Director of the Armenian Center for National and Strategic Studies Manvel Sargsyan in his interview with ArmInfo considers the global implications of the latest developments in Syria. He talks about the role of the conflict on Syrian territory in the global confrontation between Western civilization and China. Stresses the civilizational and cultural character of this confrontation in the conditions of devaluation of the world order and international institutions in the post-Cold War period.
The fact that for several yearsthe problems being solved in Syria are not Syrian problems, it is well known. However, the open agenda of the countries involved in the conflict in this territory is not presented, from time to time appearing with mutual, equally unsubstantiated and therefore looking awkward, accusations. What issues are being solved today in the Syrian territory, in your opinion?
In my opinion, it is the complexity of the problem that forces the players involved in Syria from time to time to come up with awkward statements and incomprehensible estimates. And this is evidence of a lack of understanding of the essence of the situation by the very first persons, which seems very important. And the fact that Turkey has escaped from the emerging triangle with Iran and Russia and has come under the US after just one call, speaks of their impotence before this situation. Syria is just a springboard, the territory on which world politics is being implemented today. Yes, in Syria, relations are being discovered locally, because in the 21st century it is fraught with irreparable consequences to find out relations in another way. Accordingly, to understand who and what specifically suggests in this clarification of the relationship can only its participants. First of all, the US, the rest, including Russia, can only guess, or like Turkey, getting on the head, quickly stepping aside. The reasons for the emergence of such a situation are to be found in the devaluation of the world order after the Cold War, when international principles do not work, interests are not upheld, international institutions are collapsing, and the OSCE does not actually exist for 5-6 years. Everyone understands this and everyone talks about it. The whole question is only what it led to and what is being projected today. The United States is reiterating the formation of a new world order since 1991. However, even the Americans do not know to the end, but what is this new world order. They can not know this, because, being masters of the world order of the old, they also weaken under the conditions of devaluation of its principles. Trump says this very clearly, assuring his intention to think exclusively about the United States.
Without giving a single proof, Britain accused Russia of poisoning Fiddles with a "newcomer", and the United States of Syria - in the use of chemical weapons against the population. Nevertheless, the first was the reason for the next sanctions, the second - point missile strikes. And do not you think in this light that the new world order is already predetermined precisely by that such permissiveness of the hegemonic countries?
The situation itself leads to this. The steps you are talking about come from impotence. In other cases, such steps are not resorted to, in principle, since the short-term success of these steps causes even greater distrust of all players. And when 10 countries start to fear and relate to one, even the main country - the US is mistrustful, it significantly complicates the implementation of its policies. The international order in its essence and rigidity is very similar to the criminal one. And there is no hooliganism, and even the mafia adheres to clear principles that no one should violate, because this is what keeps everything on board. Hooliganism of the USA speaks about inefficiency of existing international principles and orders, which forces them to break it in opposition to any rationality. At one time, something similar happened to Egypt and Rome.
One cannot help reminding China ...
It is really very difficult to preserve the rationality of thinking in conditions of China's growth. In conditions when his authorities call on their citizens to give birth less, eat less, do not produce and consume expensive cars, accessories, clothes and even toys. Thus, today's China has given the world a fundamentally new philosophy, social culture.
Culture, which is a complete opposition to the Western culture of increasing consumption?
Certainly. And the same young Germans already prefer to buy a car worth 5, not 200 thousand dollars and then drive it 2 years, not 20 years. Thus, this new Chinese vision of the world is contagious for a new generation of Europeans. And how to deal with this in the West do not know. This problem is purely civilization-based, as China's geopolitics are just beginning to be waved. Carrying such a line, China does not violate the principles of international law, does not pursue expansion, but the rest of the world collapses as a result of the very existence of China. That's what's important.
By the way, why there is Russia, the United States, Iran, Turkey, Arab monarchies, Great Britain, and any others clarifying relationsn the Syrian platform , but there is no main, as you say, civilized l opponent of the US-China?
All this struggle is ultimately directed against China. But China prefers not to get involved in Syria, to deal with the rest of the players separately. The Americans, on the other hand, need to ensure their balance in Syria precisely to contain China by means of old methods. Without inventing anything new, the US is modernizing the old methods of containment policy that were used 100 years ago. Yes, there, in the case of China, Americans do not even know what to restrain, not to mention how. Hitler's Germany unleashed a global direct military expansion and the Americans clearly knew whom and how to deter and how to destroy. And China lives peacefully to itself, has no one to attack, and what, and how, in its case, to restrain is incomprehensible. This is a completely new situation, containing new tasks, because the old mechanisms may not solve it. Therefore, the Americans have nothing else but to strengthen their repressive machine, which we see today in Syria.
That means Russia is on the spur of the moment?
Russia was on the spur of the moment yet in 2015 , when it was driven to Syria
And are the internal political problems of the United States being solved in Syria?
I think yes. The Syrian platform can not work exclusively on international politics. At the same time, it is very difficult to see the internal problems of the United States from reality, because only Americans know about their true essence. Today in Syria, the US demonstrates to the whole world, Russia, how their missiles get into cans from a distance of thousands of kilometers. And then they prompt Russia to behave according to their ideas as a civilized nation in a civilized world.
And work together against China?
Naturally. And Russians, who have China literally at their side, are also naturally afraid of this frightening prospect. Russia simply cannot have serious contradictions with China. Hence the whole Syrian confusion, all these blows, statements and ultimatums come from this.
In other words, you think that behind the Syrian screen the global struggle of civilizations in the world today is unfolding primarily between the US and China?
Undoubtedly. Throughout the world, the former always sees the second - the one who claims to take his place. However, to clarify the relationship, directly, head-on, neither want the US, nor China, the price is too high. Therefore, in the US and Europe, the problem with China is being addressed in a different way. Over the past 10-15, a number of articles appeared in the West, authoritative politicians and economists, for example, Jacques Attali and Henry Kissinger, asserted the impossibility of regulating the problems of the 21st century in the traditions of the 19th-20th centuries. They asserted the need for a conceptual expansion of the opportunities and, accordingly, China's responsibility in front of the world.
For example, the voluntary provision of shares of key international financial institutions to China. In their design, and Western civilization has centuries of experience in developing deterrence mechanisms, all this will play the role of a kind of mechanism to deter China from becoming hegemony. But all this still needs to be agreed within the West, inside the US and Europe . At one time, a similar lack of unity in Europe was in fact with respect to Hitler, and we all know what the price was then to pay for it. In other words, we see that it is becoming more and more difficult to reach an agreement at the apex level. In this light, voiced at last year's meeting with Putin by the same Henry Kissinger, the idea of the need to return to the lower level of agreements looks like a completely new approach to the formation of the world order. And how the sides of the confrontation today are looking for the support of the Kurds, Turkmen, and some other tribes on the Syrian platform is the best confirmation of the lack of alternative to the lower level of the agreements.
Let's try to sum up. The US is trying today to find ways in Syria to confront the civilizational, global challenges to the established and Westernized world order?
They even openly talk about it, arguing about the need to "think about their country" in conditions when the old principles of international relations no longer work. And they also openly invite Russia to participate in the development of the principles of new ones. So far, unsuccessful Western civilization today is experiencing a crisis of international relations, there is a political crisis in the Western world, and all the others are only involved. And this crisis was provoked precisely by the "appearance" of China. In the theory of systems, it is clearly stated that the cause of the breakdown of multilayer systems is the appearance of more efficient, refined technologies. Meanwhile, as the US today is a country of the twentieth century, for this it is necessary to look at least American cities. And this then as the cities of the East: Japan, China, Singapore, even Arab monarchies - these are cities of the XXI century.