is under the scrutiny of the international community (The rule does not seem to apply to Israel, which doesn't abide by international norms seeking cover from the US veto at the UN Security Council). International relations are no longer managed by states.

It has become a tool in the hands of governments and in some cases families and cronies. World bodies are vacillating, undermining stability that is a prerequisite to a lasting peace.

If the Iran nuclear deal was a setback for international diplomacy, Washington unilaterally put a halt to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by relocating the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem. The move comes amid war crimes perpetrated by Israel in Gaza which may lead to the outbreak of fresh violence.

Deeply shocking images of Palestinians massacred in Gaza flooded the television channels on the day of the embassy event in occupied Jerusalem. Ivanka Trump called it the "greatest day for Israel" - a day when Israeli bullets scythed down Palestinians, killing dozens of them and wounding more than 2,000.

But then who cares for Palestinians? The Gaza tragedy evoked only muted reaction from the world bodies: The motion at the UN was stifled by the US veto. The silence in the Arab world was deafening. The Istanbul meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was more rhetoric than any real action on the ground.

Poet Adonis was right when he drew parallels between the native Indians of America and the Palestinians in their homeland. At this point, one wonders whether Palestinians have disappeared as the Indians finally did - behind fences.

So, are the Palestinians still alive? Yes, is the answer on a blog by French journalist Jacques-Marie Bourget, who was shot in the left lung by an Israeli soldier while covering events in Ramallah in October 2000.

"Yes, Palestinians are still alive. Want a proof? They bleed…," Bourget wrote. The non-violent protests on the Gaza border are adequate proof.


The writer is a French essayist and a lecturer at IRIS (Institut de Relations Internationales et Strategiques) and the "FACO" Law University of Paris

More News For this Category

Competition Commission of Bangladesh in action

| By and M S Siddiqui
In the globalized market economy, the market is open to competition and survival of fittest. The biggest players are apparently free to take over the dominant role in

The emergence of the politics of development

| By and Shah Ali Farhad
Awami League, the oldest and largest political party in Bangladesh, celebrated its 69 years of founding in the early hours of 23 June 2018. That, in political time,

On elections, again

| By
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has let it be known that neither the Awami League nor the government wants elections of the kind that were held to fill a

Power … and then powerless

| By
Pervez Musharraf has resigned from the small All-Pakistan Muslim League which he has been leading since he quit power ten years ago. It is a sign that the

The story of the Awami League

| By and Syed Badrul Ahsan
History took a decisive new turn for the Bengali nation on 23 June 1949.There were some courageous men - Moulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, Yar Mohammad, Shamsul Haque,
The story of the Awami League

India and China relations in South Asian context

| By and Sujayendra Das
There was a time when people used to cling more upon the US as per global scenarios were concerned. Now with the passing away of time and space

The Awami League heritage

| By
The Awami League observes today the 69th anniversary of its founding in 1949. There is little question that the party has played a pivotal role in the history

Of football and things unpredictable

| By
Football, like politics, is an uncertain affair. Despite all the predictions made before an important occasion, popular expectations can be upended when one least expects it.

This beautiful madness called football

| By and Syed Badrul Ahsan
On the way to my village last week, it was a Brazil-Argentina festival of colors I sped through. All around me, on the tops of jackfruit and mango
This beautiful madness called football

Agriculture's bad medicine

| By and Jonathan Anomaly
Most of us are oblivious to the threats caused by our actions when those threats are invisible. Our use of antibiotics is a case in point. When used
Agriculture's bad medicine

© 2018 The Asian Age