A New International System Out Of World Chaos
Monday, December 22, 2008
Kissinger Calls For New International System Out Of World Crises
Says global necessities should foster an “age of compatible interests”
Steve Watson Infowars.net
Friday, Dec 19, 2008
Bilderberg luminary Henry Kissinger has repeated his routine call for a new international political order, stating that global crises should be seen as an opportunity to move toward a borderless world where national interests are outweighed by global necessities.
Speaking with Charlie Rose earlier this week, Kissinger cited the chaos being wrought across the globe by the financial crisis and the spread of terrorism as an opportunity to bolster a new global order.
“I think that when the new administration assess the position in which it finds itself it will see a huge crisis and terrible problems, but I can see that it could see a glimmer in which it could construct an international system out of it.” Kissinger said, referring to the transition between the Bush and Obama administrations.
The former National Security advisor and Secretary of State compared the current world climate to the period immediately following the second world war, which led to the creation and empowerment of global bodies such as the UN and NATO.
“If you look back to the end of the second world war, many people now think that the period between the end of 1945 and 1950 was in many ways the most creative period or one of the most creative periods of foreign policy, but it started with chaos and fear of Russian invasion of Europe and governments that were very weak.” Kissinger stated.
“The new administration is really coming into office at a strange period in this sense,” he continued. “It looks like a period of horrendous crisis all over the world. And we ourselves are in a severe crisis financially, but at the end of it our relative position in the world is actually stronger than it has been in the sense that Russia, China, India all have strong reasons to contribute to a quiet international environment because of the preoccupation they must have with their domestic affairs.”
“They do not wish and have good reasons not to wish for an international atmosphere of crisis. So Paradoxically, this moment of crisis is also one of great opportunity.” Kissinger commented.
Interviewer Charlie Rose, who has previously listened to Kissinger’s calls for a new world order, recognized the direction the conversation was taking and urged Kissinger to elaborate:
“When you talk about a new structure, I’m not sure, you’ve used the term new world order, what is it? Is it simply a world order that is defined by new interest and new mutuality of interest?” Rose asked.
“That’s certainly how you have to start. I know the view that you start by converting the whole world to our political philosophy. I don’t think that can be done in one or two terms of an administration. That is an historic process that has its own rhythm.” Kissinger replied.
“There are so many elements in this world at the moment that can only be dealt with on a global basis, and that’s unique,” Kissinger continued. “Proliferation, energy, environment, All of these issues necessitate a global approach, so you don’t have to invent an international order. So every country has to mitigate its pure national interests by the global necessities, or define it’s national interests by global necessities But it cannot push its own technically selfish interests only by throwing its own weight around.” he stated.
Kissinger also related that he has been struck by how much the move toward a new global order has been enhanced by the recent crises.
“The jihadist crisis is bringing it home to everybody, that international affairs cannot be conducted entirely by drawing borders and defining international politics by who crosses what borders with organized military force.” he said.
“This has now been reinforced by the financial crisis, which totally unexpectedly has spread around the world. It limits the resources that each country has for a foreign policy geared to an assertion of its own pure interests.”
Kissinger claimed that the key players in international politics, India, China, Russia, America, Europe, should recognize they have parallel concerns and work together to forge what he termed an “age of compatible interests”.
“I’m not saying that leaders will be up to all the opportunities that I may perceive but I think they can start moving in that direction and I’m actually fairly hopeful that we will be moving in that direction.” Kissinger said.
Transcript of the second part of the interview:
Kissinger: I think that a nuclear military capability in Iran would be considered severely threatening by many countries in the region that would then develop nuclear weapons of their own…
Rose: That’s clearly the consequences. But what sort of some kind of military confrontation can stop Iran from developing a nuclear weapon.
Kissinger: The new Administration will have to analyze carefully whether it is possible to get a combination of pressures and incentives to let Iran at least postpone going beyond the point they have already reached. And I think the new Administration is really coming into office at a strange period in this sense. It looks like a period of horrendous crisis all over the world. And we ourselves are in a severe crisis financially, but at the end of it our relative position in the world is actually stronger that it has been than in the sense that Russia, China, India, all have strong reasons to contribute to a quiet international environment because of the preoccupation they must have with their domestic affairs.
Rose: You know the leaders of China as well. Do you believe that’s what they believe, that it is in their interest to do exactly what you just said.
Kissinger: I believe and I am convinced. I would also tend to say know, that the leaders of China believe that cooperation with the United States is of almost essential importance for their ability to develop their own country.
Rose: And be able to reduce the tensions that exist within their own boundaries.
Kissinger: They do not wish and have good reasons not to wish (for) an international atmosphere of crisis.
So paradoxically, this moment of crisis is also one of great opportunity. And you know I have been here quiet often, and excessive optimism is not my distinguishing trade.
Rose: No, it’s not. So there is excessive optimism now…
Kissinger: No, I don’t think there is excessive optimism…
Rose: OK, you should choose… Moderate optimism.
Kissinger: I think that when the new Administration assesses the position in which it finds itself, it will see a huge crisis, and terrible problems. But I could see that it sees a climate in which it could construct an international system out of it.
If you look back to the end of the Second World War, many people now think that the period between 1945 and 1950 was in many ways the most creative period or one of the most creative periods of American foreign policy, but it started with chaos and fear of Russian invasion of Europe and governments that were very weak and people that were very…
Rose: So the United Nations came out of that, the Marshall plan came out of that, NATO came out of that and later the Truman Doctrine came out of that…
Kissinger: And you wouldn’t have necessarily predicted that in April 1945.
Rose: OK, so let me just hear this out. So you’re saying that everywhere we look we see crises. We see economic crisis, we see the possibility of conflict, we look at what happened in India, we look at Pakistan with 60 nuclear weapons, we look at Russia and where it stands today perhaps wanting to play a larger role. And it looks difficult for us. And we see in South America, Chavez…
Kissinger: That is correct. I mean, the Iraq crisis…
Rose: And in the Middle East we seem to make no progress, and we got elections there. There is opportunity in the crises. Because…
Repeat it for me. Because…
Kissinger: I think because when you look at the medium term entries and the long term entries of the key players, India, China, Russia, America, Europe, they really are importantly parallel. Now we have of course… Having parallel interests doesn’t mean that you can necessarily solve it. But if you look at the Middle East, when all of these debates started, Iraq was the obsessive problem, you can imagine now that within the first term of Obama Administration that Iraq will be reintroduced into the international community as a relatively stable element. Then we have to deal with Afghanistan, which it will turn out to be a different problem which really needs to engage the participation of all its neighbors Because even Iran and we have a certain parallel interest not to permit the Taliban, and that has already been proved in 2002, in the Bush Administration. And India is being drawn by all of this and by its own danger into playing a role which its history justifies.
And I believe that when China looks at its requirements, it will have a relatively open mind to some of our necessities. Will they be able to do everything that is needed or that we think is needed, that I don’t know. And all I am saying is that we should not look at this current situation from a posture of being paralyzed by the symptoms of crisis.
Rose: Fair enough. Within the crisis there is opportunity. But when you talk about a new structure, a new… I am not sure if you use the term New World Order, I mean, what is it? Is it simply a world order that’s defined by new interests and new mutuality of interests?
Kissinger: That is certainly how you have to start. I know the view that you start by converting the old world to our political philosophy. I don’t think that can be done in one or two terms of an administration, that’s a historic process that has its own rhythm.
Rose: Has it suffered a setback, A, because of Iraq and B, because of the economic crisis?
Kissinger: What suffered a setback?
Rose: The idea that America leading or building a whole new consensus for that kind of…controlling…
Kissinger: There are so many problems in the world, at this moment, that can only be dealt with on a global basis.
And that’s unique proliferation.
Rose: Environment, energy… in some cases global health.
Kissinger: Exactly. So, all of these issues, necessitate a global approach, so you don’t have to invent an international order. And so every country has to mitigate its pure national interests by the global necessities to some extend.
Rose: Or define its national interests by the global necessities.
Kissinger: Or define its national interests… but it cannot push its own… technically selfish interests only by throwing its own weight around. And therefore, I am struck by the fact in talking to the leaders of the world that I have met and encountered in recent months, to what extend their willingness to cooperate with America has been enhanced by the very recent crisis.
Rose: The economic crisis.
Kissinger: The economic crisis. And also the way the whole international system is evolving. The attack on Mumbai really signifies that the jihadist non-state organized display of power is moving from the western part of the Islamic world to its eastern part of the Islamic world. But in the eastern part of the Islamic world, you are dealing with two nuclear countries and they have their own historic disagreements, so it’s much more complex. And I am not saying that leaders will be able to be up to all the opportunities that I as an outsider may perceive, but I think they can start moving in that direction. And I am actually fairly hopeful that they’ll be moving in that direction.
Rose: And there’s not going to be some statesman around trying to play Russia off against China and China against Russia. Saying to the Chinese “you need me as a head against China because you share this long border…”
Kissinger: To some extent is inherent, the fact that Russia and China to some extent are preoccupied with each other… it’s inherent in the geography and in the demographic density. But it’s not something that we should attempt to manipulate. That’s a fact of life and it will enter the judgement of those countries.
Rose: With respect, that was not your view when you were a National Security advisor.
Kissinger: Absolutely not. When I was Security advisor, I said and acted on, that it was in the American interest to be closer to both China and Russia than they were to each other. And I’ve written that. But that was in the conditions of the cold war, when Russia was perceived to be, and to some extend was an international, global player with significant military force. The way the current world differs from the historic world is this: historically one would have said that a rise of China is such a change in the balance, that it will lead to international tension, as it did in the case of the rise of Germany. But you also have to say based on history that if the leaders of Europe had known what the world would look like four years after they went to war in 1914, none of them would have done it. We know what the world would look like after a conflict between major powers, so none of the major countries in the recent decades have gotten very close to a war with each other. There was the Cuban missile crisis, there were a few mistakes made. So for this reason, I don’t think that the new administration can walk in and live in an atmosphere of bliss. It will experience tensions. Russia won’t be a joy to deal with necessarily. All I am arguing is, that it is a mistake to look at our relationship with Russia as one of inherent confrontation to be pursued by primarily strategic means.
Rose: It seems to me the larger point you are making is that the economic crisis that is prevalent in the United States and Europe and Russia and in China, India, offers an opportunity to make a case for something new rather than something old.
Kissinger: Finally, even the Jihadist crisis is teaching everybody, it’s bringing it home to everybody, that international affairs cannot be conducted entirely by drawing borders and then defining international politics by who crosses what borders with organized military force. This has now been reinforced by the fact that the financial crisis, which totally unexpectedly has spread around the world, it limits the resources that each country has for a foreign policy geared to an assertion of its own pure interests. So every country is obliged to set certain priorities so that foreign policy now becomes an exercise into seeing whether the inevitable priorities that each country has to set for itself can be meshed in some manner to reinforce each other. Can it be done? I don’t know that. It should be attempted and I think there is a good chance of it.
Rose: What would you call this age, this opportunity, this moment?
Kissinger: I… it’s a good question, I haven’t condensed it into a … maybe “the age of compatible interests”.
Rose: Pretty good. Thank you. Good to see you again.
Kissinger: Pleasure to be here.
Rose: Henry Kissinger, back from Russia. Many questions about Russia we didn’t get to. The relative power of Medvedev and Putin and all of that in terms of Russia and internal questions as well, but this evening a look at how the world might be.
times of the signs
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