Putin shines on

Given the current breakdown of international order, it would have been more appropriate for the UN to mark its 70 years by admitting its ineffectiveness in the face of contemporary challenges and announcing that it was closing shop. I’m glad they didn’t do it this year though. To begin with, history would have been poorer without President Putin’s address to the General Assembly. In his speech, the Russian president also provided the last flicker of hope for the UN, a conceptually useful international institution slipping into total redundancy.

As it is, the UN is missing in action just when we need it the most for maintenance of international order. The US-led imperial cabal is going around bombing sovereign countries and openly manufacturing and facilitating militant proxies to change regimes. Whether it is its violent interventions around the globe or the embargoes and sanctions it imposes on other countries, it couldn’t be bothered about international law or a UN-authorisation. This lawless gang couldn’t be bothered that its flimsy pretexts for interventions have stopped making sense.

Glaring contradictions are an integral part of the imperial narrative, but as long as the cabal has the biggest guns, it feels it doesn’t need to explain them. Besides, with the power of Dollar-god on its side, the governments dependent on it are unlikely to question the inconsistencies. It also helps this imperial gang to have the most extensive propaganda machinery at its disposal in the form of the western mainstream media and its influential leading lights that have perfected the skills to turn reality on its head.

Had it not been for these advantages, and a long experience of dividing and ruling other societies through deception and manipulation, the gang could not have survived with this attitude for a day. They’d like to think that these advantages make them exceptional and that they could throw their imperial weight around the globe with impunity. Without the restraining balance of the Soviet Union, it seemed the world must suffer their unilateralist badmashi and its bleak consequences for humanity forever. President Putin has given back to the world the hope of resisting this imperial gang.

Addressing the UN General Assembly, he said “Russia can no longer tolerate the current state of affairs in the world”. A world leader in the truest sense of the word, President Putin not only correctly diagnosed the disease ailing our sick world, but he also proposed remedies to restore its health. He warned the gathering of the dangerous consequences of ignoring the UN in managing world affairs and, just in case you thought it were just fancy words, he also proposed a UN- sponsored solution to the Syrian problem.

The best thing is that Russia’s Putin is not depending on the UN to set things right. While he pushes for a central coordinating role for the UN in maintaining world order, he’s not waiting for the UN members to agree to his sane advice before he does something about controlling the mayhem let loose in the world by those who claim to lead it. Russia has stepped up its humanitarian and military support to the Syrian government. It has brought Syria, Iraq and Iran together to fight the ISIS, and a center in Baghdad has been set up to share information and to coordinate their efforts against the terrorist machine.

Who could disagree with President Putin when he says that the imperial policy to oust Assad is not only arrogant but also fraught with clear and present dangers and that the vacuum created by his ouster will be filled by anarchy and terrorism like in Iraq and Libya? How could one refute his simple assertion that to defeat the terrorists, the Syrian government and armed forces fighting the ISIS need to be strengthened and supported rather than destabilised through bombs and diplomatic pressure? Is he not right when he tells the imperial bunch not to flirt with terrorists, let alone arm them to change regimes? Who has given them the right to decide which government should stay and which one should go?

The pygmies parading around as leaders of the ‘civilised’ world might not be ready for the reality-check that Putin is offering, but that doesn’t diminish the importance of his leadership for the world. We need genuine world leaders to point out that the emperor has no clothes on. President Xi Jinping of China took up issues with the unilateralist badmashi of the empire as well, but his speech at the General Assembly was too diplomatic to have any bite. And though China is a bulwark against imperialism, it was Putin who boldly put the relevant issues on the table without mincing his words.

President Putin’s words carry a lot of weight not just because he heads Russia that is reclaiming its due place in the world. It’s not because they are not just words and he means what he says. His words are important because he has shown the resolve and commitment to act upon them. He has withstood threats and acted courageously to defend Russian interests against imperial foul-play and, in the process, he has risen as a voice not only for his motherland but for also for other countries oppressed by the empire.

While making a sincere effort to convince the imperial bunch, who he still refers to as his partners, he is not counting on their good will or good sense. As he appeals for the formation of a grand anti-terrorist coalition launched from the UN platform, he is already working on piecing it together.

In his address, President Putin said “…we consider any attempts to undermine the legitimacy of the United Nations as extremely dangerous. They may result in the collapse of the entire architecture of international relations, and then indeed there will be no rules left except for the rule of force”. The imperial bunch might prefer this scenario because of the advantage it enjoys in the rule of force but it spells disaster for everyone else. The good news is that, with or without the UN, Putin is resisting their sordid vision of the world.

Jalees Hazir

The writer is a freelance columnist. He can be contacted at hazirjalees@hotmail.com

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