Dr. Shmuel Katz overviews global shifts in power, both economically and politically, and analyzes the implications of these changes. Opinion
The world is going through a very challenging period due to various factors that are enhancing existing undercurrents and allowing them to boil over and impact many people.
The perceived weakness of the current US government on the global stage has allowed rogue nations to feel safer and push their agendas fearlessly. The poorly executed US military disengagement from Afghanistan, the crumbling of the security at its southern border, the local inflation and economic instability, the self-inflicted dependence on foreign oil, and the social unrest within the country, are all contributing factors of the rise in international instability in the absence of a perceptibly strong United States world power.
The terror sponsoring Iranian regime continues to threaten the free world. They are exploiting the weakness of the Western governments and the international dependence on oil and gas, to negotiate in bad faith, an atomic deal, which will allow them to become an atomic power with highly sophisticated long-range delivery systems. The insanity of the “Iran Deal” became even more evident when it came to light that the main negotiators for the United States in the deal are the Russians, who have a conflict of interest, as they will directly benefit from helping the Iranians build a 10-billion-dollar nuclear reactor. The Iranians are also involved in the destabilization of Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Gaza, Venezuela, and the Arab Golf states. As these societies slide into hostility and become more involved in wars and terror, more people will suffer – including those who support the Iranian regime. At the same time, any perceived opposition to the Iranian regime within Iran itself is being crushed without mercy by loyalists of the regime.
In a move that seemed to exploit the European dependence on Russian oil and the perceived weakness of the international community, Russian President Putin decided to expand his control over additional territories in Europe and invaded the Ukraine using brute force, and has yet to change course. He targeted everyone; he did not discriminate between supporters of the Russians and supporters of the Ukrainians. President Putin’s actions were likely encouraged by the lack of resounding international condemnation following the Russian invasion of Chechnya, Georgia, Crimea, and the buildup of the Russian presence in Syria.
In the meantime, President Xi in China is building a large economic infrastructure and a huge military force. The Chinese expansion of their economic and political influence in the South China Sea and elsewhere across the globe is not a coincidence. It followed the weak international responses to the Chinese government oppression of their minorities and others, their ignoring international agreements regarding Hong Kong, their implementation of unusual self-serving business practices, their incursion into the Solomon Islands, their creation of military bases in the newly created islands in the South China Sea, their building of multiple deep-water seaports in Africa, and their threats to abolish the independence of Taiwan.
All the while, the Palestinian Authority and other terror affiliates are enhancing their efforts to deceive the oblivious around the world, and are building an even larger terror infrastructure, which is also hurting many of their own supporters. They are even sending brainwashed individuals to kill and be killed for dubious causes. The Palestinian Authority’s responsibility in causing harm to innocent men, women, and children, while destroying their own future and welfare, has yet to be recognized by the international community. These ongoing acts of terror are encouraged by the inability, or the unwillingness, of the international community to call out the true perpetrators of terror and deception in the Middle East and beyond.
The recent wave of terror in Israel, which was instigated by Hamas and other terror organizations, generated a relatively weak response from the Israeli government. Exploiting the situation, the Arab Muslim party Ra’am, which is included in the Israeli government coalition, is accusing Israel of the deterioration of security, and is threatening to leave the coalition. Ra’am makes these claims while ignoring the fact that the instigators and perpetrators of these terror incidents were the various Arab terror organizations (e.g., those who amassed rocks and firecrackers at the Al Aqsa Mosque to attack Jewish worshipers below at the Kotel).
Unfortunately, many in the media and in academia are falling for the deception, and are therefore promoting the wrong narratives, which helps to misinform their ignorant followers. To make matters worse, cancel culture undermines the ability to engage in dialogue that could otherwise address misinformation.
As an aside, similar techniques of deception and misinformation at the global political stage trickle down and are reflected in the behavior of some individuals in other arenas. As cancel culture becomes more common, those who think that they are more powerful than others may use it to their advantage, assuming that the timid will give up, and let them get away with their self-serving agendas. Many individuals do not want to be harassed or marginalized by bullies and will not stand up against them. This encourages even worse behavior, with nefarious consequences.
This is true for corporations that will fire employees with whom they disagree politically or ideologically even when those individuals are not undermining the corporation, its employees, or customers.
This is true for the military that will remove from duty soldiers and officers who may disagree with some questionable mandates while still performing their duties with honor. This is true for the FBI who may choose to target parents who speak up in school board meetings against exposing their children to questionable critical race theories and gender related indoctrination. And this is true also in simple social gatherings where people choose not listen to each other and instead try to marginalize and degrade any dissenting opinion.
It is a high time to call a spade a spade and expose the bad operatives, whoever they are, so that more responsible people at the global and local levels will have the tools to form an appropriate public opinion, which should have a positive effect on the decision makers, to the benefit of all good citizens. We should also expose those who preach the value of “free speech” but will limit or block the dissemination of opinions with which they disagree. An open and responsible dialogue will go a long way to securing a better future for all.