Espreso. Global

Authoritarian egos that tip dominoes of evil

11 January, 2024 Thursday

We are on the brink of a global meltdown. A realignment of countries into good vs. evil. Freedom vs. authoritarianism. The creation of a new world order that will define generations to come. The dominoes are falling in the favor of evil, and we must act now before the next domino falls

Decades of degradation of global leadership, ignoring simmering conflicts, allowing the bully on the playground to go unchallenged, turning inwards and ignoring global responsibilities, and not recognizing that the world is interconnected in a way that isolationism breeds evil are at the root of this new battle confronting humanity. This global deterioration is a collective failure of governments.

It is not because of religion or race or ideological goals like those that dominated the Cold War and conflicts of the past, but because of hubris thinking that conflict among first world countries was not possible, leadership more focused on electability than doing what is right and simply a lack of global focus. This is compounded by ego-driven foreign policy and legacy desires of the three dominoes of authoritarianism whose goal is to be recognized in history books as correcting the perceived failures of previous leaders – Russia’s Putin restoring the Soviet Union, Iran’s Khamenei avenging the creation of Israel, and China’s Xi unifying China by dismantling Taiwan's democracy and independence.

The first domino to fall was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. An invasion that had less to do with Ukraine’s desire to be a member of NATO and more because of Putin’s desire to have his legacy be the leader who restored the glory of the former Soviet Union.

The European Union not fulfilling its munitions promises, the growing possibility of no additional military support and funding from the European Union and the United States, the anti-Ukraine and pro-Russia leadership in NATO countries Bulgaria, Hungary, and Slovakia, the growth of anti-west disinformation and election manipulation efforts by Russia, as well as a Russia getting economic and military support and lifelines from North Korea, Iran, and China is bringing into question Ukraine’s ability to survive. It is increasing Putin's likelihood of success.

Ukraine was the front line against authoritarianism, but now a new front has opened with the fall of the second domino – conflict in the Middle East. A conflict that has laid bare the realities of what comes of ignored and unsettled disputes. Hamas – a proxy of Khamenei and Iran - instigated barbarism and evil in Israel not seen since the Holocaust. Authoritarian Iran, and Khamenei himself, no doubt deserve to be held accountable for their support for Hamas, Hezbollah, Houthis, and Islamic Jihad – among others – who have only one purpose – to further Khamenei’s legacy as the one who destroyed Israel. 

The third domino to likely fall will be President Xi’s legacy-driven desire to “unify” Taiwan and China. China’s exponential military growth in the region should not be ignored. President Xi in his latest meeting with Biden stated he would not invade Taiwan, but additionally stated his goal is to unify Taiwan with China. We should not and cannot feel relieved because of a statement of non-invasion. The reality that Xi has the goal of unifying Taiwan with China should be an alarm bell for the next domino to fall in the global realignment towards authoritarianism. Invasion is not the only tool available to Xi to take Taiwan – blockades, economic strangulation, and other forms of military action other than invasion are still strong options for Xi.

Given the instability in the world – Russia in Ukraine, conflict in the Middle East, upcoming elections in the US and UK which could shift global thinking of these countries and their commitment to global intervention, global electoral interference now and in the coming year by authoritarian regimes resulting in anti-west leaders being elected, represents an unprecedented opportunity for Xi to achieve his legacy goal of unifying Taiwan with China as soon as this year.

It is unlikely that Putin, Xi, and Khamenei will voluntarily become good neighbors and participants toward peace and end their legacy-driven obsession. Their collective actions support and fuel each other’s goals by uniting them economically, militarily, and politically – making them more dangerous than any global alliance we have seen since World War II.

To correct the actions of Putin and Khamenei and prevent Xi from acting against Taiwan, the world must embrace a strategy of effective deterrence. Deterrence based on a clear understanding that there is a heavy price to pay for their actions – not simply words and sanctions that never work – but deterrence based on the reality of force. Force is all they respect, and the world must fight them now - with boots on the ground, ships on the seas, and planes in the air and no longer rely on the roadmap of spoken diplomacy that has failed.

The dominoes are falling in the favor of evil, and we must not continue to ignore the conflicts caused by legacy and ego-obsessed authoritarians, and must stop the next domino before a new world order arrives where freedom is no longer the norm. Waiting is far more dangerous than acting decisively with effective deterrence now!

About the author. Dane Waters, American political strategist and writer. The President of Humanity for Freedom Foundation.

The editors do not always share the opinions expressed by the authors of the blogs.

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