As the days, weeks and months go by we see the quickening pace of global change away from the unipolar moment (as Prof. John J. Mearsheimer describes it) toward the multipolar future.
The USA, UK and EU have dominated the planet since the end of the mass rape of our planet’s resources that was the colonial era. Within the colonial era they also played their part of course but it is since that time that an added emphasis has been provided through ever-increasing technological advances in the fields of commerce and the military.
For a century more or less the collective West made the most of its ability to pressure nations around the globe into doing their bidding. Much of the time the arm-twisting could afford to be quite subtle and kept from the headlines. At other times when there was resistance to western pressure more draconian means were required which reached the front pages. Nations would find themselves in trouble from one institution or another, sometimes the IMF or the World Bank, at other times the CIA and once in a while the U.S. military. Or a combination of all of the above.
Coups would be organised and lent support, mysterious plane crashes would occur, this group or that would find themselves financed, at times these groups, such as the Contras in Nicaragua would find a surprising benefactor in Uncle Sam. The staff at Langley, Virginia were surely kept very busy over these many past decades where the tentacles of the CIA were spread far and wide. The staffing levels within it must have burgeoned over the years to tens of thousands of busy spook bees charged with maintaining all operations across about every possible nation at peak performance. This was interference on a MASSIVE scale.
There comes a time when the chickens come home to roost however. As unlikely as it must surely have once seemed to spook central, the factors which would diminish their reach and in fact reduce it began to arise. In their previous largely unchallenged domains in Latin America, and since the end of the Cold War across Europe and down into Africa and India they reigned supreme. So what has changed? In short, the rise of China and the re-emergence of Russia.
You can twist arms all you like while those being abused have no powerful friends to come to their aid or even potential friends who might possibly act in the same way as the bullies who have abused their power over you for so long now. But when a new guy arrives in the schoolyard who has an aversion to bullies and who is inclined to be friendly toward you then this is your out. The bullies may then feign friendship toward you and offer to treat you as an equal in these new circumstances. But it must be assumed that memories of what the bullies did to you must surely remain fresh and turning away from them with a snarl is the most likely response to this offer.
So it appears to be regarding the blandishments of the USA now to various nations in the global south and Middle East. They come bearing smiles and perhaps gifts. Mr Anthony Blinken as a kind of not quite yet convincing Santa Claus, barely hiding his vampire fangs. Perhaps other snivelling little minions arrive in his train, wringing their hands and doing their best to mimic smiles. The result, in most cases seen so far? A barely concealed sneer and polite but obvious rejection of these unwanted advances from a known predator and abuse-merchant.
America has been for years now, and in its delusion still is, obsessive concerning the notions that Russia must be isolated and that China has to be contained. Now we see clearly who is to be increasingly isolated, the collective West itself. It is by the day ever more isolated and also being rapidly constrained. The end result of this process is the radical diminishing of the ability of the USA and its proxies to dominate the rest of the world. What is clearly coming is a fixed restraint on those in the USA who believed that threat, blackmail, bribery and mass murder would be the best tools in their armoury in perpetuity.
Unhappily for this squad of abject bullies times have changed and what went before is no damn good for the new geopolitical world atlas we now see emerging. A couple of quiet heroes have emerged to cast their powerful and beefed-up shadows over these squirming cowards. Their bleating offers and pleadings are universally falling on deaf ears across the global south and Middle East. There is too much blood on those hands and like Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare’s play the USA and its partners in crime can never wipe it off.
I enjoy your writing and generally found your views consistent with observable if unpleasant realities.
However, agglomerating all the negative outcomes that have occurred to the world over the last 200 years and laying it at the feet of the collective West is a bit much. Certainly, it's not unique historically. They are the result of technological developments that mostly European societies were most able to take advantage due to largely random cultural development starting with the separation of church and state. Other parts of the world have had their time of prominence where they also behaved abominably. In the case of Russia and most of Eurasia, think Mongols and the massive devastation they wrought that beggars (in % or relative terms) that of the collective West even with 2 world wars and colonialization. And along with the negatives, there have been benefits. In the most general and indisputable measures of human welfare there has been massive improvement: there are more of us and we live longer than ever dreamt tin the past. This is the result of the same technological innovation that gave rise to the temporary pre-eminence of the West. Now that is fading as was inevitable.
In the case of Russia, Russia has far more in common with the West than China. It's a tragi-comedy that US leaders cannot seem to see the obvious: Russia is the natural and essential ally in the containment of a much greater common foe, China. But to be fair the US hasn't had a statesman leader since Bush1. Since then, the US has been led by politicians whose primary concern is that of the next election. From a Russian perspective, China is the enduring, long-term geo-strategic rival - the US is thousands of miles away and has no real national interest. That is not the case with China. The irony is that the US is midwifing the birth a new Russo-Sino Pact - supergluing the largest natural resources consumer with the largest natural resources provider. Historians will consider this time and this issue as a pivotal abject failure on the part of Western leaders, mostly that of the US. Hopefully a future change in the leadership of both countries will allow for a reproachment between Russia and the US.