After World War II, an ideological war emerged between the fascist bloc and an alliance of liberals and communists. The United States spearheaded the establishment of the United Nations and its specialized agencies to create a new world order based on rules, norms and procedures.
Together with its allies, the liberal Western countries, the U.S. established international organizations in different issue areas and developed international norms and regimes. Then, they built trust in these international institutions and eventually won the consent of other states.
The liberal world fought with the communist bloc via these institutions, norms and rules, which were developed to serve the national interests of the Western countries and to consolidate Western hegemony. After a successful instrumentalization of liberal values and human rights discourse, the Western countries won their struggle with the communist bloc. The West, under the leadership of the U.S., declared its ultimate victory by the end of the 1980s.
However, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War, Western countries began to attach less importance to international organizations and rules. Following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, especially with the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. began to ignore international organizations, international law and international regimes. Instead, it preferred to follow unilateral policies. Since then, the more Western countries face challenges and problems in international politics, the more they ignore the decisions of international organizations and principles of international law.
In the end, we have come to a point where the international organizations established by the Western countries have begun to serve the interests of other countries more than they serve the Western countries. The rise of the non-Western powers and the increase in the number of states in the world has changed the balance of power within international organizations. The U.S. and other Western countries have remained in the minority in the U.N. For example, the U.S. is not happy about the recent decisions and activities of the U.N. specialized agencies. It withdrew from UNESCO membership due to some of its decisions regarding the Palestinian cultural heritage sites.
Following the recent changes in the international balance of power, the U.S. and other Western countries did not hesitate to openly violate the decisions of international organizations and the principles of international law. Instead, many non-Western states have begun to ask the West to abide by international norms and principles. While non-Western countries try to solve international problems through international mechanisms, Western countries persistently violate the principles and resolutions of international organizations.
The Israeli atrocities and genocidal policies, unconditionally supported by the Western countries, put the final nail in the coffin of international organizations, mainly due to the policies implemented by Western states. First, contrary to different U.N. resolutions and the principles of international law, the U.S. government recognized the occupation of East Jerusalem and the annexation of the Golan Heights by Israeli forces. Then, the Western countries violated all redlines not only of the current international system but also of universal humanitarian values. They were complicit in all of Israel’s crimes.
Thus, the Western countries push the world system into a chaotic period. From now on, it will be very difficult, if not impossible, for Western countries to ask other states to abide by international norms. This means that the strong will do what they can, while the weak will suffer whatever they are subjected to.
Today, Israel and the West, with the consent of many regional states, do what they can get away with in the Gaza Strip. Via carpet bombing and using all kinds of the most developed technological weapons, they target and kill innocent civilians, including newborn babies, children, women, elderly people, students, journalists and men of religion. They indiscriminately bomb everywhere: apartments, hospitals, ambulances, schools, mosques and churches. International organizations have never been this weak and ineffective. Even the high-level officials of international organizations such as the U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who is a European diplomat from Portugal, were unable to intervene in the Gaza genocide. Unfortunately, no international organization is able to prevent an online and live genocide against the Palestinians. It seems that the relatively newly introduced “R2P principle (responsibility to protect)” will now take its place on the dusty shelves of history.
The year 2024 will be a very difficult year for all countries. Western countries have initiated an all-destructive period in international politics. In today’s interdependent and interconnected world, it is not possible to limit suffering and injustice in one region or locality. Sooner or later, the new wave of violence will reach every corner of the world. Eventually, all countries will surely suffer from these new realities. Contrary to their expectations, the West will fail to control the new circle of violence.
Therefore, world governments urgently need to return to normal, that is to respect norms and rules. Western politics urgently needs to return to normal, that is to rationality. The Middle East urgently needs to return to normal, that is to political stability. World public opinion, including Western public opinion, urgently needs to take measures against Israel and its complicit Western governments.