Recap: the world in crisis?

In a month, we have seen more damage to reputation than probably any other time this year. The world has been left in a lurch, between Western countries, who deal with internal or regional crises due to internal shall we say political unrest, and the other continents, who are still battling demons in the form of terror, organized crime, dictators, border clashes, and economic super growth.

The crisis in the Caribbean was well managed by European nations even though several elements were evidently lacking. Crisis management by the US, however, was a disaster, just the tip of the iceberg. Two words: Puerto Rico, the most populated and closest-to-mainland US territory, still has not received full support from the federal government who still theoretically manages the island. Failed infrastructure is at the top of list in every respect: The resources are not sufficiently available and humanitarian and federal relief has not only been sufficiently lacking but also not planned ahead of the crisis. Internally, it could reopen the debate of the coming-of-age of the 51st state, which has continuously surrounded Puerto Rico. Internally, it also widens the social and racial divisions, creating a bigger vacuum of hate speech and misunderstanding, or a lack of understanding.

Other crisis to date: Catalonia, which is creating another wave of secessionist “scares”. As a matter of fact, it has now declared independence from Spain. In other words, it is now one step ahead further than Scotland; the EU and Spain probably will be lashing words out to each other depending on where they had left the debate off before this declaration. Not much on the new but the scare began when the demonstrations took hold. Fake news or truth: was there violence? That was the infrastructural constructive element in the mediatisation – new word in my arsenal. Police intervention was real, although no one is entirely sure if the scope of violence was exaggerated or not. We leave this open-ended.

Major development: Politico wrote this week that no deal means no Brexit. As much as the Brits dearly tried to destroy unity in order to get unity, they don’t seem too united these days. Theresa May, under fire for non-action and passiveness, for lack of a better word, hasn’t tried to negotiate anything, something, over which her cabinet seems to be divided. Parliament and government are so divided over what the UK wants or does not need, it leaves anyone wondering if 1. they were serious about the Brexit in the first place, 2. they are now finally realizing the British empire was pulled apart for a reason, or 3. their vivid Britishness got the better of them (unfortunately, this tends to happen too often). As it happens, not only Westminster is divided; Brussels is aa well. Between Junker’s couple years’ old declaration “English is no longer an EU official language!” and a group of MEPs who are quietly negotiating Brexit so chaos does not explode, it is a surprise that civil war is not upon us yet.

The major crisis though:  a upending nuclear war, of which no one knows the explicit details, and a extensive humanitarian-political crisis possibly spanning two continents. Which one will get resolved before the other? Neither. The UN is apparently unable to appease or efficiently aid either one due to an extremely violent deadlock concerning the former and not enough funds, manpower or sovereign support concerning the latter. Critics have mentioned that the UN is no longer an important power as it should be and that the institution has lost its valor and value, just as critics have placed the EU as a failing institution. Not only is the UN not a failing institution, it has been subject to many individual tug-of-wars between sovereign states, who are using the UN for their own interests. To no one’s surprise the latest “scuffles” involve the US, the Gulf nations, and an odd mixture of East Asian countries, whose “economic superpower vs regional-national peace security” is ongoing, and European countries, who probably all held their breath during the UNESCO elections.

Evidently, the world dodged a nasty piece of series of consequences with the election of Audrey Azoulay. The problem: the US voting to get out of UNESCO, closely followed by Israel. If that isn’t a declaration of “woe and behold!” unfortunate foreign policy, then what is it? The controversy behind the Temple Mount cultural UNESCO Heritage site nomination is a true one, which could have been avoided had UNESCO mentioned the Jewish and Christian heritage of the site, historically much older than the Muslim heritage. To get out of UNESCO all together was not a good diplomatic move nor was it logical. Then again, with the current US administration, what is logical? Israel’s decision, however, does not fit in with the rest. Is it enough to be angry with how UNESCO handled the affair? No, considering the hefty and mostly top-secret agenda of Israel, it does not match up, especially with the track record Israel has had these past years with 1. the US, 2. the rest of the world, and 3. the Arab world and Iran duo (conflicting as that one is). Quite possibly, Israel is adopting another policy but the goal, apart from the obvious national interests at stake, is not yet clear.

In other words, national interests and individual foreign affairs agendas may be the elements, which could ultimately destroy the UN if the big 5 plus 15 (a.k.a the Security Council) are not careful. Fear is that the same could happen to the EU. Thankfully, for the moment, that is not the case. What is the case is that the current US administration and, especially its leadership, is well on its way to destroy whatever vestiges the world and the international community still have. Not to mention Russia. No comment there.

Not everything has been covered but the essentials have been stated. If global collapse happens before the end of the year, it will be a huge blow. Fortunately, it won’t reach that point and while global society is living a funny experience these days, hope still exists. Daech was kicked out of Raqqa and could tske some time to get back its full force. Lebanon faced one of its many demons this week, even if it was the death penalty. It might seem we’re inching a little closer to a calmer and more peaceful infrastructure. Or is it?

 

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