Kissinger Calls For New International System Out Of World Crises

Says global necessities should foster an “age of compatible interests”

Steve Watson
ay, 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.

1 Comment

  1. radhasinha

    January 9, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Dr. Kissinger is right in suggesting that the world order created after the Second World War is now out-of-date and does not reflect the present day realities. Therefore, there is a need for restructuring the world system. But what he does not mention is much more important. No world system, however perfect, will ever work until the players, particularly the major players, abide by the rules of the game. The American Republic was born out of certain basic principles (all encoded in the Constitution) which much of the humanity continues to admire. It was a tragedy that the practitioners of the statecraft in the United States began to violate the principles right from the start. The virtual extermination of the Native Americans (under the present parlance genocide and ethnic cleansing) and violation of their treaty rights, the atrocities committed on the Afro-Americans, and violation of the territorial integrity of the neighboring countries were all committed by a state founded to promote the ‘rule of law’ .and dignity of mankind.

    After the Second World War the United Nations (and the related human rights laws) arose out of the efforts of the United States’ leadership, yet, the United States government used the system when it suited it and discarded it when it did not. It may not be an exaggeration to suggest that it is the United States which has violated international law more often than any other democratic country; it has used its veto power in the United Nations often for defending its allies who have abrogated international law with vengeance. The United States government has committed crime against humanity on a large scale and assisted or condoned similar acts by its own allies. Some of the violation of international law and crimes against humanity were committed while Dr. Kissinger was in-charge of the American foreign policy. I am sure there are worse violators of international and human rights laws in the world and they need to be brought to justice but so long as the U.S. violators are not brought to justice, America does not have the moral high ground for leading a world crusade for human rights which it often pretends to do.
    No amount of restructuring the world would bring peace and sanity to the world unless the major powers abide by the rules of the game once such rules are decided. As Senator Daniel Moynihan once suggested, ‘there is clear evidence that the United States is moving away from its long-established concern for and advocacy of international legal norms of state behavior.’
    ‘International law changes, just as domestic law changes. We are fully within our rights to propose changes; to limit or withdraw commitments. What we must not do is act as if the subject was optional, essentially rhetorical. For it is fearfully dangerous thing, the thing most to be feared, to hold that some laws bind the president but others do not.

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