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Missing world order
John Kusumi
4/30/2003

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Has anybody seen our new world order recently? The first three casualties of the "Gulf War II" with Iraq may have been the United Nations, NATO, and the Geneva Conventions. While the American victory strengthens the hand of America, we may admit that international affairs are a mess. If we asked them to turn it in, world leaders might give the excuse, "Um, the dog ate my world order."

Because I can see three different ideas contending for the future world order, I am going to add my own, putting it out on the table through this article, and making for four contenders.

Here are the four ideas, in words that paraphrase their champions.

Rumsfeld -- "Might makes right. America is in charge. It is a unipolar world."
Chirac/Putin -- "No to American unilateralism. Eurasia can form an alternative pole."
Blair -- "We should keep transatlantic unity against today's threats."
Kusumi -- "We need free world unity against tyranny, rogue nations, and terrorism."

The trouble with a unipolar theory, or the Rumsfeldian idea, above, is that it invites exactly the response that we see from Chirac/Putin, above. There is a natural tendency of others to form an alternative pole. It is unpalatable for other nations to feel straitjacketed into a one-size-fits-all solution, ever America's way (or the highway). The Rumsfeld idea invites the Chirac/Putin idea, and there they are.

It is also fair to say that the Chirac/Putin idea is unpalatable to America, because in that model, the free world becomes riven into blocks, exhibiting rivalry and competition.

That leaves Blair and Kusumi, sounding ideas that are variations on the same theme. Blair and I would each marshall up a new cold war. Neither of these ideas is unipolar. In both of these ideas, the "opposite pole" is the common enemies on the opposite side of this cold war. "Cold War II," as we are advocating, may restore transatlantic unity by obviating the need for the awkward other pole of France/Russia, and will encourage all to make common cause on our side of this cold war.

We could well say that this war is underway, and that it has already flared from cold to hot. September 11, Afghanistan, and Iraq were occasions of hot war. Blair and I at least offer a mental model that makes sense of these events.

Tony Blair sees the chief enemies, or common threats, to be terrorism and WMD (weapons of mass destruction), and in particular, the convergence of the two.

The most important border in the world is that of the free world, and I have expressed that the key strategic fault line is that between the free world and nations of tyranny beyond its borders. As a line in the sand, this one is natural and easy to understand for the general public. Furthermore, Americans once expected that it is the job of the U.S. President to be the leader of the free world. United States China policy has put the lie to that leadership, and to the American values that were passed down from the founding fathers, and which are still espoused in the course of political lip service.

I have written a book, with one chapter focusing on U.S. China policy. The chapter reveals that free trade with China is bankrupt morally, economically, and in its national security implications. U.S. China policy is a commercial, private sector policy; bought and paid for; and, unworthy of being a public sector policy. As America's PNTR deal was passed, this was like a bright flare, telling the world's intellectuals that America had sold its soul to the devil. More people can see this than simply your author. American behavior is also observed on the streets of Europe and (e.g.) the Arab world.

For purposes of the missing world order, this means that we must circle the wagons at the border of the free world. Drawing the line here has moral and intellectual clarity, adding geography to Tony Blair's concerns of WMD coming together with terrorism. While his are serious concerns, until we draw this line, they are borderless concerns, squishy for connoting a war against abstract nouns.

An ad hoc foreign policy has already drawn the world's revile for seeming to be arbitrary. Instead, we could have consistency because the freedom/tyranny line is also widely seen as the line between good and evil. America's founders drew the same line for America, and they were on the right side of history. Today's America should get on the page.

* John Kusumi is the founder of the China Support Network.

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