Araud condemned US diplomats for insisting that Washington must always be the “leader” of the world, and stressed that the West should work with other countries in the Global South, “on an equal basis,” in order “to find a compromise with our own interests.” He cautioned against making “maximalist” demands, “of simply trying to keep the Western hegemony.”Araud argued that if the international community is serious about creating a “rules-based order,” it must entail “integrating all the major stakeholders into the managing of the world, you know really bringing the Chinese, the Indians, and really other countries, and trying to build with them, on an equal basis, the world of tomorrow.”
By Ben Norton
Global Research, November 24, 2022
Multipolarista 21 November 2022
France’s ex-US Ambassador Gérard Araud criticized Washington for frequently violating international law and said its so-called “rules-based order” is an unfair “Western order” based on “hegemony.” He condemned the new cold war on China, instead calling for mutual compromises.
France’s former ambassador to the United States, Gérard Araud, has publicly criticized Washington, saying it frequently violates international law and that its so-called “rules-based order” is actually an unfair “Western order.”
The top French diplomat warned that the United States is engaged in “economic warfare” against China and that Europe is concerned about Washington’s “containment policy,” because many European countries do not want to be forced to “choose a camp” in a new cold war.
Araud condemned US diplomats for insisting that Washington must always be the “leader” of the world, and stressed that the West should work with other countries in the Global South, “on an equal basis,” in order “to find a compromise with our own interests.”
He cautioned against making “maximalist” demands, “of simply trying to keep the Western hegemony.”
Araud made these remarks in a November 14 panel discussion titled “Is America Ready for a Multipolar World?“, hosted by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank in Washington, DC that advocates for a more restrained, less bellicose foreign policy.
Gérard Araud’s credentials could hardly be any more elite. A retired senior French diplomat, he served as the country’s ambassador to the United States from 2014 to 2019. From 2009 to 2014, he was Paris’ representative to the United Nations.
Before that, Araud served as France’s ambassador to Israel, and he previously worked with NATO.
He was also appointed as a “senior distinguished fellow” at the Atlantic Council, NATO’s notoriously belligerent think tank in Washington.
This blue-blooded background makes Araud’s frank comments even more important, as they reflect the feelings of a segment of the French ruling class and European political class, which is uncomfortable with Washington’s unipolar domination and wants power to be more decentralized in the world.
The ‘rules-based order’ is actually just a ‘Western order’
In a shockingly blunt moment in the panel discussion, Gérard Araud explained that the so-called “rules-based order” is actually just a “Western order,” and that the United States and Europe unfairly dominate international organizations like the United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund (IMF):
To be frank, I’ve always been extremely skeptical about this idea of a ‘rules-based order.’
Personally, for instance, look, I was the permanent representative to the United Nations. We love the United Nations, but the Americans not too much, you know.
And actually when you look at the hierarchy of the United Nations, everybody there is ours. The Secretary General [António Guterres] is Portuguese. He was South Korean [Ban Ki-moon]. But when you look at all the under secretaries general, all of them really are either American, French, British, and so on. When you look at the World Bank, when you look at the IMF, and so on.
So that’s the first element: this order is our order.
And the second element is also that, actually, this order is reflecting the balance of power in 1945. You know, you look at the permanent members of the Security Council.
Really people forget that, if China and Russia are obliged to oppose [with] their veto, it is because frankly the Security Council is most of the time, 95% of the time, has a Western-oriented majority.
So this order frankly – and you can also be sarcastic, because, when the Americans basically want to do whatever they want, including when it’s against international law, as they define it, they do it.
And that’s the vision that the rest of the world has of this order.
You know really, when I was in – the United Nations is a fascinating spot because you have ambassadors of all the countries, and you can have conversations with them, and the vision they project of the world, their vision of the world, is certainly not a ‘rules-based order’; it’s a Western order.
And they accuse us of double standards, hypocrisy, and so on and so on.
So I’m not sure that this question about the ‘rules’ is really the critical question.
I think the first assessment that we should do will be maybe, as we say in French, to put ourselves in the shoes of the other side, to try to understand how they see the world.
Araud argued that if the international community is serious about creating a “rules-based order,” it must entail “integrating all the major stakeholders into the managing of the world, you know really bringing the Chinese, the Indians, and really other countries, and trying to build with them, on an equal basis, the world of tomorrow.”
“That’s the only way,” he added. “We should really ask the Indians, ask the Chinese, the Brazilians, and other countries, really to work with us on an equal basis. And that’s something – it’s not only the Americans, also the Westerners, you know, really trying to get out of our moral high ground, and to understand that they have their own interests, that on some issues we should work together, on other issues we shouldn’t work together.”
“Let’s not try to rebuild the Fortress West,” he implored. “It shouldn’t be the future of our foreign policy.”
French diplomat criticizes US new cold war on China
Gérard Araud revealed that, in Europe, there is “concern” that the United States has a “containment policy” against China.
“I think the international relationship will be largely dominated by the rivalry between China and the United States. And foreign policy I think in the coming years will be to find the modus vivendi … between the two powers,” he said.
He warned that Washington is engaged in “economic warfare” against Beijing, that the US is trying “basically to cut any relationship with China in the field of advanced chips, which is sending a message of, ‘We are going to try to prevent you from becoming an advanced economy.’ It’s really, it’s economic warfare.”
“Really on the American side is the development of economic warfare against China. It’s really cutting, making impossible cooperation in a very important, critical field, for the future of the Chinese economy,” he added.
Araud pointed out that China is not just “emerging”; it is in fact “re-emerging” to a prominent geopolitical position, like it had for hundreds of years, before the rise of European colonialism.
He stressed that many countries in Asia don’t want to be forced to pick a side in this new cold war, and are afraid of becoming a zone of proxy conflicts like Europe was in the first cold war:
Asia doesn’t want to be the Europe of the Cold War. They don’t want to have a bamboo curtain. They don’t want to choose their camp.
Australia has chosen its camp, but it’s a particular case. But Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, they don’t want to choose their camp, and we shouldn’t demand they choose their camp.
So we need to have a flexible policy of talking to the Chinese, because talking is also a way of reassuring them, trying to understand their interests, and also to define our interests not in a maximalist way, of simply trying to keep the Western hegemony.
Araud challenged the idea that the United States must be the unipolar “leader” of the world, stating:
The Americans entered the world, in a sense, being already the big boy on the block. In 1945, it was 40% of the world’s GDP.
Which also may explain what is American diplomacy. The word of American diplomats, the word of American diplomacy is ‘leadership.’
Really, it’s always striking for foreigners, as soon as there is a debate about American foreign policy, immediately people say, ‘We have to restore our leadership.’ Leadership. And other countries may say, ‘Why leadership?’
West must ‘try to see the world from Beijing’
Gérard Araud similarly criticized Western media outlets for their cartoonishly negative coverage of China. The top French diplomat called on officials to “try to see the world from Beijing”:
When you look at the European or Western newspapers, you have the impression that China is a sort of a dark monster which is moving forward, never committing a mistake, never really facing any problem, and going to the domination of the world – you know, the Chinese work 20 hours a day, they don’t want a vacation, they don’t care, they want to dominate the world.
Maybe if we will try to see the world from Beijing, really we will consider certainly that all the borders of China are more or less unstable, or threatened, or facing unfriendly countries, and that’s from the Chinese point of view.
Maybe they want to improve their situation. It doesn’t mean that we have to accept it, but maybe to see, to remember, that any defensive measure of one side is always seen as offensive by the other side.
So let’s understand that China has its own interests. You know, even dictatorships have legitimate interests. And so let’s look at these interests, and let’s try to find a compromise with our own interests.
Araud went on to point out that the US government is constantly militarily threatening China, sending warships across the planet to its coasts, but would never for a second tolerate Beijing doing the same to it:
When I was in Washington, just after the [hawkish anti-China] speech of Vice President Pence to the Hudson [Institute] in October 2018, I met a lot of specialists on China in Washington, DC, but when I was trying to tell them, you know, your [US] ships are patrolling at 200 miles from the Chinese coast, at 5000 miles from the American coast, what would be your reaction if Chinese ships were patrolling at 200 miles from your coast?
And obviously, my interlocutors didn’t understand what I meant. And that’s the question, you know, really trying to figure out what are the reasonable interests of the other side.
Araud stressed that China “is not a military threat” to the West.
French diplomat: Western sanctions on Russia are causing us to ‘inflict pain on ourselves
With this new cold war between the United States and China, Gérard Araud explained, “in this context, Russia is a bit like Austria-Hungary with Germany before the First World War, is a bit doomed to be the ‘brilliant second’ of China.”
While Araud harshly denounced Russia’s February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, he also criticized the Western sanctions on Moscow, which he cautioned, “on the European side, it is inflicting to ourselves some pain.”
He warned that Europe is in a “dead end” with Russia, “because as long as the war in Ukraine will go on, and my bet, unfortunately, is that it may go on for a long time, it will be impossible for the Europeans, and the Americans in a sense, but also for the Europeans to end the sanctions on Russia, which means that our relationship with Russia may be frozen for an indefinite future.”
“And I think it’s very difficult to have diplomatic activity [with Russia] in this situation,” he added.
You can watch the full panel discussion hosted by the Quincy Institute below:
Featured image: France’s Ambassador to the US Gérard Araud with President Barack Obama in the White House in 2016 (Source: Multipolarista)
The original source of this article is Multipolarista
BY TYLER DURDEN
SATURDAY, NOV 12, 2022
The meeting this week between two Eurasian security bosses is a further step toward dusting away the west’s oversized Asian footprint…
Two guys are hanging out in a cozy room in Tehran with a tantalizing new map of the world in the background.
Nothing to see here? On the contrary. These two Eurasian security giants are no less than the – unusually relaxed – Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev and Ali Shamkhani, the Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.
And why are they so relaxed? Because the future prospects revolving around the main theme of their conversation – the Russia-Iran strategic partnership – could not be more exciting.
This was a very serious business affair: an official visit, at the invitation of Shamkhani.
Patrushev was in Tehran on the exact same day that Russian Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu – following a recommendation from General Sergey Surovikin, the overall commander of the Special Military Operation – ordered a Russian retreat from Kherson.
Patrushev knew it for days – so he had no problem stepping on a plane to take care of business in Tehran. After all, the Kherson drama is part of the Patrushev negotiations with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Ukraine, which have been going on for weeks, with Saudi Arabia as an eventual go-between.
Besides Ukraine, the two discussed “information security, as well as measures to counter interference in the internal affairs of both countries by western special services,” according to a report by Russia’s TASS news agency.
Both countries, as we know, are particular targets of western information warfare and sabotage, with Iran currently the focus of one of these no-holds-barred, foreign-backed, destabilization campaigns.
Patrushev was officially received by Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who went straight to the point: “The cooperation of independent countries is the strongest response to the sanctions and destabilization policies of the US and its allies.”
Patrushev, for his part, assured Raisi that for the Russian Federation, strategic relations with Iran are essential for Russian national security.
So that goes way beyond Geranium-2 kamikaze drones – the Russian cousins of the Shahed-136 – wreaking havoc on the Ukrainian battlefield. This, by the way, elicited a direct mention later on by Shamkhani: “Iran welcomes a peaceful settlement in Ukraine and is in favor of peace based on dialogue between Moscow and Kiev.”
Patrushev and Shamkhani of course discussed security issues and the proverbial “cooperation in the international arena.” But what may be more significant is that the Russian delegation included officials from several key economic agencies.
There were no leaks – but that suggests serious economic connectivity remains at the heart of the strategic partnership between the two top-sanctioned nations in Eurasia.
Key in the discussions was the Iranian focus on the fast expansion of bilateral trade in national currencies – ruble and rial. That happens to be at the center of the drive by both the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and BRICS towards multipolarity. Iran is now a full SCO member – the only West Asian nation to be part of the Asian strategic behemoth – and will apply to become part of BRICS+.
Have swap, will travel
The Patrushev-Shamkhani get-together happened ahead of the signing, next month, of a whopping $40 billion energy deal with Gazprom, as previously announced by Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Mahdi Safari.
The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) has already clinched an initial $6.5 billion deal. All that revolves around the development of two gas deposits and six oilfields; swaps in natural gas and oil products; LNG projects; and building more gas pipelines.
Last month, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Aleksandr Novak announced a swap of 5 million tons of oil and 10 billion cubic meters of gas, to be finished by the end of 2022. And he confirmed that “the amount of Russian investment in Iran’s oil fields will increase.”
Barter of course is ideal for Moscow and Tehran to jointly bypass interminably problematic sanctions and payment settlement issues – linked to the western financial system. On top of it, Russia and Iran are able to invest in direct trade links via the Caspian Sea.
At the recent Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan, Raisi forcefully proposed that a successful “new Asia” must necessarily develop an endogenous model for independent states.
As an SCO member, and playing a very important role, alongside Russia and India, in the International North-South Transportation Corridor (INSTC), Raisi is positioning Iran in a key vector of multilateralism.
Since Tehran entered the SCO, cooperation with both Russia and China, predictably, is on overdrive. Patrushev’s visit is part of that process. Tehran is leaving behind decades of Iranophobia and every possible declination of American “maximum pressure” – from sanctions to attempts at color revolution – to dynamically connect across Eurasia.
BRI, SCO, INSTC
Iran is a key Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) partner for China’s grand infrastructure project to connect Eurasia via road, sea, and train. In parallel, the multimodal Russian-led INSTC is essential to promote trade between the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia – at the same time solidifying Russia’s presence in the South Caucasus and the Caspian Sea region.
Iran and India have committed to offer part of Chabahar port in Iran to Central Asian nations, complete with access to exclusive economic zones.
At the recent SCO summit in Samarkand, both Russia and China made it quite clear – especially for the collective west – that Iran is no longer going to be treated as a pariah state.
So it is no wonder Iran is entering a new business era with all members of the SCO under the sign of an emerging financial order being designed mostly by Russia, China and India. As far as strategic partnerships go, the ties between Russia and India (President Narendra Modi called it an unbreakable friendship) is as strong as those between Russia and China. And when it comes to Russia, that’s what Iran is aiming at.
The Patrushev-Shamkhani strategic meeting will hurl western hysteria to unseen levels – as it completely smashes Iranophobia and Russophobia in one fell swoop. Iran as a close ally is an unparalleled strategic asset for Russia in the drive towards multipolarity.
Iran and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) are already negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in parallel to those swaps involving Russian oil. The west’s reliance on the SWIFT banking messaging system hardly makes any difference to Russia and Iran. The Global South is watching it closely, especially in Iran’s neighborhood where oil is commonly traded in US dollars.
It is starting to become clear to anyone in the west with an IQ above room temperature that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal), in the end, does not matter anymore. Iran’s future is directly connected to the success of three of the BRICS: Russia, China and India. Iran itself may soon become a BRICS+ member.
There’s more: Iran is even becoming a role model for the Persian Gulf: witness the lengthy queue of regional states aspiring toward gaining SCO membership. The Trumpian “Abraham Accords?” What’s that? BRICS/SCO/BRI is the only way to go in West Asia today.
International security should be a collective effort, not a “zero-sum game,” India’s defense minister has said
The minister also warned about the growing impact of “information warfare” and fake news campaigns on political stability, which he said was used for “engineering the opinion or perspective of the masses.”
Nov 10, 2022
FIEL PHOTO: Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh speaks in Kolkata, India, on July 15, 2022. © Global Look Press / Dipa Chakraborty
A truly stable and just global order can only be created when nations cease attempting to ensure their own security at the expense of others, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has said.
Speaking to the National Defense College on Thursday, Singh argued that the world should develop a collective approach to security.
“India does not believe in a world order where few are considered superior to others,” he said, adding that India’s own strategic policy should be “moral.”
If security were to become a truly collective enterprise, then the world could begin creating “a global order which is beneficial to all of us,” Singh added.
National security should not be seen as a “zero-sum game,” he insisted, adding that nations should instead seek to find “win-win” solutions that would benefit everyone.
“We should not be guided by narrow self-interest which is not beneficial in the long run,” the defense minister warned, calling for leaders to adopt a principle of “enlightened self-interest” that would make their nations more sustainable and resilient to shocks.
A “strong and prosperous” India should not be built at the expense of others, he said. Instead, New Delhi would prefer to “help other nations realize their full potential.”
The minister also warned about the growing impact of “information warfare” and fake news campaigns on political stability, which he said was used for “engineering the opinion or perspective of the masses.”
This information war is “most evident in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine” where both sides use social media to “spread competing narratives about the war and portray the conflict on their own terms.”
The ideas expressed by Singh resemble the arguments made by Russia in early 2022 when it sought an agreement with the US and NATO to reduce the risk of a conflict on the European continent. At the time, Moscow similarly argued that the security of one nation could not be enhanced at the expense of others.
Moscow requested that NATO refrain from any military activity on the territory of former Warsaw Pact states that joined after 1997. It also requested that NATO vow not to expand further east. Its proposals for a long-term European security architecture were rejected, however.
Oct 28, 2022
The US Govt killed 20+ million people in 37 victim nations since WW2, funded gain of function research (Covid-19) causing millions of deaths, spies on everyone, started a proxy war with Russia risking nuclear war, created global inflation with endless reserve currency printing, commits global terrorism with drone strikes and pipeline sabotage, sends Europe into an economic slaughterhouse and floods it with refugees from US war zones, spends billions to manipulate the media with fake news and propaganda, persecutes truth-tellers and whistleblowers, ran illegal torture prisons and holds prisoners indefinitely without trial, bullies nations and UN delegates to obey a “rules-based order” made of US rules that it ignores at will. The US failed the world with arrogant and criminal foreign policies. Time for a multipolar order.