Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Arab Street Yearns for New Cold War
In this Article from Arab News Network you get the impression the Arab Street is looking forward to a renewed adversarial relationship between USA and Russia.

Back to the Cold War?

By: Mahmoud Labadi

After a long estival sleep, it seems that the Russian bear is waking up in this hibernal season. Russian President Vladimir Putin is getting alert once again. Russia, after being lethargic on the International arena since the collapse of the Soviet Union is mounting the stage again. President Putin’s tough remarks at the Munich International Security Conference on February 10. 07 against the United States of America were reminiscent of the Cold War period of the sixties, seventies and eighties of the last century. Putin criticized the U.S. for creating a “Unipolar” system run unilaterally by the sole Super Power, saying “one single center of power, one single center of force and one single master.”

“The increasing disdain of fundamental principles of International law was provoking a new arms race in the World, he said. “The U.S. has trespassed the limits in almost all concerns” the President stated. In his opinion, the eastward expansion of NATO was a “provocation” for Russia. Thus criticizing the U.S. for conducting negotiations with Poland and the Czech Republic, the new NATO allies to base ballistic defense missiles on their soil. The US says that those missiles are directed against missiles eventually launched by Iran and North Korea, but the Russians reject the argument. Mr. Putin added that Russia would present a proposal for a ban on stationing weapons in outer space to the Western World.

“The monopole world order had not proved to be efficient. Quite the opposite was the case- the end of the Cold War had produced by far more casualties and armed conflicts than ever before”, Putin said. In his opinion this development was caused by the attempt to solve problems unilaterally, yet the result was more human tragedies. The natural consequence according to Putin was that the fundamental principles of International law were disdained in a world where “nobody” felt safe. “Why is it necessary nowadays to start bombing and shooting on any given occasion”?, he asked.

The Russian criticism explicitly addressed the role of the UN. The use of force could never be more than the last resort in politics and needed to be legitimized by UN resolutions, but not by decisions of the European Union or NATO.
“US plans to deploy an anti-missile defense shield in East Europe would equal an arms race not beneficial for Europe”, said Putin. Read more

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