Posted by: periodistalibre | August 31, 2013

Syriasly: The US Must Re-Examine Its Role in International Institutions STAT

It’s time for an international revolution.

But first things first. It’s not the Syrian people’s’ fault that the public sentiment and coffers of the only country that will help them are drained from the powering-down robot that is the military industrial complex. Reaction from the international community to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its citizens is the equivalent of everyone at the table slowly turning to stare at on person… You guessed it, Uncle Sam.

However, the European Union and extended Eastern European community enjoy the mutually assured defense that NATO membership entails. Yet no country seems willing to collaborate in military strikes on Syria. NATO was born when Western Europe was still rattled and ruined following two world wars. The desire for safety and protection gave birth to multilateral liberal institutionalism. But as the threat has faded, so has their steadfastness to keep the world balance for peace and democracy. NATO has successfully initiated humanitarian missions in the in Bosnia (1992-1995) and Rwanda (1993-1996). In other instances, like Afghanistan and Iraq, NATO followed the lead of the US. Since, the Bush Doctrine shattered what little credibility our empire had left. This must not set the standard for future US international military operations. It’s irresponsible from both national and international angles. If our allies are unwilling to collaborate, it’s time to examine our alliances.

No doubt the US’s history of imperialism makes it the go-to country for quick military intervention. Every “defence” decree from NATO since the European economic crisis points out that they’re skint, but in case everyone forgot: all of the money we have is fake. The US simply appears to have more fake money than Europe. It comes down to what the international community, including the US, values: fake money or human lives. This reductive quandary is brought to you by our sponsors, capitalism and Bretton Woods. But when the US doesn’t have don’t have the “money,” who will?

Look at this list of NATO countries who will shy away from humanitarian responsibilities. Twenty-seven in all.  The United Nations has 191 member states. A major motivation for joining an multilateral international organization is to make decisions and conduct operations as a group. No one will deny the political gridlock this creates. But without the application of the Bush Doctrine, perhaps the United Nations would have to consider why exactly Russia maintains a security council seat in an organization devoted to human rights despite its policy of persecuting homosexuals. The UN is figured out of the equation for a military strike in Syria because Russia is allied with the ruling regime there. Evidence that these international institutions are outmoded and toothless. Neither has a rapid reaction force, which is why the world turns to the international equivalent of the mafia on occasions such as this.

Let’s no longer pretend that the responsibility of a hegemon isn’t leading, in part, to our downfall as a nation. Neither nationalism nor isolationism are not politically correct. Nor should they be when innocent people are dying at the hands of their government.  But there must be a middle path between isolationism and our country acting as the default World Police. Yes, this expectation is a reaction to the US having its way with international political economic system for the last 65 years. We will have relinquish some of that power to gain strategic respect and cooperation.

When it comes to unilateral military strikes, one would think a responsible legislature in a democracy would consider the perception of the US worldwide. Rather, our elected officials seem to be sworn to uphold the the ideology that makes them the most money. Authorizing military operations was once considered with gravity. But 30 years out from a war that saw massive American casualties and civil unrest and the seriousness of such situations is just another chance to play party politics. The US must set a responsible example politically as we so fervently export the lifestyles associated with our economic system.

The current world order was arranged by the winners of World War II. If the US is going to be the fallback peacekeeper when other nations shirk their responsibility for international humanitarian crises, then it’s our responsibility to reexamine the world order and our place in it. Whether the US legislature OKs strikes on Syria or declines as the British House of Lords  chose to, this issue is ripe for discussion. Perhaps we’ll see the Arab League, France and Turkey take action.

When will the US’s singular world policing stop? When we’re so economically debilitated that not even the rich can maintain power? It could stop, or even pause, if the US decides act in the interest of global stability by reassessing the United States’ roll in international military operations. We must call for an ideological audit of NATO and the United Nations, as well as our involvement in them. Much like the US Constitution, they’re outdated and ineffective at achieving the goals laid out in their charters.


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