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West’s attempts to restore previous world order doomed to failure - British columnist

January 01, 2015, 21:52 UTC+3 LONDON
“There may be growing conflict, but there will be no return to unchallenged US diktat or uncontested economic catechisms,” The Guardian’s Seumas Milne wrote
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LONDON, January 1. /TASS/. Attempts by the West to restore the previous world order are doomed to failure, a columnist for a British newspaper said Thursday.

“There may be growing conflict, but there will be no return to unchallenged US diktat or uncontested economic catechisms,” The Guardian’s Seumas Milne wrote.

“A decade and a half into the 21st century, we’re still living through the aftermath of two epoch-making shocks. The first was the demonstration of the limits of US power in the killing fields of Afghanistan and Iraq - the war on terror that broke the spell of invincibility of the world’s first truly global empire,” he wrote.

“The second was the financial crash of 2008 and the crisis of the western-dominated economic system it unleashed, still playing havoc with economies and lives across the world more than six years later,” Milne said.

He forecast that “that crisis will shape politics in Europe in 2015, from London to Madrid. But the impact will be felt first in Athens.”

“The powers that be in Europe are determined to prop up a failed economic model regardless of the cost - as they will be in Britain if Labour wins the general election in May. The aftershocks of the breakdown of that neoliberal regime are still being felt across the world economy - in falling commodity prices, capital flight, stagnation and recession. But the interests that depend on it won’t let go without a serious challenge,” Milne said.

“That’s just as true in terms of global power. The US and its satellites, including Britain, may have suffered a strategic defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan - symbolized by last weekend’s ceremony to mark the end of NATO’s combat mission, held in secret for fear of Taliban attacks. But they’re not letting go either,” he said.

“Some 13,000 troops are staying on as ‘trainers’, just as thousands of western troops have been returning to Iraq for the war against ISIS - the al-Qaida breakaway spawned by their own invasion and occupation - with talk of a major assault in the spring,” the columnist wrote.

“In the same spirit, every effort was made at the time of the Arab uprisings of 2011 to hijack, control or crush them. Some of the results can be seen today in the disaster zone across the Middle East, the growing power of the western-backed autocracies of the Gulf, the brutality of Egypt’s new dictatorship and the maelstrom in post-intervention Libya, whose civil war is likely to intensify in the coming months,” he said.

“Meanwhile, Russia’s challenge to untrammeled US strategic power, which began in Georgia in 2008 and intensified through Syria’s proxy war, has come to a head in the conflict in Ukraine,” Milne said.

“There has been much western crowing in recent weeks that the combination of collapsing oil prices with US and EU sanctions has plunged Russia into recession, while knocking chunks out of the economies of other independent oil states such as Iran and Venezuela into the bargain,” he said.

“It seems clear enough that the Saudi regime’s decision to boost oil output when prices were already falling was designed not only to protect market share and undercut fracking, but to punish Iran and Russia for their role in the Middle East and Europe to the benefit of Riyadh’s US sponsor,” Milne said.

“It is a form of economic warfare - hailed by President Obama this week as the fruit of “strategic patience” - the consequences of which will be felt across the world in the months to come,” he wrote.

“But along with the global power and economic shocks of the past decade, two other crucial shifts have defined the early 21st century: the economic rise of China, in defiance of market orthodoxy, and the tide of progressive change that has swept Latin America, opening up alternatives to neoliberal capitalism,” the columnist wrote.

“What seems certain though is that, however much the west tries to recapture lost ground, the global order will not revert to the status quo ante. There may be growing conflict, but there will be no return to unchallenged US diktat or uncontested economic catechisms. Alternative centers of power are forming. Both internationally and domestically, the old order is coming apart. The question will be what replaces it,” he said.

Russia and Georgia cut off diplomatic ties after Russia recognized as independent two Georgian breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The recognition followed Georgia's attack on South Ossetia that entailed Russia's peacemaking operation in August 2008.

In the Syrian conflict, Russia has always said that all parties to the conflict should sit down to the negotiating table. The West, however, supported Syria's opposition, saying Syrian President Bashar Assad must go.

The positions of Russia and Western nations and Kiev on the Ukrainian developments differ radically. Russia has repeatedly denied any involvement in the intra-Ukrainian crisis, but the West and Kiev accuse Moscow of “annexing” Crimea and participation in clashes in Ukraine’s war-torn southeast. The West has subjected Russia to sanctions.

Russia has constantly dismissed accusations of “annexing” Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, as well as allegations that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in the southeast of Ukraine.

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