Yet another excellent observation on the Middle East and Trump admin geopolitical strategy for the region…
The Threat of Orphan States to World Order
- The Third Reich and the USSR could not behave as normal nation-states…. Their prime interest was “exporting” their ideological brand, by war if necessary.
- Regardless of the obvious differences of belief systems and discourse, all ideology-driven movements from Lenin and Hitler to Khomeini and Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi aim at replacing the biological human with an ideological one, ostensibly to complete the work of nature or providence.
- Lenin seized power in a Russian state that had become an orphan with the fall of the Tsarist state. Hitler inherited the orphan state left by the failed Weimar Republic. Khomeini came to power when the Shah simply left Iran as an orphan state.
- At first glance, the same fate may look as if it is threatening Lebanon. A state manned by discredited elites seems on the verge of disintegration, with an armed group backed by Iran poised to seize control, just as the Taliban did in Afghanistan with Pakistani backing.
|In Lebanon, a state manned by discredited elites seems on the verge of disintegration, with an armed group backed by Iran poised to seize control, just as the Taliban did in Afghanistan with Pakistani backing. Pictured: Hezbollah members in Baalbek, Lebanon on November 12, 2019. (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)|
Remember 9/11, the catchphrase that was seen as a wake-up call for a world lulled into sweet slumber by “The End of History”? Nearly two decades ago today, the twin terror attacks on New York and Washington propelled a new threat to world order at the top of international concerns: the threat of non-state groups seizing territory for use as a base for advancing ideological aims through terror and war.
Though it contained some new features, the attack on the United States recalled a model used by other ideological movements on small and large scales. In a sense, both the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany had been built on a model that rejected the concept of nation-state as developed by the Westphalian treaties of the 17th century. The Third Reich and the USSR could not behave as normal nation-states concerned with the normal interests of nation-states such as security, trade, access to markets and resources, cultural exchanges and prestige. Their prime interest was “exporting” their ideological brand, by war if necessary.
Lenin, the founder of the Soviet Union, regarded Russia only as “a base for the world proletarian revolution”. He was even prepared to accept the loss of Russia’s European possessions through the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in order to secure the “base” he had gained in Petrograd and Moscow. In his book The State and Revolution, Lenin argued that a state made sense only as a vehicle for revolution in the name of the proletariat. For Hitler, too, Germany was more of an abstract concept than a here-and-now reality, a base for world conquest in the name of the “Herrenvolk” (master race).