MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Vladimir Putin’s Vision of a Multipolar World

Posted by M. C. on December 1, 2022

An end to US hegemony?

PHILIP GIRALDI

In history books as well as in politics every story is shaped by where one chooses to begin the tale. The current fighting in Ukraine, which many observers believe to already be what might be considered the opening phase of World War 3, is just such a development. Did the seeds of conflict arise subsequent to Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s consent to the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 after having received a commitment from the United States and its allies not to advance the West’s military alliance NATO into Eastern Europe? That was a pledge that was quickly ignored by President Bill Clinton, who intervened militarily in the former Yugoslavia before adding new NATO members from amidst the ruins of the Warsaw Pact.

Since that time NATO has continued its expansion at the expense of Russian national security interests. Ukraine, as one of the largest of the former Soviet republics, soon became the focal point for potential conflict. The US interfered openly in Ukrainian politics, featuring frequent visits by relentlessly hawkish Senator John McCain and State Department monster Victoria Nuland as well as the investment of a reported $5 billion to destabilize the situation, bringing about regime change to remove the pro-Russian government of Viktor Yanukovich and replace it with a regime friendly to America and its European allies. When this occurred it inevitably led to a proposed invitation to Ukraine to join NATO, a move which Moscow repeatedly warned would constitute an existential threat to Russia itself.

Finally, Moscow tried assiduously to negotiate a solution to the developing Ukraine crisis in 2020-2021 but the US and its allies were not interested, allowing the corrupt Ukrainian government of Volodymyr Zelensky to refuse any accommodation. So Russia itself has perceived that it has been misled or even lied to repeatedly by the US and its allies. It has been particularly vexed by the looting of its natural resources by mostly Western oligarchs operating under protection afforded by the feckless President Boris Yeltsin between 1991 and 1999, a puppet installed and sustained through US and European interference in the Russian elections. Just when Russia was on its knees, perhaps intentionally, there arrived on the scene in 1999 former KGB officer Vladimir Putin who, as Prime Minister and later president, proceeded to clean house. Ever since that time, Putin has very carefully explained himself and what he has been doing, making clear that he is no enemy of the West but rather a partner in a relationship that respects the interests and cultures of all players in a global economy that maximizes freedom and individuality.

Given the danger of dramatic escalation of the current situation in Ukraine, with talk coming from both sides about the conditions for the use of nuclear weapons, an October 27th speech made by President Vladimir Putin at the 19th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club, held near Moscow, should be required reading for the Joe Bidens and Jens Stoltenbergs of this world. The theme of the meeting was A Post-Hegemonic World: Justice and Security for Everyone. The four day-long session included 111 academics, politicians, diplomats and economists from Russia and 40 foreign countries, including Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, South Africa, Turkey, Uzbekistan and the United States. In his speech, Putin laid out his vision of a multipolar world in which there is no concept of a politically hegemonic “rules based world order” which substitutes “rules for international law.” And, he observed, the rules have themselves been regularly dictated by one country or group of countries. Putin instead urged a transition into a willingness to accept that all countries have interests and rights that should be respected.

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