16.09.2003
The Worst Quarrels Occur Within Families
№3 2003 July/September

Yuri Rubinsky, Doctor of Science (History), is Director
of the French Research Center at the Institute of History of the
Russian Academy of Sciences.

The dust that was kicked up by the tanks and warplanes of the
U.S.-British anti-Iraqi coalition has settled on the sun-scorched
plains of ancient Mesopotamia. Operation Shock and Awe that the
coalition launched on March 20, 2003 ended three weeks later with
minimal losses and maximal gains. The Saddam Hussein regime was
liquidated, the geopolitical map of the Middle East redrawn, and
control over the world’s second largest resources of crude
ensured.

Although the coalition failed to expose any credible links
between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda, or locate weapons of mass
destruction (the pretext for launching the military operation), the
victorious are beyond judgment. Following the fall of the Iraqi
regime, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution
1483. This act lifted economic sanctions against Iraq, which were
imposed during the 1991 Gulf War. As a gesture, the U.S. and its
partners in the anti-Iraqi coalition, who assumed the duties of
occupational powers, allowed the UN token participation in the
postwar settlement; its activities are mostly centered on
humanitarian issues. The International Atomic Energy Agency experts
were granted permission to search for proof of suspicious Iraqi
weapons programs. The situation eventually moved to a pragmatic
level and there began the distribution of contracts for rebuilding
the Iraqi economy, as well as getting access to its oil riches.

Naturally, sorting out positions over the just concluded crisis
would have been inappropriate at the international summits
dedicated to St. Petersburg’s tercentenary festivities, or at the
G-8 expanded summit in Evian, France; although little was openly
alluded to at these events, the Iraqi crisis left scars that will
not heal for quite some time.

Restoring order and forming a legitimate and viable government
in a heterogeneous country, which is plagued by ethnic and
religious controversies, will prove to be a difficult task. This
has been explicitly demonstrated by the developments in
Afghanistan: Khamid Karzai’s government, propped up by the
international forces, has managed to establish control only over
the capital Kabul, and major cities of some provinces. In Iraq,
Baghdad fell to the coalition forces fast and with little
bloodshed, but the officers of Saddam’s disbanded army have been
putting up armed resistance to the occupation troops.

As long as the situation in Iraq remains wobbly, there will be a
high risk of destabilization in the entire Middle East: Saudi
Arabia and the Persian Gulf emirates are still haunted by the
specter of Iran’s shah regime on the eve of the Islamic Revolution;
theocratic Iran is shaken by the infighting between Islamic
conservatives and modernists, while the Kurdish problem is still
smoldering. Furthermore, the political settlement of the
Arab-Israeli conflict – a source of Middle East tension over the
past 50 years – does not seem to be an imminent event: attempts by
the Quartet of international mediators – the U.S., Russia, the UN,
and the EU – to press forward with the Road Map peace plan, which
provides for an independent Palestine by 2005, is encountering
bitter resistance from both Israeli and Arab extremists.

LAW AND THE USE OF FORCE

Local and regional aspects of the Iraqi crisis have much smaller
importance than the fact that it has brought out in bold relief the
contravening trends in international relations. It has revealed a
conflict over the different models of guaranteeing world order in
the 21st century. Will the world be unipolar, and based on the
dominance of a single superpower, the U.S., or will it be
multipolar, and based on a concert of powers acting within the
guidelines of international organizations, above all the UN? Will
decisions on vexing issues be determined unilaterally or through
multilateral consensus? Finally, what should the correlation
between law and the use of force be?

The prevalence of law over brute force has always been a
reliable measure of democracy and the legitimacy of power inside a
country. It has also made equality and justice absolute
prerequisites in interstate relations regardless of the military or
economic strength of a country. If law without force appears to be
wishful thinking, force without law is sure to become tyranny. “Law
generates legality, which is not a legality by virtue of reason or
justice;” wrote Julien Offroy de La Mettrie, an 18th century French
moralist and philosopher, “it is legality by virtue of force.”

Nonetheless, the balance of forces between different states
changes, as do their interests and goals in international affairs.
The evolution of these goals casts serious doubts over many
provisions of international law, which reflect the terms of past
compromises and rules of international conduct. As a result,
conflicts break out that often appear to take civilizational
dimensions. Such a situation emerged in the course of the Iraqi
war.

COLLISION INSIDE CIVILIZATION

Many famous philosophers, historians and political scientists,
from Spengler to Toynbee to Huntington, have warned about the
dangers of a clash of civilizations. It is only necessary to recall
the widening demographic and economic gaps between the South and
the North, and the crises in dozens of new states that arose from
the ruins of the colonial system. The new states proved to be
unviable. Or take the spread of Western subculture, which produces
a mix of frustration and repulsion in the developing countries, and
forces people to defend their cultural identity in every possible
way – from obscurantism to mass terrorism.

Members of terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda are driven by
the irrational motives of religious fanaticism, incomprehensible to
the Western mentality. Its specificity gives rise to myths in the
West about new Crusades, the threat of a world Islamic Caliphate,
the ghosts of a yellow danger, etc. Such myths arise from the
erroneous belief that modern civilizations are based on fixed
religious, cultural, linguistic, or anthropologic criteria, on
which the Christian, Moslem, Hindu, or Sino-Confucian civilizations
depended upon a thousand years ago. If that were really the case,
irreconcilable extremist elements would eventually gain the upper
hand inside each civilization, while the struggle for the mutual
extermination of the oppositional creed would be inevitable and
fraught with catastrophe.

In reality, however, the actual state of affairs is totally
different. More often than not, geopolitical interests prevail over
the similarities and differences between civilizations. A bold
example was the alliance between Nazi Germany and militaristic
Japan before World War II; these countries belonged to completely
different civilizations. On the other hand, conflicts within
civilizations are always the most severe, which only proves the
general belief that the worst quarrels occur within families.
Indeed, the wars between the Roman Catholics and Protestants in the
16th century (which still echo today in local hotspots like
Northern Ireland) were far bloodier than the Christian crusades
against the Moslems three centuries earlier. The Russian Orthodox
Church and the Vatican are split over a conflict that is rooted
deep in the 11th century. Hostilities between the proponents of
Sunni and Shiite Islamic sects appear at times far more bitter than
the conflicts between the Moslems and Christians. Despite the
secularism of the Iraqi regime, the Sunni minority held the
domineering position and Saddam Hussein, himself a member of the
Sunni community, occasionally resorted to the use of chemical
weapons against the Shiite population of southern Iraq. While both
U.S.-led wars against Iraq claimed several thousand lives, the war
between two Moslem nations, Iran and Iraq, were responsible for the
deaths of over a million lives.

The causes for the frequent clashes between the followers of
different sects of the same religion lie beyond the theological
sphere. They rather reflect the conflicting geopolitical, economic,
or legal interests of the people, each one possessing different
customs and psychological stereotypes. These differences acquire an
intra-civilization dimension over time, making the visions of
spiritual values incompatible. In some cases, the conflicting sides
tear up their common roots.

The invasion of Iraq, a developing Moslem country, produced a
split in the Christian world, with Pope John Paul II, the Patriarch
of Moscow and All Russia, Alexii II, unanimously condemning the war
despite other large divisions that exist between them. Their
condemnation of the war was in sharp contrast with the Protestant
Evangelical Fundament-alists in the U.S., which fervently advocated
a military solution to the crisis. The Christians were split over
the cardinal issue, that is, law and the use of force, that has
acquired civilizational, apart from legal, military or political,
significance.

MILITARY VICTORY AND MORAL DEFEAT

As the outcome of the military campaign in Iraq was clearly
foreseeable, and inspired hopes for the future good graces from
Washington, the U.S., Britain and Spain were joined by Denmark and
Portugal, 13 post-Communist countries of Central and Eastern
Europe, and states from other parts of the world. The Americans
claim that 34 nations, of which 18 were European, displayed their
solidarity with the U.S. on the Iraqi issue.

Let us recall, however, that the UN has 191 member-states and
Europe is comprised of 44 countries, which means that three-fifths
of the whole international community and more than half of Europe
(or three-quarters in terms of the continent’s total population)
did not support the only superpower over the issue of war and
peace, despite Washington’s tough pressure and threats of economic
and political sanctions. Four of the main European states which
opposed the war – Germany, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg, have
been U.S. allies in NATO since the block’s inception, and make up
the core of the European Union. The support they received from
Russia and China signaled the materialization of Zbigniew
Brzezinski’s misgiving about the worst geopolitical development for
the U.S. – its alienation from the key countries of Eurasia.

Reaction from the public quarters was even less unanimous.
Several million people joined forces in anti-war rallies, the
biggest of which swept through London, Madrid, and Rome – the
capitals of the states whose leaders gave unequivocal support to
the U.S. Although the British are believed to be phlegmatic and
rather knee-jerk in their patriotism, London witnessed its biggest
demonstrations since the 1930s. Positive opinions over the U.S.
action against Iraq outweighed negative opinions in only eight of
the forty nations where polls on the issue were held.

The motives for the divisions inside the Euro-Atlantic community
were quite different, as the various national leaders were driven
by considerations of their own geopolitical, economic or domestic
policies. Germany’s Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is a
perfect example as he used pacifist campaign rhetoric to help him
avoid a looming defeat in the general election. On the other side,
pro-American stand of the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and the
leaders of post-Communist European countries were only loosely
linked to the essence of Iraqi campaign. Blair had to showcase
Anglo-Saxon solidarity as the basis of the British foreign policy,
while former socialist states were seeking the U.S. and NATO’s
security guarantees and active support in the light of a painful
process of accession to the European Union, dominated by
Paris-Berlin tandem.

To summarize the situation, the coalition has won the war on the
battlefield, but lost it in the minds and hearts of the Europeans.
The rift has made obvious the conflict of some basic values on both
sides of the Atlantic, and the civilization split inside the
Euro-Atlantic community. The fissuring factors have been building
up for years, but during the Cold War years they were obscured by
the division of Europe, a systematic confrontation between the East
and West, as well as tensions between the military blocs of the two
superpowers. This was cemented by the “parity of nuclear
terror.”

As the Soviet threat waned, Europe’s trust in the importance of
the American nuclear umbrella as a guarantee of security waned as
well, and the situation began to take a dramatically new turn. By
that time, the European Union had demonstrated that its economic
might was comparable to that of the U.S., although it was much
weaker militarily. Furthermore, the euro is in the process of
starting to challenge the hitherto hegemonic U.S. dollar.

The misbalance of Europe’s economic and military potentials
prompted Washington to try and block the shaping of a common
foreign and security policy by the EU member-states, and to extend
the use as a model of the current transatlantic balance of military
capabilities to other aspects of its relations with the Europeans.
The easiest way to accomplish this objective was to replace the
defunct bugbear of the ‘Soviet Empire of Evil’ by the bugbear of a
new common enemy. This emerged in the form of an ‘axis of Evil’ –
rogue states where the ruling dictatorial regimes infringe upon the
human rights of their nationals, and endanger other countries by
attempting to develop weapons of mass destruction or opening access
to them for terrorists. If such an axis actually exists, there is a
need to eliminate the threat it represents. Pre-emptive strikes by
conventional high precision weapons or smaller battlefield nuclear
armaments may be very convenient methods for such a purpose. Such a
military strategy emerged as the new U.S. concept of national
security one year after the events of Sept. 11th; the Bush
Administration has made this the core of its global strategy.

Stunning images of the attacks on New York and Washington
produced a worldwide emotional response. It brought the entire
civilized world, from the EU to Russia to China, into the ranks of
a U.S.-led antiterrorist coalition, which fully supported the
antiterrorist operation in Afghanistan. But maintaining this unity
as a tool for achieving other goals in Asia, like the campaign
against Iraq, was proven to be a very difficult task. Not only
because the U.S. claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction
and was linked to Al Qaeda sounded unconvincing, but, most
importantly, most member-states of the antiterrorist coalition
objected to the idea of the U.S. using force unilaterally
regardless of the opinions of their partners and international
organizations, including the UN Security Council.

THE ATLANTIC FAULT LINE

An unambiguous response to the objections in the ranks of the
allies came from the U.S. Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld,
who stated that the coalition was not supposed to determine its
missions, but, rather, the missions would determine the coalition’s
makeup. This was a signal of Washington’s plans to focus on
building temporary alliances with changeable configurations. Each
such alliance would be used to resolve specific regional problems,
while the methods would be totally unrestricted, as it is within
NATO. In some cases, the Americans would reserve the right to act
unilaterally altogether.

A substantiation of the unilateral approach of the U.S. to
treating international security problems and issues of the rule of
law and use of force has been offered by Dr Michael J. Glennon, a
professor of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts
University, in an article titled “Why the Security Council Failed”
(Foreign Affairs, May-June 2003). Dr Glennon’s keynote is that the
UN Security Council’s debates on Iraq had weakened the UN itself,
not U.S. diplomacy. The basic idea is that the UN has shown its
impotence and hence lost the moral grounds to pass decisions under
the provisions of its charter. “Power disparities, cultural
disparities, and differing views on the use of force toppled the
temple,” argues Dr Glennon.

Dr Glennon maintains that European and American attitudes
diverge on one key subject – the role of law in international
relations. Europeans view legal rules as the rules of the game that
should meet certain a priori established principles, while
Americans believe that the rules should reflect the real balance of
forces in the international community, which they should then set
out to fix. In other words, for Europeans the law is something that
people and countries must obey, while for the U.S. the law
stipulates what the individuals and nations can do. The difference
leads to the conclusion that the Westphalian system of
international law, which emerged in 1648, is hopelessly outdated
and fit for the dustbin, together with the “archaic notions of
universal truth, justice and morality.”

Dr Glennon recalls that since 1945 many states have used armed
force on many different occasions “in flagrant violation of the
charter.” That is true. However, the author makes an extremely
far-fetched conclusion: the full blame goes not to the states
breaking the international law but to the law itself that is no
longer relevant for the present-day realities. “Massive violation
of a treaty by numerous states over a prolonged period can be seen
as casting that treaty into desuetude – that is, reducing it to a
paper rule that is no longer binding.”

That law and international institutions get outdated over time
and require regular updating is no novel insight, but denying
across the board the rationality of the entire body of generally
accepted rules, which the UN founders designed after World War II,
is a completely different story. Dr Glennon admits that “American
hegemony will not last forever.” So the U.S. itself can profit from
law once the global situation changes. The author’s claim that
international law has value only as long as it meets the real
balance of forces sounds strange, given his status as a legal
expert. Logically, this assertion can be extended further; the
domestic legal institutions must be cleared away together with the
international ones, as millions of people in the U.S. have violated
the domestic laws. More than that, the Holy Scriptures must be
shelved, too, considering how many believers and people in general
live up to the commandments.

In an attempt to forestall arguments of this kind, Dr Glennon
discusses the difference between European and American legal
practices. While Europeans have been integrating and ceding their
powers to supranational bodies for about fifty years, such as the
European Union, “Americans largely reject supranationalism” and
“would find any impingements on their sovereignty anathema.”

If that is true, one can only be astonished by Dr Glennon’s
doubts about the Westphalian system of law that places great
emphasis on the pre-eminent nature of state sovereignty, or Woodrow
Wilson’s steps to set up the League of Nations, or Franklin D.
Roosevelt’s initiatives on the UN and its Security Council, whose
five permanent members have veto powers. In fact, former U.S.
Secretary of State Edward Stettinius once said the U.S. Congress
would have never endorsed the UN Charter had it not contained a
provision on the veto power – and that is exactly what was included
in the League of Nations’ Statute.

A desire to put an end to the annoying legal disputes over the
legitimacy of the U.S. policy on Iraq has prompted some U.S.
neo-conservatives to bring the discussions to a more civilizational
plane. This approach has been highlighted by Robert Kagan in an
article titled “Power and Weakness” (Policy Review, June-July,
2002).

The article starts with a bracing observation. “It is time to
stop pretending that Europeans and Americans share a common view of
the world, or even that they occupy the same world,” says Dr Kagan.
“On the all-important question of power – the efficacy of power,
the morality of power, the desirability of power – American and
European perspectives are diverging”.

The author admits that the causes of trans-Atlantic differences
are deep-rooted; they appeared a long time ago and have
demonstrated a tendency for growing. “When it comes down to setting
national priorities, determining threats, defining challenges, and
fashioning and implementing foreign and defense policies, the
United States and Europe have parted ways,” Dr Kagan says.

Internal contradictions in the pluralistic societies on both
sides of the Atlantic remain as well, but U.S. political moderates
like Secretary of State Colin Powell, and hawks like Secretary of
Defense Donald Rumsfeld, have more in common than Powell and the
French or even the British Foreign Minister. “When it comes to the
use of force,” Kagan continues, “mainstream American Democrats have
more in common with Republicans than they do with most European
Socialists and Social Democrats.” Democratic President Clinton used
force in Yugoslavia as decisively as the Republican George W. Bush
did in Afghanistan.

According to Kagan, the main cause of trans-Atlantic differences
lies in the difference of the European and U.S. economic and
military capabilities, which produces a dramatic psychological and
cultural impact on both societies. ‘Old Europe,’ demoralized and
enfeebled by internal feuds, prefers the comforts of economic
prosperity and social security, even though this may require
concessions, compromise or bargaining with unscrupulous rogue
states. The young, energetic and aggressive America places its
faith in its military power that it can at times use unilaterally,
considering it to be a prerequisite for reliable defense, peace and
promotion of liberal values in a world torn by chaos.

Dr Kagan’s European opponents hold that the problem should not
be reduced to the perpetually changing global balance of forces.
For example, French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, said
in a lecture delivered at the London-based International Institute
for Strategic Studies on March 27, 2003: “Through the Iraqi crisis,
two different understandings of the world are coming head to head.
They reflect different relationships between law and force, between
international legitimacy and the defense of national security
interests… The alternative is not between force and law. Force must
serve the law… Asserting the primacy of the law is not an admission
of powerlessness. It is a moral and political obligation, the
prerequisite for justice and effectiveness. Indeed, only justice
can guarantee lasting security. Conversely, if the international
system is still seen as unjust, if force always seems to prevail
over the law, if the opinions of the people are disregarded, then
destabilizing factors will grow stronger, proliferation programs
will develop, power play will go on needlessly, and hostility
toward Western democracies will be increasingly manipulated.”

The difference between the U.S. and European approach to the
21st-century crisis hinges on geographic and historical factors.
Europe, torn by unending feuds and wars in its past, has finally
developed an immunity to solving conflicts by arms, and has
acquired the habit of seeking political solutions through patient
multilateral diplomacy. A unique phenomenon known as European
integration has emerged on the continent, and it is born from a
historic reconciliation between France and Germany – countries that
waged three wars against each other over a period of seventy
years.

On the contrary, the U.S., a land washed by two oceans, has
developed a sense of security, as its two adjoining neighbors,
Canada and Mexico, were always much weaker. Its price tag of
warring overseas, including both world wars, was never very heavy.
As a result, the events of Sept. 11th produced a knockdown
psychological shock – it was the first time America had experienced
an asymmetrical military attack on its own territory. No wonder the
nation’s reaction was so angry and aggressive.

The Euro-Atlantic countries took the experience of the Iraqi
conflict painfully, as it involved, apart from pragmatic interests,
the very systems of moral values deeply rooted in the same
civilization. These values stem from Greek philosophy and arts, the
Roman administration and legal system, the Christian faith, and the
great ideas of Enlightenment – human rights, democracy, private
ownership and social justice. They make up the foundations of both
the U.S. Constitution and the French Declaration of the Rights of
Man and Citizen – the two documents that came out almost
simultaneously. Is it not a great paradox that the U.S. and France
were allies in the American war for independence, both world wars,
and finally, throughout the Cold War, yet eventually came to be
major opponents during the Iraqi crisis?

The explanation to this paradox is that over the past twenty
centuries the tree of a common European civilization has developed
three mighty branches – Central, Eurasian, and North American, with
the divergence affecting almost all aspects of this civilization.
The single Holy Christian Church split into the Roman Catholic,
Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant creeds. The legal system was
divided into the written Roman Law and Anglo-American precedent
Law. From the triad of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity borne out
of the Enlightenment philosophy, North America chose liberty,
Russia preferred equality, while Central and Western Europe sought
a balance between the two extremes in an attempt to reconcile
private ownership with freedom and social justice.

The differences in values have more than once sparked bitter
conflicts over the Euro-Atlantic space – religious wars between the
Roman Catholics and Protestants on the European continent, the
American Independence War, the invasions of Polish troops,
Napoleon’s and Hitler’s armies advancing into Russia, and hundreds
of local armed conflicts in Europe. It was those intra-civilization
conflicts, not the Crusades or colonial wars with other
civilizations, which have shaped the present-day map of the
world.

In the new millennium, divisions inside the civilization over
the Euro-Atlantic space are intensifying. The two world wars and
two Cold Wars, marked by a standoff between the so-called “barracks
socialism” in the former Soviet Union and Central/Eastern Europe,
on the one hand, and the American/West-European pluralistic
democracy and market economy, on the other, have given way to a
competition between the Anglo-Saxon liberal monetarism and the
continental market capitalism, marked a social security net and
active involvement of governments. The collapse of Communism as an
alternative system of values has brought about a westward shift in
the intra-civilization frictions – from the Oder-Neise line to the
Atlantic.

IS RUSSIA FACING A DILEMMA?

Russia has always had a special place in this whole story. In
the months preceding the anti-Saddam war, Russian diplomacy voiced
its solidarity with the Franco-German peace front. Moscow stood
firm in its belief that the 1991 UN Security Council Resolution on
Iraq still provided enough resources for a peaceful solution. A
military option would have been unnecessary had the UN inspectors
been given a prolongation of their mandate in Iraq and allowed
broader actions, Russian officials proclaimed.

Moscow and Beijing did their best to keep in check the growing
frictions in the antiterrorist coalition, borne out of the tragedy
of Sept. 11th, and worked hard to avoid its split. In the days of
the crisis the hotline between the Kremlin and the White House was
open all the time. Russia’s former Prime Minister, and also former
Foreign Minister, Yevgeny Primakov, reputed expert of the Arab
world, went to Baghdad days before the U.S. and British invasion of
Iraq, and offered Saddam the chance to step down from power. By
sending Primakov to Baghdad, President Putin signaled to the U.S.
that the bridge across the Atlantic, built at the end of the Cold
War era, would not be demolished and that the present differences
did not mean hostility toward the U.S.

Moscow abolished the strategy of “zero sum games” which was
typical of the era of political bipolarity. Driving a wedge between
the U.S. and Europe, as well as weakening NATO, was the supreme
goal of Soviet diplomacy during the Cold War era. The Kremlin
sought support of its strategy for a standoff with the West from
the oriental and southern parts of the globe – first from China and
then India, Iran, and the Arab countries, where the anti-colonial
wars often turned into conflicts of civilizations.

Today, Russia is working toward a completely different goal.
Russia’s unique geopolitical and civilizational parameters demand
that it continuously makes a choice from many partnerships: Europe,
where Russia traditionally belongs, although in a very special way;
Asia, where it has three-fourths of its territory, which, however,
is home to only 20 percent of its population; the U.S., as its
immediate neighbor in the Arctic region and in the Far East. A
definite choice does not necessarily rule out partnerships.

The Russian government cannot afford to take sides either with
Europe or with the U.S. Its position is close with the Europeans on
some issues, like the pre-eminence of law and collective actions in
world affairs. On the other hand, in fighting Chechen militants, as
well as a variety of other international terrorists, Russia has to
resort to tough actions, thereby finds it necessary to side with
Washington, or even Israel, now sharply criticized by the EU for
its treatment of the Palestinians. Like the European countries,
Russia is irritated by the reluctance of the U.S. to abide by
commonly accepted rules, but Russian also shows unanimity with the
U.S. in rejecting the multiplying European bureaucratic
regulations. This creates an environment where it is sometimes
impossible to boost relations with Europe, which is now
overburdened by masses of legal documents. In a word, Russia will
hardly benefit from simple frameworks offered by ‘axes’ or
‘triangles.’

Russia has broken with the messianic claims of a totalitarian
regime in order to re-model the world to its own vision, and has
adopted the values of a market economy and pluralistic democracy.
But given all this, it has a momentous task of keeping the balance
between different civilizational aspects and seeking their equality
in diversity. This is the underlying idea of the multipolar world,
which is shared by the other partner countries of the “peace front”
– France and China.

The U.S. is apprehensive to this idea, and suspects its
proponents of being motivated by hidden anti-Americanism. National
Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice made this quite clear in a speech
delivered on June 26, 2003. Such suspicions are groundless, though.
A mere three years ago, when the presidential race was underway in
the U.S., Dr Rice herself denounced what she called the ambitions
of the previous administration to align all nations according to
U.S. standards. She was undoubtedly much closer to the truth at
that time. In a contemporary globalized world all civilizations
find themselves in one boat, so they will either survive or die
together. Sadly enough, mankind has not invented a cementing
material more efficacious than common danger.