We all have that one friend who can’t stop arranging things – whether it’s matchmaking, dinner parties, or vacation itineraries programmed down to the minute. They just can’t kick back and take things in stride. The world has to revolve around them, on their time and terms.
The US has been that guy for the world for the past several decades. Everyone’s tired of it. But now it has a new invitation – to a new world order.
“I think we have an opportunity to do things, if we’re bold enough and have enough confidence in ourselves, to unite the world in ways that it never has been,” US President Joe Biden said at a fundraiser this month. Washington’s boldness and confidence has led to unilateral regime-change bombings, the arming of jihadist proxies in Afghanistan against the Soviets and in Syria against President Bashar Assad, and Azov neo-Nazis in Ukraine. None of that has made the world a better place – just more chaotic. It’s not like any of these places end up better off as a result.
“We were in a post-war period for 50 years where it worked out pretty damn well, but that sort of run out of steam. It needs a new world order in a sense,” Biden said. “Worked out pretty damn well” for whom? Surely not for Latin America, subjected to constant intervention by Washington in its own interests. Same with the Middle East for all those decades when it served primarily as America’s gas station. Or even for the European Union, much of which has gone from being a collection of independent-minded allies to mostly a monolithic vassal for US interests at the expense of its own. The same could even be said of my native Canada, whose economic interests were hindered by Biden himself when he unilaterally cancelled a critical $9 billion pipeline project (Keystone XL) upon election. That should have been the very last time that Canada banked its economic interests on American good faith. It won’t be, though.