This new approach appears based in part on a sense of their growing strength relative to America and their increasing emphasis on differences over issues like Syria. Both Moscow and Beijing oppose the principle of international action to interfere in a country’s sovereign affairs, much less overthrow a government, as happened in Libya in 2011. After all, that principle could always backfire on them.This is a useful narrative for those who benefit from the status quo, and have neither the will nor the imagination to embrace a better world. Gelb concludes his discourse with a formula for continuing the balance of powers with a careful combination of force and diplomacy.
What he seems oblivious to is the limited relevance of this discourse.
Noam Chomsky discussed the limitations of this view in his speech at the American University in Beirut last month.
Surveying the terrible conflicts in the world, it’s clear that almost all are the residue of imperial crimes and the borders that the great powers drew in their own interests.