9 Oct 2006
The decision by the secretive regime in North Korea to go ahead and detonate a nuclear device against world opinion is just another action in a series that mirrors the current global political climate. When the bi-polar world came crashing in the nineties with the demise of the Soviet block, the U.S was left with the burden of not only leading the world but also policing it. What we observe today is a discomforting trend in which the world is moving steadily but surely in the direction anarchy.
In the past few years it has been observed with concern as powerful ‘extra state groups’ emerge on the global arena with influences transcending national borders. Bin Ladin’s Al Qaeda has proved to be organized, pervasive, resilient and relentless in pursuing its goals. The Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Mehdi army in Iraq are powerful religious movements that have the wherewithal to undermine any governments in place in those countries. Hezbollah is led by Hassan Nasrallah and the Mehdi army by Muqtada al-Sadr. Both are charismatic, headstrong and non-conformist. Their movements are well armed, organized and apparently more stable than their national governments. Nasrallah has demonstrated his capability by engaging Israel militarily and emerging relatively unscathed from the confrontation. Hamas, in Palestine has gone a step further by being voted to run a government without dissolving its armed militia.
A culture of impunity is gradually taking root all over the world. Narco-traffickers in Latin America and Afghanistan are hyping their activities. In Sudan, the Arab-led regime of Al Bashir, is not only defying international opinion but actually threatening the U.N. because the world body has offered to help protect some of Sudan’s citizens from genocide. In Congo D.R, renegades like General Nkunda have refused to participate in the electoral process but have opted to retain their armed militia. Those that are even participating have no intention of disarming their own militia in case they may be needed in future wars of graft. Iran has refused to comply with the International Atomic Energy and the UN on the nuclear enrichment issue despite offers of incentives. Venezuela, under Hugo Chavez can now look at America in the face and say ‘No’. It was a thing that was unthinkable in the recent past.
All these things are happening largely because America has apparently failed in her duties as global leader cum policeman. The U.S defied popular opinion and invaded Iraq under pretexts that turned out to be false. She is bogged down in that country fighting a very costly and obviously losing war. With over 130, 000 troops committed to Iraq alone and with mounting casualties, the world’s only superpower is beginning to practically experience the limits of power. Added to that is the erosion of credibility which America has suffered under the Bush administration. Today’s America lacks the moral authority compared to the past to address many burning global issues. As the colossus has one foot stuck in the Iraqi sands, the world’s mischief-makers have a field day. They know that America, under these circumstances is most likely to bark than to bite. That is why dictator Kim Jong Il of North Korea can afford to play about with nuclear weapons with impunity.
Njei Moses Timah