| History has its course and timing | MR Online

History has its course and timing

Originally published: Al Mayadeen on April 11, 2023 by Bouthaina Shaaban (more by Al Mayadeen)  | (Posted Apr 14, 2023)

In trying to analyze and interpret small or big events and understand their causes and predict their repercussions, people prove time and again that they do not take their time to grasp events and put them in their due context. Human beings at large and in most places are always in a hurry to issue judgments and confirm their assessments of what is going on.

If we start from the terrorist war that was launched by many countries against Syria in 2011 and if we review what was published about this war in both Western and Arab press, we find out that most of the reviews and narratives about this war and for years were irrelevant to its reality. These views and narratives contributed to misleading many people both inside and outside Syria to make the wrong decisions, besides the fact that such narratives were totally divorced from knowledge about history or historical wisdom.

Similarly, if we quickly review the war on Yemen, we find out that most of what was said or published about that war is totally ignorant of the history of Yemen and the nature of its people who never allowed any aggressor to taste victory. Perhaps that is why the concentration was on trying to defeat the Yemeni people psychologically through an unprecedented false media campaign that was designed and ushered in as the major means of this war against extremely grounded, confident, and patient people.

But the most important example that I intend to focus on here and view from different angles is the special military Russian operation in Ukraine because of its effects and repercussions on the fate of entire humanity for decades to come. Although this operation started as a result of conflict between Western countries and Russia, its repercussions far exceed these two parties in the sense of influencing the current lives and perhaps the future of human beings everywhere on this globe and especially the future and shape of international relations. No one knows today the far-reaching effects of this operation on the lives of our children and grandchildren, not because of what is going on in Ukraine but because of Pandora’s Box this war has opened in so many different dimensions and at various levels as well. In a way, it has become like a snowball that got larger and larger, and nobody seems to be able to stop its process. What started as a military operation has now developed to include an international power crisis, food crisis, fertilizers crisis, and an enormous economic and financial crisis, not to mention being a turning point in international relations and the power centers of the world.

After just over 1 year of this operation, the leader of China, Xi Jinping, visited Vladimir Putin of Russia to discuss a wide and unprecedented range of cooperation between the two countries in the fields of energy, industry, agriculture, monetary systems, and exchanging goods in their currencies and investments in domains they perhaps never thought about before the operation. What is notable is that they didn’t spend much time discussing the operation itself in an actual confession that its multi-faceted repercussions have by far exceeded its military importance.

A year into the operation in Ukraine, India signed a strategic agreement with the Russian Federation to import energy from Russia at favorable prices. The same agreement was signed with China, and in both cases, prices will be paid in local currencies, which means that the dollar was kicked out of the race here. What this is going to mean in a few years’ time is that Chinese and Indian products will have a higher competitive capacity over European and American Products.

A year into this operation, China, Russia, and Iran conducted a joint maritime military operation to ensure the safety of Naval straits; something unheard of prior to this operation. Again, a year after this operation, China sponsored the most important agreement reached so far this century between Iran and Saudi Arabia; an agreement that will certainly have a huge impact on the destiny of West Asia and the Arab world; an agreement that no one dared imagine reaching two years ago.

Now Iran has become a full-fledged member of the Shanghai organization, thinking of submitting 49 proposals for the next meeting. Lately, Saudi Arabia has announced its desire to join Shanghai, the thing that would turn Shanghai into a power center for countries producing and exporting gas and oil: Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, which will deprive the West of a very important international consortium in energy production and trade. If this trade implemented the use of local currencies instead of the U.S. dollar, it will certainly have a catastrophic impact on the international status and value of the dollar.

Despite all Western hyperbolic narrative against Russia and the thousands of sanctions directed against the Russian economy, the fact remains that the latter is doing better this year than last year, and the Russian national income from exporting oil and gas has gone up two percent as Russia hastened to open new markets for its oil and gas and took measures which preserved the status and value of the Russian Ruble.

What is more notable is that these Western sanctions imposed on Iran, Russia, Syria, and in fact any country that refuses to be driven by Western will, have motivated many countries in the world to search seriously for ways and means to liberate their destinies from Western hegemony. ASEAN countries have lately decided to exchange their goods with their own local currencies, and so did China, India, Russia, and Iran, and the snowball is gathering momentum internationally and it can only get bigger and more forceful in the foreseeable future. What this means most of all is that most countries of the world have lost their confidence in Western financial and economic systems and are focused on liberating their economies from Western control. Russia put in place its Mir Financial Code instead of the Swift which it was banned from following the operation in Ukraine. The more countries move in this direction, the more the U.S. dollar will lose its legendary control of world finance, which was a major instrument of Western hegemony over the world and its precious resources.

All this is happening in the East. As far as the West is concerned, the U.S. has forced European countries to stop importing gas and oil from Russia, depriving them of cheap and secure energy for their industries, agriculture, and development. What was the alternative? The alternative was that the U.S. started exporting energy to European countries charging them four times the prices they used to pay to Russia. This will only impoverish European countries and kick their products out of the competition with Chinese or Indian products as China and India are getting extremely favorable prices for Russian energy. In the long run, this will mean the exit of European goods from competitive international markets. The thousands of Western sanctions directed against Russia will backfire on Europe, while China, Iran, India, and ASEAN countries are diligently building their new ways of dealings free for the first time ever from Western control.

This is as far as economy and finance are concerned, but as far as moral and human issues are concerned, Western neo-liberalism has attracted world disgust in a way that so many countries in the world are taking serious educational and cultural measures to protect their population from its destructive trends. In brief, the West has fallen as an example of freedom, democracy, and justice, and although history takes its time before any gigantic turn, the foundations of this change are being laid steadily in the East, which in less than a decade will make Western centrality a mere story we tell our children of a world that was but no longer exists.

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