After years of conflict with the West, the Soviet Union finally collapsed in December 1991. Western democracy declared total victory over political socialism. George Orwell was proven right in that the degree of power that totalitarian regimes have acquired and maintained has proved not only dangerous, as Orwell had warned, but also catastrophic to their own regimes. Less than a couple years later, in November 1993, the European Union was formed which eventually included the Eastern European countries that had been under Soviet control. It is no secret that the main reaon for letting in the countries that formerly formed the Warsaw Pact was to ensure inexpensive labor. It was a moment of triumph for Western Europe and the United States, and the path for the future was rosy. Or so it seemed.
Roughly a decade later, the war on Iraq, which should have been a showcase scenario of introducing democracy, became a nightmare, and hundred of thousands of Iraqis were murdered directly or indirectly. Russia by then was getting its act together and was back to being a major international player. Its economy was picking up, and it became almost the sole supplier of gas to Europe. China’s growth rate was hitting the ceiling and it was slowly but surely spreading its soft power and influence all over the world, particularly through its Silk Road project. Then, in 2011, the global war on Syria started which, in my opinon, changed the whole rosy outlook that the Western countries had envisaged and dreamt of. After almost ten years of implementing a plan to destabilize Syria that included all imaginable human and financial resources, the plan failed miserably. Initially, through defending the Syrian government diplomatically, and then by actively getting involved in the war, Russia put its full thrust behind Syria in 2015, which was a turning point vis-à-vis that conflict. The fiasco of Yemen followed. Five years after the foolish (American-blessed) escapade on Yemen by Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Bin Salman, which was supposed to be over in five weeks, the Houthis are now in total control on their turf, and even threaten the security of the whole Arabian Gulf. As hard as the Western coutries tried to subdue Iran, the latter proved to be a regional superpower that maintained its support for all resistance movements throughout the Middle East. Disaster after disaster, the West seemed to be losing its grip on the control of the world and its economy, in addition to losing the ability and willingness to put boots on the ground.
In my opinon, the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic will be the final blow to the Westen project of world dominance and the current geo-strategic situation. Judging from the falterning health, financial, and other systems in the Western democracies, coupled with the lack of empathy and unity among themselves, as well as the rise of populism, the Western countries have lost their moral authority, not mention their capacity to be the leaders of the world. After all, if you can’t take care of your own people, how can you take care of the world? Irrespective of whether or not you agree with this analysis, I think we all believe that the world after COVID-19 will not be the same world as before.
Long live Palestine!