The following is an extract of the draft english translation of an excellent recent book entitled 'Political Concepts' which was published in the Arab world in 2005. I will be posting more sections of the book in future.
Motives of struggle between states
There is no other than two motives behind international struggle since start of history till the Hour time. These are either love of supremacy and pride or competition over material benefits. Love of supremacy could be for loving the supremacy of the nation or the people, as it was the case of Germany the Nazi and Italy the Fascist. It might also be for loving the supremacy and propagation of the ideology, as it was the case of the Islamic state throughout about thirteen centuries, as well as the case of the communist state during its thirty years age, and before it collapsed at the beginning of the nineties of last century, seventy years after its formation.
As regarding the motive of restricting the build up of another’s state power, as it happened with the states in restricting Napoleon, restricting the Islamic state, as well as restricting Germany the Nazi, all of this comes under loving the supremacy, because it is challenge for the supremacy of others.
After the removal of the Islamic state and the collapse of the Soviet state, the motive that dominates the entire world became competition over material benefits. This motive will continue as such till the return of the Islamic state to the world once again as a superpower that influences the international struggle. At that time, the motive of loving the supremacy and propagation of the ideology will come back.
The most dangerous motive behind struggle between the states is colonialism, including all of its forms. This is because this is the motive that caused the small wars, the two world wars, the Gulf wars and wars in Africa, besides the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq. It is also still responsible about the disturbances and crises in the world.
The present competition, conflict and struggle between America, Britain, France and Russia, whether the open or hidden, over the issues of Iraq, Afghanistan, Middle East and other areas, besides other international issues, all of this is for the sake of colonialism and for controlling the benefits and resources. Colonialism controls nowadays the international struggle, over the resources and influence, besides competition over domination in all of its forms and types.
It is a fact that competition over material benefits, particularly the colonial greed, is the reason behind the political struggle between the great states. This indeed led to the breakout of local as well world wars. In order to avoid such destructive struggle, they invented the so called world peace and security, and came out with the pretext of safeguarding peace and security.
The pretext of safegaurding peace is not new in the world. It is rather old, and existed since the beginning of nineteenth century. The X-Lachaple treaty signed in 1818 by the five powers at that time was under the pretext of safeguarding peace. In accordance with this treaty, or alliance, the five great states appointed themselves a guardian over peace and order in the international community, and they interfered in the affairs of other states every time they noticed – according to their claim – there is a threat to peace or order. This pretext of safeguarding peace and order in the international community was later on used as excuse for the intervention of the great states and for war. It became as well an international slogan that is used as a tool to maintain colonialism and influence.
Peace used to be safeguarded according to their claims through alliance between great states, or through international conferences. After World War I, peace became maintained through international organisations, where it was stipulated in the peace treaties of 1919 the formation of an international organisation for safeguarding peace, which was called League of Nations. It was supposed to maintain peace by this organisation. However, the states that formed such organisation broke their pledges and violated the purpose aimed of this organisation. It was supposed these states concede their colonies, and the organisation by itself looks after safeguarding peace and preventing wars. Instead of that, the great states did not concede their colonies and nor changed their situation. They rather made their main interest maintaining the balance of powers, and protection of their interests. Furthermore, they divided amongst them the territories of Germany and the Ottoman state, where England took the lion’s share. This led to threatening the peace, for whose sake the organisation was formed, and the breakout of many wars that ended with World War II. After this world war, the attempt to create a global organisation for safeguarding international peace and security was repeated. So, the great states; England, America, and SU discussed, after including France the necessity of establishing a new post war world, by following a new way that guarantees stable peace and prevention of war. They added to this facilitating economic cooperation between the different and various systems, besides protection of human rights. Since then, the United Nations (UN) became the guardian over peace; and the word of peace and international peace became an international slogan repeated by every body and used by the great states as pretext for safeguarding peace and preventing other states from liberation and emancipation from the noose of colonialism. Thus, the concept of safeguarding peace developed to its current form.
The issue of safeguarding peace by an international organisation developed into the fable of disarmament. So, the League of Nations tried to proceed with the issue of disarmament, and England used it as a means to weaken France. It also encouraged the armament of Germany so as to create balance in Europe between Germany and France. However, the issue of disarmament failed, leading to World War II.
When the UN was established it also proceeded in the subject of disarmament. However, until now no one of the great states managed to deceive another state as England did with France in the League of Nations. UN could not also create any effect on this subject, so hardly people feel of it, leaving it as a name without substance.
Struggle between the great states has created what is called international conferences as well that which is called alliances. As regards the conferences, the first conference in this regard was that of Vienna that was held in 1815. Before World War I there were also some conferences, which included Berlin conference that was held for agreeing on abolishing the Islamic state and dividing its territories. After World War II, there were also many conferences that included Berlin conference, Geneva conference and Paris conference. However, after the agreement between America and SU and after forming together a world power, there were no more conferences, except that held in 1969, where the envoys of the great powers: France, England, SU and America held a conference within the functions of UN to study the crisis of the Middle East. However, this is not considered a conference, for it was held within the functions of the UN.
Conferences were held after World War II for discussing the problems present between the Eastern and Western camps. This is because the Eastern camp was weak in the UN; therefore Russia tried to take the initiative from the Western camp and worked to shift America from the leading state post. Thus, it tried to discuss the problems outside the UN. It succeeded in Berlin conference to increase the gap of differences between Britain and France on one side and America on the other, as well as it succeeded in taking a decision for holding Geneva conference, where it succeeded there. Thus, holding conferences weakened America and strengthened SU. England tried as well to hold conferences between it and America to solve problems outside the UN, where Bermuda conference was held but with England being successful in it. Later on there were no conferences amongst the states of Western camp, except traditional meetings between America and England. America realised then that holding conferences outside UN weakens her situation and her post internationally. Therefore, she did not agree after that to holding conferences outside UN, particularly after the agreement, or say after the alliance between her and SU in their meeting in Vienna 1961.
As regards alliances between states, these were very old in history, where states undertook them to strengthen themselves in face of others, or to prevent some states from disturbing the balance of power between them. So, the X-Lachaple treaty held in 1815 was an alliance. Likewise, the alliances that were held between England and France and between Austria and Germany were for gaining strength and maintaining balance of power. While, the alliance held between France and England against Germany in World War I, and the alliance held between America, England, France and SU against Germany in World War II, were alliances against a great power. NATO alliance held after World War II against SU, and Warsaw pact held after World War II against the Western camp were alliances against other powers. Thus, alliances as well as international conferences are means for getting strength against other powers or for maintaining balance of power. Such alliances are considered of the tools of international struggle.
There are alliances and treaties, which the great powers sign between the small states, or between them and the small states. Such alliances are not considered of the tools of direct international struggle. They are rather considered colonial means or means by which the great powers that sign them strengthen themselves. As an example, the treaty signed between Iraq and Turkey, and that signed before World War I under the name of Sa’dabad pact, England has done them to strengthen its influence in such countries and to shift the international balance of power in its advantage before the other great powers, like France and SU. The treaties that England held between it and Iraq, and between it and Egypt, before World War II were means to consolidate its colonialism rather than for war. Likewise, the alliances that England held after World War II, such as Baghdad pact, or that America held such as South-East Asia pact, besides America naming Kuwait, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, Argentina, South Korea, Bahrain, Australia, New Zeeland, Philippines, Thailand as well as (Israel), as strategic allies outside NATO pact, are colonial means for consolidating her influence and not alliances for war. All of such alliances are not considered of the tools of direct international struggle; rather the alliances that are made between the great powers themselves are considered of the tools of direct international struggle.
The role of the NATO pact was supposed to cease by the collapse of the SU and the Eastern camp. However, America preserved the alliance; she rather tried to expand it, and even expanded it. So, she annexed to it many of the East European states, and tries to add much more. All of this because the aim of the alliance has changed, for it was no more directed against the Eastern camp. It rather became directed against the member states of Western camp; because America felt the attempt of the European states to escape her grip. So she kept the alliance in order to keep them under her guardianship, particularly she dominates the NATO, and in order to keep their security and defences linked with her.
Nowadays, the states that associated America in the second Gulf war, and in the occupation of Iraq, which they were the alliance states are considered a model of the alliances used to strengthen the American influence and strengthen the unilateral trend of the American administration, besides they are of the means of new American colonialism.
These are the foundations upon which the international policy is generally built; besides they are the foundations upon which the policy of each internationally effective state is built. In the light of these foundations it is possible to understand the political actions that occur in the world, in a way close to truth and in agreement, as much as possible with the reality. Political actions undertaken by any state, whether great or small, cannot be understood except based on these foundations, or whatever branches from them or is linked with them. In such case, the action is understood, in terms of its nature, place of its occurrence, and its circumstances. Then all of this is linked to one of these foundations so as to understand its nature, its motives and lastly its results.