This heart warming image, however, has since more resembled a bragging, sounding hollow for the first time in a post-Cold War world. The turning point is the
If those exposed scandals of prisoner abuse and civilian killings are treatments non-Americans were subjected to, rights are visibly eroded also within the
There are other serious concerns and deepened anxiety over the
In regard to hopes and broken promises in this disorientated world, human societies are moving backward to the primitive stages of history when force and might, instead of unbiased rules and consensus, dominated the scene, resurrecting the very nature of law of the jungle. In a fashion reminiscent of the beginning of the 20th century, soon after the euphoria, carnage and brute force prevailed, and human beings exposed their base nature and thirst for gobbling up available feeds. Most of the bad things common in the early years of the last century recur in similar fashion and forms. Between these two historic moments, one hundred years apart, there are countless similarities to make people seriously wonder what progresses have really been made, in terms of behaviours, ambition and vested interests, despite phenomenal advancements of technologies and sophistication of organisation, and whether the human race tends to buckle under pressure in history and repeat past nastiness. This is indeed a great leap backward of gigantic magnitude.
The performance of US has not lowered people’s anxiety but heightened it. It has long been an open secret that the
The guiding principle is now ominously “with us or against us”. This is the equivalent of Americans saying “my way or the highway”. Although applying this slang to an international institution of UN sounds quite awkward and foolish, in reality the
It is worth while exploring this unilateralism from another angle. Even though it stands at the opposite side of multilateralism, the question remains as since when has multilateralism in fact worked? Why unilateralism as a policy was so easily accepted? Multilateralism is meant to see justice and obligations in play both ways, rather than one-sided scrutiny over the less fortunate and voiceless. This rationalising, however, is not going to be played in real life, because only the powerful can make intruding request of search and investigation of other countries, with or without UN backing. The UN’s failure to accommodate and facilitate those demands from the weak exposes its weaknesses all along, suffering discredit and humiliation in the hands of a superpower and seasoned manipulator. Multilateralism is another casualty in this tilted arrangement of international brokerage.
Some showing of multilateralism existed simply because strategic interests of the
The transformation from some forms of multilateralism to ardent unilateralism by the
Tolerance implies the degree a person or society to tolerate certain unpleasant or unwelcome things, even if unwillingly. Dependence on others’ tolerance is a risky business, since this tolerance could possibly reach its upper limit and break. The moral standards of the tolerant are supposed to be high and stable, but these standards come to endure painful tests till a collapse occurs, similar to a person who snapped for a variety of reasons. Dependence on tolerance from the powerful is even riskier: that tolerance can be withdrawn quite easily and casually when real interests are viewed as affected or endangered, and there appears little room left for further handing out or decent sharing. Tolerance is nice and comfortable, but it clearly changes nothing between the giver and receiver, in terms of status, perceptions, and negotiating power. Behind this veil of tolerance under proclaimed multilateralism, the US chooses to leave the UN’s authority challenged and eroded, but not tolerate challenge to and questions about its own authority in interpreting events and making unilateral decisions. Tolerance merely marks the line the
Acceptance and recognition are more appropriate, accurate, and commendable notions in international relations than this somewhat reluctant and self-imposed tolerance. To recognise others’ right and views enhances the notion of multilateralism and minimises impulses and risks in taking up the military option so recklessly in international affairs. This requires accepting equal treatment and dealing of others, based on common interests and understanding of rights in coverage and depth. Acceptance and recognition have only been nominally adopted within the UN, in routine procedures and protocols, but have failed true tests numerous times when real clashes of interest came to a head. A sincere embracing by the
This policy choice of unilateralism is understandable in the context of a newly found zeal for hegemony. After all, the
It is convenient for people to forget the short time span of the
There seems little in the way of a