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Thursday, August 11, 2011
Two warring ideologies and U.S. hypocrisy
By Dr. Seyed Reza Mousavi Niya
Some countries depict themselves as committed to the universal human values, but when those values come into conflict with their national interests, they demonstrate hypocritical behavior.
The double-standard conduct of the superpowers and the United Nations Security Council towards the recent incidents in Syria and Bahrain is reminiscent of the book: Sovereignty: Organized Hypocrisy by Stephen Krasner. In the book, Krasner says that governments show themselves as committed to the common human values in international arenas and their pronounced policies, but in practice they prefer their own national interests to those values. At the theoretical level, they speak of common human interests, but in practice they pursue the so-called “national interests.”
More comical is that in these and other countries, national interests are not a common denominator of all the disparate groups and layers of the community, but are rather the interests of a particular group and party or acts on the political scene by monopolizing the concept of national interest.
The United Nation Security Council held a session to look into the Syrian unrest and issued a statement against Syria. The European Union has also extended its sanctions against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. For those who are familiar with the quality of today's international relations it is clear as daylight that had the U.S. and NATO forces not been occupied in fighting in multiple fronts and had there been a successful haggling with the nagging and blackmailing powers, this statement would have turned into a binding resolution and the U.S. and NATO forces would have been raiding Syria today.
It goes without saying that there is ample difference between the Syrian and Bahraini developments and that the chief difference is the quality of intervention of outside players in these countries. If, however, we were to look at the incidents in these two countries with respect to the official stance of U.S. officials, then the hypocritical attitude of the U.S. and its peers would become manifest.
Regarding Syria, the U.S. government claims that human rights are violated in this country, the majority of the population is denied political participation and that the demands of various groups from their government in this country are severely suppressed by the state. A look at Obama's previous statements on the Middle East reveals that he had asked the Al Khalifa regime to renounce the crackdown of demonstrations, observe the human rights and bring about the means for political participation.
The US, though, behaves paradoxically towards these two countries. The United States first adopted a silent posture against Bahrain's public uprising and then implicitly permitted Saudi Arabia to help the Al Khalifa regime out and violently crush the nation's peaceful revolution there. As for Syria, however, it got excited. It donned a black shirt and cried out that the human rights have been slaughtered in Syria and that the government of Assad is illegitimate.
In actuality, whereas the United States' partisan and capitalistic interests in Bahrain stipulate a behavioral silence against the catastrophes of the Al Khalifa regime, the very same interests in Syria abuses as a pretext the human rights in Syria. What is the root of this double-standard behavior?
To understand US' double-standard behavior one should attend to the position of Syria and Bahrain in the structure of the international order. In other words, we have to know what place each of the three countries of the US, Syria and Bahrain occupy in the puzzle of the international order and how they have been arranged. Comprehending this position and layout is tantamount to the perception of the U.S. hypocrisy.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the U.S. strategy is the preservation and continuation of the US' superior international position. It is in this line that the U.S. authorities have always sought to forestall the emergence of a dominant regional force in any region. The global power of the U.S. is in fact dependent upon the lack of the emergence of regional dominant powers. If in Europe one country turns into an absolute power, then that would destabilize the universal position of the US. Similarly, China turning into a dominant regional power in the East of Asia would imperil the already unstable U.S. hegemony.
The U.S. is also at pains to prevent the emergence of a regional dominant power in the Middle East. The general guideline of the U.S. there is striking equilibrium between powers in various places. Through acquiring aid from its dependent regional players (Proxy States), the U.S. is neutralizing the powers of the countries which are potentially capable of becoming a dominant country. The European Union, for example, is an institution that prevents the emergence of dominant powers in it. In Eastern Asia, the U.S. is trying to bring to a balance the power of its strategic rival, namely China, by using countries like Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, and India. Russia will also be balanced in its region with a similar strategy.
The U.S. equation, though, is more complex in the Middle East than elsewhere. The U.S. lacks a rival in this region who would challenge Washington's regional influence in material, economical and military dimensions. The main rival of the U.S. in the region is an ideological and identity one. This rival is a school of thought that has become the rival and opponent of the Liberal Democratic values. The boundless and transcendent ideology of the Islamic Revolution drawing inspiration from the thoughts of an ascetic but history-making man called Imam Khomeini is the great challenge of the Liberal Democracy both in the Middle East and at the global level. Just as the French Revolution turned into a regional and then global model, so is also the revolution of Khomeini transcendental in core and has a regional and international spillovers.
The inspirational role of the Islamic Revolution in Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey and plenty of other grassroots movements in the past 33 years and now the impact of the Islamic Revolution on the recent public uprisings are incontrovertible facts. The inspiration proportion varies from country to country but nations' historical memory of the Islamic Republic and the manner of life of the Islamic Republic in the past 33 years has immensely affected the recent uprisings of the regional countries.
The U.S. endeavors to bind the Islamic Revolution with its regional clients. Specifically, the Israeli regime is tasked with containing the Islamic Republic material-wise and the deviational current in the world of Islam, such as the violence-seeking Taliban-style Islam, is responsible for painting a dark picture of the human-making and transcendental thought of the Islamic Revolution.
The double-standard behavior of the U.S. towards the Syrian and Bahraini developments should be sought in this equation. Any change or reform in Bahrain will lead to the consolidation of the Islamic Revolution model in this country and an increase in the regional weight of the Islamic Republic. Thus, the Al Khalifa regime should be sustained at any possible cost.
On the other side, change in the Syrian government would result in the weakening of the resistance front in the Middle East. So, Assad should fall for the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Resistance Front of Lebanon to be undermined.
(Source: Press TV)