UKRAINE CRISIS / UNMASKING THE SUPERPOWER
'Voldemort' of global order: America is the 'Dark Lord' set on destroying international order
Published: Apr 17, 2022 07:41 PM
Unmasking The Superpower: ‘Voldemort’ of global order. Illustration: Xu Zihe/GT

Unmasking The Superpower: ‘Voldemort’ of global order. Illustration: Xu Zihe/GT


 
Editor's Note:

Since the start of the military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the international community has grown increasingly aware of the role the US and NATO behind the crisis.

From imposing sanctions on "disobedient countries," to coercing other nations to pick sides, lip service on the Ukraine refugee issue, to a questionable overseas human rights record… the US has acted like a "Cold War schemer," or a "vampire" who creates "enemies" and makes its fortunes from pyres of war. 

The Global Times is publishing a series of stories and cartoons to demonstrate how the US, abusing its superpower status, has been creating trouble in the world one crisis after another. This is the final installment.

 
1 Ukraine crisis instigator: US-led NATO reneges on 'Not one inch eastward' promise to compress Russia's space to the extreme
2 Instability brewer: Behind every war and turmoil in the world is shadow of the Star-Spangled Banner
3 'Vampires' in the war: US warmongers feeding on the bloody turbulence in other countries
4 Cold War schemer: Reminiscing in its past 'victory,' US brings color revolutions to 21st century to maintain its hegemony
5 The poison disseminator: How US spread biological 'poison', ethnic division and ideological antagonism around the world
6 Human rights destroyer: US causes humanitarian disasters around globe, killing innocent civilians and creating millions of refugees
7 'Voldemort' of global order: America is the 'Dark Lord' set on destroying international order


A woman walks past the landmark graffiti on the walls of the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran.  Photo: AFP

A woman walks past the landmark graffiti on the walls of the former US embassy in Tehran, Iran. Photo: AFP


"Just in one year, our sanctions are likely to wipe out the last 15 years of Russia's economic gains" and make Russia "an outcast on the international stage." These  remarks by US President Joe Biden after the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian military conflict are frightening. The US could implement such a "strangulation" plan economically and politically to a superpower like Russia,, not to mention other countries that are not as powerful.

Fanning the flames to create turmoil, using economic and financial hegemony to sanction opponents, and forming cliques to create political isolation - the US is using its hegemony to undermine the international order.

In fact, the US government's approach is quite similar to Voldemort's - they both believe in power, recruit followers, use violence, and repeatedly want to kill competitors in order to maintain supremacy.

 
'Paralyzing' sanctions


After the Russia-Ukraine conflict broke out, the US did not persuade Moscow and Kiev to negotiate and promote peace, but instead continued to provide military assistance to Ukraine in an attempt to prolong the conflict and to bring down Russia. 

On April 13, Biden announced that he would provide Ukraine with an additional $800 million in military aid to help Kiev strengthen its defenses. Since the conflict, Washington's aid to Kiev has surpassed $2.4 billion.

In addition to supporting Ukraine ensnare Russia, the US has also imposed "paralyzing" sanctions on Moscow, involving economic, financial, technological and other fields. Kicking some Russian banks out of the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), canceling the "Most-Favored-Nation" for trade with Russia, depriving Russian citizens access to their overseas assets, restricting the sale of Russian vodka... the US sanctions against Russia are all-inclusive. 

Unwilling to act alone, the US is also pulling together European countries, Australia, Japan, South Korea and many other allies to deal with Russia, trying to "turn the ruble into paper." With their joint "efforts," Russia has become the country that has suffered the most sanctions from the US in recent years. According to a report by Sputnik News Agency, data from a sanctions tracking platform shows that since 2014, Russia has been subject to 5,532 sanctions, surpassing Iran and Syria.

Meanwhile, since the conflict began, at least 300 multinational companies have withdrawn from Russia. JPMorgan Chase previously predicted that Russia's GDP will shrink by 12 percent due to Western sanctions. Some Russian experts have warned that living standards in Russians may drop to 1990s levels. Meanwhile, the World Bank predicts that Ukraine's GDP will plummet by about 45.1 percent this year. 

The war brought disaster to both Russia and Ukraine, while the US benefited.

A heartless dependence on sanctions 

The crazy sanctions against Russia are just the latest manifestation of the US sanction addiction. Over the past 20 years, the US has relied on the tool of sanctions almost to the point of insanity. The number of sanctioned targets on the US Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Asset Control sanctions list has grown from 912 in 2000 to 9,421 in October 2021, a net increase of 933 percent. 

Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea are all on the US sanctions list, the reasons given by the US government for punishing these countries include the so-called "anti-terrorism", "anti-corruption", and "protection of human rights, " but the real reasons are in fact closely related to the US' ideological differences and geopolitical interests. The sanctions have ultimately triggered huge humanitarian disasters in these countries, observers said.

On October 25, 2021 people held a demonstration near the US Embassy in Zimbabwe to protest against Western sanctions against Zimbabwe. Photo: Xinhua

On October 25, 2021 people held a demonstration near the US Embassy in Zimbabwe to protest against Western sanctions against Zimbabwe. Photo: Xinhua

John Mueller, professor of political science at the University of Rochester, has compared the threat of chemical and biological weapons to the massive death and destruction caused by US economic sanctions and found that "more people have been killed because of the sanctions than have been killed by all weapons of mass destruction in history."

Except for sovereign states, companies of all countries will be hunted down by the US as long as they affect the country's interest. Germany's Siemens, Japan's Toshiba, France's Alstom. The US has set one trap after another for these competitors in the high-tech sector. They were all fined heavily by Washington, and their core businesses were severely affected. Some employees were even arrested by the US government on trumped up charges. Frederic Pierucci, former executive of Alstom, detailed in his book The American Trap about how the US, under the guise of anti-corruption, manage to dismantle many of Europe's biggest multinationals for more than a decade.

The US has always stressed the need to maintain the so-called "rules-based international order," but when it comes to international trade rules, the US applies them when it suits them and abandons when it doesn't. The WTO report shows that two-thirds of the organization's violations are caused by the US, making the country the biggest "non-compliant" nation of WTO ruling. 

'Secret Cold War'

The so-called "rules-based order", a termed pushed by the US had gained currency after then US President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq without the approval of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, which "exemplified his general disregard for international restraints on American power," according to an article published on The New York Times (NYT) in June 2021.

Looking back at the wars in the Korean Peninsula, Vietnam, Iraq, Kosovo, Afghanistan and Syria - the US, under the banner of "upholding justice," "stopping aggression" and "humanitarian intervention," participated in almost all major wars and armed conflicts around the world since WWII to maintain its hegemony. That has led to untold humanitarian disaster to the invaded countries and regions, and plunged them into instability and economic recession.  

Former US president Jimmy Carter, once referred to the US as "the most warlike nation in the history of the world." In order to impose its political system and values, the US willfully interferes in other countries' internal affairs. It also provokes the so-called "color revolutions" and incites unrest in the involved countries in addition to military invasions.

According to American scholar Lindsey A. O'Rourke's book Covert Regime Change: America's Secret Cold War, the US engaged in 64 covert attempts at regime change during the Cold War. After the 9/11 attacks, the US started to use "counter-terrorism" as an excuse to force regime change abroad. The war on "terror" spread to more than 40 percent of the world's countries since 2001, according to a special report by the Smithsonian Magazine. Another study conducted by Brown University showed that, the post-9/11 wars have led to over 929,000 deaths and over 38 million refugees and displaced persons.

US' economic bullying not only affects the economic livelihood of the sanctioned countries, but also causes serious damage to the global economic order and economic security. Western sanctions against Russia have also had a profound impact on the global energy, food and financial markets. According to the Financial Times, sanctions against Russia are the biggest blow to globalization, devouring not only the real wealth but also expectations of future global economic growth.

US and UK ambassadors to the United Nations vote on March 31, 1992 for sanctions against Libya.?Photo: AFP

US and UK ambassadors to the United Nations vote on March 31, 1992 for sanctions against Libya.?Photo: AFP


A 'rogue superpower' 

As a principal architect and custodian of the international order after WWII, the US is the initiator, founder and participant of many existing international organizations and international treaties. However, if these rules affect US' interests, Washington is quick to push them to one side.

In January 2017, the US withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. In December 2018, the US announced its withdrawal from the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration. And in the following years, the US has withdrawn from the Iran Nuclear Deal, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, the Open Skies Treaty and other international agreements.

In terms of international organizations, the US has twice officially withdrawn from the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization in October 2017 and again in January 2019. When the International Criminal Court "encroached" on US interests, Washington was quick to threaten sanctions in September 2020. 

"In the early 21st century, if any power sought world domination, coercing others and flouting rules, it was the United States," commented a NYT opinion piece in October 2020. Noam Chomsky and other prominent US scholars also bluntly said that the US has become a "rogue superpower."

Experts point out that countries of the world are seeing ever more clearly the behavior of the US in undermining the international order. After the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, facing the extreme pressure from the US, Serbia refused to follow the West to impose sanctions on Russia. On April 9, Iran, which has suffered from decades of US sanctions, announced the inclusion of 24 Americans on its blacklist of sanctioned individuals for violations of human rights of the Iranian people.

Conclusion

In the Harry Potter series, Voldemort's arrogance and unchecked need for absolute power lead to his eventual demise. 
Unmasking the nature of US government as Voldemort, its face has now been revealed to readers piece by piece - the US is not only the Ukraine Crisis Instigator and Cold War Schemer, but also the Instability Brewer, Poison Disseminator, "Vampires" in the war who spread plague and creates hatred, a Human Rights Destroyer who committed grave crimes against humanity, and the "Voldemort" of Global Order
The world has suffered from the US for too long, and it is only a matter of time before the US' hegemonic behavior and destruction of the international order backfires.