Following is our translation of an article from ria.ru by analyst Ivan Danilov with commentary by Vince Dhimos. Danilov’s article is a commentary on an article by Richard Haass from Foreign Affairs entitled How a World Order Ends.
This article will come as a shock for those who recall that Haass worked in GW Bush’s National Security Council and that prior to that, Bush had considered Haass for the post of Secretary of State but that this idea was criticised severely due to a paper Haass had written entitled Rethinking Sovereignty suggesting that national boundaries were superfluous and should be “rethought.” For this reason, Bush voters rightfully thought of Haass as a radical liberal who was out of touch with the real people.
This earlier idea was miles removed from the Richard Haass we encounter in the latest article on which Danilov’s commentary is based. Though Danilov’s analysis does not include it, the following quote from Haass’ Foreign Affairs article is a nod to the concept of the multipolar world as enunciated in Putin’s Munich address of 2007:
“From 1815 until the outbreak of World War I a century later, the order established at the Congress of Vienna defined many international relationships and set (even if it often failed to enforce) basic rules for international conduct. It provides a model of how to collectively manage security in a multipolar world.”
In this multipolar world that Putin advocates, it is precisely the sovereignties of all nations that are valued. Thus Haass seems to have turned 180 degrees since suggesting “rethinking sovereignty.” I wrote previously at New Silk Strategies:
“Putin was born into a monopolar world and has meanwhile ushered in a multipolar world, a concept referenced since then by the documents of almost all major Western academic and political institutions, eg, the EU, prestigious universities such as Yale, Royal Institute for International Relations, University of Oslo, and many more. A paper by the World Economic Forum has a chapter devoted the Multipolar World. The World Bank has published a document titled ‘Multipolarity: The New Global Economy.’ And so on. Western institutions are giving credit to Putin’s Russia for its creation of the concept of a Multipolar World, even as the politicians of the countries represented by these institutions are still obsessed with “stopping Putin.’”
Now Richard Haass adds his name to the list of distinguished thinkers bowing to Putin.
The CFR has long been identified as part of the Deep State. Now, in the Age of Trump, it is perhaps fitting that this group should split with the president over his tenacious insistence on preserving America’s hegemon status. After all, Trump is thought by his acolytes to be embattled by the Deep State.
In reality, though, both political parties are equally invested in the maintenance of US power and prestige at all costs, and, as Haass reminds us, the fanatical dedication to the concept of America First by this administration, and also by the rest of the US elites, is actually causing the US to lose power and prestige faster than any outside agency could do. And yet we may not forget that Bush, Clinton and Obama were no less dedicated to the abuse of US power, as witnessed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and Syria, where the emphasis was less on fighting terror than on taking out governments that failed to bend to American demands and expectations.
Head of the "factory of American power": we will not defeat Russia
Ivan Danilov, author of the blog Crimson Alter
When the leader of the most famous, influential, and elite "think tank" of the United States declares that the world order based on American hegemony is dying and cannot be saved, it is worth listening to its position. If the head of the same analytical centre, who became famous for drawing up strategies for the CIA and the State Department, declares that the success of Vladimir Putin in Crimea was a moment of "dramatic failure" of the new world order, then such an analysis should be heeded twice. And the most interesting thing is that the entire leading article, in which the chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations (Richard Haass) outlined all these thoughts, more closely resembles the monologue of a doctor trying to reassure a hysterical patient who has just been informed about a terrible diagnosis.
In order to understand how important the addition of such uncharacteristic theses to the American information repository is, it is necessary to briefly recall how the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) differs from other American NGOs. Firstly, this is a very old analytical centre created by the American-British political elite in 1921, under the auspices of the Woodrow Wilson administration. Secondly, the CFR is an organization whose signatory members sometimes could not hide their extremely contemptuous attitude towards democracy and ordinary people of the planet and promoted the idea that a certain club or class of “chosen” intellectuals should make key decisions themselves - or to supply elected politicians with properly interpreted information that will shape their decisions. One of the founders and perhaps the main public face of the Council on Foreign Relations, an American columnist, presidential adviser of Wilson and eminent propaganda theorist Walter Lippmann became famous for inventing the concept of “building consent” - that is, scientifically based mass use of the media as an instrument for managing public opinion and political processes. Lippmann himself wrote in 1922 that the ability to "build consent" (that is, achieve consent without the audience noticing manipulation, and doing it literally "by a mass production method") is a technology that will radically overturn democratic systems "more powerfully than any revolution." Thirdly, the Council on Foreign Relations is an NGO in which the Rockefeller clan, the Ford dynasty and the Warburg family (through Warburg Pinkus) have invested and are still investing serious funds, and the think tank itself is very proud of it and is the coordinator of research programs of the Rockefeller Foundation. And the final stroke in the picture: The Council on Foreign Relations prepares personnel for the American political system. Notables amongst the analysts and researchers of the council who owe their career to it, are CIA Director Allen Dulles and his brother, Secretary of State John Dulles. At the height of the Cold War, more than half of State Department employees were members of this Rockefeller think tank and thus it might not be very clear where key decisions on US foreign policy are actually made. Many conspiracy theories are associated with the activities of the Council, but conspiracy is not required to explain and evaluate its impact. It will suffice to look at the list of the current members of this organization and note the amount of research that it conducted for various government agencies to conclude that such a “collective outsourced brain” will under any circumstances greatly influence the political decisions of the American elite.
For the reasons outlined above, the chairman of the CFR has the moral right to speak with the American elite in an instructive tone and lecture it about how the world really works. In a sense, the article by Chairman Richard Haass is a kind of distilled position of that intellectual part of the American elite, which played practically a key role in the US victory in the Cold War. Mr. Haass strongly urges the American elite to calm down and accept the fact that the train has left and that trying to salvage the world order with the American hegemon at its head is useless, dangerous and pointless. Moreover, the chief American analyst has a proposal for a constructive strategy for Washington, but it is unlikely to find understanding among American politicians.
The key thesis of the article is: “World orders expire by long-term deterioration, not by sudden collapse. And just as maintaining the order depends on effective statecraft and effective action, good policy and proactive diplomacy can help determine how that deterioration unfolds and what it brings. But for this to happen something needs to happen beforehand: recognition that the old world order is never coming back and that efforts to resurrect it will be in vain. As with any ending, acceptance must come before one can move on."
The CFR chairman points to the parallels between the death of the Vienna system of international relations (the so-called Concert of Europe after the Napoleonic Wars) and the decline of the current world order. Mr. Haass even argues that there is a symbolic connection between these situations - the Vienna system died in the context of the Crimean War, and the current order was dealt a serious blow precisely after Crimea returned to Russia. It is noteworthy that this influential American expert does not share the official American propaganda line: he stresses that from the Russian standpoint, NATO expansion (as well as intervention in Iraq and especially in Libya) was a violation of the rules of the game and this explains the subsequent actions of the Russian side. He also emphasized that throughout the world, including in its “liberal” part, discontent with the United States is growing: “Resentment over the United States’ exploitation (status – Ed.) of the dollar to impose sanctions is growing, as is concern over the country’s accumulation of debt.”
According to Mr. Haass, the US has made a huge number of mistakes in foreign and domestic policy, and the economic changes caused by globalization are creating additional problems for America. In addition, the United States has lost its positive global image and now it must pay the price for it.
The recommendations of the CFR Chairman are straightforward and rational: since the degradation of the world order cannot be stopped and reversed, this process needs to be managed. The US is invited to work on “integrating China and Russia” into the new configuration of world relations, and this integration must necessarily involve a mixture of compromises, incentives and resistance to China and Russia. At the same time, the American political elite is trying to convey an important idea: what the 21st century will be like depends largely on the success of these integration efforts.
Americans continue to look through the list of existential - that is, deadly - threats to their country. Russia was on it already, so was China ... What remains?
Mr. Haass reserved the bitterest pill for the end of his text: the American elite is being asked to start holding back at last in foreign and domestic policy and try to restore (!) at least some of the lost respect and image of the "power of good." This will require "reducing US public debt, rebuilding infrastructure, improving public education, investing in social programs, attracting talented immigrants" and many other measures that the American elite definitely will not take. “The United States cannot effectively promote order in the world if they are divided at home, if they are distracted by internal problems and lack resources,” Richard Haass writes. But, looking at the current American elite, it is difficult to dismiss the feeling that he will not find within it understanding listeners who are ready to restore the American image, restrain themselves from foreign policy adventures, and also seek compromises and offer concessions to Russia and China.
The American expert community has long cultivated a sense of exclusivity in the American elite and is now reaping the bitter fruits of its effective work. Pride is a great drug, but a very bad adviser. However, regardless of whether American politicians listen to the advice of analysts of the "Rockefeller think tank" or not, an important conclusion can be made: even the best American minds do not see a realistic way to save the old world order. Thus, all of Moscow’s efforts to dismantle American hegemony should be continued. On the ruins of American autocracy, Russia will be able to leave beautiful graffiti, and, as practice shows, dismantling the old world order is a profitable business. At least the Americans were able to earn good money by dismantling the USSR. What goes around comes around.
Have you ordered your Putin calendar yet? Amazon has them: